Monday, September 20, 2010

Delayed Gratification - Needs and Wants

Hi there

Do you know what the above title means?

In simple terms it means waiting for stuff that you need or want.

That then brings up the very different words - Need and Want.

Do you know the difference between what you need and what you want?

Do you take the time to stop and think before you jump in and buy something?

I am now 47 years of age and if I could do things again or go back and give myself advice then these two things are the main things I would tell myself.

I would have learnt to work out what my needs were first.

Then I would work out what my wants are.

I then would have set goals to achieve these things one at a time and delay the gratification. I would have enjoyed my purchase or the thing I acquired so much. I would have learnt from this how to save, how to budget and how to wait for something.

We live in a world that offers us daily instant gratification with promises of buy now and pay later. Promises and statements that we deserve whatever our hearts desire. Promises that you can have anything you want and it is encouraged from an early age to desire what everyone else has.

I wish more than anything that you young energetic people reading this would just stop and take notice of these words I write. That you would take the time to explore and investigate what I am saying and ACTION it.

I spent so much of my life wasting my money. Thinking that I can have whatever I want now. Never planning for a future. Never thinking of the days when I wouldn't have the energy or the inclination to work long hours in a job. I never thought of owning my own home for security. I never gave a second thought to getting older. I am still young but these past mistakes are making a big difference now in my life. I want to slow down but I have years to go to owning my own house and having the security of not having to move away.

Could you do a little excercise now for me. Work out what 10% of your weekly income is. Is it $10, $40, $100. Add that up over a year. Add 5%. Add the next years worth and then add 5% to that total.

Do you imagine that you will be alive and kicking at 55? How many years till you turn 55? Do the above excersice for the total amount of years till you are 55. How much money would that be?

Could you start with 5% of your income? Is there something you could do without - let's say smokes and actually bank that into a fixed - cannot touch it - bank account. As the amount grows over the years your interest will grow and the amount of interest you will be able to get will grow as well.

Could you save $10 here and there on buying one or two less items in your shopping and making it yourself?  Could you use this to save up for that item that is top of your list in needs and wants?

Food for thought. I just really want to encourage you to think about the fact that you too will grow older. You too will want security and a safe place to settle down finally. The takeaways, the handbag, the weekend away, the cloths, the concert ticket etc etc will all be forgotten. The minute you get it and it has been used it is forgotten. Gratification after a purchase does not last forever. Usually it is very fleeting and you get home and it is not even something you use or wear or really need. It gets stored up and then sold at a garage sale or given away to someone else or worse still, thrown in the bin. This goes for cloths, cars, furniture, gadgets, phones and food.

Gratification that has been delayed is something much sweeter. Lets say you really would like a new cupboard/set of drawers. You save a little each week. You survive without this piece of furniture just fine. You know it would make things neater and easier at home but you wait. You stash a few bucks away as often as possible. You don't go and buy anything else written below that item on your list. You are waiting for that one thing. You then finally have some money saved. You start looking around. You finally find it on special at a store and you get it for cash and for a much reduced price because you had the money there saved up and kept your eye out for it. You bring it home. It feels good to put everything away in it. It fits your home perfectly. You look after it. You then keep that cupboard for many years and it is yours. You get to enjoy that gratification of that purchase for so much longer than you would if you bought it when behind on other bills. Guilt would have got in the way. You would have resented the purchase and not enjoyed it. The only enjoyment you would have got would be while making a quick decision to buy it there and then and once you handed over the money or credit card the whole experience turns sour.

Anyway - give this some thought.

Give me feedback. Talk to your friends about this. Talk to other older people and ask them their views. Listen to them. Learn.

Cheers,

Wendy

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sustainable Living - Sustainable Somerset.mov

7th July 2010 Update

My first sewing attempts at straight lines.

Hi there readers

Firstly everyone will note that we don't have a set time for our get togethers as yet. As we are just a few of us at the moment we are working this out amongst ouselves. If you are interested in coming along just give me a call or send me an email and we can see what time suits most people. We are just being a bit flexible at the moment.

I have just been reading through the blogs saved here as favorites and would like to point you in the direction of a few things on there that I found very interesting. The first is about turning the TV off and the reactions we have to this and especially our children. Food for thought and a pretty interesting post and comments as well.

NO TV - Unplugging the TV


Time for a relaxing cuppa.

I have added a link on our Sustainability page. It is The story of stuff and well worth looking at. I would encourage all readers here to take the time to have a look.
I have added more recipes to both recipe pages. You can all look forward to a post added about making your own bread. Our member Alexia has started making her own bread and I was there for the first one that came out of the oven. My - what a taste sensation. She will be adding the recipe and photos. I will be starting to make my own bread this coming week as well. More on that later.

This past week I made chilli sauce, bbq sauce and mayonaise among other things. All recipes are added and all are guarenteed to work out and taste superb. Let me know if you have any questions or need any help.

We are still only a few of us but I expect this group to grow and the sharing to be great. I know that I need someone who can knit to teach me how to knit - just a simple pattern for squares for a blanket to start with. We also need someone who would like to share their sewing skills. We have a member who would like to learn to sew her own cloths and her childrens cloths. She just needs to learn to cut a simple pattern to begin with and it is something I am very interested in as well.


My pineapple growing along nicely.

I have also spent time over the past few weeks tidying up all the craft gear that I have. I am now starting to work on gifts for Christmas that are not perishable. I made some beautiful note cards and forgot to take photos before I gave them as gifts. I will take some of my next lot I make. They were eagerly accepted as a gift and appreciated. Next get together I think we will make some of these cards. So cheap and easy to make and such a lovely gift.

Anyway I will sign of for now.

Cheers,

Wendy

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Beginning


Firstly before I go one more step further I would like to send a very special thankyou to the help and genoristy given to me by Bec at Eat At Dixiebelles. I sent her an email asking for some input into setting up this group and she very kindly emailed me such a lot of information that I used with her permission.

This group is being started so others in my community can get together to share and learn about

LIVING A SUSTAINABLE LIFE ON THIS EARTH
and
BECOMING AN INFORMED COMMUNITY MEMBER.

Even though we are a small group in a little country township we are not alone. There is so much support through other blogs and websites. I will link constantly to their support network. Why write something again when it has been written so well by others.

I would like to see the focus of this group to be learning new skills and applying them in our lives and then passing them on again to others. Now this passing on can be to others in our area or much further afield to friends and family far away.




You do not need to be particularly skilled in any area. You just need to be friendly and supportive as well as inquisitive and sharing. Maybe you can share or teach others in the group about something you are passionate about and related to eco/ethically minded living. It does not have to actual hands on skills. Maybe you just have a documentary or movie you want to show, or talk about an important book you've read. Topics covered will be varied and flow with the group. I do not want members to feel like anyone is pressuring them into making changes in their lives or judging them on how they currently live. ENCOURAGEMENT and SHARING is what we want to aim for. It feels so nice to be encouraged and complimented and thanked. There is nothing quite like manners to make the world a better place.



I think we will try this as a weekly get together. The date is not listed above as yet because as I have only just a few members so far we need to work out a day that suits everyone so far. I will add the date to top of the blog here as soon as we decide which day and the time we will meet each week. We will meet at my home at the moment. I am happy to move the get together around if someone else wants to hold it at their home. I just think for the beginning if we meet in the same place it is easy for people to remember and to get comfortable with each other. When you do come along you can bring something small to share for morning tea. Please do not go to much trouble. I really want people to feel comfortable about coming along and it is definately not about who can bake the best cake but all about getting to know each other and supporting each other in our community.

There are many things we can teach and learn and some are listed below but it is certainly not limited to these topics.
  • growing your own organic food, propergation, composting, worm farms, seed saving, organic pest solutions, homemade organic fertilizers, soil conditioning and herbs.
  • sharing and swapping our produce as we grow excess food and bake and preserve.
  • preserving food you have grown and food you can get cheaply when seasonal, dehydratin and canning, making jams and pickles.
  • raising backyard animals, worm farms, chickens, goats etc
  • making your own clothes, homewares and presents, knitting, sewing, crochet. spinning and dying wool, felting, woodworking, paper making, craft.
  • making your own soap and toiletries and beuty products such as skin care and hair care.
  • cleaning and housekeeping, using homemade natural cleaning products.
  • homemade tools and equipment repair.
  • frugal living, being resourceful, making do, meal planning and using up leftovers.
I have set up this blog so that new members can take a look around as they learn and share. I will post recipes, website links, blog links and any information that will be of help to others in our group. This will not just be what I want - IT WILL BE WHAT THE GROUP WANTS - and information passed on by others in the group will gladly be shared. I want to cover topics that I definately know nothing about such as farm animals. I want there to be parenting skills passed on and support for mothers and fathers who are bringing up a family in this ever changing world. I want to raise an awareness that homemaking skills are not at the bottom of the heap.



I felt the need to start something and just go from there. I kept thinking of different things I wanted from my community and while reading other blogs, websites and books I felt like I was missing out because of the area I live in. I then read Blessed Unrest by Paul Haken ( link to his book is in the Books To Check Out section below). I realised that instead of wishing or radically moving to another area with sustainable living groups already established I would just take the plunge and start something in my own back yard. I am no expert and will not claim to be. I am passionate about not being ignorant in this world and I truly believe that we all can and should make our voices heard. Actions speak so much louder than words and I am big believer of leading by example. I also want to live in a close knit community where people pull together and enjoy their privacy but not at the cost of not being a part of a community.



I truly look forward to meeting you.

Wendy