• Another uni gripe

    First, their ridiculous method of handing back exams (cram in students from all three years on one level on WT, let three or four in at a time, hunt down their papers, wait for them to decide whether they want to appeal or not, let them out, let a new person in. Anyone who can’t come in during this three hour block, well shit outta luck).

    Today I walked up to uni at lunch (10-15 minute walk) to retrieve my photography portfolio off the walls of the art department. I got up to the seventh floor. I got no further. Construction zone signs and warnings were EVERYWHERE. Do not enter. Danger. Authorised personnel only (don’t you love that one?). Looked like they’d stripped the walls from where I could see. SO god knows where my prints are now, if they still exist. I’m pretty steamed about my wasted lunch break and not being able to get my work back! I was hoping to post my photos up here, but whatever.

    At least taking that paper didn’t bankrupt me like I thought it would. I would never have signed up if I didn’t still have my old SLR from school. As it is I think I only spent about $100, which yeah, is a lot, but not too bad considering I bought both black adn white and coloured paper plus 4-5 films.

    Speaking of money, the boy’s going to Work and Income to see if they can do anything for him tomorrow. The boss told him they have a small project and he’ll try and get him onto it. Not convinced. It’s in their best interests to keep stringing him out as long as they can and hope he stays with them till the new year.

  • Ranting

    Marginally more composed now.

    B+ for journo. Can’t actually remember what my other two marks were; i’m thinking an A and A-. So hopefully an A- average overall. Pretty annoyed with myself for making a couple of stupid mistakes, and for having had my moment of clarity AFTER the exam in regards to one story, but oh well. I’m on tenterhooks now but we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Onto more pressing matters.

    Second full week of nonemployment for the boy. this disgusting cutback of hours is worse than being laid off. at least with redundancy good ol Key’s package would kick in (although it hasn’t been actually organised yet, as such) and unemployment would be available.

    God, sometimes i feel about twenty years older. with every new development i feel further and further removed from everyone i know, who mostly don’t REALLY know what it’s like to be dealing with all this and definitely not to this extent. of course most of these are joint problems and not really mine, but that’s what relationships are about, aren’t they?

    as it is we have to try and get an appointment with work and income, along with the presumably thousands of others struggling and wanting the exact same thing. then trying to show that an average income of 2-300 a week doesn’t cut it especially with two straight weeks of no work. it’s bad for the wallet and it’s bad for the soul. i can’t singlehandedly support the two of us. our assets are separate and should be counted as such. however the fact that i have any money in the bank probably precludes the boy from qualifying for emergency help.

    if nothing else, this experience has totally cemented my belief that we need to work to feel valued and have motivation. sitting on your ass all day simply stagnates you. i don’t know if i totally support making single parents go back to work, but i certainly believe in working for the plain old dole.

  • Money money money, always funny

    I think a lot about money. Probably as I don’t have a ton of it especially lately. I’m okay with being the breadwinner for the time being; not so much the SOLE earner like this week.

    A few weeks ago the boy had a spare bit of cash and so when we were out and about he asked a few times “Should I pay?” and it was really, weirdly nice of him to offer. I look after all the money and usually control the cards, so whenever we go somewhere, buy food, clothes, go to a movie, it’s me who pays (or does the physical act of handing over cash/swiping the card).

    It’s actually how my parents do it. Seeing as my dad’s self employed and doesn’t give two hoots about making money and would live the rest of his life without buying any material goods (and didn’t even believe in having house insurance because ‘someone’s home all the time’…) it falls to my mum to manage the finances.

    In our case I’m much, much better with money. I usually track my spending and I know where everything goes, how and when to pay bills, etc. he’s more of an impulsive spender who used to run up huge amounts on absolute crap. Although I have trained him and his spending habits are a lot better now – he thinks about purchases and makes more careful decisions. The other week he decided not to buy something at the markets and bought a better quality version somewhere else!

    But I guess what I’m trying to say is I wish he was a little more financially minded. I’ve got out a few personal finance books from the library; hopefully he’ll find one that speaks to him. It’s nice to sit back and be looked after and every so often have your boyfriend “pay” for something. Even when it’s your money, combined.

  • 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.