Honest Truths: I’m poor, not penurious.

Guess who had to google that word, penurious. I’m not even sure if I’m using it correctly.

I still feel like I need to preface this post by saying I believe I am by no means living in poverty, I just feel the crunch most days. This isn’t a plea for your money. I don’t want to be spammed with get rich quick schemes. I am grateful to be able to afford our weekly rent to have a roof over our heads and I have a very gracious workplace.

However, there are just some days when I log into my bank account and I wish there were just a few more dollars in there. I’m not talking millions either, literally a few more dollars would make me smile more often. They say money doesn’t bring you happiness but it makes life easier having it, it makes living a little less stressful. I’m sure you’re all thinking, we’ll get off your butt and do something about it.

So, What am I doing about it? To be honest, I know that what I am doing is not enough, but I’ve started making small changes to make it easier on the budget, and to start seriously paying off debt and get my life on track and towards saving to buy our first home.

I’m about making a few small changes in my life that are sustainable. For instance, I have  stopped buying mochas or hot drinks. They were a weekly guilty pleasure. I stopped drinking coffees while pregnant and limit myself now because I’m breastfeeding. For the price of a barista made coffee, I can buy a packet of instant granulated coffee and still have some change. I might get 20 cups of coffee for the price of one or two. Yes, it’s cheap but to be honest, it’s not nasty and I get my quick fix, quicker than waiting in line at a cafe.

Another small change is I don’t go shopping unless I need to. I unsubscribed from regular marketing emails from a bunch of retail stores. I’ve removed the temptation from my life and my inbox thanks me also.

Even my birthday this year I didn’t want to spend money on myself. Instead buying a treat, I volunteered to be a collector for the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation street appeal.

Adulting can be hard. Parenting is harder. I’m in my 30’s now and I feel these are the years to start making a difference for the family.

So my honest truth, I am poor. But if I can pay all my bills, reduce the debt and manage to squirrel a dollar or two away for my baby’s future, and put money towards my first home, then I know that I shouldn’t complain! I want to feel content with the things I have or I just need to try a little harder.

#rantover

Thanks for sticking with me.

xoxo Love Shaz

Love by Matt de la Pena

I recently discovered that Overdrive are now offering read-along eBooks. No, this isn’t your typical audiobook, nor is it a simple narration.

You open the book, click on Start Narration and it reads the words to you. It even highlights the words as it goes along so it’s easy to follow.

I didn’t realise it at the start, but it will even turn the page when it gets to the end of the page!

Its almost handsfree reading!

But enough about that. The book that I found, was Love by Matt de la Pena. I wanted a cute short story to read to by daughter at bed time. She’s only one. She fell asleep pretty quickly but me, I was in awe.

The read-along I heard was by the  author. I heard how the story was meant to be read, how it was meant to be heard. That was the pinnacle of my experience.

The story really tugs at the heart strings. It’s so full of emotion and shares all the ways we experience love. The story resounded with me as I snuggled in bed with my daughter.

The last page was my fave: It’s not luck you’ll leave with, it’s love.

I hope that when my daughter leaves home, that saying is how she will feel. Knowing that she is safe & has that security to know we will be here for her always.

The best book I have read since ‘Guess How Much I Love You’. Children’s books are the best.

xoxo Shaz

Every little bit helps

Just because you spend one night on the street, doesn’t mean you know what its like to live like a homeless person.

This is just one of those things that really grinds my gears. I read on a friend’s Facebook recently that that would be leaving the warmth of their bed to sleep at a shelter to make a real impact towards ending youth homelessness. My initial reaction was ‘you are taking up a bed space that could be better used by someone who genuinely needs it?’. Is that too cynical? I’m sure that she will be there to work and be an ear to the needs of others…

This person lives in another country so maybe their context is a little different to my own. I live in a small city, and we have homeless people here, nowhere near the kind of scale that other cities in New Zealand has, nor that of other countries. I also know that I am not in any position to change the issue of homelessness here, but what I can do is try make their lives a little brighter. A few people at my workplace (including myself) signed up to help with a soup kitchen. Our small team are rostered on fortnightly and we make a basic dinner for around 30 people. I’ve also signed myself up for Good Bitches Bake, where I can bake for places like the local Women’s refuge. It’s certainly not a grand gesture like staying at a homeless shelter, but how does that help the homeless?

Imagine the sort of difference you could make if, for example, you took your laptop or sat down with a homeless person to help them with creating a CV; helped them write about their best self so they can gain employment?

I don’t think sleeping in a homeless shelter for one night gives you any real experience in what a homeless person deals with regularly. I will give my friend props though. They want to make a difference and this event she is joining is being offered by the city mission, so it must offer some good, so Kia Kaha.

I’m not in a financial position to do anything much. But I can see little things. Imagine how much money could be donated to charities if we all went without that store bought coffee for one day a week and donated it? or if instead we purchased a couple of extra tins of food to donate? The food banks could be a lot fuller than they are.

These are just some of my thoughts for today. If you are in a position to help, please give kindly to a local charity. Every little bit helps, and soon those little bits will add up to a lot.

xoxo Shaz

January Wrap Up

Goodreads Challenge for 2018 is off to a good start. I know only one of these books is a novel, but they all count! Here is the list of e-books I read in January.

  1. Under the Lights (The Field Party, #2)
  2. The Infographic Guide to Personal Finance: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know
  3. I Love You with All My Butt!: An Illustrated Book of Big Thoughts from Little Kids
  4. Saga, Vol. 4 (Saga, #4)

january-2018-readsI Love You with All My Butt would have to be my fave this month. It’s a book that I want on my shelf and I will read to my daughter, so she knows that life isn’t always serious. If there isn’t room in your life for a little fun and laughter, then I’d say you’re doing it wrong.

I read the Infographic Guide to Personal Finances as my husband and I have started our wee family, and are looking to buy our first home. I’d like to say we are in a position to go it alone, but my parents will be contributing towards our deposit and thank God for Kiwisaver (a government retirement scheme) that I signed up to in my second job (like 5+ years ago). Because without it, this conversation might not be happening for another 10 years. Any help I can get, the better, and at least I won’t get weird looks from a book, like ‘You’re 30 and you don’t own your home?’.

I’m really not sure why I have continued reading the Saga series. It’s really quite graphic… and yes, it is a graphic novel! I am aware of that. But the blood, the gory, the off-earth aspect and the explicit. These aren’t really my kind of things I like to read. But OCD sticks it’s ugly head in sometimes, and I want to see the series through to the end, however it ends.

and I MUST READ all Abbi Glines, so I have continued the Field Party series, and read Under the Lights. I quite liked the story. My fave character would have to be Nona, the grandmother. She took in her granddaughter, when her own daughter couldn’t look after her child, not once but twice. She is a top lady.

Well there you have it, my reads for January 2018. What did you read this month? Leave me a link.