• Grr

    Kinda annoyed as a few of the groceries we bought this week we bought due to the markdowns, only to realise when I got home to entered them into my price book that the discounts didn’t come through at the checkout.

    Still, there’s only myself to blame – I need to be keeping an eye on the till so these things don’t slip through, especially now CD has those massive screens that they so kindly face towards us.

    I’ve only been keeping my price book for about two months, but already I’ve seen bread, noodles, beans, rice, pasta sauce and muesli bars go up (and probably other, less staple items too). Even if each thing went up, say 30c (which is pretty realistic), consider how fast prices have been rising, and consider how many different things you buy in your weekly shop.

    How on earth are we ever going to get ahead?

    At least we can still afford to eat meat.

  • You can do it. No, really.

    Red sofa

    Couches are nice – not a necessity. Image via Wikipedia

    Some of my friends seem amazed at how I’m managing to get by being fully independent. They say there’s no way they could do it, it would be way too hard, they just wouldn’t be able to manage.

    I think that’s a load of bull.

    They would manage just fine, they just wouldn’t be able to live life the way they do now. It’s not like I make more than them – I get more student allowance, but that’s because I don’t live at home. Most of my friends work and most of them make around what I do. And few to none have any debt, where I still do (a little, which’ll be paid off by end of summer).

    It’s about priorities. They say they don’t have any household stuff. Well, you don’t need coffee tables, sofas, desks and chairs. Odds are you’re going to join an established flat as a flatmate – I don’t know why you would take on a tenancy straight out of home, or what the odds are of that happening without prior housing references. You won’t need all that stuff. And even if you sign on for a small unit or apartment, you won’t have room for most of that stuff. Living in our old apartment, the only furniture we had was a two seater couch – that’s all the space allowed for.

    Sure, you won’t get to buy clothes or shoes whenever you want. A couple of times a year, maybe. But that’s life, and if you want to move out bad enough you’ll learn to get by. You might not get to go to concerts or go on holidays or to RnV for New Year’s, but you really can’t have everything, not this early on in life (unless you’re a trust funder or crazy millionaire entrepreneur). You might have to watch your coffees or lunches and dinners out, eat beans and noodles every so often, let your sheets and towels get a bit ragged before replacing them. You might not be able to save much, if at all.

    But the point I’m trying to make it, it’s possible. Almost anyone can do it. It’s a matter of rethinking what’s important to you and simplifying things. You just won’t be able to live the life you got used to while living at home. Whether or not your parents support you in any way (apart from providing a roof and food) there are so many things you take for granted, and those are the things that change when you’re on your own.

  • I’ve really started to detest going to the bank. I invariably get harassed about Kiwisaver – am I in it, if not why not, these are the benefits, blah blah blah.
    It’s my freakin’ money, what little there is, and it’s my choice what I do with it.
    I was super keen to join, but I figured I would put it off till next year (or possibly after graduation). Definitely at least until my taxes and student loan are paid for. (although with what National wants to do to KS it’s lost a bit of its lustre, though I’m sure it will encourage more people to join which is good). But I am super, super glad I waited. With everything the way it is, all my income is going to be needed to pull us through the summer. If work continues being this sporadic for the boy. If the company doesn’t get their act together and start the apprenticeship next year it will definitely be time to look elsewhere – although how easy that may be remains to be seen.

     

  • So I got my copy of Verve with my two stories published (although without a byline) last week, along with my cheque. YAY!!

    However – my wharf story was hideously edited and chopped out any mention of opposing viewpoints. I was so proud of managing to get comment from an informed resident who didn’t agree with the proposal. That was ALL edited out. Pretty disappointed. I hope to be able to use the story in full next year for my portfolio, and maybe follow the issue up later as well seeing as it’s going to be an ongoing one. Just goes to show how much business interests affect editorial. I guess they wouldn’t want to piss off one of their big supporters.

    I desperately hope the lady I interviewed does not see the mag, seeing as after all that hassle, everything I wrote about her was cut – and she was so passionate.

  • Bless you New Zealand

    I’m so glad we have ACC and a national health system.

    I would not want to live in a country where you’re terrified to go one week without health insurance and you couldn’t afford it on your own without your employer subsidising it. I would not want to be rushed to hospital and get sent a $7,000 bill a week later.

    I read today in the New York Times about a woman was afraid to get pregnant as it would cost eight grand to have a baby.

    That being said once I get into the workforce I plan to get health insurance, assuming its affordable either thru work or through T’s work (lucky bastard gets free insurance and cheap insurance for family). I’m going to do this way because I want to afford the little extra things, like a coybely pocket doppler during my pregnancy and all the educational toys afterwards. It’s just one of those things it’s good to have, and one of those things you want to get while you’re still healthy and while it’s still cheap.

  • The R word

    Yay, recession.

    It bugs me that over the last few months as interest rates soared, the rates on loans soared in kind. Yet now they’re starting to fall, I’m not seeing a corresponding drop. Surely it has to come sometime. And yet the rate on my Fastsaver plunged, literally a day or two after the OCR cut announcement.

    Things are going bad at the boy’s company. He’s getting sent home every week because there’s no work for them. Which is all fun and games since he gets heaps of downtime to mess around in, until the week after when his pay packet’s a helluva lot thinner. especially considering that he’s paying down debt at the moment, every dollar counts. we really need his full pay, more preferably. everything extra helps. and with the car needing a warrant this week, god knows how much repairs are going to cost. bloody money suckers. I know how it bores him to stay at work cleaning and doing crap stuff, but as long as he can stand it, as long as he can wring something out of it, it’s gotta be done. But when he’s got to stand around waiting for a “possible” job to crop up, all the while unpaid (they have to allocate their timesheets by jobs so the company can bill their clients) he may as well go home and chill out, hang out with people, clean and do chores (ha, yeah right).

    We had the joy of having a meeting today about “cutbacks” (first time I’ve ever seen the editor in persn). I now know how many staff we have too, and it’s fewer than we think. Soon to be a few less, with a handful of redundancies on the cards (not in our department fortunately). I guess getting laid off happens to a lot of people, but it’s never really hit close to home before.

    Guess it’s not the best time to ask for a raise…

  • Money makes the world go round

    SO they’ve been talking about introducing a universal student allowance, but considering the amount it would cost it’s never been implemented. But of course it’s going to be an ugly election, so I shouldn’t really be too surprised that Labour’s decided to run with it. And I’m not too impressed. Not just because of the sheer amount it would cost but because of how inherently unfair it would be. I acknowledge the current system is deeply flawed, but I don’t think a universal allowance is the answer.

    Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone I know who desperately needs and deserves the allowance but isn’t getting it. On the other hand, i can think of a few who, through clever accounting, get almost the full amount, plus fees paid and pocket money from parents, and others who, although not that extreme, do get a fair amount while living at home and often being subsidised for it. Parental testing is there for a reason, although it’s nowhere near perfect, and the limits are WAY TOO LOW.I don’t see a reason not to just dramatically increase the parental income limits to be more realistic instead.

    I’d rather see way more emphasis put towards the actual AMOUNT we students get – and how much we can earn. There should be no cap. 190 before tax is insane. Why would you penalise someone for working hard just so they can buy food, bus pass, save a little and buy the occasional drink?

    Also, accommodation supplement needs to go up. Those who live away from home need more than 40 a week in the hand. Admittedly it’s forty bucks free, but compared to the actual cost of living and Auckland rents it’s a bit like a slap in the face.

    Im glad to think i’m graduating in a year. i would hate to be at uni struggling on an allowance knowing every single other person living at home, not paying rent, bills or food are getting exactly the same amount as me.

    Maybe I’m a little jaded… I work hard and I’ve had so many odd jobs, working 2,3 or 4 at a time, and you can bet I don’t do it for fun. I have to work fulltime all summer long and can’t just take time off for road trips or holidays.  Which I don’t mind at all, it’s my lot in life, but man I’m glad I’ll be long out of uni when the universal allowance is in.

    I quite like Peter Dunne’s way of thinking. Actually, the more I hear about him the more impressed I am, oddly enough. Apparently the allowance scheme is roughly equal to the total cost of university fees, so he’d rather just make tertiary education completely free.

    Revolutionary.

  • The importance of money

    I wonder sometimes how much easier it would be if I only had my own finances to manage. I’d halve the number of bills and payments I deal with and possibly have more money to boot. But I’ve finally really got my act together and got into personal finance, I have a cool budgeting program with coloured charts and graphs and worked out that the best way to work a changing income is to adjust it every week (duh! How many months did that one take????)

    Sometimes I really just can’t wait to graduate and start my real life. I’m a little tired of living from week to week; realistically we’re not struggling, we eat well and pay all our bills on time and have the odd night out, but anything like clothes or weekends away or car repairs have to be so carefully planned. It’s been a very very long time since me and Trent bought each other birthday/anniversary/Christmas presents. There’s always something – and it’s usually car related…

    How do you get someone interested in money??

    I think it’s possibly the most important skill to have. Like it or not life today revolves around money – you just can’t get by without it so you need to know how to manage it. Messing up your credit means you can’t borrow (well, except from dodgy, 35% type places like Moneyshop), can’t find a place to rent, possibly can’t get a job. I can totally understand being scared of seeing where your money really goes, but to not have any interest or care?

  • The pursuit of money

    I was sitting in front of a Fijian and a Samoan guy on the bus the other day. They were talking about how great it was going back to visit because life over there is so different; it’s more laidback, there’s a sense of community, money is not as important and you don’t NEED it to get by as you do here.

    It sounds idyllic. But you know what, I don’t think I’d last long there. City life is stressful, and expensive, and sometimes it’s harsh and dangerous and downright disheartening, but I wouldn’t trade it in. The Pacific is top of my holiday list but it’s not really a lifestyle option.

    I think I value ambition and money and the buzz of the city (not that I’d want to live in the midst of it) and the insane variety of foods we now have here (y’all know how much I love to eat). I want to work hard and travel and obtain the trappings of middle class life eventually.

    Or have I just been brainwashed by the capitalist economy?