Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday's Money Matters

Oh it has been a glorious day today!
The sun's shining, there's just a hint of a breeze and today marks 20 years in remission for a very good friend of ours. As an added bonus ~ we have been out and had a celebratory (free) feed to mark this momentous occasion. It's even more special as Mrs Jonahs was not expected to see her 20th birthday let alone celebrate two decades later. It really does help put things into perspective.

Now The Jonahs is not their real name ~ its a carry over from a name which stuck back in 2007. For the past 4-5 years we have had their help and support with SmallBoy while Husband worked in Melbourne and I recovered from surgery. Every few weekends they would whisk him away to play with their children and every so often we'd have their little guy over to stay for the weekend. We've loved watching Joe grow up over the years, seen the changes when autism was confirmed and enjoyed observing the friendship between the two boys get stronger each year. Only recently we became aware that we are the only people he will stay over night with ~ even going away with us for a while. He is witty, highly intelligent and a great kid to have around. SmallBoy wishes for a brother like Joe.

No Spend / Low Spend

This past few weeks have been the most successful for no spending or low spending on necessities (if you discount all the back to school requirements). Those things we did need to purchase were either second hand or haggled in price. SmallBoy's school uniform items had a fare share of haggle power. After picking up, almost brand new, polo tops - 2 each in long and short sleeve, 2 pair of Stubby shorts,  2 pair of Stubby trousers and a zip up motif jumper for less than the price of a new jumper - the Grade 6 bomber jacket at $55 was one expense non negotiable in price. His school shoes (at $110) were also non negotiable and less than the $300+ for orthopaedics but we got the orthopaedic insert for half price and a 50% off voucher for our next purchase. 

Husband's dental requirements need additional work done. The first 'quote' was over $500! I asked if that could be reduced or bettered and you would have thought I had grown an additional eye in the middle of my forehead. We had been advised the 'scheduled' fee for this work was $159 and, seriously, that's closer to what I was prepared to pay. The 'best' that could be offered was $400 - paid in two instalments if that would assist our budgeting. So I rang two other dentists - explained what work was required, what I understood the scheduled fee was and asked for a quote to do the work. The dental hospital could do it for $20, but it would be about a year until an appointment would be available. One clinic said it could do the work for $280, but would not provide a written quote. The other clinic would not offer a written quote either, but did say if the original dentist wished to confirm the quote of $180 it would do so. Regardless ~ the first dentist would still go no lower than $250 so you can guess which dental clinic got the business. People think that dentists are not open to negotiation ~ have you ever tried. One reason I haggled over the dental fees was because my brother was told he had to pay over $2000 for dental work ~ and he got it down to under $800. Therefore I've never ever gone with the first quote!!

This past week there has been no shopping budget ~ the rates ensured that. However the pantry and fridge are sufficiently stocked, I ducked up the back roads and picked five apples for SmallBoy's lunch box, grabbed a loaf of bread from the Salvos and scored a voucher for Bulla Split Icy-poles which will cover dessert for him for a fortnight. I also sold two dozen eggs at a friend's office and should be getting an order for a few more ~ there are six dozen eggs in the fridge at the moment and that's $24 dollars to go onto something like the VISA. Speaking of the drastic plastic ~ its almost under $6k and as soon as it does, the limit gets to go down again. I am so glad I didn't take the PIN option ~ it's been so long since I used it I would have forgotten it by now. I can't remember the NIVA card PIN and its not been used since October! At the end of the month, the NIVA is reducing to $1000 available and this will roll $2000 onto the Line of Credit or the Mortgage ~ I can't remember which the bank suggested as a preference but we are to get a phone call next Monday to sign off on this one.

I've kept the 3L milk bought last week exclusively for the breakfast cereal and used powdered milk in cooking and my morning cuppa. It's not too bad, if nice and chilled you wouldn't know the difference. I'm going to see if I can sneak some into the milk carton to stretch it through to Friday - otherwise I'll be making pikelets for breakfast because there will be no milk for the porridge or cereal. Mmmmm - porridge. I had a 'pay it back' experience from a girlfriend I've helped in the past ~ having used my pantry to feed her family for a week two years ago, she popped past with Weetbix,  biscuits and some dishwasher tabs. That was so timely as SmallBoy has eaten the last of the cereal - hence the porridge *grins*

With the previous shop - at end of January - only $115 of the budgeted $120 was spent. We spent $10 on milk and cat food the week later but not the original $21 planned because petrol was needed - we ended up getting $2.40 off with a docket. The mystery shop $10 paid for milk, water and onions on Thursday and, until our pension comes on Friday, we don't have anything spare for shopping. It's going to be a scrape through by the short and curlies to have enough for the personal loan - so long as no unexpected fees or charges or a withdrawal goes through a day or two early, we are going to be fine. 

The Current Debt Total :  $32,052.74  
@ 25th January

Our Money : $27.90
Your Money : $54.20
'Coffee' dates : $7.00
eBay Sales : $42.50

The Total Paid onto the Debt : $ 132.60

New Debt Amount : $ 31,920.14

Our contribution in detail
$   5.00 - grocery savings
$   2.40 - Petrol savings
$ 13.50 - 50% off shoe insert
$   7.00 - cash discount for acupuncture
$   8.00 - egg sales

I do apologise for those waiting for eBay goodies to be added for selling ~ had a few friends suggesting different ways to go, putting clothes in bundles vs individual items and it is a little hard to get my head around the best way. I've set up a weekly schedule to help get the housework, de-cluttering, gardening, medical and online activities operating in a more organised fashion. This should help while the brain fuzzies escalate during medication withdrawal. Husband is being a brilliant carer and supporter ~ he's even gone so far as walking in for one item at the shop and exiting with that single item. He's also been helping get the fantastic pictures together so there is always something from the day to post and checking the information is accurate.

A Coupla Things to Flog

In trying to build a little momentum for contributions, donations and support for Our Mission, I've decided it is time to get this Blog a few more followers. Linking in with some other Mummy Bloggers has been part of this drive. None of these are paid advertisers, although if you let them know you heard about them here it might get a few dollars tossed into the spare change jar *cheeky*

Some have competitions, some have awesome products to sell, a few are just random wafflings about the 'joys' of chillins and all are pretty darn interesting as far as I am concerned. Here's hoping you'll check out one or two...

ProBlogger.net ~ I am using this wonderful chappy's eBook to help build Mands On A Mission's readership as part of a 31 day to build a better blog.

SoloMum ~ She's got a gorgeous necklace for readers to win. She's also offering the Zen Habits book on "Less" I've been eyeing off for a while now ~ let her know you heard how lovely, fantastic and brilliant she is through Mands On A Mission and fingers crossed I can win it *please*

PlaySand ~ It amazes me how creative people can be! I'm not sure of prices but if you are in WA you can have a hosted creative party ~ otherwise there are party packs or 'Im bored' kits available to do at home yourself.

Australian Made, Australian Owned ~ now more than ever is the time to consciously buy locally made and grown products

Cadbury 'Catch Up' ~ Mostly because I love Cadbury chocolate - and the new ads are really clever. Do you know how hard it is to see Cadbury Creme Eggs in the supermarket and leave them on the shelf?? Happy to provide an address to anyone wanted to sent chocolate!

Don't forget to have a look back at recent entries for other Flogged Stuff ~ I will try to mention a few each week.  Oh ~ I didn't win the Harley Davidson, so you won't be seeing that up for sale on eBay any time soon but I did win a bottle of perfume called "Outspoken" worth $50 and will be popping that online sometime soon.

OK ~ had a few wines, enjoyed the Duck a l'orange dinner and Tiramisu dessert - time for bed.
Hope to catch you all tomorrow - after my morning of volunteering at the children's respite centre!! I hope my working with children paperwork has been authorised so I can move around the building.

Onward and upward


  1. It was really truly fascinating reading this post. I have designated this year for reducing our debt (similar to yours) and seeing how you are doing it is enlightening.

    Thanks! Subscribing to follow your journey.

  2. Thanks Kelley
    I hope you enjoy the ride! If anything we do proves successful for you too - please - let me know how well it went :D

  3. Another new follower and I'll send my very financially stretched friend here too to read your blog.

    I was shocked at their debt and in anguish over their struggle to live day to day. Their debt is largely inherited because of an ill parent who handed on a somewhat sinking business. I am sure she would appreciate following your advice in balancing the line. I love your tag line.

    I have some ideas for her right now - ebay and selling her chicken eggs or swapping.

    Very inspiring posts. It's almost 2am and I've been browsing.

    Your blog is very enlightening as dear Kelley (bless her - she only gives very genuine compliments) said.
    I am amazed how you get so many freebies and haggle. Well done. I wish I was as brave.

    We are leaving behind our business to soon embrace farm life on a very tight budget so I look forward to following your journey too.
    PS What fantastic news for your friend. It realy touches me to read of such happy news.
    The end ...=)

  4. Hi
    Popping in from AMB to follow you and check out your blog.
    Love it! Will be back!