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Archive for January, 2012

Misplaced $50.00 and Weekly Menu

January 31st, 2012 at 08:25 am

I had to go up the street today to get a haircut; I had put $50.00 in my wallet but never used it. When I got to last place I was planning to go to it was gone! I phone both places that I went to but no luck I will have to put this down to a lesson learnt. If it not the only note in the wallet then donít put with them if you are not planning on using it. What is annoying about all this I didnít need the $50.00 at all as I had enough money on me!

My menu for the week

Monday - Chicken Kebabs and Rice, Fruit
Tuesday - Bacon and Egg with Tomato
Wednesday - Lentil Stew
Thursday - Pumpkin Soup and Toast with Salad
Friday - Tuna Pasta
Saturday - Potluck Meal
Sunday - Fish and Salad with Grapes

Lunch with friends and paying bills

January 29th, 2012 at 08:13 am

I had lunch with my friends at Casino, the meal was Fish with salad with chips but I asked and got green vegetables instead along with a vanilla slice and coffee all that for $9.00 for members and $14.00 if not! As I was in the city I got around and paid a few bills like Rates, water bill, my Credit card in full and another for my DF-M. I also got a top up on my GO CARD that I use for bus fares.

Would you believe I got all the bills paid and go card top up all within 45 minutes before I went to lunch so that I could be home on the early bus.

The places that I had go to were in four blocks of each other one place in each as I had to go to the bank first. Itís lucky that I know my way around the city as I was able use some of the short cuts to do this in time. It like go around in a maze I am reading a novel at the moment that has Mazes in it.
City trip all up costed $650.00 including bills.

Strategy - Donít spend your forward bill money on trivia, itís been put aside for a purpose and keeps you stress free.

Another milestrone past 800000 views

Focusing on my food

January 26th, 2012 at 08:52 am

I need to review habits when it comes to food, I think I am getting a bit lazy at times.

Groceries ----$1755-------$1601.08-------under target by $160.42

I have allowed $33.75 per week for grocery but I should with want I have in stockpile this should be able come down to below $27.00 per week or under $1404 for this year.

I have nearly used up want is in my downstairs storage area in food. Only very bulky things will be store there in the future.

I do need to do a stock take of what I actually got in the way of food. I do have some gaps but I should I be able to last for few months without worrying about them. Just use something else instead in meantime.

The strategies for this challenge are to list and menu plan my way through until I use a lot of stuff I have already have bought. While I still have protein in my freezers and beans and lentils in fridge with over 5 kilos of rice and a number of packets of pasta still to get through.

I have a lot of flavouring and sauces that I have bought or got in sample bags that I should be able to come up some different and interesting meals.

I will trying to limit my food spending to a very small list of basic items and any food for my diabetics that I need. Some of those items are fruit and vegetables in season, eggs, bread, milk, cheese, margarine, and yoghurt including some fresh fish and chicken, with some red meat when my freezer stocks are lower. I should be able to go about seven weeks without buying too much other than fruit and vegetables in season, eggs, bread, and milk.

I think will need to go back to writing my menus on here.

Menu for this week

Monday - Fresh Fish with Salad and Cob of Corn
Tuesday - lunch out - Dinner Fruit and Milk Only
Wednesday - lunch out - Dinner - Noodles Chicken with Vegetables
Thursday - Satay Chicken with Salad
Friday Ė Fresh Fish with Vegetables and Fruit
Saturday - Curry Mince with Rice and Fruit
Sunday Ė Pasta with Lentil Sauce

Strategy - Do remember what you have stored before you go and buy more of the same.

Focusing on my Food & Grocery Spending

January 24th, 2012 at 10:12 am

I think I could find some spare money in my budget if I focused on my food spending for a while.

These will be my target area to work on for now!

Non -Food ---$221--------$184.52---------under target by $36.48
Pets -----------$650------$547.26--------under target by $102.74
Eating out ----$455--------$560.05--------over target by $105.05
Groceries ----$1755-------$1601.08-------under target by $160.42

So money that I have to work with $3081 using 2011 target budget amounts.

In 2011, I came under by [$3081 -2893.10] = $187.90 so I would like to see a bigger drop in this figure this year. Without changing my lifestyle that much knowing that I can cutback harder if things change around here. So itís to focusing and planning what I intend to do here.

So what strategies do I plan to use to reduce this further with cost of living going up here and my income is only age pension.

I will start with the easiest on first Non-food, this is area mainly covered by items that I canít eat like Toilet paper, paper towels, and some cleaning items that I need to buy. If do a stocktake of these items, I may find that I will only need buy toilet paper this year. By looking online and some in of my books I will find replacement for other cleaning items.

Next easiest one is Pets this includes cat food and litter for them. As they are old cats I will not be retraining them with new ideas but focusing on any wasteful habits and paying more attention to what they eat. They flea and vet treatments are covered in the bill area of my budget so are not included here. But will try to find ways of reducing these as well.

Now time to think about my food out as I like to call it! This area I can control to a degree but not all the way. I have 12 planned lunch dates each year which I just go along with cost can between $9.00 and $26.00 each time at current prices. Then you have 5 birthday dinners or lunches that can cost around $30.00 each time at current prices. But will not go if it gets above this unless itís a wedding which a once in blue moon event. Now the other lunches I can reduce or not have depending on my time schedule when out. I do try to keep these to under $12.00 where possible.

So where does that leave my food out budget, thus having budgeted for $350 outing with family and friend as socialising and form of entertainment. I do keep a float aside of $35.00 so that if asked out I can go will out worrying if I can afford that week. I am trying to get the family to eat at home more but itís an uphill battle.

I will review my grocery shopping in my next post.

No Spending Days

January 22nd, 2012 at 08:08 am

While looking at my annual figures another tally is noted there.

For 2011, I had a total of 148 days of no spending days that money wasn't changed hands at all in any form. So 216 days some money did find its way into someone else hands.

So I hope to improve on last yearís figures!
So I am planning a new strategy so that I can maximize my no spending day for 2012.

To do this will take some planning and a lot of blinkers on my part as when I shop for my friend.
Multiple tasks spending days is in order I should think, so days that I spend money must be days that all other spending is be done that I know that I need to do! e.g. Pay bills, credit card, buy paper if its Wednesday, medical scripts made up, fill the car with gas/petrol. As many of these tasks that can be done in one day the better thus leaving a number of days that I need not spend money at all.

This will take some will power as today I had to shop for my friend, this is what I faced, buying a loaf of bread now we donít eat the cheap stuff and the bread we buy is between $2.49 and $4.49 per loaf depending what on special that week.

When she ask to buy 2 loaves of bread itís a little easier. Why because of the way the supermarkets sell their bread, the best deals are 2 loaves for $6.00 ones the same bread that you would buy at $4.49 each but you have to buy two loaves at the same time to get that deal. So today I bought one for myself so I could get the deal, also one special of noodles that couldnít find on my last shop plus some white grapes that I had planned to buy. So in I spent $7.00 saving around $3.00 off RRP plus the loaf of bread for my friend.

Annual Summary Daily Living Allowance parts of my budget for 2011

January 20th, 2012 at 09:18 am

Eating out ----------$560.05--------over target by $105.05
Groceries -----------$1601.08--------under target by $160.42
Non -Food ----------$184.52---------under target by $36.48
Clothes -------------$308.84.--------under target by $146.16
Grooming -----------$145.41--------under target by $49.59
Gas -----------------$193.80--------under target by $131.20
Pets ----------------$547.26--------under target by $102.74
HH items ------------$808.13--------over target by $255.63
Fares ---------------$100.00 ------- under target by $43.60
Entrainment----------$59.95--------under target by $96.05
Garden---------------$70.45--------under target by $59.55
Gift & Donations------$674.95---------over target by $219.95
Medical --------------$473.71 -------over target by $278.21
Diabetics-------------$ 43.47 --------under target by $6.29
Misc. -----------------$114.05--------under target by $2.50
Personal Allowance----$999.09--------under target by $105.91

Daily Living Allowance allotted amount for 2011 was $6940 and I spent total $6884.71--under target by $55.29

Even with being over in four categories, I still just manage to come under my budget allotment for 2011.

This does give me the idea that I am subconsciously set myself amount to spend then holding back on some things if I think that I have to cut on my spending because I spend a lot one area that was needed like the medical.

One thing this summery proves that averaging out over whole year is better than worry if you go over month as you can try to cut on other months.

By viewing with this yearís one I am defiantly a subconscious budgeter.

Ok this Daily Living Allowance is the area that I will be working on to stretch and find any extra money I can. I also am looking at cutting back other on bills where I can. We will have a very large hike in household insurances this coming year as I havenít received the bill, I donít know how much it will be as yet!

Strategy - Review your bills every six months that you are still saving money with your changes that you made since renewed or changed bill companies. Change your habits if you canít change the company.

Final 13th monthly totals for 2011

January 19th, 2012 at 10:18 am

These are my 13th period monthly totals as I have 28 days month budget (13x28=364 days)

I only just updated my Excel so here are the figures for last month. Tomorrow I will post my annual summary for 2011.

As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to a calendar months so here are the figures for my last period.

Itís time to start again on reviewing my monthly daily living allowance.

These are the categories for this challenge.

Items === Approx. Budget===Spent
Eating out===$35.00=====$20.05
Groceries===$135.50 ==== $88.54
Non-Food===$17.00
Clothes ====$35.00
Grooming===$15.00
Gas======$25.00 ======$19.10
Pets====== $50.00=== ==$33.32
HH items===$42.50=====$20.99
Fares== ====$9.00
Entrainments= $12.00
Garden =====$10.00
Gifts & Donations =$35.00===$169.75
Medical =====$15.00
Diabetes Expenses====$50
Misc ======$9.00
Personal Allowance =$85.00 ====$79.63

Note only one amount is a no spend

Budgeted for this period $580 spent $431.38 so under budget by $148.62
No Spending days over the 28 days = 12 days in total.
Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies.

Eating out including meals out with family and friends, we all go Dutch.

My credit cards are still paid in full each month this month I paid half of next month bill so I am ahead here.

Spending on books and papers $63.03 for the month including 4 papers. I spent on Sara Douglass novels as this is my reading challenge for 2012.
I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills. This month bills were around $2286.15 so no balance banked this month. This included Annual Medical Fund payment. This fund does cover all my fixed bills for the year if I can stick to this schedule as I have done for the past ten years or so. This fund does cover replacements when needed. My next replacement due is a new washing machine the money is already saved. On my budget excel modelling chart I can pay the full amount this year. This amount includes the catís trip with the Vet.

As for food out, I dined out 4 times this month costing between $20 & $9 a time most were around the $9 mark as I can no longer eat at fast food outlets. That $9.00 mealís at Casino is still looking the healthiest and best deal in the city for now.

My grocery bill came in under budget for this month.

Most of my social outing are dining out this is part of my social outings money and spending allowance.

If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now.

Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.

Do you look at other peopleís carts?

January 17th, 2012 at 04:36 am

I went shopping yesterday, to get somethingís for DF-M my elderly neighbour, so had I have get a few grocery and pet food for myself too! So this shop is what I nicknamed a cat shopping (More cat food than human food.)

Itís funny how you get into habits when buying things, anyone cart snooping into my cart / trolley. Do you do it? Would wonder what I ate at all.

There was between us
12 cans of cat food
2 packets of dry cat food
40 rolls of toilet paper
750g of white grapes
5 packets of satay Asian noodles
2 litres of skim milk
5 bags of Rustic Bread rolls
1/2 stick of celery
4 knobs of Australian garlic
6 packets of pasta
2 pack of Christmas cards @50c
2 packets Christmas jelly candy @50c
Local paper

I would love to see someone try to make a meal out of that lot.

Between us we spent over $70

Today is a no spending day

Problems with my Laser eReader

January 14th, 2012 at 08:39 pm

I have had a No spending day yesterday, but I still went out.

My brand new Laser eReader didnít work as it should so I had to return it, after 30 minutes fiddling with it, in the end I ask if they still store display stock one so you can compare between the two, to see what is missing off my one. In the end they replaced it and got the new one working for me. So now I need to find how to keep it going and start when itís not connected to the power point. No wonder I donít like any new technology it still gives me the creeps at times.

There are over 200 free ebooks loaded on it. But learning to read more than one page is the problem and then the screen will go blank and need to put the changer again to restart. I changed it for 15 hours so it should work. Trouble-shooter FAQ say if it does this the battery is flat and need to be recharged again. Itís a problem I will have to work in next few weeks before I start to download any more ebooks on to it.

Australia has had some funny weather this week

January 12th, 2012 at 08:52 am


I said that we would have a heatwave here in my last post. Well while we were having a heatwave down south in Victoria, they were having snowstorms and Western Australia is having a Cyclone this morning. We just canít win with this weather.

This week is one year on since the floods and the mud army some people are still in their homes yet and may never be.

I had my Air Con two days out of the three for about 8 hours non-stop. It used up power here normally I can get away with around 8 kWh per day plus 2 kWh from solar panels an selling back to the grid 1 or 2 kWh per day, both days I used 22 kwh plus 4 kWh from solar panels to run the Air Con on both day. I try to read my meters each day to see how I am going an note something I am doing different that normally here. I do chart it in excel over the years.
I drop down 8 kWh on line power since I installed Solar panels and 4 kWh in Hot water since installing solar hot water.

So I try to keep my utilities as low as I can.

It was hot here today.

January 9th, 2012 at 10:49 am

As I knew that today would be on the hot side. Over the weekend I tried to do all the outside jobs possible. I did my washing and ironing too! I mowed lawn and water the garden as much as I could at least 24 hours so that ground is moist but not wet before the temperature will climb to 35C plus around here. Thatís about 6 degrees above normal. In the southern states it was much higher in the 40ís C and a very dry heat too! It was around 50C in the outback around Birdsville. Once the temperature gets into the 30ís C, I will put my Air Con on for the first time this year. My feet are swollen so as this is what I bought Air Con for in the first place, my friend I am worried about her but she will not come up to visit me, I will not sit her hot house for too long either! Another three days of this heat.

I spent the day reading with my feet.

37C equals 100 F

No spending day here.

Another City Trip and Problem with Glasses

January 4th, 2012 at 07:55 pm

Today I had to go to the city again, which is want I didnít what to do this week!

Well I must sense some things when I wrote ďToday I went to the city again for my annual eye test and new glasses. This pair will cost some money around $185 extra as I am getting the works done on it.
Bifocals, transitions lens etc. as well a new frame. I should have them by end of the month if I am lucky, as last time something went wrong and had to be done again. I have pick out next yearís frame that I like so they put the code on my file.Ē
in
This & That.

On Christmas day I drove my car to my sonís place and felt that I was driving a little to the left for my liking, and the same when I was walk I had to keep myself aware of this but could see why only that I had my new glasses on. I do know that I have extra sensitive eye site and certain part of my glasses canít be changed. There is nothing wrong the subscription as this hasnít changed in the last 5 years.

Same with transitions lens, and bifocals, but the degree of centring of the bifocals on the left eye was out by 3 degrees enough to cause the problem like double vision of streets and the ground coming up at you when you walk as I have this before and more than once over many decades I knew what I was. All this was a lesser degree that before so I tried to work with for a while, so last Monday I went for a walk at different time of day, and I could look up at the streets around the places found that I couldnít see signs 5 metres that I could with the other pair that I own. Oh I could make out want written but in double. I was still walking to the left. In the afternoon I wore the pair that these new were replacing the ones I got in 2007, now I could see 200 metres down the road to the second lot of street lights even being able read the ambulance at the distance. Now I knew that something was wrong with the other part and not to wear then again.

So after a phone call Tuesday and went to the city to see what was wrong with them. I always go the same place as they know how I am a problem with my eyes. Yes the glasses are out 3 degrees on the left lens and would have to replaced I did take a number of old pairs with me. So I have wait for them to be fix. This will be about the eighth time that this has happen, once it was 3 months and three goes at it before I got then the glasses fell off my face at 100km hour on the highway. I often wonder how many car accidents is cause with faulty pair of glasses on the driver. I was lucky that time as I was able to catch them and put them back on before fell the floor of the car. By the way I canít see past the steering wheel with no glasses on.

Any way I can say, I only bought my local paper for the TV program week. $1.10

I did walk around some stores but didnít buy anything other than paper not even any food or a drink I just went home for lunch.

Bit of tradition and fireworks

January 2nd, 2012 at 08:58 am

I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and may it be a good one.

Over the past 40 years our national TV channel has broadcast the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo each New Year Eve and my family have watch it most of that time and for the last 20 years I watch alone. So this New Year Eve was no different, I put it on an watch it for 90 minutes nonstop as that station has no advertisements at all! All ABC channels donít any advertisements.

After that finished I went to bed to read my latest novel by Sara Douglass and read until midnight when the fireworks went off on the river 6 km away. Before I could see them from my street but now we only can hear them as the all new high rise buildings are blocking our view or the trees if there is a spot that you could see the city. Now the fireworks are lower than before. We are not allowed to have fireworks at home because of the risk of fire and itís the bushfire season. There are illegal fireworks being bought and a few people were injured and one man was killed this year in Victoria. Now they have bushfires again in that state and a heat wave.

I remember having Guy Fawkes nights 5th November as a small child and bonfires that went with them. Now that is no more and the city councils, some state governments and business pay to have large firework displays (Something like 10 million AU dollars went up this year around Australia) on our rivers and harbours, and the Sydney one is televised nationwide, now they think it is now the best in the world. May be come down to Sydney Australia one New Year Eve to find out if it is the best world over 1 million watch it each year.

This post marks my 800th entry.