Monday, February 28, 2011

Money Moanagement


Sometimes it is a little hard. 
I'm a little sick of being 'broke'. I know we are managing and keeping up with payments, but I am tired of having to struggle with the meals, bills, petrol and subsequent lack of ability to go to the movies with friends, not being able to enjoy the theatre unless it is free and, being regional, the lack of quality events accessible via public transport. The markets and entertainment occur out of public transport hours for a return trip or off the route and it makes me a little bitter at times. 

On the upside, I really do like that challenge to see how low our spending can be ~ whether it is the supermarket, the necessary items and the (few and far between) unnecessary and frivolous spends. I love to see just how low I can haggle an interest rate with the bank, negotiate on a bulk purchase from a 'major' outlet, barter a price from an independent seller. Bartering is one of my favourites because I will recommend others use the same person, business or supplier which helps Australian businesses grow and local produce stay local. 

Today I haggled with the bank to bring my credit card rate lower than 9.8% ~ a good rate but none the less, others are offering lower rates. Using the same techniques as previous, I spoke to Tony at the NAB and could not get the VISA lower as it is a 'platinum' card, already discounted and set with no annual fee for the life of the card. Bummer ~ so I asked, how can NAB retain my business without me heading over to ANotherZ bank offering 2.9%? Asking that question provided the information the NAB has a low fee credit card with a nominal annual fee and a current rate of 3.99% ~ that wasn't hard to find out. By changing the type of card we currently hold to the new low fee card has saved $65 in interest payments per month! Too easy ~ and the new card will arrive in 10-14 days. 

Having a little lamb roast for dinner tonight and the leftover meat will be used to make pasties for dinner tomorrow. The roast was $6.09, down from $9.20 ~ add a few potatoes, carrots, some peas and beans means its about $7 all up, perhaps $9 when the pastry and extra veggies for the pasties are counted ~ so that's two dinners for about $1 per head! I used a little BBQ sauce to marinade the lamb so no gravy is needed tonight. 

Facts and Figures
Mortgage comes out next week, as does the loan repayment, Husband's mobile phone account, the dentist, the gas and electricity. It's the expensive fortnight but we also have the pension and carer payment come in. School camp is coming up but those payments have been broken into manageable amounts and they will be paid by mid semester. With no rates due for another 12months, the refrigerator now owned outright  and the credit card under a sort of control, we might get a little ahead by the end of May. Not out of the pooh ~ but not sitting behind the eight-ball as badly as this time last year. 

Money in: 
Friday 25 February ~ $309.50

Money out:
Debt Repayment - Council home care ~ $2
Debt Repayment - VISA ~ $50
MicroSoft ~ $10.95
Internode ~ $60.94
Life Insurance ~ $52.18
Myopathy ~ $50.00
Petrol ~ $60.00
Train Fare ~ $10.20
Groceries ~ $13.16
TOTAL: $309.43

Oh well, at least it is not a deficit. Cashed in FlyBuys points for a $150 payment on the VISA plus  two mystery-shops next week will enable a $20 shop to be done ~ I'll be scouting out for some bakery, meat and dairy items again. Hopefully I can get yoghurt, cream and the rest will be fresh fruit and veg. Plus, and this is the bonus, I am doing a product trial that gives me a $50 Coles Myer voucher, a $50 Rebel Sports voucher and the promise of beautiful skin.

So its time for bed ~ Husband is off to help his mum get her place ready for sale. The Coles "We Love Pets" pack is up for grabs. I've got to say the cats are loving the Optimum dry food and drooling through the Purr Tuna whitemeat wet food. Boy they are feeling spoilt!! Hope you and your friends can enter before Sunday :D


  1. I did mystery shopper for a while - Pizza ! and Hungry jacks.

    I should look it up again ;)
    You seem to have some excellent mystery shops.

    Well done on sticking to your goals , and I can't imagine how frustrating it must . It's ok to moan :)

  2. I love you Trish *grins*
    Of course that sounds a little weird but you have been such a supporter of late with the right words with every comment you post. Thanks heaps for being part of Our Mission's little cheer squad! Playing with numbers today I know we are getting on top of the debt just a little ~ at least we've stopped going backward!
    As I get stronger there will be more walking able to be done - even riding a bike is not going to be out of the question - once I find a bike for me on freecycle *laughs*
    Thanks again ~ you've made my day!

  3. From my head and calculator to your typing. I am doing the same thing here. We're not broke, but I am so sick of watching every cent, and having to plan well in advance for any treats. Luckily, I've happened onto some great competitions and have a number of movie tickets waiting in the wings. Otherwise my social life would be non-existent!

    I blame the kids. Not just because they're too young to defend themselves. I never budgeted in my life until I had kids. Now the little darlings are sucking every cent out of me via dancing and swimming lessons, daycare, lunchbox treats that have to be of a certain brand and/or packaging or they won't be eaten.

    This is why I look forward to the day they have to start taking care of me, and they pay for my nursing home.

    All said "tongue in cheek" - because I love them dearly and cherish them. But seriously, I am looking forward to that, because with my budgeting skills there's no way I'll have saved for it.

  4. Welcome PP,
    Kids are part of it aren't they! Feels terrible having SmallBoy unable to do swimming, cubs or gym since last term ~ its just not manageable this year. We rely on freebies for fun at the moment, fingers crossed for movie tix and borrowing vids from the library in the meantime!

    I love the boys, even Husband and his former dependence on the 'drastic plastic'. If he can learn (and love) budgets and bargains - you can too :D

    Remember to be nice to the kids - not only will they pay for the nursing home, they'll get to choose it...