Tuesday, 23 June 2015

One Year Ago Today ......

One year ago today,  something big happened.

One year ago today,  my family's story appeared on A Current Affair.  It was the 23rd of June 2014.    Approximately one week before,  I received an email from a producer telling me they were doing a story about living on a budget.  Would I be able to help them ?  Oh my goodness !!!!  My heart skipped a beat and I started shaking.   I quickly told Darren about the email.  This was our chance,  This was the opportunity we had been waiting on God for.  We knew we had a story to tell,  we had lived this story for so long.

I replied to the email with excitement and shared a few ideas.  The producer ( Stef ) quickly rang me to see what else I could share.  We had a lovely conversation but when I mentioned that I fed my family for $270  a month,  Stef almost came through the phone ( it was so funny ).  She said that a reporter by the name of Ben Mc Cormack would be ringing me to have a further chat.  He rang a few nights later with a list of questions to answer.  We spent about 30 - 45 minutes on the phone discussing all sorts of budget related topics.  He too couldn't get over our low food budget. 

We arranged to meet at Aldi a couple of days later to start filming.  In the mean time,  the planning for the story was big.  My family helped me tidy up around our home.  Not that it really needed it but we wanted to present ourselves in the best light possible.  For two nights I couldn't sleep.  I had so many ideas whirling around in my head that I couldn't settle.  The night before filming,  I wrote all my ideas down.  I had so much to share that I didn't want to forget anything.  That night I slept like a baby.

The filming for the story went smoothly.  The camera crew were wonderful and very supportive.  I couldn't have asked for a better crew.  In fact,  I had prayed that God would send the right people for this amazing story.  God provided and I'll be forever grateful to God and A Current Affair for their wisdom in sending Ben,  Drew ( camera ) and Johann ( sound ).  Whatever I had to share,  they eagerly filmed.  I can honestly say that nothing was made up to " create " a story.  Everything that was filmed was and to this day,  is exactly what my family does to live on a small budget.

After two days of filming we said our goodbyes.  I was a little sad as we'd all formed a special bond over the story and I didn't know if I'd ever see them again.  Since then I done five more stories with Ben and three with Drew.  We just work so well together.

It was five days of waiting from the time the story was filmed until it went to air.  That's when the nerves set in. I knew this story could possibly change lives.  I knew this story would be talked about.  I prayed during those five days that my family's story would help those who needed help.  I also prayed the story would be an inspiration to those who couldn't find any hope.  Nothing could have prepared me for what was to follow.

After the story went to air, Darren's facebook page was buzzing. ( I wasn't on facebook at the time ).  The emails and texts started coming through from family and friends.  The next day I received phone calls from Stef and the camera crew asking if I was happy with the story.  I was thrilled.  They couldn't have done a better job.  The story was the second highest rating story on A Current Affair in the last four years.  OH MY GOODNESS  !!!  It was bigger than I had ever expected or dreamed.  No,  I'm not big noting myself.  I'm really not that sort of person.  My family's story had struck a cord with so many struggling families across Australia.

So much has happened since the 23rd of June 2014.  So much more than we'll ever know.  I've received emails from strangers who now feel like someone understands why they live frugally.  These emails have bought tears of happiness to me.  Even to this day,  just about every time I'm out and about,  I'm recognised and stopped by strangers who want to talk about my tv stories.  So many have shared their own story with me.  So many are inspired to live the Abundant Life on a budget.  So many see hope for their own family.


I'm blessed.  Truly blessed   My heart is overflowing with joy.




30 comments:

  1. congrats on the anniversary.... may the next twelve months be as exciting for you :-)

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  2. Good on you Wendy
    I read your blog every week and after years as a Simple Saver am now also a Cheapskate
    Because I love your style of teaching budget style old fashion homemaking .

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  3. Is it one year already? Wow that time as flown by quickly.

    Thank you for telling your story and sharing your tips and recipes with the rest of us. We have learned some fantastic new ideas, new baking recipes, learned how to be more crafty and much more. You have inspired many to a more frugal way of living. Keep up the great work!

    CONGRATULATIONS Wendy, have a great day celebrating your success. Hope you have baked a celebration cake to share with your family on this special occasion :)

    xTania

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    1. Would you believe, I had dental work done yesterday and slept most of the day away. We do have some of Darren's birthday cake left over xoxo

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  4. Hi Wendy - thanks for sharing and congratulations on your anniversary. Wow what an amazing story - it gives me goosebumps. You have helped so many families live a better life - what a positive and encouraging message you are spreading. I don't always comment but I always read your blog and so appreciate everything you share. Your words of wisdom!! Enjoy - lots of love Tina xx

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    1. It still gives me goosebumps Tina.

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  5. Thank You for doing that story. My biggest hurdle was getting my husband on board and with your tips and guidance. And now we are saving money. My husband often jokes that I should start a blog called, "Wendy was right" . Thank you and blessings. D

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  6. You are an inspiration Wendy!! Having followed your $300 a month grocery threads on Cheapskates, I also know you are the "real deal" and your family truly live out what they believe. xo

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  7. Hi Wendy, i remember watching your story and was thinking wow!! I was blown away by how you made things stretch so far and not waste anything, it really opened my eyes to what i was doing.
    Being a single mum to 2 girls i never could make my money stretch, always thinking if only i had more money , but now i know i didnt need extra money i just needed to be smarter with what i already had. So thank u for showin us all your ways and sharing with us your lovely recipes. Look forward to learning what more tips you have to share in the future.
    Leah.
    P.S a year already? , time flys when u savin money ;)

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  8. Hi Wendy,
    Congratulations to you and your beautiful family for sharing your story with Australia. I pulled out my notes that I had taken down from your original story only on the weekend and saw it was nearly a year and thought how much you have changed our life.
    As I read your story above, it brings me to tears as you really put yourselves out there for others and in turn God has truly blessed you all. I pray he will continue to bless you and count you as a true friend who has given our family peace of mind and comfort for our future.

    Blessings,
    Maureen

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    1. On my goodness !!! You took notes !!!!

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    2. Always, in fact , i played it so many times, it kept jumping and then deleted it self. Heeee.

      Maureen

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  9. I saw you on A Current Affair and was gobsmacked by your story and your ideas.You were an inspiration then, and you continue to be one. Well done you

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  10. You are a true inspiration Wendy, well done and so many people have been blessed with your knowledge and generosity to share ideas. If anyone disagrees with your way of living, ignore them, we all know you are fantastic and work hard at everything you do, including striving to be frugle like our grandmothers were before us, hopefully more and more people will begin to understand that you don't need to buy takeaway and spend a fortune to feed a family well , Good for you, well done!! Rosie

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  11. Congratulations on the anniversary Wendy. I can say that you have taught me a lot in that time since seeing your story on air. Since then I have followed along and gotten lots of great savings tips from you and others here that have been sharing their tips also.

    Will be continuing to follow you as long as you stay.

    Aly xxx

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  12. Congratulations Wendy. What a lovely story. I don't usually watch A Current Affair but I must check it out the next time you are on there if I hear about it beforehand. I am sure your tips have helped many families who are struggling financially.

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  13. Can't believe I was blessed a year ago with being lead to your wonderful blog and knowledge

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  14. Congratulations Wendy and family, you are all amazing and inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on frugal living, I've been reading various blogs for a number of years and it's been fantastic learning new tricks of the trade in the battle to keep living costs down. Blessings and best wishes to you all for coming year ahead♥ Linda (Gold Coast)

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  15. Hello Wendy,

    I tried to leave a comment yesterday morning, but it must have disappeared. I am having trouble with blogger at the moment.

    CONGRATULATIONS on reaching your one year anniversary. That time has gone so fast.

    Wendy, you are an inspiration to many. Sharing tips, crafts and recipes etc will be of great assistance to struggling families.

    Hope you had a lovely day remembering.

    xTania

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    1. Whoops! My previous comment has appeared lol!

      Sorry about the double up. I presume I may have jumped the gun lol! So far this morning blogger has been better and started working properly for me. Hope it continues that way :)

      xTania

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  16. Wendy,
    Wow, how time flies!!
    Imagine how many people you have helped over that time. Thankyou for all you do....
    Best of health and happiness to you and your family.
    God Bless
    Kathryn

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  17. Congratulations Wendy well done You have done an amazing job spreading your ideas and the belief that we can have an abundant life on a budget. I look forward to your posts and learn so much from them. You are my inspiration Thank you!! Shelley

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  18. Thank you Wendy, you are an inspiration. I also love your recipes . I made almost all of them and
    they are always a hit with the family.


    Tricia

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  19. Hi Wendy. My goodness, have I been reading your blog for that long? Time does fly when you're having fun! Your blog encourages me week by week to continue the journey of saving and to realise my families "bigger picture" goals and ambitions. Your blog has taught me that by being organised, disciplined and resourceful, that I can achieve and I have. I have achieved savings goals and learnt to manage my finances not just save money. From the beginning, I have felt like your blog has held my hand through the tough times of feeling as though I'll never make it and during times of temptation. It has inspired me to challenge myself. Thank-you for walking with all your bloggers to keep our momentum up and to steer us towards the light at the end of the tunnel. You are a real blessing. Thanks so much. Regards, Liz.

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  20. Liz, my blog anniversary is next month. Thankyou for your beautiful words. I really am blessed to have so many blog friends xoxo

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  21. You really are an inspiration to me and undoubtedly many others. You had the courage to stand up and say "we are frugal". I like your style. Sue

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  22. Hi Wendy, I was trying to watch your first story on ACA "Australia's tightest family", but it isn't working on the ACA website. Is it possible for you to put the links to your television segments/stories on your page? It would be great to just click on it and watch it, as I love referring back to those videos now and again. It's also great to show my husband what an amazing effort you go to save your family money. I am trying so hard to do this myself, but am having trouble getting the rest of the family on board. Thanks and all the best, Tania H

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    1. Hi Tania. The first story has disappeared off A Current Affair's website. The second one is on 9jumpin. I'm very tech challenged but I'll see what I can do. I might have to ask someone about loading videos on the blog.

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  23. Hi wendy
    How can i watch this video

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    1. The video is not available on the ACA website. In the new year I'll be organising a link through my blog. Stay tuned.

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