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

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.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 3 No Spend February

This month I,m going to be tighter than a ducks a**e

It,s day 3 of February and already I am faced with my first challenge, I have arranged to meet a friend for coffee on Sunday and I need my hair dyed. My mad money is $20 and my dye is around $12 this only leaves $8 not sure that this is going to be enough.

On the positive side I have spent nothing so far my Granddaughter turned 2 today and her present was already bought, and the food I,m taking to her party was picked last month.
Payday tomorrow and I have a Phone/Internet/Cable bill to pay also my mobile bill, these are not included in my no spends. So so far so good
This is January,s spends, look at the number of no spend days, I,m really pleased about them.

Total spend for 01 Jan 2011 - 28 Jan 2011: $1291.47


2011-01-07 Petrol $20.00
2011-01-08 Petrol $10.00
2011-01-19 Petrol $10.00
2011-01-24 Petrol $10.00
2011-01-28 Petrol $20.00

2011-01-21 Flood Donation $20.00

2011-01-07 Lion Finance $25.00
2011-01-14 Transpacific $72.86
2011-01-21 Lion Finance $25.00
2011-01-28 Transpacific $70.00

2011-01-01 Taxi Fare $10.00
2011-01-08 Alcohol $10.00
2011-01-15 Coffees and Cakes $11.00
2011-01-22 Alcohol $13.00

2011-01-02 Aldi $30.00
2011-01-07 Aldi $115.00
2011-01-11 Coles $9.00
2011-01-11 Woolworths $10.00
2011-01-12 Aldi $53.95
2011-01-15 Aldi $56.05
2011-01-15 Woolworths $15.35
2011-01-22 Aldi $66.10
2011-01-28 Aldi $100.00

2011-01-14 Hair Dye $13.00
2011-01-14 Nails filled $30.00
2011-01-22 Nails filled $50.00
2011-01-22 Shampoo $4.67

2011-01-22 Prescription $13.00

2011-01-07 Electricity $100.00
2011-01-14 Electricity $298.39

2011-01-22 K mart $0.10

2011-01-03 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-04 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-05 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-06 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-09 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-10 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-13 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-16 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-17 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-18 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-20 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-23 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-25 Spend Less Day $0.00
2011-01-26 Spend Less Days $0.00
2011-01-27 Spend Less Day $0.00

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

OMG It,s Happening Again !!!!!

I cant believe that it,s happening to us again, for the second time in 4 weeks Queensland is making headlines round the world, as Tropical Cyclone Yasi bears down on our coastline. Apparently this has now been upgraded to category 5 and is the biggest one we have ever had. So once again residents in the North East areas are being evacuated. according to the weather bureau this storm is expected to hit in approx 4 hours. Our Premier Anna Bligh has not spared any punches and has told us to expect mass destruction and many deaths.
I am not going to be directly affected, although I know a couple of people who are, but I feel sick to my stomach, at what is definitely going to be a major catastrophy.

Queensland needs your thoughts and prayers tonight.

Apologies Sharon if I put my financial report on the back burner, when this is all over and we know the final outcome I will post again,