I didn't go out today, so a no spend day - just as well, I have only $7.40 in my wallet. I listened to Indian music and sorted out cupboards. I found my old recorder and some music, so spent a while tootling. Next year I am going to be making my own music instead of buying CDs. I also found a textbook on New Testament Greek which i started to study years ago. I'll spend time with that as well and read the Bible in the original.
Viewing the 'Not Spending' Category
I ran out of coffee last night and had to go without this morning. I had almost made up my mind to forget about quitting caffeine and buy some after work, but, when I got to work there was orange sock yarn on sale. Wow, I never knew I wanted a pair of orange socks, but I have the perfect pattern for them and I really need a pair of orange socks... Oh but if I buy the yarn I won't have enough left to buy coffee, and I'm supposed to be saving money and I have a huge stash already...
So I had a cup at work, then went home without buying any yarn or coffee. Still got $8 in my wallet.
donated my loose change, about $1.50. Found 10 cents on the way home. Apart from that another NSD.
Made it a no spend weekend. This week I am going to eat out of my fridge and pantry. Wonder if I can make it a no spend week?!
So of course the mailbox is chocka with flyers advertising all the wonderful bargains available. I am tempted by the supermarket, but if i buy food on sale I often wind up with more than i need (which is how I have a bulging pantry). Then I eat more than I need, so This week I am ignoring attempts to separate me from my money by repeating my mantra - "there'll always be another sale."
Friday night I went to the supermarket to buy groceries and when I got to the checkout discovered I'd lost my debit card. Yikes!
I abandoned my basket of meat and veg and rushed off to phone the 0800 number. They cancelled my card and said they would send me a new one (at a cost of $10). Unfortunately it takes 3-5 working days to arrive.
So there I was with plenty of money in the bank and no way to suck it thru the ATM. Luckily I have plenty of rice, flour, dried beans, canned tomatoes and a sack of potatoes. My diet for the weekend has been limited but healthy.
I hope my new card comes tomorrow.
and the pounds will look after themselves was one of grandma's most frequent sayings. Today I frugalled thusly:
line dried the washing
roasted the seeds from a pumpkin instead of buying them from the health food store at umpteen dollars for a tiny packet
picked up .20 cents from beside a parking meter
decided not to buy a nz$2 top from the charity shop.
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 am invited to a Mad Hatter's Tea Party next month, so am making this hat from my stash
I am too tightfisted to buy the eyes so will embroider some on.
I got to work earlier than usual today because I caught the early bus, and had to kill 15 minutes round town. The Art Gallery wasn't open yet, I hadn't brought my knitting, it was too cold to hang around outside, so there was nothing to do but inspect clothes for sale and drool at the smell of bacon and coffee coming from the cafes. I didn't spend anything, in fact I even found 10 cents, but it is quite clear town is a place designed to separate you from your money. So now I've got to figure out a way to make trips into town profitable. I could start by only going there on work days, so I don't have to pay extra busfare. Then... hmm, how about learning the flute, so I can busk? Could take a few years before I make any money at it. What's a good way to make money in town instead of spending it? Any ideas anyone?
So I'm standing in the Post Office waiting to buy stamps and idly perusing the headlines of the magazines, as you do, and this Cosmopolitan catches my eye:
The right way to squeeze a pimple
I'm blown away by the amount of knowledge it takes to be a Cosmopolitan girl. Also wondering what marketing genius thought putting that on the cover of a magazine would make people part with their hard earned dosh.
Shortest day of the year. Brr, thank goodness summer is on its way back. I dread my next power bill. I celebrated midwinter by having a NSD - and finding .40 cents. With the change I'd already saved up, that made nz$8.90 to go into my travel a/c.
Here's an idea I read about ages ago. Since this is the shortest month make it one where you spend as little as possible. We're talking basics here; only groceries, utiliities, transport and health care. Keep the eating out and movie going till later in the year after you have saved up a comfortable cushion. I reckon I should be able to save 50% of my income this Feb. This is where the scrooge genes I inherited from grandma come into play.
So on Saturday I saw an ad for some nice cotton tops, only $14. Gee I wanted one, even though I didn't need it, but I wasn't going to make a special trip to town to buy one. I figured if it was meant to be there'd be one left for me. Today I made my usual trip and looked in the store, but... they had sold out. Phew, money saved. I'm quite happy about it, maybe because today has been quite cold and wet, definitely not cotton top weather.
if you feed the hungry. At this morning's service we had an infant dedication followed by morning tea with andwiches and all manner of goodies. Then this evening we had a baptism followed by supper with samosas, savories and all manner of goodies. I didn't need to cook at all today. Don't understand why more people don't come to church
Today was a good day for saving money. I hung the laundry out on the line, opened all the windows to let the natural air conditioning thru, enjoyed some free vitamin D on my skin and thanked God he doesn't charge us for universal power.
Now's the time of year when I normally go into whirling dervish mode, pulling contents out of cupboards, cleaning them and then often as not, donating them all to the Sally Army, only to buy a fresh load of stuff to fill up the spaces. The sight of all the new stuff in the shops makes me think my stuff is old and tired and needs to be replaced, when in fact it will last for years with care. I don't really need new summer clothes and curtains, it's the advertisers who make me feel discontented. I firmly remind myself of Dave Ramsey's mantra; live like nobody else now and later on you can live like nobody else.
The supermarket down the road has a notice up. From Monday they are going to charge 5 cents a bag for plastic shopping bags. For the sake of the environment, of course - nothing to do with the bottom line.
Not that it makes any difference to me, I bring my own bag anyway. But I do wonder what the charity shops that ask people to give them their leftover bags will do.
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.
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.
I remeber when we first came to this country nearly forty years ago, there was no weekend shopping. There was an old joke about the American who arrived on Sunday and found New Zealand closed. Only the corner dairies were open for people to get milk, bread, icecream and cigarettes. No shops open on public hols, when it was a long weekend like Easter, the shops could be shut for several days. How things have changed. Now every day of the year you can see people stocking up for a siege.
I have fallen into the habit of dropping into the supermarket on my way home from church and picking up something from the deli. I also wander through the mall if I am in town to change my library books (tho I rarely buy anything there.) I have decided to make Sunday a day of rest and give up shopping. I am not going to die if I have to wait 24 hours for something.
ETA I found I had run out of laundry powder but rather than buy some I opted for a rest from laundry as well.
and I seem to be the one person in the country who hasn't bought a ticket. Everyone is talking about what they'll do if they win. The odds are 1 in 16 million - that's four times the country's population. I picked up 10 cents outside the Lotto shop - more than most people will win.
It is still drizzling outside so I decided to stay home and do my tax return. I wound up doing a major search of all my papers becuase I couldn't find the reciepts for my charity donations. In the process of going thru my filing cabinaet, and turfing a lot of old stuff in the process, I wound up with properly sorted and labelled categories. Now I have to stop myself from just shoving stuff in the miscellaneous folder.
BTW, I did find my reciepts.
A friend has this old hand knitted jersey he's very fond of. He complained to me the cuffs and neckband were wearing out and asked if I could do something to mend it. They were quite ragged, so I unravelled them and knitted up new ones using some old wool I had. Result, one smart looking jersey. He was very pleased.
I think poeple who know these skills are going to be frequently called on in the coming months.
NSDs that is, if you don't count a direct debit to pay the credit union loan. The weather this week is horrible, yucky sleet and hail. I am not at all tempted to go out, so it looks like tomorrow will make it a hat trick. Of course I haven't received the electricity bill yet...
I briefly considered giving it up and drinking water, then I went and bought more coffee. nz2.50. I'll save on something else. No point having piles of money if I can't have what I like with some of the excess.
I have these periodic savings binges where I stop spending on virtually everything to save money, but that's not sustainable long term. I actually enjoy spending money on something I want, even if Depression-raised family voices keep telling me I should stick it under the mattress, in case I need it more later. I have no intention of being a multimillionaire centenarian full of regrets for how I deprived myself. So I'm planning to go on a retreat at Easter after my Lenten frugality.
Fourth one this month - an average of one a week. Will see if I can make it 8 nsd next month. The less often I'm in the shops, the less I'm tempted to spend.
Guess where I had breakfast this morning? At the casino! I won a $10 meal voucher on the radio, so had myself a very nice plate of bacon and eggs. I have never been in a casino before. It was all very ornate gold decoration, but not many people playing at that time of the morning. There were quite a number of senior citizens. I wonder if they play the pokies, or were just there for a cheap meal. I didn't try any of the machines, I'm sure it's far too easy to get addicted.
You are supposed to get dressed up to enter, so I had my smartest top on, but I observed a lot of people who looked quite casual. The idea is to deter people who can't afford to lose, but I don't think it works. Last year there was a case of a professional woman who gambled away millions of dollars embezzled from her employer, and no doubt she was very smartly dressed.
As I was leaving a priest came in. My imagination ran riot - it must be very good to go to a casino if you are a writer.
abeautiful day, hard to believe we are in the middle of winter - it is almost like spring, with the primulas coming out. We have been very lucky with the weather, a gorgeous Indian summer and a mild winter, apart from one very nasty week of sleety stuff. If this is global warming, bring it on!
When I say I work for a power company, peopele immediately start moaning about how high their electricity bills are. Of course they are all convinced they don't use much power. If they were to go around their house and make a list of all the items they have that run on electricity, they would be surprised. Since beginning this job I have learned the importance of reading the meter daily. Once you know what your usage is, if you find you get a higher use (mine is at weekends) then you can think about what you are doing differenctly.
And if you're still convinced that it's not you - there's something wrong with the meter, here's a test you can do. Go round and switch off all your appliances, incl your hot water. Then switch off at the mains. Wait for 10-15 mins and the little disk should stop moving. If it's still going there may be a fault with the meter, but usually faulty meters slow down or stop. Switch back on, then plug in your applicances one at a time, checking the dial between each new one. If you find the dial really speeds up when you plug something in, you need to look at getting a more efficient model. Hope this advice helps.
Didn't blog yesterday because I was late back. It was raining in the morning and I had some wet washing, but I didnt use the dryer - I put it all on the clothes horse, then lit the fire, using wood chopped from my trees, and also cooked lunch on top of the stove.
Im the evening I went to a barbecue, having made quiche and beetroot salad. After eating we watched Jailhouse Rock. Elvis plays a character who wants money above all else, but learns the hard way that love is more important. I have to go out more now that I live alone, but I'm keeping the entertainment down to such simple things, rather than big screen movies and restaurants.
This morning I was listening to the radio and this Chinese herbalist said NOT to use shampoo to wash your hair. She claimed all that is necessary is to wash it in water in the shower every morning. Well, I'm always on the lookout for tips to save money, so I'll do as she suggested and give it a month's trial. I have very fine problem hair and have spent a lot on fancy shampoos over the years. I wonder if many other listeners will give it a go - there could be a dip in shampoo sales for the holidays!
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