Wednesday 29 January 2020

Our Family Goals 2020

As each new year begins I like to reflect on the year gone.  Have we done our very best ?  What areas could we improve ?  These are the two main questions Darren and I ask ourselves.  2019 was an extremely difficult year for us emotionally,  physically ( tiredness ) and financially.  We had some systems in place to prevent buying takeaway when we were in the midst of a crisis.  But we are human and at times we failed.

2019 saw us living close to the poverty line at times.  While we don't feel poor,  we've had to be very careful about our spending.  We did have a few small holidays which we booked before our incomes dropped.  

Looking forward for the new year,  we try to be wise or wiser with what we have. Ways we can improve are -

*  Looking at ways to increase our incomes.  We have already made a start on this and praying about new opportunities.. .

*  Reopening my blog shop with handmade crafts. I made quite a few sales in 2018 with greeting cards,  decorated hand towels and Christmas decorations being my biggest sellers.  Please consider supporting my shop and sharing it with your friends and family.

*  Growing more vegetables  Supermarket prices are almost out of reach for us and prices are set to increase even more with droughts and fires affecting supply.  We will endeavour to grow silverbeet all year round as our green vegetable.  This is quite a productive vegetable and saves us lots of money.  Seeds of broccoli and cauliflower will be sown earlier than we usually do so we can pick more to freeze.  I don't like buying leafy lettuce so I'll be growing more.

*  Pruning and feeding our fruit trees to help them produce more.

*  I'm seriously considering a ' Buy Nothing New ' year.  I have plenty of clothes and if I really need something then the op shop is my first port of call.  Our home is nicely furnished and unless something breaks,  we don't need anything.  Craft supplies must run out or wear out before I replace them.  I'll keep you informed of my progress.

*  Taking time to enjoy a cuppa and biscuit on our deck / pergola instead of going out to eat.

*  Eliminating food waste. Since it's just been Darren and I at home ( since Dec ),  we've been pretty good at this.  There's always room for improvement and having less in the fridge does help.  I still cook for 3 - 6 people at least a few nights a week.  The leftovers are carefully portioned out and frozen.

*  Sourcing better meat prices.  We've been living off our freezer stockpile but now that's getting low.  Meat prices have skyrocketed so being on the ball for sales will be really helpful to our budget.

*  Last but not least - refining our family budget.  I do this at the start of every year by reassessing all expenses and trying to cut out waste.  So far I've cut out gift budget to the bare bones.  I've changed to a cheaper plan for my mobile and Darren is hoping to do the same shortly.  Utilities are proving to be a challenge but we are being mindful of all usage.  The milder weather so far is helping.

Growing more

Making the dollars stretch until they scream.

Have you written down your family goals for 2020 ?

How will you achieve them ?      


  1. Good luck. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. I have never thought about writing family goals.

    This month I have had huge medical expenses. To save money on my mobile I buy a one year plan from Aldi. It costs $99 and although I have to be strict about using the data when I am out and about it did me quite well. I have to agree that produce and meat are becoming crazy expensive. I am unsure about which way to buy fruit and vegetables at present. Some are frozen but most are fresh and I do have a few tins of fruit. I am lucky to even get herbs to grow at present.

    Best wishes on smashing out your goals this year.

    1. Suzan, I've just changed to Aldi on the $15 a month plan with automatic recharge.

      Do you have a market you can go to for buying fruit and veg. This might be a cheaper option than the supermarkets.

  3. Sorry to hear it's been a tough year for you Wendy, but it's encouraging to hear you've persevered and still acknowledge all the blessings in your life :

    Have you considered signing up for market research, mystery shopping, and doing surveys? I do all of the above, it's not much but helps a little bit. Also I signed up to work at the next election (in QLD)- any gigs like that you can do ?
    Wishing you all the best, you're an inspiration!

    1. I've thought about doing surveys but from what I see Darren doing, it takes a long time to get something. Could you please message me through Facebook. There might be a way you could help. Thanks.

  4. Happy New year to you and your family!! So glad your opening your online shop. Tried a couple of times, but it was empty! Yes will pray also that the right opportunity comes your way re increasing your income. I'm in the same situation. It's exciting to see what comes of these opportunities. Wishing you well, regards Robyn S.A

    1. Thankyou so much Robyne. We appreciate your prayers and will be praying for you too.

      I wanted to reopen the shop last year but life got way too busy with family members being very ill and a grandchild being born. I hope to open it very soon.

  5. Happy New Year Wendy. Sorry to hear it was a tough last year. Been reading your inspirational blog since day one and have seen you overcome time and time again. I know you will achieve your goals. Just hubby and I now at home, and same as yourself, still cook for 4-6 but leftovers frozen, or taken for lunches for work. Striving to improve this year as just built a house, a few unforseen expenses with the build, so will work to keep expenses to only absolutely necessary items this year. My favourite thing is to sit down with a cuppa and a good book and now that I finally have a decent outdoor area I can sit on the patio with the cuppa and a good read, or potter in my garden. Simple pleasures. 2020 will be good for you. You have goals to strive for and achieve. Regards, Claire

    1. WOW !! Since day one Claire. I feel quite honoured. We love the simple pleasures too. Darren and I really enjoy sitting on the deck watching the clouds go by or watching the sun go down. Free entertainment.

      Congratulations on your build. I hope your home is all you dreamed it to be.

  6. It was a really tough year for many people last year, i know i was glad to see the end of 2019. I am trying to save every dollar i can this year. I am shopping from the catalogs, planning meals from what we have in the freezer and pantry. I earnt $40 ding surveys this month so that money i'm putting into my super as i get Government contributions which is nice. I got a nice blouse from a free pile of clothing. I requested useful Christmas gifts instead of things so I have a nice supply of body washes, deodorants. shampoos conditioners and hair colors which in the long run will save me heaps. I have put our half empty things to use up and free space. The garden is only producing a small amount but it is all being used. I really hope it is a much better year for you and your family Wendy. Enjoy our lovely weather at the moment. Leanne.

    1. Hi Leanne, I've given up on the catalogues. They rarely have food or toiletries I need on a good sale ( 1/2 price ). We have gone back to very basic groceries like flour, sugar, milk, cheese ( a treat ), fruit, veg ( when I can afford it ) etc etc. Darren does surveys when he has spare time too.

      Darren gave me perfume for Christmas which I asked for and was running low on. It certainly does help the budget when you get things you need as presents.

      What are you growing at the moment ?

    2. I am growing tomatoes, spring onions, parsley, lettuce and strawberries. My apricot tree only gave 20 fruit instead of 20 kilos. I did pick a few kilos off my neighbors tree so it will be jam time soon and i stewed and froze some. A good tip for the hot weather is make up cordial i cost mine at 60 cents for 2 litres and freeze it and put some blocks in square cones when it is hot, much cheaper than zooper doopers

  7. Hello Wendy.

    You have some good goals to achieve there! Sorry to hear 2019 was not the best year for you and Darren.

    I have not made goals as such because I have a hard time achieving them, usually due to outside influences and then I feel disappointed. What I would like to do is look after my health better (had a few issues last year), become organised like I used to be (fell by the wayside somehow), do more sewing and crafting (currently organising my room).

    I hope 2020 is a better year for you and that God provides for all you needs. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Lots of love,
    Tania xxx

  8. We have a goal of paying off our home early. A couple years ago we refinanced to a shorter term. Last year I have gave myself a few days to think it over on any purchase that seemed like it was a want and not a need. Almost all the time I never go back and actually buy the item after I think it through. Even then I may find a way to get it used or cheaper if I wait a bit.
    This may be to forward but are you able to take in a boarder for awhile? I don't know if that is possible for you but it might help out(I'm not from your country but this is a common thing where I'm from if things get difficult). I will pray for your needs to be met and for eyes to see good opportunities to improve your situation. -Kathryn

  9. Hi Wendy,

    Have Darren check out Vaya and their $16 a month plan. Our whole family have been with them for years with no issues. They run on the Optus network. Blessings, Narelle

  10. Hi Wendy
    If I were you I’d create an Instagram account and start posting your best budget/tastiest recipes.
    Then when you get enough followers advertisers will pay you to test out their products to include in your posts etc as you’ll be considered an influencer.
    You are so clever and I’ll never forget how inspired I was seeing you on a current affair.
    Do more of those stories and start a utube channel on clever living.
    Then you could make an income from that.
    The trick is to post regularly.
    You have a gift.
    Look at ‘ourozfamily’ on Instagram-she has 17,000 followers from simply posting her recipes.


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