The Angelicscalliwags Challenge: Week 7

First up, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to leave a message on my children’s blog and also to those who are now following.  Whilst I was reading them out to the children, one of the girls exclaimed, rather wide-eyed, ‘You mean there are real people reading our blog?’  Real people as opposed to not real people?  Not sure, but it afforded me a good giggle!  Anyway, I so appreciated all your responses and the children’s excitement was palpable!  Right onto the business in hand….

Welcome to week 7 of the angelicscalliwag’s challenge.  The challenge is on to pay off our mortgage in 2 1/2 years (mad goal) or in 5 years (sane goal).

Number crunch time

We managed to put £100 into our mortgage account this week.  In addition we added the £50 we missed from last week (Gary got a small salary increase which just covered that!)

Since January of this year we have paid off 10.4% of our mortgage.  Just 89.6% left to go.

We are so enjoying having chickens, they are friendly, chatty and absolutely know their own minds!  Our exciting news this week is…. we got our first egg….and second and third!!  They are a little on the small size being about half the size of a normal medium egg but the taste is a little bit of heaven.  Really.  I cannot believe the difference.  I’m not sure I knew that eggs had an egg taste but the fresh ones really do. (That made sense in my head).  Here is my zany twin with two of her eggs:

My gorgeous girl with her eggs!
My gorgeous girl with her eggs!

I’m beginning to realise that frugality is actually about saving pennies rather than pounds.  It is about changing small things, many small things rather than making a few large gestures (although they are obviously helpful too).  It is about deciding what you are willing to change, give up or do without.  And ultimately it is a change that begins inside yourself rather than outside yourself.  It is more to do with attitude which basically translates to a lifestyle change.  It is huge for the person or family going through it and has a ripple effect over every area of that same person’s life.  I have noticed a decrease in my weight; a decrease in the amount of rubbish we put in the bin; an appreciation for the things I have; a change in my criteria of the things I think I might need.  We have given away so much of what we had and yet we still have too much for our 2 bedroom house.  A creativity has been awakened in me and Gary to use what we have, even if it is not perfect for the job.

It has been truly wonderful and I suspect if followed through to its conclusion will result in a change much like a caterpillar to a butterfly, rag to riches, ugliness to beauty.  Only when we began this challenge I thought the opposite would happen: that things would become dreary and less beautiful, that we would go from riches to rags.  Yet it is not one’s surroundings that effect these outcomes more the change in one’s perception, so that which was attractive is seen in its true light – as excessive and unnecessary, whilst the simple things, often free from the heavens are seen with a new appreciation of their own unique beauty.  It is life changing!

And yet it is a journey, always a journey.  I’m not sure I’ll ever arrive.  I’m not sure anyone will ever truly be able to look at our family and say that there is now no wastage, no unnecessary purchases, that we always use up and take care of what we have.  It can be easy to become discouraged at myself because I am not doing all I know I can do.  Frugality takes effort.  The simple life is frankly not that simple.  And none of this comes naturally to me.  I wouldn’t tend to spend money I don’t have, and the only debt we have is our mortgage, but I do really enjoy spending the money we do have!  It’s hard to elicit self-control (you all may have realised by now it is a distinct weakness of mine!) but is so worth it when I do.  I am trying my best, but I fall short every day.  Will we make our goal?  I don’t know, but I think the journey of trying will be worth it anyway.

This is a short post today (well, short for me anyway).  My older children and Gary are at a church weekend away and I have my two younger daughters all to myself.  And I don’t want to waste a second of it typing away on the computer.  Have a great weekend, I know I will.  I’m off to play!


    1. It is so quiet here at the moment with just two children! We’ve had lots of fun and they’ve just finished tea and then it’s off to bath and bed, not sure what the children are doing though!

      1. Aah bless them! I am going to follow the posts avidly! You may end up with some budding authors! I think this is such an awesome project!

  1. We’re excited this week ourselves as my Dad’s chickens just began laying eggs this week. It sounds like you guys are having a great week, and I’m reading all about your frugal journey because it’s an area that I struggle in.

  2. I love reading about this journey of yours, and it is heartening to hear about the positive change in perspective. I find myself, unexpectedly, thinking of your challenge as I go about my day, and ways in which I might save money to pay off some of our debts. You never know where you will next be influenced!

    1. You made me smile. It’s nice to think of you thinking about all my struggles to be even a little bit more frugal. It’s so hard. Gary finds it even more so, poor thing, as I drag him into even more money saving escapades!!

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