Money Talks {Part One}

Yesterday was not the greatest day of my life. It started out really well. Went to school to visit, saw my awesome workmates and some of my BFF’s, met my lovely new boss and then took Addison out for lunch. We then perused the toy shop and someone convinced me she needed a Hootabelle toy as she kept squealing every time I gave it to her.

Got kinda shit from that point on.
Return to car, Addison starts screaming as I take Hootabelle off her to put in car, put phone and bag on car roof to make putting screaming octopus in car easier and then grab bag, but not phone. Drive out of car park and hear ssssssssssssssssss, THUNK.
I won’t go into the rest, except to say I stopped car, located phone and engaged in an expletive fulled rant that would have made you blush. The Woolies trolley man actually stopped his cart to listen to me. Anyway, I guess I’m not the first person to do this as Apple were only too happy to offer me a new replacement phone on Friday. I have to go to an appointment at, wait for it, The Genius Bar. Lame. So, so lame. Still, very happy I can replace phone for much less than buying outright again. Can’t live without it. I like to be connected to the world at ALL times.Really, at the end of the day it’s just a phone and life goes on. One might even say, first world problem.
Life Mantra…is anyone dead? No. Then it can be fixed.

Now, this whole intro whinge has a purpose. And that purpose is to tell you that sometimes, with even the best of intentions, sticking to a set budget fails. Because unexpected costs are going to crop up. Acts of stupidity and all.
SO for four weeks I attempted to stick to a budget that allowed me $500 for everything bar rent. And let me tell you. It was NOT easy. The biggest expense by FAR was groceries  The mind truly boggles at how much these basic items cost in Australia. (The travesty of which I’m not going to go into except to say it’s ridiculously unfair and the big 2 are laughing all the way to the bank and then swimming in a money pool at the bank.) Basic everyday, HEALTHY items. The second expense was unexpected expenses. Medicine when I was unwell, unexpected dinners, some gifts and a couple of car bills I didn’t expect. Tricky.
So what did I learn? A lot actually.
{One}- You need to be realistic about the costs of life. Budget accordingly. Don’t put yourself under stress. On the other hand don’t go bling bling crazy and think that you need hundreds of dollars for just in case, when that just in case is extra coffees and magazines…
{Two}- If you want to save on groceries you need to be prepared to do some running around. And some planning. You have to beat them at their own game. (More on this tomorrow.)
{Three}- You need a buffer for unexpected costs but don’t rely on Credit Cards. (Mel over at Suger Coat It has a fabulous blog post on the dangers of credit and going credit free, check it out! FWIW I don’t have any. I did and it was cray cray. It’s FREE MONEY! Picture me skipping around the shopping mall. So a few years back I paid them down, cut them up and never got another. Bad, bad.)
{Four}- You have more than you think. Much, much more. This applies to your pantry, wardrobe and ability to entertain yourself. “Shop” your kitchen, clothes and brain. Trust me, I found clothes I’d completely forgotten about. And we really had a good time, taking packed food and hanging out with friends and family rather than blowing $60-$70 in a cafe. (Another stupidly expensive past time in Oz.) I think the ability to entertain yourself is becoming a lost art, especially with some kids. I’ve had a few kids in my class come up to me during Free Play and state (read: whinge) I’m Boooooored. Surrounded by activities and friends, no idea what to do.  I don’t want Addison to need me to constantly entertain her or ‘take her out and pay for her’ to have fun. She has lovely toys here and parks all around that we visit. Not to mention, catch ups with friends every week and her swimming ‘class’.
Overall, It was pretty scary how much goes on well, nothing. Once I started putting it down on paper (well App paper) I was actually able to see what was happening with my money and it needed sorting. The amount spent on coffee, bits and pieces food shopping and stupid crap like in app purchases was fairly epic. But not in a good way. In a bad way, like epically busting your new phone.

I’m really glad I took the challenge on. My biggest accomplishment has been cracking the grocery riddle. I’m looking forward to sharing my plan with you tomorrow. After I’ve returned from “The Genius Bar.” Again, lame. So, so lame.

PS I’m guest posting over on the fabbo A Study in Contradictions today! My Confessions of a New Mum post is live. Yay!

4 thoughts on “Money Talks {Part One}

  1. Lib

    Its amazing how wasteful we are as a society…..I am making an effort to shop my pantry…..not to save money, but to clean it out in preparation for moving. I am doing the same with my bathroom cupboards. I have so much soap. And so much shampoo. I secretly high 5 myself when I manage to finish a bottle of something!!!

    Reply
  2. SarahMac

    Oh I find budgeting so so hard. We had a huge credit card bill and paid it off and now only have one with a tiny limit for emergencies. I get enraged constantly at how much we pay every week for groceries. So so draining.

    Reply
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