Click on the link below:
All you need to do is enter your ANNUAL income ( it has a currency converter so make sure you choose the right one) and you can see how rich your are compared to the rest of the world.
I was very pleasantly suprised to be in the top 15%.
It would be fun to see where everyone fits in
Click on the link below:
With the G8 summit in the news I thought it might be interesting to highlight how much is really spent on aid...
WHO GIVES WHAT?
* The British spend twice as much money on wine and champagne as Government does on aid
* German women shell out more on shoes than their Government spends on aid
* France's aid budget is dwarfed by the amount its women spend on perfume
* Spending by Japanese people on luxury goods is about the same as country's aid budget
* The amount the US gives in aid is less than the annual profits of the ExxonMobil oil company
* Italians spend more on ice cream than the country provides in overseas aid
* Canada's aid budget is only half the amount its people spend on beer....
This highlights for me how little we really do need to end absolute poverty...
These are some pics of what Johannesburg looked like this morning
these were taken at just fter 7 this morning on the main highway btw Johannesburg and Pretoria
Now I know that below freezing temps are nothing to you hardened northerners but those of us down South do not like the cold.
Temps were below freezing this morning -3C( not sure what that is in Fahrenheit) and not go beyond double digits today...
Expected temps tomorrow will be in double digits- yay
must now stock up on winter supplies- torches, LPG gas heaters etc, as we often have power cuts in winter due to the high demand, aging infrastructure and other issues :-))
As I type this I have exploding stuff on my head!
I am colouring my hair. One of the things I do to cut the cost of this rather expensive enterprise is to put half of the box on my head every 3 weeks instead of the whole box every 4 weeks.
In order to do this you can only mix the amount your are going to use(hair colour normally has both a developer and a colourant) because if you store the mixed concoction it will explode!
I was explaining this process to DH- he looks at me rather incredulously, as if he cannot believe his wise wife is telling him this- and says “ You mean you actually put exploding stuff on your Head!!
Perhaps I should just go grey before my 40th...
My house is full of newspaper!!!!!!
My Dad reads at least 3 different papers a day as well as what he can get online-they have retired comfortably and can afford it – but the clutter!!!
I read all my news online- for free. I figure if I'm going to pay for Internet access I'll use it to cut other expenses.
These are the 2 sites I frequent the most- both have local and international news but obviously more SA news. If your interested in SA here are the links:
The Mail and Guardian is for more serious news and in depth analysis- http://www.mg.co.za
and the Sunday Times is for more gossipy, sensational stuff: http://www.sundaytimes.co.za
Both also have TV guides so I don't pay for those either
My parents have been visiting for the last 10 days- has been good fun. My Dad just loves being on the Internet and because we have ADSL not dial up I haven't seen much of my screen for the last week.
My parents taught me to be to frugal so it was not a expensive stay at all- also we were invited out a lot as they used to live in this city- so lots of meals out with friends,at their houses. It has been lovely having them here but now I am going to rest!
Free at last, we are free at last!!!
Our democracy is 13 years old today!!!
27th April is the anniversary of the first democratic elections in South Africa- has been a public holiday since '95.
I'm often amazed at how far we've come- sure we still have problems- Aids, poverty, crime- but when I think of where we could have been..this is still a pretty cool place to live- it's definitely interesting
Here is a picture of some of the queues back then...took all day but was more than worth it
I have family visiting- so just a quite frugal day
Some of you have asked about my nick-
It means lovable little witch in Afrikaans and comes from a TV programme in the 70's in South Africa
My MIL gave me the nick name because I do tarot cards and astrology as a hobby
here is a pic of what the character( not me) looked like
So now you know :-))
Will add more financial stuff in a bit- just need to get into the right head space
went clothes shopping this weekend to see what the january sales had to offer- was very pleased to get two pairs of funky summer sandals at the equivalent of $10 each- that is a good price here- I find it amazing that people will spend over a thousand rand( $250) on a pair of shoes
I also got some denim skirts for work- I love the fact that I can wear denim skirts and sandals to work in summer- I have a cool boss. I am not a small person and am shaped more like a pear than a ball- so I find i buty the size of skirt that fits me nicely over the hips, and take in the waistband_- i have about 2 sizes difference btw my hips and waist
has anyone noticed how the same toiletries are more expensive when aimed at women - case in point I was buying shaving cream and razor blades . The price of mens' shaving cream is 1/4 that of the "women's" shaving cream- so I just use DH's I buy "men's" razor blades for my razor- my legs are quite happy
Is this because they think women will pay more for the same stuff- not talking about stuff that is specific for women but stuff that can be used by both sexes- shaving cream, socks, etc So now I will be comparing not just prices but products
I love pasta- boiled up a packet of fusilli(screws) on sunday night- enough for dinner on sunday and last night and two lunches for work- and it's versatile- Monday was pasta with tomato sauce, today was tuna pasta salad- last ofe the leftovers for supper tonight
My job is very hectic at the moment so I have very little mental energy when I get home- so food that's alleardy done is great, especaily if I don;t have to thing too much- biol pasta, pour on sauce( fails gourmet cooking:-)) and heat and eat...
we are having a heatwave- please send snow- It has been over 30C( not sure what the Farenheit is) for almost a week now- it keeps threatening to rain every night and then doesn't. Cooking dinner is not an option- so cold leftovers, quick pizzas are what we've been having- it's also too hot to eat. One night I even had cheescake for dinner- was very good :- ))
Filled up the car today- petrol price went down so that helps. We don't have self service here in SA- an attendant helps fills up the car, checks the oil and inflates your tyres- you can tip them if you want to- I normally do as they don't earn a lot
The start of the week has been fairly frugal so far- have taken lunch to work both days so far, and only spent R7 for cup of coffe with co-workers this morning- which was well worth it for the fellowship. Also eaten at home both nights
Managed to recylce a whole bunch of ribbons from a project launch at work yesterday- so now I have a bag full of red ribbons- should be good for Valantines
So hoping this trend will continue
Waiting for the petrol price to go down on Wednesday before I fill up the car
Today is the day I start taking down all the decorations. Just the tree and some wreaths. In SA, most people have artificial trees- mine is a little one- only 1 meter high but I think it still looks pretty- plus the house is not that huge so wouldn't have much space for it. The tree is about nine years old and some of the decorations are even older- when my Gran passed away a few years ago I asked if I could have some of her Xmas decorations so I could always remember her at Xmas. This year I was able to hang some decorations on the outside of the house as we upgraded our security system( due to an attempted carjacking) so now we have a 3 meter high spiked fence, but you can see through it so the decorations are visible and wont get stolen pack everything up in an old suitcase- means I can get to it when I find any good deals later this month- I also keep all the Xmas stuff in there like crackers as well
HIt the sales today- and there was not much... Only a few of the shops have marked down their Christmas goodies, got some lovely biscuit tins, with contents at 50% off though- I use the tins for everything- including gifts for next year- also some luxury choccies at 50% off- so not bad
Today, the 27th, is a public holiday here in SA. Normally it's just Xmas and Boxing Day( 26th) but the 26th was on a Sunday, so we get the 27th off. This is great as both DH and I are working this week so it gives me an extra day to relax and sort the house out a bit- no cooking as plenty of leftovers. I'll hit the sales later in the week, but most will only start in mid jan when most people get back from holiday
We had a very pleasant Chritsmas day- it was just a small crowd, mostly friends and neighbours which made it more relaxing- my domestic worker is on leave and I'm not so the house is clean but not sparkling. It was quite hot ( 26C) so we had our traditional braai(BBQ) LOL-using the new Weber braai my Dh got for his birthday. Nice desserts, choc mouse, pavlova and choc cake with a small fruit one and lots of mince pies.
It rained on Sunday- not on Xmas day like it usaully does so we were quite pleased
One of our friends- who also works with DH- spent Xmas with us and not his family as the bosses told him that he will be working over Xmas as he is single... so he spent the day with us as they can both do most of the system support remotely using my husband's leased line connection- they are both sys admins
All in all a good Christmas weekend- hope everyone else had a good time
Had my shopping delivered this week. The delivery fee is actually very small( R55 or $ 10). You choose your groceries form the shops website- one of the largest grocery stores here in SA. I find it actually saves me money- you can compare prices by unit, there is a running total of your order, and you can shop whenever-at night is my favorite. I find it very useful to have the bulk items delivered- the cat food cans, big bags of sugar, cases of long life milk- much easier than trying to push a full trolley through the holiday crowds. When I'm not working I go shopping myself, but while I'm working I find this method saves both my sanity and my money.
The 16th is a Reconciliation day here in South Africa. Historically Dec 16th was celebrated by the Afrikaners as Dingaan's Day- which commemorated victory of the Afrikaners over the Zulus' in a battle in the 1800s. From 1961 it also marked the day the the ANC formed MK the armed wing. From 1994 the day was kept but the focus changed- it's a good day to focus on reconciliation and on how far we've come just before Christmas. It's also quite a big deal this year as we have made 10 years of democracy and freedom – feels good to be living here- sure it's not perfect but it's good.
Had a nice surprise today- went to fetch the vitamin hamper I had won, and discovered they had included a watch as well. Very happy- have enough vitamins for another 2 months , and an extra watch- may re-gift it . I've been very lucky this year- won several smallish prizes- toiletry hampers, wireless keyboard and mouse( which DH uses) , shoes and now a watch. Here's hoping for something big next year- like a car or a kitchen.
My car did well last month- I've only had to fill her up twice and should run easily till end of this week. Total cost of petrol( gas in the US) was R320($53) for the month. She is an extremely economical car- a Datsun 1200 ' 74 model, that my folks brought new and has always been in the family. I took it over about 4 years ago as the repairs were costing the folks a lot, whereas DH is relatively handy with old cars and our neighbor is a mechanic
DH also gave me the tip of never letting the tank go below a quarter- helps preserve the engine and means you shouldn't run out of fuel.
I was doing a quick run through the supermarket this weekend- major shopping is now done online with the silly season being here. One of my tricks to not buy more than planned is to to use a basket not a trolley- can't fit in too much and gets uncomfortably heavy if you do. It worked this weekend- I popped in for bread and breakfast bars- and that's all I brought- very proud of myself. Also the shops were too crowded to make browsing pleasant- looking forward to the after Xmas sales though. Johannesburg is not a holiday destination- most people here leave over the festive season to go to the coast- so here's hoping that the shops will get quieter soon
Manged to take lunch every day this week- helped that I had leftovers and a couple of lunch-boxes already int the freezer- feels good though. Must work on the breakfasts though- I wake up too early to want to eat anything at home, and breakfast bars are good, but still relatively expensive even when I buy them at the supermarket. Must go and decide what I'll be eating for this week, and do some cooking- weather is still extremely hot, so nothing heavy.
One of the easiest puddings in the world- has it's roots in England
You start of with a layer of sponge cake,( cut in half, spread with jam, then cut into squares) then you moisten the cake with juice or sherry depending on your preferences, then you add a layer of jelly( or jello in the US) , then a layer of fruit and nuts, then some custard or instant pudding and you keep going until you are almost at the top of the bowl, then you top with whipped cream or topping and sprinkle with nuts, hundreds and thousands
Easy and most kids love it, and you can use whatever leftovers you have on hand
I have enough leftovers for several meals this week as well as to freeze- I figured if I'm going to be cooking I'll make a bit extra so I don't have to cook for at least 4 nights- have some leftover roast, mac and chess, veggies and trifle-a rather big bowl of trifle. Should be able to take all my lunches to work this week- no buying for me
It's been so hot this last week- over 30c every day- so it will be a relief not to be in a hot kitchen
Having DH's birthday lunch- so I picked up a birthday cake from the home industries shop this morning. I love these places- everything is homemade, mostly cakes, bakes, tarts etc as well as some crafts. The shops normally work on a co-op basis, with each member contributing part of their eanings towards running the shop. Do you have places like this in the states?
I much prefer their cakes to a commercial bakery- you're getting a homemade cake- usaully they taste really good, without the hassle of making it yourself, and supporting another woman, often a SAHM, in her own business
While I'm working I find I'm too tired to bake anything elaborate, when I'm at home it's a different story- plus I have the wonkiest oven on the planet- it has 2 tempretures- off and on- tha'ts why I'm temping for a few months- to make enough to remodel the kitchen
Picked up a few bargains for Xmas and birthday gifts. Managed to get six new children's books for R90($15), which is good for SA- books are so expensive here. Also managed to get a Barbie art set and a Little pony set for R60 total ($10)so I'm quite happy. Have ordered DH's books for Xmas online- we have a tradition of only buying new books as presents- rest of the year it's second hand.
Went shopping this weekend- the mall was packed and it's not even month end-I've decided that unless something is on a really good sale I'm going to be shopping online till at least the silly season is over- One of our local grocery stores delivers your groceries, which you choose and pay for online, for only R55- sure it's extra but the saving in terms of stress and aggravation- cannot put a price on it. I'm also sure that when the shops are busy and crowded that I spend more, not sure if this is me feeling rushed not always looking for best deal or feeling that I should stock up so I don't have to go back to the madness:-))
I was shopping as we are having a birthday lunch for my DH this weekend, and I will be spending Saturday cooking not shopping. Dh said he would prefer a traditional style lunch as it is less work than a BBQ( for whom I ask, for whom..)
I have this very pretty pink peasant style blouse that I have not worn for ages due to two bleach stains on the front- got while shopping- bottles leaked in the shop. So I decided to try and rescue it- tried stencilling over the blotches- which resulted in bigger blotches- so I carried on with the blotches idea- now the blouse looks as if it has been tie dyed. I used cotton wool to dab bleach directly onto the fabric- stains are now covered, and blouse can be worn as hippie look tie dyed blouse- rather than looking like a stained blouse
I find bleach can be the worse for stains, it doesn't have to be big but it is so noticeable.
So far I have been able to park my car for R15 a week at work. There is small side street, which is visible from the office windows, so several of us park there and pay the self employed car washers once a week. If the traffic cops arrive, we all rush down and move our cars- parking is free for 60 minutes, so because there are several of us we just shuffle our cars. Here's hoping we don't get tickets- but the underground garage costs R400($70) a month vs our , slightly illegal, system of about R60($10) a month.
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