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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Almost October / Happy at work.

Tomorrow starts my Spendless Year, part of me is excited and part of me is scared to death. September was a bad month for me I went a little off the rails and so I do not have exact figures about where my money went. But as from next week I will be back to full time hours, and I intend to make every dollar earned count. More of my plans to follow in a later post.

I decided to have a great day at work today, and so I did. I had been thinking that perhaps my attitude to my job was part of the reason I disliked it so much. If we repeatedly tell ourselves we dont like something then we end up in exactly that frame of mind. So today I switched the tables on myself and had a good day. hoping to continue this tomorrow.

Payday tomorrow, I,m going to love this 5 pays month, what a good month to start my challenge, with Sharon and Sam. Wish us luck.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The High and Low cost of Beauty

As mentioned in my last blog, one of my goals for the next year is to look after myself a little more kindly. It,s now a lot harder to just run a brush through your hair and brush your teeth before heading out the door,that,s all right when your in your 20s 30s 40s and to some degree 50s but at Sixty I can,t rely on Mother Nature to look after me, and so some money had to be spent this weekend on me.

But before I tell you how much I spent let me first tell you how much I am able to save on skincare and fragrances and to a lesser degree cosmetics. For example this morning I used
Dior Capture R60/80 Abrasion rides ( exfoliating scrub )
Dior Capture Totale Concentrated Serum ( only used twice weekly )
Dior Capture R60/80 Eye cream ( wrinkles round the eyes )
Dior Capture R60/80 Ultimate Wrinkle Cream (daily moisturiser )
Miss Dior Cherie Body Milk ( skin moisturiser )
Miss Dior Cherie EDP ( My all time favourite weekend scent )
After this I used a Dior Foundation, Dior Mascara and a Dior Lip Gloss, this was enough make-up for a trip to the local shops, and the price of all this beauty was NOTHING - ZILCH - ZERO - DIDDLY SQUAT.
My Sister-in-Law works for Dior and so on Birthdays Christmas,s and sometimes just because she can my MIL and I are given samples, gifts and end of range products. These are all the genuine articles and my skin is wonderful for a lady my age. I went hunting the Internet looking for prices for these products and every website is different but I worked it out to be around $547.00 worth of product I have at my disposal every day.

Obviously Woman cannot live by Dior alone and so my total spent on myself over the last 24 hours was.
Brows threaded and tinted and brow massage $40.00 and worth every cent.
Clairol Nice and Easy Med Champagne Blonde $13.00( got to cover the grey )
Sally Hanson Nail Hardener $ 16.95 ( my nails are so brittle )
Cutex Top Coat $6.45 ( my nail polish keeps chipping )
A Nail Buffer $8.20 ( hate hate hate emery boards )
A comb to keep my hair up at work $5.00 ( can,t wait to have my hair shorter again )
Hairspray $3.00 ( this is actually to keep my unruly brows in place )
And finally a top from our local seconds store $5.00
Total spends on me $97.00 this is the first time in years I have had the spare money to treat myself with, I could have gone mad and gone to the Hairdressers as well, but until I,m sure what I want I,ll continue to do it myself.

So I suppose the point of this blog is to figure out if I get over $500 of products free does that mean I am entitled to spend $100 on myself in other areas. Or am i allowed to spend on these areas anyway, as long as they are necessities. And are beauty products a neccessity ?? What are your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Also my Spend Less Year/ Living consciously and with Purpose

I had no intention of blogging today but after reading that Sharon and Sam are already writing down their goals for the next year, I thought I would post mine. Girls I tried to add a link to your blogs, but it did,nt work, oh well back to the drawing board.

Goal 1) Is to get past my Daughter,s Wedding, this is the first occasion which I have been both mentally and financially prepared for in years and I am so exited about being so organised, most big occasions are faced with a feeling of impending doom, but this is a new start for me.

Goal 2) After the 14th November I am starting my holiday savings fund, the photo of the feet in my blog was taken by me last December when my Hubby and I went on our first holiday in years, we cruised round Australia from Queensland (East) to Fremantle (West) heading round The Great Australian Bite, the cruise took 13 days and we loved every minute of it, so this year we would like to do the same cruise from East to West only this time going over the top end of Australia and this time it will take 17 days. At the end we will be able to say we have sailed right round this beautiful country.

Goal 3) By September of 2011 I will have paid off one of my debts and snowballing that payment into my largest debt.

Goal 4) Like Sam mentioned I am going to start taking better care of myself and so it will be wearing make-up more often, making sure my roots are covered I do them myself and so it is,nt expensive just time consuming, and as I will be spending more time looking after myself, colouring, waxing and manicures will be priorities. Although I,m not thinking of dating as my Hubby would,nt approve. LOL

Goal 5) I want to get my Emergency fund up to $1,000, at the moment there is practically nothing in it, so I,m making it a goal and a priority.

Goal 6) I,m going to act a little more like Scroodge when it comes to Birthdays and Christmas. Every year in our house it leads to an arguement with Hubby over the amount of money I spend on gifts, leaving myself with very little spare cash to enjoy myself over the Holidays. So I,m going to be like Santa and rein it in ( pun intended )

Goal 7) I,m going to make a point of telling Hubby I love him every day of the year, he knows I do but sometimes we take it for granted, so I,m going to say it with a kiss.

Goal 8) Keep my blog going and give monthly reports regarding my goals my accomplishments and my failures, although I don,t think I,m going to have any. These posts will be at the beginning of the Month.

I can,t wait to get started roll on the 4th of October.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Purple Shoes, Imelda Marcos watch out !!!

I found the perfect shoes to go to my Daughter,s Wedding in. These are not exactly them but very similiar, mine have a cute little bow across the back of the heel. I was out browsing around when I saw these right at the back on a shelf for only $19.95, I did,nt know if they were an exact match for my dress, but as the shop I bought my dress in was only on the other side of the Mall the Assistant came across with me to see if they were a match, and Bingo. So I,m crossing another expense off of my list.
Apart from the shoes I have bought nothing else today, and I won,t be spending anything tomorrow either, as petrol is in my car and food is in my cupboards. I,m waiting for my monthly telephone account to arrive, also my electricity. So that will make a huge dent in my house finance account, still this time last year I would,nt have had anything put aside, so I,m happy, roll on Bills.
Another low calorie day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cappuccino Connoisseurs

During the time that I spent away from work a van selling coffees and cakes has started visiting my workplace at around morning break time. And so now the girls I work beside have become coffee snobs and the instant coffees which our work provide free to Employees have become a thing of the past. And now it,s talk of Lattes, Cappuccinos,Hot Chocolates and various different brews which have taken over our normal chit chat. Each one of the girls seem to be competing to come up with the PERFECT cup to impress us, and I don,t think they were giving a single thought to the cost of these delicious drinks. The cups cost $3.50 or $4.50 depending on size they are buying 5 per week which allowing them 4 weeks annual leave is 240 coffees a year and so they will be spending between $840.00 and $1080.00 a year. I pointed this out to them today and mentioned that my PERFECT coffee is the free variety. So now I,m waiting to see if things will be different tomorrow, or if they will still go ahead throwing away their money.

I have been hearing a few scary stories this week and all are connected to Paypal, I always thought this was a secure site and was happy to put my banking details into my account but now I am wondering just how secure is it really. If one of the Gentlemen I work beside had,nt been made aware of Paypal payments coming out of his account by his bank he would not have noticed until too late that the money was going out. I also read a blog yesterday in which the blogger said Paypal had taken almost $5,000 out of her account, I,m not sure of all the details of why they did this but it seems someone had opened a Paypal account in her name after hacking into her banking details, and Paypal allowed this to happen. Not sure if I,ll keep my account now, I seldom use it.

I stopped off at the shops on my way home from work today and spent the grand total of $4.85, that,s the first money I,ve spent since Saturday.
I,ve also been managing to stick to my calorie allowance this week, hoping for big losses when I stand on the scales on Sunday

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not tracking my Expenses properly

Just lately I have been doing a really poor job of tracking my finances, after the success of my No Spend August and knowing that I had no intentions of overspending on the lead up to The Wedding I stopped making myself accountable for every cent I was spending. This is the start of the slippery slope and as from today I,ve pulled it all back together again as I realised this morning that I was,nt exactly sure how much was in my bank or if a couple of payments which were due had come out of my account.
I was,nt comfortable at all about not having full control of my money again and so this morning I sat down and spent a couple of hours catching up, and I,m pleased to report that everything is doing fine on the financial front. But I,m not going to do that again I felt a little out of control and I panicked.
My net worth has increased by almost $3,000 courtesy of my Superannuation fund, but I won,t update my sidebar until I get the official account details which will be posted out to me later this month. As well as that my debts have come down be it slowly, So I,m in a good place as I have no bills outstanding and when they do come in the money has been set aside to cover them.

I started counting calories today as I want to lose a few pounds before I try on my dress again, I love the dress but my figure is far from attractive in it, fortunately the cut of the dress means if I lose some weight it will still fit me, thank goodness. So between counting money and calories I,m beginning to feel like a walking calculator.

This is something that has been troubling me all day and so I felt I had to put it out there and see what comes back. I had until last time I checked 10 followers and today when I looked at my profile I only now have 9. So now I am left wondering if I have upset, bored or ignored someone enough to stop them following my blog. I know I am probably over thinking the whole thing as we all come and go for what ever reasons. But if by any chance I,ve upset someone then my apologies.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Needing Motivation / My tearful Wednesday

I,m only 4 days into my first week back at work and already I,m falling back into the disorganised menus and shopping trap. I was off of work for 11 weeks during which I managed to save a lot of money and remain on budget with groceries and spends, but already I am standing gazing into the pantry and fridge about 30 mins before Hubby comes home, with absolutely no idea what I am going to give him to eat. I,m going to have to give myself a quick kick up the rear and get back on track.

I had a bit of a teary day yesterday, and it all started when I heard that Sydney were celebrating the fact that they held the first Olympic games of the new Millenium 10 years ago. I was 50 that year, I remember that day as if it were yesterday, and in the past 10 years I have had 3 Grandchildren a Daughter-in-Law whom I love dearly and a soon to be Son-in-law whom I also love. My Mother-in-Law has stayed with us for 9 of those years and we have moved house 3 times. I still have both of my parents and after countless heart attacks and Leukemia I also still have my Husband. So why the tears ???? Because for the first time it has dawned on me that I have a lot more behind me than in front and I think I felt sorry for myself,silly is,nt it ?? there is nothing you can do to stop the passage of time and it,s something we all have to face. I have made a few decisions which will hopefully give me good quality of life as I age. I have picked my retirement date 2nd of January 2017. If I find that my 15 months as a casual worker are added onto my long service leave then it may be a bit earlier but it definitely won,t be any later. As well as the financial side of aging I am going to incorporate exercise into my life I,m not talking about Aerobic classes or heavy gym work. I,m talking about swimming and walking and I,m even thinking of learning ballroom dancing, if I can get Hubby onboard.

So far today I have spent nothing and intend to keep it that way, tomorrow is payday and the first one since my new rate of pay came in, it won,t be much but every little counts.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

401(k) = Superannuation

I have noticed in a lot of blogs references to 401(k) and so i googled it to find out if we have anything similiar here in Australia. And it sounds very like Superannuation, although I could,nt work out if the Employer was obliged to make a contribution or if it was an incentive in a salary package. My Superannuation is paid into my alloted fund every payday by my Employers by law they have to pay in a percentage of your wage, you can also add your own contribution to this which is added after tax, or Salary Sacrifice some of your wages into your fund which is put in before tax, making your taxable income lower. I pay in some before and some after tax, the Government are at present adding $ for $ amounts to the after tax contribution so I am taking advantage of this, and I also am taking advantage of the reduced tax by Salary Sacrificing. I am classed as a low paid worker and so these figures may vary according to your wage structure. I will never have enough Super to retire with as I have left it too late but it should be enough to give me a very large nest egg when I do retire. I would like to take advantage of getting a long service payout out when i retire and this is paid to me after 10 years of continues employment with my firm. This will be due to be paid out in January 2017, so I will be 66 years old then and eligible to be paid my aged pension as well. And so barring accident I can retire on 2nd January 2017 not long now LOL

Started back at work today and I really struggled through the 4 hours I was there, still it can only get better.

Stayed home all day yesterday so I had a no spend day, gotta love them.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mother of the Brides dress picked

I was really in a quandry about what to wear to my Daughters Wedding, all of the evening dresses were either too revealing too tight or red. I,ve mentioned before that the Bride is wearing red so it,s out for me, as is black. Don,t ask me why no black but I just don,t think it,s right for a Wedding especially if your the Brides Mum. But this dress ticked all the boxes for me as it,s got a bolero top which goes over it to hide my arms, it,s long and a bit floaty with a taffeta top which gives me a lovely shape, and it,s a very deep purple which goes really well beside her red dress. I got lucky with the price as the dress and bolero came to $410 but on the day i went in to get it they were having a 15% off everything sale and so I saved $60. Because I spent more than I intended on the dress i have decided to wear a pair of shoes which i have only worn once and carry a bag which I,ve only used once.

I have had an extremely expensive week.

My dress $350
Granddaughters birthday $70
Groceries $100
Debt $50
Bills money $100 put aside
Petrol $20
Total $690

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Septembers Challenges / Septembers Budget

No spend August was a huge success, my goal was to save as much money as possible and after paying all the household bills and putting money aside for the next lot of bills, I managed to save $1,264, towards visitors and extras for my Daughters Wedding, I am tempted to try this again in October we,ll see how that goes later this month after all the finances for the Wedding and holidays and visitors have all been added up.

The plus sides of not spending in August are obvious, I,ve got a lot of extra money, I know now it can be done and I enjoyed the thrill of the chase, knowing when to shop where to shop checking all the mail to see where and when the best buys of the week were. Making more recipes from scratch, cutting back on laundry every day to just washing when I had a full load, the same with the dishwasher, I really did,nt think I would get as much out of it as I have so all and all a huge success.

The down sides to not spending are very few and most of them were related to having to cut back on my socialising. I was honest with my friends and family about why but some of them just did,nt get it. And for some reason my Hubby got a little annoyed when my pantry and fridge started to empty, I could,nt work out why as we were eating a varied and healthy diet, but I,ve got a suspicion that it had something to do with not having the same amount of treats on hand.

My budget for September will be.

Food $100 weekly
Debts $150 for the month
Phone/internet/foxtel $200 for the month
Mobile $30 for the month
Petrol $20 weekly
All other money to be banked, some towards the next round of bills, I really have to find a dress, shoes and bag for the wedding, and I also have a couple of Birthdays coming up this month.

On a more personal note I have now borrowed my son,s laptop, and so I should be able to blog and follow my favourite bloggers now. Although it is so different to my PC as this one is an Apple, and I,m having a little difficulty finding my way around, and I really miss having a mouse. however a big thanks to my Son who could see how upset i was at not being able to go online.
I am going back to work on Monday I will be starting with a 4 hour week and slowly building up to my normal 8 hours. My new flooring is now down and it,s soooo nice, gone is the old tacky lino and in it,s place is a lovely teak hardwood floor, the carpeting in the rest of the house will be renewed before Christmas