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Archive for March, 2006

Things looking up

March 24th, 2006 at 01:13 am

Dad had to have another minor operation on Monday, but is looking very bright and chipper now. The consultant is definite he needs fulltime care and would be better off in a place where he will have professional caregivers.

Dad has suffered some memory loss, but still remembers enough to take an interest in his affairs, and has been able to discuss his finances. The drs are unwilling to have him declared incapable yet. My sister and I have managed to get things into the hands of an account, and there is a good chance of overthrowing my brother's power of attorney, as dad didn't recieve independent legal advice before it was signed. I was amazed how much money dad did have, but it seems there are also some large sums missing, so we don't know if my brother has already raided his accounts. But he certainly wouldn't be taking an interest if dad wasn't rich.

Oh, well, these things happen in families, I guess, but I didn't think they'd happen in mine. It's sad when you can't trust your own brother.

On a brighter note, I have been attending a Job Club for people with disabilities this week. I have already been told of a job at an office stationery store, so it will be a great help if I can get a parttime job. Mind you, after this last experience, I'm thinking maybe I should spend the lot while I'm still able.

What people will do for money

March 18th, 2006 at 04:19 am

Glad to say dad is out of danger and recovering physically. Sadly there has been some brain damage and he will no longer be able to live in his own home. My sister and I are looking for a nice residential care home.

The horrible thing is that we have now learned my brother, who has drug convictions and has undergone Anger Management for beating his wife, had somehow managed to get Power of Attorney over dad's affairs, and, under the guise of using the money for dad, been raiding his bank accounts. It is bad enough to think we may not have dad much longer, but just ghastly to think my own brother cannot wait for him to die. He was not a perfect dad by any means, but now he is old and helpless and needs care. I hate my brother for taking advantage of him. Dad has been saving this money all his life, and my rotten brother thinks he has a right to it.

At all events, it is a good lesson to make sure I have proper legal safeguards in place, in case I ever lose the capacity to decide my own affairs.

Spending Money 2

March 13th, 2006 at 09:03 pm

This week has seen a major attack on my finances, but I'm happy to say I'm prepared like a good Girl Scout and surviving the storm.

1) I hired a skip and with the help of some friends cleared a load of rubbish out of the basement. That was planned for, but unfortunately the check to the waste disposal disappearred in the mail, so I had to pay a stop check fee of $20 and send another one.

2)My 20 year old fridge packed up and I had to buy a new one. Again, I had the money saved up, and I was able to buy a slightly scratched shop floor model at a reduced price.

3)My dad had to go into hospital. All other trials pale before that. I have my sister staying with me, and our meals are very disorganised, so haven't been able to shop for groceries with the usual care. Also spent quite a bit on taxis. The saddest part is that now my brother is insisting that dad should come and live with him. My sister thinks he is only interested in stopping all dad's money being used on longterm care. I don't know which would be worse in my old age - to have have no money, or to have lots and my children squabbling over it. It certainly has been a good lesson in putting money in perspective.

Spending Money

March 9th, 2006 at 07:54 pm

Today I went to lunch with a friend. I spent $7.20 - and I don't intend to feel guilty about it. Saving money is not about depriving yourself of things that give you pleasure, when you can afford them. There should be a balance between putting money aside for later and enjoying it now.

I had a relative, born in the Depression, who had a mania for saving every possible cent. Not only did he manage to alienate his family, when he finally got to old age, he was unable to relax and permit himself the things he'd promised himself he'd do when he retired. Although he was practically a millionaire, he lived like a renunciate in a cave. Finally when he died his children inherited his money and spent it all on things like trips which he would have enjoyed, but could never bring himself to do.

There is a difference between being frugal and being a miser.

Dieting on the cheap

March 5th, 2006 at 09:24 pm

Over the last 3 weeks I have lost 8 lb. I have another 40 to go (currently 173) My secret is a vegetarian diet and no sweet or salty snacks - at least i don't buy them. I slip up occasionally when I'm having coffee at a friend's. I also do a lot of walking. Not only is the weight falling off, i'm saving money because I'm buying less treat foods. I just don't understand people who say dieting is expensive. Eat lots of oatmeal and beans - they are low in fats and very good for you. And you don't have to buy expensive fruit and veges, potatoes are just fine if you eat them without added fat.

You have to be very skeptical of manufacturer's claims about low fat foods. Most of them have a lot more added sugar which increases the calories. A good site to check out is www.fitday.com You can put in the foods you eat and it will calculate the calories and nutritional value for you.

Trading

March 5th, 2006 at 03:17 am

I knitted a scarf for a friend using some yarn from my stash. She was so pleased she offered to take me to the theater, so I had a great night out for nothing. Hmm, who else do I know that might like to swap favors for nice hand knitted gifts?

$20 Challenge

March 3rd, 2006 at 07:53 pm

Because my money is scattered in different accounts (Can you tell I believe in compartmentalisation) it's difficult to keep track of where my savings are going. So I've decided to keep a total of all the accounts and sum up at the end of the year to see how much I've gained.

On Feb 1 I had

Cash 115.00
Cheque 299.51
Bill Payer 744.32
Travel/holiday 394.50
House Maintenance 790.07
House Alterations 40.00
Russia 515.50
Emergency fund 387.48 (I had an emergency, okay?)

Total 3,286.38

More money

March 1st, 2006 at 06:58 pm

And I just learned i earned $2.51 interest on my online account last month. So I had a think about what I could buy with that. I got some eggs, rice and veggies and made myself a stirfry. Just think, even if I lose everything else, I'll still be able to afford one meal a month.