Welcome to my March diary! An Adelaide trip for Fringe, seeking financial advice for my mum, redeeming Govt vouchers, Andy’s father Tom returned from overseas after 3 months, I wrote some guest posts and I was a guest on the My Millennial Money podcast, talking to Glen James about financial abuse.
My Personal Update
I met my baby niece Amy properly this month! I was able to give her cuddles and kiss her beautiful, baby smelling head! My mum, Andy and I all took Covid tests before going over to see her, and then enjoyed a heartwarming family night! The very next day, my brother brought Covid home, but managed to isolate in his room and avoided giving it to his partner and baby Amy.
I went to Adelaide again this month! I was there to visit a friend and to see what all the Adelaide Fringe fuss was about. Wow, I see! The shows were incredible (most of them) and I can’t wait to go again! The money we spent on shows was 100% worth it and the shows did not dissapoint. Highlights for me were the shows Blanc de Blanc, Matador the Show and Oracle show. Dance, aerial acrobatics, music, comedy and drama, I just loved them! That’s why I work hard – to enjoy spending money on things like this!
A family wedding this month! My cousin was married in Sydney and the wedding was amazing. It was a perfect day, it was wonderful to catch up with family from around the country and have a few drinks. My mum came down to Sydney to stay with me, so she could attend the wedding, as well as spend some quality time with family, which is her whole motivation for wanting to make the big move to Sydney, hopefully sometime this year.
My mum was staying with me this month and she is starting to think about her big move to Sydney and therefore, this goes with a big audit of her money and her whole financial situation. We discovered that you can actually have a consultation with an FIS (Financial Information Service) Officer through Centrelink to discuss financial options for retirees and those on the aged pension. So my brother, sister, my mum and I jumped on a call with an FIS Officer and asked lots of questions about the benefits my mum is currently on, whether there were any other benefits she was entitled to, and what her options may be when she decides to move to Sydney. We asked about the option of renting out her house versus selling it, and what a reverse mortgage is and whether this might be a good idea for her. I didn’t actually realise that if you take out a reverse mortgage, you don’t have to make repayments! I was under the impression that her aged pension would have to be used to make regular payments, but in fact, I learned that you don’t have to make repayments at all, rather the bank would recover that debt when the time came to sell her place or when she passes. It’s definitely something we need to carefully consider, but we also need to take into consideration what she may be able to afford in Sydney, based on what she has been quoted for her place up north. Before we can even think about selling her house, there needs to be work done, such as painting and relaying of carpets, which at this point, she cannot afford, so we will need to look into how she can pay for these things, so that her place is in a good enough state to sell.
We have also looked at some of my mum’s bills and whether she can reduce what she spends on some of these. For starters, my mum was not on a phone contract anymore and was still paying about $60 per month on phone bills! I bought her a $200 Boost SIM card and got rid of those monthly Telstra bills! This is in no way sponsored, I just love the value that Boost provides! They still use the Telstra network, they provide 140GB of data to be used in 12 months, with unlimited calls and texts. This is a saving of about $520 for the year for mum. If you’re not on a contract and you’re paying more than $20 per month on phone bills, seriously consider a prepaid SIM with Boost or a similar company.
This month I actually enjoyed spending some of my hard earned money, which is something I actually do rarely! While visiting Adelaide, I enjoyed spending on Adelaide Fringe Festival shows, on eating out, massages and a spot of op shopping! Spending money is something that doesn’t come too easy for me as I feel like I’ve had the mindset of having to save and be frugal for so long, that spending feels a bit weird and indulgent! I reminded myself that it was not huge amounts of money, and I deserved to spend this money I worked so hard for!
When I came home from Adelaide, I had a huge money win! I sold the Louis Vuitton scarf I picked up from an op shop here in Sydney for $3. I sold it online for $420!! I did my research mind you, and realised that this was in fact a real LV, and was selling on other websites for more than $500! So I listed it for $420 and a lady who saw it on FB marketplace was more than happy to drive 1 hour to pick it up and pay me the full $420! What a high! I was able to use this money to pay a couple of bills and pay for groceries for a couple of weeks too! I have made thousands selling my items and other peoples items too, sometimes making enough to cover some bills and groceries for the week. I have 17 of my best tips on the blog, for how to sell your stuff online. You can read my tips here.
I’ve saved a lot of money on before and after school care this past month too, after redeeming the NSW $500 voucher for use on OOSH. If you’re living in NSW and you have kids in OOSH, check to see if you’re eligible for this $500 voucher!
I’m also currently applying for the NSW Family Energy Rebate, which gives me a big credit on my next electricity bill! You can check here to see if you’re eligible for this too.
I didn’t buy any more shares this month, and instead focused on fun money! I did however recommend Sharesight to one of my friends who was asking me about tax time, upon starting their investing journey. Sharesight is an accounting tool which is FREE to use and keeps track of all your investments in one place, which makes tax time SO EASY!! When it’s time to start tracking dividends as well as performance, you can simply print off a report in Sharesight and hand this to your tax accountant. If you do choose to upgrade in the future, you can get 4 months free when signing up to the premium plan, but you can stay on the FREE plan and still make things so much easier for yourself! You can sign up to Sharesight for FREE with my link HERE.
Parenting and Co-parenting
Andy’s father Tom has returned from overseas after 3 months away. Naturally, Andy is keen to see him and spend time at his place, but Tom has also been keen to get back to work. It is a relief to be able to share the parenting responsibility once again, and I look forward to receiving back paid child support! Tom assures me that once he starts getting paid from work, his payments to me will resume, so this will help to build my Emergency Fund back up again after spending money on Andy’s school fees, school equipment, extracurricular activities and medical bills.
Andy has resumed soccer (in a different club) and also started Karate lessons this month which he is LOVING! I think self defence at Andy’s age is really important. It is also wonderful for his fitness and co-ordination, as well as teaches respect and self-discipline. I have heard too many cases of one-punch attacks, as well as other forms of violence among teenagers and young adults, and so personally, I thought this was something really worthwhile for Andy. It’s building his confidence too, as well as his resilience and motivation.
I have caught up with some more teacher friends this month – some of them have even shown a great amount of interest in my TeachingBrave blog, as well as learning more about websites and building online business which I think is great! We have had some conversations about monetising websites, about improving SEO and finding niche websites or niche topics that are interesting or in demand. It’s a really interesting switch when you realise you can start your own business with very little financial capital. Websites are perfect for that! Yes, like any business, you are putting your time into it, but in terms of money, initially, there is very little outlay. I have been really enjoying learning more about starting online business and talking to my ex-colleagues and friends about it too.
Am I crazy to start thinking about casual teaching? I know the money is decent for casual teachers. I am qualified to teach primary school, up to year 2, as my degree covered age groups 0 – 8. While I did apply for a leave of absence from teaching through the NESA portal, I know I can always reverse this if I feel the need. You can read my article on NESA accreditation here. I have just been thinking it would be nice to work in some different settings, diversify my income a little bit and develop my experience in primary settings – I know there is a great demand for casual teachers at the moment, due to Covid absences, so it would be a great time to get into it. On the other hand, I have managed to avoid getting Covid so far, so will this guarantee me a Covid diagnosis???
Teaching Brave Update
In March I published the following articles:
Birds And The Bees; How To Have The Sex Talk With Kids – I was excited to get this one out as I was able to share exactly how I had the sex talk with my son, Andy and what we discussed. It’s so important to be open and honest with your kids when it comes to the birds and the bees, but it’s also important to keep it age-appropriate. From a young age, it’s important to use the correct names for genitals – penis, vagina and bottom. I explain why in the article, plus provide heaps of tips on how to approach the subject.
Gun Play And Kids: Dangerous Or Harmless? – What are your opinions on this? I would love to know! In my opinion, I think it should be discouraged, but I know it’s also something a lot of kids are fascinated with. My son has enjoyed mild gun play in the form of water pistols and Nerf guns, but I always make sure I engage in conversation with him about the dangers of real guns, as well as safe play with toys.
Dyslexia Symptoms; Does It Affect My Child? – It has been reported that at least 2 million Australians have Dyslexia, so I wanted to write an article about the common symptoms to help parents decide whether they need to have their child assessed or not. Lots of info in this one – it includes info about number dyslexia too!
I shared my story this month about when I was catfished! You can read my story on Channel 9 Honey here. This scammer never got any money from me – but he was committed to trying! I can’t believe there are so many people out there with catfishing stories!
I wrote an article for the Kiddipedia website on Saying Sorry to your Kids – I thought it was important to highlight that it’s OK to aplogise to our kids, let them know that as adults, we are also learning, and we make mistakes. We also need to role model to kids, how and when to say sorry! You can read it here.
The MyMillenialMoney podcast is out. Glen James and I had a chat about financial abuse, my experience as a victim of financial abuse in 2 different relationships and how feelings of self worth are a big part of escaping abusive situations. You can listen to the Podcast here. Remember, if you are in an abusive situation, you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, you can visit 1800Respect, you can talk to your GP or you can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.
During March I have also been catching up on some of the videos from the eBusiness Institute about building, monetising and flipping websites. CaptainFi has a great review of their business in his article here. It has been exciting for me to study something new and learn more about building online businesses, ahead of buying my next website!
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Liz. : )