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update time (& cute dog pics)

August 20th, 2011 at 12:34 am

After a late Friday night (full of laughing and talking with our tattooist... well, we were laughing and talking and DH just grimaced for most of it Big Grin it was in a painful spot on his arm...) I'm up late after a nice sleep in (til nearly 9am!!)and about to start a weekend chock full of study!
Thought I would update, first though... Big Grin

The guy who bought the tyres has just picked them up and given us the $60 he owes us. The lady who bought the cabinet dropped by on Thursday to pay $50 off and buy 10 cupcakes she asked me to make for her. She asked if she could pay for the rest of the cabinet next week, as she is a bit short of money this week due to unexpected kids expenses (totally understand - my mum deals with this all the time), I told her it was fine. She is a lovely lady, single with two kids and I think she is doing it tough (obviously not too tough as she can buy cupcakes!). I have her address and phone number, and she has already given us $60 toward it. We could sell it again for no hassles if she changed her mind.

Also, she asked if I made birthday cakes Big Grin I doubt my abilities with cake decorating, even though that is what I am employed to do. (BTW, 'cake-decorating' as a term, when I use it anyway, actually means: making the cake, and then decorating it... in case people are confused!) I don't like making things for people I know, or people who seek me out as an individual. I am afraid they won't like what I do. I need to get over this, as I realise I can make some pretty good-looking and great-tasting cakes most of the time. (sometimes... most times... better than my boss Big Grin shh, don't tell him I said that...)

I just don't have any of the supplies or equipment to make them at my house. DH is always encouraging me to 'invest' in these things and I think it's an unneeded expense. Maybe not. I don't know? I could probably make some good side-money, and even if I just bought the decorating equipment and left the actual cake-baking to be done at work, in my own time and paid for the scratch ingredients from my boss. Things to think about, I guess.

Heard back from one of the jobs, unsuccessful. (what a surprise... not). I suppose I will not hear from the other ones. I do not always get an email saying I was unsuccesful, they usually just leave you hanging. Nice.

I have begun taking some pre-conception vitamins Big Grin (holy dooly, are they expensive! I don't take vitamins as our diet is varied and healthy, but I figured I probably should for this as it's recommended... even at a discount chemist a months supply is $20) DH had a doctors appointment on Thursday and has to get some blood tests done next week. I also have to find a doctor, and get a check up. And go to the dentist. Sigh. Next week...

Work update:
My best friend quit. It was the day after she had that guilt-trip from my boss's wife, and after I had that horrible phone conversation with her too. I did not work that day (worked at my other job), but the next day (thursday) I went in and my boss was SUPER nice to me. Almost too nice. I guess he is afraid that I will up and leave too, because of his wife. You know... even though he is a really nice guy (apart from the lying and obsession with his social status) I wish I was offered a job right now, just so I could ring up his wife and say 'I quit, and it's because of you and your unprofessionalism'.
I know, it's a bit low and immature. But look at what I have had to put up with! Would you really blame me??
My boss would survive. He's worked very long days before. Perhaps his wife will have to help out at the shop a bit more than her token once-a-month visit? Big Grin

DH has some work this week which is great. Even though he's had a few weeks off, our bank account is still looking healthy.

We have been doing the weekly grocery shop on Saturdays or Sundays, together. It is easier for me this way and saves time with DH coming. (Even though he usually wanders around looking at other stuff). This week looks like it will be a really small shop: we have so much stuff in our pantry it's ridiculous, even though I have not bought a lot of stuff over the past couple of weeks either.

We're doing the shop tomorrow (Sunday) and I am going to make our meal plan off what we have in the pantry, and just nip into town for the essentials, and fresh fruit and veges.

I'm thinking our meal plan will go something like this:
sweet & sour tofu with egg noodles
pumpkin & cashew stirfry with basmati rice
minestrone soup
vegetarian pasta
baked fish, salad & sweet potato
mexican beans & rice
steamed vegetables, tofu & rice

We ate our first bananas since January, last week!!! It was very exciting for us. Since the floods in January bananas have been about $15-$20 a kilogram. Doesn't matter if they are organic or not, price is the same. Well, shopping at our local organic grocer we spied them at $9.99 a kilogram so we bought four little golden, beautiful, sweet cavendish. They were lovely! The oranges have been delicious lately too...

DH is having sellers remorse on some of the items we sold at the garage sale Big Grin oh well. He sold a PS1 for $7 with a whole heap of games, a chip, two guns etc. His uncle rang him the next day to see if he still had it, and said he would have given him $40! Even still, last night our tattooist said he would have given us $60! What are the chances?! (But, it went to a young high school girl who is no doubt going to have a lot of fun with it... I personally think it went to a good home). In the end, we made $450 and I think the reason we made that much was because our prices indicated we wanted to sell the stuff, not have people umm and aah over the price, but instead go 'hey! I'm going to buy that! Right now!'.

The coffee table (the one I didn't want him to sell! lol!) he sold for $40. Then two people came back that had been in the morning to ask about it, and asked how much he sold it for. LOL. But like the PS1, it has a nice selling-story to it too: the guy bought it because he wants to teach his grand-daughter to play chess. I mean, could you ask for it to go to a better home?!

And lastly, my poor baby Banjo!!! Earlier this week, he kept licking his face and seemed to not be closing his mouth. (He is a dog that pants half the time... so I wasn't especially worried at first, but then it got to a stage where I was a little worried). We tried looking at his gums and teeth, nothing. His breath was a lot smellier than normal. I took him to the vet on Thursday. The vet looked at his gums and teeth (as DH and I did), couldn't find anything, suggested maybe he had a sore throat and got a flashlight to inspect the inside of his mouth. Opens Banjo's mouth and what do we find, but a piece of a stick jammed in the roof of his mouth, horizontally between the molars on the left and right side! (hard to describe...) The vet said 'ahh, this is your problem!' quickly reached in and pulled it out. Our poor Banjo must have had it in for a few days, two great big holes on the inner side right next to his teeth and huge cut across the roof of his mouth (and blood!). The vet gave us some painkillers and antibiotics to clear up the infection. He asked if Banjo had trouble eating or drinking. Nope! I had even given him a bone the day before. Our vet laughed and said 'This ones a tought nut!'

On the trip home he sat in the front seat and when I looked over, he was curled up in a little ball with his paws on his snout. Fresh pain after getting it pulled out... ouch. He was a brave little fellow. I feel so bad that I didn't know, but the vet said unless you knew what to look for you wouldn't have known - he said he didn't expect to find that at all, he just thought Banjo had a sore throat, and that you wouldn't have been able to see without a light, as the roof of Banjo's mouth is speckled anyway, the stick was pretty much camoflaged. Poor Banjo!!! Total cost $70.25 for short vet visit, A/B & pain meds. (worth every penny I should add!!!!)

Here are some pictures of the last time we took them out, to my little sisters birthday picnic in the park:

Banjo:



Jed:

updates, diets, outings.

August 3rd, 2011 at 02:09 am

I just checked my account and my tax refund has been cleared. Yay! That means DH's will go through tomorrow.

(I had done mine and looked at the pile of reciepts for DH's and decided to post-pone it to the next night. And thank goodness, it took me nearly an hour!)

I have been inspired again reading Ceejays blog to start a short and sweet health kick regime. Even though we *are* much healthier right now than a month ago (and even then - we were much healthier than a lot of people we know!) I have found I haven't budged any weight that I wanted to. Frown I blame winter, studying, lack of energy etc etc. But, I only have about five weeks until TTC and even though some would think it's pointless (seeing as, well, I'll probably be putting on a lot more weight in the 9 months after...!) I still want to be as fit and healthy as I possibly can before pregnancy.

My aim is to take the dogs for a longer than usual walk/run (around an hour) on a different walking track. This one has a few hilly areas and gives me a bit of a workout. I'm hoping to do that five days a week, one day of rest and one day of yoga. Also hoping to slip a few sessions of boxing in there too, but that's only a maybe, depends on the time.

Diet-wise, I have cut out drinking coffee during the week, and only drink one or two cups on the weekend. This is for a few reasons: firstly sometimes I get weird heart palpitations, sweats and shakes when I have a cup of coffee (I haven't gotten them since I stopped, a few months ago). Also, because obviously I won't be drinking coffee while I'm pregnant, so this is me weaning Big Grin. And lastly, because DH had to give up drinking, I figured I'd do something too.

You should have seen us the first night! Sitting down to dinner, It went something like this:
---
DH: Can't I just start this tomorrow? I've had a long hard day working with dad and I want a glass of wine.

Me: What! No! If you do that, then tomorrow you'll say the same thing, then the next day, and the next, then there won't be any point at all. And besides, I haven't had a coffee all day and my head feels like it's about to implode. So you CAN'T have a wine.

---

Continuing on the diet discussion, I haven't quite figured it out actually. But I'm thinking along the lines of a few weeks eating steamed vegetables, brown rice, soups etc. Might have one day in there to relax a little and eat something naughty. But for the most part I want to eat fresh unprocessed organic food, mostly vegetables. Minimal dairy. Extremely reduced sugar intake (probably only my 'free' day). Etc Etc. We'll see how I go. It's so difficult trying to study though, with low energy levels. I find my concentration wanes a lot. Now I understand why my old flatmate used to eat 1kg of lollies every week - the sugar keeps you UP. lol.

We are thinking of going to Greazefest on Sunday ( www.greazefest.com ). It is a 1950's car/fashion/style/hotrod/music themed festival that we've wanted to go to for a few years and finally we have the weekend spare when it's on! Exciting. But, we are still deciding, because the day will probably cost $100+ ($25 each entry, petrol to get there, food etc). And DH is just about to spend a bit of money on some screenprinting paint and a bulk lot of blank tshirts. We have a friend who operates an art studio who has offered to sell some of DH's designs.

Even though we're about to embark on running the flooring business ourselves with less input from DH's dad, I think DH wants to find a way to make money without having to do physically draining work, use chemicals, and deal with pedantic clients. (Unfortunately the clients can't be helped, DH's dad runs a premium flooring business that is unlike the subcontracted ones you hire out from a carpet shop who do a usually sub-par job.)




hello everyone!

July 31st, 2011 at 07:44 am

It's been over a month since I last posted, sorry everyone. I have missed SA, and I find I think about a lot of you sometimes. Even though I've never met any of you, you all feel like my extended family. I've tried explaining this to DH once before, and he doesn't really understand. (I suppose, we do use the 'imagine-everyone-you-don't-know-on-the-internet-is-a-huge-fat-guy-sitting-in-his-underwear' example with my little sister when she decides to not use her brain and adds strangers on facebook, myspace, etc).

I see there are lots of newbies here too, welcome! (I was, once upon a time, a 'regular', however it seems I don't get time to scratch let alone write a blog post, and when I do, I find I don't have much content, so I delete it! I'm determined to post this one though.

So, for about a year now I've completely stopped recording our expenditure/earnings etc. The organisational freak in me sometimes has a spin-out and panics a little bit. I did think, about six months ago, that I felt like I had no idea where we were with our savings and expenditure. I feel like I'm walking on a tightrope very high with no safety harness. However, the bank account begs to differ. It seems that once we relaxed a bit with our financial situation, it did the world of good. Perhaps recording everything isn't for us; maybe doing that meant we had more binges and blowouts because we both always felt like we were pinching pennies. Whatever the reason, our bank balance is almost at where it was when we first bought our house and had a bonza of additional funds from settlement. Basically, the EF I've always stressed about having, is actually there for once.

We just submitted our tax returns for the 10-11 financial year too, and are getting a nice $2300 back. Where is it going? Savings, of course.

I passed my last subject, LAW1101. I'm now about to start my third week of STA2300 (data analysis) and CIS1000 (business information system concepts). I'm actually liking them a lot! Having been met with looks of horror and pity when telling people one of my next subjects was data analysis, I think I'm now shocking people even more by telling them I'm enjoying it. But... someone has to right? And if I didn't like it a tiny bit, then why the heck would I be studying accounting anyway?

I've been applying for a couple of jobs a week. So far, no luck, but I'm waiting on three recent applications I submitted. Fingers crossed!

On the current job front, well, things are still the same level of frustrating. Atleast ALL the staff are frustrated, and at the same person (our boss, and his wife). In some way, that makes it bearable. We are able to joke an whine to each other about it, and pretty much everyone is in some stage of looking for a new job.
Our boss seems to be doing a whole lot more lying lately, and is intent on talking himself (and his wife) up on the social status ladder. He goes through stages of doing annoying things. Lately it's this.
I am not the type of person that cares about what someone earns, how big their boat is, what car they drive, how prestigious their house location is, etc. But, I have to listen to my boss talk about his friends in this way. It actually makes me a little sad, as I've realised lately that I don't know his friends names, what they're like, what they do in their spare time (other than sail their yacht around), how well they get along with their spouse, if they're funny, or a little weird, or their quirks etc. When I talk about my friends, that is what I talk about. I talk about THEM. I've also caught him lying outright (to a customer he didn't even know, who happened to have a bank uniform on) about how his wife is a bank manager. First of all, she hasn't worked at a bank in about two years. Secondly, she approved loans, she was never a manager.
Little things like this, EVERY DAY, begin to drive a person insane.

That, and the wife still hasn't apologised for yelling at me after I told her my sister couldn't work because she was in hospital. So, I'm not really a happy chappy at work right now.

In other income-related news, DH's dad is partly handing his business over to us in a few months while he moves interstate to help his parents (DH's grandparents) fix up their house. Before that happens, I am working with our accountant to turn it into a company. I think eventually DH's dad will retire and hand the business over to us. Things are actually going alright in that section of our lives, for once. Normally it is all sorts of hell with the family's business, but not right now.

My little sister was diagnosed with PCOS last week. I am not really sure how they picked it up because she does not exhibit any appearance related signs (hirsutism, obesity, acne etc) but atleast she knows at a young age and can learn to cope with it now.

Tomorrow will be DH's third week of not drinking alcohol. He has struggled with it, but it is for a good cause. We decided long ago that when we wanted to conceive we would stop all drinking and unhealthy habits, for atleast two months before initially trying. So that is another bit of exciting news: we hope that by the end of the year we'll be pregnant. I'm hopeful, anyway. We're both relatively young and so we hope it shouldn't be too difficult, but have known people who have struggled, so at the same time we're not overly confident that it will be something that happens straight away. We'll see.
My sister having PCOS has made me worry a little bit. I'm not sure if it's something that is genetic? Should I be checked for something like that?

What else? Our dogs are well. I actually took them for their yearly check up and was told they are too fat! So, I have begun to feed them slightly less dry food and take them for walks more often. I did slack a bit with the walks during my exam preparation in June. They seem to have lost a little already (it's been a bit over a month).

I think that is all of my news. I have not had much time to scroll through everyone's regular blogs - so feel free to leave me a little update of what's been happening in your life lately in the comments section! Big Grin




my to do list for today

December 3rd, 2010 at 08:57 pm

I am going to try and achieve most of the following goals today, so that I have relatively little to do tomorrow. My best friend is coming over tomorrow to look at wedding cake designs with me, as she is going to be making the cake for us. So I want my house clean Big Grin as it is has been a bit messy lately... Other than that, tomorrow I was hoping to go for a drive and take a look at some of the halls that are for hire, so we can start making preparations for that.

To Do List:
- Finish Module 5 for my accounting subject.
- Laundry (will be a slow process, as it is raining)
- Vaccuum
- Clean the kitchen
- Clean the bathroom & toilet
- Tidy the lounge & dining room
- Put away our clean laundry (a small single pile seems to have grown in our room and now comprises of hmmm... MOST of our clothes).

I also have to decide whether I am going to go to the markets today, or the local fruit & vege shop.

reaaaallly big catchup post!

December 2nd, 2010 at 06:32 am

Whew, lots of things going on here at the moment, so I thought it was best for a quick update post.

I am really hating my job right now. Something seems to have changed, and I just dread going to work each day. I think that it is just that our boss and his wife seem to have stopped caring for their employees. They were always fantastic bosses up until the past few months, when everything seems to have just changed.
My boss bought a boat, and so now all he ever does is whinge about money, or talk about his boat, or talk about how he wishes he was in his boat - and no one cares to listen to him about any of those topics. It really doesn't do him any favours, because the first thought that comes into anyones head when he mentions money is 'Well, you just bought a boat, things can't be that bad'.
Secondly, there's no Christmas party this year. I would totally understand if it were for money reasons (even with the purchase of the boat!) but their reason? 'Oh, we are just so busy this year, with a wedding to go to and our son graduating from kindergarten.' Wow. Way to make your staff feel appreciated! Frown
Thirdly, our closing times changed, from 5.30pm to 5pm. This does not effect me or my wages, but the way they went about it was just rude. When shifts were first cut down at the start of the economic crisis, they sent a letter home two months before the shift cuts started, saying they were sorry but they could not do anything about it, costs had to be cut etc. This time? Not a word of warning, no explanation until the changed roster came out. (Rosters are done a week in advance). I just don't understand why they couldn't have done what they did previously!
And lastly, and I guess, most importantly, I just feel like strangling my boss every time I look at him. Smile It is not just me though, it is everyone. He has become erratic, extremely inconsistent with his words and actions. He will say one thing and do another, constantly contradicts himself, blames other staff members for doing things he told them to do, bitching about staff members to everyone but never telling the actual person involved what's wrong... Just so frustrating. He's very passive aggresive, doesn't like confrontations. I actually had an argument with him last week (first argument I've ever had with a boss before - it involved me confronting him over something he'd said about a staff member), and he hid from me for an hour and would not talk to me. Mature!

Anyway. SO I am not really sure how much longer I can last, if things do not change/go back to normal. Perhaps I have been looking for an excuse like this, but then again I do not have great confidence in finding another job and settling in. I guess everyone is like that though. New job jitters?

The thing that sucks is that I like the WORK. It is just everything else that I hate right now.

DF and I had a discussion about children. He has suddenly decided (probably because his sister is due to give birth in January) that we should have children soon. Like, next year soon. I know that there are good times and bad times to have children, but in the end, there is never a 'perfect' time - so many people have said 'there's never going to be that perfect financial/mental point to have a child, you just cope as it happens.' It's totally true. BUT! I think that if we were EVER going to pick a year to have a baby, next year would be the absolute worst time. I am sure we would obviously learn to cope and make ends meet - but I also think if we had any choice in the matter (which we do) we should make the choice to atleast post-pone this for one more year. Why?
Several reasons: 1) this 'wedding party' that DF wants nest year will take up valuable baby saving funds, not to mention time, and will only add stress to our lives. I don't want to have to deal with morning sickness and all the goodies that come with pregnancy AS WELL. 2) We will need to replace my car. It is unsafe, getting to be unreliable, and also extremely noisy etc. What we want will be new-to-us, but will have to be saved and paid for obviously - not going to be easy to do on one wage. 3) I have just started studying. I atleast want to do one year! 4) We are going to have to consider seriously in the next month or two, getting a business loan and starting our own business. Yet again, not something I want to deal with in its' initial stages as well as pregnancy. Eugh! Can't imagine anything worse!

and my last reason being - I want to achieve certain health, weight and fitness goals before I have a baby, as sort of a mental exercise so that post-baby, I can say to myself 'you did it once, you can do it again'. I am currently only half way through, so would like to be able to complete this.

Is that too much to ask?

ANyway, I think DF has given up on the idea anyway. Only because I said all the logical stuff that he agrees with, and the only reason he doesn't agree with me completely is because he 'wants' to start a family now. I told him, waiting one extra year isn't going to hurt anyone, and cousins being 2 years apart is not going to matter that much. (right???)

And I guess the last of my news is that we now have a 'boarder' living with us, in the form of my sister. I know most of you probably already knew this as I posted about it a few months ago; but when I last posted about it, this was a temporary arrangement. It is now about to become semi-permanent. I say semi-permanent, because there are rules involved. If the rules are obeyed, she can stay. If not, well...

We might finally be buying a new tv! prices have dropped a lot lately, and we are hopeful of getting the one we want at roughly $900.

At the moment DF and I are tossing up whether to go to a festival in late February. We have not been to one in two years - and we are really interested in the lineup (one of DF's favourite bands, Primus, is one of the headline acts). It's also pretty different, genre-wise, than other festivals we've been to and focuses on metal. I'd be super excited if we could go. Some of you may know some of the bands (check it out at www.soundwavefestival.com/lineup - I mean, who hasn't heard of Iron Maiden? Big Grin) However, it's probably the most we've ever had to pay for a single ticket before - $169 each. OUCH. So, we'll see. It's still a while away and tickets have not sold out yet. So, keep your fingers crossed for us that some special person drops $340 in our lap some time soon!

One way I am trying to save the money (and also, in general, just save money, regardless of whether we go or not) is that recently I've changed a few of our utility providers and a few other things, which should result in atleast $100 a month in savings, if not more.

Hmmm... I think that is all my news for now. Whew! Quite a catchup post, I wonder if anyone made it, reading all the way to the end? You deserve a cookie!

Weekend To-Do List, Enrolment

September 4th, 2010 at 01:46 am

I have completed a few things on my Weekend To-Do List, but have a lot more to do. Always the way!

I got one of the biggest jobs out of the way though. I enrolled! I have picked the first two classes I will be studying as well, starting 15th November through til February, and have finalised all of my funding and HECS-HELP loan. So I think all I have to do now is wait for my course materials to arrive in the mail. Exciting!

It took me ages to figure out how everything works with the courses and prerequisite courses, but I think it will all work out. And it's possible I may finish WAY earlier than in 6 years time if I can handle the workload - but also found out that I have 9 years to complete the course if something arises.

So, feeling a lot better about having all that sorted out.

I also completed and sent off both of our tax returns. YAY! $2900 coming our way in the next two weeks. New TV and the rest is going to savings.

And now this is everything else I want to accomplish this weekend:

- 2 x loads laundry, fold & put away. X
- Wash Dogs bedding. X
- Give Dogs their monthly flea products. X
- Wash Dogs.
- Sweep our deck & tidy, remove clutter.
- Tidy my desk.
- File all loose paperwork.
- Vaccuum & mop entire house. X
- Water outdoor plants. X
- Tidy lounge & dining areas. X
- Clean Walls & Windows. X
- Fruit & Vegetable Shopping @ Markets tomorrow.
- Meet a friend for coffee.


My plan is to get as MUCH AS POSSIBLE done today so I don't have to do anything tomorrow except market shopping & coffee with a friend. Big Grin

Revisiting our Spending Plan

August 25th, 2010 at 02:46 am

I call it a spending plan because we're not really ones for 'keeping to a budget' like some. I admire those who do it (including the whole thing of not buying XXXX for two days because it will put this weeks budget out, etc etc) but it really doesn't suit us. But, we do have a 'spending plan' which I try my best to keep track of. Up until recently I tracked every cent, but the past two months I have laxed. I was thinking our spending plan is probably outdated a bit, and I think a re-doing of the plan and our weekly expenses was in order. Having an up-to-date plan might spur on my interest in keeping track again. Well, fingers crossed anyway.

So, this is what I have come up with:

Mortgage Payments: $480
Extra Mortgage Payments: $20
Savings: $180
Bills: $200
Groceries: $150
Misc: $100
Fun: $80
Petrol: $70
Personal Loan: $37
Total: $1317.00

This accounts for an average income per week on the lower side with a bit of a surplus after the above expenses. More often than not, our weekly income is higher, but I'm keeping it lower so we don't get our heads stuck in the clouds.

Now, for some explanations. Looking at the expenses, I'm sure you're probably wondering 'where's this expense?' 'Where's that?' etc. I have put everything into very general categories this time. For example:

Bills include the following: Mobile Phone, Internet, House & Contents Insurance, Car Insurance, Life Insurance, Car Registration, Car Repairs, RACQ Membership, Gas, Property Rates, Water, Electricity and Pet Expenses.

Misc covers a variety of expenses that don't occur regularly, such as health & grooming, gifts, bank fees, charity donations, clothing, stationery, electronics and house purchases etc.

I have upped our grocery limit to $150, from $120. Generally it is ~$130, so any surplus we have will flow through to other areas. I just don't want to feel bad or stressed out by constantly going over the 'grocery limit' each week. While to some people's standards our grocery expenditure is outrageous, I don't really care. We cook from scratch, use wholegrain products, buy organic and locally grown produce, and use cleaning & body products that don't hurt the planet or our health and wellbeing. And we're alright with that. It's taken me a while to realise that this is something I truly don't mind spending money on. If I can find the items I normally use, cheaper, then ok. If not, oh well. Life goes on.

Personal Loan: is actually going to be paid off shortly, I just keep forgetting to transfer the remaining money. So this $37 a week expense won't be up there for much longer. We will probably add this amount to our EF savings, and have in mind that we will probably look at buying a new (to us) car in the near future.

Savings: Our total amount per week in savings is actually divided into four categories:
- EF (Goal 1: $5000, Goal 2: $7500, Goal 3: $10000)
- Baby (Goal: $30 000)
- House Renovations
- Short-term
The total amount saved per week goes into ONE account, which I keep track of on a spreadsheet. (It is actually our mortgage account, to reduce interest. No, we don't get charged for withdrawals or deposits).

Most of the savings are self explanatory, except Short-term. Basically Short-term covers all sorts of higher priced entertainment and consumer-ey expenses like seeing a band, gallery exhibitions, ink, higher-priced book purchases, art purchases, electronics, screenprinting supplies, furniture etc.

Fun has been reduced by $60 (Used to be $60 for me, $80 for DF.) Now that we are earning roughly the same amount, I figured now was the best time to reduce it to LESS than 10% of our take home and equal it out. DF's weekly spending has reduced anyway, since he is home-brewing. Basically our fun money covers any frivolous purchases we don't feel like explaining Big Grin or the odd take-out or movie night.

Petrol is generally less than $70 a week, but better to plan for more than less right?

Mortgage Payments & Extra Payments: Technically, our normal mortgage payment pays off extra AS WELL. But I figured it is better to schedule an extra $20 to go in as well. Can't hurt.

The one thing I have not put in there is university costs, because I have no idea what they are. But, our EF should take care of this if our 'Misc' doesn't as I don't think it will really be all that much to get started.

So, that's it. Feeling very motivated with our new spending plan and can't wait to talk it over with DF and get it into action. What does everyone think?

productive weekend

August 8th, 2010 at 07:02 am

What we were able to achieve this weekend:

- Got up relatively early (for a Sunday) at 6.30am, had a coffee and went to the local markets for our fruit and vegetables. Spent ~$30 for the week (all no spray, locally grown organic produce). It is nicer to go earlier, as there aren't as many people.
- Had breakfast at an organic, artsy cafe we love. Spent $32. Was unplanned, but nice anyway.
- Stopped at the hardware store to buy spraypaint, a curtain rod & hooks. Spent $43.
- Did most of our weeks worth of washing, tidied the house and vaccuumed and mopped the floor.
- Hung our new curtains. I love them. This is a picture to show the pattern:

The photo does not really show the shades that well, it is actually a charcoal grey and black velvet-feel pattern.

- DF spray-painted my spice shelves. Hopefully by the end of the week they will be installed in the kitchen and I can get rid of the yucky green vegetable stackers that currently store all the jars of spices and herbs we own.
- I candied ginger for the first time. It went well, and I am pleased with the results!
- Made banana, honey & cinnamon muffins.
- Also made lemon and almond biscotti, which are currently cooling. Yum!
- DF is fiddling with his car. Always a good sign - the more he fiddles, the closer he gets to actually being able to drive one of them Smile

decorating ideas

July 21st, 2010 at 03:52 am

I haven't been recording our daily expenditure lately, so I don't really have an accurate reading of how we've been doing this month. I'm really annoyed at myself. I guess we will just call July a relaxed month, and go back to it full swing when August starts. I still haven't gotten around to putting an expense tally on our fridge, which I think will help.

And there are things I want to buy, for our house. Thankfully not expensive things. Well, maybe added up, but in small bite sized chunks it won't be. Every time I go to another couple's house I get inspired by their decorating or storage ideas. Not in a 'let's go and spend hundreds of dollars so that we can copy them' way, but in a way that gets me thinking about what we could do with those niggling annoying things that... annoy me. Just storage, mainly. And decorating. And nifty things. All that jazz.

For instance, we have the same curtains that the previous owner had. Most are fine, but the kitchen, bathroom and toilet ones annoy me because they're lace, and don't really seem to serve a purpose. And the one that is at the door leading from the dining room to our deck, is floral. I feel like I live in an old lady's house. Not that there's anything wrong with that... except that we aren't old ladies, and it's really not our style.

So I've gotten DF's approval to search for, and eventually purchase, curtains for this area in sort of a baroque-print-style. Can't wait. I think I know the perfect store too, and they're quite affordable.

The lace curtains, well, we'll see for now. I might try and find something that slightly matches the dining curtains. Or I think DF has some black fabric dye - has anyone ever dyed lace? Is it tricky to do???

Other things I want to achieve:

Bathroom Storage. DF's aunt and uncle had this nifty little cupboard in their bathroom, that was about 6 inches wide, but about 5 feet tall (did you see how I used non-metric measurements? huh? huh? Big Grin). It would be the *perfect* thing for our bathroom, because it's very small, and we don't have much space. Because at the moment all of our toiletry items are shoved into three drawers and a small cupboard under the bathroom sink, and it's really an absolute mess. DF hasn't quite warmed to this idea yet, but that's because he only has a razor, a hairbrush and some nail clippers. Everything else, he thinks it's fine to 'borrow' off me, and therefore my overstocked drawer of lotions and hair products and accessories and moisturisers is my problem...

A cake stand. Or rather, a cupcake stand. Okay, so it's technically not a neccesity by any means. But I've been meaning to get one, because we have a few parties every year and usually have some type of cupcake or cake, because I made them one year and now everyone expects me to make them every time we have a party, because apparently they're 'amazing'. LOL. So, I've seen an idea in a magazine, where someone made a cupcake stand out of old china plates superglued together in a three tiered tower (with obviously something in between to separate them - I was thinking of using teacups to keep with the theme of tea and cake). So I was going to attempt to make this, and use plates and cups from op shops. The whole thing will probably cost me around $5. Might post a picture if I'm happy with the results.

A bag holder. You know those 'sleeve' type things that you stuff your plastic bags in? Well we need one of those. I was thinking of making one, so then I could get the type of material I want, and it wouldn't cost a lot either because I'd need less than a meter. Except I'd have to hand sew it, because we don't have a sewing machine.

While we're on that topic, I'd love to get a sewing machine. I might put that on my wishlist. I haven't used one since year 8 (10 years ago) though, so it's basics for me! Pillow covers and mending things I think, for me. LOL.

Office Tidy-Up. There are a few things I think would make our lives a lot easier in terms of home office organisation. I use the term 'home office' loosely, because it is used for a variety of things:
- working from home (me)
- screenprinting design & research (primarily DF, some me)
- art research & creation
- computer games (DF) and computer use (both)
- craft, card decorating etc (me)
- filing

So you see, there's a lot that goes on in this small space, and it can get messy pretty quickly. So I've come to the decision that it needs to be organised, fast. The decision was made on the weekend after frustration boiled over, in the form of DF not being able to find an acetate cut out and turning it pretty much upside down. That's when we said Hmmmm. Time to fix this.

So it's going to be a pretty involved process, but I have started with the filing portion. DF has a lot of crap to sort out, but I think once he sees what I am doing, he will get motivated. He's like that Big Grin. But my plan is to aquire a whole lot of slightly ab-normal storage facilities to keep stuff in. For example: cool mugs for pens, 70's tupperware containers for papers & craft items, funky jars etc etc. That kind of thing.

Any other suggestions re: storage? What cool ideas have you come up with?

Also, I've been nagging DF to make me some extra shelving for the kitchen. We have space for it, it's just a matter of getting the timber, painting it and putting it there. I want a couple put up, and I think this will definately help with making things look more organised. Of course, once that is achieved, I'll then want some nice spice jars Big Grin Though I already know the style I like: there is a certain brand that sell artichoke hearts in small jars for $1.99 and I LOVE the shape of the jar, it's sort of short, squarish rounded with a wide-ish lid... So, it's just a matter of cooking lots of things with artichoke hearts Big Grin

paperwork, uni, thoughts on work.

July 13th, 2010 at 05:24 am

I am getting all my paperwork together for the rest of my application. I didn't know, but apparently some people have to do a bridging course if they have been out of secondary school for a while, before they do tertiary studies, so that they know how to 'study'.

But I *think* that I may not have to because I have done two separate tertiary courses since I left school. Actually I didn't know they could be classified as tertiary, but it seems I'm more educated than I thought Big Grin

I haven't mentioned it to my boss yet. I feel kind of weird, because there hasn't been anything said about my apprenticeship since my last post on the subject. (Him saying I don't need to bother, because 'I can get a job anywhere' and then later saying to my friend/colleague 'We need to get Whitestripes fast-tracked apprenticeship going'. Ummmm?). But, I think 9 months is a long enough time to wait for something to happen.

I'm killing two birds with one stone though: The documents I have to prove my other qualifications need to be copied and certified. And guess who can certify them? My boss's wife! She's, how shall we put this nicely? extremely nosy, so I have no doubts she'll pry as to why I need them, and that will solve my problem of how to break the news. The news being that I'm pursuing a career outside of the baking industry, and they won't have me forever.

Is it rude or ungrateful of me to want more than a job that can only ever be 30 hours and $610 a week? (I currently work 22 hours a week there, which is three days. If I asked, I could get four days, or 30 hours. This doesn't include my book-keeping job, which is $300/15 hours and two days a week at another premise)

I already know I'll never have a full time job there, with holidays or sick pay. And I know they will never pay overtime - they will always keep my hours under the 30 hour a week limit. And we're all on a federal award wage, so I'm never going to get any more per hour than is standard for my age.

Atleast by doing this uni course, I am atleast pursuing the possibility of having a different job/hours/pay/employment terms. Right?

I just don't want to get stuck, which is how I feel right now. We're comfortable and getting by, and we can do some of the things we want (within reason) but other than that, I'm just making money for someone else, and it seems, holding my hand out and waiting for them to give me a little bit. So frustrating.

On the other hand, I'm a little bit excited about starting this course, however boring it's probably going to be. I just don't want to get *too* excited, because there's still a chance I won't get in, and there's still a chance I won't get HECS either. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I Applied!

July 8th, 2010 at 11:48 am

Today I completed the online application for my course at university. I am not entirely sure when I find out if I am succesful, but atleast it is one step closer. I'm a little bit excited! Big Grin It seems like I have been waiting forever to even get this far. No doubt the next four months will fly by and I will be making my first attempts at assessments and so on. Eeek! I spent $55 on the application fee.

Today I spent $4.55 on a coffee, and $3.05 on a drink at work. I went to the shops intending to buy some boots for this weekend but couldn't find anything I liked. I found a jumper I REALLY liked, for $60. But I didn't buy it. I'll think about it. It's a lot for a jumper... but really well made and I love the design.

argh! doctors!!!

June 23rd, 2010 at 03:09 am

First of all, guys might want to skip this entry Big Grin

Three years ago I found a lump in my breast. It took me six months to actually go and get it checked (I know, I know). So I got an ultrasound done, went back to my then-doctor and he said I had a benign cyst and it wasn't anything to worry about.

Anyway, fast forward to this year, and I notice that I get a bit of pain every now and then. So I go and see the doctor (a different one from the first time, I have been seeing the current doctor for about two years and like her). She refers me to get another ultrasound.

I go in today to get it done, and the radiologist tells me that particular lump is fine - it is just tissue. HOWEVER, she tells me on the report that I had three years ago it mentions I have a fibroadenoma as well - which is news to me, as the doctor never mentioned it at the time.

She says to me "Usually your doctor is supposed to get a sample of the tissue by inserting a needle. If the sample is fine, they will just leave it alone. However, your doctor doesn't seem to have done that. But, this was found three years ago, and if it was a baddie, you'd be dead by now, so obviously it's not, and you probably won't need to get it done."


WHAT!?!

Feeling a little weird right now, but atleast it was good news, so far, atleast.

----------------------------

I spent $8.30 on a coffee and a date & apple muffin. The ultrasound was free, and I am going grocery shopping this afternoon when I finish work. I only plan to get a couple of items, so fingers crossed it's only about $50 or so. For some reason I always underestimate how much groceries are going to cost. I expect $30 when the total actually comes to ~$70. I guess my mind needs to catch up with inflation!


Obviously I completed some of my to-do list from my previous entry Smile Now that I have had my ultrasound, I need to book an appointment with the doctors. I also booked Banjo in for his vaccinations on Saturday. I chose a Saturday so that DF can stay with Jed. It will be the first time they are apart since we got Banjo - interesting to see how they are when they are separated! I asked the vet about de-sexing, and they only need 1-2 days notice. So I am thinking of booking them in either separately or at the same time, next week or the week after.

Who has had their dog de-sexed in the past couple of years? Is there anything I should know? Do they have to rest afterwards? What about playing together? How long until they fully recover?




savings

June 16th, 2010 at 03:15 am

The pizzas we made yesterday were delicious! So, just a note for anyone that has leftover pita breads, or some in the freezer: you can make pizzas out of them. (I was going to make the base from scratch, but decided to use the pitas because I wouldn't use them for anything else).

DF got his iPhone a few days ago. Only a month or so to go until I can get mine. AND I will be able to get the one DF has, on a lesser per month plan. (actually the same plan I have now) YAY.

DF is getting paid for some weekend work he has been doing this month which is exciting. It will be around $1000.00. The money will just be absorbed into our EF because of the new stove we bought. It would have gone towards a new TV and a punching bag - but I think we have to accept that those things will have to wait a little longer than we initially thought.

I'm thinking more seriously about moving our superannuation over to our bank. It has much less fees than the fund we're currently with. I think it will cost around $160 in total fees a year each. Not bad.

Plus we will be able to see at a glance exactly how much superannuation we have, instead of guessing (our current fund doesn't seem to send letters that regularly...not really impressed)

And we can get our life insurance taken out of that fund. I might do some more research into what the coverage is though. No point in having insurance if it's not going to cover you when you need it.

My goal for the rest of the month is to set up a savings plan for our house renovations goals. Also I'd like to set up a car fund too, and a few other small funds for various short term things. DF's going to have to sit down with me and listen! LOL.

two days off and the plans for them

June 12th, 2010 at 04:30 am

I just finished my work-week and have two whole days off (and half of this day, seeing as it's 2pm). Yay!

DF is working today, tomorrow and all next week (no days off for DF Frown)

I have some plans, mainly involving sorting, de-cluttering, cleaning, tidying etc. I also want to go to the markets tomorrow.

Today I hope to accomplish the following:
- tidy kitchen
- water plants
- several loads of laundry
- fold and put away washing
- general tidy up
- clean bathroom

And, for the next two days I want to:
- Tidy & re-organise our office.
- Re-organise & clean out our pantry
- Alphabetise our CD collection again (sigh - could take several hours...)
- Do a thorough cull of my wardrobe and work out what I need to replace.
- Wash our dogs and clip their nails, and wash their bedding.


I also need to figure out some sort of system for DF when he gets home. I know it's just a male thing to do; get home and dump everything where it DOESN'T belong... but it annoys the crap out of me.

Any suggestions? He has a backpack, a lunchbox sized cool-box and an assortment of jumpers and beanies that he drops in the middle of our hallway Big Grin *sigh*




Currently Listening To: Cannibal Corpse

what my uni course will cost me

June 7th, 2010 at 11:45 pm

June & July are going to be interesting months for me.

I am *this* close to being able to apply for my course at university. (You are allowed to apply for Semester 3 intake after the 31st July - for a November start).

There has been no talk at all of me + apprenticeship at work, so I am still taking that as a 'No' on my boss's behalf. Whatever.

Even though I am not jumping out of my socks at the thought of studying commerce, as opposed to... say... watching movies all day wrapped in a doona drinking hot chocolate. But the fact is I do find the whole thing very interesting, and I find the prospect of what I can DO with my studies once I've completed them, or even half completed them, exciting.

So that's the study-front sorted.

I've looked into the funding side of things a bit as well, but I think I get more information after I apply through QTAC.

But this is what I have figured out so far:

It costs ~$50-$100 to apply online and that covers three preference changes (not that I will be changing preferences, I don't think).

The government covers a percentage of tertiary study costs. I have no idea of the full course costs, so that doesn't really help me in any way, other than make me feel like I pay my taxes for a reason Big Grin
woohoo for Australia!

Students have a 'contribution' amount they have to pay, which is what is left after the government pays their bit.

The contribution amount differs depending on what you're studying. Art, Nutrition, Design etc are on a lower cost band than say, Business, Law or Medicine. I think there is actually three or four band costs, but that's not really important (to me, I mean).

You don't actually find out what your contribution amount is until you've applied and been accepted, but they do give you the previous years amounts so you can see what it might be. So for the previous years, a Bachelor of Commerce has had a contribution amount of ~$1050 per unit. There are 12 units to complete in 6 years. So my initial study costs will be ~$13000 or so. I think. Unless I'm wrong. Big Grin

You can pay the full mount upfront and get a 20% discount. Which would be nice if I had that money to spend, but I don't. So instead you can elect to pay it off, through wage deductions each week, once your earnings hit a certain amount. Which apparently at the moment is around $40k a year.

Of course there are books to think about as well. No idea how much they will cost, but the good thing is that for distance study, they include everything you need pretty much, so that will take a load off my mind.

I talked to a friend of ours who did some study online, and loved it. She was really excited for me, and told me if I needed help to just ask her, but then said she found distance study better than on-campus study, and that I would be fine. This is very encouraging for me because for the most part, everyone has pooh-poohed the idea of online study. So yay.

Anyway. Sorry this was all just pretty much a ramble of thoughts about study. But atleast you now know the costs of studying in Australia vs the US.

I'm interested to know too, because for the most part everyone seems to have HUGE student loans on here. Is this the norm?

I think Australia seems to have an interesting way to fund study. Of course I'd be happier if tertiary study was FREE, like in some countries... but I think we have it fairly good.

The only thing that is lacking here, is the assistance provided while you're studying. I'm not even going to bother to look into it for myself, because I have only ever dealt with government assistance once in my life, when I finished school and while I was searching for a job. I absolutely hated it - and some people go on government assistance, pretending to look for a job, and just bludge all day, every day, for months and even years.

But I think it is unfair that someone who is studying full time, gets LESS per week than someone sitting on their butt at home full-time with no job and no study to do. It's just wrong.

thinking of going prepaid for broadband... monthly bill cost analysis

May 18th, 2010 at 04:31 am

For awhile now I have been researching internet plans & costs.

I want to reduce our monthly living expenses, and seeing as we are pretty no-frills anyway, it's quite difficult. We don't have cable television, subscriptions of any kind, or memberships to anything either.

Basically we have car costs, insurances, electricity, gas, groceries, petrol, mortgage, a personal loan, internet & phone, mobile phone, pet costs & property rates.

Other things like health costs, fun & entertainment & house repairs are variable and sometimes non existent, or can be cut back at any sign of trouble.

Those are our expenses in a nutshell.

Petrol expenses can't be helped that much, short of using one trip for multiple purposes and driving like a granny.

Personal Loan is nearly paid off, we're not worrying about it too much as it's less than $1k now and I'd rather have that money available to us at this time. If our account experiences a nice surge upwards, I'll transfer the money straight away. In the meantime, security means more than $37 a week payment that will soon be gone anyway.

Property rates are fixed, nothing we can do to change what they are.

Mobile phone, I'm on a plan that suits my usage, and will be until November. DF will shortly be ending his work plan (in september) and starting up a personal mobile plan, so that will actually be an INCREASE in monthly expenditure for us, but it is the right thing to do by his dads business. I will just have to see how DF's usage goes and fingers crossed he can go down a value level on his plan, bringing it from $80 a month to $50, like mine is. I'm hoping by September/November, iPhones will be available as a free upgrade and we'll both get one Big Grin It would be at no extra cost, so I don't see why not. Currently the cheapest model is $6 a month + plan costs. Giving it until September I am pretty sure they will be $0.

Pet costs... We get a discount at the vet because we have 2 dogs - and soon their registration will go from $112 each a year to just $10 a year when we get them desexed & micro chipped. An initial cost of ~$500 will pay for itself in a few short years, and probably solve a few other problems (like weeing everywhere!) along the way. Their food, I will not skimp on. Simple as that.

Foodwise, I've blogged about how I've saved money by doing a monthly shop at Aldi. So while I've only been doing that for a few months, my guesstimate is that it's a monthly saving of between $20-$40.

Electricity bill has been decresed over the past six months by always switching the power points off at the walls, and the lights. We don't have aircon or heaters and we don't use a clothes dryer. Monthly saving is around $10, I *think*, but of course it is hard to tell, especially when we are billed every three months, and have only been living in this house for a little over 12 months.

Our gas bill is non-existent (as in - gas for cooking via stove/oven) because the stove and oven still aren't fixed, and we haven't used all the gas since the previous owner filled the bottles before we bought the place. So that's a plus, I guess. Smile

I'm looking at decreasing our monthly life insurance cost by rolling our superannuation over to our main bank, and having our life insurance billed from our superannuation account. If we choose to, we can make additional deposits into our superannuation account and recieve 150% of that amount from the government as well (it's a government superannuation building incentive).

Our house and contents insurance actually went down I think, because we renewed our policy. (It was automatic, so technically didn't do anything at all...)

The bill that has been on my hit list for some time now is internet and home phone. We don't use our home phone, and the only reason we have it is so that we can have an internet connection. So we're wasting around $45 simply because there's no other way to get around it. Recently there's been a few releases of different ways to access the internet from home, regularly (mobile usb stick broadband, naked dsl etc, that kind of thing).
I'm looking into Pre Paid USB sticks because I think it might be a good idea cost-wise and will probably save us money. I'm just worried I guess, because we've had the same plan for over two years now and never had a problem, you know when you're about to take a leap into something new, it's kind of scary? Ok, so technically we're not doing anything life-changing... it's just an internet plan... Big Grin

So what I'm looking at is:

For a start-up pack, we pay ~$140 and get the usb stick and 5gb.
The 5gb expires in 6 months.
On average, we use around 1.5gb-2gb a month. So that would be 9-12gb usage in 6 months. So far so good, we'll either use up the 5gb each before the 6 months is up, OR just come close.

So far, that's $280 for 6 months of internet access.

If we were to STAY with our current plan, we would be spending ~$462 (current plan costs ~$77 a month for 5gb per month of usage - which we never come close to anyway. So far, that's an approx saving of $180. But the initial outlay is a straight up $280. Hmmmm.

Initially my list of pros and cons included running out at a time when we couldnt recharge (seeing as we mainly use the net at night anyway) but you can now do it all online, so that doesn't even present an issue anymore.

The recharge costs are:
575MB 15 days exp $15
750MB 15 days exp $20
1.15GB 30 days exp $30
2.3GB 30 days exp $40
3.45GB 30 days exp $50
4.6GB 60 days exp $70
6.9GB 60 days exp $100


If we were to both get the 1.15gb each month we would still be saving money, and we could play it smart and share a USB to stretch out recharging, overlapping at 2 week intervals instead of recharging at the same time. But I think most months we would only need a 750mb recharge each. Which would be a saving each month of $37.

Anyway. So the cost issue is worked out, I just need to work out the technical side of things, like if we can actually use it, what the coverage is, speed etc. Hmmm. Well, atleast it's a viable option *so far*.



i told my dad, so now i actually have to go through with it!

February 25th, 2010 at 08:21 am

I told my dad about my plans to enrol at uni in November, and sent him a link to the course outline (Bach. Commerce) etc etc.

I think I'm doing this, actually, I KNOW I am doing this, so that I actually go through with it. I feel a little like I'm standing on the edge of something, about to jump, with no idea of what I'm jumping into! Scary! Frown

My best friend is not happy with my decision. *shrug* At least she is honest right? I have to separate her concern with the fact that she probably doesn't want me to leave our workplace, which is where we met, and where we both work. I know she's concerned because I've expressed on occasion that the thought of Uni makes me want to cry/sleep/scream out of boredom. However, it really depends on my mood, like with anything for any normal human being.

Take cooking for example. Surely most of you have experienced joy at some stage in your life out of preparing food, and probably a lot of the time it's been a chore too.

Anyway, I'm getting off track. It's impossible for me to explain to her my future plans, because she's one of the types that has to 'do do do' all the time and doesn't see the need to lay foundations, everything has to be instant or it's not worth it, and on top of that, she thinks everyone should do what they want to do. (I'd love to make a career out of watching Scrubs re-runs, however, I don't think it's entirely possible, nor profitable...)

*sigh* does anyone get where I'm coming from? I mean, I'm aware that the next 3-7 years isn't going to be exactly glamourous, but, I know it's going to give me insight, tools and security to allow me to eventually do what I want to do - which is something I am unable to do 'right now' at this very moment.

Anyway, the point of this post is to say that yes, I told my dad. So I think it's actually going to happen. DF is excited about it for me too Big Grin

The semester starts in November, so over the next few weeks I am going to look at the things I have to do regarding HECS-help and the actual applying process. *eeek*

I am also going to give my boss a few months more RE: the Apprenticeship. I don't have high hopes, but it could possibly happen. I can't remember exactly when I asked the first time, but I am sure it was around November last year.* If I give him til June, then I know I've waited long enough, right? I think? I don't know! What would you do in a situation like this? How long are you supposed to leave something on the table before changing your mind? How long do you leave the ball in your employers court before deciding that it has been ignored for long enough???

* EDIT: I checked through my entries, and I asked my boss on the 19th of November.

quiet weekend

February 6th, 2010 at 01:15 am

Yet another week has gone by. Time just seems to fly doesn't it?

We are having a quiet weekend. It's too hot to do anything anyway. I think it's about 35c - and humid. It's 11am and I have yet to find the motivation to do some household chores, because I know anything other than sitting will make me sweat Big Grin. Sigh.
But, I do have to get some things done, as we are having some friends over this afternoon who have not seen the improvements we've done to the house - even though out of all our friends they live the closest! It's funny how that happens. They have a 10 month old and things just get in the way every week.

I listed a book on eBay yesterday, one of the Imogen Edwards-Jones books. It already has one bid and two watchers. Yay. I bought it on sale for $8 so I hope I can atleast get that back.

I checked my inbox yesterday and I had a nice surprise, a survey offer. I completed it and am now *this* close to cashing in the $30 check I wrote about earlier.

We finally filled out and filed the forms to link DF's high interest account to our normal accounts. (There is nearly $900 in there that we had forgotten about from over a year ago). Around $500 of that is already spoken for, but the remaining money is just going to go into savings.

So far I have only had one day to claim a point for this months Challenge. Frown

I went to the farmers market this morning, spent $35 and got lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, rocket, cherry tomatoes, brocolli, bananas, apples, strawberries, nectarines, peaches and plums.

Tonight we will most likely have a salad with toasted turkish bread, grilled tofu/lambchops.

I have overdue library books which I will probably return today (we don't get charged for overdue books - only if we lose them). But first I need to copy some recipes from one - it is a Slow Cooking recipe book, with lost of good recipes. One thing I like about it is that everything is from scratch. No premade pastes or anything like that. yay.

My plans for today:

- 3 loads of washing (wash/hang out/fold)
- Wash dogs
- Wash dogs bedding & tidy deck
- Tidy kitchen & give a good wipe over
- Sweep & mop floor
- Take dogs for a run.

I have been using a facial cleanser that I made myself for nearly a week now. No complaints - I don't know if I'm convincing myself that it's better because it's homemade, but I really do think my skin appreciates it more than bought, chemical-filled cleansers...

But we'll see, I will give it a month or so and see how it goes. But I have high hopes for it - I really think I could do this from now on!

If all seems to be going well after another week, I will post the recipe. I have recipes for other things too, but I am going to wait a while, as there are things I need to buy to make them, and at the moment I already have commercially made products to use up. You can call it frugal - but moreso it's just laziness and me being a tightwad! Big Grin

updates

January 22nd, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I have been reading people's posts but not writing any of my own lately.

It was our one year engagement anniversary this week (on Monday, to be exact). We didn't do anything, but it's crazy to think how time flies. In two months time it will be 7 years since DF first told me he liked me Big Grin

Not a lot financially is going on. It is the beginning of the slow months for DF - so he has been earning about half of what I do - and I usually earn half of what he does... *sigh*

So this month does not look good even though our spending has been drastically reduced. I think we will most likely break even for the next few months, and any big purchases will be coming out of the EF, or other sources.

On a good note, we will most likely be in budget for groceries, which hasn't happened for two months Big Grin

I have decided to stop buying vegetables from that fruit and vege store I mentioned a while back. It is just not fresh. When I shop at the markets, even though we hardly have anything left at the end of the week, the few things we do have are still edible, which I usually use in soup or make stock. Now when shopping at the fruit and vege store, things go slimey within a few days. YUCK. The few bucks I was saving go in the compost bin. Yay.

I have succesfully lost the 1kg I had planned to for January Big Grin I am down to X5.00kg. Weee! It's a good feeling.

If I lose 5-7kg more, I will be the same weight I was in year 10 when I was 16 years old. So I think I am going to make that my goal. And I have set myself a time limit. I have 6 months. It seems easy enough to do so we will see how it goes. Is that a crazy goal? Technically 16 years old was when I stopped growing taller...

We still don't have an oven, and I think the most part of that is due to the fact that I am lazy and can't be bothered getting a repairman in (and paying for it). So we'll just see how long we can last. In the meantime, it's nice to not have a choice for dinner sometimes. It's either salad, or salad! Big Grin

It's been about 33-37 degrees celcius here lately. And humid. Ugh. I hate humidity. Thank god summer is getting closer to ending. I think we are halfway through at least.

I bought a rashie (a long sleeved swimming top that you wear over your bikini). DF bought one for himself about two months ago, for $80. I bought mine from the same shop and it was only $45! For once in my life, a piece of clothing that is cheaper than the equivalent in boys. It was amazing.

The friend that I go swimming with laughs at me when I wear it. I wear shorts and a long sleeved top, while she 'dries' herself lying in the sun. I'm sorry, but I don't want to make friends with cancer. (The state that we live in, has the highest rate of skin cancer etc etc). Whatever.

Our doggies are going well. Banjo has grown a lot (I think - it's hard to tell when you see them every day). They both get along well too. They play fight all day and Jed has taught Banjo all the things we were meant to teach him Big Grin (like walking on the lead, where to go to the toilet, where to sleep, what to bark at etc etc).

Jed is a master at begging. When he wants a pat or a treat he will stand on his hind legs and use his tail to balance on behind him, and he can stay like that for ages. The other day Banjo copied Jed. It was so cute. Big Grin

Well, I think that is all my updates for now. Hope everyone is well! Smile


Currently Listening To: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

working at home today

January 12th, 2010 at 11:34 pm

I am working at home today and my little sister is staying with us for a few days. (she's being a horrible teenager and my parents don't want her in the house - and she doesn't want to be in the house - so we offered to take her off their hands for a few days).

I am going to get stuck into work in a few minutes - and hope to reconcile the December accounts. After that, I am free to get things sorted around the house. These are my goals:

- Personal Filing
- 2 x loads washing hung out
- Water plants on verandah
- Tidy lounge & dining rooms
- Tidy Kitchen
- Re-fold & tidy clothes in closet
- Clean bathroom

My little sister is folding a massive pile of washing for me Big Grin while watching the first season of Black Books (HILARIOUS show - if you ever get the chance to watch it you definately should).

2009 goals recap

January 4th, 2010 at 08:15 am

Here is a recap of my 2009 Goals.
I think I did an alright job. Most of the important things were accomplished.
An X means I achieved the goal.
/ means I half achieved it, or atleast did my absolute best to.
- means I didn't at all.



Health & Body
x goal weight loss 1: 3kg

x goal weight loss 2: 6kg

- goal weight loss 3: 8kg
- final goal: 10kg

x continue to eat vegetarian, with the exception of occasional fish meals.

x buy organic as much as possible

x 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


- swim atleast once per week (goal 3 times)
/ limit sugar/white flour intake


x 1-2 L water every day
/ regular (3 monthly) haircuts
- bi yearly dentist appointment
x yearly doctors visit
- visit a naturopath
/ 1 hour each week body care (nails, eyebrows, body brush, foot soak, pamper etc)
/ use sunscreen!

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

Relationship:
x 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
x begin to plan our future (combining incomes, declaring partnership, house, children)

House:
x 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?
x Begin to actively watch the property market
x research the steps of buying a house

Friends:
x 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.
x Pursue friendships that are fulfilling.
x Make an effort to get out more with those I want to spend time with.

Spiritual/Education
x 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.
x 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.


2010 Goals

December 28th, 2009 at 01:18 am

Home:
- Finish building in double garage downstairs.
- Paint lounge walls.
- Get oven/stove fixed (by end of January)
- Research & purchase air-conditioner in time for spring/summer 2010 (september)
- Continue herb & vegetable growing attempts.
- Buy filing cabinet and sort out paperwork (by march/april)
- Extra storage for clothing in bedrooms.
- Dog kennel for Banjo
- Fence property by Dec 2010.

Finance:
- Keep track of daily spending.
- Build EF to 3 months expenses.
- Pay extra per month on mortgage (min. average $250 month).
- Reduce personal spending and send extra to personal loan
- Pay off personal loan by December 2010.


Health:
- Some form of physical exercise 5-6 days per week, 30 minutes or more.
- Both DF & I to visit skin check clinic.
- Make Dr's appt for myself.
- Get DF to have a full checkup.
- See an alternative health therapist (atleast once if not more).
- Ensure my current weightloss is maintained.
- Further weightloss goal #1: 1kg by January 2010.
- (re-evaluate goal time frame for weightloss based on WG # 1 completion) Weightloss goal # 2: 3kg
- Weightloss goal # 3: 5kg
- Nag at DF until he has 2 x alcohol free days per week Big Grin

Other:
- Ensure Jed & Banjo get walked 5-6 days per week, regular vet visits & flea treatments.
- Continue to utilise library, read 1 x non-fiction and 1 x fiction book per month.
- By December 2010 have decided on major details of wedding (ie. date/venue/food/budget/guest number) and created a loose savings/expenses plan.

December Goals

December 1st, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Not a lot this month, just some things to keep me in check!

- Walk Jed 6 days a week.
- Keep grocery spending to or under budget.
- Get the stove/oven fixed.
- Keep weightloss on track (a loss of 2kg by January is my goal)
- Replant Rosemary & Lettuce
- Get my tattoo touched up.
- Make a doctors appointment.
- Survive the Christmas frenzy!
- Research health insurance.
- Find a cheaper comprehensive car insurance provider before December 19th.
- Research cheaper internet & home phone plans for January/February expiry of current plan.