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One Exhausting Day in a Tradie’s Wife’s Chaotic Life

Sure, working with your spouse can be a good thing. But there’s always two sides to every story – especially when you’re a tradie’s wife!

*WARNING*
May contain traces of truth bombs, profanity, and number-nerd humour. No hubbies were harmed in the making of this blog. All information was reliably and ethically sourced from the appropriate authorities – the Tradie’s Wives.

4:30am: hubby’s alarm rings 

He’ll no doubt hit snooze two or three times before he finally drags his ass out of bed and starts ‘quietly’ getting ready for work. ‘Quietly’ meaning the house is filled with the sounds of a baby elephant navigating a china shop. 

Hubby proceeds to get dressed into clothes laid out the night before by tradie’s wife.

Skip alarm clock rage and take a few things off your plate by using a specialised tradie bookkeeper such as Save My Books.

4:55am: wifey is woken to a phone light shining into her cornea

Followed by a whispering hubby, asking where his boots are. 

Tradie’s wife: “oh, you mean the filthy things that you walked all over my freshly cleaned floor with yesterday? Leaving a trail of white powder that would have Tommy Lee happily doing lines off my hallway tiles. The same ones you decided belonged in the centre of my lounge room? The same ones that left my house with the fresh scent of monkey’s ass? You’ll find them on the front veranda. In the shoe rack. Where they belong.” 

Hubby: “thanks, see you this afternoon.”

Tradie's wife waking far too early

 4:57am: whispering hubby reappears

Hubby: “is my lunch ready?” 

Tradie’s wife: “in the fridge, all packed with your favourite: devon, a bottle of tomato sauce on the side, two cans of Coke, and $5 for the tuck truck.” 

Hubby: “thanks, see you this afternoon.” 

4:59am: appears for a second time

Whispering hubby: “keys?” 

Tradie’s wife:: “on the key rack where they belong, not on the hall table where you dumped them.” 

Hubby: “thanks, see you this afternoon.”

5:00am: he tries his luck for the third time

Whispering hubby enters the bedroom. 

Tradie’s wife:: “if you ask one more fucking question, make one more goddamn sound, or so help you God wake a sleeping child, I will kill you and hide the body.” 

Hubby: “thanks, see you this afternoon.”

6:30am: tradie’s wife alarm rings

Time to get up and get everything prepared before the day really starts. 

Sneak in a quick coffee while completing the usual morning tasks:

  • unpacking the dishwasher
  • packing lunches
  • cleaning out the multitude of weird things kids keep in their school bags
  • signing school notes and scraping up change from under the lounge cushions for the kids’ excursion that she’s only just found out about
  • ironing school uniforms
  • tidying up messes
  • swapping the load of washing (being sure to remove all of hubby’s earplugs and screws from his pockets)
  • and if she is really ‘mumming it’, throwing something in the slow cooker for dinner that night
Exhausted tradie wifey doing it all before Save My Books tradie bookkeeping stepped in.

7:00am: and the day begins

Tradie’s wife wakes the army of tired, grumpy, and unreasonably hungry children, who were unable to sleep last night, but are suddenly quite happy to never leave their warm beds. 

She referees fights over school hats and whether toast should be cut into triangles or squares, and fixes ponytails that have ‘lumps’ in them.

Dealing with kids fighting while trying to sort out your tradie bookkeepfing.

8:30am: sorry neighbours

Tradie’s wife races out the door to get the kids to school on time. She deals with the usual stand-off about who gets the front seat. 

Wifey threatens that kids will walk for all eternity if asses don’t plant themselves in seats by the count of three. 

Wifey proceeds to count extremely loudly and ever so slowly to three, whilst feeling bad for the retired couple next door who are no doubt enjoying their carefree, sleeping-in lifestyle.

Getting kids to school is a job in itself as a tradie wifey.

9:01am: freedom! Joking

Wifey’s day is just beginning. 

Now it’s time to start her job -the unpaid/underpaid, sometimes unappreciated, always time-pressured job of being a tradie’s wife. 

And she needs to get it done in record time. Roughly six hours to be precise. Get your skating shoes on wifey, today is gonna be a fun one!

Tradie wife is free after school drop off...jokes!

9:05am: phone call #1 from hubby

Tradie’s wife heads into the bank to deposit cheques that arrived yesterday and sort out an account issue. While talking to a lovely teller girl, the phone rings…it’s hubby. 

Apparently, the rego issue that was discussed the week earlier (that hubby was going to sort) is not, in fact, sorted, and it must be sorted, pronto.

9:30am: sorting the shit hubby was “gonna do” weeks ago

Wifey proceeds to spend no less than two hours sorting motor vehicle registrations, booking in mechanic checks, and sourcing the best pricing for insurances.

A tradie wife taking one of many calls from her tradie husband throughout the day for business and bookkeeping advice.

10:00am: phone call #2 from hubby

Wifey takes a phone call from hubby. Hubby just wanted to check in and say hi and that he loves her…and that the devon was the wrong one, and that the sausage rolls at the tuck shop were cold, and that the other guys on the site today are being total arses. 

Tradie’s wife listens, listens, sympathises, listens… tactfully ends the call…then continues on with her motor vehicle registration crisis.

We love a good devon sandwich at Save My Books.

11:30am: time to crack into ‘actual work’

It’s time to get the bookwork done. 

First things first, cash flow requires customer payments. Check the bank and thank the gods that the big payment wifey’s been praying for has cleared in the account overnight.

In tradie’s wife’s best Simpsons voice, she loudly proclaims “kids, we’re eating tonight”. She says this to herself of course, because no one ever actually listens to her. 

Wifey then calls, emails, begs, and pleads with customers who still owe money. She vows never to work with these customers again.

Tradie wife getting on with work after a long morning with getting the kids off to school.

12:25pm: phone call #3 from hubby

Hubby calls, he needs a quote and he needs it NOW. Not in five minutes, or he may lose the job. And in small business, you can’t afford to lose a job; one job can be the difference between making payroll every week. 

Wifey scrambles to get the scattered pieces of information for the quote off hubby. To make her life easier, he’s conveniently scribbled the details she needs onto the back of a piece of plasterboard he’s found onsite and sent her a sketchy photo. 

Quote emailed, phew.

Wifey taking another call from tradie regarding outstanding invoices and worried about cashflow.

12:30pm: where is all the effin’ paperwork?

It’s time to tackle the expenses. Except… wait a minute… where are all the receipts? 

Oh yes, that’s right, hubby doesn’t use the simple electronic apps you can use these days to snap a photo of your receipts. Oh no, he has a much better, more efficient, more cost-effective system for managing paperwork. 

Enter the ‘store it in every crevice of your ute, wallet, or toolbox’ system. 

This system will make tradie’s wife really work for her money because as she’s hunting through the health hazard hubby calls a work ute, she can also clean out the empty Coke bottles, Travellers pie wrappers, and those squeezy tomato sauce packets that accumulate over time(leaking, of course).

Tradie wife wrestling receipts before introducing Save My Books to maintain tradie bookkeeping.

12:45 pm: so much for that lovely bank balance.

Wifey reconciles all the supplier invoices to the statements to make sure nothing has snuck its way in that shouldn’t be. She calls suppliers for missing invoices and processes payments for the reconciled statements.

12:50 pm: phone call #4 from hubby

Hubby calls… turns out one of the apprentices didn’t submit the paperwork he needed to turn in last week. Wifey needs to sort that ASAP.

1:00 pm: the day is never complete without a phone call from the office ladies

School calls, Max is ‘sick’ and he needs to be picked up immediately. 

Wifey drops everything, runs to the school in a panic to help little Maxy. She arrives to a little boy who is lying down, ‘dying’ of tummy cramps. She loads Max into the car, only to have him ask for a Happy Meal and announce that he’s so happy he just got out of doing the dancing class at school. And breathe, wifey.

Taking time out of her day from tradie bookkeeping to take care of her sick child.... who wasnt so sick after all!

 1:30pm: WTF, where are the timesheets?


It’s time for payroll. 

Enter new staff into the system, chase tax file declarations and superannuation forms, and ring Fair Work for any changes that may have happened in the award. Wifey looks for timesheets. Timesheets are still done manually and are currently still in the staff cars, toolboxes, and on dining room tables. 

She spends half an hour texting staff to piece together times and process payroll. 

She makes a note to tackle the Workers’ Compensation Actual Wages declaration tomorrow, as she’s run out of time today.

Taking time out of her day from tradie bookkeeping to take care of her sick child.... who wasnt so sick after all!

2:15pm: fast food, with a difference

Wifey packs up her desk, turns off the computer, and finishes the cold coffee she made at 11:30. No time for lunch. She’ll eat a muesli bar in the car, because she needs to quickly duck into the uniform shop on the way to school and grab the new Hi-Vis shirts that she ordered last week for the boys.

 2:35pm: when apprentices and tools don’t play nice together

Wifey arrives at the uniform shop. There was a problem with the shipment of shirts. She can collect half of the order today, but she’ll need to come back next week to grab the other half. While she’s there, she orders new signage that was half ripped off last week when the apprentice misjudged the distance between his arms and the ute tray and threw the tools into the truck.

2:55pm: phone call #5 from hubby

Hubby calls. “hey hun, where are you?” 

Wifey: “at school pickup, why?” 

Hubby: “oh.” 

Wifey: “why?” 

Hubby: “oh nothing, just thought you might still be in the office” 

Wifey: “ummm no, I pick the kids up at the same time every day. For the last time, why are you calling me?” 

Hubby: “I forgot to ask you to run an invoice, and it’s the end of the month, so it needs to be in today. Maybe you can just swing back past the office and quickly bang it out for me?”

Wifey: in her best passive-aggressive, I-have-nothing-better-to-do voice, “Sure thing!”

Ditch phone call dread and engage Save My Books to take care of your tradie bookkeeping.

3:00 pm: Chaos with a capital C!

Kids leave the school gate, waving a tonne of things into wifey’s face, doing their best to scream over each other, and requesting afternoon tea because they’re starving again.

Tradie's wife doing allll the things including school pick up

3:15pm: when ‘banging’ becomes a part of your job description

Tradie’s wife makes a detour past the office, turns the computer back on, ‘bangs’ out the invoice, emails it, and signs off for the second time.

3:30 pm: Google… the almighty God of homework completion

Wifey rushes kids home, swaps washing, serves afternoon tea, argues about homework, Googles questions she swears she didn’t have to know when she was at school, and gets sports uniforms ready. 

Hubby arrives home, tired and hungry after a long day at work. Hubby makes a remark about the house being messy, questions what wifey has been up to all day, and mumbles something about wifey spending her day drinking lattes with friends. Wifey shoots hubby a look that warns him, in no uncertain terms, to never speak those words in her presence again. 

Hubby gets the message loud and clear.

Tradie wife managing the chaos of kids homework and small business bookkeeping

4:00 pm: monkey’s ass

Hubby sits on the lounge to rest for ten minutes MAX, kicks off his boots (into the middle of the lounge room), flicks on the telly, quickly scrolls through Facebook and Snapchat, and succumbs to his tiring day with a nap. 

This is around where the monkey’s ass scent, courtesy of his boots, starts to waft through the house.

4:30 pm: rain, hail, or shine, wifey shows up for her kids

Wifey loads the kids into the car and takes them on adventures around soccer fields, dance halls, and the Little A’s track. Rain, hail, or shine, she hides complete exhaustion and cheers her kids on like they’re the only ones on the field. 

If she was absolutely ‘mumming it’ that morning, she will pile the tired, grumpy kids into the car knowing there is  dinner bubbling away in the slow cooker from the morning. If she is super lucky, hubby will have woken from his slumber and cooked dinner while they were gone. 

Otherwise, if she is like any perfectly sane mum, she will get KFC on the way home.

6:00 pm: will this day ever end?

Wifey drags muddy, uncooperative kids from the car and begins the nightly routine: showers, dinner, books, teeth, bed. This is the most exhausting part of the entire day.

Exhausted tradie wife drags home muddy, cranky kids before starting a night working on tradie bookkeeping.

8:00 pm: the commentator

Hubby sets himself up with a comfy cushion on the lounge to watch the new home renovation show on TV while wifey stacks the dishwasher. Hubby continually calls wifey over to point out the flaws in the work on the show. 

“Hah, would you get a load of this hun, they honestly think that will be standing in six months?” 

“Yeah right, as if you would have that finished in four hours…more like four weeks!”

“Hun, hey hun, come here, you watching this? This knob thinks he’s a builder. I wouldn’t even hire him to put the kids’ cubby up, let alone touch my house.” 

Wifey acknowledges, smiles, and continues on her merry way, cleaning up the tornado destruction–aka her house.

8:30 pm: he’s just resting his eyes… while snoring

Wifey sits on the lounge for the first time that day, coffee in one hand, a basket of clothes to fold in the other. Now to work out how to pry the remote control out of the snoring hubby’s hands. It’s a near-impossible feat. 

Wifey: “don’t sleep on the lounge, go to bed.” 

Hubby: “I’m not sleeping!” 

Wifey: “clearly you ARE sleeping because you’re snoring, so go to bed.” 

Hubby: “no, I’m watching this!” 

Wifey folds clothes, staring vacantly at the home renovation show on the telly, drinking her coffee, with the acoustics of a snoring husband beside her. The irony of this situation is that she is watching a renovation show, while mentally creating a list of renos that she would one day like to do to her house…but renos don’t happen in her house, because her tradie hubby struggles to find the time.

 

Exhausted tradie falls asleep on the lounge while his more exhausted tradie wifey takes on his social media and bookkeeping.

9:00 pm: poor neglected snow ball

Shit, the animals… in all the chaos today, no one has fed poor Snowball. He must be beside himself. 

While running out to feed the pooch, wifey picks up all the wet towels hanging over the backs of dining seats, along with the line of clothes strewn down the hallway, while reassuring the kids there aren’t any monsters under their beds. Sleep is a necessary part of life, and mum really needs a break, so it would be super awesome if they could stop asking for drinks and complaining about itchy bites. Just. Go. To. Sleep!

Poor neglected Snowball before Save My Books saved exhausted tradie wife mental load and time on tradie bookkeeping.

9:30 pm:  *poof*… just like that

It’s time to hustle on some marketing for the business. Wifey pops on a podcast in an effort to learn about Zuckerberg’s new algorithm changes, all while scheduling social media posts, sending emails to leads, and making some changes to the website. 

In her exhaustion, wifey hits a magical key on her keyboard that deletes a whole page off her website. She has a mini meltdown and decides this is something she will have to work through when loaded up with caffeine, so it will have to wait.

Like, share, follow and contact Save My Books tradie bookkeeping to get your cashflow sorted.

11:30 pm: all outta fucks

Wifey showers and heads to bed, absolutely knackered, and with no fucks left to give. With the flick of the light switch, she sneaks into bed, and hubby, who was in a deep sleep, is now conveniently awake for ‘adult time’. 

Tradie’s wife stays awake for a couple of hours, mulling, organising, planning, and squeezing everything into the next day. She gets up and writes it all out on a list, in the hope that by writing it out she will be able to sleep. After another hour of mentally planning the bills for the week, the grocery run tomorrow, and the kids’ savings plans, she drifts off to sleep. 

As soon as she closes her eyes, it’s 4:30am again, and hubby’s alarm is ringing.

Exhausted tradie wife hits the hay after a long day wrangling kids, herding cats, paying accounts and doing tradie 's bookkeeping.

Groundhog Day

the clincher

If this sounds like you, and you’re loving it… hats off to you girlfriend, keep doing what you’re doing. 

But… if it sounds like you, and you want to stop reliving Groundhog Day, I’ve got your back.

I can’t help you with the housework or kids – ’cause God knows my seven kids and tremendously messy house are enough to put me into a straight jacket – but I can help you with your bookwork. 

Think about it for a quick second… how good would it be to save a few hours out of your day? 

Next time hubby makes a remark about lattes with girlfriends, you can smugly smile at him while flashing the pedicure you also managed to squeeze in. Just joking, I know you’d much rather spend that spare time catching up on ironing, right?! 

Either way, if you like my style, and you think that having a financial sidekick (with a personality to boot and qualifications to match) could be the ticket to ditching some of the stress and having a semi-normal relationship that doesn’t involve you being a slave to your tradie husband’s business, lets chat. 

You can book a free Small Business Strategy Session in my calendar here.

If you’d prefer to do a little more stalkin’ before committing any of your (already stretched) time…check out our done-for-you (aka time-back-in-you-day) bookkeeping services here.

Also, if you’re ready to have a laugh at the flip side of the coin, check out Part 2 of my blog: A Day In The Life Of A Tradie. 

 

Cheers 

Stacey

More From This Series

A Day in the Life of a Tradie

Tradie husband and wife struggling to navigate business, family & life.

“Help…my husband’s business is ruining our marriage” 

Picture of Stacey, Registered BAS Agent and bookkeeper, who provides bookkeeping services to small businesses all over Australia

Stacey Fulton

Boss Lady / BAS Agent

Hey, I’m Stacey, I’m a fan of karate and big beefy muscle cars. But my major, stay-awake-till-3am obsession… is other awesome small biz owners. We ‘get’ each other. I mean, let’s face it. This gig; running a business… it’s empowering and exhilarating. But man, it’s also painful and lonely at times. A kind of pain that our non-small business friends don’t always ‘get’.

In a previous life, I was a corporate gal. Clad in my business suit and sporting a mouthful of technical jargon, I was set to climb the proverbial ladder of the accounting world. And I didn’t do too bad. Then I had kids. Lots of them. Turns out, the corporate world wasn’t a fan of big families and I wasn’t a fan of the corporate world. So I packed up my mundane little cubicle and fell face first Fat Amy style into the world of small business. Save My Books was born.

Don’t go it alone, it’s no fun. And business should be fun. Grab a few squares of chocolate *who am I kidding, grab the block*, and peruse some of the content I’ve put together for you. Or, if you’re time poor like me, save the reading, let’s chat for real over Zoom.

Until then.

Stacey

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November 24, 2022

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A Bit About Stacey
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Stacey Fulton, numbers nerd and tradie bookkeeping specialist, sitting on white steps

Hi, I’m Stacey Fulton, Chief Bean-Counter and BAS Agent at Save My Books. Together with my small (but mighty) team, we help small businesses understand their finances, so they can build sustainable thriving businesses – minus the overwhelm.

Our main goal? To be real people, that have real conversations (minus the jargon), leading to real results. See, our team are all business owners ourselves, so we understand the pressure that small businesses can put on families because we experience it ourselves. Every. Single. Day.

We want more for you. We want you to spend your Sundays enjoying life, not catching up on bloody bookwork and financial tasks. We want to help.

Reach out now.

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