My favorite time of year is the days between Christmas and New Years Day. I love those days. In this time I have a review of the year and write down all the major events and things we achieved. I am usually amazed when I do that look back at the year. Then I start to think about what I want to do with the new year and what I could change and even what NEEDS changing. A fresh new year is so exciting to me. A brand new diary and I am set!
The photos in this post are Thanksgiving photos some of the ladies sent me! This one is from Colette. She has her wedding photo on the table. I just love this! Also later her Mum arrived and added two more pies!
I already know that come January I will be straight into making Christmas and birthday presents and as so many of you said that this January you want to get started too I am making it a challenge that hopefully helps us all! So that is challenge number one.
The other day I was talking to Vicky. And as she often does she said something that stopped me in my tracks. Her Mother would say "it's a Vicky thing"! I LOVE a challenge and this is the best one ever I think!
We have often discussed the value of our work and savings. Mimi frequently talks about this too and she calls it "insourcing". The idea is you count your savings as earnings. So if you wash the dog yourself instead of paying someone to do it then you just earned.... (whatever it costs to have a dog washed!) That money you just saved you pay yourself or your emergency fund or where ever you would like to pay that money instead of the dog groomer.
I think about this all the time. Usually I try to know, roughly, what things are worth. So if I just made four dozen sausage rolls I will try to keep track of what it cost me. And I try to know about what they would cost to buy. I know these would cost about $170 from the local bakery. Then I subtract my expenses and am left with how much I saved/earned.
When you look at the value of things it's amazing!
You could stop buying work lunches and take your own. Or take on some task yourself of make your presents... but the idea is to have an estimate of the savings.
Now, I know the numbers add up. If I was doing The Vicky Challenge I would have kept track of our savings last week and that would have included the $800 we saved making our own range hood and all the other savings from sending Andy's lunch each day, using freezer meals instead of take away and so on. Already I just saved more than I probably could have made elsewhere less tax, travel and so on.
The difference is Vicky writes it all down. Daily she does a rough calculation of her savings/earings.
(I always mention that savings equal more than earnings since you are not taxed on them. So $1 earned might be 75c. $1 saved is $1. So your savings stay intact!)
Then Vicky tallies up each week, then month... then finally the year. At the end of the year she knows how much she saved/earned. Last year she earned $15,000 this way.
While I think about my savings and even report them in my Feather your Nest Friday posts I have somehow never thought to do a weekly add up. Let alone an annual calculation that would mean I can say how much my job at home equals for our family. It makes no difference if you are working outside the home or not. When you are home the savings from your effort count just the same.
Colette's Thanksgiving table.
Society can be a bit "what do you do all day and why don't you get a real job?" (which I hate!) and this means you can think of the huge financial advantage that your works actually gives your family and what a massive lie it is that if you don't work outside the home you don't contribute financially! What a scam that one is! I have great suspicions about the motives behind whoever perpetuates that belief. And this is all apart from the many other sides to homemaking me cannot have a dollar value placed on them!
After I asked Vicky about a hundred questions on this she wrote something up to help me explain it...