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How much I get

February 24th, 2006 at 03:14 am

My weekly income at the moment is NZ$173.29. I have my 22 yo son living with me, who pays me $50 each week in rent.(He buys his own food) I intend to save as much of this as possible, and put it in Govt bonds. Then I can say I'm living off the Govt without shame.

The first thing to get rid of is the car, as it is quite old and getting to the stage where it costs more to repair than it's worth. I also have difficulty concentrating on driving on my current meds, so the other road users will thank me. I am eligible for a discount bus pass, and my dr has recommended that I walk as much as possible, so that will be a saving.

My basic living expenses are around $320 a month for rates(property taxes), power, phone, house and contents insurance and phone and Internet connection. I have a Community Services Card which gives me a subsidy on prescriptions. At the moment I am eating a vegetarian diet with absolutely no sugar or any manufactured snacks. I don't eat out much apart from church potlucks, and I don't drink alcohol. It sounds very austere, but I have been to India and since coming back I have lived very simply. I know how to count my blessings.

At the moment I am saving $10 a week for holidays (mainly church camps and retreats, or visting family) I also save $10 a week into what Mary Hunt calls a "Freedom Fund". At the moment I have $980 in it. I also need to look at putting money aside in case I have to make changes to my house or move to a more disability friendly house. I would need to be practically destitue and in a wheelchair before I get any financial help for that. I save a further $25 a month into an emergency fund, which currently stands at $512 in an online bank.

All in all, pretty good. I am so glad I am not renting in our current housing market, and I have the skills to cope. I used to do volunteer work as a budget advisor, and I learned a lot from the mistakes I saw other people making.

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