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Archive for July, 2009

PhD

July 30th, 2009 at 01:45 pm

Piled higher and deeper. In cash, that is. This month I had 3 biweekly paydays and 5 weekly paydays, plus tax refund, so nz$1563.91 going into the a/c. That seems like sooo much money after what I've been living on. I now have $1482 altogether in my various sinking fund categories.

Repairs 968
Xmas/gifts 18
Medical 117
Clothes -20 (how did that happen?)
Dentist 193
Travel/hols 195
Entertainment 11

I have a trip to the dentist coming up soon, otherwise I'll just keep piling the money up.

Souper

July 30th, 2009 at 12:41 am

The Asian greengrocer was selling soup bags of old vegetables for nz$1. I got carrots, parsnip and tomato, and added some pasta, parsley and a touch of chili. Very comforting on a frosty nite.

My interesting plan

July 29th, 2009 at 05:32 pm

I used an online calculator to work out how much I would need to save. At current interest rates, to replace the sickness benefit of $nz190 a week, I would need nz200-300 thousand. That seems so much I got depressed wondering how on earth I could possibly reach that amount.

Then I realised, at the moment I earn $139 a week in the hand, so to get up to $190, I only have to have nz51 a week interest coming in. Much more manageable - smiles again.

The traditional route calls for investing in somewhere like the stock market and letting your gains compound. This does not work for me becuase of the abatement regime. I need to have use of the interest to avoid being squeezed.

So what I am going to do is start paying my savings into an interest bearing investment. As the amount of interest paid to me rises, so the amount I am recieving from the govt will go down. And I can carry on paying a percentage from my jobs into Kiwisaver for retirement. Sorted!

Right to privacy?

July 28th, 2009 at 11:59 pm

There is a big stink going on at the moment caused by a politician's decision to release the welfare detAils of 2 women who criticised the govt.

http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/privacy-issues-stir-bennett-...

I'm not happy at the thought if I decide to go public on an issue my file may wind up on the minister's desk and then splattered all over the media leaving me to be villified by talk back hosts and bloggers. Hey, some people are convinced that everyone who recieves disability is a malingerer.

When someone applies for public assistance to which they are legally entitled, they have to give a great deal of private information - one reason I'd love to get off welfare. Amounts to which people are entitled can easily be worked out if you know their circumstances, but also you have to inform the govt dept about details of child support, p/t jobs, financial assets, etc. Is a welfare recipient entitled to expect those details to be kept confidential? And what about medical conditions of people on disability? Are they to be discussed in the media?

So even though I have a bigger income now, I'm still determined to keep costs down and save as much as possible. Every dollar closer to financial independence makes me less dependent on the govt and the whims of some politicain. It seems a very long way off on what I have now - but I will make it happen, some day.

Temptation

July 28th, 2009 at 12:28 am

Life is hard sometimes. Especially when I'm coming home from my evening cleaning job and I'm hungry and I have to go past all the fast food joints in our area. The thought of going home and waiting while I cook up a meal makes me want to give in and buy some pizza or a burger more often than I should.

So I'm taking action. Before I leave for work I put a banana or some raisins or some other snack in my bag and nibble on it as I walk past the Chinese takeaways. On a cold night it's not as comforting as fries would be, but it works.

Maybe next winter I could get a thermos and fill it with really thick soup? At least I didn't spend tonite and I found 10 cents outside the Indian restaurant so I came home richer than I went.

Spring's on the way

July 27th, 2009 at 12:15 am

My knee is improving so I limped down to the supermarket for bananas. The sky was blue, the sun shining and the temp up to 12 degrees C. There were birds singing and I saw little buds on my neighbors plum tree. Only August to go and then it will be spring! Happy happy.

Down the road I saw one of the young men renting had a for sale sign on his car. Only $nz5000. Just think, if I wanted to use up my EF or use the money I put aside for house painting, I could pay cash for that. Buying another car isn't high on my priority list at the moment, but it's nice to know I could afford one if I want to. As the poet said, how pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho, how pleasant it is to have money.

Ouch

July 25th, 2009 at 07:10 pm

Today was a very frosty morning. My neighbor is away for the weekend, so I went over to feed her cat, and slipped on her path. So now I am hobbling around with a sore knee. All's well that ends well - I can't go out and spend money. Instead, I started on making Christmas presents. Everybody is getting hand knitted sox this year.

Emergencies

July 18th, 2009 at 08:58 pm

It's not just the financial kind that hit. On Tuesday there was a robbery at a nearby bank, on Wednesday there was an earthquake. and last nite it snowed again. Best to be prepared for a few days coping on my own, so I filled up some containers with water and am now slowly filling a box with canned food and a first aid kit, torch, radio etc. And a couple hundred dollars in cash just in case (gold bars are too heavy)

How do I rate?

July 16th, 2009 at 04:10 pm

and now there's a new reason for saving. The rating agency Fitch is looking at downgrading New Zealand's credit rating because our national debt levels are so high. That means higher interest rates on money borrowed overseas. They say increasing household savings will help reduce the current account deficit.

I'll let the economists argue about it. I still reckon it's good for my personal economy.

Helping the economy

July 13th, 2009 at 09:37 pm

According to the latest news, the governor of the NZ Reserve Bank is urging Kiwis to save and pay off debt in order to help the economy recover. He reckons the property market is recovering here, but if everyone rushes out to buy a house we will get back into a spend and borrow mode and the recession will last longer because the national debt is so high.

Quote:
Bollard said that increased household saving would have the added advantage of providing a more stable source of funds for business investment and expansion, reducing reliance on foreign funding. This would contribute to more stable and lower interest rates, thus promoting a more sustainable growth path

Full story here
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/2591808/Kiwis-must-save-Boll...


I am feeling very virtuous and patriotic.

Happy birthday to me

July 12th, 2009 at 02:55 am

I am forty eleven years old. I celebrated by going for a pancake brunch with friends.

Law of Attraction?

July 11th, 2009 at 01:19 am

Yesterday I watched the video The Secret with some friends. I was a bit sceptical about the law of attaction idea, but decided to do some experimenting to see if it works. So just before I went to sleep I spent a few minutes focusing very hard on drawing the sum of one dollar to myself.

This morning I was on my way to work and as I passed a phone booth I had a sudden impulse to check it for change. Inside I found two fifty cents!

I often find coins so that's not unusual in itself, but it's odd I found exactly that amount right at that moment. I shall carry on experimenting and see if it works with larger sums.

Stamp of customer approval

July 7th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

I noticed when I got my phone bill today that the usual free return enveolpe now requires a stamp. I wonder how long they've been doing that. Not that it matters to me - I pay by direct debit, but I bet it caught some folks out. Maybe they are trying to discourage customers from sending checks which are more time and trouble to process.

When they first introduced the dd option, they offered a 1% discount, which is why I signed up. After a while that was changed to an entry in a monthly prize draw for things like a years free phone use.Now I don't think there is anything. Wouldn't you think in these hard economic times they'd want to be nice to their customers. But no, I guess the next step will be to do away with the return envelope.

Actually there is an option to recieve your bill on line now, which I already do with my power bill. I think I will sign up for it and save a couple trees.

The cookie trap

July 6th, 2009 at 01:23 am

I did morning teas for church yesterday and bought some chocolate sandwich cookies. Today I am eating the remaining cookies. I used to be satisfied with one, now the manufacturers are making them much smaller, so I eat 2 or 3. Ruinous on both the pocket book and the waistline.