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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...

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...

Taxes are paid up … at last…

February 25th, 2013 at 07:16 pm

$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…

Well another year has passed...

February 7th, 2013 at 08:04 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....

Yeah - I got booked for overtime...

August 21st, 2009 at 02:36 pm

The only way I get to save now, is by working overtime and I just heard today that I can get 3 extra shifts over the next 2 weekends. Whoopee - it means that I get to save $560 at the end of September. (We get paid overtime worked at the end of the following month).

Now that I am back on a salary, I find that every penny is budgeted for unless there is overtime pay. With the economy the way it is though, we only get overtime when there is someone off sick or on vacation - so I take it whenever I can get it.

Spent today:
Gas $20
Headache meds: $4.40
Chronic Meds: Nil (there was no co-pay)

What I am seeing that is if I am disciplined everyday and avoid the "little incidental expenses" I just don't spend as much money.

For the first in ages, I still have some money left in my bank account at the end of the month - $28 - not much I know, but psychologically it is a huge achievement for me AND pay day is Tuesday 25 August. Will move this balance into my savings/EMF fund then.

My savings/EMF has a whole $87.50 in it but again it's a start.

In May after securing my full-time nursing position, I decided (after lots of soul searching) to look at Debt Management because my creditors were bugging me so much and their demands were getting more and more unreasonable.
After the debt assessment, I decided to do it and now I pay $330 per month to the Debt Management attorney and they distribute it to each of my debts.

I no longer get harrassing phone calls AND am not allowed to live on or apply for any credit - which suits me just fine. I am so much more relaxed and every month just pay the money and I can live on the balance.

So all in all a good day - who would have thought that I could get excited about working extra shifts... just goes to show how things have changed Smile

Have a good day...

Missed my entry yesterday...

January 16th, 2008 at 01:50 pm

because of my procrastination. I finally had to finish sewing the school drawstring book bags for the Gr 0 students - they started school this morning and I had to deliver them today.

Soooo... there was I sewing until 3:30am thinking "why do I leave everything until the last minute urghh"

Then getting DD up for school at 06:45 was a challenge for both of us - she is worse than I am in the morning. She was so excited to go back to school for a new year - ah my little girl is in Gr 3 already.

Got back from dropping her at school and decided to work for a couple hours then try to get 2 hrs sleep and I am so pleased I did!!!

I got my first order confirmed today - yeah $142 commission.

Also got a really good lead today from the office which I followed up immediately and sent the information.

Spent in the last 2 days:
* Food $22.46 - used our vouchers for chicken on special, baking margerine, flour, bread (for freezing)
* Gas $14

Cooked last night in bulk:
* 1 Chicken made into Chicken al la King with rice = 5 meals
* Ginger Cookies - not impressed with the recipe. I got half way through and thought hmmm this is not the right consistency for cookies so had to do some last minute adjustments. They taste okay but I won't be using that recipe again.

Really need to dust and vacuum the apartment - it looks like a bomb shelter

Although I was tired last night, I really enjoyed getting into my sewing room. Love creating something from nothing. Really need to make a point of doing more INSTEAD of sitting at my computer reading journals Smile Smile

Added $1.77 in change to my EMF
New Total: $42.20

Am off to fetch DD from aftercare then make supper, tidy up and into bed early

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...

Saved some more...

January 10th, 2008 at 02:41 pm

by returning Christmas gifts which I really didn't like/need and put it towards some things DD needed for school:
Shoes: $24.29 Paid $15.71
Meds: $9.14 Paid $2.29
Total Saved: $15.43
Change from Wallet: $1.57
New EMF Total: $19

I felt bad returning the gifts but decided that it was more wasteful leaving them in the cuphoard. Jeez the shoes were expensive but it is part of the school uniform and she will wear them everyday - not much choice here. There were less expensive ones but they were badly made and didn't offer much support.

Work today - even better than yesterday Smile Smile
Got 2 appointments confirmed with major corporate clients - one next week and then the 1/28.
Contacted another 8 clients and told them about my move and 3 of them replied via email wishing me luck - now I just need to call to schedule appts.

Took DD for an ice-cream as a treat - she has been so good today. Has hardly interrupted me while I have been working and she tidied her room.

Decided to start screening my calls today - I am tired of the harrassment from the CC companies. They can leave messages and I will reply when it suits me otherwise I just get really ratty and my work suffers.

It amazes me how little gas I am using now that I don't have to commute everyday - one of the major benefits of working from home. So today when we were on our way back from the mall I was able to drive right past the gas station.

Food supplies are a bit low but will still manage for about another week or so.

Really starting to enjoy my work again which is a welcome change after last year. The company I worked for last year was not a good one for me - I just couldn't settle and found the arrogance towards their clients very hard to understand (not to mention their outrageous pricing). Out of the 11 people there was only one person I really got on well with - it was a tough one but look where I am now!

Many people find it hard to work from home but I love it - I get so much done and I love the flexibility i.e. today I worked from 8am until 1pm and then went to the mall until 3pm. Worked again from 3pm to 4.30pm.

It also means that I will be able to go to DD's sports events this year without having to "ask permission".

And lastly, the harder I work the more I earn - a benefit of being commission only and there is no limit to what we can earn,

sooooo as you can hear I am feeling better today

What a rambling entry - see you tomorrow....

A better work day...

January 9th, 2008 at 04:09 pm

After taking DD to her friend I started work at 9am and hooray I managed to work consistently until 2pm - a great improvement and I got LOTS done.

BTW thanks for all the encouragement - it means so much. Smile

Tried to sell some things at the Second Hand shop - no success, I walked out with everything that I walked in with and actually saw the funny side of it LOL

Took $2 out of my purse and put it into my EMF wallet - so I have started. Every little bit helps and it's a start.

Think I may have got my first sale today - got a lead from the office and called the client. Think he was a bit shocked at how quickly we got back to him. Hold thumbs - $142 commission. Will let you know when he confirms his order.

Generally a better day. Hung the washing inside (tempted to use the drier but resisted), tidied the kitchen, packed the dishwasher and am about to start supper.

My challenge tonight:
STOP spending so much time reading journals and get the ironing done - DD is complaining she "really really doesn't have anything to wear" Smile

At least there is a movie on TV that I can watch while doing it.

Will check in again 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...

One day at a time...

May 30th, 2007 at 12:47 pm

is the only way I am going to get on top of this latest challenge.

Have had some time now to think about my plan of action and my thoughts so far are:

The funds in EMF - I am going to allocate $8000 to the tax liability.

I got a final payment on the sale of my house the other day from the bank of $ 14 286

So already I have $22 286 towards the $55 600

There are other amounts outstanding still from my house sale:
The closing attorneys still owe me $5714
The utilities company owe me a refund of $1158
Total outstanding $6872

Company expenses refund $347

NOW if I add $22286 plus $7219 = $29505 I would have been debt free without this additional tax liability - HOW DISAPPOINTING!!!!!!!!!

Oh well, as I said one day at a time.

I needed to go to the store today and only had $15.70 in my wallet (remember I took the ATM cards out and don't have CC)
Bought laundry detergent, bread, tuna, gum = $12.84 (bought large sizes and bread for the week to freeze).

Ha got that spot on and I still have a couple of dollars in my purse. Smile Smile

Okay so not a No Spend Day but great economy.

BTW I have managed 7 out 10 No Spend Days and will get tomorrow down as a no spend day too. 8/10 not too bad.

I have a huge headache today (not really surprised) and fortunately have finished my client calls for the day so I am going to have a nap before I fetch my DD and start supper.

Need to get into my sewing room tonight - when I am feeling so stressed and pressured (one of my triggers to gamble) I have to be especially careful. Sewing and getting busy making something out of nothing, helps me to reduce my stress and makes me feel like I have accomplished something.

Also, this weekend I need to rework our monthly budget and look for ways to cut our expenses again so that I can increase the savings amount to the Tax Fund. Don't really know how much more I can cut but will try anyway OR time to start taking in mending, sewing etc again to boost the income.

Wow another long long entry - but it helps so

Enjoy your day and see ya tomorrow Smile

Updated Debt Balances & ramblings

May 16th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

Why does time go so fast - it seems just the other day that I unretired my blog and now it is already a week later.

Okay here are my debt balances:
Start Debt: 7/12/06 Today: 5/16/2007
Home Remodeling: $345 PAID
CC1: $715 PAID
Timeshare Levy: $730 PAID AND SOLD
Bank Overdraft: $929 PAID
Loan from Dad: $857 PAID
Swimming Pool Renovation: $1429 PAID
Private School Fees for 2007: $3000 PAID IN FULL
Car Loan: $11073 Now $ 6997
Bank Overdraft 2: $7000 PAID
CC2: $ 13716 Now $ 9203
CC3: $ 15918 Now 14 059
HEL & Mortgage: $171 429 PAID AND SOLD

TOTAL DEBT: $236 978 Now: $30 259

Paid $206 719

Hahahahaha - Can you believe it Smile Wink :0

I can't!!!!

But here is the downside - I no longer own a property so don't have a property which is appreciating in value.

I have decided ala Dave Ramsey that I am going to finish paying off my debt and then save like crazy so that I can either pay cash for a new home (don't want a big house again, an apartment is fine by me) or put 50% down and get a mortgage for the balance.

My EMF is established - I kept some of the money from the house and have $9425 saved.

Also, bought a new sewing machine - just decided that we have made so many sacrifices to get this far that I could treat myself. (I know a good excuse Smile )
Spent $ 3425 for a new machine and embroidery unit.

When I buy a sewing machine, I keep a log of everything that I make and the savings and make sure that the machine pays for itself. My old machine paid for itself 3.2 times.

Have already saved $68 by making curtains, altering clothes for DD and making a new bathroom set.

Will keep a log here and show how it works.

BTW my banking accounts actually have a credit balance for the first time since I don't know when - $142 in Acc 1 and $214 in Acc 2.

Am really enjoying my life again - it is so nice not to have worry about maintaining a huge property, pay an enormous mortgage and all the taxes that go with it.

Have also managed to buy DD new school uniforms, replace school bags and new sports uniforms.

The way I figure it now, is that we can now get back to being really frugal and get rid of the last debt and then go crazy with our savings account.

The $20 Challenge - will make this a real account now and save leftover amounts from our monthly budget and any refunds etc.

Working full time now and back in corporate life has its own challenges and has demanded more adjustments. At least I earn a regular salary now and have a high earning potential through commission. My business expenses are covered which is also great incl cell phone, internet connection, gas for car and a contribution for car servicing.

I am a happy happy camper - I love my life and am really pleased that we made all the changes.

Will end off now - have really had a long ramble...

DD's Friends & Birthdays AND No Spend Days...

September 1st, 2006 at 01:09 pm

I thought today would be a no spend day - forgot that DD had a Birthday party to go to and I hadn't bought a gift or made anything. Decided to give her some money to spend rather than rush out and buy junk. $7 - an odd amount I know but I convert all our local currencies into USD so that it is easier for you to relate to.

As I was giving out money I gave DD her allowance $3 and I am hoping that is all the money I have to part with until Monday.

Sold some more stuff yesterday - another $19.29 to EMF
New Total: $258.29

Also got DD to make a Birthday Greeting card for her friend so I will add another $1 to the $20 challenge = $46.86

Just checking my diary and see that I achieved 15 NO SPEND days - really happy about that. New Challenge - need to try to get them to be consecutive but either way I'll take them.

Will update my debt balances as soon as all automatic debits go off my checking account.

BTW haven't done a thing off my To Do List for September - tommorrow ... *sigh*

Looked for Discounts & found them...

August 30th, 2006 at 12:35 pm

Had to take DD to a friend today & stopped at the mall to get a few things:
1. Monthly meds for DD - some on discount saved $4.57 - spent $27
2. Personal things for me - saved on discount price plus I used a gc so saved $4.29

$20 Challenge
$37 now $45.86

Got to keep this momentum up...

BTW Sold some more stuff yesterday and made another $86

EMF Now $239

Amazing how quickly everything adds up...

Saving Money like crazy...

August 28th, 2006 at 06:00 pm

BTW I have started a new pay period - got paid on the 25 August so next pay day is 25 September:

Had a really productive weekend - DD slept over at DB's so I had Saturday and Sunday morning to get some things done:

1. Finished DD's skirt (at last)
2. Altered another of DD's skirts - had to put a zipper in because her tummy is a wee bit larger - too much junk Smile
3. Mended & altered a sweatsuit for DD
4. Made 2 pairs of sweatpants for DD
5. Made a pair of play jeans for DD
Estimated savings: $30
Spent $14 on 2 new patterns and a piece of fabric for her summer wardrobe.

Figured I still saved $16 which I am adding to $20 challenge.

Grocery shopping - done but very basic supplies bought, no snacks, no treats except for a tub of ice cream,just what we needed to make meals from scratch:
$58 spent

Dog Food for 3 dogs: $47 for about 3-4 weeks supply

Garage Sale: Priced everything - sold some stuff to a friend $50 - to go to EMF

Clothes sold: $23 to EMF

EMF New Balance: $153

$20 Challenge Balance: $36

Have paid off some more debt but will only update the balances on the 1 September after all the automatic payments go out of my account.

This journal is really a fun way to keep me on track - everytime I think about spending money I stop and imagine the debt balances - talk about an instant reality check.

Thanks to everyone for their comments and encouragement.

BTW I really enjoyed my Friday afternoon - read my book and snoozed Smile