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Monthly Archives: December 2011
Hello Christmas tradition, or why I find spending Christmas with my significant other’s family awkward.
My family (extended and adopted) have this tradition on Christmas. When I was in my teens I found it awkward and a little cheesy. Now, I find it awkward and a little cheesy, but also pretty cool.
Basically, once dinner is finished, pants have been unbuttoned. Everyone gathers around the living room. Someone dons a Santa hat, and starts giving out the presents. Now this is probably typical of a lot of households. But the one twist my family add’s, is the one twist that I found embarrassing as a teenager, and the one I find so endearing now, is that once the name gets read out, everyone shouts “YAAAAAAYYYYY!!!”, for every single present.
And that’s why I find it so weird when I was with a girl during Christmas, and I would celebrate Xmas day at their place (our family celebrated on Xmas eve, so I was able to do both) that giving and receiving presents weren’t afforded this type of celebration. A thank you and a hug, sure. But not the awkward moment of having every person in the room shouting YAY!
It’s odd isn’t it the traditions we had that embarrassed us as teenagers are now the traditions we realise that make our family special…
Do you have any strange-esque family traditions that would make an outsider go… “seriously dude, wtf???”
I have been very very slack about the comments on my blog, for this I apologise. I’ve just been a bit too busy this Christmas season.
But there is one comment I would like to address, from Taylor, who has nominated me for the Leibster Award! Taylor is my fraternal twin blogger. We seemed to have both started around the same time, but she writes far more lucidly and with a far greater clarity of purpose. She sings and is one of those miraculous people who are able to pass on their skills and talents to students. In a word, she is awesome in all the ways I am not.
So for only the second time ever on this blog, Taylor I dedicate a haiku poem to you:
Taylor, summers song
Melodies that melt our souls
Sun shines through your voice
I attempted to actually track down where/how/why/who started this whole thing. But alas like all others before me, I failed. It does look like it started fairly recently the earliest blog I could find who was nominated for this was back in early 2010. And it’s from Germany. That’s it. *shakes fist at Wikipedia*
There are rules to receiving and accepting this award.
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and Paste the Award to your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the word and love to other bloggers.
5. Have Fun!!
So who do I nominate?
Well in no particular order (and I know some of these aren’t your names I just give names out to people)…
1. Mutant Supermodel @Mutant Supermodel – I seriously don’t know how this lady has not won this yet. But her writing is top-notch, and I’m not sure how she does it, but every entry she makes in her blog, just makes you want to tilt to your head to one side and go “awwwww”. She’s a big softie masquerading as a hard ass (unless you get on her bad side then it seems that she will just fuck your shit right up, which is actually awesome)
2. Bike @ Hi Thats My Bike – another contender for how has she not gotten this yet question?? Bike is a hardcore PF blogger. I don’t mean to say that all her posts are dry budget analysis or anything. It’s just her entries almost always have some sort of financial component in them, but coupled with a writing style that always draws you in.
3. Vodka @When Life Gives You Lemons – another hardcore (to me) PF blogger that is able to humanise personal finance. I think that’s essentially what I love about Vodka and Bike, while they are always very PF orientated about their posts, it’s never bland, dry or boring. They manage to draw you into their posts and their discussions, to make you think.
4. Hip and Happening Homeowner @ The Happy Homeowner – If you don’t read anything else in the PF blogosphere read her Confessions of a PF Blogger series. Seriously. It is the most amazing set of entries related to crawling out of debt. If you don’t read it I may have to hunt you down and kill you.
5. The Tara’s @ In the Taratory – The only non PF blog on this list (and only Australian). There really seems to be a big lack of good Aussie blogs out there, that are current. These two gals write about the stuff there is to do in the much maligned capital of Australia (where I am currently located). And I would’ve nominated them for the play on the word “Territory” (the region the Aussie capital is in is called the Australian Capital Territory – usually shortened to “The Territory”… get it? get it?) alone, but they’re also a couple a disturbingly good writers (so much so in fact, if they get any better I will have to hack into their blog and shut it down lest they outshine me :P)
6. Maxie @ Spectacular Disaster – Okay she’s 6th but goddamnit! the lass deserves this! And I am nothing if not a rule breaker. Maxie is not a PF blogger either, her posts cover anything to humourous pictures to essays about discovering adulthood (something I’ve yet to find :P)
So get Leibstering people!
So this will be my 100th post-ary.
So I’d like to thank the who made… wait, wait… wrong speech…
So the Grammy goes to… Oh bugger… wrong envelope…
I wanted to thank everyone who reads this stuff, but 897 words later, and being only halfway through the list, it was becoming just a mushy ramble something akin to an Academy Awards speech that goes on for far too long and really only makes feel everyone awkward.
I wanted to write a post that sums up all the threads of this blog. From my journey to eliminating debt, to my attempts at getting fit, to my rants about life in general, to the conundrums that females continually smack me in the face with.
I wanted it to represent everything I want to be, everything I could be, and everything that, with the help of all you fellow bloggers I have become.
I wanted it to wax poetically. A powerfully written prose that shows just how thankful I am for being welcomed to this small, but engaging and utterly brilliant, community of bloggers. Text that would put Shakespeare to shame about my goals, my life, my dreams and my ambitions.
I wanted it to be deep and meaningful.
I wanted it to touch your hearts.
I wanted it to open your minds.
I wanted it to play the strings of your souls, an epic melody of words formed with the sole purpose of uplifting your weary battered spirits from the mediocrity and hum drum of everyday life. Sentences to transcend the thousands of miles that separate us, so, for that one smallest fraction of a second, I the writer, and you the reader, share in the same zeitgeist of our times. Two disparate individuals, at a never to be repeated point of time, linked through the power of the english language.
I give to you…
A rabbit that is pole dancing…
I know that we all want to get out of under debt, and I’m not trying to belittle anyone elses road to financial freedom and security, this observation relates to me and how I view my debt situation.
Now we got that out-of-the-way…
I have come to acknowledge that my debt is a first world problem. From Wiki (and yes referencing Wiki is not research I know, but I just can’t be bothered) a first world problem is:
refers to issues perceived as difficult to those residing in the more developed nations in the global arena (i.e., the First World), but which are banal when compared to the difficulties encountered by those in the less developed Third World.
I have credit card debt. Okay, I have a lot of credit card debt. But I have a roof over my head. I have food in the fridge. Hell, I HAVE a fridge. I have a job that provides enough income that I will eventually (if I budget and monitor my spending) pay off this debt.
I do not have to walk 20 kilometres to find clean drinking water. I do not have to scrounge in the discarded waste of others to find food. I do not have anyone with a machete who wants to dismember me (with the possible exception of one crazy ex). I do not have to struggle with starvation, disease or a war-torn country.
Yes, I know that debt is not good. But I have to keep it in perspective. Having the option to get into credit card debt is an ability that a majority of the world’s population will not have in my lifetime. Or if they do go into debt (it may not likely be credit card related), they may be liable to sell organs, prostitute themselves, or get conscripted into doing all sorts of despicable acts that some sections of humanity seems only too glad to inflict on each other.
If I default on my debts, I have the option to declare bankruptcy and move in with my parents/sisters/friends. I do not have to worry about someone coming into my home and threatening (maybe even inflicting) death and dismemberment if I cannot pay my bills.
So to you dear self, next time you grumble at the amount of your paycheck that goes into paying off debt, or moan that it will take you an entire 12 months to pay off your credit card, or that you cannot buy that PS3 game just released the day its available because you have to wait another week to save enough money, please remember, if not for the small twist of fate, or you beating the staggering odds against you (depending on whether you believe in fate/destiny/karma or blind chance) you would either be homeless, starving, orphaned and/or in fear of your life. Hell, maybe all of the above even.
Lets keep things in perspective shall we?
NOTE: I reserve the right to moan, complain, rant, grumble and winge (hell, maybe even all of the above even) about my debt in any future posts. I only said I had to remember… not that I had to do anything about that information… 😛
So this weekend I had two options.
I could have either:
a) meet up with an old female friend. She and I have been circling each other for years, but have been unable to act on the tension between us, simply because either one or the both of us were in relationships. But now, we are both single.
b) go drinking with the roomie and his friends.
Now both have their pro’s and con’s.
For option b)
– it was a house party so spending would be minimal
– an opportunity to expand my social circle
– bond with the roomie
– get drunk
For option a)
– she’s really really really hot.
So of course, I chose option a) 😛 In the interests of being a gentleman, I will merely say it went very well *waggles eyebrows* 🙂
I know all you voyeuristic peeps out there want the low down dirty details, but I an not that kind of captain.
Hope every one else had a great weekend!
Daily Spend (for Friday – Monday):
Saturday: $90.15 groceries (AMEX card)
Pizza and Drink: $14.65 (cash)
1/2 a case of Energy Drink: $15.00 (direct debit)
Coffee: $4.50 (cash)
Fortnightly Bus Pass: $40.00 (cash)
I haven’t really been blogging about Personal Finance cause well, let face it, I’ve been absolutely slack about budgeting.
Well not absolutely slack.
All bills are still paid on time, I have enough money to keep myself fed, I have enough to go to the gym and also maintain an internet connection so I can stalk people’s blogs (yes, I mean you… have you noticed your page hits go up noticeably the past few months? It was all me! MUAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA! The below video illustrates just how I laugh every time I click on a page multiple times to fool you into thinking your popular >:))
BUT! In regards to paying off debt and NOT using my credit cards is where I’ve been doing the metaphorical pratfalls ala Buster Keaton. Flat on my face, limbs akimbo, with little tweety birds circling my head as my debt repeatedly slaps me in the face, spraying spittle into my face as it shouts “C’mon on then if you ‘ard enough!” (yes my debt has a cockney accent, don’t ask me why).
Since that post in far away August, I have not made any in-roads into actually reducing my debt from that magical $19,926.10. I have in fact gone backwards. I’ve still been making at least $900 worth of payments per month, but somehow I’ve managed to increase my total debt to $21,280.68 as of today.
If you take into account my debt payments ($900 x 4) plus the my total debt as of today minus the difference of the August total of $19,926.10 ($1354.58). I have somehow spent $4,954.58. Include that the funds I drew from my emergency fund/savings accounts I could assume that might be somewhere around the $5,500 mark. Spank me sideways and call me Annabelle. How in the blue blazes of hell did I manage that???
I could probably account for $2,000 of that amount. Moving in expenses, the PS3, the new outfit. But the other $3,500 or so??? I have absolutely no idea. My debt truly has me by the short and curlies.
No more I say! To quote from Picard (and I can feel all you Trekkies shivering in excitement at the ST:NG reference… it’s okay, relax, keep it in your pants)
Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far and no further! And I will make them pay for what they’ve done!
(If you’re really hankering for some Picard see the video below)
So today I am making a pledge to which all of you are witnesses. I will now begin actually tracking my expenses as well as budgeting for my various repayments and expenditures. That’s right you read it here first, the Cap’n is going all trainspotter on debts ass!
I will track every dollar that I spend outside of debt repayments, rent, transport costs and bills, cause that figure of $3,500 over 4 months that I really have no idea what I spent it on is a little scary. That’s the reason why I was in debt in the first place, just spending without any thinking. Budgeting can only take you so far. Sure with a budget you meet all your obligations, you can make sure that you don’t miss any repayments. But it doesn’t tell you where those niggly little life expenses are, and suggest ways of actually cutting that back.
So yes it took me four months and $5k to learn this lesson (I am if nothing a little dense). But the lesson has been learned. So every post will have a daily spend amount tacked at the bottom of it, and each Sunday I will collate all that data into a weekly spending report. So it’s back to basics people.
But not to worry, I will still rant about idiotical things and share my (mis)adventures concerning my crotch with you people (cause lets face it, bad things happening to other people’s crotch is the epitome of high brow humour, for which this blog is most well-known for. Oh and sarcasm. Lots of sarcasm :P), I just have to make sure I tend to the personal finance issues that made me start this blog.
So to begin:
Thursday 8 December 2011
$15.00 (Xmas party) (cash)
$50.00 (bus ticket back to Sydney and back for Xmas and NYE ) (ANZ Credit card)