Tag Archives: budget

No Weekends Away for the Next While My Life 09 SEP 2016

Ah yes, I very naively stated at the start of this year that my plan for 2016 was to go for at least one weekend away trip each and every month, to make up for being housebound / crippled for so long following my ruptured quadriceps tendon injury in December last year.

IMG_20160416_104325 chantelle photobomb with craig lotter at warmwaterberg spa near barrydale

Looking back I really did get off to a good start (considering I could only really half walk again by May), with a trip to Jacobsbaai in February, a trip to Mossel Bay in March, a weekend at Warmwaterberg Spa outside Barrydale in April, a stay in Stanford in May, a Garden Route break via George in June, and then the massive one, just short of two weeks away in the United State of America – Anaheim and San Diego to be precise – in July. (Which I still need to blog about, I know!)

However, my year long goal has come to a crushing halt thanks to the realities of life – in other words, my disposable income is currently under strain! :D

When we learned that Jessica was struggling a bit with Grade R (and looking unlikely to progress to Grade 1 next year), we immediately leaped into action by signing her up for some intensive occupational therapy with the brilliant Nicola van Zyl at the Et Al Therapy and Learning Centre. The results have been brilliant, but it does cost me over R2,000 a month, so there’s that.

However, now we are in a predicament where the teacher is no longer sure as to whether or not Jessica should progress or stay behind next year, and with Chantelle and I sitting on different sides of the fence (I want Jessica to progress, while Chantelle wants her to hang back), we’ve decided to get a professional opinion via a thorough school readiness assessment from the very capable educational psychologist Mia Schoeman, again at Et Al. This will help us make the proper decision, but of course it comes at a price of just over R3,000.

Then there was the unplanned trip to the dentist which set me back a surprise R4,135, not to mention the scheduled 150,000 km car service on our 2007 Hyundai Accent (which we only bought at the end of 2013 following the wrecking of Chantelle’s Getz) which cost R2,945 and came back with a quote of R10,000 for work which still needs to be done!

So yes, there is a need for a slight break in my “going away each and every month in 2016” plan!

Not all is lost though. I’ve got a trip with the girls to Gouritsmond (Gouritz) already booked for late December, and I’m reasonably sure that by October the need to get away will kick in once again, overriding any silly monetary concerns that I might have…

IMG_20160206_075812 girls and craig lotter at artists retreat on a misty jacobsbaai morning

(Mind you, if you follow my Instagram feed or Facebook page it certainly wouldn’t look like I’ve let up. Spring is here and the girls and I are making the MOST of the good weather in order to explore our surrounds come each and every weekend!) 

First world problems, I know! ;)

Finances, Finances, Finances My Life 08 MAR 2011

I am flat broke. Although I always playfully say that, this is the first time that I have actually been broke in seriously I don’t know how many years – probably all the way back to that first year when I stepped out into the work world for the first time and was pretty much earning peanuts – as one usually does when one starts out.

Although we had made all the necessary plans and budgeting last year already, unforeseen circumstances like Jessica’s unexpected arrival hit our bank balance hard. What with having just purchased the house and now added child care costs, the fact that we lost Chantelle’s income for the duration of her maternity leave and then the subsequent screw up with UIF application, means that at the moment, my solitary salary has pretty much got to cover everything.

And it turns out that it just doesn’t quite make it.

We made significant cut backs in our household spending and have pretty much suspended all non-essential services (hey, I even have Chantelle on single-ply now!), but between all the existing debit orders, huge petrol bill thanks to my daily commute and of course the various medical costs associated with Jessica (and on that note, thanks to the Montgomery clan for helping us out on that one extra doctor’s visit), this is the first time that I have ever had to live off my credit card – in other words using money that I don’t actually own at the moment.

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Ouch. R100k Mark Reached My Life 28 OCT 2009

Ouchies. Going over the wedding budget I see we’ve just crept over the R100,000 mark, meaning that we’ve now officially exceeded our initial budget outline (which was R100,000 if you were wondering).

Nut bunnies, but that’s a serious wad of cash to blow out on a single day (even if you gave yourself a year in which to raise it!) – though I’m thinking that the look on Chantelle’s face on the big day is going to be worth each and every one of those pennies spent! :)

(Besides, it should also create a lifetime of good memories in the process, and who doesn’t want that?)

And on that short grumble/note, only 10 more days to go! :D

man throwing money into the sea

Suicidal Spending My Life 08 MAY 2008

Credit CardWow, this setting up of a new life in Gordon’s Bay is costing me an arm and a leg. Last month was a heavy month to say the least, but I thought that we had finally got everything done and dusted and I could finally start restocking my finances just a little bit at last. But, and quite unfortunately of course, there are always those unforseens to deal with. Sometimes they are little, like replacing a fish tank, and sometimes they are large, like replacing a fridge (which was not on our original plan, but a change of plans in Andrea’s new life means we need to get a new fridge ASAP).

Of course, the way in which I handle my money means that I always have reserves and that this isn’t a problem per say, but unfortunately it does push back and delay other plans and luxuries that now unfortunately will just have to wait a little while longer. This isn’t a huge problem for me and the type of person that I am, but for others this is unbearable and almost unacceptable – which is probably why credit cards were invented in the first place.

A good example of this ‘suicidal spending’ as I like to call it came from my buddy Nur on Monday. His buddy just purchased a top of the range, humungous Samsung flatscreen TV over the weekend, the price of which came to well over R15 000. The screen itself is a piece of art, beautiful when on and gorgeous when off and so, so worth it. Unfortunately the new owner is not quite as happy as he should be though – he has just realized that he needs to sell his car because he cannot afford all his current repayments now!

And of course, with the rapidly rising cost of living, what with the huge jumps in the price of staple foods like rice and wheat and of course the ever rising price of fuel (finally my sister pays more than me, thanks to diesel surpassing petrol at last), it is no wonder that I am hearing more and more of these stories every day.

Of course, I do have sympathy for those barely surviving above the breadline, but for those fools who don’t know anything about buying only that which they can afford and when they can afford it, my heart bleeds only custard – thick lumpy custard at that. Don’t you know that you can only live the ‘high life’ if you actually earn the ‘big bucks’? Silly people.

Okay, so maybe I sometimes appear cheap to a lot of people, but my money matters are always solid and I never have to worry about running out of cash – even if I am required to buy a fridge every now and then! How many other people can say that? Spend what you have, nothing more and maybe just a little less.

Suicidal spending? I don’t even know how to get a credit card – or where my nearest physical bank branch at the moment is for that matter! :)