Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday's Money Matters

We escaped this weekend...
Husband has been down helping his mum get her home ready to be put on the market. As the computer was playing up, SmallBoy and I had the chooks locked in with a well stocked run, the cats fed  and left with a full dry food dispenser, hung out washing, packed an over-night bag and drove down to have dinner, stay the night with 'Nanny' and enjoy a Sunday afternoon BBQ birthday party with a friend's 4yo twins. It's been almost a 20year friendship, one which has got stronger over time and distance. 

I'd got the girls' gifts months ago, when the $18 pendants were marked down to $2.99 at clearance time. I needed two and $6 is much more budgetable than almost $40 ~ its not being cheap, its planning ahead and getting a bargain. I take huge pride and get a sense of achievement knowing I am giving someone (say) a $20 dollar gift value which I may have bought for 50% or less - its almost a game to see if I can get an item for 70% or less by waiting. I've already got some of the token gifts for Christmas, knowing I paid 90% less than the original rrp because I got it after Christmas - retail might call it 'old stock' or 'out of season' but Christmas is Christmas and that season comes around every year with the same ol, same old. I just got it 'earlier' for less...

Any way - this weekend, we bought a bottle of bubbles, a few beers and bottle of juice - and it felt so so naughty to spend money on drinks! However, we had reason enough to 'deserve' a few drinks and enjoy time with friends ~ six months into Our Mission to bring down our debt and we have  a 'dent' in the Line of Credit, a dent in the Credit Card, a paid in full NI-Visa Account, the next two payments for the mortgage are in redraw waiting to be 'swiped', own the hired refrigerator, cleared one of the power bills, in credit on the water bill, land line account, up to date with the mobiles, Internet and VOIP phone. 

Plus the fridge is full of dairy, fruit and vegetables; the freezers are choked with steak, snags, mince, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, frozen veg, chippies, home made frozen yoghurt and icecream; the pantry is stocked with all basics, some marinades, tuna, cous cous and more ~ we won't be starving!

Knowing we are not merely surviving on $600 a week but actually managing both current obligations and those in arrears is surely a champagne and beer celebratory moment. Sharing it with friends and halving the costs makes it even more appropriate. My GF had another two bottles of bubbles we shared, there were pizzas made and enjoyed with the least fuss and eventually a good of little girls and SmallBoy were in bed for the night as we nattered on into the late evening. Being over a period of 10-12hours, we all woke fine, a little more tired than when in our 20s, 30s even, but without the 'thump' of the morning after in our 20s, 30s even *grins*

And the Winner Is:...

Congratulations Dali for your barking comment to our comp - your owner Joni L mentioned she's not only following, she reads the Coles Magazine as well!! But it was the ticket with your name Dali which was drawn out of the box by SmallBoy! 

Hey Dali ~ Can you get your owner Joni to drop me a line via the blog?  Please send me a note with your address details and Coles' Marketing Team will have the Coles "We Love Pets" pack on its way to your house. These contact details will not be made public and will not be retained by me ~ just aint gonna happen *cheers*

Fast, Frugal and Figures

Briefly, we have $279 surplus 'cash' for this week, which will cover a lot of the expenses budgeted through until Friday 18th ~ but will be needed for two therapy appointments for me and a dental appointment for Husband. Other than those two 'expenses' I anticipate $10 last this week for milk, fruit and/or veg, perhaps the same mid next week. Any amount available Thursday night will be transferred over onto the credit card debt

Tonight's dinner works out to about $8 for five serves of Beef Stroganoff ~ because there are only three eating tonight, the left over serve will give Husband and I lunch on toast tomorrow. I used two eye fillet steak ($13.90) I got for $5.01; 500g of slice fresh mushrooms ($3.98) marked to .99c; a scoop of sour cream, a handful of the sliced onion ($3.98) marked to .79c; some plain flour, stock, butter and a handful of frozen peas and beans, half a packet of pasta spirals to serve - I'm calling that under $2 per head. Seriously as good as, if not better, than it looks!

The week's menu plan is as follows:

Monday ~ Beef Stroganoff with spiral pasta
Tuesday ~ Marinade Steak ($2.31 was $6.99) with fried onion (.50c) and steamed broccoli ($1) 
Wednesday ~ Roast chicken pie (using 1/3 of roast chook, $2.50) and frozen veg (.50c)
Thursday ~ left over roast chicken and veg pie filling on pasta (.69c), extra sour cream and cheese added
Friday ~ Hot lamb turkish rolls with salad and tahztiki 
Saturday ~ Eating out ~ card night at friends
Sunday ~ Roast lamb shanks ($6) with vegetables

Feeling very proud of the fact our mortgage is at $166k, considering we should be at $171k with the 'stay' we had on our mortgage payments. The arrangement allowed us to not pay the mortgage without risking default while we got our budget back in control and provided some financial relief. We kept up with the minimum payments in a very haphazard way knowing we didn't need to have X amount in by Y date and miss a payment. We've actually ended up ahead and not accrued a higher repayment figure to 'catch up'. I hope that makes sense...

On top of that we have taken $1022 from the VISA debt bringing us into the $5000 range - just *chuckles*; we've brought the Line of Credit down by $2500 and back from being maxed out. There is no arrears on the electricity, the water bill is in credit, the fridge is ours outright, the electricity is coming down (and our power usage has reduced), the petrol tank is full and the NI-Visa is paid in full. Oh, the living breathing financial plan is working! 

Here's to a wonderful week ~ hoping you are enjoying the journey of Our Mission ~ its definitely working well for us and we appreciate all your comments. So - is there anything you'd like to know? Feel free to leave your questions and we will start explaining how we manage to cope on $600pw.

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