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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Staying With my Son's Family

It's very unlike me to post without a photo of some description, but I am on my Son's PC which I am quite unfamiliar with.

Thursday is my bill paying day ( not household ) I tend to pay the house one week and my debts the next, I am only kidding myself on that it makes our money last a bit longer. The Foxx gets paid fortnightly so this works for us.....

Long Standing Debt                 $25.00
Police Fine                               $45.00
Gas Account Repayment Plan $50.00
Food                                         $100
Fuel                                          $25.00
Toll Account                            $25.00

Glad to say that this was the last payment on my fine, another one bites the dust. So I will increase the payments towards the Gas Account next fortnight this was a Restaurant Debt so I am going to be throwing everything at it soon. I topped up my road tolls account as I pass through tolls both coming and going to my Son's house. The food bill will hopefully be cut this week as my cupboards are pretty full, plus MIL has still to put in her money. Not much else to say on the financial front.

Hang on a minute did I really say nothing to report can't believe I forgot to say that the letter I have been waiting for regarding my UK pension arrived and it is back money they put into my account, yes that's right I get to keep it all.

About 2 hours after I posted about my Grandson's arrival I got a phonecall from my Son asking if I could please come and stay for a few days to watch my Granddaughter as the baby and Mum are still in hospital. Apparently due to the break up of the placenta his blood sugars are low making him very jittery. As 80% of the blood sugars feed the baby's brain this was of concern and so he is on a drip which should stabalise him until Mum's milk comes in, which should hopefully be today.
We are not unduly worried about this little hiccup it's just so frustrating as he is now in The Special Care baby unit, away from Mum.
Hopefully by Saturday they will both be back home and then I will go back home, at the moment I am making myself useful I have the Hoover out and all the washing is up to date. Now to start on Dinner.

And yes I have had my first cuddle, I wore a mask and had a couple of minutes with our new addition, when his older Sister was born she was a little clone of her Mum, this time the baby looks like my Son. I got a little choked when I saw such a familiar baby. WELL Granny's are allowed are'nt they ?????

Just a quick thank you for all your support and good wishes I know this is a financial blog, so thanks for putting up with all my Granny chat..

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Baby Is Here Photo Moment

At Long Last it's Over

Just a short post to introduce my Grandson to the blogging world. He was born on the 29th May at 10.30pm ( Australian time ) after almost 2 days of on and off labour, which resulted in this poor little lad being born by Vacumn extraction. They had administered an epidural for a C Section when they decided to give the extraction a shot and it worked.  He was a little distressed as the placenta had broken down but after some oxygen and a bit of TLC he is absolutely fine.

My Son sent this photo to me after he was stabilised and although there will be plenty more to follow this will always be my favourite. I spoke to my DIL's Mum this morning and she is ill just like me, so it may be this weekend before we get to see him. My arms ache already.....

Welcome Euan 6lbs 1oz looking a lot like his Father.......CUTE Ehhhh

Monday, May 28, 2012

This is So Frustrating

No Baby Yet

For those of you like myself who have been waiting to meet my new Grandson, the news is.... NOTHING..... all labour has slowed to almost non existant and nothing that is being done to speed it along has worked. My DIL is a hypno-birthing practitioner and wants to have as painfree and manageable a labour and birth at home as possible. Her sister who works with her and her midwife who advocates home deliveries are also with her. But her Mum and I want her to go to the hospital get some help to get those contractions moving along and then we want a nice pink healthy Grandson. To Hell with all this new age stuff, we just want it over.

Nothing on the financial front, today although I do have my menus all made out for this week and my Pantry Fridge and Freezer are all looking nice and full. I will be staying home today as I am waiting to see if my youngest Granddaughter will be dropped of at my house for a liitle spoiling before her new brother arrives.

That's it folks so fingers crossed...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Have Had The Famine Now I Have The Feast


I'm In The Money

Since I last posted I have received my Superannuation money back from the Tax Dept. This was co-contributions and came to $585 so now my bank balance is even healthier and still untouched. I have received no notification as yet from the UK and I am still somewhat scared to think $4,800 that they sent me is mine... However I have now made up my mind how this money will be used.

As The Foxx and I have very little time left where we will be in a position to buy new furniture, we have decided to buy a Lounge Suite, one which will last us well into our retirement a comfortable one which we will feel comfortable with allowing our Grandchildren to sit, eat, play, jump on. Our present suite is covered in a light coloured linen which has not stood the test of time and was never comfy to start with. We have a gorgeous suite in our formal Lounge room but this one will be for our Family living area and we are thinking leather.
Expensive I hear you say Ebay I hear myself say, yes The Foxx and I are looking to buy a good suite on the cheap, the search starts today with The Foxx heading off to have a look at one we saw listed yesterday. If the quality and condition are any good we may have found one already so fingers crossed.

$2,600 will be put into an emergency fund which we are hoping to be able to add too, and the rest will be put towards debt. We have very little now owing on our CC and have no mortgage or car payments so all that is left is my debts from The Restaurant and as I have been plugging away at them, they are now only Utilities. Can't wait to hear from two of the debt collecting companies who still have not been in touch, then arrangements can be finalised. Yippee this puts me in a place I never thought I would be again, comfortable with staying at home and no longer scared to open mail or answer the phone.

My Son has just phoned me and it looks as if my new Grandson will be putting in an appearance today, my DIL was in labour all night, although it seems to have slackened off a bit just now it's 8.30am on the 28th May so depending on her blood pressure she is happy to stay home for a while yet. Unfortunately due to what has turned into a chest infection I have been advised by my doctor not to go near them, how frustrating is that after waiting 9 months I get ill right when it counts Grrrrr

Will Keep You All Posted

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Pot Of Gold

My Pot Of Gold

As those of you who follow my blog know I am broke. After a failed business and what was almost a failed Marriage The Foxx and I have been beating off the creditors with a big stick. The light at the end of the tunnel was some Superannuation which by the way I still have not been paid out and a small pension which was going to be coming to me each month from the UK.
The amount of the pension was a bit of a grey area, as it was being paid to me on a sliding scale of my age and the number of years I worked in Scotland. I was'nt even sure if this was taking into account the time off between children and so I had no way of working this out for myself.
On Saturday morning I checked my bank account to see how much to give The Foxx towards food as he was going to be Grocery shopping for me due to this heavy cold of mine. And deposited into my account from the UK Pensions Dept. was almost $4,000.
Where the hell did that come from ??? I almost burst into tears I can't remember the last time my account even looked like having that amount in it. I could hardly wipe the smile off of my face all day, But I did not and still have not spent 1 penny of it.
There has to be a logical reason why there has been so much money deposited into my account and this payment is being backed up with a letter from the UK so until it arrives and I know beyond a fact that I get to keep all this lovely money, I refuse to touch it.
But physical touching and mental touching are two different things and so I am determined that not one cent is wrongly spent, I need an Emergency Fund I need a Holiday Fund and I need to pay off some debts, but I just can't make my mind up which percentage should go where.
I need some help here folks please help me make sure this goes to the right areas............

I am feeling a lot better than I did over the weekend but this cold has left me with a really nasty cough which once it gets started I just can't stop and ends up with a sharp pain between my shoulder blades, so tomorrow I have a Doctor's appointment maybe I need an antibiotic.

My Mum is home from The Hospital now she is getting an assessment done today to see exactly the amount of help she is going to require. I told her not to play Miss Independent but to ask for any help they can give her, she has promised to do this and my Sister will be there to make sure she does.

We Have No Baby Yet

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Am So Unwell

  I Am Feeling Like C**p

Please excuse my lack of posts over the last couple of days, I have so much to say on both the financial and personal fronts, but it will have to wait until I feel well enough.

No Baby Yet

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Really Bad Accident


My Poor Mum

This is what my 85 year old Mum has been up to this weekend she fell just outside of her patio door and has broken both wrists and beaten her face up pretty badly. My sister took this shot of her from her Hospital chair, I would so love to be with her just now but she is on the other side of this vast continent and I am going to be going over there in August for Dad's 90th. It's at times like this I wish we were a lot nearer, or a lot richer so travel could be more affordable. Makes me realise how important an Emergency Fund is.

Get Well Soon Mum xxxx

Friday, May 18, 2012

It's Oficial I'm A Pensioner !!!!!

My Pension Has Started

As from the 16th of May I now receive an aged pension, actually it is only a part pension and as it has'nt hit my bank yet I really don't know how much it will be. I would like it to be around $100 a week but I could be dreaming. Still whatever it is it is going to be income I need and need badly. It should show in my bank account some time next week and every 4 weeks from now on.

After all of the excitement of getting some extra cash died down I realised what this actually means, if I am getting an Aged Pension it must be because I am an old age pensioner !!!!!!What !!!!! How could that have happened, was it not only yesterday that I walked down the aisle at twenty years of age?? When did my children grow up and make me a Granny ?? Is that really wrinkles and grey hair staring out my bathroom mirror ??

To all my young blog readers, learn from my financial mistakes. You are never to young to start putting money away for your retirement. Make sure you buy a home, so you can enjoy that sense of security when you are at your most vulnerable. And enjoy this life of yours which can fly by in the blink of an eye.......

A quick money update I put $20 of petrol in my car today to get me back home from my son's house, so now I have $5 to last me until Tuesday, still I am now 1  day closer to succeeding.

No new baby yet, wll keep you all posted.....

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Murphy Pays A Visit

Murphy Got Me Again

Bill payments, food shopping, debts, fine and computer payments come out today. These are fortnightly payments except for food which gets paid weekly. I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to have a shortfall of around $60 to meet these payments.  It was right from the word going to be a difficult week.... And then Murphy visited.....Last month while extremely bored I paid $1.99 to buy an online game, this came out of my paypal account and I had the necessary funds to cover it.
Today I opened up my online banking to check my balance and to pay my bills and instead of having $450 in there I only had $433, let me tell you that when every penny counts this was quite a blow. Without realising it I had joined bigfish's monthly online club and this was the monthly payment to paypal ( which they had to take from my bank account ) of $7.71 plus a $10 overdrawn fee from my bank, I immediately contacted them to cancel this monthly amount and to let them know how annoyed I was to have my accounts hijacked by them. So within minutes I received an email from them canceling my payment and promising to return my $7.71 back into my paypal account. I will now have to speak to my bank and see if they will reverse the fees, fingers crossed.
Anyway here is a breakdown of my figures.

Gas Bill                     $50         ( this is the first payment of this Restaurant debt )
Driving Fine              $50         ( this is my second to last payment )
ANZ C/C payment    $25         ( this is an ongoing payment I will be taking this one to my grave )
Advertising               $148.00  ( my last Restaurant advertisment payment)
Computer Payment  $135.00  ( A monthly payment )

TOTAL $ 408.00
This leaves me the grand total of $25.00 to cover my food and petrol for the week, is it looking to you as if the CC is going to take another hit Grrrrrrr

Still no sign of my new Grandson yet, I am staying with my Son and his wife for a couple of days as they have all got heavy colds and they need a little TLC. So I am nesting, you would think this birth and labour were going to be done by me. LOL

Monday, May 14, 2012

Today Debt Chased Me

I Got The Dreaded Phonecall Today

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was waiting to get  Lawyers letters from the Companies which I still owe money too from the closing down of my Restaurant and today the Gas Company sent me their Lawyer's letter demanding final payment. I was expecting the letter and was even keen to get it so I could start putting a payment plan in place.
I phoned the Lawyer's right away and they put me straight through to their call centre, which was as usual overseas where once again I spoke with someone who had virtually no understanding of what had been the build up to me receiving the letter, nor cared. This female was so demanding she complained about the amount of time this money had been overdue and expected me to make huge payments. The amount is so overdue I tried to explain to her, because I have had to wait to hear from a recovery agency before I could start to make part payments and because I am not working I can only afford to pay $50 a fortnight. She was not happy to accept this but I was insistant and eventually she accepted my terms, but could not resist having one last go before we hung up. " And make sure you are never late with your payments " was her parting shot.
What makes people on the other end of a phone who have no idea of your financial situation treat you like something they just stood in ?? Am I going to have to go through the same thing for the Electricity account and the Telephone account ??
Anyway as from Thursday I wll start making my payments and I have made out a spreadsheet for them. According to my dates it will take me until January to pay this debt off, but I am going to put everything into making sure I pay it off quicker than that.

While on the subject of money I phoned the UK tonight to find out what is going on with my pension payments and when I can expect to receive them. If you remember I faxed them off my bank account details on the 3rd of this month. The lovely Lady on the end of the phone told me they did not receive my fax and could I give her the details over the phone and they would ring me back within a couple of days to let me know how it is going. So fingers crossed I get my pension this side of Christmas LOL

I am absolutely going to have to make sure that I bring in a little extra money every week in order to cover my debts. I don't care whether it's doing Tupperware parties, selling Avon or starting an Ebay business I just have to make this happen, any ideas ??? 

The Foxx and I have got $510 worth of bills, debts, fines and food money to be found by Thursday and only $450 available. Looks like the C/C will have to be used again, so we are not happy.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Organised Me / Mothers Day

My Recipe Organiser

While out Grocery shopping in Aldi on Friday I bought myself this cute little recipe box, I don't know how often I have sat at this Computer and written recipes down on scraps of paper only to lose them, so now I have put this little box on top of my Computer Tower. As you can see I have also added my cleaning recipes as I hav'nt learned them off by heart as yet. The box was heavily reduced and I just know it is going to be worth it's weight in gold. In fact it could become a family heirloom. LOL
So keep those excellent money saving recipes coming bloggers, because now I'm ready for you.

Mothers Day in Oz

Today is Mother's Day in Australia and so I would just like to wish all Mother's and Grandmothers everywhere a special day.
Unfortunately I was unable to catch up with my Mum as she lives so far away but I rang her this morning and we had a cosy girly chat. I had sent her flowers and a a card which she loved.  My MIL spent most of the day out with her Daughter while we spent most of the day with our Daughter and her family, starting with breakfast and a walk round The Markets. Unfortunately with our new Grandson's birth only days away we only spoke with my Son and his wife by phone, as the drive would have been to much for them. So a lovely day one which I will treasure.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Homemade Cleaner and Grocery Shopping


Grocery Shopping Day

Today is a big day in our house it starts with pen and paper and me going through my pantry, fridge and freezer checking what staples I need. Usually the night before I will have made up my menu plans for the week and so armed with all that information I head for the shops with my MIL.
We started at our local butchers where we got chicken breast fillets on special for $6.99 kg, and premium minced beef  $16.00 for 2 kgs right away I have the basis of 7 meals. A quick cup of coffee, then it was off to Aldi for the stuff on the rest of my list. I should now have enough food in the house to get us through the next week with the rest coming off of next weeks grocery list. Apart from the Chicken and Beef I also bought a nice joint of Lamb some Fish and fresh Lasagna sheets and Ravioli. there will also be enough for us to make a Pizza for dinner one night, this will probably be a vegetarian Pizza, made with whatever is left. Plus we snuck in a mascara for me, I love Aldi's brand of makeups and skincare range.

Aldi            = $82.65
Butcher's   = $28.32
Coffees      = $4.00

Total Groceries for this week = $114. 97c

Homemade All Purpose Cleaner

After my huge success with my home made washing powder I decided to go ahead and make my own all purpose household cleaner, this was so easy and I have tried it already and I don't notice any difference between shop bought and homemade. I just googled a recipe and up came hundreds of them so take your pick. I added Eucalyptus Oil  and it has the freshest of smells. I had all of the ingredients in the house so the cost to me today nothing at all. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Weekly budget Time..

Our Weekly Budget

Last night saw our ( Australian )  budget read out in Parliament. It seems to benefit Families with young children, the unemployed all peoples on a pension. It also seems to come down heavy on business's and it seems to be of little or no benefit to us. So we are plodding along as per usual.

It seems my MIL must have overheard some of the money arguement The Foxx and I had on Monday as today she informed me that she was going to pay for all of this weeks Grocery bill. Was I pleased not in the slightest, in fact I am determined this is just not going to happen. Unfortunately  like The Foxx I have my pride as well. I also don't like eavesdroppers.
I know after reading this back that it sounds petty, but if you knew my Hubbies family and the way they like to stab that knife between your shoulder blades then you would understand why. We would be the couple who took Mum into our house just for her pension. It would make no difference that she lived with us for ten years before she became eligible for this pension. So with pride intact we are saying NO to her handouts.

This Weeks Budget

Rent        $740 (2 weeks private rental )
Gardener $40 ( this is for our large backyard to get mowed )
Telstra     $200 ( phone, internet, foxtel package )
Food        $100
C/C          $500

These were our main outlays this week from The Fox's fortnightly wage the rest of his wage we left in our savings account for whatever may crop up this fortnight, at the end of the fortnight this will be saved towards our holiday.
Nothing unusual about those amounts, we are up to date with all accounts except Telstra The Fox has been chasing then since the beginning of the year as a couple of our payments went missing and he refused to put any more money into paying our account incase it was being paid into the wrong account, after 4 months of fighting with them they found the payments and our bill went from $1,118.33 right down to $451.33 so with this payment we now owe $251.33 due in 2 weeks time. By which time our next account should be in, never ends does it ???
The backyard being mowed is a must for us if we want to enjoy a lovely garden, The Foxx's heart condition and his Leukemia make the job impossible for him, so this is an indulgence for us..
Our C/C now sits with a balance owing of $1,500 we intend to pay it off over the next couple of months and then just sit with the balance, waiting on an emergency cropping up. The eternal Pessimist, we should probably close this card down but with me no longer working I agree with hubby that we should keep it just in case.

It is Mother's Day on Sunday so I am off to try and find a suitable present and card for my Mother, nearer the end of the week it will be time to find a little something for MIL, I have enough left from last week to manage all this without touching the C/C so yippeeee.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Weekend Rundown

A Day in The Garden

Most of this weekend passed was spent in the garden, Monday was a public holiday and so The Foxx and I spent it keeping ourselves busy and our hands dirty, we planted vegetables mainly Broccoli Cabbage and Leeks. We replanted all of our decorative patio pots and no weeds are daring to show their heads, the grass is cut the paths are swept and we are exhausted. I think The Foxx was glad to return to work this morning.
I have had to string off my herb garden as something ( I am glaring at my old Cat ) has decided that nicely turned earth would make a great toilet, so it is now crisscrossed in bright blue wool with old CD's hanging from the wool. I have lettuce and Bok Choy also in that area so this might also be successful in keeping the birds away. Now all that's left is a way of chasing of the snails or encouraging them with beer. Would I stoop that low LOL ??
However we did spend some money this weekend but only on garden stuff, which when I am saving money at the Greengrocers should pay for itself.

Today is The Fox's payday and we will sit down after tea and pick names out of a hat, only kidding!!!!!!!!!  maybe that was how we used to pay our bills but not anymore we will check the balance of the account to see how much his wages are and then work it out from there. Although we are now at the stage where we agree with the household expenses we are definitely miles apart with how to divide up what is left. I want so badly to have a savings plan an emergency fund a holiday fund and miscellaneous fund as well as all my jars but The Foxx wants to put it all into our CC and work from it, unfortunately for him I discovered that he took cash money out of the card last week and so now we will be paying heavy charges for that. This resulted in a row about money yesterday, which we swore would never happen again. He has obviously been going through his adult life with no conception of how the banks charge, no fine print for this Scotsman.
The sun did not set on that row but it lets me know we still have a way to go before we have got this right.

I am having Lunch out today with a good friend who has just returned from a Cruise so I will be on familiar ground as I have always loved cruising, can't wait to see her photos. But I am going to try and keep expenses way down, between my MIL's little trips to the shops and my lunches out I am seeing a pattern of spending there which I am going to have to rein in. I cannot afford to spend money on coffees and food outside the house, so it is going to be once a week for Lunch and twice a week for Coffee. Just got to pluck up the courage to tell MIL...

Finally got all my information off for my pensions and Superannuation and The Australian Budget which is out today is promising extra money for people on pensions of all kinds this includes the unemployed. A lump sum so MIL is a happy Bunny today. Maybe our lucks are changing....

My fortnightly budget will be posted tomorrow......

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pension and Superannuation Frustration


Today I'm Chasing Money

Last night a received a phonecall from a lovely lady in England, she told me she was just about to process my aged pension claim when she noticed I had not added my banking details to the forms. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had sent off the forms and expected to hear from them round about Christmas. So imagine my surprise to learn that apart from the banking details we are ready to go.
I don't remember there being anywhere on the form for these details, but I suppose there must have been. Anyway she gave me a fax number for me to forward on all the necessary information. She also mentioned that she would send me a form to fill in in the unlikely chance that they do not receive my fax.
Did I say unlikely!!!! I feel like swearing as I wrote out a letter to fax off to them, made my way down to the Post Office, and the b****y fax would not go. I have googled the details for the UK Pension Dept and the fax number there is different in every way from the numbers she gave me. so it looks as if I will have to wait until I receive the form and this is going to slow down my application.


I also contacted the Australian Tax Dept. yesterday as they have Superanuation of mine which I am still waiting to receive, so imagine how annoyed I was to hear that they are way behind and have not even started the processing, but while I have you on the line I will have a look at your forms she gaily said.
Wait a minute you have not had your photo ID certified looks as if we cant go any further until you send in certified copies of your drivers License. Go any further !!! you hav'nt even started I felt like yelling at her. So while down at the Shopping Centre to fax off the Pension details........ I photocopied the License but it will be around 6 o'clock tonight ( 5 hours away )  before there will be anybody available to certify my copy.

So ask me if I'm mad, ask me if I'm frustrated and ask me if forms are getting too complicated for this old addled brain to take in....YES.....YES......YES.....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May's Financial Goals

Happy Anniversary Foxx

Well we made it !!!  at the beginning of the year I thought this would not be the way it would end. So glad it is xxxxx

Budget for this week.


Groceries     $100
Police fine    $50
Mobile bill     $65
Petrol            $20
Layby            $20
Debt              $25

TOTAL         $280

My grocery bill may be less than this as my MIL still has to put in her share, so if savings are to be made it is here.
Police Fine I am paying this off fortnightly I broke it down into 6 payments and this is the 4th, this will teach me to drive my car while it is unregistered.( blush blush )
Mobile bill this is taken out of my account monthly and includes the buying cost of my iphone, plus my call charges.
Petrol is so expensive just now that I get virtually nowhere out of my petrol allowance, still I do have a small car and no longer need to use it every day.
Layby this is the amount I put on fortnightly to get my almost here Grandchild a swing cradle and a pile of new clothes.
Nothing for Entertainment or clothes this week a very tight budget.
Debt this is a very old debt from when I first stared blogging, which never ever goes down as I never make it a priority and I think I am only ever paying interest. Yes it does worry me but as usual it is on the back burner to My Restaurant Debts.

I have finally finished paying off all the small debts which I owed when I closed down the Restaurant and ran from it all.

Restaurant Debts Paid

Removal of Kitchen Waste   $206  (2 months worth )
License to Play music           $75    ( monthly )
Pest Control                          $110  ( fortnightly amount )
Skip Bin behind Restaurant  $366  ( 4 pickups per month )
Gelato Order                         $160  ( whenever needed )
Telstra                                   $36    ( end of an old account )

Total                                     $953

Restaurant Debts Unpaid

Electricity Account               $3,000   ( 2 months account )
Gas Account                        $800      ( 1 month account )
Telephone                            $2,500   ( 1 month plus contract payout )
Fridge Repair Bill                 $600       ( one off )

Total                                    $6,900

I know that what I have paid off of the Restaurant debts is nothing in comparison to what I still owe, but never the less I am still proud of our achievements as we have done this while only on one wage and with a backlog of household bills plus my Police fine and Toll fines.
None of these Restaurant debts will be paid until they set their recovery agents on to us, because I have closed down the accounts they will not set up payment plans for us, and so we are just going to have to wait for those phone calls nobody ever wants to get. The Telephone account we are in dispute with as they want us to pay out the full amount of the 3 year contract. But The Foxx reckons they can whistle for that one, and he loves a good going arguement, so I'll wait to see how that all pans out.

We are still in trouble and we know it, but somehow working together makes it easier to carry that burden.

Next week household bills