Barry had an easy journey into Birmingham last Thursday. Jim and my nephew Mathew joined him so the 13 Farmers Bridge locks were a doddle. Thank you guys, much appreciated.
The tide begins to turn
Since we’ve been on our adventures aboard Areandare, I’ve kept an account of every penny we spend – and earn (though there hasn’t been a proliferation of the latter for much of that time!).
Each week on a Sunday evening, or as soon as possible afterwards, I’ll be found sitting seriously at my Mac Book, going through the previous week’s list, categorising all spending, adding it up and updating the spreadsheet.
Through this exercise we now have over twelve months data available, meaning we can calculate such fascinating things as the average weekly spend on living costs, boat upkeep and mandatory fees, and the running total (scary stuff) we’ve spent to start-up our businesses and their general costs to date.
The most exciting part of course is on those magical weeks when money flows IN!
By the end of March 2014, the twelve month figures weren’t looking like anything a bank manager or accountant would be in the least enthralled by. My income from Life Coaching, writing, surveys and competitions didn’t even come close to matching the amount I’d paid out in resources and start up costs. Barry’s ‘Home Brew Boat’ business was only just completing its foundations, having also managed to remove a fair amount of money from our now joint account with Barclays.
However, on Monday this week, after returning to the boat from a few fabulous days with my daughter and grandsons, I dutifully completed the accounts for the four weeks of April. I love the way we can manage our money now we have immediate access to our bank balance through a Smart phone.
I’m extremely proud and pleased to report that for the first time since February 2013, our incomings exceeded our outgoings. Not by a great deal, only around thirty pounds. But that’s completely irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. There’s a change in direction – and that’s absolutely brilliant.
Our choice of living a life less ordinary aboard narrowboat Areandare, on the Inland Waterways of UK, can only be sustainable if we earn sufficient income to maintain it. We also have to pay back what we’ve spent from our savings by April 2015, so we have that same amount in the bank sitting comfortably for six months prior to the second application for Barry’s ‘indefinite leave to remain’ UK spousal sponsored visa. That date looms on occasions – it’s in only twelve months time.
It’s a tall order, and we know this, but there’s a saying in Life Coaching that really resonates and inspires me:
“If you believe it you’ll see it“
rather than the usual “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Later in the day I received an unexpected phone call, from a complete stranger (lovely to talk Nina if you’re reading), who’d read our Gisborne Herald articles, and subsequently our blog. She became so fascinated she wanted to chat and offer us another business opportunity to consider. This may, or may not, be something we’ll pursue. Regardless, it certainly feels like the jigsaw puzzle of our project plan is fitting nicely together.
Who knows what the finished picture will look like, but I’m now clearly imagining us manifesting Napolean Hill’s words:
“When big money begins to come, it comes so quickly and in such large amounts, you wonder where it was hiding during all those lean years.“
And even if it doesn’t, there’ll be a reason I believe. So for however long we’re blessed to live in this parallel universe, with the freedom and flexibility it provides, we’re already rich beyond measure.
A storm appears to be brewing
As this tide turns though, rather than allow us to become a little complacent and find a bit of a comfort zone, the universe has decided it’s time to shake us up somewhat and find ways to be even more flexible.
One of the reasons I was ‘happy’ to return to the land of my birth with Barry, despite adoring living in New Zealand, was to re-connect with my family/whanua. The few days with my grandsons last week were such a delight, I wouldn’t miss being their ‘fun grandma’ for anything. And when I emigrated to NZ in January 2005, I wasn’t sure if my elderly parents would still be around in the years to come. So I feel inordinately blessed that they are.
However, things have been progressively worsening for my dad over the past twelve months, and it looks like we may be hitting a bit of a crisis where I’ll need to spend a lot more time with them. Barry’s always understood this to be a possibility – he’s well rehearsed on lone-boating in readiness!
Hurrah for discovering ways of earning a living flexibly, without needing a ‘base’. Whatever happens will be manageable. Rather than see it as a problem, I see it as being extremely fortunate to have the opportunity of giving something back to the people who gave me and my sisters life and so much more. And thank goodness he had the good grace to make four fabulous daughters, despite always wanting a son. Now he has the carers willing and able to keep him out of a nursing home for as long as possible.
The upshot of this is it’s likely I’ll be off the boat for four out of seven days at some point – so if anyone has time available and wants to keep Barry company, please get in touch by commenting below or emailing us via our ‘contact page‘.
I’ll keep you posted …