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Archive for March, 2011

test results, back to organics, exam times etc

March 31st, 2011 at 06:09 am

I got results back for my first two tests for my law subject - 70% and 80%. So far, so good. Could have done better... but I am passing with a credit so far, which is good! I have two more online tests and the final exam to do.

I have tickets to see the Dalai Lama which is smack bang in the middle of the exam period - seeing as I only have one subject to do an exam for, and the exam period is two weeks, I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is NOT on this day. I also have a booking on the last day of the exam period too! Why! Anyway, with luck, it will all work out.

DH and I have made the decision to go back to buying organically grown fruit and veg - where possible. It is just something that we both feel strongly about. We decided to also begin reducing our portion sizes of meals too - so in the end, it will probably work out to be comparative in price anyway. Only thing is I get immediately tired at the thought of going to the market, lugging around heavy bags of produce. So instead I'm trialling a health food store that's local. It has been around for years, and a family member actually worked there a while ago. I have not been there in 10 years - but it's pretty much the same.

To be honest, most of the prices are very much the same that we would pay in a supermarket (that I have been paying, anyway - prices have been ridiculous since the floods...). $3.50 for a head of lettuce, 90c for a bundle of green beans, $1.50 for a bag of carrots. etc etc. Actually, some produce is cheaper because it is local, and much fresher. Produce prices have risen tremendously in the past few months - bananas are $12.99 a kilogram right now. Have not eaten one in about a month!

On the weekend I'm going to a babyshower for a friend. We are supposed to dress up as 50's housewives. I have put together some of my own clothes and think I can get by without having to purcahse anything. I have a black dress that flares from the hips & a polka dot shirt that I was going to wear over it & tie at the waist, and a headscarf. Any other ideas???





job hunting.

March 29th, 2011 at 06:05 am

Yesterday I applied online for a supermarket chain, check-out operator job. It was just a general application - I do not know if there are any positions available, but I pretty much put that I am available for any work (full-time, part-time, casual). I can work out the kinks later, if I do happen to get a call. They are supposed to call if there is anything fitting in with what I'm applying for. I guess I should probably start looking at office-ey type jobs too. I have had a break from those types of jobs since school (save for my book-keeping job) and I guess it might be time to change back. We'll see.

The hard part is... do I tell my current boss that I'm looking? Do I ask them to be referees? (The last two places I worked before this, five years ago, have gone out of business). I don't think I would get fired straight away if they were to know I intend on leaving... but you never know. And what if I can't find anything, then they'll know I want to leave. Argh. How annoying. I hate job hunting.

I've never had to have this conversation before in the past. Each time I've left a workplace, I've had another job lined up, and had only been employed on a casual basis, with the knowledge that I wasn't a hugely integral part of the business anyway (that they could get by quite fine without me).

Not that I don't think my current place wouldn't survive without me - it's just that my boss flips out when anything happens regarding shortages of staff, such as someone being sick or two staff going on holidays at the same time. He freaks out and gets emotional, saying things like 'Oh my god, I don't know how we'll cope' etc etc. I can just imagine it will be like that - and I feel like that should NOT be my problem, and I shouldn't have to hear about it either. (*if* I was a mean person, I would probably say something like 'well, I guess now you'll have to hire a qualified person to do my job - looks like it's going to cost you about $5 extra an hour...' - but I'm not, and I won't. I don't need to say it for them to have to think it.)

Anyway. Sorry about my rambling! What are others experiences with leaving jobs/getting new jobs etc? How have things gone when you've told a long-term boss that you're leaving? What did you say? What did they say?

first letterbox drop.

March 19th, 2011 at 02:37 am

I did my first pamphlet drop this morning. I actually got up at 5.30 and DH wanted to help me. We drove to the area and started at 6.10am, finished by 7.20am (304 houses) I think we would have been done quicker if it had not been for a couple of double lapping of streets. Next time I will start earlier - it was overcast, but still hot, we were both dripping by the time we finished due to winter not quite starting. The folding took me about 45 minutes and I actually enjoy that part Big Grin so I don't look at it as the work part. Everyone has been telling me it would take HOURS but really did not think it took as long as I thought. Anyway, only got $30 for it as there were only 3 types of pamphlets, you get more when there is more, obviously. The walk was GREAT though, up a lot of hills, we both got our heart rates up a bit. I am happy to do this purely for exercise with the added bonus of a few extra bucks (would not do it solely for the money, as I can get more elsewhere, for less effort). But for me sometimes with exercise that is a little strenuous I need to HAVE to do it, and this will help. I love yoga, pilates, spin, boxing could do that stuff for hours, but my motivation for more intense forms of exercise wanes after a half hour or so (or less).

Anyway, we cancelled out our good efforts and money earning by having breakfast out this morning Big Grin

With my sister living with us, we have started to have breakfast out on the weekend when she is at mums. Paying for an extra person to have dinner out or takeaway really adds up, so we tend to have homecooked dinners completely during the week. She spends all of her weekly pay on McDonalds and junk food anyway (like an average teenager - even though I tell her every week not to) so I don't see why we should have to pay for her to have a takeaway meal as well!

It is nice to do stuff with DH on the weekends, we have started going to markets, galleries, community gatherings etc. I think DH appreciates the slow weekends now, because we normally have something on for three out of four.

Well, that's all my news for now. I submitted my first online test for my law subject. Time to get some studying out of the way this weekend. I feel like tidying our house up a bit, so I want to get the studying out of the way first!

extra money!

March 16th, 2011 at 01:33 am

I just got a call from the pamphlet delivery company, they have a fill in job for this weekend, and it is just down the road from me. She warned me that I won't get much from this job (probably about $30-$40)as there are only a few pamphlets per house to deliver, but I don't really mind. I don't expect much in the first few rounds because I know it's probably something you have to show that you're interested in it first before you get any good jobs. I also walk around the area anyway - it is like I am getting paid to do what I do anyway, except lug around a bag and maybe take an extra hour. *shrug* It's money that I wouldn't have earned anyway, so I'm happy!
I am debating whether to take Banjo or not. I would not take two dogs as it would be a hassle, and Banjo I can pick up if there is an aggresive dog nearby. I think maybe I might do this one drop by myself to check out the streets, and if I think it's safe I'll take him next time.

Anyway, kind of excited! The lady even drops the stuff off at my house for me, and the payment goes directly into our account. And the pamphlets get dropped off Thursdays, so I can get DH and my sister to help fold them Big Grin I plan to try and do the drop at 5am, so it won't be full sun and there won't be many people out and about. A walk is always a good thing to start the morning with too.

Don't you just want to shake some people?

March 15th, 2011 at 05:28 am

DH and I were invited to a friends' going away party. She's really a friend of a friend as I don't know her well, but she's a lovely person. On her invitation, she wrote to bring a plate of food to share.

We took a plate of olives, artichoke hearts, cubed greek feta, some basil & cashew dip & a box of water crackers. (It was all I had in the fridge at the time, because we'd planned another outing for the next day and I didn't want to use up all the goodies for that day).

Another friend of a friend (who I've actually written about before, she's quite infuriating) contributed two packets of chocolate coated biscuits. She also bought along three kids. Wha...?

It just makes me annoyed on so many levels! You don't bring two packets of biscuits and FOUR people! Atleast this is pretty much all her kids ate, I guess that's something?

Which is another annoyance in itself, really. She then complains about how her two youngest don't sleep until 11pm-2am every night. Perhaps *gasp* you're feeding them a little too much sugar?

The youngest also threw several tantrums in the space of three hours. I know kids do this when they're young, of course, but all that sugar can't have helped either.

*sigh*

updates

March 13th, 2011 at 02:49 am

I'm in my second week of Commercial Law - my god it is SO boring at the moment. I feel like I am falling asleep reading about 1780's English Law! However, I've flipped ahead and it does get more interesting. And luckily none of the boring stuff is actually tested in the exam - only the online exams which are 10 questions, multiple choice, so, easy for me to get through atleast.

Over the past three or so months my skin seemed to get really bad and hasn't cleared up lately. Annoying really because it's always been pretty good to me. After a few months of trying a host of things to help (different skincare products, cutting things out of my diet, exercising, etc etc) I decided a trip to the doctor might help and she prescribed me with a course of antibiotics (doxycicline). I've never taken antibiotics before IN MY LIFE, so decided this one time it should be fine. I would never take them otherwise - don't quite agree with the idea that you should take them for everything, all the time. Doctors in Australia dish them out like lollies.
They have to be taken with food - third day of taking them I mistakenly thought a grapefruit was food enough, began feeling nauseous and had to go home three hours early! Was nice to be home early on a Friday, but sucks about less pay!

Today DH and I went to a local market in the arts centre of the area, and went to a new local gallery as well. Always good to see new art - it gets you thinking creatively and inspires you! Right now I should be studying, but feel like painting or drawing, darn it.

Went to breakfast out, and am hoping DH will come with me to check out a Sunday afternoon local music gig that is organised in the park every second week. The weathers not too great and our friends have piked on us though, so it doesn't look good.

DH and I were going to hold a garage sale soon, to sell some things we don't need that someone else might have a use for. I can almost SMELL the decluttering! Hoping to make a few bucks too, that would be nice.

In other money-making ventures, I have listed interest in delivering pamphlets to letterboxes in my local area. I can get between $50-$150 a week depending on the amount & drops I do, and the best part is I will be getting fit too. For starters I will be doing fill-in work, for when other walkers go away. They say generally you do 300 houses in a drop. I don't expect it to be easy, and for a small amount of pay, but I don't mind it too much if it means we are earning a little extra and I can fit it around other commitments. $50 a week is $2600 a year - $150 a week is $7800 a year. Either way, it's a little extra that can go towards textbooks, a new tv series on dvd, a book Ive been eyeing off etc etc. (but most likely, will just go to the mortgage! haha).


your husband doesn't WORK?

March 12th, 2011 at 12:35 am

Went to the bank yesterday to change my name, and transfer my super fund, so that we can get our life insurance deducted from it and save us $60 a month in outgoings. This apparently means that you are asking to be berated about your lack of several types of insurance. *sigh*

She was not going to take no for an answer, so I let her print out some quotes. Apparently, the things we are insured against, which are pretty standard, are no longer enough. Currently we have:

Home & Contents Insurance
Life & TPD Insurance
CTP & Comprehensive Car Insuarance.

This roughly costs us $2500 a year. We're considering health insurance (for the extras & dental benefits) which will require we fork out another $800-$1200 a year.

That's approximately $3700 a year that we are shelling out on the idea of something maybe happening, at some stage, in our life. (If we saved what we spent on insurance, and considering the price increases each year, we'd have close to $40k in ten years. Wouldn't that be enough to cover most emergencies, anyway? Our health system is quite good)

But you see, we're underinsured. According to this woman, anyway. We should have Mortgage Insurance. And also Accident Insurance. If we don't, we have rocks in our heads. Lets not get into how I feel about insurance. What I found most amusing about the hour I spent in the bank with this woman, was the conversation we had and her realisation that *gasp* I don't rely on Hubby to pay the bills. She was typing away, looking at the screen, calculating a quote for me.

Her: 'So we'll do $300 000'.

Me: 'But we only owe less than $290 000, and I'd be perfectly fine with half that anyway. In the event we take out this insurance, and in the event that something happened to either of us, we'd be perfectly capable of paying for half or more.'

Her: 'Yes, but this is for your mortgage'

Me, confused, obviously? 'Errm.... I know?'

She dismisses me: 'So anyway, we'll do $300 000'.

So she calculates the quote. It's the cheapest insurance, she tells me, and the most worthwhile. $84 a month, for the both of us. Well, actually, that's the most expensive insurance we would have, if we were to get it...

I try to explain: 'Well, you see, the reason we're changing our super funds to here, is so that we can get our life insurance taken out of it, thereby reducing our monthly outgoing expenses. Getting another insurance policy that costs more, is not what I had in mind today'.

'Ok, well we'll reduce the amount from $300 000 to $250 000. You really should have this insurance, what if something happened, heaven forbid, to your new Hubby, how would you pay the mortgage? Maybe you should just insure Hubby then?'

'Well, actually, he's not working a lot right now. Actually he hasn't really worked for the past... hmmm... six months? So that would be a bit redundant, seeing as I am the main income earner at this stage.'

Shocked, she looks rather taken aback: 'Why not?!'

'He's a tradesman, it's typically slow this time of year, even more slower due to the economic climate. And in the event that we're both working, each of us earns enough, or can earn enough - in the event I can't work, DH has several opportunities to work outside his specialised trade, that can cover the mortgage and bills if need be. That's why I'm not really sure we need this at all, really.'

Now it's her turn to look confused. I am sure she is thinking How Odd! She pauses for a moment before looking slightly smug with herself: 'But what about when you have a family? Hubby will definately be the main income worker then.'

'Well, no, not neccesarily.'

'What?' Again, utterly shocked. I beging to tire of the conversation. I'm not getting anywhere, I've been here for an hour, all I want is to change my name!

'Nevermind. Sure, just give me the quotes and we'll think about it.'

Dear god, does this woman not realise it's no longer 1952? There was even a segment on television the other day about the increasing amount of SAHD's. It is NOT a foreign concept here, believe me!

Anyway, I was thinking about MonkeyMama for the whole last half of my visit to the bank. Big Grin