Step 1: Have kids. Specifically; toddlers.
I no longer shower. Yes I know, that’s a bit gross. It’s also a slight exaggeration. I do shower, just not every day, or even every other day. In fact, I never know when my next shower will be. This is because I have a three-year-old and an 18-month-old who are dependant on me for their very survival. If I am daring enough to disappear into the bathroom for some longed for ablutions they will punish me in some of the worst ways they are capable of. Namely by climbing on things (read: tables) and subsequently falling off (the 18mth old), or by deciding that this is the perfect time for some furniture rearranging and building sky-high cushion towers for Princess and the pea beds (3 yr old). The smaller one then tries to scale said tower and falls off. If I think I’m being smart and responsible and try to have a shower after bedtime, when both trouble makers are sleeping, there is a high probability that the smallest one will wake up and do his utmost to shout the house down, waking his sister in the process.
Last time I was foolish enough to attempt a daytime shower with both little people up, I experienced a Mrs. Large type incident whereby the bathroom door was barged open and in came the smallest, followed by the other one. The smallest merrily upended the basket of bath toys into the tub and the other one declared she wanted to get in and started stripping off her princess dress. All the while I was frantically trying to execute an emergency leg shave without slicing any important arteries. (If you aren’t familiar with the fantastic Large family series by Jill Murphy and are wondering what the heck I’m on about then here they are. Pretty good for light-hearted bedtime reading even if you don’t have kids…) Suffice to say dry shampoo has become one of my closest friends. In fact, I never knew it existed until I had kids.
This all equates to me having fewer than the recommended daily amount of showers (yes that’s a thing) and therefore we must be saving a bundle on water bills. At least that’s the silver lining I ascribe to this particular parenting cloud. As it’s the summer holidays the water saving rate has been doubled. If I decide that I’m just too worn out for the three-minute ninja quick shower I would normally have before going to bed, I can get away with it by not leaving the house the next day. Hurrah for six weeks of no pre school runs or mum and toddler groups!
The reason for sharing my rather unsanitary habit is that it is a brilliant bonus in Austerity Month. What on earth is Austerity Month? I hear you ask. No, it’s not some sort of little-known government initiative to help cut the deficit. It is in fact something that my husband and I are trialling this August with the goal of saving 50% of our monthly income.
Why? Fair question but it’s a long (ish) answer. How then? That’s easier, I’ll answer that first.
So how do we plan to save half of this month’s income? *drum roll please*……by not spending money! Obvs. Also obvious is that it’s easier said than done. Mr. Blackberry and I have embarked on a month-long trial to see if we can cut out all nonessential expenditure after the monthly bills (mortgage, utilities, council tax, internet, phones etc) have been paid. Essentials are classed as the weekly food shop, petrol and….that’s about it. I’m permitted to do top ups of milk and bread throughout the week as we seem to go through a whole dairy herds worth of milk in no time along with a similar amount of bread. Mr. B. takes lunch to work and has gallantly stopped out of office coffees, snacks and even, brace yourselves, beer….!!! We have also streamlined our weekly supermarket shop and I have made an enormous personal sacrifice and now go to ASDA *shudders* instead of Sainsbury’s to get it. All with the aim of saving as much as possible at the end of the month.
Ok, saving is always good, but why this particular month? and why do it at all since shopping at ASDA seems to be an issue and your poor husband can’t drink beer? Good questions, both of them. However, they involve a slightly more convoluted answer and there is the need to delve into the ins and outs of goal-oriented motivation and the murky depths of our family psyche….
Or at least have a dabble in the shallow end with a bit of background info to set the scene – All stuff for the next post I think. Don’t worry, I know what you’re thinking; rest assured I’ll shower before then….Hopefully!