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Home > Archive: March, 2009

Archive for March, 2009

todays update

March 31st, 2009 at 01:14 am

Today I spent $3.20 on a piece of carrot cake (which was technically a waste of money because I wasn't even hungry - I just 'felt' like it - grrr!), and $20.15 on fuel. The woman at the counter gave me a card that gets me 3c off per litre, if you buy the E10 variety, which I normally do. Yay!

Either this weekend or next weekend, DF and I are going to sit down and work on a list of things we want to buy for the house, and things that need to be done for the house.

I am not sure about DF, but I have a four day weekend next week because of Easter. It's good and bad: I lose out on approx $296 (gross) earnings - but I get two days off!!!

This is the first week of tracking expenses jointly; I am a little apprehensive, but I am going to do my best. Basically I only need to track what we spend in cash really - and just remember what we BUY when we use our credit cards. I think we should be alright.

Tonight I made roast lamb for DF with roast vegetables and steamed greens, and we will probably have leftovers for lunch.

disappointed (not financial)

March 30th, 2009 at 06:42 pm

Last week I heard from my mums partner that my mum kept him awake all night because she had been drinking - she was singing, shouting and talking in riddles (as she does) all night.

(She does this every so often - but usually not all night - only for a few hours).

The next day was a day I am meant to work at the home office there. I did not know any of the events from the night before, so when I got to work my mum was in a bad mood and still in her pajamas.

I had to go and clean our rental house a bit and let the flea control guy in, so when I got back, mum's partner was there. He asked me if I could please work from home that day as they had some things to work out.

DF told me that night what had happened, and so it all made sense. When I went to work the next day, I heard my mum and her partner talking about a meeting that my mum had to go to. I finally figured out it was an AA meeting.

I can't tell you how excited I was that she was finally going! It has taken literally YEARS to get some her to take sort of recognition of her problem, let alone convincing her she is WRONG and that she needs to DO something about it. She always says she will 'see' someone. It has sadly never gone beyond that step, the promise of 'seeing someone'. So I was excited that not only (again) had she said she would see someone, but that there was intent to GO to an AA meeting. As in, they knew the times and the place!

Anyway, long story short the next night we had dinner at our place for my sister going away - and my mum had already had a few drinks, and was drinking while she was there.

I can tell you, I was not a happy camper. I really did think that maybe something might be done about it this time - but instead nothing was done. Again.

I just feel disappointed. I am not even SAD about it anymore, I am just angry, personally.

But I am indeed sad for my mum's partner. After 10 years (approx???) you would think any other guy would just walk out. He has had to deal with a lot of issues. He has had to care for and provide for mum, myself and my younger brother and sister. He has been hit by my mum and yelled at, and she has left him numerous times only for him to welcome her back when she sobers up. Sure, he gets angry sometimes, and we always got in trouble for little tiny things - but I just can't believe how much he has absorbed from my mum but has never left.

Anyway I am really sorry to vent and burden everyone here, but you all seem so understanding every time I do have troubles. And I guess I just wanted to get it off my chest.

100% bond refunded!

March 29th, 2009 at 11:15 pm

I just stopped into our ex-real estate to pick up our bond refund forms. They spelt my name, DF's name, and DF's sisters name wrong on the form, so it took about 20 minutes for them to find out what to do to change it. Every single piece of correspondence I have recieved from them has had my name spelt wrong - and in about five different ways and combinations! A couple of times they even put DF's last name as my name as well. They are absolutely hopeless and I would never use them for anything in the future.

Anyway. As I was saying, we got all of our bond back. So DF gets $506, I get $508 and DF's sister gets $506. DF's sister owes us $44 for the flea spray as well. I also collected a cheque from them for an overpayment of rent, $300. I will put it onto our account tomorrow.

That will bring our account balance to around $11k. It makes me a bit nervous having our emergency fund in our main account - simply for the fact that every time I log on I am going to see that balance and go "oh, everything is peachy". But I will have to get used to it, as it is saving us thousands of dollars in interest every year!

Today I spent $3 on a vegetable peeler. It was on special. Actually, I bought one a few days ago, then went to the shop again for something else and they had a different type of peeler there - one that is more ergonomic. But I thought to myself "no, I have already bought one" but then I got home and used the one that I had bought and it's pretty terrible - same brand, but just a different type that is harder to use. So I decided to spend another $3 and buy the one I bought today.

I booked a haircut appointment for Friday afternoon. It will probably cost me around $65. I have decided I am going to chop off around 4 inches, being long it is just too annoying and hot - I know it is coming into winter, but it does not go below -5 degrees celcius normally, and only in the mornings. I have had people say 'don't cut your hair, it is getting close to winter...' It is generally between 15-25 celcius during the days, I don't think it will make a difference if my hair is shorter or longer.

On Thursday a friend and I are going to the spas again. It will be $30 each. I am looking forward to it.

I have a little bit to do this afternoon. I usually waffle around and achieve nothing, so here I am again with my to-do-list:

- wash dishes (done)
- tidy kitchen (done)
- hang out washing (done)
- fold dry washing (done)
- unpack CD's (not done - but did linen closet instead)
- tidy dining & coffee tables ( 1/2 done)
- cook dinner (doing now!)

I am not sure yet what to have for dinner. I am thinking roast vegetables and salad. Nice and easy, and like I mentioned in my last post, will use up our fresh items that wilt easily.

a bit of a spendy day for me today

March 28th, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Today we finally went to the market - it has probably been about three months since we have been there.
I got a weeks worth of fresh veges for $32. And I got a handmade bar of Vanilla, Honey and Oatmeal soap for $4. So really, the veges were $28. I got: half a pumpkin, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, brocolli, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, onion, eggplant, fresh figs, plums, avocados and bananas. Everything is locally grown and organic produce. I am planning on using all the wilty-stuff in the next few days, and we will have soups and stews and bakes for the end of the week, so that I can utilise the freshest ingredients first.

I went into town to meet a friend for lunch and get a dress fixed for the engagement party we are going to on the 18th. I was silently chanting in my head when talking to the clothes-alterer lady: 'please be no more than $50 to fix, please be no more than $50...' and it was $20.00! Yay! (The dress only cost me $100.00 - I didn't want to pay a great deal to fix it).
The boning had cut through the inner lining and was stabbing me every time I wore it - so much that by the time I would take the dress off I would be bleeding! I know - horrible. *sigh* It's a gorgeous dress though - I am always looking for ways to wear it more. It is strapless, lined with a black silky satin type material and then has a delicate cream lace overlay, with a black satin sash. It's fitted around the bust and then has a dropped waist.

Anyway it will be fixed by Wednesday so for that, I am pleased.

I also browsed a store and bought two items that were half price - a denim skirt for $10 and a lovely black broiderie anglaise-detailed top for $12.50. Very cheap prices, I am quite happy with them. I also bought a pair of dunlop shoes for work/gardening for $15, on sale from $24.97. And I bought some muscle soak granules for the bath at $6.50.

musings on my month of spending

March 27th, 2009 at 04:06 pm

I just had a look over our spending for the month. Not pretty.

Ok, well, the TOTALS are not pretty. Because I have tracked my personal spending in March (not DF and mine combined - that starts next week!), it looks like I have spent waaaaay more than I earnt. And I most likely have. But it does not give the full picture, partly because our accounts have been slowly merging, and partly because I already had some extra money floating around.
But, alas, every week it 'appears' that I have spent around $100 or so MORE than I have taken in.

I think mostly it is due to paying the mortgage AND rent for most of the month. Sure sucked up a lot of money.
I am quite pleased with my 'FUN' money expenditure - it seems I did not spend that much over our 'allowance', and this includes all the dining out we did while our kitchen was packed up.

Our moving and house costs have totalled $278, but that does not include some items which I haven't got totals for. But the $278 was for a tip fee, flea spray at the rental, phone re-connection, and some other things of which I have forgotten already...

Gifts have been low amounts, but there have still been a few. We are getting good at holding back on gift giving. We like to give gifts - and we hardly ever recieve them - and I think it is one of those things we will have to work on. Even though most of the friends no longer give gifts (everyone went through a stage of giving large gifts for a couple of years), sometimes we kind of feel obligated to not show up with empty hands - partly to blame IS that time when everyone was giving gifts. It is odd. Of course, it's nice to give gifts - but I think we have to relax about it a bit because everyone is having hard financial times - and a lot of the time the gifts given could be things they don't need anyway.

Petrol is another expense that I am going to have to monitor. Because I am driving an extra 15-20 minutes a day to work, it is surely going to add up. I would say it will cost me an extra $10-$15 in petrol a week. I am going to have to think of ways to save on this!

Well, that's my rambling for today. I will post the totals that I was tlaking about, tomorrow, when the week ends.

movies, shopping, insurance

March 27th, 2009 at 12:12 am

Today our weekly mortgage payment of $430.15 came out. I've updated the sidebar loan balance.

I spent $3 on a soft drink today and we are going to take my brother and sister to the movies tonight. We can buy the tickets online for $8, they are usually $11 for children and $14.80 for adults so that is a good saving.

Hopefully this weekend we will unpack a lot of stuff and get the house in order. Next weeek I have to bite the bullet and do a full grocery shop. I have been going in every day or two to just get what I need, but I really must stock everything up as we are getting low on everything.

On Wednesday I went in to talk to a woman at the bank about our insurance options. We took out standard cover at the start of the mortgage but wanted to see if we could get it for less because we work in low-risk occupations. Well I did! We were previously paying $61.35 p/m for $200k of death cover and $100k of TPD cover. Now we pay $53.97 for $275k death cover and 100k TPD cover. Yay!

to spend or not to spend?

March 26th, 2009 at 01:07 am

Today I spent $12.05 on a present for my little sister for when she leaves (now leaving on Saturday). I bought her a little journal to write in, a notepad of yellow pretty paper, some envelopes, pens and stamps.
I also spent $2 on the staff lotto and 50c on a can of Coke at work, and $3 on a drink when a friend came over to look at our house and then we walked to the shops.

DF and I have decided that we might just spend our stimulus money. It's what it's for right? I am undecided still - but there are a few things that I would like to buy, but have been putting them off. If we can just agree to spend it, guilt free, and then move on into frugal-country, it might be sort of like a type of bachelor party for us, in terms of no longer spending freely. (One last night on the town before being locked up, right? In financial terms...)

Some things I have in mind:
- a punching bag (DF and I would go halves) (approx $100 each)
- new work shoes ($30 )
- new running shoes, properly fitted. ($100)
- cloooothes... Big Grin (???)
- a slow cooker $40
- some dvd's (approx $60)
- a romantic dinner out at a place i have been meaning to go to for about a year. ($80)
- some planter boxes & gardening stuff to start a small assortment of lettuce/tomato plants. (???)

anyway. we'll see how it goes. we'll be getting $900 each.

we currently have around $9000 in the bank. Once April hits I am going to begin tracking 'our' spending. Oh, it's going to take some getting used to, I can tell that right now!

little sis shipped off to the grandparents: good or bad?

March 24th, 2009 at 06:17 pm

My mum & her partner are sending my sister (14yo) to live with my grandparents, two states away, on a rural, almost self-sufficient farm. She will still go to a larger school in a CBD - so she will have contact with society lol.
I am in two minds about this. Here's why:
The good part: my sister has a bit of an 'attitude' and I don't think she hangs with the best kids at school. Living with our grandparents will give her some freedom but also teach her to be more respectful. She'll be learning a very different lifestyle, as currently she lives in a coastal suburb on a 500m2 block - as opposed to many many acres of bushland she will have to explore living with the gramps. She'll also learn to be more useful as she'll have to learn to do 'stuff' on a farm. She will also be able to get away from my mum. I know that sounds terrible, but our mum is an alcoholic but won't do anything about it, and thinks everyone else has a problem with her drinking. I think my sis is actually excited about the fact she won't have to deal with mum anymore.
The bad part: She is, technically, being shipped off. I am going to have to make sure I show her she is not forgotten, and that she is loved. I will have to send her letters and little packages all the time so she does not feel abandoned - as I am sure that my mum will forget about her. Yes, terrible. (and I don't mind in the SLIGHTEST about the $ it will cost me to send this stuff - she is my little sis and I would give everything to protect & help her). She may be a bit isolated there seeing as it is miles from other people - and then the other people would be farmers anyway. Also, I can't help but wonder, what happens if her attitude doesn't get better? Or what happens if she falls in with the wrong crowd there? The gramps aren't going to notice as much as DF and I would (I see her at least once a week at the moment). What if she goes and gets herself PREGNANT or something? ARGH! Anyway. My main concern is that she will feel abandoned and shipped off. I keep talking to her and just mentioned her 'getting away' from mum, so that she feels good about that prospect. Am I doing the right thing? Is it a good idea to put it in a positive light?

At the moment it appears to be just a year-long arrangement. My sis mentioned she hopes she can come back for years 11 and 12 (she is in year 9 now).

*sigh* I just don't know.
She doesn't seem particularly upset about the prospect as the moment. The only thing she is a little upset about is that she just made friends with some people, as last year wasn't that great for her in terms of making friends.

Looking back, I didn't change schools in high school - but then again the friends I made at high school I no longer talk to anyway, they were all not particularly nice to me anyway - only it took me until the last few years to realise it!

The thing that our parents don't seem to get is that SHE IS A TEENAGER. Our parents seem to have this idea in their heads that kids have to perfect all the time. We all got in trouble for the littlest things. And then we would get lectured for HOURS (literally...hours) about it, and by the end of the lecture you would have no idea what the problem was in the first place because they would go off in tangents and talk in riddles all the time.

Which is why I do think a tiny bit of this change for little sis would be good. Good for HER and her wellbeing.

And then there is my little brother. He is 15 and can basically look after himself - doesn't seem to give the parents as much trouble as little sis. He plays video games and is pretty introverted - but does have a large group of friends. He isn't causing any 'problems' so of course he is not getting shipped off - also he just goes into his room when mum decides to have a bit of a drink, or disappears.

Anyway. Whenever there seems to be a problem with my mum - like her drinking, or smoking, or how much work she does at the business (not a lot these days), all of a sudden there seems to be some big issue with something else, so then everyone focuses on THAT problem, and then mum doesn't have to do any of the things she says she will (like, go to counselling etc).

Anyway, sorry for the rant.

Ideas for dinner?

March 24th, 2009 at 03:27 pm

Last night I made grilled garlic salmon with brown rice and a side of grilled veges (capsicum, eggplant, mushrooms, zucchini & squash).
Tonight I think I will make (thanks to ceejays suggestion) grilled cheese sandwhiches with an assortment of fillings. (I am thinking cheese & pineapple, cheese & tomato & beetroot, cheese & avocado...)
Any other ideas for the next few days? DF still hasn't connected the oven and I am not going to bother him about it for a few days because he has a lot of work on and has been working 12 hour days.
I have: a kettle, a sandwhich press/grill, a rice cooker (which also steams) and a blender.
I was thinking I could grill some veges and an egg and toss it through the rice to make a sort of 'un-fried rice'?

I'm Back!

March 23rd, 2009 at 09:24 pm

Well our phone and internet re-connection was quicker than expected - we discovered the phone was connected on Sunday night, and the internet we set up yesterday which also worked (contrary to the 3 business days for phone and a week for the internet which is what they told me! not that i am complaining, of course...).

The weekend was very hectic, we moved everything out on Saturday, and then on Sunday we cleaned. Yesterday I filled out the exit report and today I put in some new light globes and got a flea treatment for the outside. I handed in the keys at midday today. Fingers crossed we get all the bond back.

At our new house, we have the bare essentials unpacked still and are slowly working on the rest, but we are not rushing ourselves. I think we both want everything unpacked properly, everything in it's place.

This time I actually get my own desk! (I used to use the coffee table seeing as I have a laptop). But because it is just DF and I (and not DF's sister like last time - who needed a desk for her computer, which she never used, and a set up in the spare room for her sewing machine - which she didn't use either), we have set up the study so I get half of it. Yay! So far it is just filled with work related papers.

We have terrible tv reception, so I think a set-top box is on the list of things to purchase. We have been lazy about this, as reception was good at our last place and we figured we would put off the purcahse until they completely disconnected analogue tv. Oh well.

DF has been busy with work so we have not yet connected the gas stove. I am at a loss for what to cook for dinner tonight.
Last night I grilled tofu and a lamb leg steak with a greek salad and a dinner roll. The night before was toasted sandwhiches. I guess I could buy some fish and maybe some vegetables to grill to have with rice...

Any Ideas???

I have a rice cooker and a grill/sandwhich press - oh and I only have brown rice. Something light and healthy is mostly preffered.

Tomorrow I have to go to the bank and talk over some insurance stuff. Fascinating.

I have a few things to organise this week, seeing as the move is over.
I have to get a haircut, a blood test, make a doctors appointment, make an appointment with the pest guys for the termite problem (on the letterbox post - not the house!), get a dress altered, find a cheap red strappy dress for a dress up party (I am going as Alice from Resident Evil), organise bond refunds... *sigh* I am sure there are a few things I have forgotten...

So anyway, what has been happening with everyone? I am going to read up on some blogs - but in case I miss anything you should let me know in a comment what has been happening with you all!

talk more later

floor finished! hope you like the pictures!

March 19th, 2009 at 03:22 am

Well, our internet gets disconnected tomorrow and hopefully re-connected late next week. I will still have internet atwork on Wednesday though.

I thought it was time to upload a couple of photos of our finished floor. DF did the finishing touches at 7pm on Tuesday night. I have put them in order of before and after:

office (before)

office (after)

spare room #1 (before)

spare room #1 (after)

kitchen (before)

kitchen (after)

main bedroom (before)

main bedroom (after)

I think it looks great. And the best bit? It cost us around $35, paying for DF's dad and my little brother and sisters lunch lol. The coating mixture we used cost $400 but DF's dad paid for it. I sure love being able to do stuff ourselves.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some pictures with you. Hope you like them!!!

mail redirection

March 18th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Yesterday I paid for and filed our mail redirection form. $36 for six months. Hopefully I can get my act together and only have it for the six months!

I also paid rent ($420) yesterday. Today our weekly mortgage payment comes out ($430.15).

DF finished the last coat on the floor, so pictures will be up soon! I could only make it to one of the bedrooms last night to have a look, before having to sprint back outside. The coating stuff they use makes your eyes water and your nose burn, and your throat gets all itchy. Euch! DF and the apprentices wear gas masks when they coat floors.

So today I am working until 1.30pm, then I am going to move a load of stuff and hopefully the place will have aired out a bit so I can wipe the dust off everything.

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday, I mailed him a screenprinted shirt I made. Hopefully it gets there in time, and hopefully he likes it!

This weekend is going to be the last weekend at our rental house! Our internet is getting disconnected tomorrow and hopefully will be re-connected next week.

I have been thinking more about the 'friend' I mentioned in my previous entry. I think I have decided that: I will not reply - however if she decides it would be a good idea to actually call me, then I will tell her I am usually free on weekends.