Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Birthday ~ here's some lambs' fry

We ate strawberries ~ delicious ~ more coming!! 
Last night SmallBoy left 10 behind in his sleep and was up this morning more alert and earlier than usual - as an 11 year old ~ time just flies.
Finally his Birthday Day has arrived. Thought he'd be up for hours to come last night with the way he was brimming with excitement. He has been like a jumping bean, bouncing all over the place ~ just could not find a box to contain him! 

He went shopping with NannyD on the weekend and got some cool clothes, a figurine and, because he knew it was coming for his birthday and he wanted to show NannyD, he got his penny whistle as an advanced present - only because the bouncing had already started.  There was a particular game for the Wii he has been wanting, asking for to the point of nagging. We had it, plus a new controller so he has 'his own' now.  Plus clothes and some collectible spoons - he has a great collection going, this set had a place with his name in it so that was a bit special *laughs*

We had offered SmallBoy his choice of meal for dinner - hoping not to be lumped with a KFC or Maccas type order. Oh yum *not* It's the kind of food when you see the advert on tellie over and over, then think gee its been ages since we've had that - sure there was a reason, but not exactly what - we have finally got to the point of remembering it just doesn't taste that nice. Not when we are used to our secret herb and spice mixes

At eleven, well he's not really up to remembering what it is about the fast-food which makes it so not worth the excitement of the get it over the counter and the wrapping.  But no.  SmallBoy requested, and got, lambs' fry with bacon and onion, roast pork crackle without the roast and a coffee flavoured Birthday Cake with mocha icing.  So that is what we had! Even MudGuts has left feeling not just sated, but on the cusp of full

What is with the price of offal and off-cuts?  
Can you get over how much is charged for pork crackle and lambs' fry these days?!! Used to get 3 for $1 and the pork fat free! - now it's $4-$6 for some rind and a lambs' fry can set you back well over $3! Any way - none of the supermarkets visited, for the sole purpose to get a lambs' fry and pork crackle, had any available. So bit the bullet and saw an old friend who is a butcher.  He is such a gentleman, funny and caring. He asked how the back was, I asked how life was treating him - mentioned this was the SmallBoy's choice ("better than pizza an' half the cost") ~ bought 3 lambs' fry for $3 and a how to freeze, defrost lesson, then 3 slabs of crackling for free and another lesson in freezing, defrosting to use.

There has been a little spending ~ but it has covered all the birthdays for before Christmas, and a lot of Christmas itself!  Impressed ~ spent $100 at the op-shops and most of the clothes are still tagged so not even worn. There is some of the clothes for SmallBoy (birthday and Christmas), MudGuts, a t-shirt for Husband, me and some of the nieces and nephews. Spent $103 and got 34 items of clothing in excellent condition. 

There have been a few gains as well - eBay sales are up to almost $100 toward to the credit card. There are sales that ended last night and have been invoiced and paid today - so off to the mail tomorrow. Mystery shops have been undertaken - Sure its $10 here and $25 there - but that's how we got into debt with a little here and some more there, so the reverse seems to have a better outcome! *beams*

Apologies for the scattiness of the updates this week ~ we've had some awesome storms, a little flooding and it's all been all over the place. Even now we are getting the most amazing lightening display from afar - you can hear the thunder rumbling in the far off - not sure where though, it's that far away. Tried to take pics but its too far away so Husband and I have been standing at the back fence, just enjoying the show.

I never posted last weeks ramblings of the Daily Update ~ had it ready to go but didn't in the excitement of the audit result no doubt. *grins*  So it is below and we are back into the swing of the daily report.

Until tomorrow ~ here's all that catch up stuff from before the audit.  You may have already seen this :D

The week that was ~ and a bit...

Wednesday 24 November 2010
Well, hello...
As you've probably discovered we are back online and mobile with a lot of catching up to tell. The last entry was Thurs 11 Nov ~ almost two weeks ago. All that newsy waffle is on the main page ~ bit about the daily stuff here. Ahhh ~ accountability ~ how I have missed thee :D

Today there was a shop at the supermarket, which gave 8c off on petrol, desperately required. The last shop was on Saturday 13 November - its a long time between fresh fruit n veg. The grocery budget allows $100pw.  The total spend was $110.62, however we got everything we had budgeted to buy - including meat, dairy and a magazine!! *gasps* If we had paid full price for our shop, it would have been a $152 shop. The weekly shop for 33% off.  Plus the docket saved $5 on petrol - laughin'...

Took the fax to the Salvos Community Centre and had the additional pay details, doctors' notes and other rah rah the 'capitalisation hardship application' required. There are several agencies that offer similar services - if you ask, are polite, patient and grateful for the service provided. You can even get a free loaf of fresh bread if you go in at the right time ~ sometimes special grainy types, raisin toast or crumpets! Bonus!! *grins*  One thing less for the shopping budget and not the 'basic plain white' variety! Seriously, have you seen the price for a loaf of bread these days???

What an exciting experience our Mission is turning out to be ~ *our Mission*
Sure love to see some coins in the Spare Change Jar (up on the left - under the 'Home' tab) ~ *the Plug*

Thursday 25 November 2010
Still a little 'disorientated' - went to write Tuesday, then 1967 - back in the 'now'.
Today we had an OHS manual handling course to attend as part of our community service for unpaid fines. Sadly, I was out at lunch time ~ sitting was painful, standing was tiring and kneeling just looked wrong. Plus the painkillers had worn off and, likely tomorrow was not going to happen, I was asked not over-do it today. Took a call from the lender about our application and clarified one issue - its in the process of review now, hopeful of a good outcome.

We had a park in the metered bay - paid $2 for 2hr, got 4hrs on the meter covered. Saved $2.  Took thick buttered slices of banana bread made earlier in the week, left over stirfry to share. Yummy and cheaper than the 'city' cafes in walking distance from the training room. Saved $10-$15 on lunch. Drank crappy instant coffee in a styrene-foam cup (Husband had tea) but it was there and it was free. There is no price on sanity gained from caffeine...

Using some of the marked down potatoes, the marked down steak, frozen green veg from a Salvo's food parcel, some of the marked down mushies and others 'herbs n spices' to make a beef casserole ~ a fabulous $5 meal to serve the three of us stuffed full! Had I thought about it earlier, it could have become a pie - but I didn't so it is beef casserole and mash.

The news tonight indicates Centrelink payments through the NAB will not be getting moneys on time tomorrow. At least one payment goes to the other bank connected to our mortgage so we can cover payments due Monday/Tuesday. Panic, stress and/or anxiety attack averted ~ we know we have funds available and the rest will be coming. This will affect MudGuts however, as we about to sit and discuss/plan his Christmas financial status and requirements this weekend, the timing is very good.

Spent $4 on parking.
That's it... Pretty good, hey?!

Planning ahead a little, keeping costs low ~ *Our Mission*
Got a spare 50c, see how far we make it go ~ *The Plug for your spare change*

Friday 26 November 2010
Shhh ~ listen : ~ *hear that?* ~ lots of BIG rolling Thunder...
*grins* Love a good storm! Woke up at 6am to a glorious sort of day through the curtains ~ contemplated putting a load of towels in the machine and decided to read until the 730 alarm, and dozed off at about 715am. Throws you out of synch when you dream you're already ready - to wake up and discover you're not!

SmallBoy has a new favourite sandwich filling ~ ham and sauce. As we still have 2-3 tins of canned ham ~ this is a good thing *cheers* Had a 'second' bowl of cereal, got organised for hydrotherapy and fell asleep. Lucky really ~ I was woken by wall-shaking thunder and torrential rain pelting from the sky above. That "gee I wish we had another water tank" kind of storm. Really massive with the rain almost to the door.

Spent no money today but will need to get grain for the chickens. Also need to give each of the neighbours a dozen eggs, just got some more cartons!! If it is not raining over the weekend, we might put an "Eggs 4 Sale" sign out and aim $40-$50 from a dozen dozen eggs ~ and 'make' three little roosters into two plumb, plucked roasts and one for the pot. If Skippy continues to be a dork, we might get two for the pot and have enough feathers for a pillow *chuckles*  As if...

Can't provide all the financials as the NAB has had a 'glitch' and pays/payments processes are delayed. The Carer Partner Allowance has gone in and payment into the Line of Credit transferred straight to the NIVA. Hopefully this will stop and repay to LOC when the NIVA limit is lowered. Don't know what is where for the VISA as its with NAB and its had a 'glitch'. Not stressing or concerned - everything that needs or might want covering is manageable until Tuesday and beyond even. But we have every faith things will be all balanced by then. It's not really denial when there is nothing to deny!

~ Can't fix it until you know where it is broke ~ can't know until its seen, fixed and updated ~ can't get anxious if I don't see a problem ~

The $30 question then is, do we use what's in the pantry and make a tuna mornay or do we not deny ourselves the ability to slurge on take-away 'like we used to' from the Green Parrot Fish and Chip shop. Do we enjoy an hour of delicious tastes at the expense of a day's mortgage payment. We'd rather not spend it but transfer the money available and accessible in the bank over to the bills debt.  It's still early enough to change our mind and go the take-away, but for now we are getting ready to make Tuna Mornay and rice for dinner. And this is how we reduce our 'normal' weekly outgoings to free up to make actual reductions through increased cash available for repayments. *re-reads slowly*
There is a very powerful tip hidden in that waffle!

'Chip'ping away at the debt every day, being creative and sending tips your way ~ *our Mission*
You can use PayPal or Account Transfer to add funds to our Spare Change Jar ~ *the Plug*

Saturday 27 November 2010

Today we spent ~ bought grain for the chookies, but didn't get the 'Eggs 4 Sale' sign out long because it didn't stop raining. It was a mess of black marker in no time.  We also spent a little on some nice steak when getting dry cat food, oil and dishwashing tabs. Just under $50.

Lots of woe, angst and anger at the banks for the stuff up on pay transfers ~ we're ok and know where all our cash is(not) for transfers, debits and such. Not panicking at all thank you. :D  All is good.

Sunday 28 November 2010

Nothing spent today. Actually have the whole week menu planned against items already here in the fridge, freezer and pantry. Too easy. Hoping to 'find' a cabbage because there's been a hankering for chow mein, all we need is a cabbage but we don't really need it enough to warrant a shop.

Went wading through the garage to find items for eBay ~ Tupperware galore people! Might just stick to getting the items that pay up good than clothes where you can hit or miss. Don't mind people getting a good score because it means its gone, along with one of the zillion post bags kept for 'just this type of occasion'. So OVER clutter!

Not much more to tell ~ still no access to payments from Centrelink via the NAB but so not stressed. We've decided we will dip into the emergency funds, but that's what they are there for and it will be repaid in full when deposited.

Monday 29 November 2010

Bill payments made today ~ and no need to transfers funds from the emergency account as our Centrelink payment is now available and accessible via the account. Yee-ha! We didn't need to use it, but we have a valuable emergency money plan that works. Transferred $250 to VISA debt ~ because we can and its there now. Not using funds set for groceries for the last few weeks and any shops were under-budget allowed it *grins*

Moving into the routine of 800am to 400pm of daily activity on a productive, proactive side ~ be it the mess, finances, de-cluttering, the garden, clothes, stock-taking, focussing on different rooms ~ with a nice after-school family time balance before getting into the dinner preparation and homework time. Getting closer to eating at 630pm - we had omelettes tonight and SmallBoy was eating his before 700, Husband at 7pm and myself just after.

Sent the outstanding eBay sales ~ had fun sticking on stamps! Love the 'entertainment'. Was a real pain being off-line and not having information at hand. Husband is taking pictures of items to post up. Only the iPhone for now ~ he will email them to me to upload to eBay and list for sale. Aiming for an early night ~ bit pooped!

Reducing our outgoings free'd up more to pay the debt down ~ *our Mission*
Welcoming contributions in the Spare Change Jar or bid at eBay ~ *the Plug*

Tuesday 30 November 2010
Farewell Spring ~ you've blown lots of change(s) our way with the pollen and dust!

Today we spent ~ $3.20 on milk. It was needed because I had muesli AND porridge this morning ~ it's been a long day. Got the finer details for 'Bill's Budget in a Box' personal finance planning kit and now seeking guinea pigs to offer (say) $5 for the basic details to see if it works for them too. Got two one CentreLink payments giving it a go and by rights both can live under budget by $100 a fortnight - or more entertainment dollars as one girl realised very quickly and vocally!

In the garden, in the laundry and in the kitchen today - making good progress. And more stuff up on eBay! Hopefully we will get lots of action and good sales. It's good quality stuff and all brand new. Plus, on the main page, you can see the recipe and resulting Ice Cream Christmas Cake using one of those old cakes you got last year, or was it the one before? It all works just fine :D

Sharing our actions, giving you ideas to save or bring down the costs ~ *our Mission*
Hoping readers will give us Spare Change to help get our debt down ~ *the Plug*


And here is where we had left you... :


Wednesday 10 November 2010
Mwah ha ha ha ~ oh you need to read the main page!  Removed over $600 in monthly outgoings with only a few calls yesterday. Still running on the high of Tuesday's success!
Lots of appointments today and a crapping out of laptops so this is short, sweet and very late in the night (or early morning to be precise).  As we have no car at the moment although we hope to get it back tomorrow with a new (old) engine, getting around on public transport has been fun - I guess.  Thanks to a wonderful girlfriend, I did get a lift to some places a little on the too-far-to-walk side and SmallBoy was carpooled to and from school.  Hoping to get the printer printing tomorrow so all the bank paperwork can be completed and returned.  Arrgghhh - modern technology - great stuff until it craps out! *groans*  Will catch up with the Financial Report in the morning.  Until then...

Onward and upward (or downward for the debt!) ~ *our Mission*
Like us, follow us, encourage your parents to put 10c into our Treasure Chest ~ *the Plug*

Thursday 11 November 2010
Spent money on a few groceries today - $20.01 (but rounded that's $20 - saved 1c woo hoo).
Had no milk, barely got enough for the morning cuppa *pouts*  SmallBoy had enough for his weet-bix and that's the important thing!  Had a green smoothie for brekkie which certainly kept me satisfied and used up some of the not-so-pretty fruit and veg on hand.  Will post the recipe and pics so you can see what a green smoothie is. Trying to be a lot more healthy. We had baked beans on toast for lunch.
No spending on the car - yet.  Still not repaired however we have been assured we will have a car for the weekend, even if it is not our own.  Thank goodness for mechanics with loan cars!  Might even be a car less than 10yrs old which would be swish compared to the old Mazda!  If it is, we'll have to visit people and pretend we don't have a 30yr old beast machine.
Still doing the financial tally - while we cut the need to come up with $600 each month, its not really freeing up actual cash, more lowering the outgoings and getting closer to balancing against our incomings.  Husband might have a days work next week ~ this would be handy :D

Looking for the cheaper option everywhere we shop ~ *our Mission*
Hoping for a few Cafe Memories in the Treasure Chest this weekend ~ *the Plug*

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