Living on less than you earn

No matter what stage of life you're at, you'll benefit by reducing your expenses and living on less than you earn. Generally your rent or mortgage will stay the same but by reducing your electricity, water, phone, internet, insurance, transport and food costs, you can do a number of things such as paying off credit card debt, paying off your mortgage, saving for a house deposit or saving for something important to you and your family.


Back in my spending days, credit card debt and a mortgage were big parts of my life. I didn’t take much notice of it at the time, because shopping gave me other priorities, but while we worked to pay off what we owed, we were building even more debt. I thought it was normal to have everything I wanted and that debt was a part of every life. We are encouraged to think that way. The average Western lifestyle always gives you new things to crave; it keeps encouraging you to spend beyond your means. That will never change. You have to change instead.

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30 million page views

I've just realised that a significant blogging milestone has been reached - there have been 30 million page views here on my blog! I knew is was close because I did a couple of workshops on the weekend and showed my blogging class behind the scenes on my blog, including the statistics.  I smiled when I saw it and kept going, thinking I'd do something about it later.  And then I forgot.

I started this blog because I'd written the beginnings of a book about how Hanno and I had changed our lives for the better. I couldn't find any Australian books then about this change of lifestyle and I was desperate to share how we'd been enriched and energised by the changes we made. I sent the book proposal off to some publishers and all of them rejected it. I was absolutely sure that other people would be able to make their own changes if I got the information out, so I started this blog.  Very soon, readers started pouring in.

Back in those early days, I had no idea about blogging and just wrote, every day, about what we were doing.  And over the 12 years I've been here, that's what I kept doing.  What I didn't know back then was that I'd grow close to the people who read here, I'd care about their families, sometimes I'd visit them, I'd meet them in book shops, libraries and halls and often I'd come away with phone numbers, jars of jam, bottles of home brew, cakes, chutneys and so many more little tokens of love. I have been truly amazed at the number of people who came to meet us and the thousands of emails we received over the years.

Thank you for being part of it all. It's been a pleasure to write for you and to show with my photos what is possible in a small home with a backyard vegetable plot and chickens, and to help spread the message of a splendid, slow, simple life. 

♥️ ~*~ ♥️ ~*~ ♥️
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Frances and her washable wipes

Over on my Instagram pages recently, I created a photo gallery for an online sewing bee. It never fails to amaze me how talented and creative our makers are and of course, photos of wonderful creations came rolling in.

The one that stood out for me was Fran's homemade facial wipes. Fran had crocheted round cotton, washable wipes and packaged them in a small glass preserving jar.  Sometimes I think the thing that elevates a particular product is its packaging.  The preserving jar was a wise move because it presented the wipes in a recyclable container, you could clearly see the product and it looked sweet - something you'd love to have on your dressing table or in the bathroom.

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In my kitchen

Hanno has picked the last of the oranges and we have a bucket full sitting outside the kitchen door. We'll use them in the coming days to make the finest orange juice we're ever likely to drink, then the orange season will fade to black and we'll prune the tree to open it up a bit for the next season. Further down the garden, our flock of hens are producing so many eggs. It's like they're trying to make up for the months when the nests remained empty. I'm so pleased to have fresh eggs again. Eggs tie so many meals and sweet treats together. We have them for breakfast, for baking, for deliciously warm baked egg custard and to give away. Everyone loves backyard eggs. We still have about 10 passionfruit on the vine but soon they'll be gone, we'll prune the vine back and wait for another good crop next year.

Eggs and oranges are very simple, ordinary foods but when they come from your own backyard, they taste much better.

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