I made a comment this morning about how Personal Finance is more about changing your behaviours rather than just about the adding and subtracting of the money stuff. Sure the money is important but it only takes you so far – any fool can set a budget ,… the genius is in sticking to it …… and keeping sticking to it until the job is done.
When in the space of thirty days I lost my business and was left pretty much penniless and with £10,000 of debt I had to change some major behaviours (like eating LOL …… not really but you know it was darn close there).
At that point I could choose to be a victim or a victor …………. and that is what I look for when people come to me with money problems they need to get a handle on. If you are a “whiny, whingy -the world is out to get me” kind of person I admit I have very little patience with you. I don’t do magic wands …. to get out of debt you are going to need to change what you are doing – because what you are doing is what got you into debt in the first place. Newsflash!!! No-one likes a Victim!!
If you arrive at my door with your numbers to hand and a “That’s it!! I have had ENOUGH!!!!” attitude – the come on in Sweetie we can do business ‘cos I know you are ready to change. The momentum is there, the will to do whatever it takes is front and centre and I know there are NO sacred cows to be protected.
Some people of course start in the first pile and move onto the second. They stop making excuses to themselves and pull on some BGK’s and grow up and take responsibility. When you are there – things can move fast!!
Most people I have worked with get themselves out of debt and back on an even keel in a matter of months – not a matter of years. They decide pretty quickly that “Debt is Dumb” and they want to put it behind them as quickly as possible …. and its a honour to watch and cheer from the sidelines.
One of the things I encourage them to do is to keep an eye on the basics …. just because you have got stuff into a routine don’t take it for granted …. there may be a better “deal” out there (Indeed this last week I have saved myself £120 per year by moving from one broadband supplier to another). Set a date in your diary once every twelve weeks to run through your deals and check that you are on the right ones ……….. its a consumers world out there now so never take it for granted that you are on the best one – cos they change all the time.
So go on – off to your diary / calendar and put a date in your diary for when you will spend an hour checking your deals! Don’t you feel more in control already??
You know that in our house the “daily bread” looks like this these days? Approved Food bread mix that makes a soft crust even textured “sandwich / toast” loaf for the boys. Topped with jam, peanut butter, cheese or beans its the go to snack in our house.
But its not MY favourite loaf ……….. I like the irregular textured, crispy shelled Artisan Loafs that cost a fortune in the shops – but cost pennies to make at home.
A Sunday breakfast treat of freshly brewed coffee, raspberry jam and bread still warm from the oven. You can have this as a breakfast loaf as you leave it to slowly prove overnight and just cook it in the morning. Its really simple.
NO KNEAD LOAF
- 400 g Bread Flour
- Half teaspoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 300 ml warm water
Everything into a bowl and mix with the handle of a wooden spoon. The handle is easier to scrape clean than the spoon end and its a pretty sticky dough.
Cover with clingfilm (or a shower cap like I have) and leave sitting in your kitchen until the next morning. You don’t need to knead this bread to stretch the gluten strands – the wet dough and the long proving time does all the work for you.
Next morning you have a bowl of very soft dough full of the most fragrant yeasty bubbles. For the next stage i would run a washing up bowl full of soapy water so that you can do the clean-up quickly …………….. cos you know the door will ring or the kids shout “Muuuuuuum” as soon as your hands get all icky.
Plenty of flour on your surface and plenty on your hands – scrape the dough out ready to work it.
Gently fold the edges under until you have formed a “boule” or a squidgy ball of dough. You are not kneading the dough – more gently forming it into shape without knocking out the big bubbles inside.
Place your “boule” on a sheet of greaseproof paper (mine is on a piece of non-stick baking parchment) and set aside for 30 minutes until you are ready to bake.
To get the crispy crispy crust on this loaf you cook it in an ovenproof casserole or pan, where the steam inside will set and cook the crust Set your pan and lid in an oven set at 220 for 20 minutes until the dish and the oven are really hot.
Being ever the frugal Mamma you will note that I am making this in my tabletop halogen oven – no sense heating the whole oven for one loaf of bread is there??
After 30 minutes remove the lid and give your loaf another 15 minutes without a covering to brown up …….. smelling gorgeous!!!
Leave the loaf for about 15 minutes before cutting a decent slice to slather in jam and enjoy for your Sunday morning breakfast.
Which I did this morning at 9.30am as I sat by my computer and opened my 2014 – 2015 ISA. Now there is a behaviour that has changed!!! Once upon a time Sunday mornings were about hangovers and fry-ups ………… now its about fresh coffee and home made bread and “taking care of business” in making sure I use a tax-free savings vehicle for our future.
All before the kids even surfaced
Remember frugal living needn’t be all about plastic loaves of bread and own-brand beans ……………. by changing your behaviours you can have a brilliant standard of life for very little money ……………. but it all starts in your head first. Admit you need to do something different and then jump in – from there everything else flows.
So lovely readers – what one thing do you do now that you didn’t do before but that you will keep on doing long after your debt is history? I’d love to know.