Well I am so chuffed. I paid off all my debt. Who knew I could achieve that faster now that we are technically “poorer” (I won’t say we’re POOR because compared to the lowest earners, we are not), but if my husband had never lost his previous job, if he hadn’t taken this one which effectively means taking 50% less than before, we may never have managed to curb our spending habits. Especially mine.

Preparing to move house again. Well, to make the DIY move easier on my husband, because I know he WON’T get a professional mover to do this, and it’s like our second move in half a year, I threw out a lot of stuff. A LOT. I am talking about an actual, double, IKEA PAX wardrobe measuring nearly 2 metre high by 1 m wide, plus an IKEA MALM chest of drawers, both filled to the max before with clothes and accessories, all whittled down to just this today :

IMG_20150115_010034 IMG_20150115_010145

Yep. I threw away a lot. A LOT. All of those things, I know I will not wear unless I have absolutely nothing else I’d prefer to wear. Stuff that I have not worn in like at least a year. Some, at least 4 years.

You know, the thing is, prior to this sudden change of events in the past year, we were under the impression my husband’s job was stable. Almost a job for life. He’d been there for nearly a decade – the longest he’d ever been at any company. That company helped him, supported him in so many ways professionally, and he gave them his all. He worked a lot of unpaid overtime for them for free. Yeah I know his contract stated they won’t pay him overtime because he’s in a supervisory role, but to be honest, they were paying him just a thousand quid or so more than those he was supervising, so he really didn’t need to put himself out for the company to the extent he did. But he did. Anyway, that experience made it prescient to our family that we can just never really get too comfortable with our situation. We didn’t think ahead. We made assumptions about the course our lives were going to proceed and we made financial decisions that were short-sighted and impractical and nearly caused us to become homeless in a very very short time.

I don’t know why but nowadays, I just don’t even feel very attached to all these material things anymore. My books. I guess they are the only things I would ever feel sad about throwing out. The place where we’re living now had no space for my books, so for the past half year the books had to be placed in a dusty old outside shed that gave me asthma attacks when I tried walking in in the dusty summer. In the winter, it became damp and wet inside and to my dismay, found many of our books and papers all damaged beyond repair as a result of that. At first I felt angry. Angry at everything that happened. Thinking negatively – you know, if only husband didn’t fuck up at work, if only we hadn’t been forced to move, if only husband hadn’t picked this stupid house, if only husband hadn’t put my books into the stupid shed, etc. etc. I realised of course pretty quickly that I’m just looking for something to blame. Really my husband tried his best and he was genuinely ignorant as to how the shed actually didn’t keep my books and papers safe – he never knew things get wet in the shed but I guess his only experience of outdoor sheds was in his home country where he grew up, where it hardly rains, so yeah… probably keeping papers in sheds there would be fine I suppose. But in England? No way.

I made a conscious decision to just forget about those books of mine. Many of which I’d bought with the intention of reading but never got down to reading, which is typical of me. I have too many great plans to fulfill but never the time to fulfill them. Anyway it was my fault for buying so many things when things were going good. I should never have bought them books. Okay many of them were bought before the advent of Kindle and anyway, most of them aren’t available in Kindle formats today so it doesn’t matter. I realised that to house a library of the size I possess, I’d need a small study or a home library with wall to wall bookshelves lining all the walls. Yeah maybe, if we ever got to buy our own house one day, I will make that dream come true. But until then… I told my husband to just throw ALL of the books in the shed except for one book, which I went online to Amazon to find the picture of and told him if he comes across that as he is clearing the shed, he can give it back to me.

So he did. He found it. I started reading it straight away and well… yes. Very engaging book. Wonder why it took me 6 years to finally get to read it. Why am I always too busy with something else? And so he started taking pictures of each batch of books he was clearing to show them to me and ask me to pick out which ones I want so he can give them back to me. I looked at the first pictures and I tried to swallow my tears as I said “No I don’t want any of those.” and handed him back his phone. Same thing for the other pictures. When he took me the fifth picture or so to look at, I got a bit melodramatic (I blame it on the result of a bad flu and a cough that never goes away and the inability to sleep well) and ranted “I already said just throw it all out! I don’t want to look at those pictures anymore! I love my books, I wouldn’t want to throw them out at all! Now if I look at them and have to choose, I’ll just get so upset! Please just throw them all away while I cannot still remember what books they are! Stop showing me those pictures of them!”

And then he said okay, he’s not throwing any of them out anymore. He’s gonna take them with us. Oh but I wish he’d throw them out now. I’d feel better it’s all controlled. I decided to give my books up now. Don’t give me false hopes that I can keep them all, because the weather forecast on the moving day itself is so bad – maximum 3 degrees Celsius, minimum -1 degrees Celsius. In those conditions, I’d imagine he might give up wanting to shift too many boxes.

I feel like throwing out more huge loads of stuff we took with us in our last move. All memories of a life we will never ever inhabit again. I guess we always had to grow up somehow. In a way, this is how it was meant to be. And maybe yes, my books will have to be thrown. It’s like pulling teeth.

Well if we keep up the way we’re living so frugally, we may be able to save up for a deposit for a house in about 2 years’ or less. I can’t believe it though. How can we not have been able to do this when he was earning 50% more, and yet now, on 50% less, we can? It just makes me feel so much more ashamed of myself before. I was far too wasteful and didn’t understand the value of money. A fool. Anyway I don’t even want to settle down in England. Never even wanted to buy a house all those years ago because I kept thinking we might migrate somewhere else like Australia, or even Thailand, which is better than England to me weather-wise and proximity-wise for being with our existing circle of friends. Actually I just hate the idea of owning my own house. I like to think I can move on from somewhere after I’ve gotten sick of it after a few years. Not a lifetime. But now it looks ever more remote the likelihood of us going to Australia, and so we might as well buy a house now in England. After having 2 really disappointing experiences with letting agents in the past half year, after a 7 year honeymoon with a fantastic landlord before that, all we want to do is get out of the frickin’ lettings market if we could. It’s full of hassle and extra fees and charges and the like for really petty meaningless stuff that are just ways to line agents’ pockets. Basically I hate renting in England with such a passion now that I’d actually go against the grain of my being and buy a house just to escape renting here.

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