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Archive for August, 2009

August Total Expenditure :0

August 31st, 2009 at 03:29 pm

DF: $1733.00
Me: $2495.95
Other: $20.00
Total: $4248.95 ($1062.23 p/w)

Mortgage: $1523.08
Groceries: $573.08
Petrol: $222.96
Phone & Internet: $78.10
Car Repairs: $52.87
Mobile Phone: $56.75
House Insurance: $69.39
Life Insurance: $53.67
Property Rates: $1083.21

Personal Loan: $148.00
Pet Supplies: $17.50
House Repairs/Maintenance: $134.94
Appliance/House Gadgets/Tech: $13.79
Work Expenses: $210.02
Clothes: $12.00
Shoes: $313.95
Dining Out: $148.50
Entertainment: $12.87
Misc: $59.80
Gifts: $12.49
Health/Grooming: $99.75
DF Fun: $317.70
Me Fun: $307.25
Engagement Ring: $2000

Total Spent: $7521.67

Deficit: -$3272.72

Ok, so by first look this is all a bit scary. But add into the equasion:
Bills: $1393.99
Of which I had the amount in a separate account.
So, deficit is now: $1878.73, which is fine because the engagement ring was $2k. So TECHNICALLY we were in front this month by $121.27, if you can believe that. The purchase of the engagement ring was to be taken out of our savings.

DF also earned about HALF what he usually does, due to having no work on.

But, all in all, August was an expensive month. We spent more than we should have in terms of fun money, but only went out for dinner once, for DF's sisters marriage dinner. Bought running shoes, which were a huge expense at over $300.
Groceries are quite a bit more as we had a bit of a party last weekend.

Areas to improve in September:
Fun Money
Petrol (???)
House Maintenance

todays expenses

August 31st, 2009 at 01:59 am

Todays Expenses:

0.50 Can of Coke
2.00 Staff Lotto
26.40 Postage (Present for stepmum & engagement party invitations)

invitations, spending and gardening

August 30th, 2009 at 12:26 am

Todays Spending:
Petrol: $36.47
Drink: $3.99
Gardening Stuff: $71.94
Underwear: $25.00
extra Engagement Invitations: $12.95
Coffee: $4.30

As the title suggests, we gave out our first invitation today, and got our first official rsvp. Smile I will send the bulk of them tomorrow and drop off a few at houses that are close to ours to save postage.

Today I planted mint, rosemary, lettuce and tomatoes, and added a bit more potting mix & trimmed our basil and coriander.

The coriander seeded and looks like it's dying - I'm not an expert gardener, so can anyone tell me, I have heard before that once coriander seeds it's dead. Is that true? I've trimmed everything back, does that help?

Tonight we're having a bbq for dinner, DF's having rissoles and I am having vegetarian sausages, with a salad.

the wedding

August 29th, 2009 at 03:24 pm

DF's sister & fiances wedding went well. Their 'real' wedding will be next year, this one was so that their new-born daughter has her mum & dad as married on the birth certificate. Kind of nice. We had a lovely dinner afterwards, of course my mum and her partner ruining it halfway through because my mum had too much to drink. Frown wow, what a surprise. thankfully it was just me and DF at that end of the table, so people knew something was happening but it didn't affect the rest of the table. Of course they turned it back on DF and I as they stormed out to leave, saying it was our fault and that we started it. REALLY PISSES ME OFF. Anyway.

This only strengthens my resolve to ask my mother to NOT drink at my engagement party. People are telling me it's unfair to ask her to do that and not everyone else, but I really could not give a crap. 'Everyone else' doesn't cause a scene every single time. And 'everyone else' are always walking on eggshells when she's around.

So yesterday we printed out the invitations and will send them tomorrow. I only have four invitations that I do not have addresses for. How exciting!

The invitations I ended up getting are notecards with pretty designs on the front, blank inside. Then I just printed out the information and glued it inside. They look good. Simple but good.

We are having a morning tea type of thing, starting at 10am. So then if people are getting hungry (or want to leave) they can go straight to lunch. We're having it at a popular park near a river, lots of amenities. I will post my planned menu later.

expense log 28-29/8

August 29th, 2009 at 04:22 am

Expenses Friday 28/8
10.10 (DF's Lunch)
70.00 (2 x 2 course meals)
7.50 (drinks)
40.00 (drinks)
25.00 (clothes)
Total: $152.60

Expenses Saturday 29/8
17.40 (breakfast)
31.80 (farmers market)
10.00 (freshly ground coffee 250g)
3.50 (ginger beer)
15.00 (icecreams)
12.00 (work shirts)
12.87 (dvd - death at a funeral)
4.25 (cooking magazine)
9.95 (tattoo magazine)
5.00 (scratchie)
Totals: $121.77

todays expenses

August 27th, 2009 at 03:56 am

I've decided I might try posting my daily expenditures. I'm finding it hard to get the motivation to track expenses lately, so making a daily post might give it a bit of a different twist. I know a few people do that on here, so I'll give it a try Smile

Todays Expenses:
0.50 - Coke at work
2.00 - Staff Lotto
7.49 - Chocolates as a 'registry office' gift (not actual wedding gift!)
1.99 - Chocolate (for myself Big Grin) low energy fix.
4.20 - takeaway coffee
8.00 - cards & wrapping paper
38.85 - engagement party invitations

Total Spent: $63.03

(still have to add in df's totals so this could change...)

my 1k list

August 25th, 2009 at 07:35 pm

Inspired by MonkeyMama, I decided to make my own 1k list. I think it's a really interesting concept, 1k is definately a barrier in a lot of people's minds when it comes to spending money. This is everything I have ever bought for 1k or more in my life, and what DF has since we've been together.

First Car: $1500 (2005)
Holiday: (DF) $3000~ (DF) (2006)
Holiday: (me) $1000~ (me) (2006)
Desktop Computer: $3500~ (2007)
Second Car: $6500 (2007)
Project Car: $3500~ (2007)
Laptop: $2050 (2007)
Holiday: $1500~ (me) (2008)
Holiday: $8000~ (DF) (2008)
House: $320 000 (2009)
New Engine: $1911 (2009)
Engagement Ring: $2320 (2009)

And the expenses I know that are coming this year:
Bed & Mattress: $1200~
Tattoos: $1500~ (sep & oct 2009)
Fencing: $3000~

It's interesting to see. I thought we'd have more electronic stuff there but when I think about it, a lot of our stuff is REALLY old, and other things we either do without or find a cheaper way to get it. (ie. for free!). The holidays, obviously wasn't the purchase of one item, but those are the sort of thing I count as a lump sum. Because if we didn't go on a holiday, we would not have spent that money.

So what's your 1k list?

update: financial family mess

August 25th, 2009 at 02:49 pm

thanks everyone for your advice and thoughts

Just a note to anyone wondering about the personal bank account:
I did mention that it was a sole trading business. Not sure about america, but in Australia there is nothing illegal about having an account where personal and business expenses are both withdrawn, as long as the business expenses are kept track of and the reciepts are kept for 5 years. The ATO find nothing unusual about this, there are plenty of busineses that operate in this way. Auditing takes a bit longer if we require an audit, but there is nothing wrong or illegal about this practice.
My parents pay their taxes and do not owe any, they are always paid on time. So there are no problems in that regard.

I could be responsible if there was 'funny' stuff as I am the book-keeper, but there is none of that. The books are as clean as clean can be (I am responsible for the books, I would not do something that was illegal), it is just their money management skills that are lacking. So I am sorry if anyone got the wrong idea on the book keeping front, there is nothing happening there.

The main content of my post was aimed at the poor money management, nothing to do with the legalities of what they are doing.

family + finances = mess

August 24th, 2009 at 09:47 pm

I walk into work today:

mum: "B(her partner) told me I have to work out our finances and told me to ask you to help".
me: "um, ok."
mum: "yeah, because A has to give J (the cousin who is staying with them) some money, and he wants to know how much we have, and how much is left"
me: "well, that's easy. NONE."
mum: "well, we know that. but i have to work out our budget"

I don't know why I'm annoyed at this; by all means I should be happy right? Right?

This is something I have been talking to them about for years. literally, years.

This is why I am annoyed:

- I have been telling them for months that their business is struggling financially - but because they could always see a 'balance' in the account they believed I was being dramatic, or something like that.
- Despite me telling them this, they still went on a week long holiday last month.
- There has been no work for the past month, so of course they found time to play the pokies and have boozy dinners/lunches out every weekend.
- Meanwhile, my DF has earnt HALF of what I earn (because there's no work), usually he earns quite a lot more than me. I know the world is not a fair place, but I am still allowed to say that I think that's unfair.
- A year ago I told them they couldn't afford to buy a new car but they went and bought one anyway, the same day.
- I told them the business couldn't afford another worker, and lo and behold, B's cousin arrived two weeks ago.
- You'd think someone in financial dire straits would cut back on luxury items, but from the 1st of July to today (25th August) they have spent $1049.24 on alcohol and withdrawn $3080 in cash (and I can safely say that a very LARGE portion of that was dining out and pokies - more than 50% anyway, possibly 75% but I dare say it's even more than that).
- The accountant suggested we set up a company instead of a sole trading business, but there isn't even enough cash to pay the fees to set this up (but like I said, there's cash for overpriced beer and parmigianas at the pub).
- I also suggested we set up a separate personal bank account for them and pay B a WAGE, instead of living off his check account (which is where the business' money goes in and out). His response? 'The business can't afford to pay me a wage, I'm worth too much'. It just frustrates me because he thinks all the money he spends doesn't count for anything, he thinks he DOESN'T get a wage! Isn't that the most ridiculous thing you ever heard???

I could go on, but you get my drift.

Anyway, so the time comes that they actually want to do something (because I literally CAN'T pay the bills) and I DON'T want to help them. What is going on???

I just feel like I'm beating a dead horse.

I said to my mum, just because you MAKE a budget doesn't mean shit. You actually have to DO it. You have to STICK to it. That's what a budget is.

And she goes, yeah, yeah, I know, we will.

I said to her, I've tried this with you, I've asked you all to write down what you spend. And neither of you did it. You can't say "I'm going to make a budget" if it just sits there and does nothing. The point of a budget is to sit down and figure out what you spend, then compare it to what you earn, and whittle it down so that they are compatible amounts. And then you have to adhere to it, day in and day out. It doesn't do anything if you're supposed to stick to it and you don't.

And she goes "Well, we will, I just need you to help me figure out how much we spend."

I said "yeah, that's what YOU GUYS need to do, not me. It's no good telling ME you spend $350 on groceries a week and that's it, if you really spend $50 a week on cigarettes, $200 on booze, $60 on takeaways and $350 on groceries. You need to figure out how much you REALLY spend, yourselves."

Am I being harsh? I just cannot be bothered. They DO need to figure this stuff out, but I've held my hopes up for so long that I don't think I can raise them again.

I suggested they go to our accountant. He already said to me he would help them, when they finally wanted to help. For a few reasons. The first is, he can explain a lot of things that I probably don't know. He can suggest things I haven't thought of. And he is an independant body that has no ties with them. He is not their daughter or son, and they may take the advice from him better than they do from me.

It's just the whole thing of getting them there, first off, before things start looking up again, because then the whole cycle will start again. Not that the cycle ever stopped to begin with.

Anyway. Thanks for listening. It IS a financial rant, so it does have some place here. Big Grin

whats with this weather? also, bought new sunglasses

August 24th, 2009 at 04:55 pm

August seems to have been a low post month for me. I seem to be doing a fair bit but nothing that is really post-worthy.
I also have been having difficulties recording spending. I'm laxing at it, which is a worry. I know I will kick myself later for it, I annoy myself when I do this because then it isn't done properly and I can't rely on the figures later on. I like things done orderly!
So I am making the effort to do it, even though it has become a chore this month.

The weather has been odd the past week. It hit over 35 degrees celcius yesterday (and it's meant to be winter). But, two states away in Melbourne (about 3 hours by plane), it was hailing with 6.5 degrees celcius temperatures. What the?!

Interesting though, they interviewed a guy (you know, a weather guy? can't think of his proper title right now, having a blonde moment) and they asked him direct questions about global warming, whether this is an indicator of it. He skipepd around the questions very carefully, sitting on the fence. Very good at it, but it struck me as odd.

I guess some people don't want to enter into the debate, you never know, he might have political interests that he might be protecting. Maybe he hasn't made up his mind, or rather he doesn't want to be labelled as one of either of the groups; those that believe in global warming and those who think it's a crock of ****.

It's all rather funny when you think about it. The way some people refuse to accept that the planet is dying. Call it what you want, it's obvious the world is not the same as it was 500 years ago.

Sorry, don't really know where that rant came from!!!

I finally bought some new sunglasses on the weekend, $49.95 polarised Mangrove Jacks. NOT a brand name, btw. Ok, so technically it is a brand, but not a 'brand name'. Mangrove Jacks are pretty much the only sunglass makers I can find that make good quality pairs under $140 that are polarised, I am forever their customer. (If you've never had polarised lenses, you're missing out). I have gone through three pairs this year. I had one pair (an MJ pair) that lasted me two years or more, that finally snapped at the arm. Then I went onto a pair I got for free with a magazine, which snapped within a few months. To tell you the truth I was quite happy, they were uncomfortable and not polarised. Then I found another pair I had gotten for free, so the cheapskate in me made me wear them until they snapped too. These cheap ones don't last long do they? Looking forward to another 2-3 years with my new MJ's!
It annoys me though, all those STUPID fashion glasses, Prada, D & G, CC's, they have the LOWEST rating for eye protection but people buy them because they're supposed to be good quality, because they're a luxury brand. Get off it. I saw a girl with a pair of Prada ones, (also had a Guess bag and a million other designer labels, of course all the badges showing so you KNEW it) and my mind screamed "You are a tool!". I seem to be getting cynical. Frown

Bought an anti-aging cookbook. I realise at nearly 22 I don't need that sort of thing yet, but the recipes looked divine. Mostly centred on fish and fresh veges, everything just seemed so fresh and clean. I am going to try out a few this week. It must be this heat making me want to eat salads and all that again. Bye Bye soup! See you next winter!

what should i do?

August 23rd, 2009 at 11:56 am

DF and I have been talking about an engagement party. Typically I think you're meant to have them just after you announce the engagement, and it's a good idea for us to do that because we're not actually getting married for a few years.
So, my dad and stepmum and little sister are staying with us Sept 25-Oct 2nd. They live 3 hours away by plane so it's a big deal, I only see them once a year.

I was thinking it would be a good idea to have the engagement party while they're here, people expect everyone's parents to be there of course.

So I called my dad yesterday to ask him if that would be ok, as it is their *holiday* after all. He said 'if that's what you guys would like to do we would be happy to.' I guess that is the best reaction I could get. I really did stress that if they felt the teeniest bit uncomfortable we could have a quieter dinner while they are here with just a few people, and have the engagement party another time with a whole heap of people.

It is just, I know my dad and them want nothing to do with my mum and her partner. Things weren't exactly amicable, and I understand that.
And I will have to ask my mum to NOT drink a single drop. So there's a possibility that she will get all stubborn and refuse to come anyway. And you know the horrible thing? There's a part of me that actually wants her to not come. *ALL* of our friends avoid her, she has given my DF's auntie a hard time over nothing once (and now thinks she's the devil - when the Auntie did nothing at all) and I just feel tense imagining my dad there. Also my mum's partner is one of those 'take sides before you even know the other side of the story' types - hates my dad because of the things my mum told him which mostly are in her head anyway (I suppose that is normal in a divorce anyway, but it just gets to me).

Anyway. Then there's the whole thing of planning it, I want to have it on a Sunday mid-morning, so it sends the message that it's a casual event, not an actual 'party'. DF suggested a morning tea type of thing, and I had the idea of hiring one of those mobile coffee carts. Anyone ever had one of those? How much do they cost?
I would make most of the stuff at work Big Grin and then we would not have to ask people to bring anything. We would have cupcakes, quiches, sandwhiches, maybe some mini custard tarts or something, scones, slices of cake etc. Sort of like a high tea?
None of our friends have ever had an engagement party like that, so it would be rather different. We'd have it at a park.

So anyway, I just really don't know what to do. My dad's reaction was neutral, which is the best I could hope for I guess. Frown I have the difficult task of asking my mum nicely not to drink. I got angry and upset last night and cried to DF because I thought to myself 'Why the **** should I even have to ASK this kind of thing? And why should I walk on eggshells around it? It's not MY ******* problem!'

Anyway. What would you do? I am sure my dad would be happy to have a nice dinner with maybe my DF's mum, grandparents, DF's sister and a couple of our friends. But then again I just don't think it's right to have an engagement party without your dad there.
We would invite around 50 people. There would be others that they could talk to, I just don't know what will happen.

answering BA's question: the turning point

August 21st, 2009 at 01:58 am

I thought I would write this as an entry instead of a comment, as the question does deserve a bit of thought.

To be honest, I'm pretty far from frugal compared to some people here. So I guess I have never 'become frugal'. I spend massive amounts of money on things that many of you here never will. But we're all different, and we all live for and strive for different things.

But my desire to learn about money and all things financial came from my mother and her partner having a distinct LACK of knowledge about the subject. When I was 13 I started to record their reciepts for their new business in a ledger. I realised how much money they wasted, and, to be blunt, it really pissed me off. But because I didn't 'know' a lot about finances, I basically didn't have a leg to stand on in an argument with them about their money. (Of course, now I don't have a leg to stand on either, because I've realised, after many years, that I'm their CHILD, and will always be that to them, and not someone you take advice from).

I've always been an organisational freak as well, so once I started earning money, that was just another thing I did, recording expenses, making budgets, tallying up my savings, working out how much I would have in x weeks etc.

My need to control money probably comes from not having much available as I was growing up. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I think when I have children I won't burden them money problems as much as I was when I was a child. I remember times when I would not bother to begin writing letters to friends who I had moved away from, because I didn't know when we would be able to buy stamps (40c back then).
I remember having to ask my dad for money for things, even though he also paid child support AND gave me pocket money. I remember having to give the pocket money to my mum for groceries. Looking back, I think there were equal parts in 'not having enough money' and 'mum spending money on alcohol' in play. *shrug*

So really, for me, there was no actual turning point. My life is a series of events that have shaped me the way I am. Everything that has been sent my way I have tried to make some kind of order out of it.

what i did today, what i must do tomorrow

August 20th, 2009 at 01:14 am

Did not do much today. I worked 6am-2pm, drive half an hour to pay a $100 deposit for the ink work (turns out both will take around 3 hours each- $150 an hour, you do the math. good thing he has a waiting list, it seems!)

Went to look at a bed, DF agreed with me he does not like the look of it in real life (looked much better in the magazine!) so we did not buy it. saved $600? sort of.

I bought a coffee and a fig & pecan biscuit while waiting for DF, $6.55.

We're going to look at more beds next weekend, will compare prices.

This weekend we're having a barbecue, lots of family coming over. I've already bought a few dips and crackers, i will buy ingredients for salads on Saturday.

planned menu:
balsamic roasted potatoes
bbq meat & vegetables & tofu
pesto pasta salad
garden salad

Tomorrow I must:
- tidy kitchen
- tidy dining/living areas
- tidy deck
- do laundry
- set up spare rooms for guests
- tidy our bedroom
- vaccuum & mop floors