I was re-reading my last post and realised that it was a huge shift from my usual banter. I was about to delete the post and subsequent pages but then I stopped. Let's face it, my life isn't just about Lupus anymore. I have so many things that make up my life. Lupus, yes, but also other things such as parenting, money matters, spirituality, marriage, housekeeping, family relations, work and work-life balance. It's been a while since I've written only about lupus so you may have already sensed my deviation but now I'm making it official. I will not change the name of the blog because it all started with Lupus and that's one constant in my life that won't go away. I'm also keeping my Four Principals because I quite like them.
My last post centered around money. I like budgeting, saving up for something big, juggling life's little surprises with limited resources and seeing my cash flow stay in the positive through thick and thin. As you know, I paid off all my debt at the beginning of this year with the intention of NEVER going down that path again. We still use our credit cards but we make sure we pay them off in full every month, at the same time earning Air Miles (more about that in another post). So far, this has been fine but, let's face it, I'm on maternity leave and currently bring home 55% of what I normally would. We don't have any extra money for nice-to-haves. For example, our towel warmer (and drier in one) died. We had bought it when we moved into this house, three and a half years ago, so it was expected to die soon enough but a new towel warmer (which, let's face it, is a luxury item) costs $300. I don't have un-earmarked $300 lying around. So, we're going to make do with drying towels the good old fashioned way: on a hook beside the shower. *Gasp* not on a hook beside the shower!!! The towel warmer was wonderful especially during our long Canadian winters but it's a luxury item we can do without for a few months. Maybe in the near future we will purchase a new one but for now, while I'm on maternity leave, we will manage without it.
There are other things that we make do without but sometimes things work out for the better. I love chocolate cake!! Absolutely just love it. My sister and I used to get a large McCain's chocolate cake and finish it in one afternoon. Glorious days when neither of us had to worry about pesky things like weight gain or tummy aches or diarrhea. Until recently, when the mood struck, I would go to the 24-hour grocery store nearby and buy their clearance chocolate cakes for $12.99. Lovely double chocolate fudge cakes that tasted even yummier after nuking for 12 seconds. Alas, those days couldn't last forever. When you're income gets slashed, you cut out little luxuries. For me, it was the chocolate cakes. That didn't mean the cravings went away. I just got smarter about what I wanted. I discovered cake mix! So, now, I get a box of devil's food cake mix for $1.50 and whipped frosting ($4.60) if I'm feeling really dangerous and I get a full 2-layer 8-inch cake for $6 instead of $13. Most times, I just eat the chocolate cake as is, nuked for 7 seconds - yummy!!! Total cost $1.50 and total time 35 minutes.
There's a wonderful sense of accomplishment when you reduce spending and learn to be content with the decision. I love my cake mixes and even when I go back to work, I'll continue to bake, frost and decorate my own cakes. Today was the first day we used the "hook beside the shower". The towel was dry by lunch time and I folded it and put it in a neat pile beside the tub. It worked!