Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Frugal Living

How come the more you earn the less you have? I've been asking myself that question quite often this year. Here's the scenario:

2008 I started working (after living off only Thinus' salary and money gifts from our wedding for the first 6 months of our marriage).
  • I get a paycheck, and we suddenly have to start looking for a new car since we only had one working car which was OLD (1982 Datsun Skyline, Powder Blue colour! A WICKED cool car!).
  • We found a 2007 Toyota Corolla 1.4oi (RunX shape) and bought it... but did not even consider negotiating the sky-high interest rate (things you don't know.)
  • My entire salary goes towards paying for the car, the petrol to my work (which was SERIOUSLY far from home, but I couldn't change, I was assigned to work there as my community service year), and the insurance on the car.
  • We buy a new Cloud Nine bed in Aug 2008 after discovering that Thinus had been saving up money for the past 3 years without him realising - that truly saved me years of more backache!
  • The money that was not spent on the bed we put away for a holiday at some stage (which came in March/April 2009).
  • I get my first bonus - buy something special for myself and save the rest.
  • We pay some of the money for Thinus mom's home caregivers (She was terminal with lung cancer and Takiyasu Syndrome).
  • We see my parents often, we make biscuits for Christmas presents and that's 2008.
  • We STILL make end's meet!

2009 I start a new job with a hectic annual salary increase (or so I thought).
  • Suddenly I only work half-days, I don't have to drive NEARLY as far as previously and Thinus gets a lift to work with one of his friends.
  • Thinus gets a mountain bike from one of my sisters-in-law, which he uses to cycle to work 2 days per week. It keeps him fit and the petrol / gas costs down!
  • I start studying for my Diploma in Hand Therapy, requiring quite a chunk of money from me before July 2009 to pay off the course -and fortunately I receive a pay-out from my pension for the previous year. It goes straight into my studies (okay, maybe one tank full of petrol as well for the car).
  • We go camping TWICE (really a cheap way of having a holiday).
  • We go visit Thinus' dad in Cape Town in March/April with the savings that was left over from Aug 2008.
  • I get a bonus, buy a bunk-bed set for my brothers' kids for when they come for sleepovers, as well as one single-bed Cloud Nine mattress - and plan to buy the next one a few months later with savings.
  • We make it through the year of 2008 with money put away from my bonus for two weddings.
  • And another huge amount of my bonus goes down in November 2009 to pay towards a deposit for a new course: International Interdisciplinary Wound Care Course
  • My aunt requires home caregivers over weekends, and Thinus and I decide to pay for that.
  • We visit my parents very regularly, really as often as we can.
  • I make each of my brothers a calendar with all the birthdays on it for Christmas, and buy my dad a Sudoku Rubic's cube (that's just CRUEL!)

2010 - I get an increase,
  • I still have some money left over for my bonus of October 2008
  • PLUS we move to the school which was how we were gonna save up money for a deposit to buy Thinus a car...
  • My aunt passes away...
  • I go to study - which includes two trips flying to Cape Town on my account for my residential weekends (one of it includes taking Thinus along for a holiday)... OUCH
  • We get invited to 5 more weddings... YIKES! Of which one is in Cape Town - amounting to an extra trip to Cape Town (but we just could not miss this wedding!). We also travel to Harrismith and for another wedding we go to Potch, then two in Jo'burg, and then the two we did budget for (one in the Vredefort Dome, and one in Nylstroom). We also get invited to our eigth wedding of the year - just outside Potch in December...
  • I fall pregnant (YEAH!!!!), but after 5 weeks of happiness, our baby's heart stops at 10 1/2 weeks gestation... that amounts to 4 / 5 trips to the Obs/Gynae and an operation.
  • We visit my parents nearly every second weekend.
  • Our PC decides to die on us, and we urgently have to buy a new laptop for me in order for me to finish my studies.
  • My studies are all paid for at the end of July 2010... and then my baby brother passed away in the beginning of August 2010 (the 8th).
  • Funerals are expensive, incase no-one knew...
  • Three days after my brother's death, my sister-in-law's brother passes away - August 11th.. We attend his funeral in Bloemfontein.
  • The phonebill comes for August 2010 - it's astronomical and we just don't care because we were busy letting the whole world know of all these tragic events...
  • Sept 2010 one of my varsity friends passes away from a pulmonary embolism - I can't attend her funeral in Cape Town, due to a lack of finances.
  • Oct 2010 I get my bonus - it's gonna buy another mattress for the other bunk bed, and it's gonna be used to pay-off my laptop, and to give Thinus money for his Gamer's PC, and to save for next year's two weddings, and to pay for the wedding gift for December's wedding... basically to patch up lots of holes.
  • November 2010 - my car gets serviced and sucks up a quarter of my bonus. Some money gets redistributed, some money gets used on books (too much, really)... I buy a portable DVD player for our car (I got an extra bonus for back-pay on a salary increase). We go back to the Ob/Gyn for lack of falling pregnant, only to discover that I have a cyst (6x3.5cm) in my uterus / womb and have to go on treatment for the next 3 months and if that doesn't work, surgery's the next step... SO I can no longer afford to buy my bunk bed mattress or save money for next year or buy a wedding gift for December (fortunately I did get them a very nice bridal shower gift ;-) ).
What is the lesson to be learned? I'm not living frugally, but even if I was, this year was so full of unexpected events, it showed me all the loopholes in my 'budget'. I am not making New Year's resolutions, I'm making New Life resolutions.
  • I want to live frugally so that I can afford life's curve balls without feeling completely shaken.
  • I want to spend less time on my cellphone, and utilise Skype / FB more often so that I can connect with my family.
  • I want to pay off the outstanding amount on my laptop.
  • I want to save money for future holidays without guilt.
  • I want to save money for kiddies - those we want too and they come with a price tag!
  • I want to visit my parents as often as I can, as well as Thinus' dad in Cape Town.
  • I want to stay at home, and learn how best to save money using home recipes for removing soap scum in bath tubs, washing hair with vinegar and baking soda, processing food I buy in bulk from the farmer's market alongside my best friend Vici, just live a little.
So I am roping in the help of a few websites to
I'm pretty excited to be sharing all of this information with my husband tonight - YIPPEE for frugal living!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

OT time

It's been a while since I last blogged about anything concerning OT. Well, my personal life seems to have gotten the better of me, PLUS my crazy loads of studying. I'm almost done with my IIWCC (International Interdisciplinary Wound Care Course) I am happy to report :-)

Well, the past few days I've been reading and Googling and finding new resources to use for OT-purposes. Basically to make my life a whole lot easier next year with regards to planning treatment and so forth. I discovered, as well as having been directed to, some amazing websites containing a plethora of information!
has the most amazing worksheets in Afrikaans also boasts very beautiful printable worksheets which can be used for both Afrikaans and English children.

And THEN, my personal favourite at the moment: For all the teachers out there, WOW, this is a wonderful website / blog to explore. Loads of information and ideas that are shared. LOVING it!!!!

So, that's me doing my OT-post. Hope you're all still well, and that the information provided will be of some assistance :-)