Being broke feels oppressive; I hate not being able to do the things I want and often having to go without the things we need. But I have learned that having a different attitude during times of financial lack can truly be an enlightening experience.
Facing up to what you can’t have now
While I dislike the word “can’t,” you still have to be practical. If the receipt from the cash machine shows a balance of £10, then that pretty much rules out dinner at a fancy restaurant or a trip to the theatre( unless you’re very lucky!). Living frugally I can cope with, but trying to remain upbeat is a challenge. I feel that I’m constantly telling Kai no when he asks for things, which makes me feel bad. I tell myself that this is only temporary and that my hard work ( on my dream of becoming a writer and musician) will pay off. Both Kai and I are learning the valuable lesson of learning to live minimally, and we both now appreciate the little we have so much more.
So much to do for free
The more I look the more I find wonderful things to do for free. For nature enthusiasts, like me and Kai, it’s pretty easy. We recently took a bike ride to Tottenham marshes along the canal. The weather was glorious and we were treated to some awesome birds on the way: a common tern, sand martins and a cormorant were just a few of the birds we saw. Some other nature spots we’ve been to by bike include the Middlesex filter beds, Leyton water works nature reserve, and Walthamstow marshes. All of which are free to enter.
The home-ed facebook community frequently arrange trips: checkout HEWOW and home-ed groups for your local area. There seem to be groups popping up in pretty much every London borough, not so sure about outside London.
Blessings everywhere, you just gotta look
We recently went to the hockey championships for free, thanks to someone’s generosity. I don’t know much about hockey, but I went anyway knowing that it would be a great day out. There were a number of activities for children; Kai did them all( with a little help from a number of volunteers) and obtained a small prize. We ate lunch before we left, so I was unprepared when Kai began grumbling about being hungry. Thankfully, I managed to scrape enough together for a portion of chips, which exhausted my £3 budget. The food may have been overpriced but it doesn’t matter.
Life on a budget isn’t easy, but maintaining a positive and open mind has definitely helped me to draw on resources I didn’t know I had. And my experiences as a result have been all the more richer.
Picture credit: Johnathan Rolande