Sorting through the everythings...
Second week of our Mission and we made two small payments into our debt by lowering our costs – Hi, my name is Mands and I am hoping you can help get me and my family out of a bind with debt. Yes, we are asking total strangers for the gift of few dollars, even a few cents to help pay off our debt, stop the interest accruing, building and getting further out of control.
This debt did not come about due to lavish spending, over-indulging or financial mismanagement. Most was incurred due to medical expenses, assisted living charges, travel costs while I waited for and now rehabilitating from spinal surgery at the same time the single incoming wage under went restructure, reductions due to the financial crisis' impact on Husband's employer.
We are not asking for you to pay it for us ~ rather help contribute to pay it down with us.
It was exciting to see that people are actually looking over the pages. On Monday, 59 views were registered, yesterday it was 110 and it's not us because we set up the pages not to include our views. Thanks for the looks in - it was quite a morale boost to see you *waves* hellooo
A little about us is back on the first post, Welcome to the Front Page but in a nutshell I've not worked since a death, a redundancy, a breakdown and the discovery of 6 spinal fractures in 2007. Had an operation, had a fusion and, in August 2010, Husband ceased paid employment to be my full time carer, reducing our income by $550 a week. We have productive home time, reliable help and physical changes for the better - physically, mentally and aesthetically. It's a simple(!!) life on $628 a week from government payments. But we can't get ahead on the debt we were paying down at great speed any longer and hope not to lose the lot. Darn it!! Life goes on...
The weekly incomings from MrCentrelink seemed to have settled into a regular pattern of $350 odd one week, $800 or so the following and of course it is out of synch with the mortgage repayments! Had a chat with the bank on the phone to explain what has happened with the income and was told they were pleased with our extra payments so far, had wondered what was happening and 'are always here to help because bank people aren't always scary'. Too true. Still, haven't worked up the guts to call about the interest rate on the credit card. It's on the things to do. Plus we might look at going interest only on the loan if only to give ourselves a window to breathe. We will see how we go after a few months on our Mission.
We have, however, finally gone into our bank and shown our pension cards and had the $5 monthly account fee removed for the next 12 months. Because there is a record of a request to do this 11 months ago but no 'personal banker' to complete the forms back then, we might get these fees refunded. It will go on the line of credit if we do! All we did was ask for it to be considered because it was noted. This will be the first positive thing this nameless bank has done for us. Unlike NAB and ING who we often have reason to complement.
This week has been about sorting clutter from rubbish, sorting through cupboards and boxes and setting Mands On A Mission up as a family project. It's gone really well! While we had budgeted $100 each week for food, pets, cleaners and such, this first week we set ourselves a $21 challenge and came in at $21.60. We'll count that as a success - seriously, even if we'd spent $50 for the week, it would still be a success as it is under the budget. By January we hope to have the grocery budget closer to $150pf - with the veggie beds producing around then, this should be quite easy. Finding just under $20 in change while cleaning was a bonus, but applying it as an hourly rate for work done become quite depressing when it moves to less than $1 an hour. Thankfully it is not our rate of pay - we saw these coins as a bonus! On to the debt!!
The thing we were most impressed with (of ourselves, that is) was making three lamb shanks form the base of four meals. From the first meal, lamb shanks casserole on mash potato, we used the left over mash to make fish patties for the next day's dinner. This used three fish fillets which had been hiding in the freezer for almost two years and really needed to be used. We didn't get food poisoning, had the leftovers as lunch for Husband and I and the fourth meal is being made tonight - vegetable pie with the casserole sauces for the filling, adding broccoli and cauli to the Moroccan flavours of the sauce. Four meals. Rubber meals. And nothing extra was needed, however we chose to get some salad extras over chips from the freezer to have with the fish patties.
We might work out a tally on how much per meal is spent per person as time goes on. At the moment we guesstimate at about $3-$7 per person per day, but this last week was close to being under $1 per person per day. And that was because we got salad stuff rather than using what was in the cupboards already. While we didn't spend the food budget, having it available meant we could fix the car - all up that was around $62, plus petrol which we have in the available budget but we still came up ahead. Also, stretching the food resulted in stretching the smokos to fit the shopping needs. Yes - this vice shall be going in the new year, as we vow to every year. This year should be different as we are weaning down to it now, with our Mission as incentive.
The eBay account as one item finishing tonight - and it has a bid on it! Bonus!! The second item has quite a few watching it and one bid in! Too exciting and now we really must get the other items up. There's something that will be happening tonight for definite. That's about $10 if we have calculated the postage correctly. Living and learning - eBay is scary when it is new!
One thing we will report each month is the current outstanding amount in each area and where the monies we save or are given by readers or come through eBay are applied. This can show how real people, those of the low income or benefits only ilk, can manage, stay afloat and be smarter with what is available. If Australia paid for blood donations, we might consider such things but it doesn't and I'd rather not have to cry for a few bob. We will however consider dumpster diving because it provides free social interaction along with the gathering of foods of a more gourmet linage. It's mostly in wrappers so we figure if we can survive eating fish frozen for over 2years, fresh stuffs from a supermarket bin will be just fine. Environmentally and economically friendly. More of that in Mands Meanderings.
We've set up a few ways people can follow our Mission and know when we've made savings, paid down an account, had support and gifts from others and where you can cheer us on.
Payments from eBay items in mandsmission can be through PayPal, on collection or by arrangement
Gifts from 10c through to $3.50 can be given into the Treasure Chest at the top right of the pages or on Mands Meanderings. We can't work out how to make an 'any amount' button but figure its rude to expect more than a cuppa from a stranger. Even $1 from anyone who got a laugh or hint to try themselves would make this a huge success.
FaceBook is a funny place but a great spot to make the ol' note available. We've set up Mands On A Mission's fan page - don't actually know what we are doing with it, but we shall make it an adventure in communication.
Hope you find our Mission entertaining, helpful and rewarding in some way. Please feel free to let others know what we hope to achieve, receive. Until next week.
Our Mission is to clear this debt - your help will make this so much more possible to achieve. *the plug*
The week that was...
Wednesday 6 October to Tuesday 12 October
Here's the week in rewind - this way the Daily Report will always be this week's reporting. One day we'll read this back and remember our early commitments, concerns and troubles.
Wednesday 6 October 2010
The start. Bit scared and nervous putting this out there. Getting all the network blog, paypal, ebay stuff sorted. Hope to have that up before we 'rss' this and do the network blog or tell our mates. We don't plan to be half-assed about de-clutter, selling and changing our environment. Here's to our first post, first $10 contribution and first gift into the Mission.
Thursday 7 October 2010
Spent nothing today ~ this was good. We dried clothes on the line, the laundry drier is unplugged and not to be used.
We placed our first item on eBay and will put a few more up each day. We think it is costing .30c per ad - and welcome any input if we are going about this incorrectly. It's mandsmission on eBay ~ so a work in progress.
No veggies from the garden - none are at seedling size yet anyway. Just thought it worth mentioning.
Friday 8 October 2010
Fridays always seem to be the day funds come in, money transfers out ~ and several payments fall due. This week is 'poor' week - only the family payment of $234 is in this week. No groceries required. Cat's are fine. This needs to go into the mortgage. Yesterday...
Relief! Part of an outstanding debt to us has been repaid to the account overnight - the mortgage is covered and a double repayment can go onto VISA. We did need firewood-1mt, petrol, oil and meter money. $2300 came in - $1900 out - the rest is for a firewood delivery of 3-5mt.
It's doesn't look like anyone has found our eBay items for clearance. The Tupperware might attract attention. Should we pay the extra 49c for one of those listing little piccies or is ours just not working correctly? Might see how that plays out.
Had whole baked potatoes with cheese, mince and tomato sauce, sour cream, sweet chilli sauce and avocado. It was delicious and everything was here. The avocado had been in the fridge for 2weeks or more - it was just right. Surprisingly filling.
** First catastrophe - the car has seized. Looks like the oil pump has failed. Darn it - just fixed a burst water hose, avoiding breakdown last week. Oil light came on and we found a coil had come loose. The oil light didn't switch off by the school pickup - we wrongly assumed light not yet picking up replaced oil... died one block from home. Will think about next week coordinations tomorrow...
Saturday 9 October 2010
Crap sleep - car still up the road. Didn't start after 'a bit of a rest', hasn't started now. It's supposed to be a sunny day. No spending planned - the new month budget does need to be written up to make sure we don't slid further downward. Made up our own templates. Tidying up in the kitchen and found $12 in coins. $12.35 to be exact. That can be free'd up from the grocery budget - will need milk by Monday. Or get extra Whiskers cat-food while on special. Hmm - choices.
Car isn't going anywhere - let's hope it stays 'safe'. Hoons like that side street and the car currently faces in the correct direction. Don't want this changed. No extra insurance - it just cant be budgeted. I did however budget savings of over $200 a month on our Disability/Carer payments if the debt did not exist.
We are going to pay it down - *the Mission*
Assistance is greatly appreciated - *the Plug*
Sunday 10 October 2010 ~ 10/10/10
Slept well! Woke up with the cat sleeping on my shoulder, holding my hand in her paws. Cute - but could have slept an hour longer had her whiskers got up my nose. And hello good morning! Gorgeous actually. No modes of transport, not going anywhere, no spending. Car, The Magna, is still up the road. MudGuts assures us he is one his way to help push it home. Lamb shanks for dinner - $3, for 3 shanks - bargain from the freezer!!
There was a little spending today - all can be accounted for in the budget. Husband and SmallBoy dusted the bicycles, went for a ride and got petrol for the other car which has a hole in the tank, The Mazda, as well as milk and juice. Returned with $10petrol from the servo; 5L juice- $5; Milk- $3.20, Lambs Fry- $3.70 : at SmallBoy's request; Mushrooms- $3.14 from the supermarket ($15.05). The girl at the counter took the 4c off and made it an even $15! Handier still because Husband only had $15 on him, having spent $10 at the servo. Saved 5c
We also have found $6.75 in coins in the spare room and around the kitchen area during the de-clutter, sorting and finding locations for that which can stay. So far so good. Works out at about $0.84ph for time spent on those areas over this weekend. Yippee!?
Monday 11 October 2010
No car, no MudGuts, lovely school friends helped with the school run duties. Oh my - tall lanky teen here. Car home. Money spent on the car for a temporary tank sealant, petrol, other car bits totalling $62. Husband went to supermarket, flicked through a motorbike mag, a pc mag - didn't buy them, didn't spend $12.90 *phew* Well done. He did buy some extra salad, veg, fruit items and was very restrained. Note to selves : chives in the garden can be used instead of spring onion to thin.
Gave MudGuts a dozen eggs for help, got 2 empty cartons in return (yeah!) and a promise to return tomorrow to help rearrange in the fast filling garage. We'll see if it happens. Feeling quite chuffed to see we've had over 50views - even if only half had given us 10c that's almost a coffee memory!!
Today's moment of our Mission frugality - another 'stretchie' meal - Using the left over mash from last night, 3 frozen fish fillets (bb. 09/09 - we'll be right *gulps*), frozen bread crusts, chives, basil, lime juice and sweet chilli sauce, we had some very yummy fish patties for dinner. All mushed in the blender, combined in a bowl, fried in a pan - easy. If I were to add cauli to the sauce from the shanks and put it in a pie, there's three meals from one. But thats for later - tomorrow is lambs fry - by request.
We making things go just a little further - *the Mission*
Assistance is greatly appreciated - *the Plug*
Tuesday 12 October 2010
So guess who didn't turn up. Didn't plan on MudGuts input, but only the garage sorting and storing was done before the rain came bucketing down. I've got a theory about that on Meanderings today. We didn't spend anything today, but we didn't cut any corners or make any savings either. We did however start to run back through the figures of the last week in anticipation of comparing against the balances tomorrow. Most in-roads are against the VISA. No extra payments towards collections but we've got to the end of the month for that and money moves on Friday
Got 5 eggs from the ladies, 3 egg cartons from the neighbours (collectively) and forgot the patties were in the fridge for lunch so we'll eat them tomorrow. Lambs Fry tonight, which we decline to share because too many say 'gross' or get turned away. Ours is yummy and all gone. Tomorrow its a pie, and the fourth meal from the shanks dinner. Must get that out to defrost in the fridge.
We are enjoying seeing the audience on FaceBook and hope people visit here too and see what our Mission is all about and how others can help us out of our bind.
A day without spending - *our Mission*
The small gift from others - *the Plug*