Butterfly Garden

As I mentioned in my last post, we’re trying to figure out some ways to cut costs and afford this year of “living dangerously.” We live in an apartment in Los Angeles, which presents challenges when you want to grow your own food, but we approached our landlord about getting a little plot of land, and…

We got a garden!

The landlord had actually fenced off a section, tilled it and had started some plants. He said that he would leave in the plants that we wanted and move the rest, even providing our soil! Now we have to figure out what to grow in our little 12 x 12 plot.

Who’s got a good resource for figuring out what to grow seasonally in L.A.?

Can You Afford to Do This?

While I was messaging with a friend recently, I told her about our decision to commit to homeschooling for the next year and the first thing she asked was “Can y’all afford to do this on one income?”

I laughed to myself and then typed “LOL. No, we can’t.”

And that is the main thing I’m processing today. 

What a scary place to be; to know that the safe and logical thing is to keep working and to pay extra for all of the therapy it is going to take your family to get through ignoring your daughter’s needs…oh, wait. That’s not a real solution, is it?

I keep coming back to the idea that if a doctor told us that our daughter was sick and needed constant medical care for a year, would we balk at the idea that we would need to drastically adjust our lifestyles to find the time, resources and money to make her whole? 

So what would give me pause now? Why have I been fighting so hard against this? I think that it comes down to money. It is scary to lose over 1/2 of your income and know that you won’t have it for a year. We live in Los Angeles and our combined incomes don’t even hit 6-figures, so we’re really talking about a family of four (two of whom have special needs) existing on a small budget. 

So, we’re:

  • REALLY reducing our spending. Some of this will be inherent, as I won’t be driving to/from work and we’ll save a lot on food costs, because we’ll be eating from home almost all of the time,
  • Reducing some of our stuff. No more storage unit! Let’s save $100+/month and worry less about having to keep track of things.
  • Grow some food. I’m going to try and cut a deal with the landlord to get some of the land for a garden. It will be a natural science lesson for our Butterfly, and will defray at least a little bit of our produce bill. 
  • Burn through my stash. If you are a crafter, you know about THE STASH. Some are big, some are small, and I have three of them. Yarn, fabric and memorykeeping. This is the year of “use what you got (or ask a friend for some of theirs).” 
  • Find the free kid stuff. Our girls arrived with no swimming skills, so we’ve been paying for lessons for about a year. Now, physical activity like that is highly therapeutic, and we’re not going to lose that angle, but we are going to look for other opportunities that may not cost as much to participate and make sure we are rounding it out with dance and sports when we are able to. But, we live in LA and, well, there’s this rumor that we have a beach somewhere…
  • Fundraise. Ugh. I hate asking people for money, but you know what? I’ve been donating to my friend’s efforts for years and this is really important, not just a whim or a decision that we came to lightly and, well, we need help. So we signed up for one of these http://www.gofundme.com/blossomingbutterfly and we’ll see what we can do!

So there are some of our initial efforts to try and make it a little less painful. 

If you know of any other viable sources of income that won’t interfere with the main focus of my being at home, please feel free to share!