Frugal is as Frugal does.

It happens to all of us, that unexpectedly high car repair bill, you know the one.. the one where you are like this should cost 200 and you go, I have six hundred so if they find something else.. we are good! and then the bill is over a thousand and you blink hard.

Well, we have had a string of Blink Hards of the past six months and we have taken each one with a grunt and an moved forward (because really what else can you do) and then in the past six weeks, we have had a few more and they have been far bigger..  instead of it being a blink hard.. its a sit down and work it out. The Blinks have been all over the place to be honest, some are from the farm, some are from the vehicles, some has been vet care and some has been related to needed medical care.

So in order to both get a few things caught up and for putting away some for that rainy day fund which has been depleted some. we are needing to do some belt tightening. Being on the homestead, the first thing that goes is the outside food budget (it gets cut out or bare bones.  I say bare bones because you can’t miss out on sales. Its never a good idea to not get something that comes only once a year or once every three months or six months in the sale cycles)

The good news is if there ever a good time of the year to eat off your garden and land, summer is the time.. but the bad news on that is that its also the time to be putting up and some of those putting up things normally are gotten off the farm. While certain things are grown in amount for fresh eating and even a few months worth of eating some things are just not mature enough or had a bad year etc and normally those things are gotten in bulk from other local sources. I will need to figure out if that will continue to be the case because those sales and those bushels only come around once a year.

The second is off the farm trips, events or other ways to spend money. The question is what an where can you give and what do you need to spend on. Now I am NOT talking about your regular bills, they are a must and they are not the issue here.  They are just a given.

No the issue where does the “unclaimed” fund go.. that is much harder thing to figure out at times. I am still working on some things.

Examples

I really want to put in a rain garden in the new ripped up front yard, but that means renting equipment that can do the job.. in the long term.. this would be a good thing but is it a hold off and do it later fall but before freeze up?

I need to replant in the yards, but plants all cost money, so do I only use plants, bushes and wild dug babies to do what I want and then have to plan in and leave spaces for the “paid” for fruiting bushes and tree’s next year?

I need to bring in soil, bring in gravel, bring in more fence posts, buy new fencing.. but that’s a tricky one as well, because I don’t HAVE to do that. My old fence may be ugly and it may need to be replaced but it does keep the animals in..  New sheep fencing is costly but its one of the big 2018 projects and we have already got the posts in.. and sections are newly fenced off but there is still three lines that need to be redone.

In the house, there are a number of projects that are in the same boat.. which one needs to be done more then the other.  Getting the power lines and such fixed on the house so that we could get it signed off was spendy, it was pretty much a two month budget on work to be done in the house..

There are lots of things we don’t need anything from in the next month to three months. I figure we can get back to level one in three months (without to many new things happening, like I don’t know.. one of my main big living room windows breaking!) yes this just happened or I should say found today..

And six months to get back to the level that I prefer us to be at.

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15 Responses to Frugal is as Frugal does.

  1. Wendy says:

    Oh dear….

  2. valbjerke says:

    It’s hard to plan for the unplanned. We keep costs to a minimum year round by ruthlessly living at the minimum when it comes to spending off farm. This took some getting used to – but years ago I had some real concerns as to whether or not we could afford to retire when the time comes. Neither of us has any government/union/work pension –

    • valbjerke says:

      Oops – so have been trying for some time now to late costs even more. I’m one of those goofy people who actually watches my hydro usage online – and will adjust things like laundry day to stay under the ‘step two’ (costs more) level. We keep only one vehicle, we do not own any farm equipment. Cheaper to hire somebody on occasion. If I travel I rent a car – cheaper than insuring and maintaining a vehicle. Food – if I can’t grow it or make it from scratch staples – we simply don’t eat it. It’s not as tough as most people think – it’s more about what one ‘needs’ as opposed to what one ‘wants’. I think you do very well considering you don’t work off farm. I just stopped working end of last year – it’s been an eye opener. 😊

      • O yes, there is no way we could afford to run a number of machines on the farm, there is a reason that we do it by human or animal power, its cheaper (and it helps keep us in better shape as well) we hire out when we need to as well. We have been a one vehicle farm for years but at the moment, we have a older payed in cash 4 by 4 “farm/winter” truck and a commute car for hubby to drive to where he catches the bus in and out to work. The savings in gas by using the car does pay for itself. I am the same on the power.. I will hold of things to try and get the lowest power cost time, we have a 3 step cost system here in Ontario.

    • I hear you on the unexpected, we are in this strange spot of needing to get work done on the farm now and over the next ten years so that we know its all done for as we get older and have a more limited income. We are also struggling to figure out how to invest in the future in regards to trying to work around climate change on the farm while we can do so. It would certainly be a lot easier to just spread some clover seed and slowly replant the big yard then it will be to plan, hire and build a rain garden. However I think we need that rain garden for the future as we need to find a way to keep more water on our land and recharge our ground water as a example. I have those same real concerns on can we afford to retire. We will have one good pension when the time comes.. well.. lets restate that, we should have one good pension..

  3. mariazannini says:

    We got hammered this year too. All we can do is tough it out. I’ll cross my fingers for both of us that we don’t have any more high dollar fiascos.

  4. Widdershins says:

    Must be the season for it. We’ve had some doozies hit us this year and we’re only just clawing our way out of the mess. Here’s hoping 2019 is shinier for all of us. 🙂

  5. Wow, totally sucks about finding the window like that! Possible it caught a branch when the tree came down (or succumbed to pressure from a badly placed nail/screw): ?

    • Everything was checked very carefully after the issue and it was not there.. however I agree on stress but most likely in compo of age and the first time that side of the house and that window has had full sun and heat on it. Regardless its broken and just one more thing on my list of to do at some point.

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