A case of the financial blahs

First, my phone stopped charging. That was $100 to fix.

I always stay up later than T, usually either reading or doing something online. I have a reading light with a switch on my side of the bed, so when I do decide to turn in, it’s just a matter of reaching up and flicking it. Sometimes I can’t be bothered getting up to put my laptop on the desk, so I plop it on the floor on my side of the bed. Last month, while coming around to kiss me goodbye in the dark, dark winter morning, he stepped on the edge of the laptop. $200 to replace the screen (momentary panic when someone I thought was reasonably web-savvy on Twitter told me it would be just as pricey to buy a new one, and my computer is starting to slow down a lot, but not enough to fork out for a replacement).

T’s also motorbike needs some work. (He may  decide to sell it after that.) More moolah.

Our annual car insurance bill arrived. The good news: the premium actually dropped, thanks at least in part to the no claims bonus increasing from 40 to 50 percent. I had planned to cancel full cover, but now that it’s decreased to less than $1000, I think we’ll keep it on. Even third-party, fire and theft alone is still something like $400-500. But that’s a hefty lump to pay all at once, nonetheless.

Then the car itself. Oh, the car. We needed two new tyres and two lights fixed. We also needed a butt ton of wires fixed – some T melted ages ago while puttering around with the stereo. After all that, the ABS light was still on (which is stopping us getting a warrant) so a new ABS computer too. $1500. And after that, the light is STILL on. Now apparently there are more buggered wires in the back that need replacing. FML.

And apparently I owe tax. Back in 2010 I pulled in a decent amount of side income through a freelance gig, and I think ended up owing less than $500 come 2011. That ended last year because I joined the company fulltime. However, my last couple of invoices fell within the 2012 tax year (and added up to about $2000). But add that to my normal income for the year and somehow I owe just over $1000 to the IRD. Grr. I personally can’t think of a fate worse than becoming an accountant (it’s just not up my alley) but I can see why they charge so much. Infernal taxes. To add to that, ACC seems to think I’m self-employed and has sent me a letter to confirm my cover. Goody – more dealings with government agencies to straighten that out. It was great being able to bank that extra $ at the time but the extra taxes and hassle almost negate the benefits.

We splashed out on a bit of a staycation – a night at the Stamford, dinner out (with a voucher) and brunch the next day (plus parking, to the tune of $271. No regrets, and it was a much-needed break, but still a pretty penny.

The government’s budget slashed funding for students. That’s put an end to one of my best friends planning to move in with us. I’m glad; I love living alone, just me and T, but the extra money would have been nice, and he’d be an ideal flatmate, a busy grad student rarely home. Our spare room is absolutely tiny and not worthy of being called a bedroom, but he was keen to move in nonetheless – he suggested it. OTOH, we’re technically not supposed to have any other flatmates, so we’d have to disguise the fact someone else was living here come quarterly property inspection time.

Finally, my no clothing/beauty purchases ban is still going strong. But I may well need to replace two pairs of shoes very soon, and also, my handbag. I don’t believe in buying expensive ballet flats, because they wear out just as quickly on me. But I think it may be worth shelling out for a decent bag that won’t fall apart. What’s a reasonable amount to spend?

7 thoughts on “A case of the financial blahs

  • Reply nicoleandmaggie June 26, 2012 at 03:31

    Ooh, we’ve also been having car troubles too, with both cars (check engine light for me, hole in the a/c tank for partner). I think it’s been over 1K in the past month and lots of one of us dropping the other off at the shop.

    Re: handbags, I think the best value is Coach. How much to spend, I don’t know (they’re pricey), but get a classic style because it will last *forever*.

  • Reply Shawanda Greene (@TheyCallMeCheap) June 26, 2012 at 06:55

    Wow. When it rains it pours. I recently had to pay about $400 in car repairs. I still need to book a room for the BlogHer conference and FinCon. Plus, I haven’t bought my plane ticket for FinCon. These are big expenses I’m not looking forward to, but at least they’re expected. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that no emergencies pop up in the near future.

  • Reply Daisy @ Add Vodka June 26, 2012 at 13:00

    Ohh no 🙁 It sounds like an expensive time! There’s always something that pops up for me – renewal fees for professional association, insurance, birthdays, etc.

  • Reply Allison @Insomniac Lab Rat June 26, 2012 at 16:36

    It seems like these things always get piled up on top of each other like that. Maybe you have some really good financial times up ahead! One can hope, anyway.

  • Reply Leigh June 26, 2012 at 18:04

    Ugh, that sounds like this month hasn’t been much fun.

    I paid about 50 euros for my last purse?

    The soles are wearing out on on one of my pairs of sports shoes, so I figured I would buy another pair as a back-up and then get them re-soled, but of course the local store has to not stock my size in the new brand I was trying and now I have to wait a few days for the new ones to arrive and wear the old ones in the meantime. But since I ordered two sizes now, I’m out $200 instead of just the $100 I thought I’d be, until I return the one pair that doesn’t fit. Sigh.

    Under $1000 for your car insurance? Sweet! I think it’ll take a few more years before I get there myself.

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