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Everything posted by NDH

  1. So glad you dont have to give up your cruise!
  2. A wardsman would be what you call an orderly I think. Main duties include patient transportation, assisting with bathing patients, cleaning (mostly bodily fluids), that kind of thing. However working on Saturday nights he mostly functions as a security guard to be honest, mostly in emergency but also on the psych ward. The base pay is about what he was making before, but shift differential for being overnight and on a weekend makes it rather hefty. Its definitely not a job he enjoys doing, but its a big blessing right now and its certainly not boring. I hope he can stick it out til he's dome with schooling, though I know if something came up in his field (IT) he'd take it.
  3. My last post was focused more on being out of BS2 and since I've not been around here much since February or so, I thought I would give a more I'm depth update of how we're doing here. Jeff started his course in early February and the work contracts I was hopeful about ended up falling through. He got very little work on his non-school days but it was just enough that we were still managing to make ends meet. In June he finished his first course and had a three week break from school during which he had hoped to get a nice chunk of work as he had been letting them know he would be available those dates and was super keen, but again they stuffed him around and he was given maybe 3 days during the entire holiday. So he finally had enough and left. A friend got him onto a lead at the hospital as a wardsman, and he recently started working there Saturday nights. He's in school full time this semester (last semester was three 6-7 hour days, this semester is four 8 hour days, plus Thursdays when he doesn't have class he is at the school library studying all day til 7pm when it closes). Its a one year course that they have condensed into one semester which is making for a tough course load for him, but it's nice that he can go into his diploma in January/February instead of finishing this course in the first semester and having the second semester off before starting the diploma the following January. Anyway, we really have had no shovel all year, making ends meet but not making any progress on the debt to my parents. So when at tax time (financial year is July to June) we ended up discovering we were entitled to almost double the family tax benefit we have been receiving fortnightly as they never updated our payment after Chloe was born it equated to a hefty back payment which we used to pay my parents off. We've asked to receive the full family tax benefit amount fortnightly now, rather than half now and a lump sum next year since we're so fast below the threshold to receive the full amount there's almost no chance of being overpaid and having a bill next year. The family tax benefit I receive combined with Jeff's pay from his new job (His take home from just one night shift a week is a little over $1800/month) gives us a monthly income of $3099. We started tithing again, which has been on hold for most of BS2, and slightly fattened a couple budget categories that had been feeling the pinch for too long, and we now have a snowball of just over $500 on the 4-rent months ($220 on the 5 rent months). As I think I mentioned in my last post our 20 year old car is on its last legs so before starting the FFEF we're filling up a car fund, which we hope to get $5000 into before our car quits on us. If it lasts a year then we should be able to shop for a better bargain more leisurely rather than have to get whatever we can find on short notice if it dies suddenly. My parents mentioned that they'd happily re-loan us money for a replacement car when the time comes if our car fund isn't full, but since we dont want to be back in BS2 ever again that would only happen if absolutely necessary. I've also started up a little business page selling cloth nappies and accessories, so any snowflakes from there will help with the car fund. I dont expect much for a while though as it will take a while til I can get ahead of the game with supplies costs. I can't just go into a physical store to buy materials so making little orders when I can is costing a lot in postage. Anyway thats what we've all been up to. Happy to now have a snowball and intending to throw it purposefully every month. Jeff is enjoying his schooling and doing well. He's very hopeful of being able to get a good job as soon as he finishes his diploma, though he's also considering going further with his schooling as well. I think the next level is a two year course. While I'm not thrilled about the prospect of another two years of this, I'm confident we can make it work. Part of whether he takes another course will depend on if he's able to find a good job over the summer after his diploma finishes.
  4. That's very true thanks for the reminder safari.
  5. I can't believe I can finally say it! Its been a long bumpy road, but we persevered and finally came out the other side. It was about 4 years ago that I found Dave and our TMMO jorney began, but some time before that, maybe a year or so, we had already started taking steps to get out of debt on our own and had paid off a couple thousand dollars. I dont know what our total debt payoff was as we didn't record things well initiay, but it was somewhere in the vicinity of $25000. In the last 5 years (it only took us the first year of our marriage to set us back so badly wow I've only just realized that) we've dealt with periods of unemployment, lots of underemployment, a big international move, the birth of two children, and a return to study. $25000 in 5 years doesn't sound like a lot, but we've had a pretty small shovel. We're going to be in BS3 for a while so I hope we can keep the gazelle intensity. With DH in school ful time for the next year and a half we're going to have to be pretty gazelle just to keep up with our regular budget needs. One area I need to tighten up on a lot is groceries. The last few months I've become rather lax in that department as we've been more focused on eating healthy whole foods than the cost, but I've definitely been getting more adventurous than we can afford to be at the moment. Time to go on a "rice and beans"diet again and do more frugal wholesome cooking. I plan to do up a 1 or two month rotating menu so we dont get too bored. But I've been planning on doing it for months now and need a good swift kick upn the backside to actually get it done Oh and I didn't mention that our car is on its last legs. Its 20 years old and has been having issues for three years. Our excellent mechanic who has been giving us free Labour for over a year has said his bandaid fixes just aren't doing the job anymore and we have probably six months to a year til our car is toast. We're hoping against hope it will hold on until we have around 5k in our car fund (5k will still be an older, 12+ year old car here). We can raid our ynab buffer if we need to when the time comes ($2637) and my parents have also offered to loan us money for a car if we dont have enough when ours dies, but obviously we hope to avcoid that option and stay debt free.
  6. NDH

    A day in the life.

    I know many homeschooling families where the older kids who did mostly self study were done by 9:30 am (got up and started at 7). One of them went to university at 16. Regular school has a lot of filler.
  7. I think doing a reception is a great idea. Hopefully it will be enough to appease your mother's "need" without pushing you beyond your comfort limits. A great way for family and friends to get together and celebrate your wedding after the fact. I've never been into the multiple ceremonies thing either. Might consider renewing vows on a milestone anniversary or something (NOT a big 'do though) Anyway I hope you can come to an understandingwith your mom.
  8. Things are looking up. With the new contract at Jeff's work its looking like he'll have a good chunk of work in February. In any typical month if he can work 95 hours our normal budget can be met and the rest is our snowball. And we can do it on a bit less for a couple months if necessary as a couple of our sinking funds are at their cap. Jeff's final paycheque in December had $1300 more than we needed for January as a buffer to help towards February as we didn't expect him to work at all in January. Well, between the days he did end up working and my income, we managed to pay for Jeff's first semester of school, completely cover February's expenses, and had a $64 snowball to put to our BEF (had to use $345 for my VISA application so I didn't get deported). This is absolutely our year for finally getting out of BS2, I can feel it. Hmm, actually I'm not sure where I got 96 hours needed for meeting our regular expenses. I just calculated that the $13000 he's grossed since July 1 (beginning of the financial year) means he averaged 74 hours a month, and while that meant a halt to debt payoff and tithing (we increased our acts of service to try to compensate though it still never sat right with me), we still managed to meet our needs without incurring more debt. God is good. So 96 hours of work a month will already give us a $300 snowball while resuming our tithe too.
  9. Well now there's a chance that dh won't make it to his first week of classes. Talk about timing lol. Tuesday he had a two hour meeting at work (MaW, he's still yet to have work through WoT, the new place he was supposed to start with in December). The jist I got is there's a new big work contract for a project that will be running 24/7 for a while (whether its 2 weeks or a few months though I have no idea) so there should be a good amount of work for a while anyway. Oddly, instead of doing three 8 hour shifts round the clock theyre doing a 12 hour night shift and two 7 hour day shifts (an hour of overlap). Not that I'm complaining, especially if he ends up on a week of nights (hello $600 for one day of work), I just find it odd that they'd choose to pay double time for 12 hours instead of 8. Anyway yesterday he started on the 6-12 (though ended up being til 1) morning shift, which he's also doing for the next few days. They've said they'll be rotating everyone around but I'm not going to count my chickens, especially since he's had promising work snatched away from him by this company before.
  10. NDH

    Daydreaming.... again

    Sounds like a dream to me too!
  11. Its official, Jeff is going back to school starting next Monday. He didn't finish his high school even so its been a while. I've been encouraging him to study something since we got married, rather than relying on unskilled labour jobs, so I'm happy he's finally taking action. He had an assessment on Thursday to determine which level to place him at, and there was a small gap in his knowledge in one area that placed him a level below where we thought he'd be, so its going to be a semester longer than we had planned on (which may end up being a year longer in the end if he can only start the diploma in the first semester (February). But its worked out well in the short term as the course is less than half the cost of the next one and was easily affordable while keeping our buffer fully intact. We would have dipped into the buffer if necessary, but with his work being so sporadic it would have made me very uncomfortable. Classes are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they made if very clear to him that if he gets work on those days he doesn't have to go to class and can catch up online. And should his work turn into full time M-F, then they'll change his enrollment to entirely online. So great news, his schooling shouldn't affect his work at all. At least this year anyway.
  12. NDH

    sooo sad

    This is such devastating news to read, especially after you tried for so long too I'm so sorry for your loss and I pray that your job isn't at risk on top of this bad news
  13. NDH


    Youre going to get crazy momentum quickly! Well done getting the BEF filled, I can't wait to see you start knocking out those payments now.
  14. NDH

    It's been a crazy two years.

    Congratulations on your new baby. I must not have been around when the other stuff was happening but I'm very sorry to read about the tragic losses in your family in the past couple of years. Im glad you've come through such a hard time with your marriage intact and two new blessings.
  15. NDH

    Over the moon!

    What great news! And congrats on a girl.
  16. What a blessing you have been able to offer your sister in a difficult time.
  17. NDH

    Cash car

  18. Oh my how scary. Glad to hear there has been improvement. Praying he makes a full recovery.
  19. Well thursday's update on the work situation has come to fruition (though Friday was just four hours too. I hadn't heard dh tell me that last). Two more 9 hour shifts and then we fly out Saturday morning. Its still 14 hours less than the initial 2 week job would have been, but still a good amount of work. 94 (in think) hours in two weeks.
  20. Nope, no suitcases are included on infant tickets for the two domestic legs of the journey because of the way we booked. On the international flight we're allowed 6 bags between the four of us, but that doesn't do much good when we can only have two (without incurring additional costs) between us On the way from here to Sydney. I looked up baggage allowance on the flight from Vancouver to dhs hometown and there isn't a limit on the number of bags, just the total weight. We can have 46kgs of luggage between us. If we go over it will cost 69¢/pound with a minimum cost of $38 (so if we go over our weight limit we may as well fill up an additional 23kg suitcase . On the way home we'd only have to pay the once for excess baggage) Looking at the amount of stuff for the girls, its not as much as I first thought it would be so two big bags should easily be doable. We'll have enough to carry as it is. We're already each planning on wearing a child on our backs and Saranna has a backpack of her own to wear when we're not enroute to our gate etc and needing to not walk at toddler pace haha. My mom takes fruit cups on the plane all the time - the kind in syrup - and its never been a problem. Their last flight was in July. I'll take a couple at the risk of them maybe being confiscated. We're not going via the US so maybe that's the difference? I had to pick up eggs and cheese and fruit for the rest of the week so I picked up some snacks - 3 kinds of granola bars, snack size popcorn, a couple squeezy fruit purees, cheese and cracker packages and cheese sticks. I hate fake cheese and typically don't let my toddler eat it but she'll love it. We have the flat water bottles that can roll up and keep in your pocket when they're empty.
  21. Well we're down to the final days before our christmas trip and I feel both pressured by way too much to do but also like I have a good handle on things at the same time. I'd been thinking we left at 6am on Saturday which would mean getting up at 4 and to the airport by 5 but realized I was getting it mixed up with our return flight and we don't have to be at the airport until noon! Those extra hours have given me an hug relief. My girls get too little sleep as I this without having to wake them up, and that gives me the morning still to get the house in order before we go. The girls will be wearing disposables for the trip for the first time ever but instill want them in cloth for as long as possible and then will put them all in then wash before we leave. My mom will be over later in the day to hang them out to dry. I'm packing "China cheapies" for use while over there. They've been in rotation for two years and for almost 16 months were my exclusive diaper stash that I've been replacing with my own homemade ones. They still have lots life in them, but I don't use them much these days, mainly for wet weather back ups etc, and I have far more than I need for just back ups. So the plan is to donate them to the women's shelter if I can't find a cloth diaper collection point. It will free up a lot of valuable suitcase space for the return trip, as you always come back with more than you leave with. I'm also packing dh's shirts that are embarrassingly raggy so they can be left behind and replaced. I'm really hoping to just fill two suitcases. Our airline has really generous luggage allowance (2 23kg bags per person, plus the girls get a bag each and any parafernalia like strollers, car seats, etc (of which we won't be bringing any)), but as we booked our connecting flights independently we're limited to domestic baggage allowance which is just one 23kg bag each for dh and I. If need be we can pick up a third suitcase at a thrift store and only have to pay excess baggage for one leg instead of three (we're taking the train the final leg, and once again get two bags per person). I need to organize snacks still, and I have no idea what I'm cooking for dinner on Thursday night for bible study (big pot of spaghetti maybe?) And inn typical me fashion in started a bunch of projects to finish this week... But making food progress.
  22. Amazing blessings! I have an online friend who works for leapforce. She doesn't work much but she has 3 under 3 so its mostly a time thing.
  23. That depends how much you pay for both milk and yoghurt. Here, cheap, additive and sugar laden yoghurt is $4/kg on sale. The cheapest natural Greek yoghurt is $7+/kg. I make about 1kg of yoghurt (I haven't actually weighed it) from 2L of milk, which I pay $1/L for.
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