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One little thing …

can derail you.

In my case, it was when I examined my bank statement last week after pay day, then went over and looked at my pay slip from that Thursday, and discovered someone had made an error. I’m not going to use the passive voice – someone, I don’t know who exactly, made an error.

Because that person did not correctly enter my childcare costs as a pre-tax salary sacrifice – the only way I can afford good quality childcare with my income – I am now missing $112 in net income for that fortnight. That much makes a difference. It could cover my petrol, or it could cover my grocery bill for a fortnight. Without it, I cut down on any discretionary spending and have to pull back on paying for much-needed house repairs.

One stuff-up, and another family feels the pinch. I don’t have a nice fat income from a partner to cover me. I’m it. That’s all.

Bugger. Hope the HR department can work out where the error occurred and how it can be fixed before the next pay period. Even better, I would love to get that $112 back. Not holding out that much hope, though.

Universe, you can stop hitting me. I told you, I’ve had enough. I want to be happy.

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Posted by on August 9, 2010 in Jobs, Life Matters

 

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Budgets

I tell you, one of the most horrifying things you can do is write down where every scrap of money goes in a fortnight. Did you hear that thump? That was me hitting the floor in a faint after realising how much crap I spend my money on.

I keep all my receipts and write down the little things of life (like $3 for a Diet Coke or $3.80 for a large latte). Oy, that was an eye-opener. Yes, I could very well make my own coffee at work, and I certainly do at home or on the weekend.

The things I have to work out is: what are my *essential* luxuries, and what can I do without?

Under the heading of essential luxuries (go on, laugh at me, it’s a stupid term to use but the best I can come up with) are:

  • Waxing. Seriously, I can’t work out how to wax my underarms myself without causing extreme pain, I’m allergic to those magic hair-dissolving mousses, and the hair grows back like crazy after using a razor. Other parts can go without a wax.
  • Eyebrow dyeing. I am a klutz. Easier in terms of pain, shrieking and eye solution to get an expert to do this for me.
  • Hair colouring. I have a weird amount of grey mixed with brown-red hair that hasn’t been its original shade for umpteen years. I’ve tried to get a professional look myself. It used to work fine before I got more than 50% grey coverage at the front, and now, oy, the mess, the horrible colour, and the waste of home-colouring kits.
  • A latte now and then. Yes, I can make a coffee in a bodum or maybe instant coffee. But when it comes to the ability to perk myself up in a simple, and relatively non-fattening way, a latte is worth every bit of the $3.80 for a large cup.

So there you go.  I suppose in a way it’s a sort of cost benefit analysis. I’m not sure how to put a dollar value on intangibles like frustration over not getting the hair colour that I really want, but I can work out a cost of time cleaning up the mess of hair dye from the bathroom sink and towels and (most likely) my clothes.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2009 in Budget

 

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