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Archive for May, 2009

May Excess Lives on....

May 31st, 2009 at 11:39 pm

Despite 3 short vacations in May, I've managed to end the month with 158 left in the Budget !!

Good going.... but back to reality now...

May's budget was huge and June's is back to normal... :-)

I'm gonna split May's excess between Christmas and Travel savings....

Saturday Nite Dilemma

May 30th, 2009 at 08:10 pm

There's a band I really like playing in a neighbouring town tonight. I debated about whether or not to go but I've decided not to for the following reasons:

May's Entertainment budget was huge and I've already maxed it out - due to my 30th B-day celebrations..

Now I'm still going to have about 120 surplus this month - due mainly to overtime. If I went to this gig tonight, I would probably spend 40 euro which is not an awful lot. It's just that I feel I've spent a huge amount on Entertainment already this month and that spending is unsustainable. For example, I spent enough on alcohol last Saturday nite to buy maybe 4 tickets to this gig... I feel like I have to put a stop to it somewhere.... live low until June - Monday - and then start spending, guilt-free, June's Entertainment budget...

How awfully sensible of me !!

I'm planning to split May's excess equally between Christmas savings and Travel savings...

Tradesmen unaware of Recession ?

May 26th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Perhaps this is a peculiarity of Irish tradesmen - tilers in particular...

My mother, father (gamecock - we roped him in - hehe) and myself are paying for getting my brother's kitchen tiled...

My mother is making all the deals... The tiler reckoned it would take him a day and a half - and he wanted 450 for just his own labour - we're buying all the materials etc...

My mother agreed to this - I was shocked but didn't make too big a deal as I didn't want to upset mother - I work in a graduate job in my home town and earn approx 500 a week after taxes... this guy wanted almost 500 (450) for a day and a half !!!!.... you gotta be kidding right ? In a country where the construction industry (new houses = tilers) has collapsed and unemployment in that sector is huge ???? (supply of tilers greater than demand)

And you can bet your bottom dollar he will not be declaring all his income to the Tax-man (self-employed)...

Grrrr...... :-)

Rant over.

Confession of a Splurger

May 24th, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Went to visit my best friend in Dublin yesterday... spent the night up there and went out partying...

Spent 183 euro in total..(including 20 euro that I "left" somehow in the back of a Taxi -drunk - Grrrr).

There it is.... I really enjoyed it tho... and today was a beautiful day weather-wise in Dublin...

So this is effectively my 3rd short vacation this month !! So my 30th is well and truly celebrated now !!

On a positive financial note, my friend doesn't think our July sun, sand and chasing girls holiday will happen due to his own financial goals and holidays with his gf... so thats 2000 I won't be spending :-) I am looking forward to taking a lot of long weekend breaks around Ireland this year - cheaper and lots of fum...

However, I think it is STILL possible for me to spend less than I earned this month (due mainly to working a lot of overtime recently).... which is pretty awesome when you consider I took 3 short vacations this month..

The tiling money for my brother's house is gonna come from money I had saved for night-class fees (and nearly deplete that account) so I won't be including it as money spent in my May budget.

Caught in a round-about way

May 22nd, 2009 at 09:33 pm

My brother, whom I love dearly, is moving into a new home soon.

He's basically getting all his bits n pieces bought before he moves in. My family is paying for the vast majority of the stuff...

I'm a bit put out with this - in so far as why can't he make do initially and then buy stuff as he goes on - month by month. Now if he was buying the stuff himself, then fine but my older brother and parents are paying for a lot and they're earning less than/the same as him...

For example his budget for the kitchen floor only stretches to buy linolineum for 400/500.... However my mother, who is a homemaker with a very limited income, decided to buy him tiles for his kitchen floor for 1000 to 1100... she hasn't the cash for this & decided to get a loan to pay for them !!

I stressed that's it's a bad idea to get into debt for tiles when lino will do the job fine for a year or two... that will give my brother enough time to save for the tiles..

but no.... new tiles it is.

This probably sounds like jealousy on my part... and maybe it is to a small degree... But I am really really happy for my brother and wish him every happinesss....it's just that I don't like seeing mother taking on a loan for a non-essential item when my brother is earning more that she is - she's already bought him a new dining room table and chairs...

SO.. to stop her getting a loan... I offered to go half on the tiles... I was planning to give him 100 cash house-warming present but that's going to jump to 500/550 mainly to help my mother...

I'll take it from a fund I'd started for night-course fees and overtime....

I hate to sound like I'm begrudging my brother his good fortune... when I'm not...

I guess I'm just peeved at handing over a week's wages when I wasn't planning to...

that's how frugal I've become !!

But then I tell myself, I love my brother, wish him all the best and hope he gets good service out of the tiles for years - I can feel satisfied I did my bit to help him... and I guess you can't put a value on sibling relationships...

Financial Outcomes of 1st Life Coach Session

May 15th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

My EF is no longer an EF.....Its an Opportunity Fund... which I like the sound of... I said "I'll need if I lose my job"... She said "yeah, but losing your job will be an opportunity... if a chance at doing something you really love comes along you may need a bit of money to get yourself set-up"... or along those lines... good point.

Work-life balance. Currently I work on the evening shift which rules out a lot of social activities during the week- I live in a small town. That leaves the weekends. I've worked 7/8 of the last 10 weekends - 3/4 hrs overtime on a Saturday or Sunday morning. I find that getting up at 8 am on a weekend morning really knocks me out of my rhythm when I am used to getting up later during the week...

Action - Transfer to day shift when the opportunity arises. This will mean losing the evening shift premium, which will impact on my budget, but it will improve my work-life balance - so it is a good idea. Also no more overtime at weekends. I normally work overtime on weekdays in addition to the weekend work. I've decided to cap the overtime at just during the week and keep the weekends entirely to myself (until I get on the day shift at least).

When we looked at my "Wheel of Life" my family relationships and finances were the 2 strongest areas. A big thank you to all the bloggers here for helping get my financial plans in order !!! kiss kiss :-) (not you BA ! hehe).

My weakest areas were Personal Growth and Relationships/Friendships so I'm gonna be directing my attention to those areas (e.g. at the now free weekends).

The next stage is where we determine what my values are. These are things I need to have present in my life in order to feel complete. When I determine what these are, then I will think about decisions in terms of whether they're compatible with my values or not...

so definitely a positive experience so far !

Reducing Target EF

May 14th, 2009 at 01:39 am

I've reduced my Target EF from 6 mths take-home pay to 4 mths take home pay.

I think that is plenty for a single guy without a mortgage.

It will mean I can start saving up a deposit that bit sooner...

Life Coach anyone ?

May 11th, 2009 at 02:10 pm

Saw an ad up in a local shop...

Not sure how qualified these guys are... I'm pretty sure most Irish ones don't have Degrees in Psychology...maybe just a 6 month course or the like..

Then again there are uber-qualified doctors who would bore the last drop of inspiration out of the most inspired....

I guess it really depends on the individual coach.

Rang one today and she came across as really positive on the phone....basically all areas of your life are up for discussion...

Its 240 for 4 sessions and you get the 5th one free - so works out at 48 per session. If I go every fortnight that works out at 24 per week - I can live with that - the cost of 4/5 beers a week.

The reason I made an appointment on Thursday is that I hope these sessions could actually help me save money by:

Determining what my passions are
Defining a plan to bring me closer to them
Implementing the necessary changes..

You see I don't want to spend 5 years wandering around in my thoughts, half-formed dreams lost in the tedium of work, rest and exercise - spending money on things that I think will lift me but that invariably bring me no closer to a permanent sense of fulfillment....

I think the help of a professional could be good for me...

Has anyone else tried one of these ?

Resisted Temptation !

May 10th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

To buy a TV..

My best friend was visiting and we were discussing my love life (or lack thereof !) hehe....

We were saying we should make the most of my apartment and turn it into a social place for congregation post night-club. My current TV is a 14" portable. He reckons I need at least a 37".

This weekend an electrical retailer was offering 2 years interest-free credit. Very tempting. Yet didn't indulge. There are a few things I want to buy before a TV...(I don't really watch it that much)

The thought of taking on a monthly payment was like kyrptonite to me... yes thats have bad/frugal I have become... I've decided to save up the money at some point in the next year or two and buy one than.

Also, my friend suggested we go on a "late-deal" holiday in July. The flights and accomodation will be cheap but spending on partying could bring the cost up to 1000 euro or more.

A lot of money. The main objective would be to meet females also on holiday, party and get laid....

My friend is confident with women.. and it would be fun... even a learning curve for me.... When we discussed it I was up for it... but now I'm having second thoughts due to the money involved...

but I also thinking... this is a good chance to spend fun time with your best friend; have some sun, sand and hopefully sex; you only live once ( thinking about my recent 30th birthday and the lack of love life in my 20s)

hmmm.... I could just save like crazy up until July so that it won't throw me off track financially too much ?

Elm Street scenario

May 6th, 2009 at 08:08 pm

Inspired by ceejay74, I've decided to do a budget to reflect my finances should I become unemployed. It is, dear Readers, as follows:

Rent 500
Debt Repay 555
Food 180
Electricity 50
Internet/TV 41
General bits 50

Total 1376

Social welfare 720

So a pretty big deficit of 656 a month.

Thsi 656 would have to come from EF. Also I would be waiting for 3/4 months for the social welfare to get processed.

Hmmm... moving swiftly on... if I was debt free - my last Debt repayment is in October 2010, then the deficit would only be 100 per month... MUCH more manageable.

Also, I wasn't expecting to add anything to my EF this month due to my 2 short holidays but it looks like I will be able to !!! Due to overtime, good fortune etc..

I love this world !! :-)

30 it is then :-)

May 2nd, 2009 at 03:38 pm

years

on this planet... breathing on my own...

Just back in home town after spending 2 nights in the West of Ireland... had a great time... one of highlights was vising Kylemore Abbey - home to Benedictine nuns... beautiful place.

I'm making a Banoffi pie for my family this evening... will be spending some times with them this evening/tonight and tomorrow it's off to Belfast for 2 nights !! I'm tracking my spending and hoping to pay for the 2 trips out of my April and May budgets...

I'm kinda of a delayed reaction guy... being 30 hasn't affected me yet... but I have decided to look on it as follows:

There are things I didn't experience in my 20s that I would have liked to - due to shyness, low self-esteem, lack of practice, lack of courage and even fear of a lot of work....well I've decided to look at my 30s as a do-over of my 20s (with the benefit of hindsight)...

So that when I reach 40, I can sit down, drink a coffee and think "yeah, what a ride !!"

It is funny that 10 years into the future seems so far way but 10 years into the past seems like last week ? hehe

Here's to health, happiness and Fun !!! :-)