Rants and raves

It still works

This one definitely goes under “Rants and raves” heading  ….

I have mentioned a few times that I watch a lot of soap making YouTube videos – though I am, at last, getting pretty bored with them.

Anyway, there must have been a “How to live frugally” video that popped up in my recommended list.  Soap making does pop up as a way to save money.  (I have no idea why – it is the biggest expense of my retirement.)  The system must have thought, “She likes to make soap, therefore, she must like to live frugally.”  Which, coincidently, is true but I don’t see how YouTube would know that.

Anyway, this video on how to live frugally came on and I started watching it.  The lady in it clearly had gone through a very hard time.  She was saying how she would work out how much vitamin C the kids needed each day.  If they were having broccoli for dinner that night, they wouldn’t get an orange for lunch.  They got half a sandwich, one cookie and, on a non-broccoli day, an orange.  A roast would last three meals, as would a chicken.  She served one slice of meat for each of them and, when the meat was used, she would boil up the bones to get all the goodness out of them and use it with all the scraps for another meal.  It really did sound like she was doing it tough.  But her point was that she and the kids did just fine.  They had a well balanced diet.  Most Americans eat too much.  (She could have added Australians to that.)

So, once I had watched one frugal living video, another came up.  This time, it was a young couple who were giving 10 frugal minimalist family tips.  They were both pretty cute and before long, they were talking away so I let them.  They gave a preamble that stated by not buying these things, it was helping them meet their financial goals.  They didn’t say what their goals were.

The 10 tips were:

1.  They don’t get manicures or pedicures.

2.  She cuts his hair and she only gets her hair cut every six months or so.  (He had very short hair and she had long hair so I do think they were cheating on this one.)

3.  They don’t go to shopping malls (centres) unless they need something, ie, they don’t go on shopping outings.  And they don’t wear designer label clothes but … they do buy top quality clothes as they have to last a while.  They only have 30-40 items of clothing!  BTW, he was wearing an Oakley T-shirt.

4.  The next one was a killer.  They wash their own car.  Horror of horrors.

5.  They cut their own lawn.

6.  They don’t have cable. They save up the shows they want to watch and then subscribe for a month and binge watch.  They do have Netflix and Amazon Prime, though.  Poor babies.

7.  They don’t buy expensive cuts of meat.  They eat mainly chicken breasts and turkey mince.  Mmmmmm?  They have me on this one.  I am not sure why only eating white meat is a money saving device.  They are thinking about having meat free days!

8.  They don’t buy chips, cookies or soda but they do buy nacho chips.

9.  This is my favourite by far.  They don’t have fancy cars.  He has a 2012 Dodge and she has a 2015 Honda.  She bought it as a demo model so it was a bargain.  He wants a “truck” (a 4 wheel drive)  but he can’t get one for the price he wants to pay so he is waiting.

10. They don’t buy expensive, designer brand decorations for the house.

I was already being derisive at point one.  “Who ever knew that by biting my nails, I was being frugal?”,  I asked Maus.   “Who watches this shit?”, I furthered, to which she replied, “Idiots like you.”

Fair point.  🙂

What has the world come to when young people think they are economising because they don’t have a pedicure, they wash their own car and mow their own lawn?

I do applaud the couple.  Clearly, if they previously did all these things and now don’t, then they are saving money.  But to think these are hot tips?  I am still in a state of shock.

Come on, guys.  The only thing on the list I do is get my hair cut.  And, I am not trying to save money.  I am just sensible.    I could tell them how to save money.  Don’t buy takeaway, don’t eat at restaurants, skip Cable, Netflix and Amazon Prime.  Don’t buy that ‘truck” you want and put the money you saved off your mortgage.

I have always lived my life by the motto, “Don’t spend everything you earn”, no matter how much that be.  If you spend everything you earn then you will always have to earn that much to survive.  One day you may find that is not possible but if you have lived by my motto, all will be well.  Resist the temptation to move to that posh suburb, to build a big house, to send your kids to that prestigious school.  You are fine living just as you are.

One of the best tips I ever learned was to “pay yourself first”.  What this means is: have your savings taken out of your pay and deposited directly into a savings account before you get your salary.  If you “save” what is left over, then you will save very little as there will never be much, if anything, left over. 

My dad died when I was very young but he left me with one legacy.  I remember him saying, “Never owe the banks money, Glenda.”  This is not always the best advice but the gist of what he was saying is:

  • don’t buy things like a car or furniture or boat on credit.  If you don’t have the money to pay cash for them, don’t buy them.  When Maus and I first moved in together, we had an old mattress on the floor for a bed and another for a couch.  We had Maus’ mum’s fridge and my sister’s old washing machine.  I think mum gave us a table.  You don’t need a whole house of furniture to start out in life; and 
  • pay off your mortgage ASAP.   The amount of interest you save by paying off your mortgage early will be about 5-10,000 haircuts, depending on the size of your mortgage and how fancy your hair cuts are.

YouTube watch out, here I come 🙂  

Some Tasmania shots

I know this is not a travel blog but I thought I would show you some of the better shots from our recent little holiday in Tasmania.  We went for 2 weeks which was long enough to see the sites but, clearly, not long enough to see all the state has to offer.  Maus hadn’t been before so we ticked off items on the “must see” list like Port Arthur, Cradle Mountain, Strahan, Stanley, Launceston, etc. but, if we went again, we would skip these places and go on the less touristed path.

First stop was Eaglehawk Neck where you can see the absolutely amazing tessellated pavement.  It is so hard to believe that this formation is all natural.  At first, Maus thought it was an old convict building quarry where they had cut out building blocks and left their scar on the environment but, no, it is all due to tidal erosion. Continue reading

Over the rainbow

This household is over the rainbow that Australia has finally caught up with the rest of the world and legalised same sex marriage.  Congratulations to all who campaigned for the change. It was a fight well won.

Society has come a long way in my adulthood.  I remember marching for the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in the 70’s.  My, how things have changed!

Of course, the less said about that ridiculous postal survey the better.  I am sure the pain of it will lessen over time and we will only remember the victory.

The last of the holiday pics and a recipe …

Hello, again.  This is the last of my foodie holiday posts.  I do appreciate that other people’s holiday shots can be really hard to suffer through.  Next post, I swear, will be back to normal.

We have now moved on from Armenia to Georgia and things are a bit more cheery.   I mentioned in my previous post that Armenia made a sweet meat similar to the Georgian Churchkhela.  In Armenia, we only saw them at the GUM market but, in Georgia, they were everywhere. Continue reading

The women of Iran

I still intend to do one more foodie holiday post but I have been prompted to write this post because of the comments I have been receiving when I tell people I have been to Iran.  I have been asked time and time again, questions like “Was it safe?”,  “Were there police/soldiers/guards everywhere?”  I was chatting with my hairdresser the other day and I don’t think she believed me when I said I did not see one woman wearing a burkah – ie, the full face covering garment. Continue reading