Monthly Archives: July 2011

Hello spam, why are you attacking me all of a sudden?


Is it just me or has every one else been inundated with spam comments?

I’ve gotten 20 in the past day.

Most are the generic;

Really great post, I’ll definitelly come back on your website.

– diver girl, green cpa and reading fundation.

C’mon guys, try a little bit harder at least. Give us some credit.

Some try to get a bit more specific to bypass the spam filter, but fail.

Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. Many people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

– Dreamhost Promo

What about Brussels?? I’ve never mentioned Brussels ever! Is that where the aliens are going to land?? TELLLL MEEEEEE!!!!

Very interesting information!Perfect just what I was looking for!

– Kathe Gabriel

What information?? I triple dog dare you to find any sort of useful information in this blog! There is no information. Just me rambling.

Some try to get approval by targeting my ego.

I like how are you thinking…and I must confess I’m totally addicted to your articles!

– beavers

I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

– Dreamhost Photo (again!)

Awww shucks. But seriously, no one likes how I think. I don’t like how I think. I treat my mind like a bad neighborhood, I never go into it by myself unless I’m packing some heat. With a tank.

And some are just mean

You smell and are a poo head.

Lane

Waitacottonpickingminutehear. Dagnabbit, Lane! 

PS.

No Lane did not actually write that in my comments. She just thought it. I can hear her from here. Also elephants have spots and llama’s are the best fighter pilots in the world, after the hairless mole rat.

PPS.

For some reason or other I have excess food this week. So no need to go grocery shopping! $50 worth of dvd/book shopping or put it into debt? Hmmmmm.

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Hello hangover, despite the pain you cause I always come back…


Okay there are several good things about hangovers. Well for me anyways. Even in PF terms. And this is going to be a short post.

  1. I know I will be spending nothing today. Even the thought of being in the same room as a living breathing person with their loud thinking and blinking and heart beats *TURN YOUR HEART DOWN ITS TOO LOUD!* And no I am not counting the money I spent last night GETTING drunk so I could get a hangover. My blog, my rules. What happens on a Friday, stays in whatever seedy, low-brow, broken-down establishment I woke up in on the Saturday morning.
  2. I can catch up on my sleep. Sure it will be disjointed, uncomfortable and my dreams will consist of flashes of memory of things done that I am not proud of (break up of girlfriend #6, quitting job #7) and things I don’t even remember doing (I climbed that 3 metre fence and jumped from the top?? I have photos on my phone of me on an elephant??) but it will be sleep.
  3. I won’t spend that much money on that much alcohol for a fairly long time.  Sure we’ve all said it before. “I’m never drinking again!” But we will, well I will. I’ve just learned my lesson for the time being. I will forget in a few months. But those months can be spent saving.
So hangovers aren’t THAT bad. They’re just the universes way of telling you that you had a good time 😛 And also to make you save.
Yes I am justifying my actions.
Shhhhhh.
I’m going back to bed.

Hello life, you’re expensive.


Now that I’ve gone into this journey of becoming debt-free with verve and gusto, I’ve come to look at life a little differently now.

Before when I would see something that I would like to own (and covet and worship in the deep dark nights of Saturnalia) I would think something along the lines of “How long till I can afford that?” Now my thinking goes “How much more will I have to spend a week to own that?”

Take cars for example. I’m a semi-petrol head, which means I like my cars fast, but don’t ask me what a carburetor does cause I will only lie to you. So I had me a Proton Satria GTi back in the day before I moved to the islands. It was a piece of crap, the radio wouldn’t work, the driver’s side window needed an assist to roll up all the way, the headlights would switch off suddenly, the brakelights would come on intermittently without me stepping on the brakes. But it did go fast. I miss it terribly.

Now when I think of cars, I think, well registration is going to cost x amount, then there’s fuel, and maintenance, not to mention the initial outlay of actually buying the damn thing. Basically I’m going to have to quadruple my weekly transport costs in order to cover all that. Can I afford it? Yes. Will it hinder my debt paying off super powers? Yes. Do I still want to buy a car. Ummm… not really no.

Same went the way of the PS3. “I’m going to have to buy a HDTV so the blurays will actually look like they should. Wait, first I have to replace all my DVD’s with blurays. Then there are the games, oh then the new sound system…Oh heyyylllll no!”

That being said I still whimper whenever I see a new game come out on PS3 or see an Mitsubishi Evo or a BMW M3 cruise on by. All these things would be nice to have, and yes one day I’m going to have them.

Just not today.

Hello weekly update, you seem pointless this week.


STUFF

Mobile Phone Bill: -$85 (this really should be $65, but it was $99 before I upgraded so I’m still saving. And from what I’m reading the mobile plans people have in the US suck big time. For the $65 (+$20 cause I lost my phone and paying it off by installments) I get unlimited calls, unlimited sms, unlimited internet, 2 gigs of downloads and a 1 gig seperate to use the navigation function on the phone. I don’t think we have minute plans anymore… unless youre on prepaid)

Savings/Emergnecy Fund: +$62.25 = $587.43

Going Out/Gift Fund: +57.70 = $122.50

Bills: +$80 = $660

THE DEBT

Amex: +$40 = -$3,199.79

ANZ: +$30 = -$4,644.53

Westpac: +$40 = $6,788.99

Citibank: +$130 = -$5,250.54

Total Debt: -$19,883.85

Okay don’t get all excited. The above number is a lie. A lie that the credit card companies and banks are gladly taking part with me in.Well okay its not really a lie. But misleading. I am NOT under the $20,000 mark in debt. Interest will be applied in the next few days to the American Express, ANZ and Citibank cards, so I will be back over the $20,000 by the weekend (my only hope is that the $717 I pumped into the Citibank card will be enough to lower the interest applied to less than $80, which I doubt). And I’m not even going to buy anything or do anything! I’m going to spend the entire weekend either working out, running, or playing on the computer.

*sigh*

Which is why this weekly update seems pointless. Usually there’s something to get me excited with the update. The week before I got my Emergency Fund over the $500 mark, the week before that I finally got my available blance on my Citibank card over $1,000, after years of wallowing in “maxed out” land.

This week however…  I’m still stuck in the $500’s for my emergency fund, while my going out fund received a fairly good influx, I have 4 seperate events coming up in August that require presents, and at least one more in September.  and the interest, as stated previously, makes my payments this week seem completely and utterly ineffective.

Like a mouse trying to ravage an elephant.

I’m gonna get squished.

Hello fat, you’re losing.


Along with getting out of debt and going for a career change, I am also trying to lose some weight. If anyone remembers (but why would you?)  the first tag line for this blog was “Okay… I’m not THAT fat”. And I’m not. I’ve just developed a beer belly/gut over the past few years since my metabolism decided to break-up with me when I was 25 or so. But everything else was pretty okay. (Alright for a while there I had some man-boobs, they weren’t massive but they definitely had a boobyish quality rather than a pectoral quality… but shhhhhhhhhh)

The gut was the main concern. And I’m not just talking a little pooch, it got MASSIVE at one stage. I went from a size 28 mens waist (which is the smallest waist size you can get in mens size in Australia) to a very snug size 36. I remember, when my sister was pregnant with her first kid, my gut could compete with her pregnant belly for size. For years I’ve been trying to get my stomach back to acceptable levels.

And so, I am glad to announce, that after 7 months and 1 week of training 5 days a week (4 days of cardio/strength workouts, 1 day of running). I am proud to say that I am back to pooch level, rather than gut level. I’m nowhere near my goal yet, but I could probably nail the firefighter course right now and only die of a heart attack AFTER I had completed all the challenges on the course, not before as what would have been the likelihood if I had attempted to do this at the beginning of this year.

And working out, its addictive.

I find that I look forward to my workout days to see just how much I can push myself this time around. When I started I was struggling to bench press 30kgs (65is lbs), now I can do about 60kg (130ish lbs… but as an aside… seriously Northern Americans, how in the world do you live with the empirical system??). Fifteen more kilos and I can bench press my weight! Which was pretty much the goal.

Running outside is another thing I’ve found to be mildly addictive. Again starting out I could barely do a kilometre, which was basically the run from my apartment to the starting point of the running track. I would be drenched in sweat and panting like a honey badger in heat. Now I can comfortably do 8km (a round trip around the lake and back to my place) and will slowly work my way up to 16km (2 laps around the lake).

But wait. I haven’t told you the best thing yet.

I’m doing ALL this working out for free! And since I’m working out about 4 hours a night. I’m usually too knackered to spend money! Hurrah!

Well okay technically its not free. There is a pretty well equipped gym in my apartment complex, its not big, but it has enough cardio machines and free weights to keep me happy. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve seen some pretty crappy gyms attached to apartment complexes over the years. I remember one that was just a room with one lonely exercise bike and a couple of barbels that were too light to be of any use. So I guess I’m paying for the gym through my rent, but technically its still free. Right? Right? Just let this one go okay?

And running? Well I have an ancient pair of joggers that are currently doing the work (they are in desperate need of replacement but I think they can hold out for a couple more months) so I really haven’t paid anything for this one. So this is free! Ha! And plus what other people don’t seem to get is that it is actually relaxing to let your body do all the work and let your mind wander to the nether regions of your mind, find old memories, dust them off and reminisce. Or you could be in a creative mood, and you could spend the time running coming up with brilliant schemes to take over the world. (Mine is to make an app that will control people’s minds through their phone. Muahahahahaha. Don’t steal it!) Or you could just plug-in some headphones, strap on an iPod and just zen out.

I’d say in another couple of months I’d be at my goal.

So… does anyone know if its possible to strikethrough a word in the title of your blog? Since in a few months I may be able to take “Fat” off the list above.  Html doesn’t seem to work. I’ve googled it and someone said that it was possible, another said that it wasn’t
I may have to change my title name, but I don’t really want to because,

a) I’m too lazy to think up of something

b) “In-debt, short with bad teeth” just doesn’t look right

and

c) I’m lazy 

Any ideas?

Hello money, since when did I need you so much?


I’ve just had one of those vivid flashbacks from when I was a kid.

I remember when my mom was telling me that she was earning $750 a week. And I thought to myself “WOW. We’re rich! We should be able to afford ANYTHING!”. Ahhh the innocence of youth.

To the me back then $750 a week was a fortune! I even planned out budgets in my math book (computers and excel weren’t ubiquotus back in the stone age) of how I would spend $750 a week. Rent would be $100 dollars (cause all I needed was a bed, and if I couldnt find a place for that price, I’d move in with friends and give them the $100) Food would consist of chip sandwiches (potato crisps to you Northern Hemispherians) which could be bought at $1.50 (0.30 for the breadroll and $1.20 for the chips) a day. Thats $4.50, lets round in up to $5. That would be $35 for food. I wouldn’t spend money on electricity cause I would always be out with friends. So thats a grand total $135 a week. Which would leave me with $615 a week. As a kid this amount boggled my mind. And I would dream about all the toys I could get for this amount of money. That pirate lego set. The SNES. The remote control car. The new bike. And I could buy all that in the first week! And I’d have another $750 to play with the NEXT week! Phwoar!

And now?

My full paycheck lasts about 10 hours in my bank account. From the time it gets deposited at around midnight on Wednesdays, to when I do my weekly bill payments on Thursday morning.

How did I get to this?

Well sure you can point out, increase of prices due to inflation over the years, my naivete at thinking man can live on bread and potato chips alone, and that I could find a place to live for $100 a week, and that I didn’t need electricity. Okay all those are valid, but if you discount all my debt repayments. My monthly expenses (rent, bills, groceries, health insurance, mobile phone and savings)  come to about half my monthly income, 53% to be exact. The other 47%? Well I’ve calculated previously that 40% goes into paying debt, which leaves my 7% for all the fun stuff. And trust me that aint much.

I just want to be that kid again, who knew the important things. Food, shelter, friends. To not worry about money. Okay admittedly he had the palette of a starving rat, and was ridiculously innocent about the ways of the world.

But in reality, with a little bit of adjustment on the budget, that kid was onto something.

Hello books, you are a my budget breaker.


Now in a previous post I said that movies, computer games and books were my three loves. But if somebody said to me:

“Out of those 3, pick one. And that’s the only thing you can do for the rest of your li-”

Me: BOOOOOOKKKKS!!!!!!!!

Books are my first love. I cannot live without them. I will usually have 2 or 3 going at the same time. The book that sits beside the bed, the book that goes into my man-bag (you know in case a reading emergency comes up… Like if aliens invaded earth and the only thing that could kill them was reading from a a book. It could happen! Cmon, Hollywood has come up with more silly things… M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs anyone?) and the one in the drawer at work, on 1 in a gajillion chance that I have a non-busy day (aliens would be more likely).

I may not even read the books I have for weeks on end. But as long as they’re readily available I’m fine. If I don’t have one (or I’ve read everything I own already) I get… antsy. I will start picking up random things and reading them. Junk mail, the back of my cigarette pack (yes I smoke, yes I will be quitting shortly, more on that later), the candy bar wrapper, cans of tuna. Whatever is on hand basically.

I’m not sure where this particular obsessive compulsive disorder of mine came from (there are more… like for instance I can’t stand uneven numbers on my comments section, it irks me, which is why I will usually comment to even it out. Yes I am weird. Yes I have the card to prove it) but all I know as far back as I can remember I was always reading. One of my very first memories is reading Snoopy Encyclopedia’s with my cousin and debating whether or not the word “island” was pronounce “IS-land” or “EYE-land”(basically it was a kids encyclopedia but had little Peanuts cartoons here and there that were relevant to the topics on hand, I still have them in storage somewhere too!). And yes I was the one who was heatedly debating for “IS-land”, I have continued that tradition of being vehemently wrong on many topics ever since 😉

But yes, books. The only thing that I will willingly and gladly blow my budget for. Movies and games, can and do a wait a fair while, I only got Starcraft 2 about a week ago for example, it was released a year ago. And yes I know I blew my budget last week for Harry Potter, but I felt guilty about it afterwards. But say if the new Patrick Rothfuss book came up, I would buy it. If I didn’t have the cash available, I’d dip into my savings. If i didn’t have any savings, I’d even put it on my credit card. Yes. I am willing to get more into debt for books, that is how much I love them.

Current Favourites (and probably lifelong favourites – I treat authors/book series like friends. It may take a good long while before I consider them as “friends” but once they’re in that friend zone, they’re in it for life.) in no particular order… cause if you ask me to choose you might as well kill me.

– David Edding’s Belgariad Series Elenium Trilogy &  Tamuli Trilogy (the Mallorean is okkkaaayyy)

– Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: Trilogy in Four Parts

Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles (I want book 3 to come out already!)

– Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Series

David Gemmel’s stuff (most of his stufff, there were a couple of just okaaay books, but most are worth it)

– J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Septology

Robert Heinlein’s stuff (granddaddy of sci fi)

– J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Jim Butcher’s Dresden Series and Codex Alera Series

John Douglas’ Mindhunter (one of the few non-fiction books to get onto the list. I like non-fiction. But most that I’ve read just didn’t have that multi-readability factor to them) 

– Neil Gaiman’s stuff

(Quick calculation, thats 80+ books :P)

– I can’t remember anymore and too lazy to get up and sort through the bookshelf. (It’s all the way over there! *points to a spot a metre away*) But those are just the favourites. Probably twice that amount of books that I just “like” and will re-read on the occasion but never as much as the ones above, and again the same number of books that were once off reads, and will be donated to the local library once I get the chance.

– And then there are ones that I’ve picked up at randomly at friends/ex-girlfriends/random people houses that I walk into by mistake, and enjoyed but can’t remember, and have been hunting for them since.

So now I have a question. Does anyone else have budget breakers? Like the ONE thing on this planet that you will spend money on, regardless whether or not it will blow out your budget for the week/month/year? And food and other living expenses don’t count! It has to be something just for you. Or am I the only one with the will power of a wet rag?