• Hurrah for work benefits!

    I’m ecstatic!

    Got a cheque today for $390 for my glasses from work. They cost me 474, which means they were virtualy free…..relatively! They cost me less than $100 out of pocket, which is basically free.
    Not sure why they cut me a cheque rather than just direct depositing it…it’s not like they don’t have my details.

    I still can’t quite believe I got reimbursed at all….let alone to such a large percentage (I’m sure I read there was a $150 limit somewhere…

    So I’m gonna use $100 to pay our water bill, $30 for my Christmas present (finally decided to splash out and get me that awesome makeupcase….$30 from almost $200. I waited a bit long, there was a pink version for $20 earlier, but whatever). Then the rest goes into savings, as it’s looking pretty low. After the almost $500 I paid for my glasses, plus $350 for the boy’s present, and the $400 I lent him for clutch repairs, and I haven’t been paid yet for my four freelance articles…….

    As if I needed a reason to love my company right now..
    And this is why I want to be in a job with great benefits. As my mum says it’s better to start out in a large business, get contacts, get experience, get benefits, progress up the ladder, then later on move to a smaller more intimate place where you can really shine with your invaluable experience in a smaller team.

    If teh boy ends up officially resigning from his non-job he’ll lose his free health insurance, so I will probably go see the Southern Cross rep at work (she comes in once a month) and see about getting coverage through work. If it’s reasonable then I would probably go with that. (But first, gotta sort contents insurance, which I’ll probably do after the new year now.) If it’s cheap, say a few bucks a week (I have NO IDEA how much basic coverage might cost, so talking out my arse here) I’d jump on it. Not so much for me, but the boy, who’s much more prone to injury at work, has a bad back and may need dental work soon. It’s a great thing to have if possible, as big medical bills aren’t something we can afford right now.

  • Displeasure……warning, rant!

    So Bollard’s called for electricity providers, among other companies, to drop their prices.

    Not likely! We just had our power prices increase last month and I don’t see our company reversing that right now.

    The boy’s car loan rocketed 2% in the course of a few months as interest rates bounced around. Now that the OCR’s fallen to 5%, there’s been absolutely no decrease in his interest rate (I think it was around 7.5 when he first took it out).


    I’m not impressed with Vodafone. If we had any other options other than Telecom, Id be changing in a jiffy. Not only are they charging to send out paper statements (doesn’t apply; we’re on prepay), they’re charging $1 just to speak to a human CSR. Ha! What a joke. Everyone knows it’s damn near impossible to even get through to a person, let alone charge us for it! You can call their service line on 0800 from a land line phone, but wait – you still need to have that $1 on your cell phone.

    Of course that doesn’t really work when they f* up and don’t roll your Text 2000 over, resulting in you having zero credit because it all went to texting that should have only cost you $10. So when you ring to complain, you’re stuffed, because you can’t afford to speak to them!!!

    And no, topping up is not an option. Don’t even go there. Times are tough, it’s hard enough to top up once a month, let alone any more than that.

    You’ve also just gotta love how they now have $5 IOUs….but charge a 20c fee everytime you use it.
    Now if that doesn’t get your goat what does?

    Now that banks have started charging for basic automated services – how ASB kindly offers to save your bill payee’s info for next time, for a $2 fee – looks like everyone else will be too.

    Come on telecomms competition!

  • Cutting back


    We’ve trimmed so much from our budget that I really don’t think there is anything left. I bring all my own lunches. Trying to make toilet paper and laundry powder last longer, but that’s difficult with three boys (especially as though they don’t do laundry often, but they do heap up the detergent in their loads). I still unfortunately do most of the cleaning and buy all the household type stuff. I don’t foresee that changing until we move or get new flatmates.

    We’re really watching our food budget – can’t do too much as we don’t buy expensive meat or anything; I won’t resort to living off beans, noodles and toast. Not only is it reeeally unhealthy, it won’t help your body function, and I like to enjoy what I eat. That’s important to both of us. We keep our eating out to $10 or less now, I don’t go out, and we basically never buy alcohol (once every couple months probably – although we were naughty and last week was one of those rare times). You know what is healthy though? Speed stacks and nutrients that you would have to eat a lot of fruits for. I Always always get my vitamins from these nutrients and never overdo it because I want to keep a fit and healthy body. If you want to get speed stacks for men or women then you can just go to your local body building store and buy them easily!

    On that note, I really resent having to buy toiletries! You know what I mean, Razors, shaving cream, shampoo, tampons, etc. Last week I bought vitamins (because I definitely need them) and that boosted our bill by almost $10. And of course there’s detergent, washing powder, carpet cleaner, Jif, sponges, toilet paper, etc, etc….it all adds up.

  • Hmm

    Waiting to hear back about poss work for the boy…

    Really hoping that works out. Getting back to work should keep him out of trouble and being occupied will do wonders for him, not to mention the money! If all this hadn’t happened, he wouldn’t now have $550 to pay off…..Don’t do frickin favours for loser friends who don’t do anything for you! See what happens when you do them a favour and drive a bunch of people somewhere because ALL of them have lost their licences….THEN get slammed because you’re not allowed passengers, AND you’re in their car which has a side light out, AND the losers won’t pay for the ticket, even though it’s their car and their fault the light doesn’t work, because they DON’T HAVE MONEY and presumably never will.

  • sunday wrapup

    I’ve been keeping my price book for three months now. The original idea was to try and track sale cycles so I’d know roughly when items were at rock bottom and when to stock up. Because we split our shopping quite evenly between PnS and CD though this doesn’t really work so well. Plus it’s not like we buy the exact same stuff every week. we mix it up you know? I’m thinking I might just start noting down important specials every week (maybe snap a photo or make a note) if I don’t actually buy them and just enter them into my book.

    Although that aspect hasn’t really worked out, I HAVE steadily noticed the sneaking, creeping price increases. Raro went up eight cents this week! Why?! It’s like sugar and flavour. Honestly. And you consider that most items have increased that much, if not more, and it’s no surprise that grocery bills are still soaring.

    But today we got a new fridge! It has a red cover on the front. An actual vege bin. It’s clean. Has new seals. Small freezer but lots of fridge space. I love it!

    Cleaning out after moving the old POS was a hearty mission. Those roaches? Had a nest below on the floor. Euuugh, I shudder just remembering it. All kinds of dirt stuck to the floor and a piece of paper practically glued down. Took a good 20mins and a LOT of bleach, but we got that fucker of afloor clean. This fridge is, I think, smaller in size and will no doubt be a lot easier to keep tidy. No one wanted to clean the old one. It was leaky, icy and just nasty icky. This one, well dirt will be instantly obvious. It won’t rust onto the floor. And hopefully the insane amount of boric acid I laid down will make sure we never get roaches again.

    Anywho, I’m sunburnt, my hands are bone dry and I keep reapplying handcream, and I have work tomorrow. Hurray!

  • Sim card error

    Sim card error – three words that strike fear into my heart. This usually comes after my phone takes a slide off my lap and into the middle aisle of the bus, landing with a sickening thwack.
    So far it has revived, every time, after being turned off and back on….but one day surely i won’t be so lucky. And I’m not looking forward to that day! i don’t want a new phone! i’m extremely attached to my gx17. it is lacking in many departments such as camera quality, but i hardly ever use that. it has minimal features, compared to the superphones of today. but its sturdy, pretty and easy to use. it’s lasted me three years and im not willing to fork out hundreds for a new one, esp as almost all phones these days are butt ugly. i have to admit i’d love a phone that did everything – and i mean absolutely everything, because i’d use it as an organiser – but imagine how lost i’d be if i ever lost or broke that phone.

    In other things…we have precisely enough this week for groceries. So gas, lunches and any incidentals will send us into the red. Woohooo…..

    OTOH I worked almost 50 hours this week (and may do more tomorrow if I feel up to it) so next paycheck will be nice and fat, comparatively. And man did I work hard for it! I’m hoping IT don’t monitor our usage too closely, beause I must have downloaded over 100mb of stuff today trying to get that java problem fixed. And I did (and it’s cemented why I will never get a mac). I’ve been leaving late this week, 5.30, every day, and it sucks.

    All the staff on level 4 work 8.3 to 5.30; I guess I might be expected to do the same, although it’s never been voiced. I’ve just been coming in 9-5 as I would do on my days downstairs. But this week it just got too much for me…I felt guilty andlazy and slack for taking off at 5 everyday. Hence my staying till 5.30. And yet I’m still the first to leave! God knows how long people actually do stay at work. 9.5 hours? 10? I never want to have to do that, especially on a salary. I see how stressed some of them get too, and I pray I’ll never be like that. I’d rather have a less prestigious, less well paid job and have some balance in my life.

  • 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.