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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Daughters Hens Party is today, I can,t believe it,s only 2 weeks until the big day. The bucks night is also happening tonight and I,m imagining that there will be a few sore heads tomorrow. I enjoyed the days activities but the night time ones are not for me I,ll leave them to the younger generation. And I,ll do the babysitting.

Tomorrow we are going to a friends place for food and drinks, they are Sri Lankan and cook the best curries and spicy dishes I,ve ever tasted, so no dieting for me.

I have had a big month financially with all of the final payments towards the Wedding being due, as well as 5 birthdays ( my Mum,s is today )all of the bills were paid this month as well, and I,ve been stocking up my pantry, so nothing saved and all of my snowflakes going towards making her big day even more special. As a surprise we have organised a Piper to play her out of the church, just to remind her of her Heritage.

Somehow my lack of savings is not bothering me at all, I am just so happy to be able to manage to do all I can, to make this a special day for everybody.


At last the rain has stopped and left behind it a legacy of flowering shrubs and beautiful green grass, I can,t imagine why I complained about it, I should have known that Mother nature would,nt let us down.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thoughts about October,s Goals / Australias Layby Facility

Australia has a wonderful system in place for allowing shoppers the opportunity to buy goods with an extended payment plan, it,s called layby. It works by allowing shoppers to buy an article for say $60 and make weekly or fortnightly payments over 6 weeks or until such times as you make your final payment and then you can pick up your purchase. So no interest, although sometimes you may be charged an extra $1 or $2 for account keeping and storage as shops need to have an area to put these buys until you collect them. In July many of the larger stores such as Target and Kmart have huge toy sales with no deposit layby and they will keep the toys for you until Christmas Eve, which is a great idea if you have kids who hunt for presents.
This was all new to me when I arrived in australia from Scotland as we never had anything quite like this form of shopping, and I used and abused the system time and time again. Now that I am older and wiser I no longer make rash purchases, but now and again if there is something I really need and don,t have the available cash then I would still use this option.
Perhaps I,m preaching to the converted and you already do this in your corner of the globe, but as more and more stores have there own credit cards I can see this time worn tradition getting phased out in favour of a high interest line of credit.

I have no cash money to show YET for the first month of my spend less year, but I,m delighted to say that everything is paid up to date and all purchases for the Wedding have been paid in cash. This Wedding has absolutely on debt attached to it, and we could,nt be happier.

My Son and his Wife have just bought a new house, they have gone from a small 3 bedroomed starter home to 4 bedroomed 2 bathroomed home complete with swimming pool. They are not overstretching their budget as these two are very careful with money and are great budgeters. I am so proud of them both and so pleased that they are not following in our footsteps. Now all I have to do is persuade them to have Christmas dinner at their new place so I can have a swim.

Payday tomorrow and I have to make the last payment on my electricity Bill and also pay for the portable toilets we have had to hire for the Wedding, as we do not want to have a succession of people using our house. That might sound a little mean, but we don,t want anybody having to go inside the house, I don,t mind cleaning up the yard the next day but I don,t want to have to clean the house as well. Plus my elderly parents and MIL might want to go to bed earlier than the rest of us and I want the inside of the house to be a lot quieter than the outside.
I have had a few more overtime hours this week, so more snowflakes to come.


As you can imagine my footnote today is about my Son. He was a rebellious young man who was travelling down the wrong road. But by the time he was in his early twenties he had turned his thinking and his life around. So no Mum could be prouder than I am when he visits with his Wife of 5 years and his beautiful Daughter. He is now a Landscape Designer for a large Australian Company and is almost finished his degree at Uni. Which he studies for part time.
So I raise my glass and toast TO MY HANDSOME TALENTED SON XXX

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spending update / Tardis moment.

Since Saturday I have spent
$100 on Groceries
$20 on petrol
$13 for my prescription
$50 towards debt 1
$50 Ebay for Wedding stuff
My Groceries actually cost me a little less than $100, but I have put the rest aside as I had sent Hubby and MIL to do my shopping as I was working, and they forgot to take the list and as a result I will be running out of a lot of essential items before Saturday, which is my next big shop day.

I managed to finish all of my projects for The Wedding my final one was the candelabras for each table, I mentioned earlier that I had bought them from Ebay. So I resprayed them an Antique White, glued Ivy, Gold sprays and ribbon to them and now they exactly match the Ivy Garland I had made for across the front of the Bridal table. I,m sure that there will be some last minute tweak my Daughter will want to make but on the whole I am organised.
This weekend I will have to buy Serviettes to wrap the Wedding Cake in before we put it into the cake boxes, around 100 tealight candles as we have that number of votives to put around the Marquee and also plastic wine and soft drink glasses, which we will take up to the Wedding venue for our guests to drink out of before we come down to the Reception. The owners of the wedding gardens have stipulated no glass as we will be around a pool area.


My car may look like a little old Toyota Corolla, but this morning she became a time machine, I had turned on the radio to get the news and weather forecast while driving into work, and a song came on which immediately transported me back to Christmas 1974 I was 6 months pregnant with my Daughter and we were at a dance in our local Town Hall. I usually associate songs with people and places and for 3 minutes while it played my Hubby had my head on his shoulder as we danced round the floor, great memories. I wonder where I,ll be tomorrow !!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Week 4 of my 5 Week Pay month/ My Snowflakes

I absolutely can,t believe we are almost at the end of the month once again. Today I was given my Secret Santa name as most of my workmates are doing their Christmas Shopping. I wanted to hand them back the scrap of paper and scream STOP I,m just not ready for that kind of expense yet. Although I am sure that the majority of my family will be feeling the same as they are all forking out for Air Flights and Wedding presents just now. So perhaps little remembrances will be acceptable this Xmas.

Sharon at Musings of a Midlife Mum spoke about her snowflakes and the meaning behind the term, the PF meaning of course, go in and have a read she explains it so well. You will find her blog in my side bar as I have not yet learned how to link it, sorry. Anyway I have got a veritable snowstorm coming my way this week in the shape of overtime, I worked 2 extra hours at time and a half and 10 extra hours at double time, so I,m looking at $387.55 before tax. I know I will be taxed pretty heavily on it but even if I only come out with an extra $200 I,ll be a very happy bunny, a snow bunny LOL


Life can deal us some really scary blows and so today my prayers are with Jane and her Daughter, as this gorgeous young woman was in a car crash on Saturday which could have been much worse than it was. Jane is going to be home for the next couple of days nursing her Daughter, and dealing with what could have been. Chin up

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My 100th Blog Post

I can,t believe it 100 posts already, so I would like to take a few minutes to say thank you to my blog followers, and to some wonderful helpful people who have popped in and offered me all sorts of advice when I,ve been stuck for the right answer. The world of PF is a whole new concept for me and I,m getting so much out of reading other inspiring blogs and finding out from successful savers the techniques used to achieve security.

I bought the bed today and put $20 of fuel into my car, usually I would fill her up on a Friday but I could,nt miss out on the lowest petrol price I,ve seen for awhile. What difference is a day going to make anyway, as I had the cash in my fuel jar. The bed frame was $99 and I managed to pick it up myself. I was frightened to wait until the weekend in case they were sold out. So instead we,ll spend the weekend putting it together as it,s flatpacked. I now have new sheets for this bed bought a few weeks ago, new pillows, again bought some time ago and still packaged, I have a fairly new quilt cover set, which I,ll put on the bed and I also have new white bath towels to put into the room for my parents use while they are with me. So it,s only a mattress protector I have to buy and that should be their room organised. So all I have to do now is find out their dietary requirements and then I,m ready to receive guests.


My enjoyable experience today was financial. I,ve been struggling with my money or lack of it for so many years that I,ve had no joy out of buying anything as I knew that really I could,nt afford it. So today I got a buzz out of handing cash which I had in my wallet, over for the bed.
Another highlight was my Grandson and Granddaughter,s kisses before they went home tonight, they had all popped in unexpectantly to make my Thursday night.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Need to Spend Even More Money

If I was broken hearted about having to put petrol into my little car yesterday, then today I am devastated to discover that I,m going to have to buy a bed this weekend. I need to have a decent Queen sized bed for my spare bedroom, and at the moment I only have a single bed in there. I was offered the opportunity to borrow one as my elderly parents will be staying with me for a couple of weeks and as close as they are a single bed was just not going to do it for them LOL
But somehow the girl offering the bed and myself must have gotten our wires crossed over the dates, because she needs the bed during the time I wanted to borrow it. As you can imagine 24 days before The Wedding with everything on a tight budget the last thing I wanted to do was fork out for a bed. I have a decent Queen sized mattress so all I need is a frame and after much searching online and through catalogues I have found one for only $99. It will fit into the back of Hubbies Station Wagon so no delivery charges. Now to go back online and get some inexpensive bedding, will it never end ?????????? !!!!!!!!


This is my time to sit back and reflect on some really positive moment in my busy day, a moment which is special to me and I,m honestly wracking my brains to think of one. A day in my life cant possibly have gone by without a memorable moment, but there it is !!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I got My Apology !!!

I mentioned yesterday that I had a run in with my boss, well today I got my apology. I,m sure I only got it because I was threatening to take my complaint to the next level, still I accepted it. I did however mention to him that I would forgive but definitely not forget and if I found out that it had happened again I will be straight back into his office. After all the fuss had died down he asked me to stay behind today for a couple of hours of overtime if I wanted it, my instant reaction was to tell him where to stick it, but that would be cutting my own throat. So another few dollars earned.

I had to spend $10 today it nearly broke my heart but my little old car needed some fuel, so I only put in enough to get me to payday. So far this week I have spent $35, hopefully it will be Friday before I have to spend any more.


With all the dramas at work my head has,nt been in a very good place, I work in a dirty, noisy, disorganised workplace with people most of whom are rude, lazy and opinionated. So today I took myself off on my own to have my morning tea, I picked a spot across the road from our printing firm, which was quite green and leafy. And as I sat down to enjoy the peace and quiet, I was joined by one of our native green tree frogs, these little creatures are gorgeous with their bright yellow feet and huge big eyes, so we sat together for about ten minutes studying each other before he hopped off. It was all I needed to make my day a lot brighter, so thanks little guy for bringing some peace into the turmoil.

Apologies for putting his photo at the top of the blog, it,s a slight technical hitch. :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Issues at Work / Spray Painting

I had a fabulous weekend on Saturday which was my MIL,s Birthday all the family came over for drinks and food and we also managed to organise who is doing what, when and where for the Wedding So thanks to some great suggestions we now have the seating arrangements done and yesterday because the weather was pretty glorious I worked on my second to last craft project which was to spray paint the candleabras for the tables, and over the next few nights I will decorated them with ivy using my trusty hot glue gun. I bought these candleabras from a girl on Ebay who had used them for exactly what we wanted them for and she had already sprayed them so all I was doing was freshening them up. So ten Candleabras for $115 plus $10 for the spray paint and I already had the ivy, this is the same ivy I used to make the Garland for across the front of the Bridal table. Talk about finding ways to cut back on the expense !!!

I worked a couple of hours overtime last week, but I had also been asked to work a few hours on Saturday and as this was all at double time I quickly said yes, before I went home on Friday I was told that the overtime shift they were putting on had been cancelled, I was naturally disappointed as I had kind of worked out in my head how much I would be paid and what I was going to do with the money. But when I went into work this morning I discovered that there had been a shift working on Saturday and one of our casual workers had worked it in place of me, I am a permanent employee. I have never come across this happening in any other workplace I,ve been in where permanent employees are always given first refusal. So I had a huge blow up with our Production Manager this morning, who told me that he could pick whomever he wanted to do the overtime and as far as he was concerned he would pick the best person for the job, which believe me in this case he had definitely not, so he had added insult to injury by telling me this. Yes I did feel insulted and even although I have now calmed down I have decided to take this further. I did,nt do it today because I felt too angry but tomorrow I am going up to the office to see our Plant Manager, and lodge a formal complaint. I am not normaly confrontational, but I think I am being discriminated against because of my age, my recent hand injury, or the fact that the other girl working prefers the company of this casual. Whichever one it is it,s just not on.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Week 3 of my 5 Week Pay month

As I have mentioned before I have a less than stimulating job, and on Wednesday of this week while doing a fairly slow boring repetative job I started to write out ways of dividing up my wages.

Plan A)
Had me pay off a massive Electricity Bill, leaving me very little to play with.

Plan B)
Had me make part payments to the Electricity Bill, leaving me savings money, money for The Wedding and also extra Groceries to help fill up my pantry before my visitors arrive.

Plan C)
Had me split the electricity Bill into 2 payments, leaving me less to put to The Wedding and Groceries.
After working out how these payments would effect me right up until the week of The Wedding I decided to run with PLAN B) so this is a breakup of my wages.

Electricity $100
Food $ 100
Petrol $20
Debt $25
Charity $42
Wedding $100
Savings $150

I appreciate that these savings will be used to entertain visitors and any last minute payments to the Wedding fund as there is always something you forget. I won,t let the fact that I am spending this money spoil my Daughters big day for me. As I am determined to pay for everything using no debt, and start again at square one on the 21st of November.


Today I sat round our 8 seater outdoor setting and every chair was filled with my loved ones, my Grandchildren decided to entertain us with break dancing and singing and I laughed and smiled until my jaws ached. These are the days that memories are made of. Nearly forgot Happy birthday MIL xxx

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Nightime Plans

Because this is a PF blog you might expect that I would spend quite a bit of time per week, budgeting, blogging about it and reading other PF bloggers good and bad stories. But last night I also spent most of the night lying awake and planning my next financial moves.
Now that I have turned sixty I qualify for a part UK aged pension, to be precise in January of next year. I left the UK in 1986 and as a result I don,t qualify for a full pension, I,m not actually sure but I,m imagining I would get around 40/50%. Because I am still working I will have to declare it on my taxes, so I was thinking that if I Salary Sacrifice the same amount of money as I would receive in a pension then I could put all of that amount straight into my Superannuation and not have to pay extra tax. I hope I have made that clear, it,s clear in my head but was,nt easy to put onto paper. This option will mean there will be quite a bit extra going into my retirement fund, and as I,m still working I won,t even notice the difference.

My Mother-in-Law is now needing a lot more care than she did when she first came to live with us, apart from the bad fall she had last year, there have been a lot of more subtle changes, which require us to have to be more aware of what her needs are on a daily basis. She also has to have weekly Pathology tests done as she is on Warfarin and frequent Doctors visits. My hubby and I take turns running her to these appointments and we are finding that our spare us time is getting less and less. So we are going to apply for a Carers Allowance to help us look after her better. This allowance is not taxed and I think it is around $140 a fortnight.
So these are a couple of ideas I had running around in my head while I was supposed to be sleeping. Plan 1 will help towards my retirement fund and Plan 2 will give me more money on a weekly basis. Now all I have to do is make some phone calls and start the ball rolling.

I have spent no money since Saturday, and I have a full freezer and Pantry.

Today I watched the miners in Chile making there slow progress back into the world, and the arms of their loved ones. The hell those men must have gone through when they first realised that they were stuck underground. So today I became more aware of my freedom, freedom to walk in the Spring Sunshine, freedom to tell my loved ones how much I care, freedom to stop and smell the roses.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Birthday,s and Births

I mentioned last week that I was upset with not being able to join my BFF for her 60th Birthday. I need not have worried as she was joined on her special day today by a brand new Grandson.

Congratulations To All in Adelaide

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wedding Ceremony Spot

I hope this works I have been asked a few questions regarding my Daughter,s up and coming Wedding so this link should take you to The Gardens where she is having her Service.

Rain Rain Rain / Positive living footnote

It has been raining for three solid weeks, and my backyard is now a sodden disaster. This is the backyard which in 5 weeks time is going to hold a large Marquee and 70 Wedding guests. Many in high heels and long dresses. I usually love to see the rain as we live in a very dry State, I love to see my plants, flowers and grass getting a good soak, but please if you are listening up there, it needs to stop soon or this Wedding is literally going to be a washout.

I spent yesterday making an ivy garland to decorate the top table, the garland was just a silk and plastic affair, so I covered the plastic stems with green silk ribbon and tied the ribbon which is very narrow, into a few long stringy bows along the length of the garland and then I added some little gold ball sprays to give it a little zing, and I,m really pleased with the results. The gold sprays were left over from the decoration I added to the plain cake boxes, they ( the cake boxes) were black but now they are black and gold. I still have the Candelabras to decorate, I bought these on Ebay as a job lot from a Bride so they were exactly what I wanted, but they need a spray paint and then I am going to add Ivy to them with my handy glue gun. I have one for each table and two for the top table. That should be the last of my craft projects, and we have saved a ton of money by doing these ourselves.

My positive living footnote is actually going to be about the rain which I complained about earlier. I love that the rain is giving life to so many things, in a Country where a lack of it kills off so much wildlife, and crops. These downpours are a blessing to so many people. So I lay in bed last night and listened and enjoyed the noise of the rain on my window.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Week 2 Spend Consciously Year / All Bills Paid

Week 2 of my 5 payday month, and I had a few household bills to clear. I am only doing my budget so I,ll only recording the payments which I am responsible for. Hubby and I wrote down all the household outgoings, then we divided it by our combined earnings and when we got the percentage we both put that percentage of our individual wages into paying off the bills. Then we worked out weekly amounts for each bill and split them between us, until we arrived at who pays which account. I know this seems a little strange but it works for us, because Hubby earns more than me he pays the lions share but now he knows that as far as wages go we pay an equal percentage.

This week I paid

$230.00 Phone/Internet/Cable TV ( money saved weekly towards this.
$30.00 Mobile Bill ( standard monthly charge also saved )
$ 50.00 Debt repayment ( fortnightly amount )
$20.00 Petrol ( usual weekly amount )
$ 100.00 food ( anything left will be carried on till next week )
$60.00 Flowers ( I sent my BFF these for her 60th birthday )

In one hand and out the other at the moment, I will be carrying any money left over from my food bill into my getting ready for visitors in November account as I will need all the money I have over in order to feed an extra 2 adults ( my parents ) for 2 weeks, and any other guests and friends who drop in either before or after the Wedding. I think the BBQ will be permanently lit. I know that they will offer to help out with the grocery bill but I will feel a lot happier if I don,t have to depend on that offer.

My Granddaughter went into giggles the other night at the thought that her Mum and Dad were getting married, I don,t know what she found so amusing. As for myself I am a bit old fashioned and can,t wait to see her tying the knot. I love my future Son-in-Law and can,t wait to see my Daughter sharing the same surname as her partner and children, only 5 weeks now.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A real quickie

I am over in my Daughter,s house babysitting, but I just wanted to let you know that spends since Sunday have been.

Birthday cards 3 = $7.00
Stamps for 2 cards = $1.20
Groceries = $11.50

Total = $19.70

Tomorrow is payday and I will have a few payments to be made all of which are in my budget, I will enter these later.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

B****y Birthday,s 4 all in the same fortnight

Feeling a bit down today and it,s because I am going to miss my BFF,s 60th Birthday which is on Monday. This gal pal and I have known each other since we arrived in Australia she is English, and had emigrated about 6 months before we did and our Husbands worked together so as soon as we met it was friendship at first sight. And so together we have celebrated our kids going to school our 40ths our 50ths and know I am going to miss her 60th because we now live in different parts of this vast land. It,s not because of my new budget for this coming year, as I have left leeway for just such occasions it,s mainly because of my Daughter,s wedding which is taking up all my available time at the moment. She is coming for the Wedding and so I will see her soon, but somehow it,s just not the same.

4 Birthdays in the next few days means that I have to be organised as I intend to get the most bang for my buck, and so I have handmade the cards, so all I have to do is buy the stamps for that. My Daughter-in-Laws is first and I bought her a gorgeous dress at the end of last Summer in a sale she is a size 8 Australian (2 American ) and I got this little dress for only $10. My Girlfriend is next and I am going to send her flowers, as I really can,t think of anything she would like more. My Sister follows and she is just getting a card, as she has well warned me not to buy her anything. And finally my Mother-in-Law is on the 16th, she is the trickiest as she needs nothing, but would be really put out if a lot of time and money was not spent on her, even with a Wedding close by. Thankfully Hubby will be coming to the party on this one.

No money spent today, but my eating was,nt real good, I think I was having chocolate withdrawal symptoms.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I,ve ticked all the boxes this week / Financial epidemics

After my 1st payday of my new budget I have spent and done exactly what I intended to do with my wages.

Groceries $70.00 I had a budget of $100
Ebay $30 I used left over Grocery money because I forgot I had to make this payment.
Rent $200 not something I usually contribute to.
Petrol $20 this is my normal weekly amount
Debt $25 a fortnightly payment
Day out for lunch $26 I had budgeted $30

I had forgotten when doing up my budget that I have 4 Birthdays in the next couple of weeks, so instead of banking the remainder of my money I will use it to source out inexpensive gifts.

My lunch out with the girls was really enjoyable and educational as it turns out that one of the girls is using a Budgeting Company to organise her wages, from what I can gather she hands over all her wages to them and they pay her bills and give her pocket money, as well as which they contact her creditors and arrange payments with them as well. Another of the girls is a budgeting Guru and a third is in a complete financial mess as she is the sole bread winner, as her husband is now to obese to work. I thought I was the only one with money issues amongst our friends but it seems to me that we have an epidemic on our hands.

Nearly forgot to mention that I lost another pound of weight this week, I,ll fit into my dress yet yippeeeeeee

Friday, October 1, 2010

October,s Estimated Expenses

Every journey starts with just a single step, and today is my step one towards a Spend Consciously Year. I intend to still make out a monthly budget and stick rigourously to it, as well as making sure that everything I put into savings will be touched only if absolutely needed, as this is money I really don,t want to spend, if I do have to use any of it I will make sure it is an absolute necessity, and I will be looking at the cheapest way of getting round it.
My plans are to shop for groceries with a list and a weekly menu.
To try to cut down on my electricity bill.
To retail shop with a need and not want mentality.
To only ever take my own healthy lunches to work.
To leave my debit card at home and only carry what little cash I need, this should prevent rash purchasing.
To blog about my triumphs and struggles.

Today was payday and there are 5 of them this month, and I have already drawn up a plan to get me through the month.
1st October
Groceries $100 (anything I don,t spend will be rolled over till next week)
Petrol $20.00
Debt $25.00
Rent $200 (Due to an incompetent Real Estate office we discovered we were a bit behind in our rent so Hubby and I halved the amount)
Day out with friends $30.00
$150.00 into savings

8th October
Telephone/Cable/Internet package $230.00
Food $100 (anything I don,t spend will be rolled over till next week)
Mobile phone bill $30.00
Petrol $20.00
Debt $95.00
$100.00 into savings

15th October
Electricity Bill $385.00
Groceries $100.00 (anything I don,t spend will be rolled over till next week)
Petrol $20.00

22nd October
Food $100.00 (anything I don,t spend will be rolled over till next week)
Petrol $20.00
Debt $25.00
$375.00 into savings

29th October
Food $100.00 (anything I don,t spend will be rolled over till next week)
Petrol $20.00
Debt $50.00

Hopefully nothing unforseen crops up during the month, but if they do I will note them down.
$350.00 into savings