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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Pinch And A Punch For The 1st Of The Month


Day 1 and I hav,nt been over the door so no temptation to spend, although yesterday my Niece phoned to tell us she was planning a surprise visit to see her Gran who lives with us, and it,s next week, and not 5 minutes ago a friend of mine that I see only occasionaly phoned to make a lunch date for next Friday.

Still I am looking forward to navigating my way around these arrangements and sticking to my $300, I went on to a cheap recipes site and I have got a load of inexpensive recipes to follow which I will have the time to cook as I am not working. And some of them look really interesting and tasty.

Day 1 of no spend August

$300 still in the kitty

Breakfast boiled eggs on toast
Lunch sandwiches with roast beef (left over from yesterday) and pickles
Dinner chicken mince rissoles with sweet potato and brocoli
Snacks biscuits in pantry
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Bye July

According to my clock it,s only a little over 3 hours until I start my No Spend August, I think I cheated a little bit by buying more groceries today than I usually buy, there were two reasons for this and one was I wanted to put some extra staples into the pantry as I don,t ever overstock so I knew what I had in there was not going to see me through until September. The second reason was that the least often I go to the shops the less opportunity there is for buying anything, so there is method in my madness. This way I spent an extra $40.00 on staples but I am going to benefit by saving on petrol and cups of coffee. Roll on tomorrow, I can,t wait to get started

Friday, July 30, 2010

I,m Totally Confused


Before I rabbit on about finances I need some help, I am following some great blogs, and a few of them are on my blog page down the right hand side, but after setting that up I can no longer remember how I got them there, and I have added many more to my favourites, can anyone out there with more computer savvy than me tell me how I get them from my dashboard to my blog, many thanks.

Today was my last July pay day, and I have already put aside my $300 to get me through August. Tomorrow I will do a grocery shop put fuel in my car and have my last coffee out, then it,s all hands on board for no spend month.
I have warned absolutely everyone from family and friends to neighbours and workmates, although it now looks like September before I return to work. So everyone is now waiting for me to fall at the first hurdle and that aint gonna happen. I will post daily and count down the days and my money, wish me luck.
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Almost in August / July,s achievements


July was not the best Month in terms of actual savings, but it was a really good month in terms of goals set.

I wanted to give my Daughter the money I promised her towards her Wedding DONE

I wanted to clear all my bills DONE

I wanted to organise myself for my no spend August DONE

So now with only a couple of days left in July I,m sitting back and waiting to start my no spend month, the no spend month does not include my monthly bills these obviously still have to be met. I am going to use all money saved towards the Wedding and my housefull of guests at that time.
During the month of August I will still have to pay.

Landline/cabletv/internet package $200.00ish
Mobile $30.00
Debts $50.00 ( payments in place )
Everything else $300.00

Incomings $2,160.
Outgoings $600.00ish
Towards Wedding $1,560ish

I don,t like the ish,s but all Interstate or overseas call made are charged over and above my plan sometimes it can make as much as $30.00 of a difference. As long as I clear the $1,500 I will be a happy girl. Wish me luck.
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Countdown to no spend August


It,s 8.55pm on the 28th of July here in Australia, and that means only 3 days left until my no spend August kicks in. So today I went through what needs to be paid during the month, I,ve also checked through my cupboards, freezer, fridge, pantry even through my wardrobe. And as far as I can see I,m all set to go.

I,m definitely going to be wanting some cheap and cheerful recipes to help me through, just don,t forget it,s Winter over here, so some foods may not be in season, but my pantry is quite well stocked, so I should make it through.

I am going to try and get through August with only $300. this is going to cover food, petrol, and entertainment I will be buying nothing else. As I am still not back at work and probably won,t be for the full month, my petrol costs will be low, and I won,t need packed lunches, those are the pluses the minuses are because I am home just now everyone feels sorry for me and I am fighting off all the invitations to meet for lunch/coffee/dinner but I,ll be honest and tell friends and family why I,m not going to be joining them, maybe they will be happy to come round here for coffee and some inexpensive home made biscuits ( recipes please )

I decide to up my monthly amount to $300 as I have to cater for a Diabetic MIL and a Hubby who has a heart condition as well as Leukemia, which fortunately is in remission, but there are certain foods and supplements he just can,t be without.

There are two of us bloggers doing this so we will be supporting each other, thanks JPKittie, who else wants to join us ???
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

At Last Husbands On Board


I can,t believe it,s finally happened, after a disasterous weekend in which Hubby managed to end up with nothing in his wallet, he has decided to start budgeting and saving, the downside is that,s it,s still going to be him and me, but every journey starts with a single step and this is the step. I could hardly sleep last night, I was mentally budgeting his wages, my wages, combined wages, I just got so exited. I,m going to have to rein some of that exitement back because knowing him like I do, if I go in all hot and heavy he will back off. That,s just the kind of guy he is.

Next Month sees my no spend Month so this could,nt have happened at a better time for us, Friday is my last pay for July so I will clear of as many bills as I can ( most of the money is already put away ) and stock up my pantry for the month and see how I go. Unfortunately my 60th Birthday fall exactly half way through the month but I think that everyone except me should be spending. LOL :) I am just about to email my nearest and dearest and tell them about my no spend August so they don,t expect me to go out anywhere expensive. Picnics and family BBQ,s for me for a while.

I,m excited
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Good News Today

I got some good news this morning from the Real Estate Management Team we lease our house through. Apparently the owners of the home have listened to our request for new flooring in the living areas, and in a few weeks time we will be getting, nice shiny new hardwood floors. And not long after that we will be getting new carpet treatments for the rest of the rooms. Yippee this should all be done by the time visitors start arriving for the Wedding.

I intend to have a no spend day today, and also put some plans into action which should hopefully see me earning a little extra income, this will be a slow process, and as it,s still in the putting together stages I,m not ready to talk about it yet.

By the way this is not my home but it is the type of flooring we will have soon.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Awareness Moment

At last the moment has arrived and I have become aware that this is going to be a long slow journey back to security, my Tax cheque is firmly in my bank account, my wages are due into the same account on Friday and I have put aside the money I promised my Daughter towards her Wedding. All my bills are paid up to date my car is registered and insured, and I,m in a really good place. I,ve stopped sweating the small stuff, so what if I,ve got nothing to very little in my jars, I enjoy buying for my Grandchildren, and so the occasional little treats are not going to stop so I have snowflakes to roll on at the end of the month. although I love to see how well my fellow bloggers are doing this is my journey and I wont be happy if Im not doing it my way.

On a more personel level I have just had my second hand operation done and at only 3 weeks after the first one, I now have two hands which are not in full working order, which is the reason so much time has lapsed since my last post. But this has not been a bad thing as it,s given me time to reavaluate my budget and slacken off a little.

I am going to do something this week which I have never ever done before and that is to formally complain to a Company about one of their employees. this young gentleman ?? ( I,m questioning his right to be called a gentleman ) Was rude and condescending to me while I was trying to speak to him about his Assistant who was having some trouble with her till and my order, she was a trifle slow and at that point I was respecting the Company for giving her a go. I was thinking that we really are a long way away from the times when young handicapped people were treated badly. And while I tried to make him understand the problem he kept cutting me off, and ended up saying I KNOW to me. Excuse me I said to him "how can you possibly know when you are not listening to me" I am trying to speak to my staff member he said not even lifting his eyes to look at me, clearing the till is my first priority, again not looking up. I beg your pardon I said but your customers are your first priority, by this time steam was coming out my ears, well after I gave him a real dressing down I took his name and told him I was going to report him, and this grumpy old Woman will. Obviously there were other things said but you get my gist, he even managed to get another customer on his side, a young teenage girl decided I was the cause of all the trouble and called me names. What do you have to do to stay on the right side of counter assistants, let them walk all over you. ?????
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Payday, No. 3 for July

I wish I could call this a no spend day and save it all but as usual it,s bill, debt, grocery, jars and save day.

I am still on a reduced wage as I am being paid by Workcover Australia and they only cover 85% of your wages, but for some reason which I hav,nt been able to figure out yet I have ended up with more this week than last and definitely more than I expected, so I will put the difference away in another account just in case there has been a mistake and they ask for it back, or else they take it off next weeks wage.

Incomings $540.00

Outgoings $440.00

I hav,nt done a complete breakdown as yet but I,m way over budget as I bought some lanterns from Ebay which I,ll use to decorate the backyard for my Daughters Wedding and I also spent money on my Granddaughter,s 8th Birthday present, which I had not added into my budget. So all up another dismal failure at budgeting, plus my tax cheque has,nt arrived as yet HURRY UP CHEQUE as I had budgeted these things I am buying, into that money. I also invested $85.00 into starting up a sideline business for myself, not sure at this stage if it will come off, and I,m not sure if I want to share it at the moment. I,ll wait and see
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Slow and Steady with long deep breaths

I think anyone reading this will get where I,m coming from!!

I,ve been going at this budgeting and debt reduction like the hare, and getting disappointed and annoyed when my bank balance does,nt look any healthier, I,ve been only allowing myself the very minimum amounts for my jars, and never making it through the week so consequently no snowball money and that,s been upsetting me, if every other blogger has a snowball then why can,t I ?? ( that is my competetive streak coming out )

So let me introduce you to the hare, this budgetting blogging hare is never going to be rich, will never own her own home again, and may never have a Snowball ( I seem to remember all that snow was one of the reasons I left Scotland ) but by getting myself out of debt slowly and organising my budget in such a way that I can have all that life chucks at me and still manage my money. I will be a happier more contented person.

I started to think seriously about the way I was looking at my budget this morning, when my hubby told me I had been talking in my sleep and all he could make out was the words "not enough money" Now this does,nt sound to me as if I was having a restfull nights sleep. So I,m pulling it back a bit. No I,m not going to stop blogging, budgetting, keeping my accounts and saving. But I am going to stop stressing, and already I,m feeling better.

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

A really really bad weekend

I,m not sure how it started but I used up all available cash on the weekend as well as using $150.00 of my savings, so my jars are empty my bank account is depleted, and my self worth has now sunk into a bit of a depression. I took my Hubby out last night for a posh meal and some cocktails, as he is not in the least bit interested in my budget or in budgeting himself he accepted my invitation to go out without a second thought.

I am an idiot I know it and after reading through all of my favourite blogs this morning I am hoping that all you truly inspirational Women will put me back on track.

So thankyou for the last hours Educational reading, I have laughed cried and hopefully learned something to lead me to the next stage.
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Monopoly Money

Most of you won,t recognise this coin, it means absolutely nothing to you in terms of it,s value, and that,s been pretty much my undoing. I am not Australian by birth I emigrated to this beautiful country in 1986 along with Hubby and my 2 children. Scotland is the land of my birth, but nowadays I call Australia home. When we first arrived the British Pound was a very strong currency and we got $1.00 for every 40 pence we exchanged, I can remember thinking at the time that we had lots of money, and we spent it accordingly. I still laugh when I think of window shopping at a Butchers and being amazed at the low prices and the fact that it was,nt a pound of meat it was a kilo. So not only were we getting a great rate of exchange but everything from housing to sausages were cheaper. And somewhere amongst all that euphoria I lost the true value of a weekly wage. Things are a lot different now as prices rise and we have faced recession, but it,s taken me till now to wake up to myself and realise that this is not Monopoly Money it,s the Aussie dollar, and like it or not I don,t have enough of them in my bank.

Spends for today

$20.05 ( lunch out )

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Old Habits Die Hard

What the hell am I thinking about, over the last couple of days I have been spending like a mad Woman, coffees out, lunches out, a new book, extra groceries and then this morning I found myself standing in front of a $300.00 saucepan trying to justify buying it for myslf. Do I need it? NO, do I want it? not now that I am home and typing out this tale but for the 10 minutes that I stood in that store, YES YES YES I wanted it.

What was that all about ? Am I feeling deprived because I,m budgeting, if the answer is yes, then so far I,ve learned nothing. If it is because I now have the money in the bank to buy it without going into debt for it, then why am I getting my finances in order, is it simply so I can buy expensive things for myself as and when I see them ? This is not the reason for trying to get my self organised it was supposed to be getting secure as I head towards my retirement. Which is getting nearer and nearer. So obviously I,m not in the mindset yet and I,m not sure of how to get there.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July,s Budget and Tax Stuff

I have found a way to hold my hand which allows me to type very slowly and as I have been mad keen to get my budget into my blog, I don,t mind how long it takes me.

July has 5 pay days in it for me and so a lot of my outgoings for the Month have been broken down into 5 payments, this should help me get through the month on a reduced wage ( 85% as mentioned in an earlier post ) but I salary sacrifice a small amount and also make a small contribution into my Super annuation every week, which will not be made by Australian Workcover and so 85% of that amount will come directly to me as well as which, and here comes the big drumroll, I have just had a payrise of around 50c an hour, so after all that I,m hoping that I don,t see too big a difference in my weekly wage.

Tax year here in Australia starts on the 1st of July and from that date on we can put in our tax returns, mine is really straight forward as their is nothing I can claim for except some Laundry and Work clothes, and so I have already done mine online of course and I am due back $1,682.90.
I really did,nt expect as much as this but we have had a number of Tax cuts in the last few years add to that the fact that I,m classed as "a low paid worker" and also I automatically qualify for $500.00 as I,m over 55. So thanks to the ATO.

Outgoings for July

Telephone $220.00 (1 payment money already saved )
Telephone $200.00 (5 payments of $ 40.00 )
Electricity $140.00 (5 payments of $28.00 )
Mobile $ 30.00 (1 payment 10th July standing order )
Car Registration $100.00 (5 payments of $20.00 )
Debt $50.00 (2 payments of $25.00 )

Food $500.00 (5 payments of $100.00 )
Petrol $50.00 (2 payments of $25.00 )
Me Money $100.00 ( $20.00 a week )
Layby $30.00 ( 1 payment made today )

Again I have given myself a very tight budget as this is the month that I am hoping to be able to give my Daughter the $2,000,00 I promised her towards her Wedding, this should be possible now that I am getting my tax rebate this month. I am not going to be in a position to go out much this Month as I am not allowed to drive, however a good friend and I are going to go to the Movies every week as a bit of a treat for me while I am stuck at home, and possibly my petrol allowance for the month may go towards taxi,s to keep Hospital appointments. Luckily the Hospital is not to far away.