It is one thing to instigate changes yourself but the ones that are forced upon you (for a wide variety of reasons) can be another thing entirely.


But hang in there because the end result may be beautiful.

This morning we headed off to catch the train as we do each weekday morning.  It seemed that the train was a few minutes late but we did not give it too much thought until several stations down the line.  It became apparent that this train was going to stop at several stations that are normally bypassed by this express service.

Then it dawned on us that today was the first day of the new timetable due to the opening of a new branch line.  I then studied the timetable online and discovered several changes which will have a slight but noticeable impact on our morning and evening travel routine.

It is easy to slip into a routine that works for you but invariably there are outside forces at work to almost constantly disrupt things.

Both GMan and I are in the process of moving at work.  GMan’s entire office is moving a couple of kilometres away to an entirely new building while my department is simply moving to a different floor in our building.  All of this brings challenges and one of them can be the reaction of those around you.  Negativity and anxiousness can easily be transmitted within a group.

I try hard to be as flexible as possible and make a conscious effort not to be upset by things which are beyond control.

How about you?  Hope do you stay afloat when you seem to be surrounded by changes?



Tracking 2015


Today is Saturday.  Where did the week go?  I am very busy at work so although I have been thinking about my blog that is as far as it went.

Not only is it Saturday, it is Saturday 31st January.  The final day of the first month of 2015.  1/12th of the year gone.  Have you already forgotten what you resolved to do better/differently/more consistently in 2015 already?

BudgetingOne of my goals was to actually track how much we spend.  We have never worked to a real budget – actually allocating a certain $ value to each item/category but we keep careful track of the regular bills – rates/insurances/phone/internet but is the variable spending that is more difficult to calculate.  I do not have a specific amount of money for groceries each week as I tend to bulk shop for dry goods and meat and buy perishable items on a weekly basis.  I need to average my grocery spending over at least 6 months to get a fair and accurate idea of how much we spend.

As I said it is the last day of the month and we have been shopping so there will be no more spending today.  The grand total of our variable spending in January was $5,134.53 – yes, over $5K!  Almost exactly half of that was airfares and accommodation for our Singapore holiday later in the year. So, $2,618.73 looks somewhat better.  This figure includes food, clothes, gifts, hobbies, eating out, entertainment, alcohol, car fuel and maintenance, haircuts, public transport, pets, medical/dental and incidentals.

Apart from the holiday spending which is really a one-off, the categories with the highest spend were food $623 closely followed by public transport $620.  This is really interesting because what finally prompted me to track our spending very carefully was that I wanted to know how much we would need to live a comfortable lifestyle on our terms in our retirement.  Giving up paid work is a few years away yet but it is important to budget for life without regular employment.  We will still need to eat when we are retired but public transport will cease to be an issue as all of that expenditure is related to our lengthy commute to the office.

Do you know how much you spend?  Working or retired?  I would love to hear your comments.