Category Archives: Self-help

The time has come to take control of my money!

So I haven’t posted in a long while! Eish! Between balancing family and business life, I hardly have had time to write! However, it is never too late to start again! 🙂

As of late, I have felt my money affairs spiral out of control. 😬 In between managing multiple budgets (I am sure you know about that), I found it was just not working. Day after day, I felt more and more confused as to the cash in my pocket. Especially as I am also running my business and needing to keep cash money separate from our household money.

In an attempt to take control, I spoke to the person I know manages her money the best…my Mom-in-law. She is a super efficient money manager! I have been observing her for years, and cannot believe I didn’t speak to her sooner! I think people, in general, are just embarrassed to talk about money.

Anyhow, she gave me some great tips! On top of that, I took a few hours out this past week to research an easy budgeting system. Well, I found one that definitely spoke to me. Watch this great video!

This is really a basic but effective system and I felt so inspired by this video, I immediately decided to take action! I NEED A WALLET! 😜

So yesterday I went shopping for one! All the while, being Lilly Loompa, I kept thinking of how I can make one with waste! Hehe! I quickly canned that idea as I hate sewing! Anyway, I didn’t find a wallet big enough to hold the standard size envelope. So in true Lilly Loompa style, I decided to make my own envelopes! 😄

Here follows my picture tutorial:

This is how small my daily bag is!

I just loved the practicality of wearing a smaller bag…it felt easier to keep safe and close to me. I love this bag! Below is the contents of my bag. More cards than anything else! But…they are all debit cards…I am pleased to say not one credit card!

 

I know…time for a bigger bag!

I started looking for on-line templates and then realised my printer was out of order. Thus I measured and cut my own template based on the size of our South African money notes. I didn’t have thick paper, so I used a promotional book about an international school of design I picked up at an expo recently.

Here is a link to an on-line tutorial I found useful.

Fold your envelope and secure the bottom side with double-sided tape. I used magic tape as it is all I had on-hand. The idea is to get started. Do not be fixated on getting it perfect. Use what you have! I made two envelopes to start off. I also kept my original template safe for future use.

 

Then I realised I forgot to make one for my business.

 

Since we still have a few days over for November, I decided to start now. You will see I allocated only a small amount for the week, to start training myself to be disciplined. I am very excited to start this new journey.

Now to go wallet shopping!  😜 Let me know what you think? Is this doable in SA? What do you think is a reasonable grocery budget?

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How I upgraded to junk-status

Junk-status – the word of the moment…or maybe it has been for the last few months.

As an ordinary South African, I have some idea of what it means for our country. In a nutshell, it means that we have been flushed down the credit drain by a plague of bad leadership decisions. And a reshuffle.

This news spread unwanted doom and gloom in an already unstable economy. Instead of wallowing over something I have no control over, in a strange way, this news immediately reminded me of my own downgrade I experienced about 10 years ago.

I was blacklisted and cast out of the credit system through a bad financial investment. This caused me and my family many years of financial trouble and sleepless nights. Inadvertently, our lives changed forever. For many years it was a struggle to survive…we literally lived from hand-to-mouth.

About 6 years ago, I started building furniture for my own home, out of necessity. Guess what I used to build it with? RUBBISH…JUNK!

The strangest thing happened – out of lack and with some creativity, I started my business, Lilly Loompa.

I decided to use the resources I had and started building beautiful, useful pieces that made my home better. It made me feel better about my situation. These pieces made out of junk, was the manifestation of the mess I found myself in.

Unknowingly, I UPGRADED to junk-status, and I loved it! This is what this experience has taught me:

  1. Use what you have! I am a firm believer of this and it has become one of my life-values. When you have nothing in your grocery cupboards, start growing a food garden! Live off the earth!

Made with junk! Tin can lamp by Lilly Loompa

  1. Stay positive – It is so easy to become downcast and depressed when you find yourself in an unwanted situation. Read motivational books and autobiographies of people that inspire you. Exercise more and eat healthier.

 

  1. Downgrade your lifestyle – Do not even attempt to keep up with the Jones’. Learn to live with less. Sell your fancy home, and buy a more affordable one. Eat less at restaurants, and have more picnics.

 

  1. Live simpler – Get rid of complications in your life. Try to break away from the rat race by going to the park after work. Why not try to cook outdoors tonight? Instead of being cooped up inside the house?

 

  1. Be creative – Creativity grows more, through adversity. I have said this before and I still believe it now more than ever. Being strapped for cash should be an opportunity to start multiple income streams. Make a list of your skills and investigate and pursue income opportunities in those industries.

 

  1. Be content in the situation – Be happy. Laugh more in spite of what your reality says. See the lighter side in every situation…a good laughter session can cure the saddest heart.

 

  1. Don’t let depression rob you – I remember clearly many days I just wanted to get under the covers and stay there. I wanted to wallow and sulk. I felt like I was entitled to be depressed. Surround yourself with positive people that will decline an invite to your pity party.

Made with junk! Block lamp by Lilly Loompa

 

  1. Rags to riches – believe it can happen to you. Believe the unthinkable. Believe that through hard work and commitment, you story can change. Also know that your success story can free someone else from their prison!

 

“If people throw stones at you, pick ‘em up and build something.”

Lecrae

In my case, I have adapted it to read:

 

“If life throw stones at you, pick ‘em up and build something.”

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