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

Monday, May 30, 2011

Council Inspection of our Restaurant Kitchen - Today

We need Another Sink

Title explains it all, so I am sitting here with my fingers crossed that they won,t find anything else which needs done, as any work will slow down our opening. I really was naive enough to think that any Kitchen issues would have been long resolved, but apparently not. Perhaps as the Restaurant has'nt changed hands in a long long time, it has'nt been inspected for awhile, and of course regulations change every time you blink. Anyway I,ll know more tomorrow.

My sister is away doing her food handling and Kitchen management courses today, and like my Liquor Licensing courses you have to get your certificates to be granted your licenses, so good luck to her for today.

My Takeaway menus are being picked up by me later today, can't wait to see them. I have a draft copy but there is nothing beats seeing them in the flesh ( so to speak ) I saved some money by not having had them folded, so I guess I'll be busy this afternoon. This will be a breeze for me as I had been doing this type of work for six years.

Nothing else new for me to do today, Sis. and I had been going out yesterday to pick up our Commercial Dishwasher and we had borrowed The Foxx's old workhorse of a Station Wagon. however the salesman we had been going out to see was off sick and nobody else had done the paperwork for us, so looks like next week before we will pick it up. They wanted $160 to deliver it !!!! So picking it up is a no-brainer.

On my to-do list for this week.

See Solicitor to sign lease

See current owner to have a run down on appliances, and the workings of.

See current owner regarding council's inspection.

See Insurance Agent for Restaurant Insurances.

See bank to pick up Merchant Banking info.

Speak to Telstra regarding phone lines into Restaurant.

Speak to my Superannuation company re: my application.

I,m sure there is more, will need to go and check my diary, see you all around.

Blogger/Google is still playing up for me I can,t even add a comment to my own blog now, so unless I am able to sign in Anonymously then there are some blogs I just can,t comment on. Apologies xxx

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Barista Course

My Barista course is now finished, and because it was an accredited course we ended with an exam, I did'nt expect that, I had thought I was going for a nice relaxing enjoyable day out. Instead as soon as the word exam was used I turned into a quivering wreck, much the same as I did for the Liquor License exams, however I passed and am now a fully trained proffessional Barista. Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee

I am now trained to use, clean and set up both an expresso machine and grinder, to achieve the perfect Expresso based drinks.

Yesterday my sister and I found the perfect set of dishes for putting dips into, one of our entrees is a trio of dips and we had been searching for the perfect white containers for ages, and we stumbled on them quite by chance. I think we have almost everything we need now, but we will know better on Monday when we are going to the Restaurant to meet the current owner and a member of the local Council.

Apparently the Council have been asking for another sink to be installed in the kitchen, and as we will be the ones working the kitchen they want to ask where we want it placed. When we had the contract of sale drawn up, we stipulated that we were not prepared to take on any outstanding repairs or debts to this business, and so we will not be paying for this sink. We will find out tomorrow if the owner realises this. We have spoken to our solicitor regarding this and he has made it clear to us that we are not responsible.

Heading off to our local markets now, we would like to use local produce where we can and markets are usually the place to find the freshest and cheapest produce so we are going on a fact finding mission, wish us luck ....................

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Apologies All Round

I am so frustrated with my google account just now, I have one but whenever I try and make comments on some blogs it just keeps flashing back to this sign in box, so i do that then try and add my comment and blow me down but it does it too me again. So far today this has happened in three occasions, so today my apologies go out to.

Debt free by thirty

We May be Poor but we are Happy

Head over Heels in Debt

Sorry girls I am reading your posts but until I figure out how to fix this problem I can,t comment. I read every post written by all of my favourite bloggers, so if you are not hearing from me it,s probably because of this..........

No new happenings on the Restaurant front to report, an email from The Agent made us realise that we will be signing our lease agreement as soon as our Solicitor reads it over, but other than that I am having a housework day today before my Barista course tomorrow.

RSA and RMLV Certificates Passed

Ok so I,ve been really really busy for the last couple of days, sitting for and getting my Certificates, my brain was about fried with all the information it has had to process over the last day or so. On the first day I spent 7 hours doing half of my RMLV that same evening I spent 4 hours doing my RSA. The next day saw me finishing my RMLV and receiving both Certificates. Apparently nobody saw me getting both of these at the first sitting, but I did and so I am feeling just a tad proud of myself. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of liquor I consume LOL

I got in touch with my superannuation company this morning, explained my position with regards to my settlement date and they are going to fast-track my payment so if we all keep our fingers, toes, knees and arms crossed it just may be through in time.

Today has been a day of form filling and endless phone calls to companies which keep you hanging on the other end for ages. But I have managed to set up an appointment for next week to speak to an Insurance Agent, we need to know a lot more about Public liability etc. I have also made an appointment with the bank regarding our merchant machine for the Restaurant, no point in opening up without having means for customers to use their cards as payment, and I have also made an appointment with the current owner to get a full hands on day with him in the Restaurant so he can show us the ropes.

Our Kitchen knifes have arrived this was an exciting moment for my Sister, every Chef needs good knifes and she took ages to make her mind up which ones she wanted, but now that they are here she is happy with her choice. Our uniforms also arrived they were away getting the Restaurant name on them, and they are so smart, can,t wait to wear them. And last but not least our Sundae glasses are here, think old Soda Bar and it should give you an idea what they are like, love em.

So thats where I am at the moment, waiting waiting waiting for everything to be finalised, I am starting to get a touch nervous, but this is a good nervous feeling.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Proud Restaurant Owners Photos

I nearly never posted this photo because it was taken through the front window and so the quality is terrible, but I wanted to show you the Restaurant at it,s worst before we wave our magic wand over it.
On the wall to the left of this photo is our famous Tivoli Fountain wall mural, the kitchen is the bright spot to the top right our bar is also too the right and straight ahead behind the curtains seems to be an area for dumping things. But we intend to make that area if it is big enough into an intimate sitting area. Watch this space for more updates.

This is a picture of the outside, with me on the right, my sister on the left, her Granddaughter in the centre and my two little Angels next to us. The current owner ( we have not formaly settled yet ) seems to have lost his marbles and spoiled the whole shop frontage with this awful Spaghetti eating bride, he also used this logo on business cards and menus YUCK !!!! So the bride is going ASAP.

Today we added our outgoings to a new Quicken program we bought to keep our accounts up to date and so far we have spent arount $7,000 this includes a few bits and pieces for the Restaurant our initial deposit and licenses and training courses, and we are a long way from finishing our outgoings. It,s all out and nothing in just now but we were not naive enough to imagine it would be otherwise.

I managed to lay my hands on exactly the pasta bowls I was looking for as well as Sundae glasses and long spoons for them, and so at last we have sourced and looked for the best prices for everything we wanted. By going online, visiting auction houses and $2 shops we have paid way under the going rate for almost everything.

We looked into purchasing an industrial Dishwasher but they were soooo expensive that we have decided to rent with an option to buy after a year, or continue to rent. We were going to have to hire someone to help with the dishes but this has turned out to be a cheaper option. Plus the machine wont be looking for extra hours or holiday pay LOL

Heading off to do my Liquor course tomorrow, wish me luck as getting the licence for the Restaurant depends on me passing an end of course exam. I can,t remember the last time I had to sit and study, hope my brain doesent explode.

Well it,s Sunday and as the world is definitely still going strong I wish you all a great weekend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Superannuation Blues

Definitely more going out just now than coming in, plus bad news from My superannuation company, they have told me that because they are currently changing the structure of the company there is a delay in paying out individuals Superanuation, this means ME. OMG I am worried stiff what if it doesent come through in time for the contract to be finalised which is the 6th June.

So once again sleepless nights for me, half of me is getting on with my plans and the other half of me is frightened to make any, on the plus side my Sister is so positive, that I,m hoping it rubs off on me.

My final final final wage came in to the bank today this consisted of about 20 hours of holiday pay and the 16 hours I worked this week, so not a lot but added to what I have already got it will get me through, plus there is a credit card added to our business account with $4.500 available on it, so I may be able to use it and put anything used back when my Superannuation comes through.

We picked up our uniforms yesterday with the Restaurant name embroidered on to them, they look really smart I will be mainly in black with a long Bistro Apron and my sister is going with the traditional chefs jacket and striped trousers, we have bought confortable shoes, and so we are ready for our first service.

Next week my courses start and I,m looking forward to learning the fine art of coffee and alcohol service.

Anyone noticed my 2 sidebars, yippee almost paid off debt 2) cant wait to really get started on debt 1) I am only paying off $25 a fortnight at present so you can imagine how long this is going to take, still there is no interest on this debt so I actually can take my time with my repayments, still I would love to get rid of it.

Heading out with Sister to have a look at Chefs knifes, OMG more money.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Almost Retired From My Job !!!!!

My word is blogger experiencing problems over the last couple of days, I,m not sure if anybody has managed to catch up with my last post, I had some trouble finding it myself, however here is more of my journey.

The candles above are exactly what we have bought to go on the inside tables, we have a mural on the main wall of the Restaurant which is a picture of The Tivoli Fountain in Rome, and we have used this image for all of our artwork on menus business cards etc. The rest of the walls are plain as to add any more would be overkill, and because of all the stone work in the mural we have tried to find something to match for the tables, and we thought these were perfect. They are not too big that you can,t see round them and not too small as to hardly stand out.

The Tivoli fountain

Tomorrow afternoon we are going out to catch up with a lad who has just closed down his family,s Italian Restaurant due to his Father,s bad health. He has loads of bits and pieces for sale and although there are very few things we need I want to pick his brains regarding Suppliers etc.

I did not leave work yesterday as planned, because they are right in the middle of a very big order and asked me for another couple of days, so now it,s Tuesday before I retire from working for the man. I managed to get my wages sorted out and now I am earning another couple of days money, so my expenses are not as bad as I thought they were going to be, and I should get by comfortably until we open up.

The Foxx is managing to take the news of our business venture pretty well at the moment, but I know the other shoe will eventually fall, and I,m prepared for that.

At the moment my Sister is having to handle almost all of the business appointments which don,t require my signature, and this is because of my work committments, so some days I feel a little out the loop, however I,m there when I can be and we do catch up every night as she is still living with us. Her Daughter and Husband are also here ( until the 8pm flight tonight ) although not staying with us, and I do feel threatened by him. I am not keen on him knowing our business and he is wooing her and fully expects her to return to him even although he is aware that all our money is tied up in this business, he wants to return in a couple of weeks to help with any painting etc. and then return again for our opening night. It wont be long before he will be getting told to back off, more dramas !!!!

Off to friends for a BBQ today, this will probably be the last one of the Season as it,s beginning to cool down a lot today, we are at 21centigrade or 69.8 fahrenheit not cold by some standards but my blood has thinned down after all my years of living down under.

Have a great weekend

Maureen xx

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Last Day As An Employee

Where does the time go to ???

Today is my last day at work, I handed in two weeks notice and at last the big day has arrived. What a scary feeling to think that this wage is going to have to last me until the Restaurant starts to pay, and I,m not sure that the amount he has paid me is correct as I had expected around $200 more than I got, still I,ll be in his office first thing this morning checking that out.

At the moment all of our money is going out as we pay for courses, licences and stock. In a couple of weeks I am doing two days training in responsible sale of liquor, if I pass the course then it,s full steam ahead to apply for my Liquor licence. and then at the end of that same week I do a full days Barista course to learn the fine art of coffee making, complete with art on the top of each cup. I am a little concerned about the Liquor course as the exam at the end is going to be the deciding factor between getting that all important licence or not.

Because I work for a Printing firm all my Menus, leaflets and business cards are being done for me as part of a going away gift from Management and I should get them today, how exciting is that, my name in print this could be the most famous I ever get LOL

Our little Restaurant has been running now for around 14 years and is an intimate candlelit 40 seat dining area with room to sit another 16 outside, but as we head into Winter this area will not be getting much use I wouldent imagine. We have had to buy very little in the way of equipment, as it is already all set up. however girls being girls we have changed the table linens and centrepieces, and it is getting a lick of paint and a bloody good clean but very little else.

We asked the present owner if he would close the Restaurant down just now, so currently there is a large sign on the window, advising customers we are closed for renovations. You may think this is a very strange thing to do but we felt it was for the best.
The original owner and her Husband split up and he left the state, and she inherited the busines,s as she was the Chef and the business was her passion, then she took on Michael who invested a little of his own money and helped her run the place, doing his front of house Manager. Then she got sick and walked away from the business, and there was Michael left with a Restaurant he had very little interest in, he has done his best but we felt he was doing us no favours staying there and losing custom and so we suggested he closed and he was in agreeance. A drastic step but one we felt was necessary. So now you know why we have been able to afford to buy this business, it,s all been because of other peoples bad management skills and lack of Michael keeping proper books.

However having said that we have benefitted from this it has also had it,s drawbacks, as the original owner has now passed on and we are having a devil of a job getting the licences and even the phone changed over to our names and one thing we dont want to be losing is the phone number as all our flyers and takeaway menus are all printed now with the number already on them. Still we are paying an exhorbitant amount of money to our Solicitor to make sure this is all handled properly.

I got a lovely leaving gift and a special morning tea yesterday from the girls I have been working beside for the last 6 years, and for a couple of moments I wondered if I was doing the right thing, but it quickly passed and now it,s onwards and upwards.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

You are going to be blown away, by my news.

No time for pictures apologies or smart little comments, I have only got time to tell you what has been happening in my life for the past 4 weeks.

After picking up my sister from the train station after she completed her flight from Western Australia, we got talking about what she intended to do now that she was on her own. And she told me that she wished to start up a little Restaurant but dident have the money so she would probably look for paid work and give up on her dream. Before the words were even out of her mouth I told her that I felt excited about her coming to live with or near me and how I felt that what ever decision she made would somehow include me. I asked her how much money she had and she had almost to the penny the same amount of money that I have in my superannuation fund.

So today we are the proud if not scared owners of a little Italian Restaurant, we put in a silly offer and it was accepted, it settles on the 6th of June by which time my Superannuation payment will be in my bank account as well as my Long Term savings, my Holiday Fund and my Emergency Fund.
Am I mad ??? Probably !!!
Am I scared ??? Definitely !!!
Am I excited ??? You bet !!!

I am not going to change the name of my blog as my goals are still the same, retire without debt and relatively comfortably, but my methods have done a 360deg turnaround.
We are entering into this venture without debt, that was a huge no brainer for us, no borrowing from the bank or family this is completely our baby and we either sink or swim.
My posts will now be all about how we get up and running all our successes, failures, trials, tribulations and a whole lot of laughing. At last I feel in a good place, I feel happy and can,t wait to get on with it.
Many of you will be reading this shaking your heads and tutting, some of you may feel a little envious, but I,m hoping you all wish us luck.

One last thing for me to do is update my sidebars and remove those funds which are now empty, in the future once I know how much of a wage I will be getting and how much I can save I will start them up again. I leave work on Friday the 13th ( spooky eh ) and after that I will have no money for a few weeks, so everything I have learned from my PF friends will be getting put to good use, fingers crossed.

It,s Mothers Day in Australia today so for all the Mum,s out there.


Monday, April 11, 2011

The Holiday Is Well And Truly Over

I,m back !!!!!!

It seems like forever since I last posted or checked and commented on any other bloggers posts, so my humble apologies. But as expected with the arrival of my sister, my life has been turned on end, but it,s exciting.

For the first time in a long time laughter is back in my home, my Sister is a very uplifting personality and together we laugh. I have no doubt in my mind, that while alone in bed she grieves for all she has lost and left behind, but she seems determined to get on with things and make a new start.

At the moment she is on the Golf Course, meeting some of the Lady members to see if she can build a social life round her love of Golf. Maybe one day I will join her down there, I have the Clubs now all I need is some motivation.

My holiday accomodation and flights were by far the cheapest part of our trip away, as we seemed to spend an awful lot on food and booze. We choose to stay in Hotels rather than apartments and so we had to eat out for every single meal, this is the first time we have ever holidayed this way and we did,nt realise how expensive this was going to be.

I reckon between food and drink we managed to spend around the $150 mark each day for 10 days so that was a huge lump out of our spending money. Then we stayed with friends for the last day or two and in both homes and I contributed to the weekly groceries.

Actually that annoyed me slightly as you would have thought that both of my friends would have shopped BEFORE I got to their homes ???

Total Holiday Spends ( just for me )

Flights $198

Hotels $450

Food & Drink $ 750

Presents for Grandkids $75

Total = $1,473 ( approx. )

Oh my gosh !!! It,s not until you write it all down that you realise how much a trip away costs, and this was not even our summer break, looks like I may have to up my holiday fund for that one.

Back at work now and money has started to come back into the house again, but my budget is no way meeting this houses demands, and so a rethink of all things financial will be happening soon. This time I will be expect some input from my Sister and Mil especially with the Groceries.

Great to be back, I am never going to be able to catch up with all the posts I have missed, but I will try and get through everyones last post, see you around

Maureen xxx

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Much Needed Break

I thought it was time I wrote another post, great idea let everyone know how your finances are doing, let the blogging world know how much you,ve spent, saved, budgeted for this last few days. So O.K. now open up your blog and lets get on with it...............Nothing.............I have writers block.
My finances are in the best shape they have been in for years, my spending is now under control, and my savings are growing.
My Holiday starts in a couple of days, my much needed time away from MIL, work and a chance to clear the air with The Foxx.
But where is my head, it,s with my Sister who as I write this is changing her life turning everything upside down, and in my opinion is the bravest Woman I know.
Forgive me my lack of committment to my blog, I will be taking almost 2 weeks away from the PC, until I return all the best with your plans hopes and dreams.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday,s Spends A Little Splurge

My Weekly Splurge. Well here she is, not exactly the kettle of my dreams, that one was $142 but definitely an edgey little number, when switched on she makes very little noise and lights up like the cockpit of a jet plane. Plus she makes a mean cup of tea, and cost $78 a little cheaper than the $100 I had intended to spend, so good for me.
Total of todays spends
Petrol $20 ( I have fuel left in my tank from last week. )
Debt $ 25 ( normal weekly payment )
Layby,s $65 ( payments on my pots, pans and bedding )
Clothing $23 ( broke my promise and bought a couple of tops to take on holiday )
Food $100( not spent yet just allocated to jar )
Kettle $78 ( as stated above )
My snowflakes went up by $202. 22 made up of
Overtime payment $172.22
Money for online surveys $30.00
All up I,m really pleased with my weekly spends considering I had,nt planned on the kettle expense. I,m kind of hoping to get some change back out of the Grocery money, but as The Foxx will be shopping for me, it,s highly unlikely as he has a sweet tooth.
I,m working again tomorrow and this will be going into my wage next week, just in time for my trip away. This extra money will be allocated towards Champagne, gotta love those bubbles. Yes after all my frugal months I,m splashing out on this holiday.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My First Emergency Of 2011

Me And My Big Mouth
After my comment yesterday about having had no financial emergencies and everything travelling along on an even keel. I woke this morning to find our house in complete darkness and The Foxx out at the fuse box with a torch. Our old but reliable kettle had decided to become our old and unreliable kettle, and had tripped the safety switch in our power box !!!
It,s not a fixable problem so a new kettle is now on my shopping list for tomorrow, and in my usual fashion of buying for quality and not price, I will be up around the $100 mark. Still it,s money well spent to get a decent cuppa. Although I will be looking for the best price possible.
My wages will be given an extra boost tomorrow, with extra snowflake money ( overtime money ) and this is my last wage before I take off on my holiday.
As soon as we booked the table for Dinner last night we realised we had made a mistake, there is no need for us to be having a night out so near to our week away. We thought that we had to use the coupon by the end of this month, but they have extended the offer until the end of May, so plenty of time to go for this meal.
My Sister lives about a 5 day drive away from us on the opposite side of this vast country, normally we would fly but as she is coming to live she wants to bring her car. But she does not want to drive across the Nullabor Desert alone, so she is putting her car on a train and then meeting the train in South Australia around the middle mark and coincidentaly this is exactly where The Foxx and I are going to be. This was not pre-planned but I,m glad that we are going to be there for her as she is going to need a lot of support. Then she will have to drive alone for another 2 days to get to Queensland, I would love to make this drive with her, but she insists that she needs the time alone to think things out, plus I would be abandoning The Foxx right in the middle of our holiday, plus I would not be back in time to start work the following Monday. So lots to think about.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Life Goes On

Now that I know that my Sister is going to be living near me my head is in a whirl, I cant sleep at night, plans , thoughts and suggestions are whirling around in my brain. On the 1st of January I made the statement that 2011 was going to be a great year, and since saying that the world has being going through some troubling times. Some right round the corner from me and some on the other side of the world. But I could stil not get rid of the idea that for me anyway, things were about to change.
Could this be it ??? could the difference be having my sister back in my life ?? I,m not sure but I cant get rid of the knot of excitement I,m feeling right now.

On the PF side of my life, I seem to have settled into a routine of working out my wages on a Thursday night and shuffling my money around on a Friday. I have not had any major financial emergencies so far this year, so I have not had to redo my budget other than to add on my layby payments for my bedding and pots. I have opted to pay the minimum amount on these purchases weekly. I figure I have waited 20 something years for new pots so a couple more months wont make much difference.
The Christmas present my Daughter gave to her Dad and I is finally going to get used on Tuesday night, when we will get all dressed up and go out for a free swanky meal. I love eating dishes I would never attempt at home.
And talking about dishes, I made out a menu which covered dinners this week, so no scratching my head and wondering what on earth to eat, I involved MIL and The Foxx in my decisions so we are all happy and everyone gets at least one favourite dish a week. And leftovers are being put aside for a Friday when it,s every man for himself and it,s first to the freezer scores the dish they prefer. It,s only week one but so far so good.

I have been a little slack commenting on your blogs, please I do try and find the time to get online every night after tea, but this week life just seems to be getting in the way. MIL has been a little under the weather, and I have been spending more time sitting chatting to her. My depression has been coming and going in waves, although that now seems to be back under control. And after getting a bone marrow test done The Foxx has 33% cancer cells, so his Leukemia, is back with a vengeance and the Chemo drugs he has to take have been knocking him around quite a bit.
I think we need this holiday big style !!!!!!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

In Holiday Mode

Well the beginnings of another week and a step nearer my holiday, I will be leaving home on the 25th March and returning on the 3rd April, cant wait apart from the time I took of for my Daughters Wedding last November it has been 15 months since our last break.
We are going back to our old stomping ground in South Australia, where we lived for 9 years when we first emigrated out from Scotland, we have some amazing friends there and some terrific memories, in fact sometimes I wonder why we ever left ???
On the financial side we tried to do this Holiday as cheaply as we could and managed to get cut price airfares and a terrific deal on our Hotel, we will eat out as cheaply as we can when we are on our own, and splash out a bit when we are out with friends.
My Holiday fund is nowhere near large enough to accomodate this Holiday, and so I am not touching it and we are going to finance it mainly by cash and The Foxx,s CC. He has a limit of $2,000 on this card and pays it out every month, with a little help from his good lady ( me ). If used correctly I actually love the concept of CC,s but I,m not very good at using them correctly and so I don,t have one.
I am absolutely loving my new PC it is soooomuch faster than my old one, the mouse actuallly moves when and where you want it too, and my super sized monitor means no eye strain. Although I have taken it off of the shelf it was on and put it on a flat surface as I was getting a crick in my neck just looking up at it.
My Sister has made the decision to leave her Husband and come all the way over from the other side of Australia to live nearer to me. He is an Alcoholic and is not getting treatment for it, he is completely in denial. I know that this move is going to bring it,s fair share of dramas into my life and of course my sister,s. So I will write more about it as it unfolds.

Friday, March 11, 2011

There,s Light Appearing Now !!!!!

I,m Feeling Heaps Better

I was looking for a picture which described how I feel right now, and to tell you all that I can find some light at the end of this tunnel, and I found this picture, maybe not exactly what I was loooking for, but it made me smile. Which should give you some idea of where I am right now. My meds have been tweaked and I,m in a much better place right now. Thanks for the support I may not have been blogging and commenting but I have been lurking so I am up to date with all your achievements and supporting all your failings.

I even felt well enough to work a little overtime yesterday, so looking forward to a little extra in my pay next week.
I will be heading off Grocery shopping soon and putting some money onto my layby,s ( pots and bedding ) I don,t know how much as yet as I have not done a budget up to include this, as I have been doing my Ostrich ( head in the sand ) act lately, which is a lot better than my Shopaholic act which started the month.
I have just noticed that my sidebars and Snowflake total need updating so I,ll be on to that soon. Otherwise everything is OK on the financial front.
The Foxx and I have still not had THAT conversation yet. But we are going away for 10 days at the end of the month, and we are going to be on our own for the first time in ages. I have no intention of spoiling our break, but some aspects of our finances and relationship are going to have to be ironed out.
More about our mini holiday later.
Once again a shoutout to an amazingly supportive bunch of bloggers, I have missed you all but I,m back now.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sinking Lower And Lower

I have noticed a pattern forming and it seems as if my fits of depression are returning, this is a surprise as I am currently on my meds, so perhaps I need the dose looked at.
Symptoms for me are highs and lows, when I say high I actually mean I am feeling well and capable, where the lows have me keeping away from friends. Staying away from the Internet ( I call this my Ostrich time, head in the sand )not answering the phone and missing time off from work, so I,m currently at home, and forcing myself to post.
Things are still not good between The Foxx and I, he is once again broke and turning to me to keep him going, but I,m so over constantly being in financial charge.
Yesterday he wanted me to help him in the garden, but I wanted to sit and play games on my PC, and that ended in a row. Yes he is the one with the physical illnesses and I do sympathise and worry about him. But at the moment I am just mentally hanging on by a thread.
I have completely run out of paid sick leave, and so I am not being paid for my time at home, and like it or not I will have to return to work tomorrow.
I am stalking the blogs today, and will make no comments, because my head is not in the right place for making, enthusiastic, helpful, chatty responses.
I,ll be back with meds firmly in place, till then, happy blogging.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A March Shopaholic,s Confession.

Guess what I have been up to these last few days!!
Well if you thought that maybe I had taken time off from blogging in order to spend money then you were absolutely right. The Northern Hemisphere is looking forward to warmer days and we in the south are hoping for cooler days and nights. It all started with new carpets going down throughout the house, as soon as they were down I wanted to decorate the whole house. normally you would do this before the carpets went down but we got about 2 days notice and we had to strip 3 bedrooms and a lounge/ dining room of all furniture. so you see I have been busy. no time to blog.

To get back to the cooler weather thing, I want to get more organised in the Kitchen, and that means more cooking from scratch and replacing one or two items which have outgrown there usefullness. Namely my pots, I bought my last set about 22 years ago and they were inexpensive then. I have always stood and drooled over Baccarat pots, but I wouldent spend the money on them. so how could I resist this set which were 1/2 price reduced right down to $380.00

Gorgeous arent they, sorry I couldent find a larger picture, the special on that day was for 50% off plus a wok, so I put them on a layby and will pay them off gradually over 8 weeks.

O.K. satisfied that I had gotten the bargain of a lifetime and had got spending money, out of my system. I confidently decided to browse around our local Curtain Wonderland Store. Because this is a rental house I never buy curtains, as they are always already on the windows, maybe not exactly to my taste but in the case of this home not too shabby at all. So passing the curtains and going deeper into the store I discovered The Bedding Dept. I love, love, love, white bedding, I know it,s not really practical but what the heck, it,s one of lifes little luxuries for me. so I bought a white and silver duvet set , two extra white pillowcases, 4 new pillows and a couple of white and silvery sparkly cushions to throw on the bed.

All up about $150 as these were also on sale, and are now on a 12 week layby.

Am I finished ? well almost I have wanted a yogurt maker for the longest time and now I am making Greek yogurt like a crazy woman, cost $19.99. And lastly I got my bread maker out and I am now making my own loafs. The Breadmaker was a freebie, so spending spree over.

I am looking for someone, to tell me how to make inexpennsive bread and yogurt as the pre-packaged way is expensive.

How did I finance this amazing Spending spree, all of my layby deposit payments came out of my snowball money plus what was left after No Spend February, and after $1,000 had gone into my debt repayment. I will have to massively update my budget to include my PC payments and my Layby, s. I. will do that on the weekend.

Thanks for the amazing support you gave me after my last post, I have done nothing about speaking to hubby again, but I will.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Plea To My Hubby......

Dear Foxx

As you may have noticed I share this blog with nobody, It started it off as my personal diary just to see if I could, because as you know I am not that computer literate. but now I have met some awesome bloggers and I am at last with their help managing to get my head round my finances.

One or two things you have said to me lately lead me to believe that you have found my blog and have been reading it. That annoyed me at first but now that I am writing this I hope you are reading it. We are a couple and finances are definitely an area which we should be sharing.

I get quite jealous of the fact that so many of the bloggers I follow, reach awesome goals and make terrific decisions, together. They sit down discuss their finances and work out a budget which suits their household.

Most of them like you and I get to a bad place first before this happens, they have debt, no savings, no budget and no idea how to get out of the mess. And so along comes blogger and without looking back they dig themselves out.

We need to be doing this, it,s all well and good that I am at the moment in a better place, but this needs to be a joint venture. We need to be sharing information, working as a team and arguing a whole lot less. We retire shortly with bad money habits, and no home of our own.

Our Marriage needs to be in a better place with more trust, sharing and joint decisions.

I realize that it is going to be a while before the trust is there again, we have always been so secretive about our triumphs and failures. We have always had a mine and yours mentality towards money.

Can we get on the same page, for the first time in 40 years, that,s one hell of a lot of time wasted, and a hell of a lot of money wasted.

I love you Foxx can we do this
Maureen xxx

Sunday, February 27, 2011

End Of No Spend February and Results.

A massive shout out to Sharon for organising this No Spend Month.

I have had an awesome month, I managed to cut my Zero based budget down,( who would have thought that possible) and as a result of this I have saved an extra $180. My savings were..

Petrol $10 ( cut back on two of the 4 weeks by $5 )

Mad money $110 ( cut back $ 30 on 3 of the weeks and $20 on the fourth )

Grocery money ( cut 2 of my 4 weeks back by $30 )

So if you add those savings to my snowflakes for the month, most of which were overtime money. I am going to be adding $1,000 into debt 1 )

Savings this month came to $920.00 this was divided up between my Holiday Fund, Emergency Fund, long time Savings Fund, and a personal debt, not to be confused with my debt bars.

Normal Debt payments came to $165 divided between Debt 1 } and Debt 2 )

Bills were covered as usual, with money put aside weekly.

So all up a successful month, yippee when are we having the next one ?????

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thats All Folks / Showing off About My New PC

I, m finished Spending
Technically speaking I have finished my spending for the month of February, today was my final payday and I have finished my Grocery shopping, put petrol in my car, and have used up my Mad money and then some.
Yes I went over on my mad money, by $10, not a Kings ransom by any means and so I,m not going to get all dramatic and declare this month a failure. I dropped a heavy box onto my french manicure and split two nails, badly.
I have been in a lot of pain with them and so after work today when I could stand it no longer, I had them fixed. they are still painfull but no longer catching on things and they will heal.
I only made around an extra $48 this week as I had done very little overtime, just as well really as my body was screaming out for me to stop, but every cent helps to eliminate debt. So I will add it to my snowflakes total.
I will do a final account on Sunday of how I have done this week. but I think all up a very successful month. Cant wait to see how everyone else has done.
I have now got my new PC up and running, fortunately it was installed by the tech when it was delivered and so far I have had very few dramas, this is the first time I have used Windows 7 so there are one or two annoying things about it but nothing I cant get my head around. So I have gone from a 12 inch laptop screen to a 23 inch LED screen and an ibook G4 borrowed from my Son. To an acer AM1900 with
Windows 7
intel 2 Quad processor
4GB of memory
1TB hard drive
DVD super Multi drive
Even the keyboard has a volume control.
It has a Microsoft Media Centre and I can watch TV on it.
So I am stoked, but here is the downside it is costing me $30 a week, that includes insurance and I,ll be paying that for three years before I can buy it out for $1. Not perhaps the best way to buy a new PC but with nobody prepared to give me credit this was my only option. I feel I can manage my budget well enough now to incorporate this payment in without cutting back on debt repayment or savings. So I will write a new budget and tweak a couple of other areas, will need to give this some thought.
By the way as a bit of an after thought I am now getting a proper look at a lot of your blogs and am seeing some of your backgrounds for the first time. There are some beautiful blogs out there, keep up the good work.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My New PC Arrives Tomorrow

A Big Day For Me

Well at last it is happening, my new PC arrives tomorrow, I am super excited, but I have no idea how to attach all the cables and set up the wireless mouse and keyboard, so I may have to take a couple of days off from blogging until some kind child takes pity on me.
Because it has taken so long for the company to find me a PC they are giving me the first month free, by way of an apology, yippee.

Short blog tonight. So the finances are NO Spend Day today, 3 hours overtime worked so far this week, will get by on my petrol until payday and my Phone Bill came in today and is cheaper than I expected, so good news all round.

On a serious note, our news bulletins and reports are full of the earthquake in New Zealand. I have some amazing Kiwi friends and many of them have family still in Christchurch. So for all those affected it is now our turn to say how sad we are, and wish you and yours safety. You are in my prayers.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 21 No Spend February / Plus Weekly Spending Report

My Spend Less Week In Review

This week has been a big success, I still have some of my Mad Money left, I also have not put all of the money allocated for fuel into my car yet, the petrol money you can see spent was left over from last week, hoping to be able to keep that expense down. My Grocery bill was around the $100 mark but because I made some good food choices next weeks bill should be down.
I managed to sneak in an extra 1hr 20mns overtime today, I had been counting on staying back for 2 hrs but the sky turned black and a storm threatened so we all got sent home. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to pick up some more hours.

Total spend for 13 Feb 2011 - 19 Feb 2011: $153.55

2011-02-15 Petrol $20.00
2011-02-18 Lion Finance $25.00
2011-02-18 Coffees and Cakes $11.00
2011-02-18 Aldi $68.56
2011-02-18 Woolworths $28.99
2011-02-13 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-02-14 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-02-16 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-02-17 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-02-19 Spend Less Day $0.00
TOTAL $153.55

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I really do hope nobody finds this offensive, if you do my apologies, but I laughed my head off when I received it from my daughter, it pretty much describes how I would feel about losing my PC, my new one has not been delivered as yet, apparently they have none in stock. I really cant understand why they would take an order, promise you a delivery within the next couple of days, and then leave you hanging for the next couple of weeks. Thanks to my wonderful Son and Wife for being so patient, shouldent be long now.

Check out the Snowflakes folks , add to that total the amount of money saved during this challenge, and Debt 2) is going to receive a $1,000 bonus, I,m so excited, I could do it now but I want to wait until the 28th. I am so glad I decided to add my snowflakes to my debt instead of flittering it away over the month. So a big thanks to Sharon for organizing this No Spend Month at exactly the right time.
I will update my sidebars at the end of the month.

What on earth possessed me to buy a leather ( plastic ) covered computer Chair, in our hot and steamy climate. I am sitting here with two towels draped over the seat and backrest, because I stick to them. Might have to reupholster, if I can find out how to do it although it is a fairly solid looking piece of furniture. It is only 9.30am and already we are uncomfortabley hot and it is expected to reach 34c today. If this was to be a dry heat I would be loving it, but the humidity not so much.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Big Removal Day

All of my family are helping my SIL move house today, so I am doing the Babysitting, and so far this has gone really well. although the 2 year old is needing to go down for a nap and is fighting it like crazy, I will probably find her curled up in a corner asleep clutching her favorite Teddy soon.

My SIL is a business woman and a pretty successful one but she can not organize a removal, and leaves everything until, the end and also leaves everyone in the dark regarding times places and who is expected to do what. so I think everyone will be very tired and grumpy around now, so I reckon I have the best job, staying home with the kids and making a super sized Lasagna so they can all eat when they are finished.

I am a pedantic packer who starts well in advance and uses a spare bedroom to store all boxes once they are packed, I wrap all glassware and china in heavy duty tissue paper, put 5 labels on each box, on these I write where each box is going and whats inside,then a label goes on the top and one on each side so no matter which way they are turned the contents are easily read. I wash all bedding before moving, going through my linen press a shelf at a time, and freshening everything up.

I write out a list with everyone I need to contact regarding my move, this list includes my Doctor, Dentist, Work, Car Registration Dept. Insurances and of course for the move itself I have to get my electricity, cable, Internet and phone installations organized.

The family usually take the bulk of my boxes and of course all my private papers, plants, and my old cat who is usually found hiding somewhere by this time. And then we hire a couple of removalists to lift the heavy items. The whole thing only takes an hour or two because I have everything packed and ready. The last time we moved my BFF and her Husband came round and had Dinner with us that night and I knew where everything was right down to the champagne glasses. Moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do so I just like to take the pressure of myself a little.

I forgot to mention that my SIL is moving from a rental property into her own home, this will be her first house purchase in Australia and she is finding the system totally different, still it,s all signed sealed and delivered and she is now the proud owner of a mortgage on a beautiful home set in 5 acres, about a ten minute drive away from us.
I burst into tears when she told me about the house, yes a part of me was jealous but mainly I was delighted that she has managed to get some security behind her, I even had her in tears, happy ones of course.

On the financial front I have spent $100 on Groceries,so no savings there and although I havent as yet put my fuel in I have set aside $20, may make a small saving there.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 16 No Spend February / Fortnightly Progress Results

Mid Month Report

Today was another no spend day the 4th in a row, and tomorrow is going to be another. I am finding this Challenge less Challenging than I thought it would be, and Iv,e tried to analyze why. Now I think Iv,e worked out why.
  1. I don,t have children at home, so there is nobody demanding junk food, money for school trips, pocket money, junk food, ripping the knees out of their school pants, or just getting a treat from their worn out Mum for just being good.
  2. My Husband is ill just now and the last thing he wants to do is go out, so no sneaky meals out, no drinks at the pub on a Friday night, no having friends round for a BBQ or drinks.
  3. My MIL is quite bright and sunny for most of the day but by night time she is ready to go to bed and very often just falls asleep in front of the television, tonight she was sleeping by 6.10pm, so no chance of her wanting to go out and spend money.
  4. No Girlfriend to have a social night out with, since my BFF went to live in another state I have no close friends to spend quality time with, she and I used to go out at least once a week and we would often go for a meal followed by going to see a good Movie.
  5. And last by no means least is my demanding job which although far from stimulating seems to take over my life some weeks.
So this is the reason why I am breezing through this Challenge, all up I have managed to stick to my $100 food budget even dropping it to $70 this week, I have failed miserably to keep my petrol money down to $15 as I have been traveling back and forwards to work 6 days a week, so it is still $20.
My biggest achievement has been dropping my MAD MONEY to $20 a week instead of my usual $50.
So savings so far of $90 as I work on a zero based budget with most of it going into savings and debt I think I have done quite well.
Are we all posting a mid month report ?? I,m dying to know how we are all doing !!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 14 No Spend February / Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day Bloggers

Whats the idea having Valentines Day slap bang in the middle of no spend month ?? Except that I thought it was me not doing the spending and not Hubby, surely he could have splashed out on a single red rose ?? Oh well maybe next year !!!!
Hope you all have a great day and don,t fall into the retail trap, I sent Hubby an ecard and we had a lovely Dinner, even if the romance of the occasion was slightly ruined by having my MIL sitting between us. We were going to use our voucher for dinner tonight but Hubby is,nt feeling up to it.

Another no spend day for me, and it looks as if the overtime could be drying up a bit, that makes me doubly glad I took what was available.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 13 No Spend February / Plus Weekly Spending Report

I,m hot And Sweaty

My word it,s hot over here, after what started as a very wet and mild Summer it has turned into the usual humid sticky and miserable Summer. When I first came to live in Queensland I was told to expect 9 glorious months and 3 months from hell, so this is hell or Summer to some folks. If I was a beach babe I would be enjoying this heat but trying to work and do housework in this heat is definitely not funny.

I have had yet another no spend day, as I did some housework and then went to help my SIL get ready to move house. It was too hot to do much but I was able to give her , everything she would need to pack and wrap all her glasses and good china, it helps to work in a printers where paper, labels, tape and boxes are easy to come by.

You will notice on last weeks spending report that my Grocery bill is way over budget, this is because I shopped late last week and early this week putting them both in the same time frame. I also sneaked in a $6 dress for my Granddaughter. this was in the seconds shop and is next years size for her, plus it still had a label on it and a price of $27.00 so a bargain and the first of my Christmas presents. My SIL who works in Perfumery and Cosmetics gave me a load of samples, and gifts with purchase leftovers, so I will put these away to make up baskets to use as gifts during the year and at Christmas, so I,m definitely getting my bargains this week.

Total spend for 06 Feb 2011 - 12 Feb 2011: $603.49


2011-02-11 Petrol $20.00

2011-02-11 Lion Finance $25.00
2011-02-11 Transpacific $70.00

2011-02-11 Bank Charges $10.00

2011-02-06 Dress For Eva $6.00

2011-02-06 Aldi $115.00
2011-02-11 Aldi $70.00

2011-02-11 Mobile Phone $59.27
2011-02-11 Phone/Internet/Cable $228.22

2011-02-07 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-02-08 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-02-09 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-02-10 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-02-12 Spend Less Day $0.00

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 12 No Spend February / Quiet weekend

You And Me Buddy

Another no spend day and more snowflakes next payday because I worked today, I only stayed about 5.5hrs because I had finished all I was asked too do. So I was home just after Lunch, then visitors popped in to see Hubby, but he quickly got tired and so they did,nt stay long. Thank you for all your kind wishes and prayers for Hubby, one day I will write a post about how, when, and where his illness was discovered and the long and rocky road since then.

No spends today, the harder you work and the more you earn the less time you have to spend, I wonder if that,s how Millionaires do it :) My bank manager is even smiling at me now, as soon as I get my snowflakes to $1000 I am going to hit Debt 1) cant wait to get rid of this burden round my neck.

Financial Targets Reached
  1. Holiday Fund, $240.00 of $2,000
  2. Emergency Fund $240 of $1000
  3. Savings $250 of $10,000
  4. Personal Debt $500 of $1000
  5. Retirement Fund $20,500 of $50,000
I,m doing all right I think at least I,m bang on my targets, so happy, happy, happy, joy, joy, joy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 11 No Spend February / Ive Been Approved !!!

No Time To Spend Money

Pay day today and once again a really good weeks wage, just check out my snowflakes I have added another $280 to them today. But boy am I stressed out and tired, for example last weekend I worked back late on Friday, worked another 6 hours on Saturday. Then went to my Granddaughters birthday Party, fell into bed that night exhausted. Got up Sunday went Grocery shopping, came home and eventually got some washing and housework done, before collapsing into bed early again.
I am doing super well on February,s No Spend Challenge, the main reason being I don,t have time to spend any money. My joints ache my headache is constant, and I,m working again tomorrow.
Why am I doing so much overtime, it,s partly because I don,t know how to say no. Our Printing Firm is doing so well in this economic climate and our Boss gives us the "all hands on board so we can all keep our jobs" speech weekly. plus I am putting my snowflakes to debt repayment and I can,t wait to see it paid off.
A lot of upsides and a lot of downsides too, but it could all dry up tomorrow so till then I,ll keep plodding along. There is a more personal reason behind my need to keep my job and earn extra income. After almost 3 years of excellent blood levels my Husbands Leukemia has reared it,s ugly head again, when he was first diagnosed his condition was so bad that he was,nt able to work for a couple of years, and I became the bread winner and ended up flat broke and in debt. There is no way I am going to allow that to happen to us again, so in the meantime I,ll take on all the work I can get. I am not looking for sympathy, as I am quite well. But somehow it just came tumbling out, it,s amazing the connection you feel with people you don,t really know.

Now for the good news I have been approved for my PC, yahoo !!!!!! I should get it before the end of next week, and my Son and Wife have gone away for a few days and have brought me back the laptop until Tuesday, so if the worst comes to the worst I may only be without the internet for a couple of days, so over the next couple of days I should be able to catch up on all your fabulous posts, looking forward to it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Popping in again/ On the hunt for a PC

Despite the fact that I have searched everywhere for a PC that anybody is prepared to give me or for me to buy cheaply, the answer is always no sorry, and. the sad truth is that I am going to have to get one and fast. so I am either having to go with Plan 1 ) Buy on credit or Plan 2) rent to buy. So I took an Annual leave day today and went hunting, my first port of call was to our local Hi-Fi shop where you can get credit through GE finance. But because I still have a black mark on my credit report they declined my application. So on to the rent to buy scheme, this company claim to do no credit checks, but I fessed up to having this black mark ( $157.00 is all it,s for ) and they still went ahead and put in an application for me to get a new desktop PC and a new Monitor.
I should know in 48 hours if I have been successful, and the system will be delivered middle of next week.

I am going to have to redo my budget some time this weekend in order to make room for this $27 per week dent. This covers Insurance, 23inch Monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse and a fairly fast download speed.

Do I think I can afford to have this PC ? I think I definitely cant afford to not be accountable so I say yes worth every dollar. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me.

Apologies but I cant possibly afford the time to catch up on all blog posts, so for those doing the challenge, I bet your rocking it about now, into the second week and cruising along.

My spends for this week are all within my budget, and charges for my new PC ( if I get it ) wont come out until next month, So far I have had nothing to throw me off of my no spending habits. Hoping this continues all month.

Missing having more time with you all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

This Might Be My Last Post For Awhile

Woe is me

Unfortunately the time has come for The Laptop to return to it,s rightful owners, my Son and his Wife. And it could be as early as tomorrow.
I,m devastated not because I will go back to my old spendthrift ways, but because we are in the middle of a challenge, and I,m enjoying it. Plus and this is a major plus I am going to miss all my blogger friends, so I will make a point of going over to my Daughters house at least once a week and posting from there.
I dont want to have to go into debt for a PC but I dont have enough money saved to cover the costs of a new one. However I,ll throw one or two ideas out into the Universe and see what comes back.
Till we meet again. xxxxx

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 6 No Spend February

It,s Sizzling Hot

What,s with Mother Nature, now she is trying to fry us, the weather has now gone to sticky and very very hot. Thanks for your good wishes about our Cyclone disaster, it,s mop up and rebuild time for Queenslanders.

Now about finances, how did I cope with Lunch out with a friend, that was easy solved we canceled it, as she was having car troubles and was scared to make the journey up from where she lives about an hours drive from me.

So far I have spent my weekly limits on Fuel Groceries and Mad Money so nothing saved but no extra spent, so the news is all good.

Snowflakes have taken off as I earned $298.64 in overtime money last week, plus I will have more coming up this week as I worked back a couple of days and did 6 hours on Saturday. So it,s all going very well ( maybe I should have whispered that in case Murphy was listening ) On to day 7

It,s too hot to sit in my stuffy little Office, but I,ll be back tomorrow, see you all.
By the way I may have mentioned a couple of dozen times in fact that I am using my Son,s laptop. Well my Daughter-in-Law uses it for her courses and she wants it back as she has another course starting very soon, so if I disappear off the radar for a couple of days, bear with me as I will return.