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Archive for May, 2006

Another milestone

May 31st, 2006 at 03:03 pm

Adding up all my various accounts for the end of the month

Cash 14
Chq 165
Bill payer 617
Travel 512
House repairs 406
Russia 767
Energency 626
Bonus Bonds 2440

which comes to a total of $NZ5547. There is something very satisfying about passing the 5000 mark.

I have not totalled all the interest received this month, but as interest rates are quite high in NZ at the moment, I am earning 7.4% on the online emergency savings. This month I got $NZ3.03 after tax.

This month there were 5 paydays, which meant I was able to save $600. So I loosened the purse strings a little and had a chai latte with my friend, $NZ3.50. But I did pass on the decadent chocolate slice.

How Low can I go?

May 30th, 2006 at 02:58 pm

Well, I'm planning my month on the breadline. My plan is to pay all my usual monthly bills, utilities, ISP etc. I also pay my local body taxes and insurance monthly. It generally comes to around $300 total.

Then I plan to withdraw $40 cash each week from my cheque account, which I will use for groceries and other little incidentals. I'm hoping not to withdraw any other money from any of my accounts. If I can do it it should keep the total below $NZ500 for the month. Then I'll run for Parliament, become Minister of Finance and balance the national budget.

Stocking pantry

May 29th, 2006 at 05:06 pm

As I'm single and have a small house I can't stock too much bulk food. Besides I have no car so would struggle to get it all home. So what I do is buy one item for the store cupboard each week. I make sure it's something on special that I will really use, like canned tomatoes or teabags. Then, if I'm having a tight week, I make use of my supplies.

Today I made this recipe out of the pantry and frig.
Cook pasta and frozen peas. Make white sauce with half milk and half drained juice from canned pinapple. Add cottage cheese and pineapple to sauce and heat through. Combine.

Family getting on

May 29th, 2006 at 04:57 pm

Last night I rang my brother as he and sis are no longer on speaking terms. I listened to his side of wanting to take care of dad. I see where he is coming from but he is so goshdarn high handed. Anyone who disagrees with him he calls an idiot. Well, dad has a hair trigger temper too, which is why I don't think it would work for bro to look after him. They always did quarrel about everything.

But last night bro kept his temper and even surprised me by suggesting my travel expenses to see dad should be paid for out of dad's funds. I would like to see dad as much as possible before dementia sets in. Already he struggles to remember gkids. Sometimes I think death would be kinder.

Down to minimum

May 28th, 2006 at 12:18 am

Last night I found another $1 outside the theatre, and this morning I found 5 cents on the way to church (I dropped it in the plate)

The play last night was about some climbers tramped in a hut, and there were some interesting observations about the kinds of things we think we can't do without. It got me thinking about how much i would be able to cut back if there was a real crunch. So I am going to try it for a month, just spending on the bare essentials. I wonder if I can get it down to $NZ500.

I'll be keeping the Internet connection, as email really is essential for me to keep in touch with my family all over the world. Now I'm thinking toothpaste? Cheese? Plenty of people all over the world manage without all sorts of things. However as it's coming on to winter here I don't intend to do without electricity for heating, and the local council would take a dim view of my walking to the reservoir with a bucket on my head and helping myself to water.

So it will be a basic Western amenities existence, but no frills like dining out, movies, and buying knick knacks.

Good beginning to weekend

May 26th, 2006 at 08:58 pm

It's Saturday morning down under. I went round some of the nearby garage sales, but the only thing I bought was a very pretty ring for $2. (Yes I know it's not a necessity, but what's the point of having money if you can't buy something you like now and then) I stopped at the supermarket on the way back and bought

milk NZ1.65
shampoo NZ2.00

There was a phone booth there that I always check out for reject coins (I know, scrooge) I found 30 cents.

When I got back a friend rang to say she had been given tickets to a play and would I like to go with her? So I'm off to gussie myself up.

Wooh hoo!

May 23rd, 2006 at 08:24 pm

Ten dollars! I found me a TEN DOLLAR bill just walking across the supermarket lot. There wasn't anyone in sight, so I put $1 from my wallet into the Blind Foundation collection box and then I bought:

eggs
lentils
carrots
cabbage
bread
peanut butter
cottage cheese
rolled oats

All very good value for money. Then I quickly scuttled to the bank and emptied my wallet into my savings account. $105.15 so far this month.

Milestone

May 22nd, 2006 at 05:29 pm

I now have $2,300 in Bonds. This is equivalent to 3 months sickness benefits. I aim to keep saving until I have a years income saved up.

New clothes

May 22nd, 2006 at 05:26 pm

This morning I walked past a store which was advertising, buy $100 worth of clothes and get a free pair of jeans. In another shop window there was a poster which read "My life changed since I got my Grab jeans." Well, I have had some events that changed my life: death of a parent, birth of a baby, moving to another country, developing a major illness, but I honestly can't say my life has ever been altered by buying clothes, regardless of what I believed as a teenager.

So I walked on to the Red Cross opportunity shop and they were having a $1 a bag sale. I got 3 pairs of trousers, 2 skirts, 2 blouses, 3 jerseys and 1 dress for $2. I don't think I'll need to buy any more outer clothes for a year, only socks shoes and underwear.

Book sale

May 20th, 2006 at 03:24 pm

This weekend we had our annual 24 hour book sale. Nearly all the books were priced at 50 cents, so I got $10 worth, including a copy of the More with less cookbook. The most expensive book I got was a History of rock'n'roll $7.50 for ds. I also got a copy of Psychocybernetics and a book called Money Secrets of the Rich, which I discovered doesn't actually contain much I don't already know. Plus I got some beautiful knitting patterns for 20 cents each.

Weekend away

May 15th, 2006 at 05:35 pm

Dad has been moved back to the hospital in hometown in Central Otago so the family all went up at the weekend. It was fun seeing the neighbours again, I ran into an old schoolfriend who is now raising alpacas. It's getting late in the year for fresh fruit, but I bought some apples and preserved greengages from a roadside stall.

For Mother's Day, sis insisted we all go for lunch in Queenstown. We visited a vineyard with a winery and restaurant attached. As it is between seasons the price was not so bad, NZ22.95. Queenstown is very popular with overseas tourists, but to my mind it is very expensive and not at all typical Kiwi. There is no denying it is very beautiful, tho, and if I ever win lotto and have perfect health, I will buy a lakeside apartment there and spend the rest of my days bungy jumping, skiing and white water rafting.

We looked at some resthomes in the area for dad and found one very nice little one. I think it would be very nice for dad to stay there as long as he can, tho he may eventually have to be moved to a veteran's hospital in the city.

We also talked to the lawyer and a real estate agent about the house. We have had an offer of $200,000 from a builder, but it is obvious he only wants to subdivide the section, so we figured the back lot could be sold for $100,000, to help pay for dad's care, and the house with an eighth acre can be kept for the family to use when they come to visit. That is worth another $190,000, and we will gradually do it up as it is rather neglected. House values are unlikely to drop in the area as it is popular with developers, so by the time it needs to be sold, it should be worth quite a bit.

Altogether I spent about $100, including buying some pillows and towels for dad's house, but it was worth it.

Money coming in

May 11th, 2006 at 06:03 pm

A few little bits of income have come my way in the last 2 weeks. I got a tax refund of $43.83. I got reimbursed by my Toastmasters Club $30 for an ad I'd placed in the newspaper months ago and practically forgotten about. I knitted a scarf for a friend and she paid me $10.

I also got the statement for my retirement account, and it grew by $2,700 last year. I'm now looking for a little part time job, so I can begin contributing again. I can earn up to $80 a week without it affecting my benefit.

I went out shopping for the first time in a while today and had a great find in my favorite thrift store. 5 cones of yarn for a $1 each, 4 of Shetland wool and one of laceweight. It will keep me happily occupied for a long time. They also had trousers on sale at 2 for the price of 1. I will need to get some more as I have lost weight.

Hard to cook?

May 10th, 2006 at 02:02 pm

I have been laid low for the last 10 days, so have been watching more TV than I usually do. There is one ad that bugs the H@#$ out of me. This chef tries to make pumpkin soup for the family, but makes such a mess that he has to buy a can of Campbell's soup. Yeah right, it's so hard to make pumpkin soup that we have to buy expensive convenience foods instead. I was cooking entire dinners and baking bread when I was 12 years old. No wonder people are broke when they lack basic skills and have to buy everything. What do they do with the time they save? Watch more TV? Go shopping? Work harder so they can have enough money to pay for all the conveniences?

Hmmf, reminds me I have a whole pumpkin sitting in the frig. I'm off to make me some soup (and cheese scones - can't buy those in a can)