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

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.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nearly Out Of Time

It,s Monday morning here in Oz and I,m fast running out of time to get prepared for The Wedding, I never lost any weight and so I,m frightened to try my dress on again and it has not stopped raining yet. So I,m expecting that like a stage play the rehearsals are bad and the performance will be a triumph.


Wednesday my grass is getting cut.
Thursday the marquees are being erected.
Friday the toilets are being delivered and set up by a firm called DUNNIES WITH DIGNITY.
Friday we are also having a fridge trailer delivered to hold all the booze.
Saturday the lights are going up, in the trees and the tables and chairs and decorations are being put into the marquees.
Sunday the big day and hopefully the rain will have stopped and my heart rate will have returned to normal.


Sunday Mum and Dad arrived from Western Australia
Thursday Friends arrive from South Australia
Friday friends and family members arrive from South Australia and Western Australia.
Friday we have invited everyone for a BBQ
Saturday more friends arrive from South Australia
Sunday Wedding


I have completely lost control of my spending at the moment it is disappearing quicker than I can write down why. My carefully laid plans are spinning out of control. And you know what I,m not concerned as I know I will have the full support of you all to pull me back on track, after it is all over.

Finally due to a full work and social calendar, I might be missing in action over the next week, so have a wonderful week and happy saving !!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I,m on holiday

I have just finished work for 2 weeks, I would put down that I,m on holiday only I am sure that by the time these two weeks are up I,ll be returning to work for a break. Hubby and I started on our garden last night after work, he got cracking with a high pressure water blaster to clean the outside of the house, patio, driveway and garage floors, which he will finish today and tomorrow the whole family are coming round for a general clean out and cleanup, we keep a nice neat yard but there is always some improvement can be made for a special occasion.

Sunday sees my Mum and Dad arriving and so tonight I will be concentrating on emptying out the wardrobe in the spare bedroom, we keep our out of season clothes in there and I also keep my I don,t know where else to put it things.

Pay day today and so far all I,ve paid is my debt, I would like to think I,ll have a few no spend days, but I doubt it. I,ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November,s Goals / Melbourne Cup Day in Oz

Today was Melbourne Cup Day here in Australia, they call this the race that stops a nation, and it definitely is. Most workplaces lay on a lunch and bring in a TV so that nobody misses this event. I put a bet on and my horse came in third, so I got my money back. I would have liked a win, but maybe next year. One of these days I will go to Melbourne,s Flemington Racecourse and soak up the atmosphere myself. Wear one of those silly huge hats and stiletto heels and get drunk on Champagne, but till then I,ll continue to watch it on my bosses TV squeezed in amongst our machinery.

My financial goals for November are pretty much the same as Octobers I mentioned at the beginning of my spend less year that It would be the 21st of this month before I can really begin budgeting for the next year. But I aim to take on no debt, still pay the couple of debts I have, put my bill money away, and spend wisely. I have done well with my not buying myself anything new goal. I have a lot of clothes which I will be able to get through this Summer wearing, and I am keeping my Grocery bill low although with visitors popping in and out I will go through my pantry and fridge quite quickly.
I know I should,nt be wishing my Daughters big day over and done with, but I can,t help wishing that more of my money was going towards debt repayment. I am getting so keen to start this spend less year.


I walked out into my garden this morning and my Frangipani and Jacaranda Trees are both in full bloom, so my garden is awash with purple and white blossoms on the trees and a carpet of it is also on the grass. It brought a smile to my face and as it was a lovely warm Spring morning I stayed out there with my coffee. It really set me up for the day.