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Archive for September, 2010

This is the way we earn our pay

September 30th, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Today is the day of the big tax changes, hailed by our Minister of Finance as the most important in 25 years. Goods and services tax goes up 2 and 1/2%, and income tax is lowered, in my case the bracket goes down 3 and 1/2%. With an income of less than nz$20,000 pa I really don't expect to see much significant difference.

The govt says this is being introduced bacuse it is fairer, I suspect, as I grow more curmudgeonly in my old age, it is because they hope people will spend more and get the economy moving again. Also, with sales tax, they can hand on much of the cost of collecting it to the business owners instead of govt employees.

Be that as it may, I can only control my personal economy. I continue to be one of those scrooges who are sitting on their bank account and deepening the recession. I did a little stockpiling last week before the prices went up, of toothpaste and canned tomatoes. I was looking for a double bed to buy, but couldn't find one I liked.

The changover of prices is a major hassle for retailers. My local supermarket has a notice up saying problem postponed over the weekend. At work, like many other places, the owners have decided to take the opportunity to review prices and stocktake. Much of my day today was taken up counting tubes of buttons (yes, every button had to be counted) and deciding whether the price should be rounded up another 5 cents. This is important skilled work, bud - you need a university degree for this. My poor back is aching after standing all day on a concrete floor.

Come here little stove...

September 27th, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Today was a nice warm day so I walked into town. On the way I found a whole FIVE DOLLARS!!! I rushed to the bank straight way and deposited it in my house account which I'm saving to redo my kitchen. It will pay for five minutes of the carpenter's time. Now if only I could find five thousand dollars...

Spring cleaning

September 26th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

In the past at this time of year I have gone into whirling dervish decluttering mode, tossing out piles of stuff - only to wind up regretting some discards and buyign tons more junk to refill my empty shelves.

So this time I'm taking it slowly and making absolutely sure I don't want something before I get rid of it. I tidied my shoes and gave two nice but never were comfortable pairs to charity - hope they fit someone better than me. I sorted my cookbooks and gave some I never use to the annual booksale. And went through a big pile of papers and binned some that were no longer relevant. Now I'm relaxing with a cup of tea and surveying the rest of my possessions. I quite like the clothes I have and they're in good condition. So I'll hang onto them and only replace when they're worn. I've done quite well over the last few months at not buying stuff (three months without buying yarn!) so resolved to be satisfied with what I have, and only allow anything new into the house if I get rid of something old. This is a small house, so I really can't have tons of stuff in my closets. I will go for minimalism and much savings.

Of course, there's still ds's room with all his gear, waiting for him to come back and take it away...

I quit

September 25th, 2010 at 01:51 pm

Iwent out to dinner with some friends last nite - all you can eat for nz$17. After we'd stuffed ourselves with mains, one guy wanted to go out for a smoke. So I said if he quit tobacco I'd quit sugar - so no dessert for me!!! He didn't think that was a big enough sacrifice and asked if I'd give up coffee. Hmm, the difficult I am willing to try, but the impossible... we will see. After I've been a month without sugar and he keeps up the nonsmoking, I will find another smoking friend and trade giving up coffee.

At the movies

September 23rd, 2010 at 11:44 pm

I made my annual trip to the movies last night. I saw Wall Street; money never sleeps. A good movie, but my gosh I am getting old. All I could think was that Michael Douglas looks incredibly like Kirk, and most of the younger actors I'd never heard of.

A monster ate my brain

September 13th, 2010 at 01:13 am

I am invited to a Mad Hatter's Tea Party next month, so am making this hat from my stash

http://www.cyn.ca/knit/patterns/brainmonster/

I am too tightfisted to buy the eyes so will embroider some on.

Short supply

September 9th, 2010 at 11:32 pm

There are notices in the supermarkets saying because of the earthquake affecting the distribution center in christchurch, there may be shortages of some items. The only thing I noticed a bit low was some brands of canned fish. No sign of people stockpiling or panic buying so far. I have my little store of crackers and beans.

High finance

September 6th, 2010 at 08:31 pm

Ugh, spring. With erratic earthquakes, howling high winds and dismal downpours - who needs it? It can go back where it came from. I stayed at home and read something absolutely fascinating - my bank statement. Last month I earned nz$1.02 on my FI account. Goody goody, now I can afford a new toothbrush every month without depleting my net worth.

Also I have $9.50 in change to put in the House a/c. And the mailbox just yeilded up an invitation to attend a seminar on Forex speculation - oops, investing. Free drinks and nibbles. Ah, the joys of being a capitalist and a landowner.