Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Greenhills Adventure Park

It was the First Day Of School here today, with everyone heading off to their different classes, tears and nervousness for the youngies and anticipation for the experienced schoolies. School holidays had ended and now it was time to go back to books and classrooms and learning.....

NOT HERE IT WASN'T!! 

LOL

Nope, we headed off to the local amusement park - Greenhills Adventure Park - one of the parents in my homeschooling group had organised a day there.

We had a BLAST!! I haven't been there since I was a little girl myself, Dragonett Lass has been with the Grand-dragons once before and Dragonett Lad, DragonPapa and of course Hatchling had never been.




The Dragonetts have made us promise that we will go back again soon - I told them as soon as I can walk without collapsing! (Lots of stairs and paddle boats and stairs and walking and stairs and did I mention the stairs? LMAO)

Now THAT is how we spend OUR First Day Back At School!! YAY!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Zipper Monsters So Far.....

I have managed to make three zipper monsters so far - One for Hatchling, one for Dragonett Lad and one for Dragonett Lass.


So much fun to make - will now make some for the Dolly Drive - People who are making dolls and toys for hospital children's wards - TSL Dolly Drive 2013

Online tutorial and printable pattern shapes from /hill.yeah/ - Tutorial: Munster

They are really easy to make and for me, they were my first zipper AND my first slippery stretch sewing as well. 

The stripy one was my first try and both the Dragonetts argued over who was getting it.... so I suggested that I could make them their own - and off it went! lol


Dragonett Lad requested two eyes and arms - I had some space fabric left over from his tote bag that made a fantastic monster!



Dragonett Lass requested wings instead of arms on hers



Not only that, but they are fantastic scrap users and the very best bit??

The Dragonetts LOVE them!!!

So WIN all round! :D


Back in the Swing

We are finally getting back on track with everything.

After the horrid horrid past couple of years we had recently, we are getting our feet back under us and moving in the right direction for our family. 

We have changed from a totally Natural learning family to a little more of a school at home type now. Last year, we really fell behind the 8 ball - what with everything that was going on - so now, we have some catching up to do.

We have started by working in book work - Dragonett Lass now has worksheets that we do every day which covers reading/writing and math. We will be expanding that to cover more topics as she gets used to the routine.

We have also implemented back into our lives more science experiments - we have really missed those!!

We are also looking more at documenting everything more as well as part of our projects - loving project books at the moment.

But for our First Official Science Experiment, we chose to do Borax Crystals from Club Chica Circle






Can't wait to see how it turns out!!

After just a few hours, we can already see something happening. 

And as we were watching, we could actually see the borax bubbling up and moving up then sinking back down.




As an experiment in our experiment - we tapped the side of the Pink star to shake up the sediment - we want to see what happens if we interfere.

Looking forward to tomorrow!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A New Crafter Has Been Born...

Dragonett Lass has been requesting to sew on my sewing machine. 

She has been practicing her hand sewing, but like everyone, wants to play with the big toys :D 

So I have been keeping an eye on Ebay and Gumtree and Freecycle for a simple sewing machine for her to use, but no luck :( 

So it was with great excitement last week, when I went to my local Spotlight and saw that they had Elna Mini's reduced down to $59!! 

I grabbed the mag (for the $10 discount) and raced on up, only to find they were sold out. 

 Name on the wait list and today..... *drum roll please* 

 WE GOT THE CALL!!






She has already had a play with fabric she chose and purchased herself (very pretty too I might add!) and she even did her practice sheets.

We will be doing daily practice until she 'passes' and earns a certificate of completion! We are going to make a big deal and invite my parents and do a proper graduation ceremony - LOL - should be a BLAST!!

Can't wait to see what Dragonett Lass' creates in the coming future! :D


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Budgets and Money

I love working out Budgets - not that I stick to them all that well - LOL, but I do like working them out.
Since I posted a snapshot of my budget so long ago, I have had repeated requests to explain it in more detail. I have also done quite a few friends budgets on this spreadsheet as well. Recently, I had a friend ask me for a copy of it for her own budgetting uses, so it was the push I needed to finally finish it off and post here.

Budget Page 1

Budget Page 2


Keep in mind that I have not covered every bill possible. This is simply an example of a budget. You need to think about every single thing you need to pay for in an entire year...

health, cars/transportation, household bills, credit cards, loans, pets, kids sports, haircuts, clothing, rates, study, work related, grandma's loan - everything and anything!! It is better to be prepared than to get that shocker surprise bill or struggle each week wondering why it's not working!!

and write it all down!!

Work out what dates the regular bills/expenses are due - is it a particular day? Week? Month?

Then enter them all in a spreadsheet page with their due dates and amounts - I like to put down HOW they are paid as well.



Bills Dates Due
Rent Fortnightly $50.00 BANK
Car Loan Fortnightly $50.00 BPAY
Personal Debt Fortnightly $50.00 TRANSFER
Internet 1st $50.00 DDR
Cable/Pay TV 1st $50.00 BPAY
Lawnmower Guy 1st $50.00 Transfer
Other Loan 1st $50.00 Transfer
Home & Contents Ins 9th $50.00 DDR
Income/Health Ins 13th $50.00 DDR
Mobile/Cell Phone 19th $50.00 TRANSFER
Home phone 25th $50.00 BPAY
Credit card 28th $50.00 TRANSFER
Car Insurance 28th $50.00
Power Quarterly (10th) $50.00 BPAY
Car Rego Quarterly (11th) $50.00 BPAY
Drivers Licences Annually $50.00 CC
Pet rego and Licences Annually $50.00



Then work out when your pay comes in (finish the day BEFORE your next pay – ie – you get paid next on the 15th, so your pay cycle finished on the 14th)

01/01/2013 (to 14/01/13)

Then work out in a spread sheet what bills will be coming in during that pay cycle – example – Home and Contents is due on the 9th of each month, so it goes in there.


01/01/2013 (to 14/01/13)
Rent $ 50.00
Car Loan $ 50.00
Personal Debt $ 50.00
Quarterly Bills $ 50.00
Internet $ 50.00
Cable/Pay TV $ 50.00
Lawnmower Guy $ 50.00
Other Loan $ 50.00
Home & Contents Ins $ 50.00
Income/Health Ins $ 50.00  

I also work out what my quarterly and annual bills are and break them down into weekly/fortnightly/whatever cycle you have, payments and put that in, so that I have the money available when that bill is due (stashed away in a bank account or under the mattress, whatever)

Then on page two of my spreadsheet, I work out how much money I get per pay - this is where you can put in one or two or three or however many incomes you receive, so if you are an dual income household or have income from different areas, this is simple to add or remove

Normal Pay
Hour Rate Hours Days Total
$10.00 8 10 $800.00
$800.00 $20,800.00 gross
Tax
$35.00 $765.00 $19,890.00 net
$ 100.00 Extra Income
$865.00
Normal Spreadsheet math here, but quickly for those who are unfamiliar -

On your Totals section, place an = and then select your hourly rate, place a * for multiplication, select your hours worked, place a *, then how many days worked and place another * then enter.

Looks like this – (remember that your numbers and letters will be for YOUR spreadsheet data, these are simply an example)

=D7*E7*F7

On your main page (see below), you have a section for the total amount due (in red) and a section for what’s left over – or in our case, our living on money (food, petrol, clothes, etc- in yellow

We worked out that we needed $300 (as an example) for a paycycle for food and petrol and entertainment, etc, BUT many people prefer to have these actually budgeted into their budget, so go with what YOU feel is best.

We went this way because that amount was flexible for us – if we got a smaller pay, we felt that our bills were more important than having money for entertainment or doing a full shop – those things could be negotiated, but you can’t really negotiate your car insurance LOL. 

So make sure that EVERYTHING you feel is needed is budgeted for. 


01/01/2013 (to 14/01/13) Notes
Rent $ 50.00 Paid
Car Loan $ 50.00 Paid
Personal Debt $ 50.00
Quarterly Bills $ 50.00
Internet $ 50.00
Cable/Pay TV $ 50.00 $ 565.00
Lawnmower Guy $ 50.00
Other Loan $ 50.00
Home & Contents Ins $ 50.00 $300.00
Income/Health Ins $ 50.00


To work this out, you need to know how to use a spread sheet – assuming you might not, I’ll explain briefly

For the Total bills section (in red) you can either...

place a = sign and then manually select the fields you want to include (simply click on the one you want to add up) and place a + between each one.

It will look like this - –(remember that your numbers and letters will be for YOUR spreadsheet data, these are simply an example)

=C5+C6+C7+C8+C9+C10+C11+C12+C13+C14

then simply press enter.

or you can use the Auto Sum. I find mine at the top right of my action bars. Looks like a letter M on it’s side.

it will then look like this -

=SUM(C5:C14)

either way, whatever works best for you.

For working out the Living Allowance/Left Over Amount Section (in yellow) - 

place a = then go to page two, select/click on the Total Amount section ($865) and place a minus sign – then go back to page one and select the Total Bills section (in red) and press enter

It will look like this

=Sheet2!H18-Sheet1!F10

That then will give you your Living allowance/left over amount and will automatically change if you need to alter any of the bills in the future (say if a bill is higher or lower or even a once off payment needed, etc) and will also change if you need to alter how much money you receive as well.

Then, simply go to the next paycycle and start again (you can cut and paste a lot of it, so experiment)
.
01/01/2013 (to 14/01/13) Notes
Rent $ 50.00 Paid
Car Loan $ 50.00 Paid
Personal Debt $ 50.00
Quarterly Bills $ 50.00
Internet $ 50.00
Cable/Pay TV $ 50.00 $ 565.00
Lawnmower Guy $ 50.00
Other Loan $ 50.00
Home & Contents Ins $ 50.00 $300.00
Income/Health Ins $ 50.00
Surplus $ 35.00
Dedicated Savings $ 10.00
Savings (moving, xmas, annual, car, kids, edu) $ 10.00
Left Over (savings/debts?etc) $ 10.00
15/01/2013 (to 28/01/13)
Rent $ 50.00
Car Loan $ 50.00
Personal Debt $ 50.00
Quarterly Bills $ 50.00 $ 565.00
Mobile/Cell Phone $ 50.00
Home phone $ 50.00
Credit card $ 50.00 $300.00
Car Insurance $ 50.00
Surplus $ 135.00
Dedicated Savings $ 10.00
Savings (moving, xmas, annual, car, kids, edu) $ 10.00
Left Over (savings/debts?etc) $ 10.00

Now see how my Surplus amount (in BLUE on my bills list) is different from the previous paycycle? 

In our budget, the Living Allowance/Left Over Amount stays at $300 (as an example), as that is our set Living Allowance. 

Anytime that increases (due to there being less bills due or less money needed that paycycle), we put the extra in a Surplus account for those paycycles when money might be a little tight, or when cars need emergency repairs or dental work needs paying for – that sort of thing. 

It’s our “wiggle Room” amount. If you adjust that amount, it will alter your end results (in yellow).

Then, simply work your way down the page and budget for as long as you think you want to. I generally have about a year budgeted for at any one time.

I hope that all makes sense!! If it doesn’t, feel free to let me know, okay!