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have you ever been judged by someone with no right to judge you?

October 12th, 2011 at 02:00 am

I guess lately I've been in a bit of a dark mood. With my hours cut and 50+ applications for jobs out there and no result, Christmas looming (for DH, it means no work for atleast 2 weeks if not several months, trade usually slows down after December) and our TTC plans hanging precariously on a thin thread, there's not a lot to be positive about. Every time I step into work I have to fake smile, and of course when you don't like your job, work is about ten times harder.
I don't like to burden my friends and family with my worries and problems, so I keep them somewhat internal. Usually, I could unload on my best friend - she does the same with me, so it's mutual. But I can't this time, because my reduced hours are due to her getting full-time at work. I want to be happy for her, and I am, but I don't want to make her feel bad so I can't talk much to her about what I'm going through right now. I don't like subjecting people to my black moods, so my excuse is often 'uni assignments...'. Plus, I have to cut my 'coffee with friends' expenses to $0 now. Add onto that, I want to limit fuel consumption, so I don't drive anywhere other than to work!
I feel like a hermit! But it's my own fault. Eventually things will be ok again, but at the moment, I just feel like hibernating. Is that so bad?

Anyway, onto the point of my post. My initial rambling did have a point though: I've been in a bit of a bad mood lately. And so I get annoyed quickly. I have to vent somewhere.

When I lived with my SIL and DH 3 years ago, she was the messiest person I have ever lived with. We had a roster system where we all took turns doing a chore, for example, I do the dishes, then it's DH's turn, then it's SIL's turn, and for vaccuuming, we figured it would be easier if one of us did it one week, then the next week, the next person, etc.

She would leave the dishes for three days before doing them. The bin would be overflowing before she emptied it. She vaccumed ONCE in the year and a half we lived together, because she would conveniently 'forget' until it was the next week, and so the next persons turn.
She was at tafe studying fashion, so the dining room table and the coffee table was always covered in pieces of fabric and magazines, the floor littered with offcuts, thread, pieces of magazine. When she moved out, she didn't even clean the windows or vaccuum her room, or the spare room where she kept all her stuff. She left it covered in rubbish. When she made herself something to eat, she'd leave crumbs all over the bench, chopping board and knife etc. Wouldn't wipe it, wouldn't even put it near the sink.
And she had the nerve to complain about how her courseload was overwhelming, but every time I saw her, she'd be literally lying on the couch, watching television. Apparently she would 'flick through magazines for cuttings, while watching tv for background noise'. LOL. I'm sure that's what she thought she was doing...

Anyway. So, since having two kids in the space of two years, suddenly she's realised you have to keep on top of cleaning otherwise you're living in a cesspit (also probably because no one else does it for her...). They live out in the sticks, clean air, nice property, etc etc. Nothing like suburbia. When they visited and stayed for a night, a few weeks ago, she had a stuffy nose. She went on and on about it. 'Maybe it's the cobwebs, you know, keeping the dust'. Implying our house wasn't clean.
For some reason, this really irked me. This is a woman who, three years ago, didn't lift a finger unless she absolutely HAD to. Suddenly she's the domestic goddess?? Excuse me?

DH bought a cobweb-duster thing for $2.99 at the discount store, and I swiped it around the corners of the roof. You know what? Hardly any cobwebs at all.

I feel judged! By someone who really has no right at all to judge me! Argh. Have you ever felt like this?

Anyway, of course they leave with their two kids, our house a mess. Crumbs everywhere. Doesn't offer to sweep or anything. Thanks a lot.

Anyway. They are staying again this weekend, for one night. It is my MISSION to have the house SPARKLING. Even though I have two assignments approaching deadline, and exams in three weeks... my house is going to be spotless if it kills me.

Sigh. Why do I do it to myself?!

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:

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




updates, wedding party, work blues etc

February 24th, 2011 at 07:00 am

Thanks everyone for all the congratulatory messages on my last post Big Grin At the moment, I should be writing out invitations to our post-wedding party, but I thought I should do a quick update post.

We decided in the end to get someone in to do the food. We are still saving a lot of money compared to what other people do for their weddings (well, some people). I'm not thrilled about the expense, but I began to realise it would be far too difficult to co-ordinate food for 80 people. Hiring some sort of heating equipment (and getting it there, then cleaning and getting it back), buying ingredients and making the food would probably come close to what it is costing us in the end anyway, for someone else to do it.

We also decided on something a little different from the usual 'wedding fare' meals too (seeing as technically, it's not a wedding at all..):

PAELLA!

I am excited because it's also slightly entertaining to watch it being made as well. DF's never heard of it, and even though he's not a huge fan of rice meals (he doesn't hate rice, he would just rather eat pasta or noodles), he agreed to it and I think he's relieved we don't have to organise so much food now. Who knows, this might be the rice dish I can cook in the future that he actually wants to eat... I think because the meat paella has four types of meat in it, he's happy Big Grin. (chorizo, beef, lamb & chicken). The vegan one has artichokes, olives, beans, zucchini etc etc.

Total cost for the catered main meal is $1320 - for the max amount of guests. It will probably be a bit less once we get all the rsvp's in.

I have offers from friends and family already in regards to the nibblies/fingerfood side of things - YAY. It looks like in the end, we will only have to pay for the main meal, hall rental, and some champagne (unless my dad pays for it, which he probably will).

There's only one tricky part: My mum and DF's dad want to go halves in paying for the catering. I already know neither of them can afford it - I know it's three months away, but they are terrible with money, and we will probably never hear the end of it. I only just yesterday had a heated conversation with my mother over the fact that she couldn't afford to buy my sister (the one that lives with us) school shoes! She proceeded to rattle off the bills she had to pay and the money she earns. I was probably being rude, but I cut her off mid-sentance. Partly because I'm sick of hearing about how she doesn't have any money all the time (mostly being her own fault - cigarettes, booze & gambling will strip your wallet, it has been shown) and partly because I had just paid $2k worth of our own household bills (lots of the annual ones come in february) and was annoyed to hear my mum have to whine about paying a $40 phone bill. Sigh!

Anyway. So even though DF and I don't have a lot of money at the moment as DF hasn't been working a lot (tradesmen typically have the slowest months in Jan & Feb) and I would love to take them up on the offer, I just don't think I can.

In the end, our invitations have a small part that says gifts are not essential, but if guests think it is neccessary, we would have a wishing well to donate to our future family fund. We are planning to put all the money away for next year when we intend to (hopefully) start a family. Smile

My best friend is making the cake for us Smile All in all, I am happy that this has been a very lower-cost event. On the other end of the spectrum, a friend of a friend just got engaged. By the third day of engagement, she had booked the venue, decided on the menu, colour scheme, month and date, decorations, invitations, and is actually looking for a dress today. Just crazy. She has booked out an entire venue. Originally it was for only 40 people - and then suddenly 'for only a few thousand more, we could book the whole place', so that's what they did. Or, I should say... SHE did. The groom has very little input. :S

This is also rather awkward, because of the 80 guests we have invited, she is not one of them. We simply do not have the space - the hall takes 70 comfortably, and we are inviting 80. We are waiting for a few 'No' rsvp's from relatives who live in other states, and then will decide to send out a few extra invitations to others. Is that rude? As long as they don't know, I thought it should be alright? The first batch of invitations are being sent this week - with rsvp date by 7th April. The second batch of invitations will be sent hopefully before the start of April. There are only about 10 extras. They are not expecially close, it is just the polite thing to do I guess (my boss and his wife and kids, that girl I mentioned previously and her fiance, and another two couples we know who we only see occasionally).

And lastly, all I can say on this subject is, how do people find wedding planning fun? Honestly. I am not even having a proper wedding, it has none of the fluff that a normal wedding has, and I find it especially tedious and stressful.

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

And now to go onto more interesting topics.

We are selling a couple of books on ebay. I hope to list them tonight, and am hoping to get ~$40 each for them. DF also wants to sell two watches he has. Not sure how much we'll get for those. Anything is fine really. It's about decluttering really.

I get my results TOMORROW for my first go at university. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I also start again on Monday, I am doing Business Law. Only one subject this semester.

Next week I plan to hand out my resume at local businesses. I am just looking for part-time work, afternoons or weekends. My hours were cut at my cake-decorating job again. Only half an hour a day, but that is 2 hours a week - a bit over $40. Adds up, especially when you're the only one earning a wage!
I was fine about it when my boss told me, until he started to whine about how they were struggling, and how they were going to have to 'take out another loan'. Which is when I flipped a little (in my head - not actually at him). His first loan that he was talking about? Was for his BOAT! Excuse me, I do not care about your money troubles if you are going to make unwise decisions at a bad time financially for your business! So, I just said 'Yep, that's fine. I'm going to get another job on the weekends anyway, because DH only works one or two days a week at the maximum now. We have this party thing to pay for, as well as my text books and materials for uni, and a mortgage and all the bills that come with that.' He then starts apologising to me, and lo and behold I get a call that afternoon from his wife, offering me a Saturday shift next week (just one, I might add) as another colleague is going away. If I hadn't said anything, I doubt I would have gotten it. And it also annoys me how they play these psychological games - take something away then give a little back so that you have to show that you're grateful, and that they really ARE looking out for you. Pssht. Yeah right.

Anyway! That is my life in a nutshell at the moment. I am sure there is more stuff but that's all I can think of for now. Big Grin And I sure have written enough anyway...

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!

we have set the date.

November 21st, 2010 at 10:24 am

February 15th, 2011 - is the date that we are getting married. There was no particular reason for the date (though I just realised when typing it, that it is the day after Valentines day. ha!) rather, it depended on another persons availability.
I think he was rather taken aback that we were asking him to choose the date that we get married, but said he felt honoured to be a part - seeing as only him and our two registry witnesses (and of course the people at the courthouse doing their daily jobs) will share in that day. It is a Tuesday - which means I will have to organise a day off work.

We have also decided to have a 'Wedding Party' in the mid year (so - 3-4 months after we get married). This will give us time to plan it, invite family & friends and let them organise themselves, & save a small amount of money for it. It is not really what I want, but I do have to consider that we are GETTING MARRIED and that is about two people forming a union. And as I said, while it is not something that I necessarily want, it *IS* something that DF wants, and so we will do that.

When I pointed out that we were initially planning to do the thing in February to avoid what will *probably* happen at the wedding party (eg family feuds) I think DF's exact words were 'Yeah well, it's meant to be a day about us & family, so if they can't put their problems aside for one day, then they can go and get....'

Which is true. I am taking the stance that if *anything* happens, from anyone, even my own mother (which is highly likely) I am just going to breathe deeply and walk away from the situation. Like I mentioned in my last marriage post, no one is going to change, so I can't do anything about it. But I can choose not to be involved, and I can choose to stop caring about it. Because by caring, I waste my time, energy and life-force, and it gives me nothing in return - atleast in these particular situations anyway.

I will just have to do a whooooole lotta yoga that week, as it seems to be the only thing to keep my emotions at bay!

Atleast in this way, I can have my dad as part of the celebrations, which is something that I *do* want. I will call them in the next few weeks to tell them of the plans, anyway.

The second factor is of course, cost. After working through the 'family issue' I had a big meltdown about the cost of this thing, in which DF had to calm me down and singularly discuss each aspect, so that I could see that what we have planned probably won't cost a lot - but I still have to do research and find out exactly. But, our plan is to have caterers supply nibblies and fingerfood, most likely have guests BYO alcohol, and to rent a little hall somewhere close to home. My dad is rather traditional in these things (I think it is actually stemmed from my stepmum, who nudges at him and says 'you know, you're supposed to do this...'). For example, the father of the bride is meant to buy the alcohol for a toast at the engagement party - and that is what he did, last year. And so from that reasoning, it's possible he expects to pay for the alcohol at the wedding party. I will let him know that it's not required, but if he insists, I will probably only make it wine and beer, as that is pretty standard as to what we've seen at other weddings.

So, even though it seems like an about-turn from my previous post, I think it will be ok. We are still doing what we planned, but are basically having a big friends & family get together a bit later in the year. I do feel bad for planning to exclude friends and family that WANT to be a part - it is just those few who's unpredictable unwanted behaviour makes it difficult to imagine having a 'nice' day. But, I am going to not let it worry me. This thing is meant to be low maintenance, so I am not going to even think about it any more.
And I do feel bad because even though I am not that thrilled about weddings and tradition, it *is* something that DF wants, and just because I don't want to do something doesn't mean DF doesn't want to do it either, and I don't want him to miss out on something that we only really have one opportunity for, just because I'm being stubborn.

The other thing is, we are not keeping the February 15th a secret. DF's sister and BIL married a bit over a year ago, and it was all very hush-hush, as they planned to have a 'big' wedding this year, next year or the year after. The reason they married was because they wanted the same last names on the birth certificate of their daughter. But now, they are having a second child, have spent loads renovating, and buying a new car, and it seems the dream big wedding will probably never eventuate. But now it is kind of hard for them to announce that they have been married now for over a year. So because of that, we've decided to tell friends of our plans, and let them know there will be a celebration a few months later. This way, they'll know about the actual marriage date and can be happy for us, but know that they will be included in something that is special as well.

started studying, and other updates...

November 17th, 2010 at 04:33 am

I don't seem to get much time for updates here lately, it appears they are becoming a once-weekly event.

I started studying on Monday. Since it's only Wednesday I don't have a lot to say about it Big Grin. At the moment I am more concerned with figuring out if I am moving too fast or too slow through the modules, and organising the rest of our lives around it!

I am studying two subjects, and they are both extremely different from each other. I am actually quite glad because they both give relief from each other, if you know what I mean. If I get overwhelmed with one way of thinking, I can switch to the other subject for a while.

One is a social science (organisational behaviour)- which I am enjoying, but because I haven't ever done anything in this field it has a greater difficulty level and I am just at the initial stages of wrapping my head around it.

The second one is basically an introductory accounting course (called accounting in decision making) which focuses on using figures to make financial decisions. At this stage some of it is new to me, but a larger portion of it is stuff I already know. It's easier for me to understand because I already work with books, so I know a lot of the terms and procedures. The only thing that I am not thrilled about is that there is a group assignment due in January. I remember from school that I really *dislike* group assessments. Not to mention that I am studying via distance education? It does say that you can write and ask to do it by yourself, which I will probably end up doing. But what would I say???

At the moment I am working (6am-1pm) then getting home, taking the dogs for a walk or doing half an hour of yoga (ideally I would be doing both each day, but because I am still unsure if I am working at a fast enough pace, I am only doing one activity after work, before study.) I then study from 2.30pm-6.30pm.

One thing that is kind of unfair, is each day when I have gone into my office to study, I have looked outside and it has been the most beautiful day you could imagine, makes me just want to sit on our deck with the doggies all afternoon. Because it's Spring, everything is lush and green. The sky is clear blue and even though standing in the direct sun is super-hot, on our deck there is a slight breeze which just makes it perfect book-and-a-cup-of-tea conditions! *sigh*

DF was all prepared to cook dinner on Monday, but came home with a sore throat and mild fever. Frown It's the thought that counts, I guess. We will see how he goes for the rest of this week/next week etc. Last night we had takeaway pizza, as it was Cheap Tuesday so only $6 per pizza.

Anyone have any easy, man-friendly recipes? Big Grin He is not super-skilled in the cooking department just yet, but I am hoping that will change soon.

I am going to Dreamworld (a ride themed amusement park) on Saturday with a friend. We got a voucher which admits up to 6, adults at kids prices, so we will be paying $39 per person entry. I can't imagine paying $77, which is the full adult cost. If it weren't for the voucher, I wouldn't be going! We are also planning on sneaking food and drink in, because even though you are not allowed to take it in, they charge huge amounts - $9 for a cup of coke!

Last week I had two new tyres put on my car ($228) and today I had a wheel alignment and something else that I can't remember... which was necesary to do to stop wearing of the tyres and a wobble in the steering wheel, to the tune of $244. Hopefully won't have to spend money on it until atleast it's next service!

Today I bought two exercise books and two highlighters as study aides - it helps for me to re-write things in my own words and I remember things better that way. $5.05.

DF's 30th Birthday went well. He was up at 5am Saturday morning to get the rest of the house ready for the party, and did not go to bed until 8pm Sunday! That's one way of saying goodbye to your 20's...

He got a good haul of presents too! $200 in cash, a $50 GC, Revisited (a 1st ed. book), and Gig Posters (another 1st ed. book), a bottle each of Cognac, Vodka, Sangria, Scotch Whiskey, three bottles of rum, a tattoo, some fancy home brewing mixes, a piece of original art from a friend of ours, two racing car seats for one of his project cars... Whew! Maybe I should throw a birthday party for myself next year... Big Grin

WWYD???

November 10th, 2010 at 02:50 am

My younger brother lent my sister some money (when she didn't have a job - months ago). She ended up owing him $130, which is kind of a lot of money when you're 15 years old. Anyway, she said she would pay him back $20 a week when she got a job. She has been working 8-10 weeks now, and up until three weeks ago hadn't paid him a cent. When they started to stay with us, I told her she would have to pay him back larger amount per week. On payday, she came home with $4.50 to pay him back - all she had left. The next week, $15. Last week, I took her ATM card off her the day before payday, and made her transfer $35 after school when she got paid. This week, she wants to buy some frilly socks (because they're 'cool') for $9.99 online and go to see a movie with friends ($20). I told her no, and she started to argue with me about it.
She said it was unfair that she had to pay back such a large amount, seeing as her brother still had money leftover when he lent it to her. I said yes, but you said you would pay back $20 a week and you didn't pay him back ANYTHING for several weeks, which is why it has come to this. I also reminded her that she owed DF and I $15.
To make things worse, I tried to explain to her that sometimes you have to make sacrifices to do what is right. I used them staying with us, as an example. I said that yes, I had to do a lot of driving around, a lot more cleaning and cooking to have them stay. She then stormed away saying that DF and I didn't want her here, and sulked in her room for an hour. *sigh*
When she'd calmed down, I explained that wasn't what I was saying, and that the point of my conversation was to say that YES she borrowed money, YES she made an agreement to pay it back, and that because she didn't do what she said, she's going to have to sacrifice the wants she has now and forgo movies and clothes for a couple of weeks in order to make good. I went on to say that things are not always going to work out how you want them to, and you are NOT always going to get your own way. Sometime in the future a friend or family member might ask HER for help and she might see then what it involves. At the moment she's been on the recieving end from not only DF and I, but her brother, who lent her money, and he deserves to be paid back. DF and I also deserve her respect in return for what we are giving to her as well.

*sigh* Teenagers! It seems to be their way or the highway.

Am I being unfair? It is not as if she actually NEEDS money for anything. She walks to and from school, and has her lunch provided to her, and has clothes to wear. She earns $45 a week and DF and I are only trying to make her pay back $35 or $40 each week so that it doesn't drag on forever - and because we know that once she goes back to live with our mum, the paying back $$ won't continue. Grrr.

Something else that annoys me: I mentioned this to my mum, who said SHE would pay back DF and I the $15 my sister owes us to help 'clear her debt faster'. How does that help the situation? She's just being bailed out, and it will probably set the tone for the rest of her life. She will continue to expect help from our mum for life after this. I think it's ridiculous.
Also, I get the impression that my mum is trying to make DF and I look like 'baddies' for not allowing her to go to the movies with her friends. My brother and sisters stay at our home is drawing to an end, and I am beginning to get the feeling that my mums plan is to make it seem that we're the bad ones that don't let them do anything, and when they go back, my mum will be all 'cool' about everything and let them do what they want. (my mum is like that, overly manipulative and always trying to make out like it is someone elses fault.) The problem with this is, that was exactly how it was before, except my mum had no control over them in the end and they just did whatever they wanted. Then a few times she said 'No' and they disregarded her - and she was shocked. It turned into a big argument a few times, which is why they ended up staying at our house, because my mother was 'afriad' of them. I don't know what she expected???

Anyway, I have no sympathy for her if this is what she is doing - there will be no 'next time' at our house if this is the way she wants to play.

Thoughts?

getting married

November 3rd, 2010 at 04:55 am

We haven't completely decided yet, but are most likely going to get married some time early next year.

It's not going to be a big wedding. In fact, we are not having a wedding at all.

Why?
Recent events have made us realise that some things are NEVER going to change in our family. It wouldn't matter if we tried to talk it out, separate those involved, have group mediation, ignore it or turn a blind eye etc. People are going to remain as they are, and we have come to accept that we can't change them, no matter how much we plead.
It would be silly to expect things to run smoothly, and I don't want to have that burden on a day that is supposed to be fabulous and all about love and family.
And I don't want to save money and fork out for an event that is going to leave a sour taste in my mouth when I think about it.
We can't NOT invite the people involved either.
Also, I have had a couple of friends ask me 'When is the wedding date?' and then go on to say 'Oh, I love weddings...' etc. I have been feeling a huge amount of pressure to put on some type of show, which is really not my thing at all.

So we decided that, in the end, marriage is the unity of two people. When you pry away the layers of royal icing and lace, or whatever it is you have at a wedding, the bare-bones of it is that it's about two people saying they will be together forever.

And so we decided that instead, we will do something that is slightly alternative that WE enjoy as a couple, on the day, after registering the marriage, and that will be it. Maybe we will have a dinner out with some family members or friends, maybe not. Most likely we might make a quick weekend trip to see my dad - but that's it.

We have been talking about this for a couple of months now, and I think we have both felt a weight has been lifted. It feels so much better knowing that we don't have to do something solely because other people expect us to. I know it might upset some friends, but I can't help that.
My best friend is not fond of the idea. I'd go so far as to say she disapproves greatly. I think she thinks it's extremely unromatic.

Whew!

validation... & iPhone apps?

October 27th, 2010 at 01:27 am

I just got back from a meeting with our business accountant, and he said as I was preparing to leave, that I was doing fantastically well. Kind of some much needed validation after a few pretty crappy weeks regarding my book-keeping job.

After he said that, I mentioned I was about to start (my uni course) and he was actually excited for me and said I would do well, and that it would provide a lot of pathways in the future. He also reinforced my choice of uni, saying that he did a couple of units through them externally himself, years ago, and they were *the best*. Big Grin

Getting back to the office, DF called me to tell me my text books had arrived. Yay! And super quick!

My iPhone arrived yesterday too, so I have been playing around with that, probably more than I should.

I bought my little sister a SIM card and gave my old phone to her. She thinks it's because DF and I are being nice, but really it's so I know WHERE SHE IS at all times. She is, unfortunately, one of THOSE teenagers. *sigh* trying to get her to be more responsible and aware of what the world is really like (that it's not actually safe for a 15 year old girl to be walking around the streets at night just because she had a fight with her mother and stepdad). Atleast now she might be 5% more safer with a phone.

Stress has been alleviated slightly at the family business, as work has picked up for the before-Christmas rush, and there's money in the bank to pay bills. So we can breathe easy for a week or two and hopefully everyone will get along.

DF and I need to start making preparations, in all areas of our lives. Will post more about that later.

Question for iPhone users at SA (BA & Frugaltexan... anyone else?)

What cool iPhone apps do you have? There are so many. I am 'allowed' to buy atleast 6, because that's how many DF has already bought. Big Grin

I ask this because DF is not really an app user - he likes the ones that have novelty value, like the Star Wars light saber (which I actually do think is kinda cool...Big Grin) But I was wondering if you could recommend any good, functional, useful ones?

there is a storm brewing...

September 21st, 2010 at 12:13 am

DF and I are in an uncertain times at the moment. I think that my university course was started at a perfect time, because it gives me direction, even though the next 6 years are undoubtedly going to be tough. DF's dads business appears to be coming to a close. His dads inability to control his expenditure and finances, and take in any advice from others, means that in the next few months, unless some miracle happens, he may have to sell his house to pay his debts, and the business which has been running for nearly 10 years will have to fold. This leaves DF out of full-time work, and me out of part-time work. I don't see getting a job to be a big problem - I think that there is a lot of work out there, just not the glamorous, sought after jobs. If DF and I were in need of jobs, we would not be picky, which I think is a problem around here.

In other news, I am close to getting to a point where I feel that I would be better off never talking to or seeing my mother again. People constantly say that family is blood, and you can never let anything get in the way of that. But I know many of you SA'ers out there don't talk to close family at all, and it gives me hope that I am not the horrible person that I will no doubt be made out to be in the next couple of weeks. I don't really want to get into it in much detail (trust me, this entry could be a novel describing the events that have transpired over the past couple of days), as I am sure a few regular readers know of the difficulties I have with my mother and her drinking problems, paranoia and gambling problems etc etc. But basically the latest is that my DF is the alcoholic, and he is a bully and my mother is 'concerned' that I am with him. But when I questioned her on why, apparently it is because he confronted her yet again, this morning and yesterday, about her drinking and gambling habits. After some words from me, now she says she is no longer concerned about me, because I am 'the same as him'.

Seeing as in the 7.5 years DF and I have been together we have never fought and never separated, and always encouraged each other to have friends and have outside interests - I am glad DF and I are 'the same'.

In comparison, my mother and her partner have had hundreds of alcohol-fueled arguments and have separated completely and lived separately four times in the ten years they have been together. My mother has also driven all of her partners friends away and gets paranoid and jealous whenever he attempts to see a few mates who have stuck by him, or play a rare game of golf without her.

So, I guess I am glad that I am who I am, and DF is who he is. Smile In the end, we should surround ourselves with positive and supportive people. My mother is not positive or supportive towards me, and I am not towards her. So I guess it is a two-way street really, and we would both be better off.

On another note, my eldest sister does not talk to my mum either, and has sworn she will not for another 9 years. It was for a completely different reason, but I wonder how many siblings it will take before she realises her mistakes?

stressing out. updates. etc.

September 14th, 2010 at 03:21 am

Our tax refund hit our account today. Woo! ~$3k.

Though it is rather stressful at the moment. I am trying to not let it weigh me down too much, but DF's dads business is not doing so well. Just when DF's dad had turned a corner financially speaking, and it looked like he might be able to manage his money appropriately - the industry up and dies on us! I am keeping my fingers crossed that he gets a slew of jobs to keep them super busy up until the new year - which is generally what happens, but not so sure it will happen this year with the economy and all. They say it's picking up, but I don't know who 'they' are or where they work either.

What worries me most is DF's ability to find another job. Well, let me rephrase. I don't doubt his ability to find a job (he is skilled in several industries), rather his motivation. Sometimes it seems like he has blind faith and loyalty to the business, and won't consider looking for outside work. Even when there is no work, he will do something to do with the family business (which equals no pay, obviously) instead of, I don't know... day labour? listing some junk on ebay?

So, that is what is stressing me right now. Even though the tax refund calmed my fears a little bit, not I am not so sure if we should go ahead with our plans to buy a new TV. We are already discussing downsizing from the original idea of a 40" to a 32". I know a flat screen TV is not a neccesity - which is why we have not bought one yet - but it is something we have wanted to buy ourselves for a reallllly long time (like, five-years-long-time). And seeing as every tube-tv we have has broken in some way or another, bar the one we are currently using - which is about to, I might add, it is not as if we are going out and just buying one because everyone else has one.

*sigh*

Anyway. To further stress me out, DF has a couple of days off work right now, and is utilising his apprentice (who must work every day - or get paid for doing nothing) to paint the exterior of our house. I just wonder how much the paint is going to cost. Frown Though, I do forget sometimes that we have money put aside for renovations. And I guess we are saving a lot of money by not paying someone to do it. And atleast DF is actually doing something productive. I guess I should just calm down and breathe. Smile

Thanks for letting me get that out. You know when things seem so much bigger in your head? Yeah, that.

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In other news, I registered Banjo finally today, and re-registered Jed for the year. $20 it cost to register them! Instead of $224 it would have cost if we hadn't de-sexed and microchipped them. The surgery will pay for itself in two more years. Big Grin
On another note, they also seem, dare I say, a little happier? Since the surgery there has been NO, I repeat NO pee on our deck. It's incredible. And Jed seems to be finally mellowing a little bit, which is nice. Though we have another couple of years with Banjo acting like a crazed little thing before they both settle down. Banjo is much nicer and easier to hold than Jed (don't know how long that will last - Banjo is definately smaller than Jed which is one thing, but he is still growing), though now Jed will have moments where he will sit on your lap and not try to cover your face in slobber and claw you. Big Grin For about two minutes. This morning I read two pages of a book before I had to put him down. It was lovely!

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I know this completely contradicts my previous whine about money (or lack of), but in my defense I have been looking out for this sale for aaaaages. It just so happened to appear during the week where I have a big stress. *sigh*.
Anyway: every year Clinique have a special 'Gift Time' sale where if you spend over $60 you get a free makeup bag full of products. I always try to buy my foundation during this time. I pretty much buy foundation and an eyeliner pencil- any other makeup products I use come directly from this 'freebie' I get. I'm kinda cheap when it comes to makeup - except for the fact that I don't actually use 'cheap' brands, I buy the absolute basic items and everything else I do without unless I get it for free somehow. So anyway, I bought it today. The foundation is $49 and the eyeliner is $36. Eyeliner lasts me about 3 years - foundation about 1. They did not have my shade in stock, so they gave me a sample pot and will call me when it comes in. I also signed up for their rewards program. For every 200 points you get $10 to spend. I already have 85 points. It's at a chemist, so I am sure I will buy other items from them anyway.

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I made a delicious pumpkin, feta & caramelised onion tart for dinner last night. We had it with a garden salad and steamed vegetables, and because DF is working at home today, I was able to take the leftovers for lunch. Big Grin So good!

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My little sister is due to go home tomorrow as our mother is back from her trip. I have noticed over the week how much my poor little sister cares about what people think/what she looks like/what clothes she wears/letting down her friends/going to parties etc. Also realised how much I DO NOT CARE. Big Grin Is that a good or a bad thing? I am polite and nice, which helps I guess. Not sure if DF and I were at all a grounding influence on her, but I hope to maybe some extent we were. She does not get a lot of support from our mother, but maybe staying with us she has realised there is a bigger picture in life than the things she is currently worrying about. In *so many* ways my little sister and I are similar, but unfortunately my little sister is rather impressionable, which I never was. I wasn't really an outcast at school but I was always on the sideline because I didn't really understand why everyone worried about stupid little things when there was so much more to consider in life.

apparently there's no such thing as first dibs any more...

September 8th, 2010 at 09:16 am

A friend of a friend (I would say she's my friend, except that sometimes I feel like strangling her...) posted on facebook yesterday that she had some accounting text-books she wanted to get rid of, and would anyone be interested in buying them?
So of course I said yes, and said I would go and check what ones I needed. She said great, because she needed space on her bookshelf.
So I go away and come back, and lo-and-behold, someone else has written that they want them too, so this friend of a friend writes the ones she has, and the other person gets them all!

Is it just me, or is this rude?

It irks me a bit, but I am saved by the fact that DF's mother and aunt have also done the same degrees and would happily GIVE them to me. So phew.

lunch ideas?

September 7th, 2010 at 12:12 am

Still trying to figure out a way to tell my boss I've enrolled at university. I think pretty soon it will get to the stage of ridiculous. You know when you leave things just a little too long? I'm famous for that.

But I have thought of a possible way to slide the news in nonchalantly. I'm going to call my boss and his wife at home just to inform them that in February I'll have to take a few days off for exams. Then they will ask questions. So that solves my problem.

In other news, we are looking after my little sister for a week and a half while my mum is away. I have to pack her lunch and pick her up from school - feeling a little bit domestic right now, Big Grin I am sure I will be over it by the end of the week though.

Though also feeling rather unqualified to do it all because all I could find for lunch for her on Monday was some banana bread, an apple, a carmans muesli bar, a packet of Vege Chips and some Japanese seaweed rice crackers. Though apparently it's similar to what she takes every day anyway. Like me she doesn't like a heavy lunch and prefers to snack on things every couple of hours. Must run in the family. Smile

Any ideas, fellow parenting SA'ers? I'm stumped. She doesn't want a 'lunch' lunch, like a sandwich or a salad, or anything in containers that she has to carry around all day. Picky thing.

Anyways.

This weekend I have to drive her to work at 6am, then I will probably go to the market bright and early, 6.30am on the way home, right when it opens for the day. I'll have first pick of the produce!

Sunday I have a work lunch to attend. It is paid for me, but not DF. Not sure about my little sister either, though technically she just started working at my work too...? Though the juniors weren't invited. Hmmm. Will have to check on that.

I decided not to get my fitflops, because I couldn't find any under $120. Online they are $80!

Well, that's all my updates for now.

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?

i don't get some people (rant)

July 31st, 2010 at 12:45 am

*sigh* seriously, some people annoy me. I don't understand how they can justify some things that they do, and then act shocked when someone points out how silly they are being.

A friend of a friend & her partner are in serious financial doo-doo. They owe more on their house than it's worth (it's not like it is in America - in our area that's kind of a hard thing to pull off, but somehow they managed). Even better, they don't owe that money to a bank, they owe it a business partner. They pay $750 a WEEK on their 'mortgage' (in comparison, DF and I pay $460 a week for a bigger house and land twice the size, and could probably get an equal, if not more, amount as them if we were to sell right now, even though they are closer to the beach which is typically more valuable).

Not only do they owe a huge amount to some random guy, they also borrowed the inital deposit of 30k from the partners father, and then decided to get a 40k loan from the bank to buy two new cars.

Then they decided it wasn't working, and split up. They rent the house out for $350 a week (which is all they could get, and personally I wouldn't pay that much to rent it), and the partner lives on friends couches while the woman and their two young boys now live back with her mother.

It's 'sale' time now at the shops, being the end of the financial year, and also the end of winter. Out of some stroke of 'luck', the woman gets a $4000 payment from government assistance (which she doesn't actually check to see if she is supposed to get it, or if it were a mistake). She goes and spends ALL the money on clothes, jewellery, toys for the kids and christmas presents. Yep, totally what I would do as well. Not.

I also found out the other day (via facebook, gotta love it) that she has a CLEANER. I might be ok with it if she actually WORKED, but she doesn't. She does uni part time and she lives with her mother (read: full time babysitter on hand).

She was amazed that DF and I don't owe any money other than our mortgage. It was like it was a concept that has never occurred to her. "Not even on your credit card?". Before I could think, I blurted out that I thought it was stupid to rack up credit card debt on frivolous items. 'If I want something, I'd rather pay for it with money that I have. If I don't have the money, then I obviously don't need it and that would be a stupid financial decision'. Well, that earned me some REALLY sour looks! Big Grin
And when I was talking about how we were wanting to buy a new TV, she didn't understand why, when I found a good deal, why I didn't just buy it then. (Um, because we already agreed that, seeing as the one we have decided to buy is more expensive than what we previously planned, we will wait a month or two so that our 'buffer' creeps up, instead of raiding all of our saved money.) We have a small tv that works, it's not that big of a deal. Sheesh!

I just get so annoyed at people like this. And then she has the gall to whinge about being in debt. Oh, just shutup!

TBH though, I think that we really approach things in a different way, in every aspect of our lives, so I can't really say I'm surprised about her financial decisions. Parenting, shopping, food, exercise & diet, even with relationships. I'm a 'Let it Be' type of gal. DF and I are very cruisy and always have been, we don't get in each others way and don't try to control each other, and neither of us are 'over-thinkers'. We talk and are frank with each other, whereas this girl constantly has bitching sessions about her partner (while they were together, when they were thinking about getting back together, and now that they aren't together). Sometimes I would point out 'um... hate to point out the obvious here, but why don't you tell HIM that/talk to HIM about it/ask HIM that question???'. To which I am greeted by a very very vacant stare and am then waved away with a flick of her hand. Aaaah well. We're all different I guess! :S

weekend happenings and spending

July 25th, 2010 at 05:53 am

Well, time for a weekend update. It was going to be a busy weekend but ended up being not quite so. Friday night we said goodbye to DF's grandparents who were staying at his dads. That was kind of a late one, got home around 11pm.

Saturday I went to the markets in the morning (spent around $25) and DF went op shopping. I think he spent around $10. Then we were going to be having DF's sister, BIL & neice staying but they ended up not coming because they were all sick. So instead we were going to invite other friends over for dinner, but they weren't available either! We gave up and watched movies together instead, somehow the day just disappeared. Did a late night run to the corner store for an icecream each ($7.50) and it ended up a late night, we went to bed at around 1am after watching two movies and then watching the end of Oceans 11 on television.

This morning was my little sisters birthday so we went to my mums and had mudcake for breakfast Big Grin then coffee and english mufffins. Cost was zero, except for the materials for the cake, which I will pay for at work next week. LOVE being able to make my own cakes in a commercial kitchen... so much easier! Also spent ~$15 on my little sisters present, a plain black hessian messenger bag, some cool buttons, patches and badges that she can decorate herself. We have a badge maker and at the last minute DF made her one with her favourite saying 'Loose Lips Sink Ships' (an old sailor saying).

DF and I went to a friends place and picked up a bookshelf they were holding for us. DF drove it home and I stayed for an hour or so, then went to town and bought a pair of shorts I'd been meaning to buy for AGES. It must have been my day, because they were marked down from $89.95 to $49, and only in my size Big Grin Super awesome! (As a side note, I know $49 is expensive for a pair of shorts, but I only had one pair of shorts, and I find the ones I spend a little more money on, last waaaaaay longer.)

Just got home and we have some friends that have dropped over. One seems to think he is staying the night! So it's dinner for an extra person. Here's hoping he likes tofu, because I was planning on making a tofu curry. Too bad if not, I think we have some two minute noodles somewhere in the pantry... Big Grin

more babies

July 20th, 2010 at 12:57 am

Our niece's 1st Birthday went well. We got 2 shirts screen printed the morning of the party - we were actually about 45 minutes late to the party, but we arrived when most people were getting there as well, so thank goodness for that. (It was an hours drive to the destination from our house). DF wasn't feeling well in the morning (too much ginger wine the night before, methinks) and that kind of slowed us down.

Yesterday my only expenditure was $23.85 on fresh fruit and vegetables for the week. We are going out to dinner on Friday night, as DF's grandparents have been staying with his dad and they are leaving on Saturday morning. On Saturday we are having DF's sister and BIL stay the night. I was planning on making a Mexican banquet for dinner: a pot of mexican chili beans, steamed rice, corn chips with melted cheese, homemade guacamole and sour cream and maybe some tortillas and baked potatoes. I will only have to buy kidney beans, corn chips, avocado and sour cream, and I was thinking of making the chili beans the day before so I only have to reheat it.

DF's sister and BIL announced at their daughters 1st birthday party that they are expecting their 2nd child. They had already told us the week before, so we had to act surprised. Smile Exciting news for them, and for DF because he loves being an uncle. But extremely daunting for DF and I (having to endure about an hour of interrogation from all sides of the family and some friends as well. Some questions and comments that stick in my memory:

"You better have some soon!"
"You're next!"
"When are you going to start a family?"
"Don't leave it too late!"(excuse me? I'm 23 in a months time...HOW is that leaving it too late?)
"When are you going to give us more grandchildren?"
"Wouldn't it be great if you had them now and they could grow up together?"
"It's best to have them young, you know..."

and my personal favourite, from a friend:

"When are you going to pop one out?"

Absolutely charming, is all I can say.

The September Issue

July 14th, 2010 at 07:43 am

I just did some research and found out that all Australian residents can apply for a HECS loan, regardless of income. So that's some exciting news, and something I don't have to worry about so much now. Also found out my course *might* only be costing me ~$8500, a bit less than I originally thought. And I won't have to pay it back until my annual income exceeds $44k - OR if I choose to pay portions of it back early, I get 10% more paid off for each payment. (So if I pay back $500, the balance is reduced by $550). Awesome.

DF is bottling a homebrew, and then my mother is hosting a dinner party for DF's dad and his parents, who are visiting from inter state. DF and I aren't particularly thrilled about going, it's been a veeeerrrryyy long time since I've been to any night-time sort of function with my mum and I doubt she'll be abstaining from alcohol, even though she knows how everyone feels about it. But DF and I are the only people that ever say anything about it, so we are the baddies. Everyone else just keeps their mouth shut. Excuse me, but I didn that for 8+ years and it didn't help. *shrug* I told DF if it seems like it's going sour, we're leaving, even if our plates are half full.

I just watched the documentary The September Issue. It was fantastic. Has anyone else seen it? It's the real-life version of The Devil Wears Prada, pretty much. Starring Miss Anna Wintour herself.

On a side note, this is my 500th entry!



Currently Reading: And The Ass Saw The Angel, by Nick Cave

still keeping track

April 28th, 2010 at 02:39 am

I'm still keeping track of our daily expenses. It's almost like second nature to me now. DF is getting quite good at it too Smile

The past few months have been difficult, what with DF's work slowing down. Seeing as DF is meant to earn nearly TWICE what I do, you can imagine I stress out a little, when his earnings start to drop to the $200-$300 a week mark. Frown Having a buffer in our account has made things definately more easier to cope with, but even with that, when it starts to get a little low I do find I panic a little.

The silver lining to this situation was that because I've kept track daily, I have been able to say to DF 'We're spending too much'. Although some things can't be helped, I noticed DF really tightened his belt too. And because we've now been dealing with this for about five months, it's almost like it's always been like this. We're still doing things, and there are definately things we could cut even more, so it doesn't feel as though we're deprived. But we seem to be managing pretty well.

This month has been the first month in a while where there is a reasonable amount left over at the end of the month ($1400+). It's going to top up our EF, and pay back DF's mum for money she loaned us when buying last year.

But still, it feels odd to me to have a good amount to allocate to extra savings, EF, household items in need of replacement, even some extra fun money etc. Even though mid-way through last year, this was a regular occurrence. I guess this is where we have to take stock and realise that the hard times are only easy to get through if you prepare for them, when things are NOT so tough!

a thinking post

April 13th, 2010 at 12:38 am

In an earlier blog entry I posted that I would only have one day off this week. Well, I am home sick today. Frown Be careful what you wish for! Technically, I am not sick. I just have terrible stomach cramps. Most of the female bloggers on here know what I'm on about. *sigh*

So I thought it would be a good idea to post an update of sorts.

Work is still pissing me off. My boss came in for an hour or two yesterday. There's not much product, but hey! What can I do about it? I'm not working a minute extra when the problem could be easily fixed.

I got to thinking yesterday about how this might be approaching the end of my working there. I'm not going to leave any time soon, of course, but you know when you get the feeling that you've been at one place for long enough? So this University thing could be coming at a good time. I'll continue working as long as I possibly can there, and I don't think I'm in any danger of being sacked, but with Uni, my job will just feel like a source of money now, and not a responsibility or a future. You know what I'm saying?

But then again my feelings about work could change. I sense that it might not just be work that I'm annoyed at. I think I'm going through a phase of being annoyed at everything right now. My best friend and I had a... thing. I wouldn't call it an argument, but I was SO angry at her.

Basically I don't want to post the details because it involves her obsessive compulsive disorder, but she told me something I told her I didn't want to know. Then I got pissed off at her because I didn't want to know, and because of what she told me, and because she told me even though I told her I didn't want to know. Confused yet? Big Grin And then she couldn't understand why I was angry, because she thought it (what it was she told me) was a fantastic idea. When in fact I felt like I was going to throw up. But I couldn't tell her that because I've always encouraged her to talk about things. So I guess I just shot myself in the foot. But I *did* tell her I didn't want to know, just this one particular time. Why is that so hard to understand?

Anyway, so none of that actually makes any sense. But the point of the story is that even though we decided to pretend our argument never happened, I'm finding it hard to be around her without getting annoyed at her. It's just that her frustrating behaviour with money (which I've blogged about in the past)transcends into all aspects of her life. She just goes 'This is a great idea!' and goes ahead and does something without thinking at all about the cons, and even when you (or a group of friends) gather around and try to explain them, she just shakes her head and says 'Don't be silly, this will be fabulous'. It's just who she is. I just find it hard to take sometimes.

*sigh*

In other news, the family business is plodding along splendidly. That has to count for something right? Big Grin They have work in front, and seem to be just making their bills each week. It has surely taken at least a little stress off my mind. Funny how things have a habit of balancing out, even if it is ever so precariously.

We have loads of basil growing. I think I'm going to attempt my own pesto some time this week.

It's raining today, ever so fitting for a day off when you don't feel like doing anything Big Grin

But I am going to attempt some things. On the weekend we had a big day of cleaning. I cleaned out all the cupboards in the kitchen, we cleaned the front deck and the back verandah, DF put down another home brew, and I cleaned the bathroom and mopped the floors. I think today I might tidy our office, sort through my clothes (again - but this time I am going to be RUTHLESS!) and sort through some music. Also, put dinner on in the slowcooker and make a shopping list for tomorrows grocery shopping.

A friend of ours who lives in LA called yesterday. He and his soon-to-be wife are coming to stay with us in November! DF has not seen him for two years, and I have not seen him for probably 5 years. Woah, time flies! Makes me think about the future, when (hopefully) we have the funds to be able to take a holiday and fly over and visit them one day too.


could this be a learning curve???

April 6th, 2010 at 12:07 am

*sigh*
(rant ahead - however, it is financially related)

People frustrate me. Especially my mother. Which I'm sure most of you are already aware of. And I'm sure a portion of you are probably frustrated with your own parents too.

As I previously mentioned, my mother and stepfather decided to separate, and my mother moved out with my little brother and sister. They are still friends. I think when my brother and sister are older and have moved out, my mother and stepfather will get back together. We'll see. DF and I had lunch with him last week, and he seems a lot happier and less stressed. I don't think it's anyones fault, but I know that my stepdad had already raised his children and they had left the nest, then when he was finally getting excited about having 'me-time', along comes my mother with a 4, 5 & 12 year old...

Coupled with the fact that my stepfather, FINALLY, after 11 years, decided he'd had enough of my mothers drinking. The ultimatum was: stop drinking, or it's over.

Along with guidance of a friend who, shall we put it lightly, likes a drink and a joint, doesn't work, relies on government handouts and is always short of money and up to the neck in drama, my mother apparently chose the drink. Frown

So my mother seemed to think this was an amazing opportunity, and that she would be free to do whatever she wanted, have more money (she believed she didn't get paid enough from the family business), and that my brother and sister would behave better (my stepdad was very strict - whereas most of the time my mother is too tanked to know what we were all up to).

So within the first two weeks of living in her new place, she has first called me two days after payday to get me to do an advance on the next weeks pay, and realised that whatever she earns from her work will be deducted from her government payments. My little sister was apparently caught shoplifting with friends. My brother talked my mum into getting some superfast internet plan 'for homework' and my mother called me for another advance so that my brother could buy some clothes for a job interview. She gave him $90 which he spent on a pair of pants, a shirt and lunch with his friends. He was meant to buy shoes but he didn't 'have enough' - even though both me, DF and my stepdad all told my mother to take him to the second hand clothing store and buy him a nice shirt from there, for about $5. She said No, he needed 'good quality' clothes. Even when DF argued with her that he buys Ralph Lauren, Jag, Blaq etc shirts from the second hand stores, she still said No.

And this morning again she was complaining to me about the fact that after rent she will only have XX amout of dollars.

Finally I snapped and said 'Look, mum. After DF and I pay all our bills and mortgage, buy food for the dogs and pay for their flea and worming treatments, buy groceries, pay insurance, buy petrol etc etc, we don't have much left over either. No one does, don't you get it? You're not the only one that's skint. But you walk around blind to the money you spend, you won't even sit down and work out a spending plan, or record what you spend each day. So stop whining at me.'

I'm just so sick of hearing about how 'bad' her situation is. She has money to pay bills and rent and buy food, so she's a lot better off than some other people. She's in this situation because she put herself there, even though she blames everyone else. Argh!

updates: family, friends, dogs, garden.

March 24th, 2010 at 04:39 am

I haven't really had much to update lately.

We've had some family drama to deal with. Long story short, my mum and step-dad split up. I don't really feel like explaining the details, but it's probably for the best.

The only people I have told the entire story to are DF and my best friend, and I only told my best friend because she kept hassling me about it. (I'm not really the talky type and to add to it, the whole story annoyed me so much that I get frustrated just thinking about it. Basically, I hope in some way or another this will be a wake-up call to my mother - but I seriously doubt it. *sigh*)

Ummm. What else?

I have been catching up with old friends from high school. It's a bit weird.

My best friend moved out of her parents house and is living by herself. It's kind of good for the budget because often I just go to her house now instead of meeting at a cafe. I don't know how long she is going to last though; she's incredibly lonely. Poor thing. I told her she can move in with us, but she doesn't want to.

DF's second-cousin who was going to move in with us, found another place to move into. DF and I breathed a silent sigh of relief. DF offered a room to him and he accepted, when he started working for DF as an apprentice. But then a few weeks later DF told me he hoped the guy would find another place because 'he's a bit annoying'. Big Grin And I understand. Apart from not wanting to live with anyone else in the first place, I can understand that working with someone, and then having to come home and be with that same person while you're trying to relax, would only work if you got along splendidly. And I don't think they do. The cousin is 19 and 'knows it all'. Even though he is an apprentice, he seems to think he shouldn't have to do apprentice work, like cleaning and fetching tools for DF, as well as trying out 'the cool stuff'. So DF's getting a bit frustrated. Frown

Financially we are having a good month. We will have a surplus *fingers crossed* which I can add into the EF.

We're going to get the doggies de-sexed soon. They are peeing on EVERYTHING. Does anyone have any tips on this? They do not come inside, it is only outside that they pee - but they go on the corners of our outdoor chairs, our pot plants, their own KENNELS etc etc. It's disgusting and it smells, even though we wash everything with boiling water and disinfectant it nearly every day. *sigh* The vet said that while it won't be instant, desexing them will gradually reduce their need to 'mark' everything.

My weight has plateued. It has not gone up or down - atleast it has not gone up though. I seem to have a month where I slip up and start eating bad stuff, and then two or three months where I am mostly healthy, and then the cycle continues. Anyone else like this?

DF's work is picking up, which is nice. I have two days off coming up, because of Easter. I hope we don't have anything planned, I would like to just relax at home.

Our lettuces are nearly big enough to eat! I am so proud! Big Grin
I am thinking of 'investing' in more gardening supplies. I have been super attentive to the tomatoes, basil, lettuce and parsley, and they are all lush and green. Yay. I want to plant some more tomatoes and maybe buy some seedlings from the market; but for now everything will be in pots. Is that an ok way to have a vege garden? Our soil is not that great and there is, at the moment, not really any proper place to make a patch, even if we were to build it up and buy good soil for it.

Uh, well. I think that's all my ramblings for now. Smile How are y'all?

i hope she realises just how big of a gift it was...

March 2nd, 2010 at 02:27 am

I helped DF lay a floor for his little cousin K on the weekend, and we earnt some extra moolah. I am not sure exactly how much yet as DF hasn't worked out the cost. Because it is his cousin he is doing it cheaply, but I would say it would be around a days normal wages atleast.

It is very exciting for K (his cousin). She is only 19 and has just bought a unit for herself. Well, technically the deposit came from her parents who have been putting money aside since she was born. It was to be used for whatever she wished (responsibly) when she turned 21, but they decided to give it to her early. I think that it was originally going to be for university, but I remember she did start uni last year and quit after 2 weeks, because she hated it. Just isn't for some people, I can understand that. But she has a good job on a contract at the moment, and hopefully things go well for her when that ends. She has done several career enhancing courses during her contract too.

Her dad, I think, was slightly against the idea for several reasons. Of course he was happy for her, and he did GIVE her the money after all. But I can tell he's hesitant. First of all, the money was meant to be for her a little later. Secondly, she has never lived out of home before, and never rented. He said he KNOWS she will get a shock about the cost of things, and all the unexpected things that crop up requiring her hard earned money. DF and I nodded profusely at that one! And lastly, she IS only 19, she still likes to party, and he is worried she might not be as mature as she thinks she is. All very legitimate reasons to be hesitant.

But there are two sides to a marriage and while his wife was aware of the risks too, she was a bit more optimistic. And it's true, why would you pay rent if you didn't have to? It's dead money. As dead as dead can be. And who here would have leapt at a chance like this, if you had been given it? I definately would have. I tried my best anyway - I knew if I had been given $60k from MY parents I would have used it exactly the same way - but instead DF and I saved $20k of our own money, was given $14k from the government, paid mortgage insurance, and we bought a house anyway, when I was 21 and DF was 28.

I guess the question is whether or not the gift will be utilised appropriately. *sigh*
Do you ever get that feeling, when you look at someone who may have no financial worries - or atleast a very appealing wage, and think "I could use that money so much more wisely" ??? Why does it always seem that (some) people with money are so stupid, and others who don't have it, could really make so much more out of it, if they were just given the chance?

Well, I hope it doesn't end up like that for K. I hope she realises just how much her parents are giving her. They're not just giving her $60k. They're giving her one almighty hand up in life. They're giving her a base, security, and a headstart. Something that so many people take SO much longer to achieve, she has been able to do with hardly any effort of her own. Sure, her parents have put in a lot of effort, a LOT, and I just hope she appreciates that.


So....Thoughts?

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.

hmmm... odd!

February 16th, 2010 at 01:29 am

Since my rant here a bit over a week ago, DF has cleaned out the gutters, dipped the dogs in flea treatment, mowed the lawn, taken the dogs for a walks in the mornings a few times and started to make salads for lunch again. Big Grin

So either he reads my blog (hello darling! i love you!) or is psychic.

On the weekend I repotted my tomato plants (pictures to come soon!) and my basil and parsley. I also planted some rosemary seeds (again) to see if they would germinate. I doubt the temperature drops below 23C at any time right now, so they SHOULD germinate, otherwise there is something wrong with the seeds!

I can't believe my basil and parsely are still alive. I am a terrible gardener. I get all excited about growing my own food, but then remember to water and feed them about once a month. My mint and marjoram have died, withered into brown dried up clumps. Frown I grew the mint from seed so will try again with that soon.

I have gotten a single cherry tomato from the tomato plants. They are about two feet high and I have staked them. I grew them from seed too, so that's very exciting for me Big Grin There are six plants.

I also planted some more lettuce seeds, this time in a different pot with more room. Last time they grew to about two inches high and then stopped growing. Might be ok if I was a fairy and in the mood for a salad, but I'm obviously not (a fairy, that is.)

I think this weekend I will go to the market and buy a couple more herb seedlings - and this time LOOK AFTER THEM properly.

updates

February 3rd, 2010 at 02:41 am

First of all thanks to those who commented on my last post Smile I am trying to keep my whining posts to a minimum (there's nothing more depressing than reading someones blog and finding that EVERY single entry sounds like it's been written by someone stuck in the bottom of a well)... but sometimes it has to be done, right?

So I had coffee with a friend yesterday, got home and DF was playing computer games. I thumped around for an hour or so and cleaned parts of the house, slightly annoyed that DF was still on the computer, but then when we had dinner he was quiet and not very talkative and I realised that he is not that happy either. So even though I feel better for letting it all out, I feel bad for being a selfish whiner because DF feels the same way about not getting a lot of work and all the things that are on our shoulders. We didn't talk about it but it's ok Smile sometimes things don't need to be said. Also... we both come from families where everyone TALKS about everything all the time, and it's often an agreement that we don't overanalyse each other, because it gets very draining and makes us both think of being a sullen teenager being lectured Big Grin

Now the house is slightly tidy I feel a bit better. Dinner is in the slowcooker for tonight, and I am doing the grocery shopping when I finish work in a couple of hours.

I went to the doctors today, for something that I have been meaning to do for about five months (get my calcium checked) so that is something to tick off my list to do.

For the February challenge of not eating out - I have miserably failed these first 3 days. I bought a drink at work on Monday, yesterday I had coffee with a friend, and today I bought an icecream Big Grin sure was nice though...

I am not liking 2010 so far...

February 2nd, 2010 at 01:33 am

You know those times when EVERYTHING seems to be weighing on you, and you feel like curling into a ball somewhere dark and pretending you're not an adult and you don't have responsibilites? Yes well...

Prepare for a rant of selfish whining:

- I have a tooth ache. I need to get the tooth pulled but I don't want to because a) it costs money b) it will be partly visible when I smile very widely and c) it will mean going to the dentist, and no doubt being told what ELSE I need to get done.

- Every time I get in my car I see little glass shards that the vaccuum didn't pick up and I get annoyed, because it means I have to clean my car again. And it reminds me of the recent $456 expenditure we had to cough up because some no-nuts kid threw a brick through the window.

- It's hot and I hate hot weather.

- The gutter on one side of our house is full of leaves from a Jacarandah tree and it is DF's job to hack the tree branch off and clean the gutter, but he has not done it.

- There is a cement pipe in the ground that DF found that has broken and he thinks it might start causing problems for the foundation of the house if we don't get it fixed soon.

- Yesterday I scraped my mag wheels on the gutter. It's the first time I have ever done that in the 5 years of my driving life and now one of my wheels looks utterly crap.

- DF made a big deal about it because he was there when I did it, inspected the wheel, and found that my tyres are so worn down that we have been driving on the metal thread. I'm annoyed because I have been saying for MONTHS that I need new tyres and now I find that my tyres could have popped at any time while I was driving.

- Why am I annoyed? Because every time something happens to my car, I have known for months that something needed to be fixed, but DF has insisted that he will do it. He then never gets any time to do it, and then it's MY fault beause *I* haven't fixed it. And because I don't know as much about cars as he or his dad does, I feel like I shouldn't go to the mechanics by myself because I'll get duped. So then when I do go, I'm nervous about it. (Which it always ends up being fine anyway...except I then get into trouble from the *mechanic* about the state of my car...)

- So today I have spent $228 on new tyres, which is depressing because of the amount of money my car seems to have sucked up lately.

- I told DF how much money we had in our account yesterday, and he remarked that I should bring home more pies from work. I know he was only (partially) joking, but this is a long running annoyance of mine. Because I work at a bakery, people assume that I eat a lot of crap, and that I can take whatever I like home. And DF seems to believe this too, and is constantly bugging me to bring home 'treats', like end bits of slices and broken bits of cake etc. First of all, I'm so busy at work most of the time that I don't get a chance to eat AT ALL, for my entire shift. Secondly, I have to pay for everything just like customers do, except for ONE free loaf of bread each day that I work. If I took pies home to eat for dinner instead of shopping for groceries, it would probably end up that we spent MORE. And lastly, I am of the type that will eat something if it is THERE, and DF knows this, but still asks me to bring things home, which I refuse to. So then he says it's not fair (?? whatever) and then uses that as an excuse to buy chocolate and icecream every week.

- Furthermore, DF's eating habits are grating on me lately. I don't know WHAT has happened, but in the past two years he has gone from being mostly healthy, to completely UNhealthy. When he first started working for his dad, he weighed about 95 kgs. In our first four or five years together, he would get up a little earlier every morning and make a salad for his lunch as well as a Carmans muesli bar and some fruit, and he got down to about 78 kgs. Then all of a sudden he decided he was sick of that, started getting up later and took 2 minute noodles for lunch instead. His argument was that it was cheaper anyway, so what did I care? Only that it allows him to say 'hey, i can get a pub lunch because i only have two minute noodles and they won't spoil in my esky'. Coupled with getting up later usually means he gets a drivethrough breakfast as well, and all this is costing FAR more in money AND in health than a salad ever did. DF's now back up to about 86kgs, and his dad has remarked that he works slower and is more sluggish than he used to be.

- At the same time, DF insists that *I* should be healthier and exercise more. While I am NOT the type to be overly sensitive or get upset like most girls do when they are assessed on their fitness/health/appearance/weight etc, I *do* find it slightly annoying that he can say this to me on one hand, but then do the complete opposite for himself and write it off because 'his work is more physical than mine'. Pffft.

- The house is a mess and I don't feel like cleaning it. You know when you have a big party and you look at the cleanup job the next morning and don't know where to start? Well, it feels/looks like that. Minus the vomit.

- I haven't been able to sleep properly for what feel like weeks. At the best of times I get around 5 hours of sleep a night - I do *go* to bed with enough time to get 8 hours, but it generally takes me 2 or more hours to drift off. But lately I have nights where I don't sleep at ALL - about two or three times a week. It's getting to a point where everything is annoying me, just because I'm tired and cranky. (Hence, this entire post...) Furthermore, DF doesn't understand my predicament because he can fall asleep in 10 minutes. He says to me 'just go to sleep'. If it was THAT easy, don't you think I would have done that by now???

- It has rained for the past four days, and I haven't been able to do any washing. I don't feel like doing any washing anyway, but that's not the point. The point is that I can't, even if I wanted to.

- The dogs are a handful at the moment. Technically they're not any different than they were a month ago - but it just feels like it. DF was the one that insisted we get *a* dog. Then he was the one that insisted that we get a second one, to keep the first company. While that's all good and well and I love them, I feel like I am doing all the work. When we first got Jed, DF would take him for a walk every weekday morning. I would take him for a walk Monday, Thursday and Friday afternoons, and Tuesday & Wednesday mornings, and then we would usually take him together on Saturdays. Now, I have to practically drag DF to take both of them for a walk with me on the weekend - and I am the only one that walks them during the week. Sometimes DF will throw a ball for them in the mornings, but I don't think he does it every morning any more. On top of that, I also have to make their food every week and wash them.

*sigh* well, I feel slightly better after letting it all out. don't I just sound like a whinger?

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

financial lives of friends

January 10th, 2010 at 12:40 am

I went to a friends place last night to catch up with a group I don't see often. I have known most of them for around 2 years, and one girl I have only met twice.

After a few drinks were consumed (by others - I wasn't drinking) the subject got around to debt. Since we are all in the same age group (22-25) it was interesting to hear everyones financial situations, as it's usually not something so openly talked about. And well, didn't I get a shock?

I already am aware of one friends financial situation. She got into a lot of credit card debt ($30k) at 19 and signed a debt agreement to pay it back. She is at around $17k now and will have it paid off in 3 years. Most importantly, she hasn't gotten herself into any other debt and I have to say she's doing quite well - I've been around to watch her change her financial viewpoint and hopefully I have helped her a bit here and there.

As for the others, I am just in shock. I guess because my other group of friends is responsible with money (and in their late 20's or early 30's), I just assumed that these girls would be too. Besides, they're only in their early twenties!

One has two maxed out credit cards ($6k) and a large personal loan ($9k)- and is unemployed.

Another girl, along with the father of their two children, has a mortgage (that's actually more than the house is worth) of $335k, a personal loan FOR THE DEPOSIT that her and her partner put down on the house ($20k), two loans for two brand new cars (~$40k)and three maxed out credit cards (totalling ~$30k). The sad story is that they have just split up too - she does not work and is now living with her mum and has decided to do an advanced diploma in nutrition - the father is an electrician.

And the last girl has two nearly maxed credit cards ($7k), a personal loan ($5k) and a car loan (~$11k).

Except for the girl with the mortgage, the others have no assets at all except for their cars.

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

AND!!! when we went out, we had to find an ATM for two of the girls that would do cash out on credit cards (cash advances) - as the first two ATMs wouldn't allow it. Their reasons for getting cash on credit?

'Oh, I'm broke til pay-day... Wednesday.'

said with a kind of shrug and a smile on their faces.

Huh? Why are you even coming OUT tonight???

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I just don't understand all this. I've seen it all before here, but it's different because they talk about it as though it's normal, like it's a fact of life or something, and it doesn't seem to bother them. WHAT?! Atleast reading people's blogs here, you get the general idea that everyone is not so happy with their financial situation and are taking steps to change it. It seems like with these girls, they don't have any desire to change, and it's some kind of competition to see who owes the most.

(After much prodding, I finally told them our shared mortgage debt ($297k-ish) and personal loan of $2k. Their response was 'yeah, but how much do you owe on your credit cards...?'. When I said we had 3 credit cards but no credit card debt I was met with a confused look Big Grin )

*sigh*


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