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Need to get focused...

April 8th, 2017 at 03:54 am

Since I have been debt free, I haven't been as disciplined with my spending as I used to be. If I could still be doing what I used to be doing when I was in debt, my savings balance would look amazing!

So I am going to try again and maybe by being accountable here it will help to keep track of what I am doing everyday and what I focus on.

My shifts have changed so I won't be doing a daily entry but even 3 times a week will be better than nothing at all.

My goals for 2017 weren't even properly done until today when I decided to start blogging again.

So here goes:
1. Finish my Post-graduate degree by October 2017
2. Save $12,000 towards my retirement
3. Sewing machine replacement fund $5000

Decided to add the sewing machine goal - maybe if I have something that is really important to me I will stop wasting and making impulse buys.

Savings Increasing...

August 12th, 2016 at 11:49 am

When God has a plan, and we are willing to go along everything works perfectly. Just after my last entry, my aunt gifted me $7000 quite unexpectedly. When she told me I was so astounded that I was speechless - it took me days to really get my mind around it. Gratitude and more gratitude - that is all I can say.
All the money was saved! $1000 into the Mini EMF. $6000 into the Retirement Savings. Done!
I am so grateful that I am debt free otherwise all of it would have had to go to paying down debt.
Haven't had much time to blog, the study load this semester is just huge. Have spent more than I should on takeout because of deadlines for assignments and projects. And of course haven't been able to work any additional shifts. Keep telling myself it will all be over in 3 months time and then I can have my life back!!
Love reading everyone's daily entries - gives me a break from the books! Take care...

Saving Advice increases my productivity...

July 10th, 2016 at 09:37 am

...otherwise I have nothing to write about Smile.
Today I got up late, but determined to have a really productive day - created a To Do List:
Send in a 3 for 1 offer: send the receipt for my free unit for my purchase of 3 bottles of vitamins DONE.
Check email and clear old emails for 10 minutes (only!) DONE
Cook and freeze
- apple crumble (use up the apples in the fridge) DONE
- bran muffins (to take to work) DONE
- chicken pies DONE
Make homemade granola cereal DONE - it is so expensive in the store. Making it from scratch is healthier and more affordable.
DD needs more pillowcases to match her bed linen. She was given a double bed from my aunt and last weekend I adjusted the duvet cover, which I made in December. Fortunately, I embroidered (by machine) extra pieces of fabric so it shouldn't take too long to make the extra pillowcases. DONE
Oh and I also need to make another big pillow - fortunately I have left over fabric and the filling from old pillows. NOT DONE
Worked out my study schedule for the semester and now I really wish I was finished - it is so time consuming. 17 Assignments due by the 26 September and exams start on the 19 October.
My biggest challenge during the semester is balancing everything. Spending time with my daughter, staying on budget, no takeout, making sure I get enough sleep and that my stress levels stay within reasonable levels.

No spend day - yeah!!

Well I now need to get some studying done - see you tomorrow...

Oh my goodness... how things have changed...

July 8th, 2016 at 07:06 am

went to return DVD's today and was about to pop into the convenience store for Coke and a snack and realised that I couldn't or shouldn't being doing any of that anymore. So just got fresh bread and left.Our DVD contract costs us $10.66 per month and allows us to take out 4 DVD's per day as long as they are not in the "New Releases" section. Most months we take out about 60 DVD's so it costs in the region of $0.77 each.
This is our only form of entertainment, as we dont have cable and avoid the movie houses, internet is just for education i.e. link up to dstance university for me and reserach for my daughter.
My last result for the past semester was published to day and I managed 3 distinctions out of the 4 exams I wrote - was so excited as the exams were really tough.
Have already paid my costs for the new semested which starts on Monday R6600 ($440) and my text books came to R2300 ($153). Really not too bad considered that I am going to graduate with an honours program as well.
Todays challenge:
# Tidy away the clutter in the sitting area
# Laundry - 2 loads
# Kitchen - handwash dishes (no dishwasher), tidy and dust
# Supper - roast chicken and roast vegetables
# Watch DVD after the kitchen is clean and tidy after supper
# Complete and submit the 1st assignment for this semester once the universities website comes back on line.

Lately, I have also lost my routine. Going to bed too late means that I am too tired to get up in the morning SO from tonight I have to be in bed by 10:30 latest when I am not working the next day.

On work days, bedtime must be 20:30 as I get up at 05:30 and work 12 hour shifts sometimes longer if I have surgical procedures that take longer.

Well lets see how much progress I can make this semester both academically, financially and of being organised.
Have a good day everyone.

Continuing the journey of financial success...

July 7th, 2016 at 09:07 am

Hi everyone, have seriously lost focus over the past year or even longer. Am still debt free but havent managed to save what I was meant to save and have become really slack about minding my finances.
Decided it was time to come back to the group, who understands, encourages, knows the thrills of taking on the goals and challenges of the impossible i.e. getting to debt freedom, staying debt free and achieving financial freedom.
So hello...


June 15th, 2015 at 11:16 am

Found myself looking today at all the reasons for feeling grateful..
A new colleague of mine at work, shared with me that a few months ago she had to leave her home taking her 2 children with nothing but a suitcase! She "ran away" in the middle of the night to get away from her abusive husband with only the promise of a safe bed for her and her children.
Imagine, the despair and how frightened she must have been. Well, she made it to our city and because she has a brilliant attitude has managed to get shifts as a nurse BUT someone told her husband where she was. Sadly, he arrived and beat her and has taken the 1 child and no-one knows where they are.
Not only has my colleague continued to work but her faith that God will provide and keep them all safe prevailed. She arrives at work with warmth and smiles for everyone.
So while we work ourselves out of debt and save like crazy for whatever, I find myself thinking of her and what she would say. I think it would go along the lines of "be grateful for what you have, tomorrow it may be gone..."
Tonight as I get into bed, I wont be thinking about my retirement, I will be thinking of her and praying that she gets her daughter back and that they are able to free themselves from this terrible curse.

New goals and challenges ahead...

June 14th, 2015 at 12:19 pm

only 20 days debt free and I still haven't fully realized what I have achieved. So today I sat down and started reading some of the blogs and quickly realized it was time to get focused again.

The first thing I noticed, is how focused everyone is on retirement and secondly how this forum helps cheer you on to reach goals that you never thought you would reach. ever!

So here I am now 53 years with only 12 years to go before I retire and very short on retirement savings. So my key focus has to be retirement savings at all costs with security for an emergency and enough money to get my daughter started at college. She will have to work for a grant or bursary after this money is finished or self-fund but that is the way it is.

I have just put her into an international school so that she can improve her opportunities for studying overseas on a scholarship and that is where I have spent the education fund mostly. So far it has been a great decision.

I am now in my 3rd year of my post graduate degree so next year I will be finished. That money will be put back into saving for my retirement funding.

I don't want to be one the nurses who are still having to work at 70 because they didn't have enough saved.

By the way I left my debt balances up in my panel as a reminder to me of how far I have come and also to encourage others that they too can get there.

Oh well that's about it for now... keep dreaming of the promise of financial freedom... its nearly here for all of us!!!

It's done... all done...

June 2nd, 2015 at 11:08 am

The day has arrived - WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!!!

And I still don't believe it, cant believe it and don't know how to really process it. My whole life I have had DEBT, never in all my working life have I been debt free.

Its taken over 9 years of challenge, dealing with a gambling addiction, closing a business, selling my home and going back to the full-time employment AND here I am, still ok.

If someone had told me it would be possible, I would never have believed them. Now that it is done, I don't know how I did it.

Could it have happened quicker? Absolutely, but I was learning life lessons along the way and re-establishing values.

Could I have done it on my own? Never! So many people have given me encouragement, assistance and courage when times were really tough, celebrated the successes and cheered for the progress.

And now... it feels so strange.

But I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to celebrate this day and that the experience has made me a better person.

So once again, I live my life "one day at a time"....
and think about setting new goals.

Updated and getting there...

March 23rd, 2014 at 04:05 am

Have been watching everyone's progress and just couldn't resist today. Finally I am nearly there - 8 years later!!!

And I love my life now!

Compared to the stress and pressure that I used to be faced with everyday and every night, my journey has had so many lessons (and I am still learning every day).

On the 1 May 2014, I will have been back in full time employment for 5 years, as an ORN. And here's the first lesson:
- It's not what you earn that gets you where you want to be but how you manage what you earn.
My income dropped by 30% but in return I got subsidized retirement contributions, medical insurance, overtime pay, specialization allowance, uniform allowance and a guaranteed 13th cheque every December.

Second lesson:
The simpler you can make you life, the lower your cost of living will be. When I was a sales exec I needed an extensive wardrobe, hairdresser every 6 weeks, larger car for the high mileage, help at home to look after my daughter and so the list goes on...
Now that I wear a uniform and work shifts, I am able to keep my clothing to a minimum, fetch my daughter from school, do my own housework (unusual in S Africa), low car expenses, lower car insurance etc

Third lesson:
Paying off debt is a journey not a project. If you don't change your habits then the debt will come back again because your behavior hasn't changed.

Fourth lesson:
Gratitude gets you through the worst days - there is always someone worse off than you, so being grateful for what you have and where you are gives you the courage to do one more day.

Fifth lesson:
Enjoy today for today and always look for one more thing to do which will save you a $1 - its the singles that make up the hundreds Smile

Hello and Happy 2014 to everyone...

January 6th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

I can't believe, I have been away from here for so long Smile but I am back for a while - at least until the study load gets too heavy again.

Have made more progress on my debt since I last posted and haven't created any more debt - now that deserves a big round of self applause.

What I have noticed though is that the daily spending is not as controlled as it used to be, so it is time to get back on track and tracking again daily.

Will update and give you all my news - actually had a good 2013 with a lots of personal accomplishments and growth areas. Am looking forward to 2014 with more optimism than I have had in a long time.

Everything is good and we are and have been so Blessed - all I can say is thank you and thank you and thank you!!!!

Speak to you tomorrow Smile

Finally listed and defined my goals for 2013

April 16th, 2013 at 02:16 pm

Better late than never Smile

Am really trying hard to stay focused and making sure that I tell my money where to go!!

Goals for 2013:
Computer Savings: $780 now $76
EMF: $1405 Now $426
Reduce debt by: $4815 paid $0
(extra payments)
College Fees: $525 now $0
College Books: $110 now $0
DD Savings: $835 now $584

Now that I have them up here I am hoping that I will be able to make more regular payments towards each of them and "see my progress".
The extra debt payment is my snowball amount which I want to start applying once the EMF in funded to $1405 - can't be worrying about the Murphy again. (he had his turn with the car tires last week - enough already!)

Take care everyone - sad to hear about and see the results of the Bomb blasts in Boston...

Determined & refocused...

April 15th, 2013 at 10:54 am

Last night I was clearing my desk after studying and came across my salary payment advice for end of March, and realized that I have been so distracted with studying that I hadn’t adjusted our budget yet to include the 7.2% salary increase for 2013.

Pulled out my budget from 2007, when I returned to a salaried position in the nursing to see what how our budget has changed.

Very interesting exercise, not much has changed except that our rent has increased and of course, the cost of gas and food etc. but not enough to explain why we have not 1.) finished paying off our debt or 2.) saved more money in the EMF!!!

I think I have just become a bit too comfortable the past 2 years or so – it amazes me how quickly I fall back into the old patterns. So from today I am going to start tracking the “savings” I make by doing and not doing certain things and putting a value to it – I am tired of just drifting along.

So here goes… this weekend:
Cleaned apartment – saved $20 by doing it myself (home help is inexpensive here so a full day costs $20)
Coloured my hair – saved $27
Gym – 2 visits saved $5.56
Recycled left over paper from DD’s school books - $2
Borrowed DVD’s from a friend - $9.33
Total: $64.89

Now that makes me feel like I am doing something worthwhile Smile

Now back to the books

Crazy? Nooo...

April 8th, 2013 at 11:10 am

but my daughter thinks I have lost the plot completely Smile - what a laugh!!!!

Finished my shift at the hospital today, and got to my car to find that I had a flat tire - but fortunately, it was an easy change.

Tootled off to the tire replacement centre to have the puncture repaired only to be told that because the tire is too worn and the puncture is on the edge of the tire it can't be repaired blah blah blah....

I have been looking at the front tires since I got the car and thinking how many months/miles can I still do before these need replacing - so today's response was not a surprise.

Decided that 2 new tires would have be "the spend" for today - don't like being without a spare tire.

Now for the laugh - before I could do my entry I had to see what you guys spend on tires in the USA so that I could make the discussion relative!!!!

So picture it - I am scrolling twenty million tire options looking for just one matching tire code to see what the price is - 21 minutes later I find it and go "whoopee got it" - DD rushes into the room and then collapses in fits of laughter.

When I explained then, that the same tire in the USA cost $58.95 and in South Africa we paid $ 57.22 - then we both collapsed laughing.

The extremes we go to in order to communicate with one another across world is really hilarious but it was worth the laughter.

So $122 later - I have 2 new tires fitted and balanced - pulled out of the EMF Frown

Have a good day...

See you tomorrow...

An enlightening day but....

April 6th, 2013 at 10:50 am

not too much studying done!

Why is it that when there is studying to be done, I find a million gazillion better things to do Smile

Took DD to have her hair braided today - budgeted but OMG it's so expensive to have braids and extensions. $50!!! But it's done now and she looks lovely.

The printer cartridge - found a generic one for $17 at the flea market. Before I took I asked the lady twice if I could bring it back if it didn't work and she said yes so.. I bought it. Rushed home and it works just fine - nice saving.

Then I popped in to the local gym to find out if we could transfer our membership from another branch - well that idea just kinda got blown out of the water - they wanted $62 per month versus our current $30 per month. Oh, but "if you are a member of a certain medical insurance scheme, you can get 80% discount"!!! Well sorry no - we belong to another medical scheme.

But it got me thinking "if that medical scheme offers benefits like discounts to a gym group what does ours offer?".

Back onto the internet, and lo and behold, we have a wellness programme, which costs $21 per month upfront and entitles you to the following:
15% discount on monthly gym fees
$33 per month rebate if you go to gym more than 12 times for that month
$11 standard rebate if you are even a gym member
2 movie tickets per month for $3.30
numerous other discounts....

working out will pay us if we stay at our current gym - ha ha that means we will reduce our monthly gym fees from $30 to $2.50 per month - a saving of $27.50 per month which we will put into the computer fund.

Now how is that for creative investigation...

I love it...


our biggest group of chain stores has just introduced a "coupon system" which you download onto your cell phone - at the check out counter you hand in the pin code and they deduct the coupon values Smile

This is a first in South Africa and I am loving it....

What a good day today have been Smile Smile Smiles all round.

AND now I am going to study Frown

Another lesson taught and learnt...

April 5th, 2013 at 11:18 am

by DD tonight Smile Smile

DD helped the lady living in the apartment next door to us today, with carrying her Avon boxes upstairs and was rewarded with a very nice hand cream. Of course DD was very quick to take it to her room - then I suggested that we add it to the "gift box" and I would give her $2 towards the computer fund.

Whoopee! We both won!!!

And then... DD needed me to print some information for a school question sheet and I realised we needed a printer cartridge. I was pretty resigned to buying one until I saw how much they cost at the normal retailers - ouch! $49 - even though it is for an older printer which uses the larger size cartridge I just thought "no way Jose" - not this time.

Called DD and explained that I had the information on the computer already all she had to was sit at the desk and copy it down - in return - wait for it: another $2 for her computer fund!!

Another win AND the new balance for the computer stands at $76!!!!

And approximately $55 stays in mine for both items. (I can do without the printer cartridge until I go past the discount outlet in a couple of weeks.)

Will open a side bar for the computer fund so she also look from time to time.

I kept telling myself today that it is the little things that add up everyday that make the biggest difference...

Speak to you tomorrow...

Focus? What focus...

April 4th, 2013 at 04:17 am

It seems that my focus on anything is just not there or anywhere at the moment!!!
I feel like the days are flying by and I am a spectator - have you had that feeling?? It's very strange Smile

On the money front, we "want" so much and "need" so little and there is nothing to spend on the "wants".

DD has been on school vacation and it is driving me crazy - it amazes me how she finds so much that is "missing" from life when she has time on her hands. At the moment, her laptop is not working properly and she "wants" a new one but is not doing too much to add to the savings for the new one???????
So everytime she slows down her contributions, I do too - she gets an allowance which over the past 2 weeks has been spent on DVD's and easter eggs. At this stage she has $72 saved but it could be $102!

I told her that for every $ she saved I would match the savings - huh don't think that helped much! (but only once she has saved a significant amount). But the old saying "if you work you get paid, if you don't work you don't get paid" is at work here. I am NOT going to make this easy for her - have tried to remind her before she spends her money, tried to give her some chores around the apartment but ...

And now that I have written that down, I'm seeing the advantage of this scheme - as long as she doesn't save I get to save more! So lets see what happens.

Okay so that is my moan for the week.

Thanks for listening...

PS we managed 12 no spend days last month Smile

Haven't been here a while...

March 30th, 2013 at 01:21 pm

Have had to finish 7 assignments- all due by the end of April but decided that was too close to exams so just got stuck in and got them done and out the way by the 26 Mar. Finished the last one on Tuesday (26 Mar) and then realised that exams start in 5 weeks time and I haven't even finished reviewing my course materials - yikes !!!
Managed to put in 9 hours today on one of my subjects and catchup some of it and tomorrow I will try for another marathon day...
On the money side, we had a really tight March because I settled that outstanding tax bill - but still managed to meet all our commitments.
We got an increase at work – 7.2% . I was ecstatic – in these economic times it was very generous. Already allocated part of the increase to my pension fund, some to debt reduction and some for pleasure i.e. plan to transfer to a gym around the corner so that DD and I can swim/train all year round.
I love my job as well so the increase has made it even better – how cool is that.
We are into the beginning of autumn here and can already see the days are shortening and the evening/morning temperatures are dropping.  I really don’t enjoy winter here – we are just not equipped for the winter but then I guess we must be one of the few countries in the world who can have a -3°C with bright sunny days and a wind chill factor of a further -5°C. But it is really is not so long and spring starts again early September, with a few left over cold spells.
Hope you have a Happy and Blessed Easter tomorrow (if you celebrate Easter) – will pop back again soon
See ya…

Still bobbing along doing the mundane...

March 6th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Just getting through the busy days at work and the pressures and demands of single parenthood at home - DD has been so sick the past 2 days (: The poor thing was wiped out so bed was the only place for her was bed. Today was better but still not 100%.

I can't leave her alone, so today I have had to call work and explain my absence.I hate having to put them in a situation of being short of staff but DD comes first.

I was up all night with DD, so was exhausted this morning and it was only at 4am that DD finally slept (and so did I) - I woke at 9am and managed to get 3hrs of study in, then finished the laundry, tidy the apartment and just get a bit organised.

Finished the ironing and now I am on my way to bed.

BTW forgot to mention, I was't paid my OVT for January so that will be at the end of March - nice $300 into EMF. And this month I am working a Public Holiday shift so that will b another $300 to be paid at the end of April.

Otherwise the studying is going well but realisee today that our first exam is on the 5 May and that is really not too faw away.

Oh well ... at lease this is will have covred the curriculum in full and be ready to study for exams by the 15 April

Time goes to fast - its so scary

Take care ,,, see you soon...

Taxes are paid up … at last…

February 25th, 2013 at 11:16 am

$4294 paid in full since April last year – just can’t believe that this outstanding tax is finally paid! It has been outstanding since April 2009 but I was just not able to pay and then finally last year I called them and made the necessary arrangements.

I actually had another 2 months to pay off the remaining $1000 but decided to just go for it and clear it – so that’s what I did.

My reasoning whilst I was setting my budget for March 2013 was I looked at my situation:
now that I have the new car (yes I got it on Tuesday last week!! Smile) and it has a 5 year warrantee and maintenance plan and...
I have medical insurance with enough in the savings portion for acute/emergency events and... there is enough money to cover all our regular monthly expenses so...
I decided to use most of our EMF to get rid of this monthly budget item – so there is a grand total of $100 left in the EMF!!!

At the end of March, I will get the EMF back to where it should be and then start snowballing the rest of my debts – roll-on December 2013.

We got paid today, so for the salary period for February we managed a total of 12 NSD – a record for us. It definitely made a huge difference to the way that I had to plan our meals and make sure that we used what we had – it reduced number of errands & saved mileage/gas.

For the month of March we are going to try for 14 NSD and hopefully as we get more organized we will get better at achieving them.

I found February to be especially challenging and am really pleased that it is now nearly over – I don’t know why I felt so pressured most of the time, tired and just somewhat unsettled. Maybe the car story, maybe because we have been so busy at work, DD just starting high school, I’ve just started studying again – who knows?

The past few days have been better, we seem to be working out a routine that works better for DD and myself – things are starting to feel more manageable and DD has been helping more around the house.

Even small daily improvements over time make a big difference - this is what I tell myself Smile

Will update the side panel next time… take care…

Whoa we did it - 10 No Spend Days...

February 18th, 2013 at 10:20 am

and we still have 6 days till pay day(with not much to spend anyway!!!! Smile Smile)

Even DD has almost forgotten what it is like to pop in to the store on the way home from work - I LOVE IT!

Seriously, work was long...... my back is completely locked up and I had to get someone to help me lift, pick up things and generally get stuff done. Pretty much useless. Frown

It is my study day tomorrow so at least I won't be on my feet all day and only have to take and fetch DD from school. Do you think the horizontal study position will work? No? Me neither but it was worth a thought!!!

My To Do List for today:
- Ironing NOPE
- Study 2 hours NOPE
- Clean apartment (quick vacuum & dust)NOPE
- Cook supper OUT THE FREEZER
- Call to reinstate car insurance (was reduced to minimal while driving my friends car)NOPE
- Change DD’s orthodontist appt YES!
- Oh and of course – go to work! YES!

Jokes aside, I got through the day and now I am heading off to bed to that horizontal position.

See you tomorrow... take care...

Just another day...

February 17th, 2013 at 11:46 am

Managed to get quite a lot done but not everything!
- Finish the laundry - DONE
- Ironing - NOPE
- Clean the apartment - NOPE
- Study for at least 5 hours – 3 HOURS
- Help DD with a school project - DONE
- Tidy up - DONE
- Menu plan for the week (pay day is only on the 25th so we have eat what we have!) – DONE

So tomorrow:
- Ironing
- Study 2 hours
- Clean apartment (quick vacuum & dust)
- Cook supper
- Call to reinstate car insurance (was reduced to minimal while driving my friends car)
- Change DD’s orthodontist appt
- Oh and of course – go to work!

Really wish the weekends were longer – this weekend flew by! Saturday we out and about sorting out the car, I helped my cousin to get her sewing machine setup, my aunt treated us for lunch and then I went to my friends to let them know when I would be returning their car. So that was the end of Saturday!

Today I woke up with a muscle spasm in my back and have been hobbling around like a very old lady – have taken some anti-inflamatories and DD rubbed it for me but even sitting is uncomfortable. I must have been sleeping in a strange position last night. Hopefully by tomorrow it will okay.

Still another week to pay day – why has it felt like such a long month? I think reading everyone’s entries made me feel like I also wanted to pay something!? (how very strange!) but it’s true.

Reworked and checked the budget last night – and there’s still enough to reduce our debt every month even with the new car payment.

Today was another NSD - #9 for the month and maybe tomorrow will make it #10 – maybe maybe…

See you tomorrow and take care…

Signed the docs for my car...

February 16th, 2013 at 01:10 pm

So the saga of the car ends today!!

My friends decided that they didn’t want to sell the car I have been using since December, so my search was speeded up and…

My aunt and my cousin found me a car - 2011 model, marked down because the new shape and model was launched last year and they had excess stock; we ended up paying $12995 for a car with 14,000 miles, 5 year warrantee and 5 year service/maintenance plan.

And how did I finance it?

(Blush) I gave my $4000 and my aunt gave me $4000 and the rest was loaned by the family.

So I have incurred more debt and there are no excuses!
So now I add $4995 to my outstanding debt and increase my monthly debt payments by $100 per month.

Although I am conflicted about the debt I feel like it was the right decision for me at this time. To have a car finally that is not going to cost me a fortune like my past 2 cars did, is going to give me more peace than the extra debt.

If things get really tight then I will need to do an extra shift a month and that will cover the payment.
At least I don’t have to worry about breaking down or not being able to get to work because my car is in the workshop or how am I going to pay for repairs etc etc....

Had to have a tooth removed on Friday and this time I went to Maxilla Facial Surgeon instead of letting the dentist do it – what a difference. No pain, no swelling, no nothing – it was well worth the extra cost which I believe is going to be covered by medical insurance anyway.

Had another NSD today – not counting the car!!!! Ha Ha Ha!!!

Need to get back to studying tomorrow and the weekend routine – haven’t been at all organized the past week. So need to:

- Finish the laundry
- Ironing
- Clean the apartment
- Study for at least 5 hours
- Help DD with a school project
- Tidy up
- Menu plan for the week (pay day is only on the 25th so we have eat what we have!)

That’s it for today … see you tomorrow…

PS Will do the update of the side panel tomorrow!!!!

What would you do?

February 14th, 2013 at 10:18 am

We are aiming for 10 NSD this month and up to today we are at 7 NSD - DD and I are really focused on eating what we have, putting off the errands to the shops and adding to the NSD's.

Today at work one of my colleagues approaches me and says "can you give me $5?" - I was busy preparing for our patients tomorrow and was so taken aback that my answer was "nope can't do DD took the last $5 this morning to school for valentine's day".

Then on my way home, I was thinking about it - we are doing all we can to avoid spending $$$ and yet my colleague expects a handout! Huh???

No please, no could you lend me..., no reason ... nothing!

So my question is what would you do?

So other than that:
- we had a NSD as I mentioned
- ate supper which I cooked last night
- am really pleased it's Friday tomorrow Smile

Just a quick update...

February 12th, 2013 at 12:56 pm

Was as home today - a study day today but didn't get much done in that department. Caught up on the household chores which I had not done on Saturday because I trying to get ahead on my assisgnments :0

Popped out to get tylenol and paracetamol $8.47
Then the grocery store for milk, veg, bread, juice, joghurt, cheese $22
Total Spent $30.47 - $4.53 less than I planned

Have started thinking about the budget for the end of Feb - we get paid on the 25 Feb and I want to know exactly what is going where and make sure that I am in line with my goals for 2013.

Hope you all have a great day ... see you tomorrow..

A NSD to celebrate and then...

February 11th, 2013 at 11:32 am

(was feeling so proud of myself) and the phone rang...

my well meaning family called to say:

"we found you a car - its a 2011 model, only 18,000 miles for $10,134... so if you put your $4000 in and we put $3000 in and you get $3000 finance then.... huh???????????????

And I flipped completely - I was so angry (but DD was still awake and of course listening to every word of the conversation) that I just became abrupt and said that we would talk in the morning.

And then I just sat here and cried... I would love to get finance so that I can get a nearly new car but I CAN'T because I am not credit worthy! The little dignity I had and all the debt I have paid off just faded into insignificance...

My progress seems so slow...

February 10th, 2013 at 09:34 am

There are times when I feel like I am standing still - like this weekend! No money to push to debt, no money to save - just a stalemate...

The mundane tasks that have be done just seem like chores and everything takes so much longer. I feel like I sound tonight - tired!!!!

So now that I have had my moan, it's time to look for the good things: Smile
- I finished 2 assignments yesterday and submitted them (2 weeks early)
- still haven't bought takeout since I got back here Smile
- am more aware of what I am and am not spending - had really let things slip and slide (guess that is why my debt is taking so long to go away)
- feeling more focused than I have for a long while

Tried to capture my budget tonight and realised that I had left the information in my locker at work - so that will be done tomorrow evening - I promise!

Spent last evening trawling through the blogs again and the time just disappeared - before I knew it, it was midnight and I felt too tired to do my own entry soooo.... tonight I started the other way around Smile

I was reading my own entries from way back and it is so interesting to see how much more time I had when I was working from home. Amazing how travel time takes up chunks of the day, not being able to juggle the home chores and errands have to be carefully planned.

But the advantages of being employed far outweigh that freedom - I love my job as a registered nurse, the hours I work are fabulous and the benefits (even after 4 years I can't believe the company gives us so much extra)!.

Up until the end of last year, I was able to work overtime - that meant an extra $200 a month but with studying I decided that would have to be put on hold. The benefits of the extra qualification will make up for the overtime pay in the long run. (Well that's what I keep telling myself).

Okay well that's it for today... see you tomorrow...

Well another year has passed...

February 7th, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I am going to be 51 yrs YOUNG tomorrow Smile Smile It's really funny to think that I am doing stuff now that I should have done when I was 31 - but hey who's counting not me (well not with any meaning!)

Took DD to the store so she could buy my gift and I ended buying Washing Powder that was on special - saved about $3 not much but I'll take it.

And then I bought myself a present for $5 - lotto tickets for the draw tomorrow night - jeez you never know?????

Work was good but didn't feel like studying tonight so I have been reading the entries and catching up on all your news.

You are all so organised and focused - it is amazing and so motivating. Promise to get my numbers and specific goals up this weekend - that way I will focus better and make my entries more interesting and specific.

We are due for salary increases at the end of March, and I am dying to see what the % will be - considering the state of the economy both locally and globally. We have been getting about 7% over the past 3 years and if this is maintained I think we will be doing well.

BTW someone asked about our retirement funding in SA - we have 2 options: through our employers or private investment/insurance companies.

Retirement through the employer is a great option because they pay a compulsory 7.5% of your salary value and then we are allowed to contribute up to 12% (I am contributing 10%)on pre-tax salary amount. On top of that we are allowed to contribute to other options outside of the employers offering - one of my goals is to get to 30% contribution but only once we have purchased our new home. (So a while to go still!)

We are also allowed to stagger our retirement payout ages for example, a woman can start retirement payouts from the age of 55 yrs and continue to 65 yrs (complusory payout) - I have 2 maturing in 4 years which I am going to use to settle the mortgage of our "still to be purchased" home.

Then I still have others maturing at 60 and of course, my current employers retirement kicks in a 65 so we should be okay. Plus as we know, nurses never ever stop working Smile

Feedback on 3 Bills I forgot to include in my budget for January:
Swimming training for DD $40 Paid
Balance of College fees for me $175.55 Paid
Utilities $49.33 (high for us) Paid
have had to use the savings to pay them - stupid and careless but at least we had the money to pay them

So the new balance on our EMF is: $4,714

BTW sold my big freezer at the end of December - it was costing too much in electricity to run and I wasn't able to keep it fully stocked anyway. So I am waiting for $75 for that and will put it back into the EMF.

Still looking for other ways to keep my money in my wallet and in the EMF account Smile

Take care....

Why do the days pass sooo.... fast....

February 6th, 2013 at 11:17 am

it seems like an hour ago I was making my last entry and yet a full 24 hours has elapsed???????

I was asking one of my patients (71 yrs old) today - "why does it feel like we never have time for everything - I seem to remember my mother having time to bake, sew, visit friends, play tennis, help us kids with projects etc."
Her answer was "we were satisfied doing more simple things more of the time compared with now, now we want to do all the exciting advanced new things most of the time! I see it with my grandchildren they are so caught up in technology - when they look up 3hours are gone and they haven't even had a conversation with anyone!"
Hmmm... something to think about...

This evening DD has to complete a project for her second language, Afrikaans (similar to Finnish, Dutch) so I put away my study stuff, took supper out the freezer and decided to do it with her - a small thing in my life but a big thing in hers. Actually, the conversation during the time together was more important that the project result (in my humble opinion anyway) - I got to find out all the gossip at school, who says what about who, what the teachers are doing/not doing, what the friends are up to etc and now have a better idea of the new class she is in. BTW we start our new school year in January (not like you in the USA in the fall) so getting caught up was great.

AND we had a NSD again - #3 for February!!

Managed to do my 2 hours of study tonight but battled a bit because Wednesday and Friday I start a surgical slate in the OR (Operating Room) at 06:30 and today was a long one but we finished on time at 4pm Smile

Since I have been back as a Registered Nurse in the OR, I haven't had to buy clothes except a replacement pair of jeans now and then. As you all know we work in scrubs and leave them at the hospital for special cleaning. So when we returned DD's speedo yesterday I saw a dress and pair of pants I really liked - well loved - until I saw the price!!!!!!!!! Didn't like them anymore - how do you girls and guys afford to dress yourselves in different outfits everyday. I would battle now after 4 years of scrubs. Must take some pretty nifty mix & matching Smile

Well those are my thoughts for the day ... take care everyone... see you tomorrow...

So I just lost my entry for the day ...

February 5th, 2013 at 12:16 pm

and now I am off to bed - so here is the short version:

No takeout: saved $9
DD on board with NSD and Not on List = no buy therefore only spent $19 versus the $35 budgeted for weekly groceries

3 Bills I forgot to include in my budget for January:
Swimming training for DD $40
Balance of College fees for me $175.55
Utilities $49.33 (high for us)
so will have to use the savings to pay them - stupid and careless but at least we have the money to pay them Smile

Managed to exchange the speedo for the right size so there was no extra cost there Smile

And now it is time for bed ... so take care..

Made it back but only after I got my study time in ...

February 4th, 2013 at 12:42 pm

After making supper from scratch tonight all I wanted to was come back here and start catching up everyones news but a Monday evening is a study evening for me - so I managed 2 1/2 hours and now here I am Smile
Thanks for the welcome back.
Today was relatively busy at work - but managed to leave the hospital on time at 4pm and fetch DD from school by 4:30pm.
Had planned supper last night so it was easy to prepare and eat (& I made an extra 3 portions for freezing) - the takeouts since I have been studying part-time have been taking unnecessary money out of our budget - so I decided yesterday - no more unless it is a special occasion and not just convenience/laziness.
Didn't spend a cent today - NSD #2 for February
Tomorrow DD has swim training - I bought her a new speedo about 2 weeks ago but it doesnt fit properly so before we can go I will have to take her to change it to a smaller size or even a different style. But at least I wont be spending money.
Still no news on the car - really wish my friends could decide if they are going to sell the car to me otherwise I am going to have to start looking around. Cars in SA are really expensive, so finding good deals can take time.
Will get into more details about the budget and the challenges as I get back into the daily entry
Have a good day ... "see you tomorrow..." Smile

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