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Archive for November, 2006

Counting my blessings

November 30th, 2006 at 07:02 pm

Last week I tripped over the phone cord and had a bad fall - my arm was so sore one of my coworkers insisted on driving me to A&E to get it xrayed. Fortunately there was no fracture, but I have a massive bruise on my elbow. However I can still use the arm. I am so glad we have a free hospital system in New Zealand.

End of the month is all good news
I finished knitting a beanie for ds and posted it on time to get cheaper rates.

Income for Nov was the highest it has been in a looong time; $1353.20, and i spent only $668.23. Woohoo saved 50% of my income!

AND the boss asked me if I would be willing to work 30 hours a week until Christmas. My doctor is agreeable to me giving it a trial, so who knows? Maybe next year I will be able to get back to full time work.

Happy

November 25th, 2006 at 08:03 am

Today I decided to clear up my files and put all my papers in order. While I was sorting them out, I came across the letters stating that my mortgage and my student loan had been paid off. I got happy all over again remembering I am debtfree. True, things have not gone so well in the last few years, but I haven't been forced to borrow again, plus the value of my house has gone up. I have had the security of knowing my roof is secure and I have been able to cope on such a low income.

To all you working so hard to pay off debt, keep at it. It really is worth while. You are going to feel so proud of yourself.

Study can increase your income

November 22nd, 2006 at 05:02 am

One good thing about living in a university town, they are always wanting people to participate in studies, and are usually prepared to pay them. Today I took part in a study on motor control at the Psychology Dept. Very simple; all I had to do was sit at the computer and press either the left or right key, depending on whether a white cross or a green dot came up. Took me 30 minutes and I was given $25. I have to go back next week to do another test, and will recieve another $25 then. I put $5 in my wallet, and am planning to save the rest.

Goals for 2007

November 18th, 2006 at 04:09 am

Having posted my goals on Forum, I will put them here where I can keep an eye on them.

1. Save up $5000 in Emergency Fund. Currently at $1380. OMG, have to find $60 a week to get there by DEcember next year.

2. Find a permanent job and save 10% of gross for retirement. The govt saving regulations are changing next July, so may only be allowed to save 8%, in which case, the remainder goes into mutual funds.

3. Pay for essential house repairs in cash. Have $450 in the Freedom Fund at the moment and saving $30 a week.

If I meet all these, I will allow myself the reward of a trip to Australia in December. I have somewhere I can stay for free, so only have to come up with airfare. (Starts searching out budget fares)

Being careful

November 18th, 2006 at 03:31 am

Today is damp and misty. I slipped on the path outside and now am nursing a very sore elbow. I'm thankful it wasn't any worse- can still use arm to do knitting and use computer.

The problem was my sneakers, they are very old and worn. So I decided I had better get some new ones and found a pair in Dowsons for $19.95. Grey and yellow. I found 10 cents outside the store.

When I got home my latest power bill had arrived. Because I am now out of the house during the day, it was only $59. I am very pleased as the last few have been quite high.

End of the week

November 17th, 2006 at 07:50 am

As New Zealand is ahead of the rest of the world, I have finished the working week before everyone else!

Today I found 30 cents at the bus stop, and spent $nz1.20 coming home from work.

I went out for a potluck tea with some friends tonite. I made my lazy cook's fudge;

Melt 4 oz butter, stir in 2tbs sugar and 1 tbs cocoa powder. Cool slightly and beat in 1 egg. Crush one packet Girl Scout cookies and mix the butter with the crumbs. Press into a foil lined baking tin. Refrij for several hours (overnight if poss). Next day cover with chocolate icing and cut into squares.

As I had all the ingredients at hand it didn't cost me anything.

How'm I doing?

November 16th, 2006 at 05:54 am

So the current situation stands as follows:

Check a/c 118
Bill payer 518
House repairs 429
Travel 223
Bonus Bonds 1360

TOTAL 2648 + some cents I haven't added yet.

On Feb 1st I had $3216.38, so it looks as if I've gone backwards, but some of the money I had before was earmarked for spending anyway. (The point of an Emergancy Fund is to use it in an emergency, right?) Still, I wonder if I can get back up to $3000 by the end of this year?

Good luck

November 16th, 2006 at 05:36 am

I've been reading a book called "The Luck Factor" by a British professor of Psychology who has been doing research into why some people are lucky and others aren't. Basically it's a question of how you look at things. Lucky people are optimists and unlucky are pessimists. One of the things he gets people to do to become luckier, is to keep a journal where they record lucky things that happened.

I guess this is what I'd like to do with this blog - concentrate on the positive. Each little bit of progress helps me feel more prosperous. So here's the good news for today:

I found 90 cents.
The only money I spent was at the support centre - a 20 cent donation for a cup of tea.
The manager asked me about my long term plans and dropped a hint I may be asked to stay on as a permanent worker if things stay busy.

Little by little

November 15th, 2006 at 07:31 pm

because a dollar saved now will bring me 5 cents a year forever. I now have $1360 in Bonds. Walking to work I found 50 cents, and on the way back, one of the opportunity shops had a "six items of clothing for a $1" deal. So I got a wool jersey, 2 skivvies, 2 summer tops and a skirt. i also got a big bag of milk powder for $nz7.10, so shouldn't need to spend any more on groceries. I have $9.70 left in my wallet - i wonder if i can gothe rest of the week without spending it?

My Net Worth

November 15th, 2006 at 04:45 am

Let's see if I've done this right



I chose to use my frugal grandmother's name and hope she would be proud of me. I am 3rd in my income group, 8th in occupation group, but only 62nd for age. Since granny lived to be a fit and healthy 90 yo, I have time to save ahead of me!

Old Age Cometh

November 14th, 2006 at 07:14 am

so I am preparing. In New Zealand, everyone over 65 is currently guaranteed an income which is roughly equivalent to what I earn now ($nz260 a week). However, with the aging Baby Boomers, there are suggestions the retirement age will be increased or the amount may be cut. i would rather have less money now, while there is still a chance to earn and save more, than have less in my old age when I can't work to supplement my income and my health problems will be worse so bigger doctor's bills.

I redid my budget so I can put aside $20 a week into my retirement scheme. Hopefully that will be over $1000 a year. Alas it all comes out of after tax income; there are no rebates for those who don't have the good fortune to work for an employer who offers a retirement scheme. I don't think the govt wants to encourage us to save; it wants us to keep buying and pay the goods and services tax!
Of course you can bet the politicians made sure their own retirement scheme had a generous dollar-for-dollar subsidy out of the taxpayers' pockets. And when they're retired they carry on with all sorts of perks like free travel. I wonder how many disabled people could live on what a Member of Parliament costs the country.

Byebye Car, Hello Dollars

November 12th, 2006 at 03:28 am

Sis has returned home, leaving her elderly bomb behind for me in exchange for borrowed money. After some thought I decided to sell it.

Reason 1: it is cheaper for me to catch the bus than run a car

Reason 2: house repairs are currently the highest priority

Reason 3: the medication I am on it is not advisable for me to drive.

One ad in the free paper and four potentail buyers later, $500 in my hot little hand.

Expensive piggy bank

November 7th, 2006 at 07:40 am

Since I have been working for one month and the boss says I will be staying to Christmas, AND I have put another $nz100 into savings, I thought I would look round the shops to see what little holiday gifties I would get for people. I had an idea that the best thing I could get for everybody would be piggy banks.

Well, I went into this new gift shop that's recently opened and saw these very eyecatching glittering silver and gold pigs. Big ones. I thought they would be just the thing for my goddaughter, but when I looked at the price I nearly died. would you believe $nz45.95? I thought the idea of having a piggy bank was to save money. Spending all that dough on something to put your pennies in is ridiculous.

So then I thought I would make some myself out of old plastic containers, and glue pictures of flash cars and fancy houses on them, with some glitter. What do you think? Will my loved ones get the message or will they think I'm cheap?