We are currently living on a single income, which can be straining at times, but there are silver linings. We haven’t done this due to minimalism or anything, simply for a happier existence, my partner wants a job he loves so he’s re-training at the moment, and when he’s finished studying we will both be able to work less and have more time for the things we love. However, along the way we’re noticing the things we would otherwise have missed.
We are both used to going out for brunch or dinner at least once a week, we used to go shopping and come home with more books than we could ever read, and the amount of food we’d buy but end up wasting is not more noticeable than ever. And, that’s only a few changes I’ve noticed.
Currently we rarely go out for food, but it’s not a big deal, I thankfully invested in a thermomix before I met him so we cook all our meals at home. I like to prepare ahead, and have emergency left overs for him when I’m working an afternoon shift, and for comfort lunch meals now that the weather is cold. Although we don’t go out it doesn’t mean we’re doing without, I think we’re doing far from without. We spend more time together organising meals, going shopping and cooking together. We’re eating better, and we waste less because we have to budget at the moment. So how does that work for socialising? Well just yesterday we had friends over, they wanted to catch up and we were determined to stick to our plan so we had them over for a BBQ, we made sides and they supplied meat and their own drinks. Next time we come to them. It’s so easy and I think we appreciate the time with them even more. His mate and he talked around the BBQ, while my friend and I gossiped in the kitchen while I made a salad and finger food. It made me wonder why I go out to the movies with friends, or in the past had them over for a movie day when we don’t really spend that time together. I guess it also reminds me why I don’t spend much time watching tv, or I try to make my tv time productive with some patchwork, crochet or yoga. I was a really great way to catch up, no timing to worry about like there would be in a restaurant or cafe, just good company and quality time.
Our shopping has somewhat changed, but not necessarily for the worst. It’s forced us to go through and look at what we wear, what we need versus what we want. For instance I don’t just buy something I’m never going to wear, I already have about 12 pairs of jeans and only wear about 3 of them, so yesterday I even pulled out a pair I’ve never worn. My partner has a hobby that is quite expensive with the purchase of parts (I don’t really understand it all that much), but he’s learned to make do with what he has and prioritise more with it and I guess appreciate what he does have a little more. Where my hobby of sewing and crochet has had to be a little limited, at the moment I’m doing more crochet because it’s cheaper than fabrics can be. I’ve always done my own binding which isn’t a bad thing, but has always worked out financially beneficial and there’s something to be said for making something totally from scratch, and totally on your own. Our book problem has slowed a little, we still go shopping and look at books, we have so many we’ve never even read and I’ve pulled out some of those books (I’m always in about 6 different books because I can’t wait to start the next one). It has been so long since we went shopping for books that today I decided to go to the library, I took him with me and chose to utilise the resources the community offers to us for free. I brought home some biographies (which my collection mostly consists of), I got some crochet reference books, a cookbook and we borrowed some dvds. This trip worked on so many levels, I now have some material for my hobby, we also don’t have to visit the video hire store nearby (given we got a tv series we have more time to watch them too), and it’s a quiet place I hadn’t considered I could go to for uni study, or work training when I need somewhere to go outside of home. Often I have too many distractions at home and there I would be less likely to use my phone and there’s no housework to use as a distraction. I had forgotten how therapeutic it can be to just hang out in the library, it’s something I’ve missed since I moved out here. Now they have free wifi too, I think it’s sad kids of today don’t use those resources like I used to when I was a kid.
Having highlighted all of those things I just wanted to share with you the pleasant day I had today and it was all free!
We had home-cooked pancakes for breakfast, put on a load of washing while we went out. We went and signed up at the library, had a look around and borrowed books and dvds (I’m already planning my next trip to be honest – I really have a book problem, I just can’t read fast enough to satisfy it). We went and had a look at a spot at the river where my partner would like to go fishing sometime, and I was thinking about how nice it was to get out into the sunshine for a change, since I like spending my time at home these days I feel like I miss out on nature. – We popped in at a friends house to borrow a book for my uni course, and had coffee while we were there and now here we are at home. We hung out the washing and currently my partner is relaxing in front of the tv with some painting while I write this/study, we’ll come together later to cook dinner and I like to finish my day with yoga and some downtime before bed.
I wouldn’t say we are living without. I guess it’s fair to say it wasn’t an exciting day, but what would you like to get out of your days off? I personally think having some down time, catching up with friends and still managed to catch up on the laundry and study. If anything I would say our time is more meaningful, not that it wasn’t before, and it’s nice to go out together and with friends to catch up. But, I also feel like we’re spending more quality time together, and sometimes it’s the things that cost the least that mean the most.