Tuesday, May 31, 2011

24 More Sleeps ~

 

And I do apologise for the intermittent posts...

It takes a lot to hold a garage sale but I am pleased to say THE Garage Sale Of The Century has reaped $470. There's our petrol money!! Feeling quite euphoric about taking all the coins to the bank and cashing them in for notes. People are still coming past and buying the more 'expensive' items like the washing machine, the lounge, the beds, fridges...


We are now in the packing down stages of the move ~ and it seems to be going remarkably smooth at this time. The garage sale has been the point of 'end' - from here we are going through the stuff and prioritising. 

By Thursday we will have the linen, laundry and bathroom packed - only 'required' items will be left for use over the next few weeks. By Wednesday, SmallBoy has to have only 5 toys in his room and, because Wednesday is a student free day, he and I will pack for storage, pack for taking and pack for the Salvos or trash.

By Friday we will identify all the repairs required and my Dad is coming up with his tradies truck and will help with plastering, painting, doors and the roof.

The weekend will see another of SmallBoy's mates over to play while Husband & I will focus on the spare room declutter. Dreading the office - that will be next week - with the lounge, dining and alcove area being clears as per 'required items only'


How expensive?

For the past two weeks the ONLY shopping has been milk, cat food, toilet paper, drinking water, petrol, bills - most paid out or in credit, too weird! Taking everything from the pantry & freezer - because the mini freezer is going to be sold, one of the fridges too. We'll only keep one in storage. And the shopping has been either as a mystery shop or using a voucher redeemed from surveys. Fingers crossed the two $100 vouchers arrive before we leave because that's petrol or setting up the pantry money!

Already we have planned our route to QLD to match up a few mystery shops at supermarkets so it covers our expenses on the road and allows us to have lunches and snacks covered in the budget. I feel better than frugal and will blog our successes.

Getting through the contents of the pantry & freezer - an oxtail casserole for dinner tonight - a $5 meal from the freezer because everything was bought on mark-down and frozen. Eating down the contents of the cupboards is requiring some creativity now - have no idea what to do with some of the tinned fruits. Trying a 'kind of' pudding with cherries - should be interesting...

Hubby was gob-smacked the other day seeing three lamb shanks on 'sale' for $15 - thats $5 each! We pay $1 for ours from the Halal butcher, but we've heard the prices have doubled of late. Still $2 vs $5 is still a big difference when you want 4 shanks for each meal.


Have a great evening ~ we are going to rest well tonight ~ hope you do too :D

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Panic ~ 32 days


It is a panic...

In 32 days we leave cold, wet, icy Ballarat, Victoria for sunny North Bundaberg, Queensland. As Geoff (from Late Night with Craig Ferguson) would say - "oh my" "In Your Face"...

And I am on the brink of a break down! How on earth do we cull and entire house down to be a pop up caravan and rear end of the station wagon! Of course Husband (probably sensibly) wants to go through every box, drawer and make sure there are not items we should keep ~ while I just want to chuck everything and anything out. Be gone - move on.

We are going to run out of time is my big fear. Of running out of money to get petrol along the way. Mind you ~ I have prudently got a few vouchers from surveys these past few weeks and now have a tidy $250 in 'universal' (excluding Woolworths) vouchers which can get food, petrol and we'll leave one with MIL for the cats keep for a month.

Still each day sees the bin fill a little more, the garage empty further, the rooms trim down to be a little less cluttered. This weekend is THE garage sale ~ aside from a few major items, most of the things for sale will be $1-$2. If even half the stuff sells - we should get a few hundred dollars. We will be needing it because we are on the wire with all of this moving, culling and simplifying.

Once we get to the end of the garage sale it will be a heck of a lot easier. Because then things can just go straight into the dump bin. Would anyone be interested in a big box of perfectly clean, white cloth nappies? Seriously I have some beautiful kids stuff - kept in anticipation of the additional kids we tried to have. Sadly, too many just didn't stick any longer than a few months so we have our two to love and have had to leave it there.

Now it is time to move into the future and its a very exciting one. 

I could not wish or want for more...


About the debt

For all the chaos, we are down to a few big debts remaining. There is the personal loan, the credit card, the line of credit and the mortgage. We have paid the gas, the electricity, the school fees, the insurance, the fridge, the dental bill, homecare, the rates, our magazine subscriptions, phone bills - any thing which is not up to date with payments is now cancelled, paid in full. Woo Hoo!!

Sadly - the line of credit is at $19000, the credit card is almost $5000 and the loan is $3500. But the BIG picture of having a debt of $37000 back in September/October, this is now $27500 ~ almost $10000 less than it was 8-9 months ago. On a combined income of less than $30000. 

The mortgage is up to date ~ with a payment waiting. Mind you ~ the savings we had stashed for the solar panels have been used for the car's engine and repairs to get registered and back on the road, plus the pop top van and its registration. We've still got about $1000 left however its going to be for getting the house ready for tenants. 


Already the big expense will be cutting back the giant soap gum tree at the front door and the silver gum at the fence line. The beautiful big soap gum which has featured so many time in pictures is dying. It appears the roots have been cut over on the neighbours' property some time last year (we won't go there - it happens) and ants have started to create a huge nest in the trunk, weakening it to the point it will be dangerous in the coming year. 

The silver gum has been cut back so many times on one side by the power company, it is now unbalanced. If they could simply trim on both sides it would not be so lop-sided. Oh well ~ that's what you get with the bureaucracy of 'safety'.

Time to go ~ let's see who the focus of packing continues...



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Moving State on a Non-Existent Budget

 

Could be seen to be quite a silly notion by some...

I am very grateful to not have had the misfortune to not have had the pleasure of discussing our plans with the nay-sayers *grins* All our family, friends and dear loved ones certainly are on our side ~ understanding the why, why now, why not's we know this move will do for us ~ and our dear loved ones know they are going to be mightily missed physically only until the next time we or they visit.

SmallBoy has shown enormous acceptance, resilience and excitement about the adventure in the actualities of a move north ~ even the cull is something he sees as being an opportunity of a simple, clean start supported by strength of family and those very good, loving friends he has cheering him on. Most of the younger cheers come seeking either a place to stay in the warmth, near the sea, to play for a week or so in the holidays, or with that little tinge of 'wish we could do what you're doing'

MudGuts is still processing the information ~ more the fact we won't be around the corner to be ignored any more. We'll be further away and not around the corner should the need of help, care or comfort zone security blanket value be required. He is almost 21 ~ he doesn't realise we have a car waiting for him to be licensed and if he could have this by his 21st, bonus - otherwise it is there for Christmas and a flight for his 21st. 

More appointments with him over the next weeks to help him maintain the positive outcomes, deal with those perceived as negative, address the fears, provide information to him and update specialists, doctors, mental health professionals involved. And MrCentrelink for a heck of a lot of 'stuff' - that's a process hey!? Both Nana's see it as a good, growing move for their oldest grandson. We all go 'gulp' and get ready to hang on...


What are we doing??

And how many ways can you express that sentence to convey so many different messages!!??

'What are we doing' getting rid of absolutely everything? Its been talked about, planned, wished for so many times before so many moves over more than a decade the moment is NOW to actually do what has become a mammoth task. Once done - never need to again... 

The magazines, the jars, the newspapers - all cleaned for all the home made stuff 'gonna' be made before surgery stopped it all, kept because it would happen - out for freecycle, then dumper. If someone comes, takes it - bonus, its still gone. If it is too personal, contains 'numbers' or has memories no longer wanted or carried through to our future ~ we'll burn it.

Ruthless, fearless, release, be free of 'it' forever...

'What are we doing' going where we know no-one to a place we've never been to a house we've not been to owned by people we don't know who are leaving for an unknown guaranteed period of time??!! You know - even reading that I feel the adventure that should come with the "we won't die wondering why we didn't do it" decisions. Says it all really.

No more waiting for 'when we can' or thinking about 'if only'

'What are we doing' for a future? To those staying behind? About work opportunities? For income for all the 'stuff' in life? ~ gee there are a lot of questions but the biggest has been 'How are we doing this' with several messages defined by tone. It's not cheap but we think we've done it the most cost effective way possible.

'What are we doing' about the house? The chooks? The cats? School for SmallBoy? Care for MudGuts? Ideally with having someone we trust with our home - our primary residence and not just 'a house' - the mortgage side of our expenses are covered for at least two years. Not charging much more than our payments and we've managed on pension payments and savings over the years. IF the chickens 'come with the house' or not - we have avenues to give them new homes. The school is sorted and the care stuff is in process as we speak. 

The cats are coming ~ be it immediately or with a wee 'stop' at MILs and flown up if a better option. They are acclimatising to knowing the cupboard with some jumpers of ours as warmth to be their new 'outside bed' and do that whole 'pecking' order of which shelf for which jumper to which cat. This will change with the weather no doubt. It is my almost perfect to know the cats will be fully outside, not this in and out habit it seems to have become ~ in the 'zero' temperatures, its not fair they freeze like cattle...


Keeping a Tally

Only because I think I need to have a really good way to keep on track and accountable. It's not going to be cheap but we've only got about $5000 to do this and no caravan or car capable of towing one at this moment. If our solar panels can be transferred to another residence, even another name then we've got an additional $1000 deposit possibly refunded on thsoe - if not, investment to the solar industry...

The station-wagon has had a 'new / change-over' engine purchased ($650) and replaced, now running over for roadworthy ($550) ~ although there may be a new bits to replace/rectify for registration and the VicRoads inspection. Hopefully to be registered and the job can be done/finished this week and (even better) come in under $2000-$2500 - because we might also need to get some brake system if we get a pop-top or larger van to tow. Still only got a trailer/camper type budget - and there are some decent looking ones around the top end of our budget...

We will have whatever comes at tax time to start up in QLD as payment into the Line Of Credit for a buffer against mortgage payments while our 'tenants' get all their bizzo set up. I know she'll be right, but when someone close is involved you worry about that 'expectation of a little leniency' you know you have in transition over flow. Oh I just want a buffer of a month or two.

There is the option to get an 'advance' payment which is about $1500 all up but deducted incrementally for six months leaving us with about $400pw; but adds an extra month, so there can be that first month hiccup covered if required. And to appease my poor brain, settle my nervous financial nerves. Adding $200 a fortnight with the family payment will keep this ahead if all transacts smoothly. At mental ease having that out there ~ even if it makes no sense to anyone but me it makes sense. 

At this stage, sort of in my head I know the mortgage will have a buffer of a month and a half ($1500), the Line of Credit will be receiving our $200pf as well as $1000pm in. Using the reduced disability and carer income only, we will have about $450 per week from June. This is food, petrol, bills, whatever other fees, expenses of changeover required.

Still hoping a few services can simply transfer across states - like the internode internet/phone package. Hoping the "Helstra" saga of disconnection does not $c?#% this up or make it expensive and difficult. Stuff like finally getting rid of 'MS Games' subs and get back $10pm to the budget. I don't know - each as they come and once organised, on to the next is the way I am getting through it all. Semi prioritised in as best way possible ~ it will all get done as it does...


Solar Savings : $5200
Plus 'carport $1 sale': $170
Now Hello QLD Acct: $5370

Less: 
-$60 : Towing to Recomm 
-$650 : Changeover engine
-$650 : Installation & work to RW
-$299 : Bloody big skip bin

Spend: $1660

Hello QLD Acct : $3700

Needing to keep another $200 on hand for the skip removal and weight charge. All up it is going to be $426.62 ~ so still got $127.60 at least to go. The car rego is up to $450 with appt fees ~ ideally this will give the car an ZYX end rego. We think a trailer or pop up van rego will be $120ish. Plus there is about $1000 *assigned* to getting it passed for rego to go through OK. Over the next few weeks that's $1700 'needed' from the account ~ $2000 for a camp trailer is more the budget at this stage.

We plan to have a garage sale over the weekend ~ this one where we get rid of a fridge (not for $1!!), motorbikes, tables, wardrobes and an unbelievable amount for coins. Not caring about the whole profit money making but ensuring items go on for use, stay out of the skip as rubbish weight and maybe we cover the cost of this Mothers' Day present. Or aim for the higher limit of the engine expenses!



Entered a competition to win ~ (wait for it) ~ a year's supply of Kleenex toilet paper, a month of Bakers Delight yummies and a clever cleaning pack from VIVA.  So if you want to win a Blue Mountain holiday which I am not interested in winning at the moment - its a time constraint thing - go visit Digital Parents Mega Bonanza Giveaway - there is other stuff to win.


Achievement: Welcome to the dumper bin to take the stuff away...


Would never have thought something like this could make me soooo excited *cheers*

Had problems with the Blogger yesterday - so this is the one that didn't post:
Today we welcome the (extremely much more bigger than we thought) dumper bin with the walk in door thing so we don't need to throw over a 'side' ~ oi vie this is definitely a huge 'gift' and the same price as the one we chose so - that's a bonus. All it needed was a big bow on the side and I would have cried with glee!!

The purpose is more than just to clear up for putting all our stuff in storage ~ this whole purge has been coming over the past ten years and interrupted by surgery. Nay ~ delayed by focussing on health for a few years over monetary rewards. 

Ultimately by sacrificing the need for the "materialistic" reward, Husband and I have grown closer together, more united and stronger for each other, the boys, ourselves. More value to be able to accept, deal with and iform stronger connections to continue this journey together than have the 'best job', with the best fa├žade, weakest outcome.


The Frugalista's 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not shop.
For yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of goodies
I shall spend no money,
For surely I have enough STUFF to last me all the days of my life!
Amen.


At long last, those final few little Bonds romper-suits up to 21 years of age are going. May they help another and hold as they have for my two boys. Almost every item with a hole, a tear is going. The fire will help destroy some of the more personal papers but all the papers from the past two decades is going. I found a letter advising me I'd not successfully got a job from way back in the 90s. Took a pic - tossed it out. Lots of documents relating to templates, admin business practices, superseded legislation all to go. 


Over the past week - I've had some amazing horoscope predictions ~ each one finding a way to result in something better or more appropriate than the previous. My favourites were:
SCORPIO (29 April NZ/Australia) ~ As much as the Moon may want you to focus on your personal life today Jupiter and Mars, the planets of luck and of passion, drive and ambition have other ideas. Jupiter and Mars begin their first alignment in your work sector since 1975 and it comes just when with one last push you're going to achieve the breakthrough that you have been so close to since this time last month. This time, with one last push you'll be on your way, with nothing holding you back.
SCORPIO (07 May NZ/Australia) ~ When it comes to your financial situation or your money game keep your ear to the ground, listening to your instincts and your intuitive responses, especially when it comes to a better understanding of the past. It’s the Moon’s alignment with the South Node in your financial sector, just 2 weeks before the Sun is due to arrive, that will be giving you a chance to clear the air and get things up to speed before moving on.

But I do like todays offering ~ I read it as still showing we are taking the better option offering a better gain in the future, it's been rather interesting: 
SCORPIO (09 May NZ/Australia) ~ With Mars leaving your work sector in 2 days time and Venus and Mercury in a week from today, there is a new sense of urgency kicking in, especially now any roadblocks are behind you or you at least know what you're dealing with. Continue to work within your capabilities, without playing the superhero, working smarter rather than harder. Look for ways you can accomplish what you need to, with your available resources.

Can you see it follows the softly, slowly My Cheeky Monkey approach we've used over the recovery only this time it has a defined deadline or action date of 30 June/1 July.

And you if you need to take a moment and enjoy a full on belly laugh ~ have a look at the link below. Its a YouTube link but the best animal maaster interaction with the dog's 'voice' exactly as you could imagine a dog talking - laughing still and I've watched it a dozen times :D
http://www.youtube.com/user/klaatu42?blend=6&ob=5#p/c/0/nGeKSiCQkPw



Sunday, May 8, 2011

Best Gift A Mother Can Get...


Happy Mothers' Day to all the Mothers ~
Those who are Mothers, Had Mothers, Have Been Mothers ... May there have been sunshine in your day if you do that kind of thing...



We've just got back from a weekend in Melbourne's inner and bayside areas ~ the majority of time was spent with family from both sides - catch up for Mothers Day with the mums. There were token gifts given to the 'Nannas'. It was more about 'family' ~ we stayed with Husband's Mum Friday night, and enjoyed a delicious dinner around the dinner table. Saturday was two nephews first birthdays which gets all my 'side' together - yea hah?! It was a great kid party, awesome to see near all my family together and it was very happy, chatty kinda get-together. Good fun.

Dinner with a girlfriend of ours (SlateyChickie) and her cool hubby and gorgeous (sweetie, darling) girls. Stayed at my Mums - had pikelets for brekkie and home again, home again ~ no jiggity, but let chooks out, collected eggs - half a dozen! good gerls. We've been nice to cats, given them some extra cuddles and food and now all the Sunday afternoon blah blah you need to catch up on. 


Its Mothers Day ~ hope you're having a good one. 

As with most of the commercial holidays we seem to 'enjoy' ~ "Mothers' Day" type days are used to set a date to be met to celebrate being able to purchase something needed . . . like coordinating the delivery of (say) chickens - best "mothers day" present 4-5 years ago. Or the water tank arriving just/before after dads day and put a picture of it beside his morning cuppa with delivery due 'on Wednesday'.

This mothers day I am getting a commitment from my boys to undertake ruthless culling of non necessities - and a 15m dumper-bin to put it all in. The bin has been paid for already with one additional week of 'service'. This is being delivered on Monday morning (tomorrow) for all the junk, rubbish to be 'gathered'. Its a real ruthless cull of 'sort, sell, store or scrap' 

Yeah Sita ~ "Stuff Is Taken Away"!! Perfect 'timing' ~ and what mum wouldn't love a mothers day gift which goes for two weeks and ends in every last piece of cr£p be gone, taken away, not just moved to another place to be dealt with another day?!? And at about only *exactly* $426.62 is what it costs to give, including *free* labour and (in)assurance of a job well done. I know I can count on SITA hauling the skip away, and count on SmallBoy with his broken leg to clear out his room 'clutter' and Husband to work through the garage so I can pack down the house into boxes for storage in there.
Best ever 'Mothers Day' present - after the chickens...


3/4 size initial compromise
We're up to $1100 on the car repair to have the engine changed over, a few minor works to ensure running - still under budget, but we dont yet know what is required for road worthy & rego, hoping only $1000-$1500 more and allow us a little more for the pop top van budget (please!!) as the middle way point of portable accommodation on wheel compromise.  
More in budget ~ but older type range
None of the options are what you would really call caravans in that type we all remember from our child-hoods. It will be lower on the petrol, ideally we will be staying with friends along the way up with inside spare rooms each night and only need trailer space and at the moment it is all about the budget. We are looking forward to this helping reduce ours and aid health, 

But at the moment it looks like we have a camper trailer type budget to work with at best. It's a case of the 3/4 size caravan vs a pop-top (attaching a rack to enable taking our queen mattress) now down to one we put our mattress in/on, the top rises to a small upright tent with annex room structure needing a few pegs to secure and store items to come to QLD under the mattress base, giving us the rear of the station wagon and level 'queen-size' trailer of space as what we can take. 
A truly 'ideal' ~ if really lucky...
I had the chance to look back to the start of this blog ~ that Front Page type of first post you write when you start writing about your aims, the plans or 'Mission' you are setting out on, what you hope to achieve... Truly we have come far from that October last year when it all felt a bit cold, stark and overwhelming on a negative. Nothing has been mind-blowingly amazing like saving $10k and halving the debt ~ more lots of little chips and changes, extra payments on debts and little adds to the savings, negotiation and compromises, smart decision and purchases.

But it is a long way from the first blog post when you remember where we started our Mission and compare it to where we are now about to make that move to Queensland - and into the region we had originally chosen for ourselves to introduce ourselves into state. It might be 3-4 years behind schedule but I can read that entry and see the history leading to the moment - to the here and now and where we are going with so much more confidence, opportunity and experiences to gain. Brilliant!!



Got a lot to do before we get to Qld and only 8 weeks to do it in! 

Looking for Whiskers cat food under $1 this week - have a $10 mystery shop coming up so we have an 'extra $10' in the budget this week. With a $21 or less 'limit' while we eat down the pantry, etc ~ I get the 'looking for sorbent' on special this week/next week type of shopping - we were having a chat on Simple Savings about keeping things 'less' or 'low'. Fingers crossed someone has it at 79c again soon and at the supermarket of my 'shop'.

Time for me to go ~ back in the next day or two.
Oi vie it does begin :D


Friday, May 6, 2011

Each day brings something new...



And its never cheap!

So the car has had its roadworthy ~ the new engine and installation came in at $1100, almost $2000 less than the reconditioned price AND removal/installation. Now we need to get the roadworthy done to find what other incidentals are needed to have the car registered again ~ oh please please angels, fairies, gods, let only small incidentals be required. If we can have the car ready to register for under $2000 we can afford the 3/4 pop top caravan. 

If not, we are looking at a few of those canvas cover fold out caravan/trailer type combos ~ you know ~ the ones where the beds poke out both sides and the camper stove, fridge and table are in the centre. No cupboard space, but floor level storage. So long as we can get our queen mattress in and up to QLD, the rest can be limited to what we get in the back of the station wagon. 

Well ~ so you know we are about to embark on a life changing sea change.
We have had some great support, awesome cheers from friends urging us forward - to live our dream. Many call us so courageous but its not just about getting the courage to do it ~ trust me. I reckon every morning these past few days I have woken with the most amazing urge to be violently ill in panic and fear (and the fluttering of excitement!). I've woken at sparrow's fart and hidden under the covers, avoiding getting up to start going through the motions of packing up (or is that scaling down) Ok ~ maybe the courage is in continuing forward and not just saying 'this is too hard and scary, lets not...' *gulps*

But I do agree with one comment dear MillieBug said: ~ its so been a case of 'don't die wondering' which prompted us to review what we wanted to do, what was keeping us from doing and what needed to be done to achieve it. There are so many things we all 'wanna do', activities we are 'gonna do' or items we hope to get 'if we win the Lotto'. We are leaving our friends here, placing our home in the hands of agents, fixing our car on the cheap, buying a canvas caravan for as little as possible, bunking with friends all the way along the coast with an oily rag in our pocket to fuel the car, going to a place we know not a soul AND to a house we have never seen owned by people we've never met. Plus we'll have about $1000 to see in the first few weeks. Oi bloody vie!!!


And yet ~ we are actually doing it. The big dump bin arrives Monday, two weeks to clear crap and the garage. Two weeks to get items of (sort of) value sold, things to keep in storage sorted, the bare necessities chosen. Then its talking to agents about tenants, insurances, schools, services for MudGuts and a trillion zillion other things we will need to do before putting the last of our house in the garage, locking it all up and leaving!! Hence the panic and feelings of fear. It is so very real ~ who would have thought reclaiming the spare room would result in moving to QLD??

How often do we get 'the itch' - be it the travel bug, changing jobs, a new career, a tree/sea change, yet we talk about, and scratch for so many years that when we 'get to the doctor' its so bad and such a mess we need to stay and be treated! Metaphorically speaking. That leap can be so hard, so confronting, so easy to ignore and put on hold until the opportunity has gone.

The whole 'there is nothing truly keeping us here' was the realisation which made the decision to move come about. There are schools in every state, there are jobs all over the country, there are more opportunities to be found afar than only looking on your back door step...

I challenge every one to take the plunge and make a change ~ throw out things you've been 'gonna get rid of', build the bit you've 'wanna had done for ages', or travel somewhere you've always dreamed of going. Changes don't have to be life threatening, but don't wait until its too late... again!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cars, Caravans and Chaos...


I think that says of it all...

Today has been a very action packed (and rather expensive) day leap-frogging the move mayhem into moving fast-forward. The 'good' car was dragged up onto a flat tray truck (thanks Cliff) and taken to Ballarat's Holden Commodore specialist - Recomm - to get the engine replaced and all the bits and bobs required to get it back on the road. If all goes how we hope, the car might have to named Jimmy in recognition of its 'saviour'. This bloke has been trying to help get the car back on the road for years, waiting for us to be in a position to afford repairs ~ thanks for your patience and dedication!  

Sounds like an ad, but you don't get that sort of dedication much now days - do you? So it needs to be said. Truly refreshing ot have great customer service and ~ if that carries through to the mechanical service ~ our car will seem brand new.  Cant wait to see if this ends in smiles when we head to VicRoads next week. Still ~ $650 on engine paid ~ and a few more repair and installation expenses to come.

Sadly (but not unexpectedly) we have had to buy a load of wood for the fire because it is so darn cold at the moment. Already we are hitting the 5C-6C's over night. It's 17C currently in our 'new' town ~ we're not even getting that warm during the day.  No wonder these poor bones hurt!!

Looking for a travelling abode still - going more for the wind up/stick out side canvas than the all up and enclosed traditional van. Better on the petrol expenditure that comes with a full caravan. Not sure if lower on the initial outgoings tho' yet. Ideally we can keep caravan costs under $3000 ~ which seems achievable.


Arrgghhh..

Having problems with laptop - its slow and clunky. It's probably a good thing ~ otherwise I'd be rabbitting on at 100wpm about how exciting this is, how much I am looking forward to meeting our 'saviours' from this cold cold town and more mumbo jumbo blabberings.

Planning the route - at least we know Coffs Harbour is one likely stop ~ its a start!

Bed time ~ morning will be here before we know it and there is a lot to do :D

Chat tomorrow my friends

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Here we go again


You know that feeling...?

Up down, Up down ~ well I really want UP not down. And you know it is getting rather cold here ~ this is hurting me more and more. Having those days here I am struggling to get up ~ much is the metal in the back and the withdrawal from pain medication but Jeez Louise another western Victoria winter is going to be a real drain. Especially having missed out on summer (thanks Mother Nature!)

So we are moving. North. In a few weeks!!  Holy Toledo Ballarat-Man! We've said we would ~ we've planned to go ~ and suddenly we are! On a shoe-string budget but it is all on. What's more - no rent required. Helping out the most lovely couple enjoy their retirement dreams and we are looking after a furnished home, maintaining the garden and taking care of the property while they travel the country! It means we get to save, have SmallBoy in a school for a long term - not just dragging him from place to place, school to school like others I know have - give us all somewhere stable and allow us to discover the area we would like to settle into in a few years. 

SmallBoy is keen, MudGuts is staying. That's going to be a scary notion ~ hopefully mental health services will finally pull its finger out and provide him the support we have been screaming for him for years.

Creepy crawlie little beetles...
We've decided to cancel the solar panels ~ my 'dirty little budget secret' is we have had $6000 waiting for the panels' installation due to be this month. This would have cleared a whack of debt, fixed the car or been spent had it not been locked away and being added to over the past six months - it was our $4000 tax return plus savings since July - little bits at a time to ensure we hit the $6k mark to allow a discount of $1000 on an $9000 system. 

We paid $1k up front and risk losing it - but ce la vie - especially as we can get this back IF we find someone to take up the contract. But we are unlikely to succeed this option unless MIL can have her new place located in a month. Or someone in the region says 'we'll take over your contract Mands' in a few weeks.

However, the cash is the reason we can get the station wagon repaired and 'invest' in a pop-up caravan. More economical on the petrol costs.  It was almost going to cost half the 'solar savings' to get an engine for the station wagon ~ the first quote was $3200. But, a few days of searching and haggling I've found a changeover engine for $650 and it should cost about the same to get it in the car, other work to be at road worthy and then whatever registration costs...


The next few weeks will be the packing, the throwing, the down-sizing. Already the wardrobes have been 'claimed', one of the tables has been sold, the couch is 'bags-ed' and we will be selling one fridge/freezer, 2000 items of clothes (actually only 1900 now - sold $170 worth on Sunday). Half the kitchen stuff will go and we are spending NOTHING on food for a fortnight to get everything down in the pantry. 

Sure, tinned carrots, peas, potatoes - all go great in a casserole! We've got turkey, mince, chicken, mince, beef, mince, lamb, mince, pork and, you guessed it, mince to get through. We'll use the garage for storage and ship that up when we get our own place. In a few years!

But its late - the excitement has been exhausting - the future is full of panic, fear, thrills and change but most importantly - warmth!! My doctors' say this is the best thing for recovery and should allow me back to work within 18-24 months ~ two years ahead of schedule ~ only part time but heck to be using my skills again!! Too cool for school!!

Time for bed people ~ let me fill you in on more over the next few days. Sunny North Queensland ~ hahaha and a big Yee-Haa!! Its somewhere along here ~ 15mins from the water, where the Great Barrier Reef begins ~ too darn cool.