Random Round Up

TGIF! Wow, for someone who only works every second Friday, my body was shocked and dismayed to have to work this Friday! And usually, on a super tired morning, I’d stop for a mocha on the way to work.  But a mocha has both sugar in it (which I’m trying to trim down on til the end of July) and it’s ‘buying takeway’ which I’m also not doing in July.  Thankfully, there’s a coffee machine at work, and I got a hit the minute I got in!

In today’s random Friday wrap up, I’ll just collect my thoughts, and receipts, and look at how the week, and the month so far have been, in Carla’s of Daily Half Dozen’s relaxed style (I know we share some readers, sadly I won’t be as concise as she is!).

Money

Yikes, what a week! Last week, I got a double pay, thanks to back pay, overtime and on call pay.  So I quickly siphoned that off to my savings goal of $26k by 22 Dec for my mortgage.  I even paid two weeks of my mortgage last week.  It was all going so well…

This week I got paid my new normal weekly pay.  And then I proceeded to spend $1400 on a two day course!  To regular readers, this is part of getting my chartered professional engineer status – I need 150 hours of continuing professional development.  75 of these hours can be ‘anything’ – which cover all the internal courses we do more or less annually.  But the remaining 75 hours are divided into specific ‘skill sets’ and I was woefully under subscribed in ‘area of practice’ courses.  So I found a course in August, but with two days until the ‘early bird’ rate of 10% off ended, I signed up straight away.  In the past, these courses have been paid for by my employer.  Sadly, with the current climate, I am not at all confident I’ll be reimbursed this time.  Nonetheless, I’ve found some paperwork, and commenced my case with my (new) boss.  He’s on board, and willing to watch me fight 🙂

After paying for the course, other enjoyable hits to the budget included

  •  finally fixing the ikea kitchen lights (that’s a post in itself!) for $160.  This will be reimbursed by Ikea
  • I helped crowd fund a great book from a blog I love 52Suburbs – you won’t be disappointed if you like photography and diptychs
  • I got all my nails done in preparation for the wedding, which set me back $85.  You know how I feel about the cost of being vain, so this was a hit!
Right after getting them done

Right after getting them done

  • accommodation for the wedding was $180. Most places in Orange are minimum two night stay, so it severely limits the competition if you’re looking to stay one night.  It was well worth it though!
  • thanks to An Exacting Life, I went and found concert tickets! I’m due to see Rudimental in September (which I initially thought had sold out), and then also bought two tickets at the same venue for theatresports next weekend.  I’m sure I’ll enjoy both, but that was another $140
  • for the first time in months, I had acupuncture AND physio (which I was having weekly for a long while).  Combined, my out of pocket was $90, better than the $120 it could have been
  • I’ve signed up for a 9km bridge run ($57)! I can reimburse myself from the 12 in 2 adventure fund though.  Sadly the 5km color run I was going to do with my family sold out quick sticks, so we’ll volunteer instead, to still be involved.  Whilst on 12 in 2 goals, I’ve also found an accountability partner for running (Pauline for Make Money Your Way) and for the bible reading I have Brian from Done by Forty who I met through comments at Jen’s blog The Happy Homeowner – yay to have encouragement!

That’s about all, til I spoke to the physio about my running and shin pain.  She suggested I needed new running shoes – I’d like to get some for the ~$100 mark, but in Australia, it’s more likely to be ~$200.  I’m almost tempted to take that US trip I’m dreaming of, to save me the $100 dollars.

And I’ve decided I’d like to try skinny jeans after a great wardrobe post by Into Mind, though I did wander around, and now I’ve decided I need to at least TRY skinny jeans whilst I’m this side of retirement… I mean seriously, why have I never owned a pair?  I just think they might be the silhouette update I’ve been looking for. (yes I think of what I’m wearing in terms of the shape, and I’ve been a little less than impressed with a lot of my winter wardrobe of late).  So that’ll likely be another $100.

I’m not game to add this all up – but let’s just saw, I’m sad to see a lot of last week’s gains be lost this week or so.  Hopefully some reimbursements will settle it out, otherwise I’ll just have to be ok with achieving my savings target slower.

Stuff

I’m getting so hung up on ‘stuff’.  The price of stuff vs the quality.  Thinking about the conditions of who made it.  The wage they were paid.  Should everyone earn what an Australian ‘minimum’ wage is?  It’s all getting to me – and came up last night with my parents who’ve just enjoyed 2.5 weeks in Asia, where a watch was $2.90.  How do you work out a fair price?

This thought process was probably kickstarted by a radio segment where I heard the found of Slavery Footprint speak about the way they are trying to change industries (rather than companies) to address slavery.  You can input your ‘stuff’ to work out how many slaves you had.  Best part of the interview was when he mentioned that his people emailed Steve Jobs – to which he off handedly suggested ’email the Queen too’.  His staff explained that Jobs always replied to emails.  And he did! He said ‘thanks for bringing this to my attention, I’ll look into it’.  And since then, Apple’s gone form being a secret company, to disclosing their suppliers and the conditions and what Apple is doing to improve things.  Certainly heartening.

Screen capture from http://slaveryfootprint.org/

Screen capture from http://slaveryfootprint.org/

The radio presenter had 34 slaves.  I got 44.  You should try it – it’s a cute interface if you have 5-10 mins to spare!  You can fine tune every step by pressing the cog on the left (shown above), which I did for food, technology & clothing (using my wizz bang inventory, and it was still hard!) <- actually I went back and tried to fine tuned them all, til they cleared my old clothing tally!

I think that’s all that’s on my mind.  I have the fancy birthday dinner this Saturday (my one eating out exception that I planned at the start of my ‘no eating out’ July Challenge).  It’ll be great – I believe it’s 5 courses of south american food, with the option to match wines (sorry Lucinda, it’s not a dry July for me!).  It’s also another cost, but hey, I knew this one was coming.

Let me know how your slavery footprint goes when you get a chance – I’d love to talk about that more!

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15 thoughts on “Random Round Up

  1. That was really interesting – I got 36 slaves and they mostly seemed to be because of clothing. I guess that is a high estimate because I buy a lot of my clothes in op shops and I’m not sure if that would be counted the same.

    Speaking of op shops, check them out for skinny jeans. They’ve been in fashion long enough that people are starting to donate them. I got a great pair a few months ago for $15. Pricy for an op shop, but much cheaper than buying them new.

    Reply
    • OH I didn’t think of op shops, so I’ll try, but I’m not sure if I have the patience! I think the electronic items have a fair amount of slaves – but it’s hard to know. There’s some great little tit bits interspersed though, aren’t there?

      Reply
  2. What a week! I don’t feel the need to have a drink, but gee, I’d like one. 19 days to go.

    In how many years do you have to do 150 hours ongoing profess nail learning? My son is. In his third year of a double degree: chemical engineering and science at Sydney.

    I fret too about the working conditions of those who make what we buy, which is why I tend to buy things from first world countries. Doesn’t help those in developing countries, I know. It is horrendous what happened in Bangladesh. I am glad there is now pressure on companies such as Coles and Target to check the down line producers of their products.

    Reply
    • Hahaha is there THAT much of the month to go? Damn! Maybe some good chocolate will help?

      I have three years to do the 150 hours. It’s only if you want to become chartered, which wasn’t a ‘thing’ til about a year ago at my company. Before then, it wasn’t deemed worth it.

      I do hope the pressure has some impact on the way things are made, but it’s just such a complex issue. It’s not as simple as to make everyone, worldwide, have the same wage (imagine a totally socialist or communist WORLD!), but how do we ‘rich’ countries ensure we’re fair to ‘developing’ economies?

      Reply
  3. Hope you manage to get reimbursed for the training through work! Costly, but I’m sure very worthwhile in the end.

    The “slavery footprint” looks like a really worthwhile tool (will try when I can get on the computer later!) I’m torn between “frugality” and paying a “fair price” for things. I do try to buy from suppliers who have signed Fair Trade agreements, but worth looking into more.

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t have a clue which things I get that are fair trade, other than coop stuff. So usually cost wins to fair trade, but it’s more than I’ve only just started thinking about it.

      I hope the course is worth it – it’s a big budgetary hit, so I’ll be campaigning hard to get it reimbursed. I know companies create these courses a price point designed for companies to pay… surely? Otherwise, the cost per hour is astronomical (when you think how many fill a class!)

      Reply
  4. It sounds like all of your spending was enjoyable; better than paying for house or car repairs! I’ll have to listen to Rudimental – when is the show? It does weird things to my budget when I buy tickets in July for a show in January! I am really frustrated trying not to buy sweatshop clothes. Even higher-end North American brands are still produced in developing countries, and “exemplary” companies like American Apparel still make exceptions and are not as pure as they make themselves sound. I am also inclined to buy more used clothes, but I really don’t like scouring the stores for those “good finds.” Lately I went to some consignment stores where the clothes are more carefully curated!

    Reply
    • Mostly enjoyable, though that course might be a drag! The show’s in September, so you have time.

      I agree re:combing thrift shops – EofK suggested it, but when I thought about the likelihood of the size and colour and style I like, all been available second hand, I thought ‘what are my chances?’ and ‘how long will I need to look for’. Ah we’re so used to fast and easy aren’t we?

      Reply
  5. Thanks for the mention and I’m excited to work through your blog’s archives!

    The slaves idea is interesting, but I admit I’m actually avoiding typing in my info. There’s something disconcerting about putting a number on that.

    I’ll be shooting an email tomorrow to check in our bible reading. Thank you, thank you for offering to help out and be my accountability partner. I’ll hold up my end as well. Cheers!

    Reply
    • Welcome! I can imagine it’s a bit uncomfortable knowing your slave count, and if I hadn’t heard the long radio segment I might have been disinclined to look into it more.

      Look forward to your email – let’s get that best seller read!

      Reply
  6. Wow that’s a rather expensive course, I hope you win your case with your employer! Your nails look really cute, but how did it cost you that much? Am I missing something or are manicures really expensive? I’ve only had my nails done twice. My running shoes are pretty comfortable and I think they were $70. Getting “last years model” is usually cheaper. That’s annoying that they’re so much there :/.

    I was slow to adopt skinny jeans for some reason – I didn’t like how they looked on me, but I’ve warmed up to them now. I have three pairs of jeans and two pairs of black stretchy material. The slavery footprint is an interesting concept. Unfortunately I tend to go for whatever is cheapest. I don’t buy clothes that often anymore at least!

    Reply
    • The mani+pedi with shellac is that much, sadly. I hate it costs that much. I will need to look for ‘out of season’ running shoes, cause pricey ones are just ridiculous, given how regularly you are meant to replace them if you’re a runner. Add runners to the list with jeans – yikies…

      Reply
  7. The slavery footprint was interesting, but it didn’t seem to take into account buying fair trade items, or how long items have been owned for, or if items were bought new – or even if homemade, all of which I think must make a difference.

    Reply
  8. Pingback: July Challenge: No eating out | livetolist

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