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Saving Advice increases my productivity...

July 10th, 2016 at 04:37 pm

...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...

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...

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

Still bobbing along doing the mundane...

March 6th, 2013 at 08:25 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...

What would you do?

February 14th, 2013 at 06:18 pm

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

A NSD to celebrate and then...

February 11th, 2013 at 07:32 pm

(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 05:34 pm

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...

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

February 6th, 2013 at 07:17 pm

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 08:16 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..

Frustration - Power Outages...

January 23rd, 2008 at 10:27 am

this is a never ending cycle at the moment - our major power supplier is unable to supply our country's needs at the moment and everyday they are "load shedding". IOW - cutting our power for 2 - 3 hours everyday.

Oh the joys of Africa. Our new government (from '94) decided in their wisdom we didn't need more power stations but they agreed to a growth forecast of 8%. Spot the mistake plus all the foreign investment that came in after we came out of the apartheid era.

It is sooooooo (*&^$ frustrating - this morning I woke to the 14th hour of no power and started stressing big time about the food in the freezer. Called the supplier and was told "no it is not load shedding but there is a problem with the sub-station in your suburb". If someone had offered me a one way ticket out of here I would have taken it there and then.

Very very bad frame of mind - haven't been able to use my computer which is the reason for lack of entries.

Interesting though, the higher my stress level the greater incidence of urges to go to the casino. No don't worry I haven't given in and I won't but I have to remember "one day at a time"

Today I was out to see a client (near a casino) but I prepared by taking my money out of my wallet and only took $5 in case. After my appointment I got into my car and was nearly home when I realised that I hadn't even thought about taking a detour. Yeah, this is great progress for me.

On the income side, still pushing and working hard. We are so broke but my aunt gave me money for gas and we have food (as long as the power keeps it frozen!) so I can still work.

With the power outages and the threat of our food being spoiled, I was thinking about the wisdom of buying in bulk. I think I am going to deplete our supplies and go back to shopping every second or third day until this is sorted out.

If all our food has been spoiled I really don't know what we would have done but if I was buying as we needed it wouldn't be so bad and I would still have money.

What do you think?

Okay back to work while we have power...

See you tomorrow... well... maybe...

Had a good weekend...

January 13th, 2008 at 07:35 pm

managed to get quite a lot of things done:

- shopping DONE
- finish sewing book bags for the Grade 0 children (I was paid for them last year and have a few more to do)NOT DONE
- laundry DONE
- label and cover books for school for DD DONE
- Goals for next week i.e. sales activities DONE
- clean apartment NOT DONE
- baking - muffins, cookies, DONE
- cooking - chicken pies & casserole NOT DONE - forgot to take the chicken out the freezer Duh???

* Just very tired tonight - think it is the stress of worrying/thinking about month end and our finances. Amazing how this just drains ones energy levels.

* Had a no-spend day - didn't even use the car
* Got DD to tidy her room again - she is so untidy and all I seem to do is nag. Help - any ideas???

Being so busy making ends meet I find that I am not even thinking about gambling which is wonderful and just shows how much progress I have made. In the past I would have headed out to the casino with whatever money I could find and try to "win some quick cash". Even as I am writing this, my reaction is "oh how stupid can you be - use what you've got wisely". OH the lessons we learn...

When my mom passed away 4 years ago, I inherited a whole lot of original oil paintings and her silver tea set. I love the paintings but hate the silver tea set. So I spoke to my brother yesterday and asked him if he wanted it - he doesn't. Then asked if he would mind if I sell it - he said "I think that is a good idea, at least it will help you financially."

So today I spent some time researching the maker - it was made in the UK and has all kinds of original markings and dates. Seems like it is quite rare so I linked into Sotheby's (the auctioneers) and sent them an email and asking for advice. Let's see what they say. I am hoping they will be able to help me sell it as it could be worth in excess of $2000.

I have such mixed feeling about this - I feel guilty selling something that my Mom really loved but I just don't like it and no-one else in the family wants it. Maybe someone will get pleasure from it which is better than it lying in the top of the cuphoard.

Well I am going to read some of the other journals and then off to bed (we are 9 hours ahead of you so it is 9.30pm here versus your 12.30pm East Coast).

See you tomorrow...

Yeah sold some things...

January 12th, 2008 at 11:06 am

at the second hand shop and made $42.86 so I put $21.43 into the EMF and kept $21.43 for gas.
New EMF total: $40.43

Then I took the retractable washline and got vouchers for $28.57 which I will use for food.

Also got vouchers for $8.57 and $10.71 - these I will use for meds and whatever else we need during the rest of Jan.

All in all not a bad day and I feel Blessed.

My brother offered to take us shopping for food this morning - I think he really worries about how we are scrimping through the days at the moment. So we are going later to get some more substantial food than I have been buying over the past few weeks.

Although it is a challenge to live like this, I am trying to make it fun as well. DD has friends over today (twins) and they come from a home where money is just not an issue - I think they were amazed when I sold the stuff. They asked why and I told them - not a bad thing for them to know how "the other half lives".

Have still got to get going on all my household chores but just wanted to do a quick update because I know I will forget the details if I don't.

A busy weekend ahead...

January 11th, 2008 at 05:09 pm

starting with a visit to a friend who needs help with curtains for her new house. She has some curtains which needed adjusting and new ones which have to be made up. I do this part-time so I'll be able to earn some money this coming week. (Won't charge her the usual rate because she is a friend!)

Was looking at our food levels and I have to admit it is time to shop BUT the challenge: limited money - only have $12 in my wallet. Rather than dive into the EMF, I checked the cuphoards looking for things I can sell and found:
A retractable indoor washline which has never been opened - I bought it last year when we moved into our apartment. So I called the store and they will give me a voucher which I will then use for food. Yeah $28.50 and EMF remains untouched.

I just kept going after that and found some more things which I will take in on Monday to the second hand store - hopefully I will get at least $30 for that lot. Will keep you updated.

I read an article the other day about "money lying around your home" and now I understand Smile Smile

Things To Do this weekend:
- shopping
- finish sewing book bags for the Grade 0 children (I was paid for them last year and have a few more to do)
- laundry
- ironing
- label and cover books for school for DD
- Goals for next week i.e. sales activities
- clean apartment
- baking - muffins, cookies,
- cooking - chicken pies & casserole

Oh I am tired already!!!

Speak to you tomorrow...

It's a roller coaster ride...

January 8th, 2008 at 04:33 pm

this morning I was feeling so positive and now I have gone into overwhelm Frown

Am still receiving calls from CC and Car Finance companies, they just don't get it - I called them all again today and told them AGAIN what my situation is and all I get is "we are expecting $$$ payment on the 20 Jan..."

Dave Ramsey refers to these people as scum and now that I seem to be dealing with them regularly, I must say I tend to agree with him.

I am so frustrated with my financial situation at the moment: I have $64 left in my wallet until I earn commission and I need gas, food and a few other things.

By the Grace of God, I am thankful that we have never had to go without our basic needs being satisfied. We always have food, gas and a place to live and the rest... well just a luxury.

I have been listening to Anthony Robins "personal power" CD's and today the thing that stuck was "when the pain is big enough you will take action" or when you get to "I have had it - no more".

This is where I am - I have had it with my debt (and the gambling)!!!

Goal 2 for 2008:
I am completely debt free by 30 June 2008 - and I don't care how hard I have to work to get it done. How:- Be thankful for the gifts and talents I have - I believe that if we are not thankful nothing works. Set daily goals and prioritise the top 5 activities which will have the greatest impact on my goal - I am not going to allow myself to go to bed until they are done for the day. Every day I will be organised and spend 10 minutes tidying up so that my home is neat
Keep a log of my frugal efforts to get to debt freedom (right here!)
Use my blog to track my daily efforts and progress towards debt freedom

Getting back to work is proving a challenge as well - guess it is because I have been off work for so long.

Managed to achieve only 3 solid hours of concentration and then my brain wouldn't co-operate. I kept getting distracted and ended up just wasting time. Well tomorrow is another day...

Also decided that having no money is no excuse for not having an EMF so tomorrow I am going to take some stuff to the second hand shop and see what I can get for it. Everytime I see someone adding $1 to their challenge/savings totals I think to myself "but I can do that!" and so NOW I am going to do it.

Wish me luck...