History / Mentalhealth / Toolbox

Life Experience

While I can afford too….

I equip with quality…..Tupperware for the kitchen, decent Pots and Fry pans, High end appliances, Solid timber cabinets for storage/ wardrobes…..music lessons/ instruments for the kids….Tools for the garden…Games….i.e. Cthulhu Wars…..TV’s, Computers, decent mobile phones all around…Private Psychiatrists and Pediatricians…..Private Health insurance while you can afford it…..the Psychiatrist for Bruce was worth it the Pediatrician wasted our time and refused to keep records for the little superhero but it was worth trying……few months ahead on the mortgage……

Life isn’t about restaurant dinners, concerts and holidays…

This is not an instant process instead a long to do list and shopping list which develops over time and taking an approach of Buying Once. Buying what will Last. Prioritizing what is most Urgent and progressively chipping away at the list and doing without until it can be done properly. Miss matched hand me downs will do the job in the mean time.

I have never allowed my basic utilities and loan repayments/loans/contracts even when I earned over $120k a year to be more than I can afford if my income was at the lowest level possible for whatever reason.

Purchase Quality, do not hire purchase, pay cash wherever possible, negotiate price, it matters. It makes the difference between being broke for now as circumstances change, and Actually Being Poor. Payment plans are fine but be sure to know all fee’s and additional costs which may be involved, Our high end mobile phones were all purchased under contract it cost us nothing in addition to the basic cost of the phone spread over 2 years with no interest or additional charges, our Provider benefited from the service by retaining customers.

Find a second hand furniture dealer and be selective 90% of what you find in new furniture stores today is without doubt ABSOLUTE RUBBISH and designed to break with a predicable short life span, Furniture should last decades needing no more than a periodic recovering.

Don’t have credit Cards. Do not get Payday Loans. You can go to the Food Bank and the Local council/church to find out where to get free bread, food packages and food vouchers that you can use your cash to replace the appliance that just blew up or deal with the huge bill that just arrived, Pay day loans ARE EVIL! They are the first step in a perpetual cycle of poverty where you are spending MORE on high interest than you can afford to be paying. High Interest Pay Day Loans Dig 10 holes in the attempt to fill one.

The Good Shepard has no interest loans for appliances there are Step Up Loans from Anglicare, there are NILS loans available which WILL NOT CRIPPLE YOU.  You DO NOT have to be Broke to use the food bank they WELCOME EVERYONE, you DO NOT NEED to be a beggar to accept a few loaves of free bread once a week. These are services there to make the storms easier, it rains on the rich and the poor the righteous and the unrighteous, you are not a bad person to have a bad week. 90% of the population are 2 pay days from Poverty.

The ONLY loan worth having is a Mortgage…..If you ABSOLUTELY must purchase a new car, refinance your Mortgage OR get a smaller new car with an Unsecured Low Interest Personal Loan from a BANK or Credit Society, and Pay off as much as you can AFFORD, to pay it off as quickly as possible.

I didn’t manage to sort the car before it hit though.

Early 2014 I tried to refinance the house to replace the car with a new Outlander so we could travel more, would’ve added $50 a fortnight to the mortgage…Bruce had a psychiatric break down, a police chase across half the state (wasn’t high speed he just wouldn’t stop) and he moved to Melbourne walking away from everything…with it in both names the refi couldn’t be done with him in that state…..

( I really should’ve known better he had a similar break literally 20 minutes after originally signing the contract to buy the house)

So I called my first ex husband…..I was negotiating to forgo a portion of income for the sake of a new car in lieu of child support because I couldn’t get the mortgage extended to do a car….

but nope he wouldn’t and next week he was in prison….Soooo glad it didn’t happen.

Because in less than a month I went from all good and getting ahead to thousands in bills incoming to pay and nothing but my pension without any forewarning…….because his Child Support significantly reduced FTB….We were dry.

The rest of the reduction was done by Abbott winning the election….. reducing me to an income about $17k a year

You find ways to manage….the most common comment I get is WOW you can do a lot with a little…I got through, I contacted centerlink and they changed the way FTB was done which if he started paying would mean I would have a debt to be repaid the next week but it meant we could eat. I put everything that had been lump sums on periodic payments with agreements and within a year I was getting ahead with everything paid in advance, and by some miracle the car is still running.

Moral to the story is let nothing stop you, don’t be scared of having kids, making plans, building a foundation…..You find a way…..

Priorities change….and everything can go to shit very quickly, entirely out of your control and you get no choice in the matter…Whether it is finances or your health….

It was a similar cascade of horror events when my back caved on me in 2006….I couldn’t work any more, my knee surgery had not been successful and actually significantly compounded the complications for my back, I spent my Cert IV TAFE exams in hospital being threatened with emergency surgery for a Quincy, unable to speak, managing the shopping center from the High Dependency Unit by email and Fax machine, the girls staying with my brother’s wife through my admission, as their Fathers response was to tell me to get my Fat Arse off my death bed and get the girls from school, he is lucky I was not able to speak at the time and the real estate agent decided they needed vacant occupation of my Unit which they were Selling to do the repairs from flooding 5 years earlier, they had never disclosed the flooding to me and so ripped out the bathroom sending me straight back to hospital from the exposed mold in the middle of a housing crisis….that was exactly 8 years before….

It was immediately post OP for my knee, I recruited every male in reach 3 friends and their friends and brothers helped pack up and set up. Everything went into Storage and I pitched a $1200 2 bedroom tent with a living room and sun room and planted my 590L fridge in an Extended Annex constructed of a 50 Meter Water Proof Tarp and additional poles to provide an insulating layer to the WHOLE tent to minimise it heating up through the day in the build up and a $500 camp kitchen and 4 Burner BBQ. It contained a Queen size raised air bed in one bedroom, a Camp bunk with 2 singles (one above the other, we still have it) and a Jumbo Jackaroo camp stretcher I paid $190 a week (Our Mortgage has never cost that much) for the privilege of living in my own tent! switched from home phone, PC and ADSL to Mobile Phone, Laptop and Mobile Internet and $150 a week for storage and 2 cars parked by a tent they called the Taj Mahal and started Planning to move to a state with more affordable and more available housing, in under a year as soon as consent orders permitting us to leave were signed we had landed in Victoria.

I’ve even been homeless with 3 kids…Ironically both times it happened I had thousands in the bank…there just wasn’t anywhere to live…. I basically said “fk this!” threw everything into storage and went camping with the girls for six months they still went to school…..they loved it marshmallows, hot chocolates and camp fires most nights!

This is what a homeless family in Australia looks like, we weren’t always in a tent, we also jumped between emergency accommodation, caravan park cabins and hotel rooms, once you are 4 no one seems to really have space for you. Anyone. What had a roof never lasted longer than a night to a few days or if lucky a couple of weeks. Our spare time was spent exploring local parks and beaches, we didn’t have access to a TV, our internet was limited to using it to check house listings because 100GB cost $100 for mobile internet and it was costing me $100 a week to look for somewhere to live. We didn’t have craft supplies or anywhere to use them, nor bikes or most of their toys. We lived out of a couple of suitcases. We had to buy food daily because most of the time we didn’t have a fridge. We had a lot of picnics and we fed the ducks and had fun at the park and chased waves at the beach. We didn’t know where we would live week to week. They didn’t know, they thought it was a blast! Jamie only realised last week that at any point in time have we not actually had a home to go to. They were the most terrifying times of my life, second only to seeing Jac try to throw herself out of the car that day, some of these photos were actually taken that same week. She is the littlest.



The second time occurred when the owners work contract was cut short and they were moving back into the state had 90 days to move out so they could move in…..Bruce had a break down the lead up lasted the whole 3 months culminating in a full blown 72 hour psychotic break. Police took him away to the hospital, hospital refused to admit him so they put him in a hotel room for the night and he spent the next 3 days driving a hire car at high speed between Melbourne and Ballarat, ain’t Bipolar great…. The court admitted he should have been hospitalised that first night and tore up the dozens of speeding tickets he generated from speed cameras that weekend…. He spent a month in the The Melbourne Clinic a private psychiatric hospital and 3 months at grandmas, while I said “fk this!” put it all into storage, went camping with the girls, while I went house hunting because I had 12k in the bank and there were no rentals! And no one had space for the 4 of us.

Still have the tent!

Oh and the most important thing I learned…..

You can only fall as far as the ground….It is up to you if you start digging…..But falling is bloody scary and it is ok to be afraid! It is perfectly fine to take a moment to catch your breath once you land, Just don’t unpack and live there.

 

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