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Archive for April, 2013

Finally listed and defined my goals for 2013

April 16th, 2013 at 09:16 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 05:54 pm

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 06:10 pm

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 05:50 pm

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 06:18 pm

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 11:17 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