On my way to work this mornig I found 10 cents. When I got back tonite there were three letters in my mailbox - all from the IRD.
The first said my student loan, which was supposed to have been paid in full in 2002, actually had a balance of $5.13, but they are writing this off so I now officially owe nothing.
The second said I had qualified for an interest write off in 2002 which hadn't been credited, so they would be shortly sending me a refund.
The third contained my refund check - for $14.24.
I was left wondering how much it cost them to process all that little lot and considering how to spend my windfall. The wool sale is now safely over so I quess it will have to go in my EF.
Viewing the 'Money In' Category
On my way to work this mornig I found 10 cents. When I got back tonite there were three letters in my mailbox - all from the IRD.
today the 13th was a lucky day for me. I found .30 cents.
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.
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.
I said all the coins were covered up by the snow yesterday. Today it is all melted and I found 90 cents.
I nearly came out even today. I went to post my tax return and then I remembered; for most govt departments sending in forms is freepost. The IRD asks you to pay for the stamp yourself (maybe they are trying to boost Post Office revenue?). So I went to buy a stamp for nz.50 and on the way back I rescued a 10 cent and a 20 cent from being buried alive. There were roadworks going on and they were lying not far from the hole. Glad the workman didn't poke his head out as I was picking them up or I'd have been embarrassed. Now I wonder, do I have to declare .30 cents as income from the Ministry of Transport?
I found two coins on the way back from church, a ten cent and a twenty cent. I now have a total of nz26.40 in my change jar, so will buy a $25 Bonus Bond tomorrow.
I actually don't collect all that much change. I think if I had lots of it, I would be looking at reducing my spending on sundries, then reducing the amount I got out of the bank. I never have masses of it in the jar - I hate the thought of missing out on even miniscule amounts of interest, so when it gets to about 10.00 I usually stick it into a savings account.
I recieved notification that I earned nz133.98 interest last year. Happy happy joy joy. If I use the 20% discount I get on purchases at the yarn store, I can get some Rowan wool.
Even though it was really cold outside I decided to go to Bible study at church. On my way I found a dollar. Wouldn't it be nice if I got money every time I did. guess a lot more people would go to church.
Was going to make today a NSD, but got a flyer saying pasta was on sale at my local supermarket, so bought 2 packets macaroni. That should keep me going for some time, and I still have .30 left over from my challenge.
this morning I made potato and lentil patties, with the can of tomatoes and tonite I made some gingerbread. I had one or two slices - okay, five. It was good.
And I found .70 cents.
I went to knitting group this morning. Normally we each put in .50 cents for a cup of tea and a cookie. But I found 50 cents on the way, so it didn't cost me anything. I now have a total of $2.10 gone in my jar this week.
Our group is haveing a project to knit baby things for Pregnancy Help. One lady had brought in a whole lot of fine wool, so I took some to knit some little singlets. Babies need wool in our cold, damp winters.
Today I received $28.47 as a tax rebate. Thankyou - I'll put it in my doing-up-the-house-to-sell-it fund.
Brrr it's winter here in godzone. We have had a good frost for the last couple nights. Hard to make myself get out of bed and the power bills are skyrocketing
First bit of good news; I have qualified under the Healthy Homes scheme to have my house given more efficient insulation. given that my house is quite old and I have a disability and a low income. It will cost around nz$900, and I only have to contribute one third of this.
Second bit of good news is I am getting a tax refund of nz$380 - so that will pay for the installation of the insulation nicely
Looking forward to lower power bills
Today I visited the University library at which I have alumna borrowing priveleges. There was a display of rare books, including an 1822 biography of Napoleon and a first edition of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary. He was a character who came up with his own opinionated definitions. The book was open at the one which reads: "stockjobber (ie broker) a low wretch who makes his living buying and selling shares." Given the unregulated market of his day, he was likely correct.
I took out a book on Salt, Health and Diet by a couple of medical professors. I'm finding some fascinating information about the history of salt and the role it played in the economy, as well as the effect on the body. Some snippets:
- Salt is not necessary in the diet. Many primitive tribes don't use it.
- The top cause of death in the 19th Century was apoplexy, or stroke, caused by high blood pressure from eating so much salt preserved food.
- Salt played a role in the South losing the Civil War. They didn't have enough to preserve the meat the troops ate, so the Confederate soldiers were starving and couldn't fight well.
- Manufacturers add more salt, and MSG, to cheap meats like sausages and luncheon meats because it is largely mechanically recovered ground meat and fat, and doesn't have much flavor. Another reason is that salt can absorb more water so they can make it more cheaply.
- Salt makes you thirsty so that is why bars serves salty snacks and fast food giants serve soft drinks. Many manufacturers of salty snacks also own soft drink concerns.
- Cutting down on salt in your diet helps you lose weight. Part of it is loss of body fluid, and also because you are cutting out high calorie foods like chips.
The other book I borrowed was Planet India: How the Fastest Growing Democracy Is Transforming America and the World by Mira Kamdar. Only flicked thru this, but it deals with the effects of jobs offshore on Americans, the rise of the Indian middle classes and the impact of technology on their economy, and the consequences on the poor Indian villages and the landless who flock to the cities for work. Having seen this at first hand myself, I look forward to reading what an Indian economist has to say about it.
Heh, I'm getting the equivalent of another degree - for free. Oh, and found 40 cents coming back across campus. Think I'll start a running tally in the side bar.
I received a check for $29.97, for some remaining holiday leave. Not much, but enough to put a smile on my face. So I splurged on an hourlong phone call to ds in England.
Also recieved an invite from the Brahma Kumaris (the organisation I went to India with) to attend a Self Managing Leadership weekend program, covering purpose, vision, values and goalsetting. Lunch provided and all free. I am looking forward to it.
Now that my old clothes are too big for me, I thought I would try selling some of the better quality ones thru a consignment store. Today a check arrived for one of my suits - $30. I was very pleased as winter is setting in here and I needed a new coat. Set off to the thrift store and found a very nice one for $20. The remaining $10 will be set aside for new underwear.
I have this old pot belly stove in my living room. It no longer conforms to regulations, so I can't use it, plus I no longer have the strength to chop wood for it. I have been planning to get it removed and put in more efficient heating. I was chatting with one of my neighbors about my renovation plans, and he said he would like to have it - he plans to do something with gas with it. He has offered to remove the stove and connected radiator for me, plus he will pay me $100nz. Beats having to pay someone to take it away to the dump.
So the next level of manifesting money was $20. I got the idea to take some books I had down to the 2nd hand bookstore. I made $19, and all the way back I kept telling myself there was another dollar for me somewhere. Well, I stopped at the supermarket and there it was! Lying just by the lottery counter! So I bought a can of tuna and dropped it in the food bank collection can - much more useful to a poor person than buying a lotto ticket. On to the next level, but I think the odds are against me finding $50 in the street I'm going to have to take some form of action.
I have been reading all about mind power and visualizing to achieve your goals for some time, but it always seemed such a complex thing I never kept it up for long. But yesterday I came across this website http://www.themoneymanifestor.com/money.html which outlines demonstrating increasing amounts of money in steps. Well, I decided it should be easy enough to demonstrate a dollar, so sat down and contemplated that for 5 minutes. Then I went for a walk and found coins totalling $1.20! Woohoo, I'm a Master at the first level! Now on with manifesting 10 dollars.
ETA: I just had the thought to check a compartment of a purse I don't often use - and waddya think - I FOUND TEN DOLLARS INSIDE!!!!
Last month saw the start of the academic year, with thousands of students pouring into town, and much beer pouring in the hotels. It does get pretty rowdy during Orientation Week, so I steered clear of the University last week. But I did get to sell some old textbooks - $26.25 in. Good.
Then I attended the market with oh so many stalls selling all manner of interesting bric-a-brac. I bought some magazines, jewellry, and some pain au chocolat and a cheese filled croissant from the Alliance Francaise. $13.50 out. Bad.
I have quickly transferred the other $13 to my online account. From now on, I am only allowed to spend the interest I earn from it on goodies.
Today our town had its annual market day, known as Thieves' Alley. It is a fun occasion with street entertainers, ethnic food, handcraft, second hand and bake stalls. The crowds were too busy for me to get thru, so I looked round the edges. I was a bit disappointed as they seemed to be mostly cheap imported clothing and jewellry. I did see some native plant seedlings for $2 each, but decided I would plant my veggie garden first. There were also some used book stalls, but I kept telling myself they were only after my money, and it was better in my pocket than theirs. I watched a display of belly dancing. Then I found a total of 70 cents on the ground, so decided I would take it home.
I usually shop at the New World nearest my place because I can get reduced to clear fruit and veges cheaper, but when I'm in town I pick up the specials at Countdown, especially canned goods. i spent some time this mornign checking their prices. They have some good deals, but I did notice 2 small packets of milk powder were cheaper than one big one, and their so called special deal on popping corn was more per unit than from the bulk bins. OTOH, their bulk bin of red lentils was more per unit than I pay for a bag at my home supermarket. So it pays to take a calculator. I am working up a price book, but they keep changing the deals round.
When I was going home past the new Domino's Pizza, I found $1.10nz! Maybe I could try living on the money I find in the street! THAt would make my blog famous! I am convinced there is a Power in the Universe that wishes us well, if only we would become aware of it. But the secret is to be willing to share with each other, instead of clutching tight and saying mine, mine, and being envious that others have what we haven't.
For lunch I am having a pb and banana sandwich, and a dish I just cobbled together from half a dozen cookbooks. Toss chopped green pepper, red cabbage, and grated carrot in a little heated oil. Add a dash of vinegar, a spoonful of brown sugar and a generous shake of chili flakes. Clap lid on and leave to simmer until barely tender.
Someone in these blogs linked to violentacres.com and I've just been reading her. Her manner is not calculated to win friends and influence people, but what really resonated with me was her idea of buying freedom by not buying stuff. Not being tied to having to do what the boss says - how wonderful! I know some people think that beneficiaries get money without having to work for it, but being forced to dance to Income Support's tune is no joy either. I don't know any unemployed people who are happy with their situation.
The classic route to Financial Independence - what violentacres did - is to work like crazy for a number of years, climb that career ladder, mazimize your income, and invest that surplus until you have enough to live on. THEN you retire and do all the things you've been putting off because you didn't have time or money. I'm not happy with that. For one thing, my health just won't let me work all that overtime. I was exhausted doing 30 hours a week and had no energy to do anything else. I'd like to start cutting back on work NOW and having time to do the things I enjoy, spend time with friends and family. That work/life balance everyone keeps talking about.
Still, fewer hours means less income, so I'm going to go all Buddhist and start reducing my wants. The less I need to buy, the fewer hours I have to work to bring in the income. After all, there are people in this country who meet all their needs by casual work a few months of the year. I will still be creating a surplus and saving, but it will take me longer to reach the Classic definition of financial independence.
Today I recived my last week's pay along with some holiday pay; total $429.67. I'm putting $200 of this into Bonus Bonds. My emergency fund will stand at $1920.
I gave $5 to the Salvation Army street appeal this morning. I am a firm believer that whatever you give away comes back to you. Sure enough I was walking back home across the Botanic Gardens and I spied a $5 note lying on a bench. No one was around, so I thanked the Universe. That's the quickest return I ever had.
I know some folks have commented in their blogs about getting bills for ridiculous amounts like 15 cents. Well, today I was preparing the invoices for sending out, and I came across a number for very low amounts, even ones for .01 cent, and even for zero, (where nothing was actually sent out, just to let them know it was backordered)
The thing is, when a transaction occurs, the computer automatically spits out the paperwork. So you might have a situation in which you wrote out a check, but accidently transposed the last 2 digits. The computer will record the difference, and send it out on the next bill. It should be checked by the sender, but when you have over 400 invoices to put in envelopes, along with your regular work, there isn't always time to scrutinise every figure. i did cull the silly ones this time.
And hey - who says you can't earn money stuffing envelopes? I got paid nz13 an hour for doing just that this morning.
then the boss decided the place should be put in order for the end of the year, so I was busy dusting shelves. Again, nice money for doing some cleaning.
At the end of the day, the boss had got some fruit cakes in for giving to customers, so he handed each of us one of the leftover ones as a thankyou gift. Yummy!
Boy, working 30 hours a week, especially leading up to holiday season, is really tiring for me. Never mind, got paid $303.03 after tax, of which $80 got paid into my EF and $20 into retirement. Yay for me saving over 25% of wages. Office party was on Friday, so didn't have to cook dinner that night. No gift exchange, instead the bosses donated a bottle of wine and we had a draw for it. I didn't win, but as I can't drink wine with my medication anyway it didn't matter.
Today I am cleaning and doing my laundry. I started to tidy up my closet. Boy, do I have a lot of clothes. I have decided not to buy anything new except socks and underwear in 2007. If I have to buy anything - from the thrift store! - I will throw out some older stuff.
I also tidied up my glory box, where I keep all my craft supplies. I decided I have enough yarn to knit out of my stash all year, and there are some neglected crossstitch projects I can work on to. So instead of going out to the movies or eating out with friends, I will invite them round to my place for a "stitch n bitch".
The other thing I will do next year to save money is work on my garden - planting veggies.
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.
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.
and taketh away with the other. I was informed that anyone with an income of under $nz20,000 last year could apply for a $500 rebate on rates (property taxes). As this most definitely includes me, I hurried to get the forms. And waddya think was written on them?
*if your income last year came from a sickness benefit you must declare any rebate recieved as income.*
in other words, Work and Income is now going to turn around and deduct 70 cents in the dollar from me. And they wonder why people stay stuck in the poverty trap.
Never mind. Payday again tomorrow. I still have $8.40 in cash from this week, and food for a couple days.
Just before I stopped work today the boss said casually, let's keep taking it week by week, shall we? But the agency rep tells me he was very keen to have me stay on. They are coming up to their busy season, so i think I will be working until Christmas.
So my weekly income is now
Work $202 after taxes
Disability allowance $38
The first thing I did was increase the automatic payment to my House a/c to $30 a week. I am also going to put $20 a week aside for purchasing Govt Bonds for my Emergency Fund.
And I need to buy a new printer. I shall have to draw up a little list of things I need.
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