Onwards and upwards

Well, I’m feeling pretty motivated at the moment and wanting to reduce debt further, though I don’t think there’s much else we can do …
I guess that’s not true. I’m sure we could cut our grocery bill back a  bit if we tried, and there are always places that we tend to `leak money’ (ie the chemist shop).

Mostly at the moment I’ve been thinking about my post regarding our family debt and the offer from my father-in-law to drop part of it. I read back over some of my old posts yesterday and realised that we actually were aware that my father-in-law was giving us the $3300, instead of lending it to us … I alluded to that in one of my posts. However, we had decided to ignore that and pay him back the extra $3300 on top of a loan he had given us for a separate item.

Anyway, to make a long story short, we haven’t made any decisions but we do think we might have come up with a happy solution (my father-in-law still won’t budge that we are not to repay the extra $3300).

We plan to do some work in his garden. In fact, we already did at least half the work last summer but there is still a significant amount of work to do. We laid the groundwork for some lovely garden beds and planted out some of these months ago – it probably totaled about ten 2-day weekends of work for us both to get this far. We now intend to pave an entertainment area, and plant out the beds. We may also install a shade sail over the top of that area, and we plan to build steps into the undulating hilly section with a rail. This will allow my father-in-law to enjoy his garden a bit more, and I expect it will take 9-10 weekends to do this second half  of work. We will also continue to do all the labour to keep the yard in shape on a weekly basis (pruning, planting out, weeding etc). His yard takes up a second house block, so it is a sizeable area of lush grass and plants to care for. It’s beautiful, but hard work!

It sounds like he might accept these hours of work as an `in-kind’ repayment deal. While I’m not sure the `cost’ of our labour is $3300, there’s no doubt that the professional labour required to get the job done would be around this dollar amount. We might be a lot less effficient than a landscaping team though! This way we feel like we are repaying him, and he feels he hasn’t hindered our savings efforts (not that this would really be the case but that is how he thinks).

This type of repayment plan would obviously suit us, as we enjoy gardening and its a healthy family activity. And of course any deal that reduces our monetary debt suits me! But we shall have to talk about it some more and make sure we are not taking advantage of his generosity.



  1. Sounds like a great plan!

  2. frugalchick said

    That’s actually a pretty good arrangement. A win-win situation. I’m sure your FIL will appreciate your efforts much more than the cash (that he won’t take, anyway.)

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