Save The Money

I know that this is the time for New Years Resolutions and things like that but how about a New Years Revelation: about saving.  I am a slow thinker in that I can be idly thinking about a certain subject on and off for months before my thoughts filter from my sub-conscious to my conscious and that animated light bulb lights up above my head. Sheila - Hereford pig
I have always said that farming does not make a lot of money but it does SAVE money.  If you seed save and make your own compost vegetables cost almost nothing to grow.  Processing is the biggest cost for Grass fed beef and pork raised on vegetables, milk and eggs come in way below anything you can buy at the supermarket.   (Chickens are more expensive though).  If I have bred and raised the animals myself – I am saving even more off the food bill. Milk and butter and cheese are literally a bonus after feeding the animal on grass.  My grocery bill can be really small.  So I really do save the household budget a significant amount of money.
But unless I actually SAVE the money I am saving then it is not saving at all is it!
Once the equation has worn itself out there will be a number of dollars left over, these dollars need to be taken out of my household account and deposited into the farm account. Literally.  Letting them just slide out the door on the backs of other expenses is not saving at all. Do you see?
Or how about this. I have a writing  chair in front of the fire – in fact I am sitting in it as we speak. My writing chair is OLD, it is falling to bits. Cushions have to be strategically placed for it to be able to hold its head up beside the fire at all. A book instead of a leg. A wiggly arm. Transparent fabric.  It should be IN the fire. I need a new chair. However I have decided that I will not get a new chair until after I have been out to Australasia to visit with my children. Then I will save for a chair.  SO.  I am sitting in an uncomfortable threadbare chair, into the corner where I cannot feel the springs, feeling smug about saving myself the expense of a new chair. But WHERE IS THE MONEY!?  Where are the savings? To save it I have to take that money out of the home account and physically put it into the TRAVEL SAVINGS account or I have saved nothing.
 (And no, I do not use the home accounts when I travel – I have a separate travel account so if the money is not there it is NOT THERE).
cows come home
I have skipped having my hair cut (and coloured but don’t tell anyone that I am not a natural blonde) so that money needs to be taken out and saved into the travel account too.  Do you see what I mean?
Likewise quitting smoking or stopping drinking to save money. SAVE THE MONEY!  If you get a raise – SAVE that money.  Or if you give up Starbucks on the way to work or make your own lunch. Take it out of the household account and save it into your savings account.
Of course this is very different from budgeting your money. This is when you look at your incomings and your outgoings and make a plan to ensure that the monthly outgoings DO NOT EXCEED your monthly incomings. After all that would be very silly.
So that is my New Years Revelation.  I am going to take money out of my household wallet when I  make a savings decision and save it into another wallet. Not just leave it available to be spent on something else thereby losing it twice. And then I can SEE the results of my saving. And seeing the results helps me to save even more.
Starting with this chair, how much would a new chair cost anyway?  I need to get that money into the travel account. Or do I have to sit in this wonky chair for the rest of my life to call it a saving. Hmm.
I had better think some more.
Did any of that make sense?
Sunrise is at 7.16 this morning so it is time for me to have my shower and get ready for work.
Love celi
manu and poppy
p.s. Update on Manu (the boar) and Poppy (the sow). Last night they were sleeping together tucked up!! All calm. This is the first time that Manu has slept with anyone since he was a piglet so he is swooning with happiness. Plus Poppy is a good sized lass she will be nice and warm for him.
Here they are waiting for their gate to be opened. They know the drill already.


93 Comments on “Save The Money

  1. I know exactly what you mean. What’s the point of making economies, giving things up to save money if you don’t actually SAVE the money. It needs to be put out of reach of casual spending, tucked safely away. Better still, take it away before you know it’s there. Dear Celi, please may I make you a cover for a cushion for the bony, uncomfortable chair? Not the filling too, that would be too bulky for you to carry home, but something with a zip so you can stuff it with something soft. A iittle extra lease on life, a cheerful coat of lippy for its tired, pale chair face?

  2. But who is keeping Our Sheila warm… or have the twins moved in with her? Don’t save too much money, you will have another problem worrying about how to spend it ha, ha 🙂 Carlos IV is fattening up nicely and dare I day Aunty Del looks a bit wider too. Celi, saving is great but trieing to perpetuate false economy, like not replacing broken chair, may cost you more in the long run (like medical expenses if it breaks when you are sitting in it). Best way is to take a modest amount from one account at the beginning of the month and try not to reclaim it during the month. Laura

  3. I so admire what you do and have to admit to a bit of envy. I failed so badly with the pigs, then the chooks, ducks, geese. Everything died, or had to be re-homed except the remaining peacocks and guinnea fowl. You are a true farmer; I am just the wife of a true farmer. Your incredibly interesting posts continue to inspire me and make me wiser.

  4. Wise thinking indeed – this is what we do, a separate account for what we have “saved” by making economies or DIY-ing – it soon adds up. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves…as my granny used to say!

  5. Do you have freecycle where you live? Lots of people post household items they no longer want and you can pick it up for free. Or craigslist to purchase a better quality used chair? Much cheaper than buying new.

    • Yes! Or estate sales too, if there are any in the area are often great places to buy good used furniture!

  6. I just got a mental picture of a piggy wedding – all the girls dressed in white! I suppose Tonton might be a priest with his markings 😉

  7. Great header shot of still standing Boo. Boar Manu seems to be a bit exhausted? And cute Tane caring… Love our new twosome and their romance… So nice that the became good friends too. I love them!
    I don’t do New Years Resolutions – never kept them, so I let it be… A Revelation might be a different thing though… Never thought about it before. – I think your point of view means to redistribute or reallocate the saved money, isn’t it?
    Once when working as a taxi driver (the car was not mine) I decided NOT to want work for an own car. It’s waisting time & money I thought. So I had to work less, got more time for me and myself and had less expenses cause no car. I felt great with that. – When I quit smoking I put every saved coin into a big jar – that was my travel money for quite a while…. And my hair? Since I have had no work and real income for the last two years I saved my hair dresser’s cost by cutting my hair myself. It worked well. Last week I visited my hairdresser after not being there more than one and a half years now. He was pleased to see me again and lauded my skills. After having made a new cut he just charged half the prize. What made me oh so glad. What a nice gift and what a cute guy…
    Loved your today’s post and thoughts! Isn’t it more than revelation? Isn’t it kind of enlightenment? Do you remember when being young how we tried to save money by hitch-hiking? That was quite an adventurous saving method, wasn’t it? – For the chair: Why not saving for a used one? I bet there are lots of good and very low-prized ones available.
    “Australasia” made me laugh! You are always so great in new wordings (or neologisms) … – Have a beautiful day, Celi!

      • Oh yes, he is! Very young, a christian Iraqi, just married in last summer (he was telling me about the beautiful honeymoon they had while cutting my hair) and with the beautifullest bright blue eyes I ever saw.I call him “my hairdresser with the beautiful blue eyes” when speaking of him to others…

  8. Excellent post, very instructive! Thank you! Advice we can all adjust and use for our own benefit.
    But I just knew it was building to something and soon as you mentioned the chair I figured you were about to tell us of a chair you had just gone out to buy,,, lol A pleasant surprise to read on and find you hadn’t… and THEN I realize, or think I’ve figured you out now, that you’re not so unhappy with your broken down chair but are looking for ways to bolster the travel account to have more to spend when you’re away!!! You lil devil!!! (I hope it works for you… heh heh) If you hadn’t had this ‘revelation’, then you’d be stuck with what funds had been put in the travel account but now you can add more to travel in lieu of a new chair. I am falling over laughing over this one…. Good for you! Let’s have some more ‘revelations’! ~ Mame 🙂

    • I love this comment. Love the whole thing today. But I’d better not show it to my dear. She will be after me to save the way you do. I think I would mess things up even more than I do now. Money is money, I say to her. Yes, she says, but where is it, and how does it disappear so fast. On second thought, I’ll show her the post. It is so funny, so real. And photographs! The pig couple peering through the gate. And the dog with a stick. But best of all, those chickens (and I think I see a peacock in there) on top of the. . . What is that, a tub full of food? It looks like my family at dinner when I was a kid, nine of us digging in, and dad trying to get us to sit properly and have a conversation.

  9. Much too easy to spend savings all away when it isn’t put aside in a place one knows not to touch. I do this every month, making saving for home improvements something that is actually viable in the near future.

  10. Manu is smiling too. 😉 I have the January calendar up at my desk. The kittens are so adorable and I love that Nannie Boo’s feet are in the shot…. Always watching over his babies.

  11. You are about half my age, but your post reminded me of my grandmother. She never had much, so she had to be very careful. In her kitchen there was a shelf of labeled jamjars and when Grandad gave her his wages (paid in cash, never more than £4 a week) she would divide it up into jars marked rent, gas, electricity, food, clothes and housekeeping and, yes, savings. Nowadays we have one current account and several savings accounts. When the current account gets to a certain level I transfer the excess into savings and vice versa when bills have to be paid. I check that the totals show a healthy increase at the end of the year, and we give any surplus even-handedly to the children and grandchildren.

    Can you put up a picture of the rickety chair? Perhaps Jock could make you a new one, to go with the cushion Kate is making?
    Love solitary ViV xox

  12. In these days of ‘card’ shopping, we can so easily lose track of what happens to our special offers and the money we are supposed to have saved. When Elly was young I introduced The No Biscuits Rule. Back then direct flights from Belfast to warmer climes were not as frequent as now with all the smaller/cheaper airlines. Holidays were often booked months in advance and once the deposit was paid, the No biscuit/cookies rule came into play. I would not buy any biscuits, mind you it never really mattered, since the tins were always full of home baking. The rule applied to sweets also. Once in the local newsagents, Elly asked if I would buy a bar of chocolate for her. Always aware of an audience, I projected my voice slightly as I answered: “Elly, my money is for food and daddy’s money is for spending. If I bought you chocolate today, it would have to come out of our holiday spending money. So is it a bar of chocolate that would be gone before be get to the bottom of the street and one ice cream less when we go on holidays to Spain”? Holiday ice cream won! Oh I was such a hard mother!!! I notice she now occasionally plays The No Biscuits Rule.

  13. I just knew that Manu and Poppy would be cuddling up sooner than later! 🙂 And yes, keep the extra savings in a special place and continue to add to it when you can. And do not go into it for anything but the purpose/s the savings were intended for! xo

  14. I understand exactly what you mean there. You see if mom skips coffee, that money goes into my account. If dad skips lunch, that money goes into my account. My account is my allowance. See, I perfectly understand. Snorts and oinks. XOXO – Bacon

  15. For us, it seems easier to save money by spending it, while money saved gets spent too easily. We find that if we take our extra money and invest it into the garden/homestead or put extra on a bill to pay the principal down faster, it goes to a good place and saves us money in the long run via interest and returns. However, if we save actual cash in a bank account or jar, we end up spending it on frivolous things like eating out or odd things that we think we need. So far, that’s been working. Once we pay down many things and don’t have that luxury, we will need to learn how to save in a jar again.

  16. What a great post on the propriety of finances and frugal living. Those are aspects of living I learned from my parents and grandparents. They are fundamental survival life skills. It takes discipline and determination. I do not meet too many people who understand this concept in this day and age. Spend, borrow and worry about it later… and later, and find yourself in big bad debt! 🙂

  17. The romance of Poppy and Manu is so heart-warming!

    What I learned from my parents was to live below your income. We are old now, and though we are financially healthy, we have no idea what we can and cannot spend. We figure we are going to end up in a nursing home and they are expensive. Home health care is expensive too.

    How much you save by farming is not easy to determine. For example, you have to factor in how much you’d be tempted by new products and all sorts of enticing things displayed.

    Thank you for updating The Cast. I had totally forgotten about Carlos IV. (You’ll find me soon enough in the “Memory Care” facility.)

    • It is hard to work out how much I save by farming, but the first equation would be how much meat and eggs and milk and chicken and vegetables would cost at the supermarket then halve it. That half is what I save. Sometimes between fifty and eighty dollars a week. Nursing homes are expensive, but you are onto it. Many people just rock along imagining things will take care of themselves.. c

  18. Oh one more thing! I love the first photo because I can see the texture of the bark of the tree is similar to Boo’s coat. I wish I could see the bottom of the picture though. I lose about an inch.

    • Just click on “Thekitchensgarden”, the Headline of thist blog – on the black bar above all… Boo is standing there in full height, proud and in an exact profile – great!

      • Irmi, thank you thank you thank you! I did it and saw Boo’s piggies!! This is really exciting, because it has been so frustrating not to see the full picture.

        • Me too. That’s normal and everyday it is like this. It’s WordPress. – You just have to go one step back and click on the blog title… Always. And you’ll never lose 4-5 inches again and get always the full picture!! Makes me glad that I could help you!

  19. Love the photo of Poppy and Manu. They make a lovely couple. Kate is so sweet to offer a new cushie for your tushie! I hope you are able to get a new, comfortable chair. I got a new office desk chair for Christmas, and my back is much happier!

  20. I was more or less understanding (though I don’t get the bit about calculating how much you are saving on groceries and taking that out of household expenses because your household budget must already reflect your lower costs, right?) until the end when you said you would put money in your travel account to pay for a new chair. We’ve all heard the expression ‘armchair traveler’ but surely a chair actually IS a household expense. I’m confused.

  21. A chair Is something I can supply if you feel like a trip to the city. It needs a home, it’s a comfortable chair, not new, not especially attractive, but newness and beauty are not always that important, it isn’t exactly ugly either. I’ll try and get a photo or two and email them to you if you like. Many and Poppy look quite happy looking out the gate and Boo is just a handsome fellow. Have a wonderful day and stay warm. We’re supposed to have snow later today.

  22. For a while our household was enchanted with playing the local lottery. Just a ‘little bit’ of dollars went that way every week … and then the work group of girls started up another lottery ‘pot’ that we all chipped into. Well, after a year or so we looked up and said, “Hold on. Look how much that added up to after twelve months!” So for one year we put the ‘lottery’ money into a separate line in our budget book. At the end of the year we had enough saved to buy our first computer. For AGES we told people we won the lottery – we won a computer! Lesson learned – a little over a long stretch adds up to a lot!

  23. Pingback: Saving Money | Just another Day on the Farm

  24. Happy New Year Celi, I wish you all the best for 2016. Great advice on saving…my dear Mom was an expert saver. When my Dad passed away (she was 46) they had no savings and Mom hadn’t worked in years so she pulled up her bootstraps and went to work. Not having much experience or education, she didn’t make a lot of money but she knew how to save. By the time she died about 20 years later, she had amassed about $100K! I was so proud of her.

  25. Oh Celi, I cannot believe how alike we think and function financially . . . and you would never believe my first ‘New Year Save’ is to replace a 50-year old Eames chair I use at the computer in the library: not very healthy for one’s back to sit down ‘clunk’ right onto a frame 🙂 ! And living in the country with a head of thick naturally streaky hair which everyone thinks is the work of an expensive hairdresser, I have been delighted to have learned to do the cutting ‘deed’ in front of the bathroom mirror and still look OK; well, long and straight – no big deal!!! Of course the ‘fun’ bit is that for most of my life money was absolutely no object . . . but that has been another of life’s vagaries . . . 😀 !!

    • I have never been in a position where I had plenty of money so being careful of spending is second nature.. though it is a fear really. A fear of the poverty that dogged me as a young mother. I NEVER want to go back there.. I have to have some savings to feel safe. Curly hair is so forgiving don’t you think? c

  26. I have been giving a lot of thought on how to establish a working relationship with money something that has always eluded me so your post made all kinds of sense to me.

  27. Every week when my wages come through, I put about a tenth straight into my savings account. The rest of my money is for my bills, and anything over I can spend on me. I think you need a few treats every now and then! I have a terror of being in debt. That’s partly why I haven’t bought a house yet – I want to save as much as I can first, so I have as little debt as possible, and therefore smaller interest payments.

    • That is such a sound idea. My Dad always said if you save ten percent a week and NEVER touch it, the interest alone will manage your retirement. I also have no debt – like I say I own very little but when I die no-one will have to pay my debts off. And that is a good thing.. well done Miss Kitty – i agree completely.. c

  28. Coming back to read and catch up on the comments in the Lounge for the third time today, it strikes me that there’s an awful lot of commonsense advice, suggestions and plain old thrift being discussed. Celi, I think there’s a Farmy Book of Household Management waiting in all our heads. How to get four meals out of one chicken. How to save for the big stuff and the small, how to repair and mend things, how to recycle all sorts of things usefully. I’m not suggesting a Mrs Beeton for the modern age, more a slim volume of sound advice, the sort of things our mothers and grandmothers used to hand out and we so rarely listened to properly when we were young. Perhaps ‘Letters to the Next Generation’?

    • Well, Kate, I am back for the second time – this time to read yours added: that modern version of ‘Mrs Beeton’ would be a shoo’in methinks, fun to write and useful to read! And everyone would have something to say 🙂 !!

        • Laughing!! I guess you DO have a point, Miss C . . . I just thought that book was meant to contain deep and meaningful and soulful psychological utterances 😀 !! Teachings of where both generations may have gone ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ !!! I am still ‘out’ as my two surely don’t have to count the ‘noughts’ on anything they spend . . . a story which those close know but won’t be told in public forum . . . nope, methinks what Kate has suggested is something a wee bit different . . .

          • Yes Eha. This book is not about personal revelations not at all -though some of it is personal – it even has recipes in it… and tips on how to get red wine out of the carpet.. and how to survive with cancer and how to say thank you – though I am collating it so slowly my daughter will be writing it herself before long!! laughing.

      • And there would be something to learn for all of us, I think, as our circumstances, past and lives are all so different and the acquired wisdom would be different too. I would love to pass on the clever, commonsense and frugal habits I received from my mother, but having no children I feel as if the knowledge will go to waste unless I *do* something with it!

  29. Well, we are having a rash of appliances breaking down. I managed to diagnose and fix the refrigerator. Next on the list is the washer, leaking and not staying locked (the door). Then, on to the stove. One of burners quit working. YouTube videos are wonderful!!! If I can see it done, I should be able to fix them and save a lot of money. Of course, my car is misbehaving, so the savings will probably go to the mechanic. So good about the happy porcine couple.

    • Hi Kim! That kind of stuff always happens at the same time! John has fixed our dryer, I threw out the dishwasher no-one could fix it, and in the end we swapped the fridge as no-one could find the leak and it was ruining the floor so hopefully that will be all for a wee while.. John watches those utubes too – they are very useful! c

  30. I’m funny about saving. I have a 401k and money put by for retirement and for Kelsea’s college. But I hide money from myself and call it savings. If I find money in the laundry or when I clean out a purse, it goes under the proverbial mattress and I consider it untouchable until it’s time to go somewhere tropical. Then it becomes spending money.

  31. A timely post, Celi, as I scramble to fund my upcoming return to San Marino. That could be my 2nd book, “Italy on a Shoestring.” 🙂

  32. This part of our life is exactly like yours…trying to save the money to do the simplest things after paying to stay alive. Jenny is a master of the wallet system and is in fact a master of all things financial. I, on the other hand, am, and always have been, a wastrel and spendthrift which is how we find ourselves in this predicament:)

  33. At the risk of sounding all gushy, I love the way your mind works! I really do. Well done, as usual. (The piggies are darling.They actually look like a happy couple. Do you think they’ll feel monogamous after a while?)

  34. Hi C,
    The thought of replacing my dishwasher surface a couple of days ago when I found part of the door seal on the bottom of the dishwasher……………very brittle and dry. I worked on the principle it must have been like that for ages, after all its 28 years old. Put another load of dishes through yesterday and all good!

  35. Pingback: A cushie for your tushie | talltalesfromchiconia

  36. Your post just showed up in my suggestions after adding my money saving post. I have never seen so irrelevant pictures to the post topic, but you know what? That actually made me click on your post and I will stay longer 🙂 Hopefully you will get your new chair soon. Best wishes xxx

    • Oh yes! I do that all the time – talk about one thing while looking out the window at something else! Love that you pointed it out! and no! I am still sitting on the old chair! and travelling again! c

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