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Archive for June, 2006

Halfway thru year

June 30th, 2006 at 05:15 pm

Time to inspect the damage caused by ds flitting the nest. Apart from the money I spent on him, this month's expenses came to $NZ646.61 Not bad, could be lower in theory, but since I live on a low income anyway, and have to watch pennies all the time, I tend to rationalise my treats.

Property taxes 87.40
Electric 101.00
Insurance 48.78
Phone 44.78
Internet 27.95
Grocery 113.25
Eating out 18.75
Church 58.25
Household 4.00
Prescription 4.00
Hobbies 5.00
Shoes 29.95
Travel 60.00
Misc. 43.55

However, I am above budget for the first 6 months of the year. To keep within budget I have NZ4,672 to spend for the rest of the year, or 778 per month. I want to see how much of that I can save into my battered Emergency account, so have decided:

Sign up to Stashalong for 6 months and not purchase any more yarn or materials.
Don't buy any more outer clothing.
Restrict use of ATM to one cash withdrawal per week, and pay for all purchases in cash. Once cash is gone, that's it for week.
Eat out only once per month.
Only one trip out of town per month.
Restrict long distance calls to family to once a week.

Click click

June 28th, 2006 at 09:45 pm

One week after ds left, what should arrive in the mailbox for him but a $30 check from Smile City (a New Zealand site) for answering surveys. He'd been trying to get me to sign up to earn himself more points, but I was a bit iffy. After I'd paid the money into his account, I rushed to sign up. i have already earned 127 points just for 5 minutes clicking on banners (over $1)

A wink from the Universe

June 26th, 2006 at 01:39 am

I went to the Fair Trade shop today and saw some earrings I liked for $12.95. When I took them to the counter, the girl said there was 20% off all jewellry. I then asked her what the symbol on the earrings meant. She said "Prosperity!" We had a good laugh, and she wished me a prosperous day. On the way home I found a half dollar by a parking meter.

Change jar

June 22nd, 2006 at 05:40 pm

My change jar is a clay pot in the shape of two begging hands (Sorry no photo) I got it from the church for the mission appeal, but liked it so much I used it myself once the appeal was ended. It holds about $30 in change, then I pay it into the bank.

This month the change jar passed a minor milestone: since the beginning of the year over $100 in found money has passed through its eager little hands - $NZ114.15 to be precise. I gave 10% of that to my church. Maybe I will find $200 this year if the second half is as good as the first.

Life changes

June 19th, 2006 at 03:16 pm

Ds took off for England this morning, and there is every chance he won't be back for a few years, as he may study or get work over there. I am left sitting round swigging endless cups of tea and contemplating the damage to my account. Of course I had to get him new socks and boxers before he left in case he gets strip searched at the airport, and a haircut so his passport photo would look presentable, plus a celebration night out with the family.

Hmm, did I say this was the month of minimum spending? Well, they say life is was happens when you are making other plans. Now I have to make some more plans to either get a housemate or a parttime job. At the moment I am just relaxing and slowly clearing up the mess in ds' bedroom. Then I shall think about getting some money together so I can go visit him in England.

Adventure ahoy!

June 13th, 2006 at 05:10 pm

Out of the blue ds received an offer to go to England, ticket paid for by dad. Great excitement and a furious rush to get things done on time. We had to get an urgent passport. Of course ds having happily blown all his cash on DVDs and satellite TV, despite my best efforts to encourage savings, dear old mum has to come up with the required $NZ300. Aesop should rewrite the fable about the ant and the grasshopper where the ant is too kindhearted to refuse to help the starving grasshopper when winter comes. Never mind, it's a great opportunity for him and I'm really happy. But I shall be lonely when he's gone next week. I shall have to get a housemate, which will help with finances too.

I am now drawing up a list of all the jewellry and things I want ds to buy for me in Europe.

Taxes

June 8th, 2006 at 02:04 pm

Yes tax is deducted from my benefit. At 15%. Plus there is the Goods and Services Tax on everything I buy. And I pay property taxes to the local council. And tax on the the interest earned on my bank accounts. At 19.5%.

Someone told me about this website staplesrodway.com where NZers can check out their own personal Tax Freedom Day. Mine was on May 17 and I paid a total of $3,736.42. So there, I am a contributing member of society. Now I can use the rest of my money with a clear conscience.

I am thankful I don't smoke, drink or own a car.

Pennies from Heaven

June 6th, 2006 at 04:46 pm

Today was very windy. I was struggling past the shopping center when some rubbish blew across my foot. My good angel prompted me to pick it up, intending to put it in the trash. To my surprise it was a scratch-and-win ticket - and it hadn't been scratched! I carefully scatched it off and - ta da! it was worth $5.

It is really neat because I never buy those scratchies. I also found 10 cents by a parking meter. I have been seeing how much money I can find this year, and this brings the total up to $NZ91.65 (We have no notes smaller than $5. It is really nice when I find a gold $2)

More on the Minmum Experiment

June 4th, 2006 at 03:08 pm

Dad had another ministroke on Friday so I went to see him -$NZ60 return fare. Apart from that I have only paid for groceries.

My sneakers are getting pretty worn, so the question is whether I should replace them now, or wear the good leather shoes in my wardrobe. I must admit, I don't wear dress up shoes very often. Comfort is all important as i have to walk a lot for my condition. Lots of people would think themselves blessed to have 2 pairs of shoes.

Bro keeps talking about about the need to preserve dad's capital, which makes me think he is interested in how much he will inherit (has made some poor business decisions and needs a bailout.) I feel very guilty and uncomfortable at the thought if dad dies soon I will inherit over $100,000, but I must admit the money would be very handy. I would have to very careful and not squander what dad has spent his life building up. But really I wish he had taken the time to enjoy it more. He always wanted a trip back to the Old Country, but kept putting it off because he didn't think he could afford it - now he will never go. That makes me sad.