Home > Archive: December, 2007

Archive for December, 2007

Happy New Year

January 1st, 2008 at 04:34 am

Today was a lovely sunny day. My support group went for a drive to the Peninsula and looked round a historic town. I virtuously refrained from buying an icecream or soft drink. Then we went to someone's place with a lovely view of the beach for a barbecue. I paid nz12.50 for my share of transport and food. Yes I could have stayed home and not spent the money, but who wants to be rich with no social life? Not me! I'll enjoy my modest treats - after a meal at a restaurant could cost me 3 times that amount - and find other ways to cut costs. I find if I try to deprive myself too much I wind up having a backlash and going on a spending binge.

Last night in the enthusiasm of setting resolutions I declared I was going to cut out caffeine. Supposed to be good for my health, and I'll save money on tea and coffee and power by not boiling the jug to make it. I woke up with that familiar withdrawl headache and decided to rethink that idea. Too much like deprivation. I have to have my little treats to keep me happy if I'm to feel good about saving money.

12 months later

December 31st, 2007 at 06:05 am

I will probably be the first to bid farewell to the old year and see in the new, so time to sum up the year's achievements and consider what lies ahead.

Balance sheet
Cash 44
Check 22
Bill payer 385
House repairs fund 185
Online a/c 317
Emergency fund 3,400

Difference from 31 Dec 06 - saved 779. In addition I paid 1040 into retirement savings. So from a piddling income of just under 12,000 I saved 15%. I am quite chuffed with myself.

I didn't reach my goal to have 5,000 saved in the EF but that was because I had an emergency! Despite the difficult year, things have improved overall. Next year I will be wanting more liquid funds to cover expenses of selling and buying a new home and shifting. I also have 5,000 in the Credit Union for a trip to Britain. It looks like it will be a year of blackbelt tightwadding and one month of living it up in July. I am going to blog more often to keep me on track, maybe start listing my daily expenses. Today was a no spend day apart from .20 donated to a charity box.

Talking it up

December 19th, 2007 at 08:58 pm

Some of my friends have been complaining about not being able to contact me on the phone, so I decided it was time I finally sidled reluctantly into the 21st Century, like a little crab coming out of its shell, and got myself voice mail. i signed up for the standard Telecom package of call minder, call waiting and caller ID for nz$10 a month. Unfortunately my old phone is a very basic one I bought at The Warehouse 6 years ago and doesn't support caller ID, so I bought a new cordless Uniden for nz$89. Ouch! But I've been having fun programming it - now my best friend is trying to talk me into a cell phone. Sure I'd like to have all these wonderful things like digital cameras, but I noticed my new phone is only guaranteed for 2 years - the same length of time as the rechargeable battery!! It will take me that long to figure out how all the functions work. I guess by the time the warranty runs out there will be some new technological marvel I need to update to. What concerns me is what happens to all the now useless gadgets. I guess they get shipped off to China and some poor person gets exposed to toxicity while disassembling it. I try to reduce the amount of stuff I buy because of concern for the environment, but if I'm to stay in contact, especially now most of my family lives overseas, I have to have some of the new bells and whistles. So we are all dragged along by the pace of change willy nilly.

A hairy one

December 16th, 2007 at 04:05 am

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!

Getting crafty

December 13th, 2007 at 08:06 pm

I decided to turn ds' room into a hobby room/office, so today I sorted out my hope chest where I keep all my projects. I found some nice material I bought to make a skirt. My neighbor admired it and said she had some old patterns, so I had a look through and found one I liked. All I needed was a zipper, and I got one at the Salvation Army for nz.50 cents. Sewing notions are sooo expensive it's hardly worth making your own clothes nowadays. Patterns too. I found one pattern I bought years ago intending to make a top - you could date it by the power shoulder pads.

I also looked through my yarn. I can tell where I'm at in my life by how my knitting is going. At the moment I'm doing miles of boring stockinette in a neutral color, so the next project will be something a little more exciting. I have a big stash to keep me going for a looong time - in fact, I even gave some away. Gasp. But I asked myself the question, if I had the money again would I buy this? The answer was definitely not, so off to a group knitting blankets for Roumanian orpahnages. Crafts are wonderful outlets for creativity, and I think they are spiritual too, but hoarding supplies can get out of hand. No more impulse snapping up of this and that because "I'll use it one day." From now on I'll decide what project I want to do and then shop for that. Some of that yarn has been sitting in my hope chest for 5 years.

Can't spend this

December 9th, 2007 at 07:34 pm

Today was a no spend day. I looked through my coin collection of foreign money I recieved in change or found under parking meters. I have

$16.85 Australian
6.03 US (plus a Kennedy half dollar - are those legal tender?)
2.70 Singapore
10 rupees Indian
1.91 Canadian
Stg3.50 UK
4.50 Fijian

plus coins from Austria, Falkland Islands, Samoa, Eire, France, Indonesia, Netherlands, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Switzerland, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Be nice if I could get to all those countries to spend the money.

Ma, look what I wrote

December 6th, 2007 at 07:44 pm

Because I am using mental health services, I am entitled to attend the local art centre for therapy. I started today with a creative writing class. We looked through glossy magazines for phrases, and I wrote two poems.

Designer Life
It's that time of year to age beautifully
Take a basic quick mix hanging garden
Add an easy care formal contrast funky handbag
Avoid chandeliers - they cause skin damage
Elegant glasses and dramatic dresses
should not be left in direct sunlight
Team a stained glass window with a classic jacket
for squeaky clean tender barbecued asparagus
Look as young in your pergola
as you do in your silk shirt
Use your no hassle trimmer
to make a decadent golden cake
for a balmy climate

The other sounds quite depressed, but I'm slowly coming right.

The Last Shop
We retail black
You can call it burnt charcoal
or ethnic ebony
and we'll charge an extra $300
but when all's said and done
lie down in the box
in your black polyester work pants
or your strapless little black dress
There'll be no money in your pocket
just white bones in black earth

Missed out

December 5th, 2007 at 07:37 am

The mad whirl of Christmas parties has begun. Today my Bible Study group had an end of year function, also to say farewell to a couple who are moving. We went for morning tea at a cafe nz$7.00. I had some scrummy ginger crunch. I stopped at the supermarket on the way back to buy some eggs, nz$1.80, and on the back of my reciept was a coupon for a free coffee at the very cafe we'd been at. Hearty use of words that are in the King James.

Then I got home and in the mail was an invitation to a free lunch with a presentation on making money on the Internet. I suspect some scheme to seperate me from my money, but a free lunch sounded good. Then I looked at the available dates: 3rd, 4th and 5th of December. Hullo, it's the 5th already? What marketing genius in Auckland didn't realize it can take mail 5 days to get here? More use of Authorized language.

November's tally

December 2nd, 2007 at 08:21 am

looks spectacular. I was very careful to spend only on needs, not wants, as I'm saving for Christmas.

Total Income nz$733.26
Expenses $491.24
Savings 242.02

Groceries 100.76
Donations 37.70
Clothes 3.90
Meeting friends for coffee 25.70
Medical 23.00
Local body taxes 90.67
Phone & ISP 67.74
Insurance 49.45
Power 75.00
Misc 17.32

When I go to the shop I feel like the Greek philosopher who went to the market and commented "who would have thought there could be so many things I have no need of." I have basically lost interest in spending money apart from meeting friends for coffee - and I'm reconsidering that expense. I'd rather save up and have a big decent trip than fritter it all away on little bits and pieces that give no lasting satisfaction.