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Friday, September 27, 2013

Cattle Happiness, Spending Management

Cattle Happiness

Do cattle experience happiness?

Our cattle were let into a fresh paddock today. They began leaping about kicking their rear legs into the air twisting and turning and running from green tuft to green tuft. A good time for us to stand back and out of reach of their hind quarters.

Is this a sign of their pure joy? It has to be. We've watched this occur in different herds many times. Sometimes you wonder how 400+ kilogram animal can be so flexible. It's a joy for us to see it when it happens. And then there is that rip rip rip as they tear mouthfuls of fresh grass. This is one of the most pleasant sounds in the world.

One day someone will podcast a catalogue of the loveliest sounds in the world. The morning carolling of the magpies. Jean's uncontrolled laughter at something silly I've said or done.

And then there are the scents. That unique smell cows exude when on fresh pasture, The first Jasmine flours of Spring. Grapes fermenting. How will we catalogue and share these?

Spending Management

One of the best ways we found to restrict our spending urges was to discuss every expenditure with each other. And this is not just the big items but everything that may be classed as discretional. Every dollar saved is still a dollar saved. We both feel the same way about spending money and therefore this consultative approach comes naturally.

The small expenditures are probably the most insidious. You know the ones, that inexpensive tool on special for only a few dollars - a nice to have but how often will it get used? A little trinket or bauble that looks pretty but will it find its way into a drawer and be forgotten. That book that looks good but turns out to be disappointing. We used to buy books at the drop of a hat and accumulated many that eventually had to be passed on to op shops. Book acquisitions are now controlled. We borrow the book from a library first to see if we want to add it to our collection.

Another good method for control is the "research and leave". Especially useful for larger more expensive items such as electrical goods. Research the item thoroughly, visit it in the shop, touch it, ask a lot of questions and then go away for week and think about it. If you still feel the need to have it go back and visit again and maybe buy it.

Finally the prepaid mobile telephone or internet access. All so simple to top up as it begins to run out and before you know it you've just spent $100 in two weeks. Each time you finish using it write down how much is remaining to remind yourself  what you have just done.

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