Come join me in my quest to live a happier more frugal way of life, while enjoying the more traditional family values.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

First to 2011 / My Goals

Spurred on by how organized everyone seems to be about their 2011 Goals I am adding mine. My Goals are financial only, if I can get a handle on them then a lot of my other issues will seem less important and all consuming, leaving me to perhaps implement some personal goals later in the year, this is baby steps year coming up for me.

  1. Pay off Debt 1 by August 5th, I would love to pay this off quicker at least before the end of June.
  2. Pay down Debt 2 by at least $2000 making a sizeable deduction to this my last remaining debt.
  3. Emergency Fund adding $40 per week into this fund to bring it up to over $1,000
  4. Holiday Fund adding $40 per week into this fund, this will be ongoing as I want a couple of holidays booked in 2011
  5. Retirement Savings as well as the extra money which I put into Superannuation, I want to save an extra $50 a week, this money will not be touched for any reason.
  6. Household budget $300 per week will be kept in my main account for food, electricity,phone, mobile, petrol, and insurances.
  7. I will have a Misc. Fund of $50 per week to cover anything extra that pops up
  8. This is an entertainment fund of $50 per week, if not used I will roll it over into debt
Any overtime, tax returns, sales from ebay leftovers from entertainment and misc. will be counted as snowflakes and every 3 months will be rolled over into debt.

So what do you think ?? A pipedream or a reality ???

Today sees me pay off the last of last years bills and I will be starting first pay check of January implementing my budget and goals.

It is 2.00pm on New Years Eve so it wont be long now until we start to celebrate 2011 and the end of 2010. This last year will always be remembered by my family as the year of
" The Wedding "
And yes indeed for us all it was a time of celebration, of seeing my family all come together from all ends of this vast land to help make this the joyous occasion that it was.
But for me one of the most important decisions I made was to start my blog up again, I had decided to close it down as I had not been blogging for a good 8 months. But I could not for the life of me work out how to shut it down. So instead of closing it I reread my old posts and some of my blogging friends posts, and decided to give it another go. So from the bottom of my heart I want to shout out.

Honestly I couldent do this without you behind me, so to everyone who has commented on my posts or just popped by quickly I want to wish you all


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Freezer Hints, Recipes and Techniques

One of the places I believe that I could save money on is food, I think our household averages around $150 a week for Groceries. That is for 3 adults and 1 cat. So I will be starting the year off with an empty upright Freezer similar to the one above.
So friends I would love to have some of your filling a freezer hints and recipes, how do you cope with leftovers, how do you best store things and in what kind of containers, how long do you keep them in there.
I was given this Freezer and at first I thought it was a white Elephant as it kept tripping the circuit and defrosting anything I had inside, so I stopped using it. While having a huge Garage clearout a couple of weeks ago we moved it to a different power point and low and behold a working freezer. So now I want to use it to it,s full potential, and hopefully save some money.
So please help me get the best use out of what has been up to now a large empty white box.

Today was almost a no spend day, until I decided to apply for my credit report, so I have sent off all my details and $36.95 to an Agency which will post me out a report. My credit rating has been in tatters for a few years now, and although I cheerfully boast about not having a CC the simple truth is that I have been declined by my bank and I want to know who has black marked me. I,m hoping it is one of the two Debts I am paying off, but if it should be someone else then I will have to make arrangements to also start making payments. I don,t want credit at all but I don,t like the idea of this hanging over my head either.
Clean slate for the New Year, no more Ostrich tactics for me.

Only 11 hours until I return to work after the Christmas break, but it,s a short week and then another 3 day break, love all these days off.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Returning to normal, and counting up the costs

At last Santa gets to have a well earned rest and things in our house return to normal. I started to count up the costs of Christmas over the last three weeks, and it came to a terrifying $800.00 well actually it came to $796.93 but I rounded it up. This total included all gifts, all food, all booze, and stamps. Normally I spend on average $200 for each of my Grandchildren, so progress and cutbacks have been made, and when I start budgeting for Christmas 2011, I will have an idea of how much I will have to put aside to cover the expenses.
My budget is completed and will be posted before New Years Eve, but till then here is last weeks spends in all their glory.

Spends from 19th Dec.- 25th Dec. 2010

2010-12-19 Petrol $25.00
2010-12-21 Petrol $30.00
2010-12-24 Entertainment $100.00
2010-12-24 Gifts $206.87
2010-12-24 Lion Finance $25.00
2010-12-23 Night Out $40.00
2010-12-24 Alcohol $34.00
2010-12-24 Coffees and Cakes $14.00
2010-12-19 Aldi $68.65
2010-12-24 Woolworths $70.56
2010-12-24 Telephone Bill $100.00
2010-12-20 Spend Less Day $0.00
2010-12-22 Spend Less Day $0.00
2010-12-25 Spend Less Day $0.00
TOTAL $714.08

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Boxing Day Sales No Way

Do Retailers think we are totally brainless ???? I went into Target about 1 hour before closing on Christmas Eve and they were already set up for this mornings Sales. A lot of clothing was still under huge white cotton covers, but the majority of Sale items had a notice on them warning customers that the ticketed price would not be available until 26th December. So am I really going to buy that item on Christmas Eve when I could buy it on Boxing Day 40/50% cheaper, I would need to have a screw loose. I had gone back into Target because I had left a parcel behind after my earlier visit. Now I wish I had,nt gone as I,m sitting fretting about Target doing me out of my hard earned cash on Christmas Eve. So just in case I am right I will not be doing any Sale shopping. There is nothing I want and nothing I need, so I,m giving Sales a body swerve. I normaly give them a miss because I have spent all my money now I,m giving them a miss because I can !!!!!!!

We had a great day yesterday, stuffing ourselves with Prawns and a Kilpatrick Oyster Entree, followed by a traditional Christmas Main course and after we had Trifle and Meringue nests with cream and fresh berries. Too much Champagne and some Kahlua. And it looks as if todays meal will be more of the same, but without the Alcohol.

Chilling out today big time as I am wiped out after my extremely busy week at work, so today my feet will be up and I,ll veg in front of the TV and probably watch a load of old sloppy movies.

On the financial front this will be a no spend day as was yesterday. And the good news is I have had my Carers Allowance Application accepted, and my first payment went into the Bank on Christmas Eve, so this should be a fortnightly payment of $112. I did up my budget without this extra payment so I am not sure if I should redo my budget or keep it the way it is and put all of the extra money into debt. I,ll have a bit of a think about that while I,m sitting with my feet up.

I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas, I hope Santa was good to you, and I hope for Health Wealth and Happiness for you all.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

It,s 4.30pm Christmas Eve

I have just returned from our local shopping center and at last I can say that my shopping is over, at least for another year. I am exhausted but very happy with my spending and an unheard of thing I still have cash in my wallet and money in my bank account. So mission accomplished.

I know some of you are doing it tough weatherwise, so keep yourselves warm and dry or cool and damp depending on which hemisphere your in. I will be back on Boxing Day to fess up to what I spent today ( although by my example it,s a lot less than usual )

My 2 bottles of Champagne are chilling, my prawns are refridgerated and my Turkey is waiting to be stuffed. But till then Hubby is taking us out to Dinner for Christmas Eve.

So this happy blogger wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas xxxx


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Follow Up To Yesterdays Rant

After rereading my last blog post and your follow up comments, I decided I had overreacted. That is until after work today when I came home to find my PIN number had arrived. But had been damaged in the mail and was completely illegible, and so now I am waiting for another one to be sent out, which could take another week. I also received a $400 Electricity account and a $230 Telephone account. I must say Santa you have a very strange sense of humour.

On the plus side my Son phoned and he is getting excited about our Christmas Dinner, so I obviously got that one wrong. Maybe a good nights sleep tonight will fix everything.

All I Wanted Was Some Bleeding Petrol

Well it,s getting nearer and nearer to Christmas Day and I am still not feeling that seasonal rush I normally get. My Son phoned last night, and was a bit hedgy about what we should do for Christmas Dinner as there are only going to be his family and ours. I got the feeling that Lunch at our place which is the current plan, was not going to be interesting enough for my Granddaughter as her Cousins are not going to be there, and she will have nobody to play with. But if we went to my son,s house she would have neighbourhood kids to keep her occupied. I can see where they are coming from, but I can,t help but feel slighted, and don,t know if I am happy about changing all my arrangements mid-stream. If I dont watch what I,m doing here I could have a very lonely Christmas.
Part of the reason for me feeling this way is work, we are just so busy that we will be lucky to get out the place alive any time before midnight Christmas Eve. Add to that the fact that I have extremely sore knees just now, I have a little Osteoarthritis and think it may have gone into my knee joints, and the pain is really bad and nothing seems to be working, so I,m getting little relieve and almost no sleep.

My Aussie picture needs no explanation, it is pretty stereo typically Aussie. There is a Christmas song out just now about the Kangaroos who pull Santas sledge, but for me I prefer The Reindeer.
The Scottish picture reminds me of the nights when Mum and Dad would take us into Glasgow to see the lights, in those days in Scotland nobody decorated the outsides of their houses, and so we relied on our Capitol cities to put on a light show. And what an occasion to get all rugged up and taken into Town, if we were well behaved we would get taken into a tearoom and get to pick a special cake, from the tiered cake plate.
I wish life was so simple again.

What a B****y carry on to get petrol into my car last night.
Firstly I checked my bank account online to make sure I had the necessary funds to put petrol into my car. My new ATM card had arrived in the mail on Monday, and after transffering my money out of this account so I could use my Visa Debit card over the weekend, I transferred $30 back into it again for fuel. So of course the inevitable happened and my card had not been activated and I couldent pay for the fuel, I was mortified, filled out a whole lot of paperwork just so I could drive away from the pumps and went on to plan B.
Plan B meant driving home and back onto Internet banking and double checking that the account attached to my Visa debit card had the necessary funds in it to cover my fuel, then driving back to the Garage and attempting to pay yet again. This time they wanted a PIN number with my debit card. I have never had a PIN number and had been told by my bank that a signature would be sufficient, but the Lady behind the counter went on at great length to tell me that the bank had mislead me, and we went on to plan C.
Plan C was cash, now in this modern day and age with cards coming out of every orifice, who would have thought that cash would be the obvious way to go, and as cash was the one thing I couldent get out of my bank with my ATM or VISA card I had to borrow it from my MIL, so now I am in debt to the tune of $30 which I cant pay back until my PIN number arrives.
Is your head spinning because mine certainly is. ????


Monday, December 20, 2010

Insomnia Over Money Plans

Yesterday I managed to trace a long lost Cousin through Facebook, he is now almost Seventy years old and quite unrecognizable to me. The last time I saw him was in 1972, when he came over from Ireland to Scotland to spend some time with this not long married Cousin. At the time he was Tutoring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton,s children while they were making a movie in the UK, I still have an autographed photo of them which says " To Maureen from Richard and Liz " it,s one of my most treasured possessions. He is a published Author and as far as I know he is unmarried.
It is really hard to feel close to someone I barely know, he is my Mother,s Sister,s Son, still it will be interesting to learn a little more of my family from America. My Mother was born in the States to Scottish parents, we are a far traveled family, itchy feet I think !!!

My Australian Christmas theme is of course the beach, lots of Aussie families spend Christmas Day on the beach, for a picnic lunch and a good game of cricket, followed by a sleep and a swim once Dinner goes down.
My little Scottish decoration reminded me of one my Mum and Dads tree had on it, it seemed there was a story behind every ornament on the tree, as they were collected with love over their married life, many of them are still going strong, as are my parents after 65 years of marriage. Happy memories.

I hardly slept a wink last night, my head was full of ideas and plans for my finances in 2011. I feel as if I have been writing about saving for months and in fact have managed to save absolutely nothing. But then I thought, we have just had a Wedding funded by cash and now it,s Christmas funded in the same way. We have no overdue bills and plans are in place for making sure 2011 is a saving and debt repayment year. So why the sleepless night ??? Excitement I guess, I just can,t wait to get on with it.

Many of you girls asked about my Weekly spending tracker, and I added a footnote to my comments. However for those of you that missed it. I track my daily spends in it is a very basic straightforward easy to understand website. And at the end of the week, which runs from a Sunday to Saturday , you click on reports and then onto this week or last week depending on which day you are blogging. then you just cut and paste your information straight onto your blog. I put my own heading in and miss out the pie chart. But it gives me a nice clear understanding of exactly where my money is going, as you can name your own categories, go in and have a look there are a couple of us using it now and it really makes tracking easy.

On a personal level a very dear friend of mine has just discovered this week that her 18 year old Daughter has a very aggressive form of Leukemia, they found out on Wednesday and by Friday they had started her chemo, they are hoping to have caught it early enough to give her a really good chance of survival. However they never had enough time to harvest her eggs, and as a result even if she makes it through she will never be able to conceive, what a sentence to give a young girl. So could you please include her and her parents in your prayers this Christmas


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weekly Spending Report / Working on Next Years Budget

The top picture is a typical Australian holiday picture, and the one below is typically Scottish, I feel really torn at this time of the year between a cold and a hot Christmas. Both have distinct advantages, and disadvantages. And for this week I will be celebrating the differences in photographs.

I have finally managed to get my budget down on paper, the savings and debt repayments are going to be a little lower than I would have liked, but my money in jars and wallet is higher, hopefully making me feel as if I am making great strides while budgeting. I also updated my sidebars, and very little progress has been made to pay off my debts, as I am only paying a minimum amount. So I have upped the anti on those repayments. and will post my new updated budget on 1st January 2011

Weekly spends From 12th to 18th December


2010-12-12 Petrol $10.00
2010-12-15 Petrol $10.00
2010-12-18 Toll Charges $24.24

2010-12-12 Gifts $20.70
2010-12-18 Gifts $233.00

2010-12-18 Transpacific $50.00

2010-12-12 Coffees and Cakes $11.00
2010-12-18 Coffees and Cakes $3.50

2010-12-17 Wine $28.00

2010-12-12 Coles $6.10
2010-12-18 Woolworths $30.00

2010-12-18 Nails filled $30.00

2010-12-12 Crazy Clarkes $11.98
2010-12-18 Phone/Internet/Cable $132.02

2010-12-18 Photo Developing $23.58

2010-12-13 Spend Less Day $0.00
2010-12-14 Spend Less Day $0.00
2010-12-16 Spend Less Day $0.00

2010-12-18 Lost Card Charges $12.00


My Guilty Conscience at my Uber Expensive Saturday

I have just had the most expensive day, for months, as I have had very limited funds and my spending has been kept to a minimal. So this is the big push to pay everything off to give me a clean slate for January 2011. I will post a proper breakdown at the end of the week but till then here is a bit of a breakdown.
  • $50.00 towards my debt this is paid fortnightly.
  • $132.02 part 1 of a 2 part payment for Phone/Internet/Cable
  • $23.58 Needed a few prints to send to parents from The Wedding
  • $12.00 Bank fee to replace lost ATM card
  • $24.24 This was a fine as I went through a toll point without a current toll token on my car.
  • $233.00 Christmas 2010 gifts, cards, stamps, wrapping paper, gift tags.
  • $30.00 Spent getting my french nails filled my only personal expense and so worth it.
  • $30.00 Groceries but I,m not through yet, more to come tomorrow.
  • $3.50 a Latte to take into the nail shop, while I waited in a loooong queue.

$538.34 My biggest blowout in ages, and it was all budgeted for and accounted for. I went with a list and an amount for each category and I stuck to it. So feeling pretty chuffed. So why the guilty conscience ???

My Daughter and her family came over today and we exchanged gifts and had an early Christmas Meal, it will be 2011 before we catch up again, and I,m going to miss having them with us for Christmas.
I have mentioned on many occasions that it would be Grandchildren only for gifts this year, however one of the lads I work with his Wife, has just given up her online shop, and she was selling off her stock at $10 per item, so I bought a handbag for MIL a handbag for DIL a broad brown leather belt for DD and 2 bags for little old me. $50 is all this little treasure trove cost me, and I have costed it into today,s Christmas Gift money. I gave my SonIL a nice bottle of red I had been keeping for just such an occasion, and I have between now and Christmas Eve to think of something for my Son. I am so pleased that I was able to manage to give them all a gift. And it was all because of a lucky break and some overtime.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Lightening Strikes Stopped Blogging

I was going to write a long chatty post last night but instead I had to turn off the PC, In fact I turned off all the power switches and had an early night, as we experienced the most horrendous thunder and Lightning storms, one of the worst we have had and we also had Hailstones. Yes this is Australia and yes we are in summer, but what the !!!!!!!
I have stopped worrying about the change in weather patterns as it is no longer a worry ( the wedding is over ) still this is not what we are used to and it seems there is more rain on the way. By the way the lightning photo is of my City, and I think she looks beautiful no matter the weather.
I am having a few financial problems since I lost my ATM card, I am now left with a Visa Debit card linked to my account which I can use, but not to make any cash withdrawals, because I can,t remember my pin number. So I had to go to the bank in my lunch break today in order to have enough cash for all my cash payments. I stopped short at telling the counter Assistant about my jars and seperate accounts, I have the feeling she just wouldent get it LOL

Tomorrow is going to be a big spend day for me as I have to finish all my christmas shopping, and do a big Grocery shop for my family as we are having an early Christmas Dinner at my house before they head off on holiday.

Today was almost a no spend day but I had to buy bottles of wine as gifts for a couple of workmates who were good enough to lend me their expertise when I needed some things for my Daughters Wedding. So spends today were $28.00

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Working and Babysitting

After working a 10 hour shift today, I came acros to my Daughters house for Dinner and to start my next job. That of Babysitter to the 8 and 4 year olds, these two are now at the stage where they don,t need me to keep them entertained, so while they sit at one end of the table drawing, I am at the other writing my blog.

Not that I have a great deal to blog about, as I am still struggling with my budget for next year. I have made it so tight, that if I sneeze I won,t be able to afford a box of tissues. And that is definitely not going to work. I don,t want to make things so tight that I fall at the first hurdle, and yet as a low paid worker who wants to see savings and debt repayment as priorities in 2011 there are some things I,m going to have to do without. So it,s back to the drawing board, maybe I,ll put my priorities into a hat and see which I pull out first !!!!

A no spend day today and another two hours of overtime worked. My Boss told me that overtime was available all week if we wanted it, don,t know if I,ll work back every day but it,s nice to have the option.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Working Hard But Benefiting Financially

I worked back tonight, after making sure Hubby would be home with MIL, I took the opportunity to earn a little extra cash, so this weeks total of extra hours worked is 6 and at time and a half that,s 9 extra hours pay. If I get the chance I,ll do another couple tomorrow and that will give me the total of an extra $201.36 before Tax, this will be paid to me on Friday and it will mean that all presents will be bought and all bills will be cleared. We are really busy at the moment and it may be necessary to work even more hours in the lead up to Christmas, by the time the holidays get here I will certainly need the break.

This is the online website I use to earn a little extra dollars by reading emails, doing surveys as well as going through them to shop. I used most of my points up a couple of months ago to buy a Gold Membership, I figured it was their money anyway so why not. Since becoming a gold member my points are accumulating even quicker and this morning I received a $30 cheque from points Ive accrued lately. So I,m proudly heading for the bank tomorrow to deposit a free $30.

I had a no spend day today plus I earned so today was a real bonus.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

There are Umbrellas and then there are Umbrellas

It is still raining would you believe it !!!! I have had the most rotten day today. I decided not to give into my Hubby,s bad behaviour and he has,nt spoken to me since. I had to phone him from the Pharmacy to let him know that his prescription was,nt available to him as it had finished. And he did,nt answer the phone, so I took the initiative to get the script with the instructions that he had to go to his doctors some time during the week and I blasted him for being too lazy to answer the phone. He retaliated and before we knew it war had broken out. I could probably have handled it better, but so could he, so it,s stalemate.

Today I started on next years budget and it,s tight, I,m not ready to post it yet as it probably needs a bit of tweaking, but I would love to stick with this one as I will make an amazing amount of financial progress if I could just stick to it. The only thing is that in order to slice up my wages the way I would like to I would have to have 4 bank accounts, some jars and a wallet.

  1. Bank Account 1) To put my wages into and pay off weekly amounts as well as leaving standing orders in.
  2. Bank Account 2) Emergency Fund
  3. Bank Account 3) Holiday Savings
  4. Bank Account 4) Life Savings.
  5. Jar 1) Food Money
  6. Jar 2) Petrol Money
  7. Wallet ) For anything that,s left.

Maybe one or two of these could go under the same Umbrella what do you think ????

Spent $50 today, $10 on petrol, $20 on clothes for Grandson,s Christmas present, $6 for 2 coffees and $14 for my prescription at the Pharmacy,s, this was all budgeted for even the coffee,s

Friday, December 10, 2010

End of my Financial Week / Garage Sale Finds

Today is the last day of my Financial week and at 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon I now know that I won,t be spending any more money. The Christmas Party that we had arranged with the girls I work beside has been rained off, not just rained off but poured off. It is now a matter of some urgency to get the Ark finished.

Total spend for 05 Dec 2010 - 11 Dec 2010: $510.00


2010-12-10 Gifts $132.00

2010-12-10 Millars Clothing

2010-12-10 Coffees $12.00

2010-12-10 Lion Finance $25.00

2010-12-07 Christmas Night Out

2010-12-10 Christmas Lunch Out

2010-12-11 Bird Feeder Jugs and Lights $8.00

2010-12-10 Aldi $162.00
2010-12-11 Morning Rolls $6.00

2010-12-10 3 mobile $56.00

2010-12-05 Spend Less Day $0.00
2010-12-06 Spend Less Day $0.00
2010-12-08 Spend Less Day $0.00
2010-12-09 Spend Less Day $0.00

As you can see I have had 4 no spend days this week, so I,m happy about that. What I am not so happy about is that I bought a new piece of clothing, a really light cotton top, which I really wanted and needed in a nice shade of denim blue, still it was marked down very heavily from $39.99 to $13.00.

You might notice that I bought at a Garage Sale, that happened this morning my Kids and Grandkids had come over to have a family breakfast with us and had noticed a Garage Sale just around the corner from our house. So off we all trotted and we were so glad we did, the Bird Feeder I bought was $1 I looked it up online and it retailed for $50 and it was still boxed. I bought heavy duty lights for outside in our patio area for $4 and because he had a set without a plug on he threw them in as well, and last but not least 2 gorgeous little glass milk jugs for $1 each. They will be perfect on my Dinner table. I have added a photo of the exact Bird Feeder, now all I need are the Sunflower Seeds to attract our native birds. I can see me getting a lot of enjoyment out of it.

My Weekly Spends.......Christmas Gifts

Christmas shopping started in earnest today, and I have now got my youngest Grandaughter a talking teapot, plastic food items for playing shops. A pack of knickers, she is just starting her toilet training, two pairs of shorts 1 Aqua 1 pink and 2 tops to go with the shorts. I also bought a Secret Santa gift voucher to the value of $50 for one of the girls in work. I also bought the cutest largest size gift bag with Mickey Mouse in a Santa hat on it, to put my Grandaughter,s gifts into. I also made a start on my oldest Grandaughter,s gift but she is so hard to buy for.

An expensive pay day today here is the breakdown.

Christmas Party Food
Food Treats$56.00
Lion FinanceDebt$25.00
GiftsChristmas 2010$132.00
3 mobileMobile Phone$56.00
CoffeesCoffee With Rose$12.00
total today:$456.00

On the plus side I had 4 no spend days this week, and I still have money in the bank, all round a good week.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We Have Oprahitis Over Here

In case anyone in the free world is not aware of this Oprah has landed down under. In fact she is almost at my back door ( hope she doesent mind a bit of rain ) I have always been a bit of an Oprah fan I find her TV shows interesting and thought provoking.

But we do have other things happening here at the moment not that the media seem to be aware of this as 8 of the headline stories this morning were about Oprah. this was followed up at dinner time by yet another interview. Quite frankly I,m all Oprahed out, still it is all in the name of Tourism.

I have just been into my bank account to see if my wages were in ( sadly they were not ) and discovered that my financial institution has an online Budgeting Tool, sounds as if that might be something I,d be interested in, so I may have a prowl through it after it has taken around 72 hours to upload my last three months banking history.

I managed to work 2 hours overtime today, through the week is the best time for me to work any extra hours as Hubby is home with Mum, this will go into next weeks wage. Pay day tomorrow. will post my spends then.

Another no spend day today.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Aged Care Allowance Perhaps

Today I got all my paperwork in order and waited in the longest queue at our local Centrelink Office to lodge my application for a Carers allowance for my aged Mother-In-Law who lives with us. Over the last year she has been needing more and more of our time and attention, in order to do some of the most simple tasks. I have decided that as she is getting more dependent on us I will have to take back some of the household duties that she has been responsible for, and cut back on my working hours, so little or no overtime depending on if she is going to be left home alone. ( these were duties which she insisted on doing to pay her way, as we are both out working )

The Allowance is for only $56 a week but it is non taxable and so added to my normal wage it should cover some of the expenses of driving her around. It is always touch and go when you lodge a claim to see if you qualify, so fingers crossed for us, although it is going to be the beginning of next year before we hear if we have been successful.

Another no spend day for me the 4th this week, but really I could be doing with Grocery shopping, as butter, milk and chocolate biscuits are running low. Still it won,t be long now until payday.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Whinge Fest.............Sorry !!!!!

I spent no money again today, and with only another three days to go until payday and enough food in the house to last until then it looks as if I might make it through. Hubby gets paid tomorrow and he will be taking care of our rent, and outstanding phone bill, putting money onto his credit card, and doing God knows what with the rest. He is definitely the weak link in this financial chain, and the situation is getting really dire, as I don,t feel as if I can rely on him at all.

I heard someone make the statement that " If life kicks you make sure it kicks you forward " and I am going to take that on board I feel as if I play the victim. I write a post about how awful my finances/ workmates/ Hubby/situation is and everyone rallies round and tells me everything is going to be fine, stick with it, you can do it, and I walk away post accomplished. I have probably done it again with this post. I don,t come across as a strong Woman who is taking control of her life, and I have no idea where this needy person came from. Have I been kicked so often that I can,t get up, or are things not really as black as I think, after all I own a car and all my bills are paid, I have a job, and a roof over my head.

When I started to write this post I was only going to mention that I had another no spend day. And somehow that became this, a whinge fest. Got to get a positive thought out of all this.


Today we were told officially that we would not be having a works Christmas Party this year, so what,s positive about that I hear you ask. It means that I will have a free day to get myself and my home into the festive spirit. It means that the leg of ham we can expect from our work as a Chrissie present will find it,s way straight into my fridge instead of lying in work, going off, while we enjoy ourselves having lunch, free drinks, and a laugh........ What more could an employee ask for.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

At long last Some Wedding Photos/ Worth Waiting For

The Happy Couple I thought they were like something from Gone With The Wind
My Handsome Grandson acting as his Dad,s Best Man
My Beautiful if nervous Granddaughter, she was the only Bridesmaid

I went over to my Daughter,s last night to babysit and while I was there I stole these photos and emailed them to myself, so I would have them in a form I could use in blogger, I,m not sure if I like the sepia tones of the children,s photos, as the red and white of the little ones dress does,nt show up particularly well. But she has got such a lovely face I don,t think anyone noticed her dress.

One of these days I will post some pictures of The Marquee decorations I made.

Spends for today $20.00 for Groceries, I,m now well and truly skint !!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Weekly Spending Tracking

Today is payday and I had a few payments to make including the last of the two rent payments I made to help out hubby, so all up a pretty expensive day. Hubby is paid on Tuesday and he is going to be covering the phone bill which is usually paid by me, this means that my load has been lightened a little. You might notice that I have managed to make a payment of $150 into my debt, I had fallen a little behind during the Month but I am now back up to date again. Unfortunately I had forgotten that my drivers license was due to expire this week, and not having put anything aside to pay for emergencies etc. the payment had to come out of my Grocery money. Hopefully the food in my freezer and pantry, will last till next Friday,s pay.

Rent $365.00
Debt $150.00
Woolworths Groceries $19.00
Morning Tea $10.00
Drivers licence $52.45
Petrol $20.00
Entertainment $26.00
Total today: $642.45

I havent budgeted for December as I,m going to have to pay out almost every cent I earn in order to start fresh in January, however I will do a weekly account of where the money is getting spent.This is this weeks, and as you can see almost 50% of the money spent this week was on Rent.

2010-11-29 Petrol $10.00
2010-12-03 Drivers licence $52.45
2010-12-03 Petrol $20.00
2010-11-30 Red Cross Clothing $18.00
2010-12-03 Transpacific $150.00
2010-12-03 Morning Tea $10.00
2010-12-03 Pictures $26.00
2010-11-28 Fruit and Veg $10.00
2010-12-03 Woolworths $19.00
2010-11-28 Curtains $10.00
2010-12-03 Rent $365.00
2010-12-01 Nothing $0.00
2010-12-02 Spend Less Day $0.00
XMAS 2010
2010-11-30 Xmas Cards $33.80
TOTAL FOR XMAS 2010 $33.80
TOTAL $724.25
I copied these figures straight from which I am loving using.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A No Spend Day My First In December

My purse stayed well and truly closed today, even although I had a day off of work and a Doctor,s Appointment. However it won,t last as tomorrow is payday, the first one of the month, and after paying all I am due there will be very little left over. Will post all my outgoings tomorrow.

I made a start on writing my Christmas Cards today, I have 4 categories.

Overseas Mail
Local Mail.
Hand delivered mail
So far I have written out all the cards which are going overseas, and tomorrow I will buy the stamps and post them.

I have finished filling in the application form for the carers allowance for my MIL and will present it to our Centrelink Office tomorrow ( Social Security ) hopefully I have dotted the I,s and crossed the T,s but if not I would rather find out straight away instead of posting it in and then finding out I have missed something they needed.

Positive thoughts

I have been immensely cheered by the support I have been offered by my blogging friends, I thought after making such a mess of my finances during November that I would take some criticism. Instead everyone has been supportive and most think I will be back on track by the end of the year. And so to prove them right I will be back on track. Thanks xx

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Making A Start On Christmas

Today I bought some special cards, the kind for specific family members, they were a little more expensive than usual $23.80 to be exact but as they are all I,m giving this year I had no problem paying the extra amount.

Browsing around the shops at this time of year is ohhh so tempting which is why I only carried $50 in my purse, I was actually looking for ideas for presents for my Grandchildren, but I came up empty handed, so I,ll be asking my Daughter for some ideas. So in keeping with my policy of no new clothes this year I went into our seconds shop and paid $18 for 4 items, I got 3 tops and 1 pair of cutoffs for work. I am a lot heavier than I was this time last year and so I very badly needed these items it was definitely a need and not a want.

Lastly I bought $10 of petrol for my little old girl, she had an almost empty tank, I have been neglecting her recently. I had a free voucher for coffee and my MIL treated me to a cake, so all up $51.80 spent.

I have mentioned on a few occasions that I am currently using my Son,s laptop and as it,s Apple I don,t have access to spreadsheets and so I have been writing down my daily spending amounts in a journal, it has worked OK for me, but while googling some other options for tracking money I found and now I can enter everything online, it does a running daily, weekly, and monthly amount as well as a pie chart to show you exactly in which category you are spending the most. I only started today and will try it for the month of December before making up my mind if it,s for me, but as I am on line every day I think it will work.

Monday, November 29, 2010

PF Bloggers Christmas Cutbacks

It seems I am not alone in drastically cutting back my Christmas spending this year, most PF bloggers have decided to rein in the spending this year. And we seem to have mixed reasons for this. Aside from the fact that money does,nt grow on Christmas Trees.

No1) Christmas it too commercial.
No2) I could be putting the money to debt repayment.
No3) The country is in economic chaos, so we are holding on to our savings.
No4) I may lose my job next year, what,s round the corner for us.
No5) I,m flat broke ( my reason )
No6) All of the above.

What ever your reason for cutting back you may be up against some resistance from family and friends who perhaps have never seen this side of you, especially those of us who are just starting this journey. I decided to be brutally honest about who I was buying for how much I was willing to spend on my gifts and why some people will be doing without this year. If these are true friends and understanding loving family members, then they will understand, and we will have just as awesome a Christmas as we usually do.


I received my first Christmas Card today, from an ex-neighbour, when I lived in Scotland, she had told me in her card last year that her Son and his wife had been told they may never conceive, and how heartbroken they all were. So imagine my surprise and delight to open the card and inside was a picture of the baby who was never meant to be, or maybe I should say the baby who was always meant to be. Enjoy your First Christmas Grace xx

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blog Improvements and Updates.

Wow today is a hot sticky one, it came on unexpectedly and so I am now scrambling around for something to wear, baring in mind my no new clothes policy for this year. If I had stuck to my diet I would be able to squeeze myself into the clothes I bought for last years cruise, but it is what it is and so I am trying to cut back on calories a bit. ( a little bit LOL )

There are 5 paydays for me in December so things won,t be as dire as I forecasted, in fact the tougher the better, as I intend to win this Christmas fight ( do you hear that Santa ) Once I have made out a budget for the month I will post it and stick to it religiously.

I have changed my blog theme as the black definitely was,nt Summery enough and I have also updated my sidebars and added a ticker with a countdown to my retirement, unfortunately I hav,nt managed to work out how to change it, still this is trial and error.

Debt 1) My largest debt is only 7.36% paid off
Debt 2) Is 32.80% paid off
Retirement Fund is sitting at 40%
Savings 0.00% ( sadly )
Emergency Fund 0.00% ( scary )
Retirement Date unfortunately still a long way away.

I have just spoken to my Son about Christmas as he rang while I was typing this and he sounded disappointed in my no presents for the adults policy, however as he moves house in 2 weeks time he is going to thank me eventually, it,s self preservation this year.

I have applied for a Carers Allowance for my MIL who lives with us, it is only going to make a difference of around $25 a week to our income, but it will cover the costs of driving her to appointments ( Doctors, Pathologists Etc.) this extra money is not taxable income and will make no difference to my earnings, thank goodness. I have also applied to the UK for my Aged Pension I should qualify for a part pension, but this will be classed as income and be taxable. I,m hoping that this little bit of extra money will help me to bring those debts down.

A trip to the produce markets this morning has topped up my fruitbowl and vegetable rack, and going at the end of trading meant I got some great bargains. I also bought a gorgeous pair of curtains for my MIL,s bedroom for $10. Now to go and hang them.

Positive Thoughts

I love the vibe of going to the Markets to be served by someone who genuinely enjoys meeting you and serving you, is worth the hassle of carrying around bags of produce. We sat in a little sheltered area and listened to a Peruvian Group play some gorgeous music while having a stress free cup of excellent coffee and a slice of cake to die for. ( of course it was low in calories LOL ) They are having a night market just before Christmas with special bargains and entertainment, so I will be going in order to catch some Christmas spirit.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Really Scary Day but Hopefully the Last

Why is today so scary ?? It,s because I tried to work out and justify my spending during November, I know how much money came in but I have lost track of what the out money went on, but here goes

Incomings $2,530


Wedding money $1,000
Rent $365 ( paid today )
Debt $75 ( usual payments )
Hairdresser $70 ( done for Wedding )
Nails $60 ( full Acrylics + Pedicure )

That adds up to $1,070
So where is the rest?? $160 is still in the bank but where in earth is the other $800, I can,t remember having any other large purchases so that being the case the lost $800 went on food and alcohol for a month. That,s $200 a week now that,s seriously scary. So now I,m way behind with everything and broke, but you know what I am feeling positive about next year, so bring on Christmas not because I,m ready for you but because I want you behind me.

Positive thoughts

I,m sitting in my office just now and the smell of the Camelia bush outside my window is filling up the room, the Cicadas are singing and Summer is in the air.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Thoughts About Christmas Spending

Time to put fingers to keyboard and add a PF post to this blog, but what to say ??? Since I managed to get through The Wedding and the visitors I hav,nt received a wage and so my finances are in the same state as they were on Monday, what am I saying they are slightly worse as I have a new phone bill in, and my car registration is almost up. So Friday which is payday is going to be mostly taken up with paying a weeks rent food and petrol.

As I am making this rent payment to help my hubby through a sticky time, I am hoping he will repay the compliment by making my registration payment on my car for me, although he has,nt offered as yet.

I worked back 2 hours today and will do the same again tomorrow if offered as I need all the money I can get just now, I even cashed in some points at Rewards Central and so they will be posting me out a $30 cheque, although it will be the end of the year before I see it, still every cent counts.

I am not an envious person, but at the moment as I read through some of my favourite blogs and see how well everyone is doing, I have a little " why not me " moment. Please forgive me for this girls as it will pass.

As a family we have collectively decided to give Christmas a body swerve this year, my Grandchildren will be the only ones I will be buying for and a Secret Santa for the girls at work. I will still send Christmas cards as this is the only time of year I get a chance to catch up with some old friends, but as we are all stressing out about the expense of giving everyone a gift why do it ???

I have morphed into Scroodge but only for this year, I will post an end of the month report soon, plus my plans and budget to get me through December

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Wedding Photo!/photo.php?fbid=10150116866402166&set=a.440254152165.225159.750847165

I have no idea if this will work, but if it does enjoy.

Getting back onboard and not before time

The Wedding is behind us now, and it,s time to start making some financial plans, I thought we did really well and this morning I found out how we managed it. Firstly on top of the money put towards the Wedding we entertained 2 extra people all day long and in the evenings after spending all day at the Gold Coast Theme Parks we also fed my Sister and her family, I know we did,nt have to do this but we wanted too. We are all Scots and so no meal was complete without Champers for the girls and Red Wine and Beers for the boys. So you could say that most nights we had 10 for Dinner and drinks, I hav,nt worked out the cost of this, too scared too I quess.

We had Dinner out on two of the nights, the night before The Wedding when everyone including my Friends from Interstate decided that enough was enough and I needed the break. And last night as a last Supper before they all flew out, we each paid for our own meals, but my BIL had picked the Restaurant and it turned out to be quite expensive.

On Thursday my Sister and her two eldest and I went to see the latest Harry Potter Movie, and the men played golf, so once again a pretty expensive day, what with tickets, train fares and Lunch. To say nothing of Hubby,s petrol and green fees and Lunch.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post I have only just discovered why we managed, and it,s because we have now fallen 2 weeks behind with our rent, Hubby pays this and was,nt able too, and as he now has just over 2 weeks to go until his next pay, I am going to have to pay a rent out of each of my next two weeks wages. By the time I do this plus grocery shopping, nothing else will be paid or bought, so Xmas is once again on the back burner. Technically speaking we are not really behind as our rent is 2 weeks in advance but we want to get it back to that stage again.

I suppose things could have been a lot worse just think if we had had a CC and not paid everything in cash we could have dug ourselves a deeper hole. On the plus side I am still pretty chuffed that we paid cash for our Daughter,s Wedding and nobody guessed that we had cut corners. I have had some great texts and emails talking about how perfect it all was, and what more could you wish for, for A Daughter,s Wedding.

Sorry still no photos as yet, but the picture is off the mask my Daughter wore with her gorgeous red gown.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I,m back and broke but The Wedding was awesome

It,s seems like ages since I last posted, and this one is a real little quickie just to thank you for your good wishes and congratulations.
The Wedding went really well and after all my hours of panicking the weather was unbelievable, the Bride was gorgeous, the Groom very handsome, and my Grandchildren so cute.
No pictures as yet because of me still having my son,s computer with a full hard drive, pictures have started to appear on Facebook, but the format won,t allow me to upload them to blogger, so I am now waiting patiently for someone to email me some.

As this is a PF blog I should at this point add that I am flat broke, everything has been spent, and every available bank account has been emptied, plus my visitors are with me for another few days and then it,s going to be another week after that before my next pay. On the plus side we incurred no debt and so it wont take long to get back on track.

Will pop in whenever I can.