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Archive for December, 2008

WWYD?

December 31st, 2008 at 03:23 pm

I went into my bank to get some home loan info, and the woman gave me a few piles of paperwork to look through.
When I was leaving I asked about the no deposit home loans (as it was still on their website) and she said that they don't offer them anymore.

What a big fat waste of time!

I have made a few more enqiries to various banks and compiled some information and compared some loan features.
I also made a couple of online enquiries. One was to a bank which BF's dad has his home loan with. They sent me an email with some info. I didn't exactly understand what it was saying so I called them to ask some questions.

My first question was whether or not they do 100% loans anymore. His answer was no. I asked him if that was even if we had the money to cover Mortgage Insurance and Fees, on top of the First Home Owners Grant.
He paused for a few seconds and then asked me to tell him how much money we have saved, what we want to borrow, and our earning details. When I told him he was surprised and said that we had a 3% deposit and then some (3% deposit is $9600). I said yes, but that was to cover the Mortgage Insurance, and he said that the FHOG was designed to cover those costs, and the stamp duty and legal fees. I can't believe no one told me that! I have had all these bank people telling me different things but no one has ever said that. I was always under the impression that you got it after you bought the house, as a 'bonus' type thing (like the baby bonus).

Anyway. I am going in on Tuesday to apply for pre approval. I could have done it over the phone but I feel more comfortable doing it in person at a branch so I can explain some things.

Apparently we are able to borrow up to $510 000. I don't understand how anyone could survive on our income with a mortgage payment on $510k. It boggles the mind. I mentioned it to BF's friend, who was at our house at the time, and his response was a rather blunt 'fuck off!!??'. It's nice to know he has faith in our financial abilities. (note: sarcasm)

So that is very very exciting news for us.

The only problem I have is that I am undecided on which package we should be thinking about.

Option 1 (http://www.westpac.com.au/internet/publish.nsf/Content/PBHLPR+Fixed+Options+Home+Loan )
I am thinking that a fixed rate loan would be the way to go at the moment because the rates are down. This bank also gives you the opportunity to lock in for 10 years, which is not an option with a lot of banks (5 years is usually the max). The lock in rate at the moment is 6.99% which is pretty good (bear in mind this is Australia).
Option 2
(http://www.westpac.com.au/internet/publish.nsf/Content/PBHLPR+Rocket+Repay+Home+Loan )
The other problem is that I do also like the Rocket Repay Loan, but it doesn't allow the option of a fixed rate.

What would you do? I mean as in, what loan would you choose. (I already know most of you are not thrilled about our choice to buy a home at the moment, but that is not what is on the table here.)

Thankyou for your input! Smile

and... happy New Year!

December Expenses

December 30th, 2008 at 07:22 pm

Well, here we go. Last month of the year!

Income: ($2976.40)
Job #1: $880.00
Job #2: $1564.60
Other: $153.30
Taken From Savings: $378.50 (gift fund)

Savings: $430.00

Expenses: ($2574.60)
Rent: $506.68
Groceries: $180.81
Petrol: $87.97
Loan Payments: $148.00
Extra Loan Payments: $20.00
Skin Care: $29.95
Health, Beauty & Grooming: $100.15
Gifts: $106.50
Bank Fees: $20.95 (ARGH)
(Bills)
Phone & Internet: $28.00
Car Insurance: $474.86
Electricity: $96.58
Mobile Phone: $96.58 (1st bill)
(Fun)
Alcohol: $54.09
Takeaway Beverages: $86.00
Takeaway Food/Dining Out: $137.80
Magazines/Books: $22.20
Clothes & Shoes: $115.54
Entertainment: $59.57
Staff Lotto: $8.00
House/Appliance/Tech: $16.87
Accomodation: $152.50 (for 2 nights in Jan)


I am not exactly sure how I should be working this. Any suggestions are welcome:
I automatically transfer $65 per week into a bills account, and then I pay all my bills on CC then transfer the money over at the end of each cycle. I don't keep a running tally of my bills account though because I buy EVERYTHING on CC and transfer that amount each day into the bills account. So I have two totals in my bills account: CC balance and yearly bills. Ideally I should have enough money at any given time in my Bills Ac, as well as whatever I charge on my CC, for car repairs, car insurance, rego, racq, electricity, phone & internet etc etc etc.

Does that make any sense? So I am thinking I should be keeping a running tally of how much is there for bills as well. Hmm... I might start a few new spreadsheets and tinker around with tracking systems so I have a new system for 2009. Exciting, but dreary at the same time...

Ok, so an analysis of my December spending leads me to the realisation that I hate bank fees. And no, before you suggest, I am not changing banks to a fee free account. It's a bit too tricky to do that right now.

Petrol: Good. Under budget.
Groceries: Good. Under budget.
Bills: well, all bills were higher than expected. car insurance went up $80 because I no longer get the discount my friend organised for me. SHUCKS! (I got it a year longer than I meant to get it though so I am happy!)
Made some small, extra payments on my loan which I am happy about. I don't want to do anything drastic because, even though I'll get people breathing down my neck about it here, it's not my main priority at the moment.
Savings I am quite happy about.
Grooming, well, not thrilled about that. $74 for a haircut? bah.
Fun categories: *sigh* Not too bad but not great either. Somehow spent $54 on alcohol even though I hardly ever DRINK! bah.

Anyway.
There's my totals for December!

January Goal:
-No alcohol expenses.
-No makeup expenses.
-No magazine or book purchases.
-Limit takeaway food/dining out to $150.
-Clothes and shoes... oooh... can I do it??? goal: under $80 for January.

i am getting sick of those anonymous comments.. (rant!)

December 30th, 2008 at 12:40 am

... anonymous comments that just put people down for sharing something on their blog, and often don't take into consideration the full story. I know lots of people on here are annoyed at them, am I right?

I just delete them basically straight away, but I still find it tragic that the person feels the need to force their views on someone anonymously (it strikes me as very cowardly) and talk in the tone that think they know everything, or know better than the person compared to who they just commented on.

My most recent one: (normally I wouldn't bother, but I wanted to explain this anyway so no one else gets the wrong idea about my state of mind) a comment on a previous entry about my flatmate getting pregnant, and my observation on how a lot of our friends are pregnant, and that it would be nice to have kids when your friends have kids so that they can grow up together. The comment said something along the lines of (not in the same words) 'yeah get pregnant because all your friends are, great idea, NOT!!!'.

Anyway, I just wanted to explain some things.

Firstly, I'm not planning on having children any time soon. I would like to be atleast a little financially set up first. I would like to be confident that I can stay home for atleast a year, if not until the child goes to primary school. I'm not particularly fond of daycare.

I would ideally like to plan to some extent, when I have a baby. I don't mean the specific date, or even the season. I mean our age, our location of living etc. I mean, I would like to be able to talk to my partner and say 'maybe we should start thinking about starting a family soon' etc etc.
I would like to be in the right state of mind, and welcome the idea of pregnancy and family.
Another pro at planning is that I can ensure that I am 100% healthy before and during the early stages of pregnancy, which are proven to be the most important in feotal development. Even though it's not entirely necessary - well, it hasn't been proven conclusively - BF has said he too would like to make sure he was completely healthy and had consumed no alcohol from the moment of 'trying for' a baby.
I don't care about having a baby 'when my friends have babies'. I said it would be nice. But that was ONLY in the context of an observation I made about FIVE FRIENDS HAVING CHILDREN IN THE SAME YEAR.

I'm not a 16 year old getting clucky and wanting to have a baby with my bucktoothed, jobless fling who lives in a trailer. Nor am I some ditzy housewife who has images in my head of 'mothers group' consisting of all my friends, birthday parties where they all play together just so we can 'socialise and drink wine and eat cheese together'.

The only reason I would want our friends children growing up with my children is because I know that my friends have the same values and morals as we do, and that I would trust our friends with our children, and vice versa.

Another point I wanted to make was that, besides myself (can I make the point AGAIN that I am not planning on having children for awhile?), all of our friends, who are having children, are the ages of: 25 & 32, 29 & 31, 28 & 30, 28 & 28, 27 & 31. So they are not exactly making irrational decisions, immature decisions etc. With the exception of my flatmate and her BF, all of these couples have been together for 6 + years, most of them 10+ years.

So.

ME2 wanted to make some snide comment on a post of mine to make me look immature and stupid. I am hoping the rest of you don't think I am that stupid, and that you all understand where I am coming from. I don't particularly care what ME2 has to say on this post and it's highly likely that their comment will be deleted anyway. I mainly wrote this post for those of you who share your opinions honestly and openly with me. So thankyou for reading.

end rant!

my christmas haul

December 29th, 2008 at 03:37 pm

considering i'm not a kid i think i got a nice haul of presents this christmas:

$50 voucher from job #2
$150 cash from job #1
$100 voucher from BF
teatowels and a knife sharpener from BF
a hand fan from BF
an airfrehsener in the shape of elvis from BF
a scalpel set and screen printing paint from flatmate and her BF
season 4 of battlestar galactica, some shirts and cds from my dad
the little book of calm from a friend


Also I just redeemed a $20 voucher from a survey site.

Yay!

We have also decided that we will be doing New Years a day early (so... tonight!) so that BF and his friend can do more work on the shed, and it also means that I won't have to drive there.
I am a little relieved, I have never driven there by myself, and also if we were to be eating at BF's friends house - his mother always cooks and all they ever eat is meat and three veg - a little bit of a problem for me! They also think everyone should eat meat, EVERY day.

The downside is that flatmate seems to think she doesnt live here anymore (well - except her leaving stuff here and doing her washing) so every time she and her BF come here, they make all this mess, leave everything lying around, make a whole heap of dishes and then leave. It's really starting to piss me off, but I also don't want to say anything because she will only be here for another month (and most of that time won't be here at all) and also whenever I DO say something, her BF does the work, which I don't really think is fair.

Anyway.

Just a bit of ranting!

camping for new years, plans for today, drains?

December 28th, 2008 at 11:00 am

Well I am by myself for most of this week again. BF is helping his friend and sister build their shed. I am working today (monday) and friday so I can't really go away with him. Plus I am looking after the dogs (three of them!) so I have to be here to feed them. On Wednesday I am going there for New Years Eve and we will probably camp on our friends land which will be different to our last New Years - which was in the city. They have no power yet either which could be tricky! All I'm really worried about is the toilet ... :O

I am having coffee with some friends this afternoon but other than that I am trying to have a low profile and not spend much money.

I have some plans for this afternoon, to fit them all in before my coffee date (4pm). I finish work at 1.30pm.

-40 min cycling
-wash the dogs (yess all three of them)
-call the real estate agent and see if that house is still for sale
-wash and straighten my hair
-bleach the shower
-clean the drains

does anyone know a good way to stop drains from smelling? i tried bicard, vinegar and hot water but it didn't seem to work. i just want to know if anyone ahs any solutions OTHER than buying something. i have bleach, eucalyptus oil, vinegar, bicard, disinfectant...

last night i had steamed veges and rice for dinner, and tonight i'll have fried rice as I kept the left over rice. I have been using some of the veges in the freezer, they seem to have worked out alright and still have plenty of flavour.

I spent $23 at the supermarket yesterday and bought a lot of fruit, some kidney beans, sugar, yoghurt etc. I am hoping I won't have to buy anything else from the shops this week except milk.

flatmate is pregnant again!

December 27th, 2008 at 02:34 pm

Our flatmate (BF's sister) and her BF gave us the news on Christmas Day along with all the other family, except I already was pretty sure that she was. She is 11.5 weeks. They are due in June.

Now BF has 5 different friends who are expecting in the new year!
It is nice when that happens. Do you ever think sometimes there seems to be spurts of people having babies? And there will be heaps of people you know having children all at the same time? Weird!

I said to BF we will have to try and 'catch the next lot' (as a joke! I know it sounds crude). It would be nice to have children when your friends have children, though, so they can grow up together. BF's response was 'or we can just have a baby now...?'

*just thinking out loud*

December 26th, 2008 at 02:58 pm

I just want to write some things down so I can get a clear picture. Excuse my babbling!

There is a house we have found which is more than perfect for what we want. It's $319 000 asking price, which we could probably bargain down to $317 000 (or less), which is then atkeast 3k under our target amount for a house.

(the house is on an 805m2 block, 4 bedrooms, built in downstairs, three decks, a shed etc - i might post pictures in a week if it's still available)

We would have to resign our lease, which will then expire 19th April.

If we look into buying this house, if it's still unsold and no one else is interested, we could probably have everything done in a month to two months which would mean we would have to cancel our lease contract, which is really no biggy anyway with the rental crisis looming.

If we buy the house, we have approx $12-$13k saved. It would cover the mortgage insurance ($11.5k) and some fees. We either have a choice of putting the solicitor fees and building inspection fees on my cc and paying it back once the FHOG is granted. The rest of the FHOG (total is $14k) will go back into the mortgage to remain until we need it for renovations. (Please note: I don't need credit card preaching, so don't bother. That is not the issue I am discussing.)

Another choice we have is privately borrowing 5k from BF's mum in return for some labour work at her property which he is fine with doing. That would cover the fees.

If we don't buy this property, we have to start looking for others pretty soon. Ideally we would like to be in our own place atleast a month before our lease expires for breathing space (so, mid-march).

Why? you ask. why not rent longer?

A few reasons. We would be required to sign a 6 or 12 month lease in our next rental property, which would take us up to october. The rent we would be paying would be about the same cost or more as a mortgage per week. This would mean the only money we would be saving would be spare change plus other costs we don't have as a rental verse homeowner, like rates and water etc.

another reason is that the 14k FHOG expires on june 30th, going back down to 7k.

if we were to wait until after then, probably when a six month lease expires in october, we would not have that extra amount saved due to paying a lot of rent etc (as it would just be BF and I paying rent verse right now it being BF, myself and flatmate). so ideally we are looking at having $27k now ($14k of which comes AFTER we buy the contract), or having possibly $20k in six months time.

why pay mortgage insurance? i know it's a lot of money for really nothing, however - the FHOG is $14k, which covers the MI plus fees. if we DON'T utilise that, it means we are paying $5k MI (in october) of our own money, plus a 5% deposit and fees. so really the only difference is that we are into our own house sooner and paying it off sooner.

this way, while nothing is essentially free, we are able to save 6 months worth of dead rent money by putting it into our mortgage sooner, and we are able to utilise the upped FHOG - which was introduced to 'save' the economy.

All it really rests on now is whether the house is still unsold, and whether I can get approved for a loan in time.

never make plans to not spend money...

December 24th, 2008 at 01:36 pm

Well it seems that as soon as I make the plan of not spending any money on clothes this year, bargains leap out at me when I'm walking along. It's just not fair!
On Tuesday I made the decision to see a movie by myself (first time ever!). I'd finished all my work for the week and it was cheap Tuesday. I planned to see Four Holidays because it sounded funny, but when I got there I just couldn't do it. I'm just not a Christmassy, chick-flicky girl. So I bought a ticket to see Quantum of Solace (again). I felt like a huge weight had been lifted once I bought that ticket... odd, I know...
Anyway I had half an hour to kill so I was going to grab a bottle of water and a juice, but I walked past a shop that I sometimes buy things from and they had a 50% off everything sale, and a few tables and racks of things for $5. I found eight items I liked for $5 each but eventually narrowed it down to five. So, $25 later...
In my defence that is a great deal. I got a pair of knee length black shorts, a plain black tshirt, a black singlet with silver detailing, an orange button up cardigan and another black shirt with some neckline detailing.

And later that day a friend asked me if I wanted to go bowling with her and her sister. So I did. I got $2 off because the guy put us through as students, which was nice. (I am soooooooo not a student...) So I spent $25 on clothes, $5.95 on a cold drink, $9.50 on a movie, $17 on two games of ten pin bowling, $6 on drinks and $5.60 on icecream.


Way to go on the not spending money thing, eh!?

*sigh*

I'm not going to beat myself up about it. It's December. Tis the season. And I am sure I spent a lot less than many other people this year.

"he likes head banging sh*t, she likes sloppy commercial cr*p..."

December 23rd, 2008 at 03:08 pm

My boss and his wife were not that long ago, at our staff christmas party, complaining about each others taste in music (he likes, according to her 'head-banging sh*t' and she likes, he says, 'sloppy commercial cr*p').
I laughed at them but it got me thinking and BF and I ended up talking about it.
I asked him if he ever thought that, or would think that, about any of my tastes and he said that, considering we have almost identical taste in most things, he didn't think that would happen.
And it's true. Although we have our 'number one favourites' which may not be the same thing (band, movie, car, food) we do like the same things.
And I couldn't help thinking how different it would be if we didn't like the same things, and how many arguments we have saved (considering we've had about two arguments in the near-six years we've been together).

There are only a few things I can think of that BF likes that I don't ( GTA and other computer games that go no where, fried food, guns, lots of 'stuff') and things that I like that BF doesn't (sour food, high heels, trance), but in general we like very much the same things.

Of course this doesn't directly relate to finance, but in a way it does slightly. Personally I think having similar interests is cheaper. For example, BF and I take turns in buying CD's. Because we like the same music, we have a 'merged' music collection (with many doubles from before we were together). I can't help thinking that if we liked different music we would most likely have double the amount of music and separate CD collections. We are happy seeing movies we both like, which means we don't have to see a movie one of us doesn't like, which then means we don't have to take 'turns' choosing a movie.
Those are only a couple of things I can think of but there must be more. I remember reading a post from someone ages ago who said that they used to buy two types of peanut butter (crunchy and smooth).

I was wondering how many of you out there have the same tastes as your partners or have completely different tastes? what works? what doesn't? how do you compromise?

The only thing I got out of hearing my boss and his wife argue was that I think in the end it's important to respect other people's choices.

Live and let live.

scratch my last amount spent on gifts

December 21st, 2008 at 10:47 am

because I ended up having to go back to the shopping plza to buy some blank shirts for my family who live two states away. (so i could screenprint on them). i was also unable to find anything relating to spongebob which led me to go to ANOTHER shopping place on Sunday. (so I went to three in two days - blergh!)
I also somehow managed to buy three pairs of shoes and two pairs of shorts for myself...
So in the end I spent around $72 on gifts and $59.86 on clothes for myself. (I KNOW! straight after I said I wouldn't be buying any more clothes this year...)

In my defence, the shorts were 2 for $30, and the shoes cost $5.86 for one pair and $12 each for the other two pairs.

Oh, and guess what! I already own two pairs of the shorts I bought but they are a little big... I was able to buy them a size smaller this time. Woohoo!

i just had to share

December 18th, 2008 at 11:49 am

Last night I did almost all the christmas shopping except for FM's present. In my last entry I mentioned we were buying $5 presents for each other. They are meant to be funny. So last night I was in one of those cheap stores and I saw all these matchbox cars. I didn't think BF would want any so I showed him one, which was an Alfa Romeo (one of the old ones - just because most of the cars were flashy new ones and really classic models and then there was the Alfa - which I know is one of the classic Alfas but still - it doesn't look like all the others) and he was like 'that's cool you should buy it' and then i was like 'darn if i didn't show you i could have given you that!' But never mind!
Then Flatmate and I were shopping in Kmart and came across the same cars (but 10c dearer). They had a lot more varieties and we found a Smart Car there. We laughed about it a bit and then I jokingly said how funny it would be to get that and wrap it and give it to BF as he would think it was the Alfa. She said that would be hilarious so I got it.

Anyway.

I also got BF a glowstick ring and a rubiks cube. I got FM's boyfriend some fluffy dice. I have to get FM something for $1 as I bought her a hairclip in the shape of a little scottish-terrier. I was thinking something spongebob seeing as she likes him. (and yes, we're talking about a 24 year old)

Anyways!

Xmas Pressies done for the year: $38.25

December 18th, 2008 at 12:06 am

Tonight we are going late-night-shopping to get our christmas presents. Now, I know I said we don't 'do' christmas. And technically we're not really. All we are adoing is buying $5 gifts for each other (BF & myself, FM and her boyfriend). And I bought BF a little present too, a few weeks ago.
I bought him some cufflinks with the gear-shift tops (1-3-5,2-4-R). I don't know what you would call that?
Anyway, they cost $23.25.

So all up Christmas presents cost me $38.25. I already have wrapping paper and all that crap. The only other things I will need to buy is some feta and pastry for the tart for Xmas Day.

so much food - no idea what to do with it all

December 17th, 2008 at 10:45 pm

First of all a big congratulations to gamecock (and BB) on buying a house Smile

My parents just left to go on a three week holiday and gave me all their fresh fruit and vegetables. They left three days earlier than were planning (it's a driving holiday) so they had more food than they thought they would.
To top it off, I also had a fair bit of fruit and veg in our fridge as well.

My parents gave us:
1 and 1/2 eggplants
1kg green beans
2 kg sweet potato
4 kg carrots (what the?!)
2 kg apples
2 lettuce
3 cucumbers
1kg zucchini
2 large broccoli
500g red onion
1kg potato
1/4 watermelon
1/4 pawpaw
8 corn heads
4 tomatoes
3 bunches bok choi
500g yellow squash


So yesterday I looked up on the internet the best way to freeze vegetables, all of which said to blanch most of them and then freeze in portions. So I spent about three hours yesterday chopping up a mix of yellow squash, broccoli, carrot, beans and then blanching them, and packing them in freezer bags in portions so that I can use them for stirfry, bakes, curries or just vegetables sides. I also blanched the corn and cut it off the cob and packed that in small portions, and also the sweet potato in portions too. I also put a few packs of green beans and brocoli by itself for sides of veges.
WHEW!
Then I stewed the apples and made an apple pie, and made a vegetable soup for dinner (and froze half of that).

I felt very domesticated yesterday. Not that it's a bad thing! But I just don't normally do that Smile I just could not let all that food go to waste.

So we will not need to go to the market this week, which is just as well as it tends to get a bit touristy over the christmas holidays - too many people. I am thinking of using some of the sweet potato and the onions for that sweet potato and feta tart I made awhile ago, and that will be what I make for our christmas lunch/dinner at BF's grandparents place (there's not a great deal of vegetarian choices there).

I still have a lot of carrots, lettuce and cucmber left. BF is going away as well (until christmas! Frown i will be so lonely), so I think I am going to attempt to have lots of salads this week for my dinners.



rent went up $30 a week

December 16th, 2008 at 01:31 pm

BF and I will now be paying $420 a week from the 19/1/09.
Flatmate will be moving out before then, so we will have maybe a week or two of 'only paying' $390 a week.

To put a cherry on top, they have only offered us a three month lease as well. Which means that on 19/4/09 we will:

a) have to find another place to rent. we will have to sign a 6 month lease, which will put a major kink in our plans to take advantage of the $14k first home buyers grant. rents are still going up so it's likely we will be paying the same, or more, as now.

or

b) come the New Year, start visiting banks and organising pre-approval. start looking at houses to buy and be ready to buy should something good come up. pay the $11 000 mortgage insurance and then claim the $14k first home buyers grant and put that straight onto the loan.

or

c) do exactly the same as option b, but find out exactly which banks allow you to use the FHBG as a deposit and research whether it would be worthwhile doing that.

right now we are both leaning toward b or c.

clothes expenses for a YEAR?

December 15th, 2008 at 01:51 pm

I have decided I would like to have a set amount for clothes expenses next year. I am not entirely sure how much though. And because last year I had two months where I decided I didn't want to track my expenses (what a *stupid* idea!) I don't have a full year of recorded clothes expenses. (i have done this no-recording for a couple of months thing two years in a row... what gives?!).

anyway. so how much does everyone spend on clothes a year, approximately?

from March - December 16th (today) I have spent $1439.64 on clothes, bags, shoes, underwear, hair accessories etc. This includes work clothes as well.

I am going to try very hard and not spend any more money on clothes until next year.

I know I will not need socks, swimwear or work clothes next year, but I still want to work on my basics wardrobe, and I think the January sales might be a good time to pick up some bargain priced items at Myer.

So before I decide on an amount I was just wondering what everyone spends (or thinks they spend) on clothes + shoes + bags + belts + hair accessories etc a year?

*phew* update to job stress out

December 15th, 2008 at 12:29 am

Well I was talking to my friend/work colleague this afternoon. She mentioned how our boss told her that he had to cut some people's hours in the next two weeks if things did not pick up, but that the two people he definately would NOT be cutting are mine and another lady's hours (my friends hours can't be cut as she is the only full-time person there).

PHEW!

So I feel a little safer now! I just don't think a pay cut would be the best thing right now.


and i thought my job was safe!

December 14th, 2008 at 11:02 am

Through all this uncertainty over job futures and the economy and housing problems, I have been relaxed about it to a point because my jobs were guaranteed.
You see both of my jobs' businesses have not been decreasing in sales or productivity. Job # 1 has been as busy as ever, and we are steadily being booked up for next year. And Job # 2, while we have some slow days, in all it has not decreased sales but rather, has increased slightly or at least plateaued.

That was, however, until Job # 2 had changes which were out of our hands. You see the bakery is located near a small supermarket. Its an independant sueprmarket, not like Coles or Woolworths or Bilo. And recently a 2.5 million dollar revamp took place, where the store was moved 100 metres up from where it was. We have noticed since it opened (last tuesday) that the days have been slower and we have had a decrease in sales.

So now I am stressing just like everyone else!

why I have a budget

December 13th, 2008 at 01:56 pm

Here's the thing with a budget for me:
I don't actually use it in the conventional sense. I don't look at it and go 'right, I can spend X on this and oh dear I am over on that by X amount so next week I can't spend X on this or that', which is what most people do.
I've never had a problem with debt in the sense that I spend more money that I can expect to pay for at the end of the month. I have a car loan, which is my only debt and which I researched for a good six months before I went through with it.
The only reason I have a budget is because I like looking at where I can put my money and seeing how everything fits neatly into place. I have it so I can see what I have to spend money on, and what to expect to spend it on in the future. I have it so I know where to allocate money. I use it as an organisational tool.

I like to track my money - how much I make and how much I spend and save. Since I've been doing that for nearly two years now I have not had to look at my 'budget' regularly, only when I update it: when my wage increased or when I start to have another expense.

I like to play around with it and see what I could afford if say, I lost my jobs, or my rent went up, or we had a baby. Or lately, and more realistically, if we bought a house, or if our flatmate moves out.

A budget gives me a sense of security because even though I don't really use it for anything on a day to day basis, it's helped me understand my own money and what is possible. So I think it's important to sit down, even if you're not the budget type, and just write a list of your yearly/monthly/weekly bills and expenses, and your income. Just to see where you're at. Even if you just do that and throw it out, atleast you've done it and you have an insight into your own finance.

thoughts on my exercise regime

December 13th, 2008 at 02:22 am

I just wanted to add onto my previous post about starting to work on next years goals.

I realised today that I have cycled five sessions of 25 minutes on my exercise bike this week. (it's not a great deal but it's a hell of a lot more than I've been doing lately! read: more than NOTHING...)

So each of those 25 sessions was between 4.5 and 5 kilometres.

I've also done about 40 minutes of stretching/situps/pushups/leg lifts etc, and been for a half hour swim.

What does everyone elses weekly workouts involve?

I really want to aim for 40 minutes per day, five days a week of cycling or walking (and some running).

My problem is I absolutely HATE exercising infront of or near any one. Which makes it a tad difficult. Walking outside is fine, because I can walk AWAY from people. And I don't necesarily know them. But ugh, the thought of exercising in a gym? forget it. even exercising in front of my flatmate or boyfriend! bah!

I don't know what it is. It's a combination of a few things I think. One, I always wonder if I look weird. I always wonder if people think I'm not working hard enough. And I always wonder if they think I won't last. And also because I get worried that people (my mum used to do it) will tell me I'm exercising 'wrong' or that 'my back isn't straigh' or 'i'm not walking fast enough' or 'my feet point in to far'.

So you see, I have some issues...

It's a hurdle I will have to eventually get over. At the moment I think I have been able to do a lot more exercise as our flatmate has been away for two weeks, and BF (although I don't mind him being around when I cycle because he just leaves me alone - or tries to hug me) doesn't get home til a few hours after I do. I will have to start walking after work once flatmate comes back, and then again when the new people move in (if they decide to).

Gosh I really can't wait til we have our own place, and our own home gym room.

But I can't keep waiting for that to happen. I need to lose about 5-7 kilograms (10 would be ideal but not really necesary). And I want to do it NOW. No more waiting for this to happen, then waiting for that to happen. I keep putting it off and basically I just need to get out there and do it. And start cutting my portion sizes. Because the longer I leave it, the longer I am not 100% happy with myself.

braved the christmas crowd

December 12th, 2008 at 06:00 pm

I braved the Christmas crowds this morning and went to our local shopping plaza. I got there BEFORE the shops were even open and I could only park on the roof in the sun! Oh well. I guess that is what aircon is for!

There was a special in Target, buy 3 items of kitchenware and get a fourth (cheapest) for free. I bought a pretty little latte mug, a big black mug for BF, a gorgeous green water tumbler with a white dotted butterfly pattern on it, and a big wooden spoon, all for $10.86!

I also bought two Bonds CoolTanks for $19.95 each.

I used my work bonus gift card up, so all I spent today was 75c!

Woohoo, that sure is a good feeling.

gorgeous dinner last night

December 12th, 2008 at 02:19 pm

BF and I went to our local Italian place for dinner last night. We have been there once before. The owner is actually from Italy and has been constructing this building for about 15 years, it has beautiful architecture and is very intricate. For one building he has managed to put two units, a shop and a restuarant in it (it's not a very large building). Anyway.
The service is impeccable and the meals are reasonably priced but absolutely delicious. BF had meatballs with fettucine and I had an eggplant, ricotta, tomato, fresh basil and pinenut sauce with fresh gnocchi.

BF paid for our meals and didn't want any money, so that was very nice of him. Smile

I want to make that pasta sauce again at home, it was soooooooo good!

Well it seems as soon as I have made my goals for next year I have actually started doing them now!

- We had our 'date night' for December Smile
- We are having a weekend away which is already booked for January (well technically it's not just for us - we have another friend staying in the hotel room as well on the couch... but it's close enough for me!)
- I have been drinking 2 L water consistently every day since I made those plans!
- I have added $150 this week to my House Deposit Fund.


Well, that's a couple anyway hehe.
-

sweet potato tart recipe

December 11th, 2008 at 09:09 pm

Remember how I had that 'experience' with the whole pumpkin? (see a couple of entries ago)
Well it completely ruined my menu plan for the week, so I had to come up with something different. Instead of having pumpkin soup we are now having a mixed vegetable soup. And instead of a pumpkin tart I had planned to make out of a recipe book, I had to make something a bit different. It worked out so well I wanted to share the rceipe with you all:

Ingredients:
2 squares shortcrust pastry
1 square full cream feta from deli (about 125 grams)
Two sweet potato
Two Roma tomatoes
1/2 Red Capsicum
One Onion
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

Firstly, roast the sweet potato, capsicum and roma tomatoes for about 45 minutes to an hour until baked.
In a non-stick pan fry the onions until soft, then add the balsamic vinegar and fry for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and fry until the liquid reduces.
Grease a tray and line with the pastry. Crumble the feta in a mixing bowl, add the chopped roasted vegetables (skin the capsicum) and the onion. Stir gently to combine and then add to the tray with the pastry. Bake on 200C for 25 minutes or until pastry is cooked underneath. I served it with steamed vegetables.

GREEN with ENVY!

December 10th, 2008 at 11:22 pm

I was just checking Facebook and a girl I went to school with posted a picture of her new car. (a year ago this girl posted a picture of her then new car, a convertible peugot 206cc)

Anyway, so her new-new car is a Nissan 350z.



For anyone that doesn't know... this is MY car!!! my dream car!!!

I was frowning slightly looking at the picture, but internally a voice was just yelling 'ARGH ARGH AAAAAARGHHHHH!!!!'

Normally I don't care what other people have versus what I have. But this just hits so close to home it's unfair!

*sigh*

Atleast, I guess... I should be happy that she is 21 and has a well paying job. Or I should be sad that she is now over $65 000 in debt.

Is it really that terrible if I'd be *happier* about the latter?

:-(

i am never buying a whole pumpkin AGAIN

December 10th, 2008 at 11:58 am

EVER.

I was all set to make pumpkin soup yesterday, and then I cut the pumpkin in half (having only bought it two days ago) and it was rotten.

oh, and it was sooooo rotten.

it was all liquidy inside, and the smell... oh. my. god. i was so close to throwing up in the kitchen sink.

*shudder*

$2.69 down the drain. or in the gardbage, should i say.

ramblings

December 9th, 2008 at 08:50 pm

BF was away last week for a job. Two of the workers called in sick, so it was just BF, his dad and my little brother (he is nearly 15). They decided to just pull long days, so BF worked 64 hours last week and earnt $1920.00. $450 went on tax, but on the good side he didn't have to pay for his food/petrol/accomodation.
He still has the last three weeks of pay in his bank as well, so he is transferring $950 to me (owes me for some concert tickets and car rego) then transferring about $3k into his savings account. YAY! Then he will live off whatever he has left until next week.

I am so proud of him, he has come a long way. :-)

----------------------------------------
I tried shopping at a fruit and vegetable store that I haven't been to since I was a little girl shopping with mum. It's known for being a bargain. I have to say I was impressed. For $39.95 I bought:
1 lettuce, 1kg bananas, 750g tomatoes, 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, 500g carrots, 1 lemon, 3 capsicum, 6 avocados, 1kg nectarines, 1 cucumber, 2kg potatoes, 3 grapefruit, a six pack of freshly baked wholemeal pita breads, 1kg zucchini, 1kg sweet potato, 1 kg broccoli, 500g beans, 1 head of australian garlic and one large pumpkin.

Normally I spend about $20-$25 at the markets, but I get less. So I am thinking that the markets and this vege store are around the same, cost wise. I don't normally buy this much stuff, buteverything comes in 1kg/2kg/500g bags. There isn't much that is loosely packed. So normally I would buy one head of brocolli, but they only come in bags of four (1kg). Or I would buy about 4 potatoes, but they only come in bags of 2kg.

So this has made me VERY determined to not waste a single piece of fruit or vegetable. As a consequence my spending at the supermarket this week has only been $10. I will need to pick up a couple of things, but this week I think we will be mostly eating veges, veges and more veges. Menu Plan to follow shortly!

2009 goals - live by common sense.

December 8th, 2008 at 01:56 pm

I have been thinking about my 2009 goals lately, and reading everyone else's on here too. Everyone has done such a good job. The one problem with me is that I set too many. I'm SUCH a list-freak that I have to itemise every. single. detail. And then I get to February and I forget half the stuff I need to do. So this is what I have come up with. I plan to live next year by commonsense. There. That is my goal. Because when you think about it, alot of us set goals to motivate us to do something we really should be doing anyway.

And, because I'm a list freak, I get to itemise my 'common sense' rules anyway. (mwahahaha...!)


Health & Body
- goal weight loss 1: 3kg
- goal weight loss 2: 6kg
- goal weight loss 3: 8kg
- final goal: 10kg
- continue to eat vegetarian, withe the exception of occasional fish meals.
- buy organic as much as possible
- incorporate natural cleaning products into the household
- walk/run/cycle 4 days a week for 30 min or more.
- some muscle definition work each day (10 min atleast!)
- swim atleast once per week (goal 3 times)
- limit sugar/white flour intake
- 1-2 L water every day
- regular (3 monthly) haircuts
- bi yearly dentist appointment
- yearly doctors visit
- visit a naturopath
- 1 hour each week body care (nails, eyebrows, body brush, foot soak, pamper etc)
- use sunscreen!

Money:
- $1000 EF
- $500 Gift Fund
- $1000 Holiday Fund.
- Begin making extra payments again on loan
- Save as much as I can for house deposit.
- Cut down expenses in areas of: dining out, takeaway beverages, entertainment, groceries, clothes.
- Spend a set amount for 2009 on clothes and shoes.
- Plan weekly meals and eat smaller portions.
- Maintain a freezer stock of meals for lazy nights.

Relationship:
- keep things going the way they are!
- try to have one date night a month
- maybe once every three months have a weekend away or a massage together
- begin to plan our future (combining incomes, declaring partnership, house, children)

House:
- use environmental cleaning products
- sort out my filing and paperwork neatly (and stick to the system!)
- Sort through old boxes and establish a ‘sell pile’
- Have a garage sale?
- Begin to actively watch the property market
- research the steps of buying a house

Friends:
- Take a good hard look at those I count as my ‘friends’.
- Shed the friendships that have a negative impact on my life or that do not contribute to my happiness.
- Pursue friendships that are fulfilling.
- Make an effort to get out more with those I want to spend time with.

Spiritual/Education
- Read a book once a month.
- Make myself speak up more often when something annoys me.
- Try to be more outgoing and approachable.
- Try to not watch a lot of television.

Car:
- Try to drive less and walk more.
- Get regular services for my car.
- Fix the dent that someone made running into my car with a trolley!
- Fix the broken Taillight.
- Fix the chip in the windscreen.
- Regularly vaccuum and wash my car.
- Maintain the logbook for work trips.






went a little crazy today!

December 5th, 2008 at 08:30 pm

Food: $4.45
Drink: $3.30 + $4.95
Jewellery: $8.95 + $12.99
Hair Accesories: $7.99
Haircut: $74.00
Gifts: $3.99 + $23.25

Blah! Blah! Blah!

But to be honest i LOVE the two necklaces I bought, I needed a hairband AND a haircut (though it was SOOO overpriced - i was thinking it would be $60 tops...) and the gifts are for christmas but not really - as in, one's a moving out present for Flatmate and the other is a pair of cufflinks for BF. so i would have bought them regardless of whether it was December or not. Smile

GOOD/BAD and a RANT!

December 2nd, 2008 at 05:50 pm

I got a cheque for $4.50 from a cash-back offer for some... womens items. Yay!

Today I bought a spinach & feta danish for breakfast/morning tea and had gotten in the car and drove off before I opened the bag and realised they had given me a ham and cheese one! $3.20 down the drain...

To add to more money down the drain, I paid $5.07 to download three tracks (please don't lecture me on free downloads - it AIN'T gonna HAPPEN! i just don't do it. you might donate to church - well... i pay for my music. you can blame my dad for working in the music industry and instilling this value in me!) and then found out they were conversion-protected which means I can put them on my iRiver but not my iPod. DARN IT. I should have known but it was just a mental blank. Bleh.

Tonight I am having a movie-dinner night at a friends house, with another friend. Originally one friend (who's house we are going to) was cooking, until I told the OTHER friend, who, how shall we say... has some issues...? (OCD) and now we are getting takeaway. lol. I am still wondering how she managed to do that without the other friend noticing anything strange. (I know, the other friend doesn't).

So I am thinking I can do dinner cheaply to make up for my waste of money today. I will have some vege samosas and some naan bread. Or something like that. Well, it depends how much the mains are. But my aim will be to spend LESS than a main. My goal is to eat for $10 or less tonight. (I think the mains are about $15).

I am a little annoyed at my flatmate at the moment. I am just annoyed because the only time she is ever in a good mood is when her BF is coming over or when he's there. It's annoying because we're meant to be friends and it is like my company (or feelings) is not important or not worth it. So it makes me feel like just completely giving up, even thought we live together. She goes to bed at around 7pm and gets up after everyone leaves for work - unless her BF is there in which case she goes to bed whenever he does, which is usually 11pm, and gets up at about 6am. She doesn't have a job and she lays on the couch all day and watches tv.
And yet, she complained about a couple of her friends who have recently gotten themselves BF's and seem to have disappeared off the planet.

Look, BF and I are mostly together, but if he goes away for work (like this week - he is away all week) or holidays, or goes out on a night on the town with his mates, I am not going to sit at home and feel sorry for myself. I just think if she's meant to be moving out in a month, to a place that is miles away from anywhere, wouldn't you spend your free time trying to catch up with friends or something?

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

end rant! sorry guys. Frown just annoyed.

i paid 96.7c per litre today!

December 2nd, 2008 at 12:37 am

Fuel prices have been great lately. I know it's all a big scam to make people happy for awhile, or to lull people into a false security before going BAM! at christmas with $1.80 per litre costs, or it's all a big election scam thing, or that people weren't buying enough fuel so it was about to go off, so they dropped the prices so everyone will buy it which will then make the demand greater which will THEN lead to higher prices again...

anywho.

I couldn't give a crap.

I fill up my tank every Tuesday. I'm not doing any extra driving. I'm not rushing out to buy petrol. I'll most likely drive the same distance per week now as I did when I paid $1.75 per litre about three months ago. I just noticed that fuel has been dropping, and wanted to record the day that I paid the least amount for petrol, EVER. Yes, you read right, EVER.
I have been driving for about four years and this is the first time I've paid 96.7c per litre.

so WOOOOO for Tuesday the 2nd of December!