Managing our Household...
or mismanaging.... I am not convinced some days that I have a clue what I am doing! There has been much made of the poverty situation here in New Zealand, and the rising cost of living. A few recent projects have been going on around our little country that have given me, and my family pause for thought. The Oxfam - Live below the Line project has seen people challenged to live on $2.25 per day for food. And The KidsCan drive to get donations so that school children throughout New Zealand in decile 4 and under schools can be given lunch. The target for those lunches was $3.00.
We have kept track of our spending over the years, and thought we were pretty good at documenting our expenses - and for the year ending March 31, 2012 we spent nearly $17,000.00 on groceries. Now that includes ALL our grocery items, personal hygiene, pet food, alcohol, cleaning products AND food. We have five people in our family - so that worked out to $46.70 per day for our family or $9.34 per person.
One of the news articles mentioned that the average income in Kaitia was $17,000.00. The same as we spend on groceries... so, if you had a single income family in Kaitia, that has 3 children - the ENTIRE income would be spent on food - if they spent what we do. Now, we donʼt earn very much - my business is still in the stage of paying enough to reinvest to expand... my business looks after our family car - insurance, petrol, wofʼs, new tires etc... as I use it pretty exclusively for work, My husband can walk to work, or I drop him off, and he works at home, so we are lucky in that sense, but he doesnʼt earn very much, and itʼs his income we have to live on. We struggle, and I thought I was pretty frugal. We donʼt eat out, we donʼt take holidays, we rarely go to the movies and we donʼt
smoke. But we do like a glass of wine every now and then, so we DO buy that.
We were challenged to really analyse our spending - and work out what our meals
ACTUALLY cost to make. We have begun a vegetable garden in the hopes of reducing our food outlay and we have learned some very interesting things. We have learned that MANY people out there are struggling.
We have taken our journey online - and are exposing ourselves completely. We thought if we could learn something by understanding our spending, then others might too, and it may either make you look at your own spending and shudder, or it may make you feel like you are doing a great job already. At the very least - we will at the end have a very accurate picture of reality and how we can alter that. At the most, we will have saved others the time and energy, and made a difference, not only in our own house, but in someone elseʼs too.
Join “The Bottom Line Project” www.thebottomlineproject.weebly.com
Leanneʼs Business “Feel at Home” www.feelathome.co.nz
Gregʼs business “Musiclab” www.musiclab.co.nz