Thursday, 9 February 2012
On Finance and Other Associated Depressing Things
I have never been very good with money. This hasn't proven too big a deal in the past. Yes, it meant I couldn't afford to go on overseas holidays because my wardrobe was bulging at the seams and because my kitchen was overflowing with yummy expensive gourmet produce. And yes, I have been paying credit card interest every month since the age of 19, bar the few months here and there where I swap credit cards to take advantage of the 6 month interest free deals in an attempt to pay off some debt.
Slowly, over the last couple of years I have been getting better at managing my money, reducing my credit card debt from 11 grand to 6. I paid off my car loan (only to get another small loan for buying new furniture for our new place) and I managed to save up a bit of money. But then I got sick. And now I am not working and not earning any money. Thankfully and very luckily, my superannuation company provides income protection so I will be getting about $500 a week. This is definitely not to be sniffed at however it is about half of what I made when I was working so there have been some Major Budget Adjustments.
Every week or so I go into my budget and anxiously pour through it looking for ways I can cut out some spending and not get into any more debt. I ponder on how I am going to pay certain upcoming large bills and when I am doing the food shopping I try not to buy cherries at $19.99/kg or strawberries for $4.99 a punnet. Fruit is my downfall. I am too much in love with it and willing to pay ridiculous amounts for it. I try to menu plan a bit more than before so there isn't too much food wastage. I consider giving up my cleaner but then scrap that as a bad idea because some days it is a struggle to make dinner, let alone wash the dishes afterwards so vacuuming and mopping a rather large house is definitely out of the question.
I look at vouchers and discounts you get as a member of places like RAC and the teacher's union. I avoid shopping centres like the plague. Even though I Really Want To Go Shopping. I also try to avoid online shopping which is way harder to avoid when I am on my computer for at least a couple of hours each day. Reading has become my friend (even more so) because it does not attempt to trick you into buying stuff. Thank goodness I'm not a magazine reader!
I have never been in such a situation where I am needing to ask someone else to pay a bill for me. It really is not fun and is quite demoralising. I already feel burdensome in regards to 'doing stuff' because I don't have the energy. Now I am burdensome financially as well. Poor MR. The other night I had to ask him if it might be okay for him to pay the next electricity bill in March. (I like to give at least a bit of warning.) Our deal is that I pay for most food and amenities and he pays the mortgage. Of course, the wonderful man that he is, he was fine with it. But I still hate asking.
I think about what I could do to make a bit of extra money. Something that I can work around the limits of my lack of energy and numerous doctor appointments. Perhaps I can take in ironing? Or sign up for one of those Do Typing From Home and Make $4000 a Week ads you see in your sidebar on facebook or google. Which I'm sure can only be a scam anyhow.
So I'm putting it out to you now. What are your cost cutting tips? What do you do to make a bit of extra cash? How do you manage on a tight budget? and How on earth am I going to cope when I have no money to go clothes shopping with???