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Archive for June, 2014

Apr to June Spending and some Update

June 30th, 2014 at 11:51 pm

How did we go in the 2nd quarter of 2014?



DH went to his interview Friday, it went fine. He had to change in the car though. Also on Friday, everyone in his team at work got to sign their new employment contract. As of today, they are now fixed full-time employees for the next 12 months.

On the weekend we hit the half-way mark of our workout program. We went crazy and rewarded ourselves by buying a PVR and 3D Blu-ray combo. For years now the in-laws have been telling us that we should get one. Every time we went out to see how much they were we always thought they were too pricey. But with technologies these days if you just wait long enough you should be able to afford it. Plus because it June 30 is our end of the financial year, every stores have their massive sales. We got one for $318.40 (down from $466). The first time the in-laws suggested that we should get one they were around $800+. Even at the price we bought it at we were still not too sure about it. We went to 4 stores until we decided to go for it.


Weekend and Interview

June 24th, 2014 at 09:37 pm

A bit late on the weekend update. We just did the usual things - grocery shopping and eat out. We went to our favourite Vietnamese restaurant, it never disappoint. We also bought couple of pairs of weighted gloves, this should increase the intensity of our workout.

DH will be going on an interview from one of those jobs that he applied for couple of weeks ago. Initially he thought of declining it because it is in the other side of the city, probably over an hour away so it might not be worth it missing work for it. It is for a university, unfortunately it is not in the closer campus. The money will be a bit less than what he is getting now but it will be permanent full-time position. He thought it over and decide that he should go even just to get some practice on doing interviews again. He would just go to work really early and then take few hours off then go back in the afternoon.

This job sounds like a perfect fit for DH but the travel is a big issue. He might see if they allow working from home for couple times a week that would really help.

Melbourne

June 20th, 2014 at 12:15 am

So yesterday I went to the city to pick up my new eye glasses. I ordered it couple of weeks ago. It cost $50, the actual glasses was free because of my private insurance but I decided to get an anti-glare on it which cost the $50.

While in the city I had lunch with DH. We went to an India restaurant that he has been meaning to take me for about a year now. A lot of his Indian co-worker friends like this place and DH has been there few times with them.

We got shared Chicken Biryani and a Plain Dosa (Indian pancake). Massive pancake.

So much food for only $19.90.


Afterwards, DH went back to work while I went shoes shopping. I got this $50 gift card for Christmas, I thought it was about time I spent it. It was for Myer (a big department store here), I knew they would be having a sale for the end of financial year. I managed to get a pair of boots for only $49.

While walking around Melbourne I took some of these photos. It was icy cold so I decided to walk through laneways and arcades. It's amazing how they can squeeze in cafe's, cake stores, etc. in those little laneways. I was drooling over those cakes and I wasn't the only one, there was a line up of people trying to get in, it must be good.



I wasn't in a hurry so I took my time trying on shoes and just window shopping. I then went back to the other side of the city where DH works. I got coffee just across his office and watch a bit of soccer, They put up a massive screen just for the world cup. Australia have got no chance but we are sport nuts here in Melbourne.

The after work drink didn't happen yesterday, mainly because of the weather. The girl that got married recently doesn't work in the city anymore so it was not very easy for her to come. It was a bit last minute so they will try to organise it again next week. Anyway DH and decided to use one of our Groupon voucher, it was for a Korean place. We got 2 Japanese beer and a plate of fried chicken for only $15.40. It was enough that we didn't bother having dinner.

Then we went home and did Yoga.

Lunch

June 17th, 2014 at 10:30 pm

DH forgot his lunch today. Normally when this happens he would end up spending around $15 for lunch. Today he was gonna go to Nando's to get chicken and chips instead he went to nearby supermarket and got this 1/4 roast chicken for only $3.25. He took it back to his office and had it with oats and milk. He is so much more frugal than me. Even better for me I won't have to cook dinner tonight because we will have enough leftover, DH can have his packed lunch tonight. Maybe I will just make a quick salad or steam vegies.



I think he didn't want to spend too much today because we already had plan to meet up for lunch tomorrow and maybe even a get together with his current co-workers and old co-workers after work tomorrow. An old co-worker he had just got back from her wedding in Sri Lanka, can't wait to catch up with her and see some of her wedding photos.

I'm going to the city tomorrow to pick up my new glasses that I ordered 2 weeks ago. And since I'm going to be there I will have lunch with DH and then go for the after work drinks.

Weekend

June 16th, 2014 at 11:49 pm

I lost my entry Frown. I don't even know how it happened??? Oh well. This will be a shorter version.


On Saturday we went to the market we used to go all the time until it got too crowded, everyone found out about this place I guess. It is only about 5 mins away from our house so it is very convenient but the parking is a nightmare. It was worst this time around, it is just getting more crowded, that reminded me the reason why we haven't been to this place for over a year.

But I did get some good deal, like the 3 kilos of bean for only $2 and the roasting beef (over 1 kilo size) for only $9.

Made Sunday roast out of it, we had enough for lunch and dinner and still had enough leftover for lunch the next day.


Saturday night we went out to the city and had Chinese, I was good and didn't have too much rice. I really tried to have a low carb weekend and really didn't have any on Sunday. I got to say it is working. The love handles are shrinking. But today I am really craving it so I made this:

Ricotta pancakes with fruit salad. Oh needed that.


The dinner out was a celebration on finishing the Phase 1 of our workout. We went a bit crazy and ended up at the casino. We ended up at the sports bar there and also did some gambling, and of course lost some money. It was good to watch a bit of the world cup at the sports bar, the atmosphere was great. We watch the first half of Colombia v Greece game. The Colombian fans were very cheerful, especially when they got a goal very early on. I can't believe we stayed out until after 3 am. I felt terrible the next day but it was so much fun.

Okay news but still not 100% confirmed

June 12th, 2014 at 06:31 pm

So DH found out yesterday what rate he will be on. He is probably one of the lucky one, it will not be as bad as he thought it would be. His current contract will end at the end of this month and then it will be change to the new rate, so there will be couple of thousand or so worst off but we just have to think of it that at least his employment will continue for another 9 months before that. Also he will be getting paid when he takes holidays and will also be paid for sick leave. If he accounts for all that it is not that far off to what he gets paid for now.

According to his boss most people got 10-15% pay cut and DH's boss probably got the biggest cut of them all.

DH agreed to the new rate. Our biggest goal at the moment is to pay off this darn mortgage. These extra months will be enough to get us to the end of our mortgage. DH can then decide what he wants to do afterwards.

It will just now need to be sign off by someone even higher up. Unfortunately she is away until Monday. According to DH he heard rumours that she has taken time off because of some "incident". Some weird stuff has been going on there since these new bunch of management came along, which she is the leader of. When she got hired (very questionable the way she got hired, she was auditing the place now she is a CIO or something) she brought her "friends" along, now one of this so called friend is on extended stress leave because they are not getting along. Crazy stuff.

Email

June 11th, 2014 at 10:29 pm

I just got an email from DH.




He is getting annoyed but at least he still got his sense of humour.

He at least found out from others this morning who had their interview with the boss late yesterday afternoon that all contracts will finish by the end of the month, not good.


As you can tell I am getting as impatience about it so I feel sorry for DH and his co-workers but most of them have found out about it now. He will probably find out in an hour or so, definitely before the end of work day. It's now 3:30pm here.

Fitness and Diet

June 11th, 2014 at 06:54 pm

Almost a month into our workouts (Tapout) and we are still going strong. The best thing I could have done this winter. Last winter I couldn't shake off a cold and I was really lethargic and never got anything done I even quit blogging for months. This winter I got a lot more energy and in so much better mood and have not got a cold (knock on wood), the same goes with DH. My brother got a cold few weeks ago and I was surprise that I didn't get it. I really believe it to do with eating a lot more fruits and vegetables and exercising more.

Last night we did Muay Thai workout for the first time and afterwards I made this.


Grilled pork, qinuoa with apple, beetroot and walnut salad.

Then been having smoothies to fill me up.


The photo made it look quite big but I actually been very good with eating smaller portions. And I've also been good at cutting down on carbs, I try not to have too much of it especially at night. Also on Sunday out rest day of working out I have decided to make it no carb day. And today since we will be doing Yoga not as intense (but I actually find this exercise the hardest - I have no balance what so ever) I will try to make it low carb day.

No news yet & making some pasta

June 11th, 2014 at 06:51 am

DH was meant to talk to his boss about his employment early in the morning today but his boss was given the run around by his boss and was not given the go ahead until late in the afternoon. Apparently, DH's boss was told that he has to talk to everyone's agencies (probably 3 or 4 of them) first before he can talk to the employees about what's going to happen. This thing is a mess and it doesn't help that the upper management doesn't seem to give a damn about the employees. There are apparently 2 tester that have been told that they will only be needed for only 2 months. The 2 months is so they can hand it over and trained up the new people that will only be paid $60K a year. They want to do things cheap and expect everyone to just agree with it. It will be interesting to see if those 2 tester will actually stay, very doubtful there will be any extra pay to make them to stay for it. Anyway, hopefully DH will finally find out tomorrow.

Today I made this for lunch.


This was my first time making carbonara sauce without cream. I topped it with parsley and chives from the garden.

Changes and putting things on hold

June 9th, 2014 at 09:27 pm

Mortgage payment went through earlier last week. It was $1218, $232.58 for interest and $985.42 for the principal. I still can't put any extra into it this month.

DH's job is still really iffy at the moment. Everyone that is in his team is waiting to see if they will still have a job. They already know that their contracts will not be renewed. They are getting rid of contract workers, so they are proposing to offer people a fixed 1 year full time job. Some people's contract is finishing the end of this month but they still haven't found out what the new rate for this fixed full time deal will be. It will be for sure lower than what they get now. And the worse thing about this deal is they will not get a redundancy pay out at the end of the term, so it will be worst than a full time job rate. The money has to be slightly higher than full time rate for it to be worth considering. It is doubtful that it will be. DH's boss, who is in the same boat as DH and who's contract is finishing the end of the month, has been going back and forth negotiating with the his new boss (who is implementing all these changes) for 3 months now. He doesn't really care if people are going to stay or go.

They are looking at replacing the current system that everyone is working on, so the new management doesn't care too much for the contract workers, they have been treated like they are not part of the company now. Their problem though is they haven't really found a new system (that will be off the shelf) to replace the current system, this system by the way deals with 2 billion dollar payments so it's not child play but these new bosses doesn't seems to get it. Fair dinkum, one thinks that there should be no different if you were dealing with 2 million. lol
So, basically they still need all the people that is left (which is now less than half to what it used to be 2 years ago). DH who is the team leader has been covering a lot of the work that those people that have left used to do. Not only he has to do his job but he now has to do the Business Analyst job, data management and even do a bit of testing work and also if there are any questions/problems from the customer he has to deal with it.

DH's contract doesn't end until end of Sept but he will get the same deal as the people that end this month. Although there could be a chance that the company will just push forward everyone else's contract to end this month and offer this new rate to everyone at the same date. Either way DH will be moving on sooner or later. There is obviously no future for him or the other employees in this company, they are not offering anyone at all to work on the eventual new system. At the moment, DH will consider staying if the rate is at least reasonable until he will get a new job, if it is too low, he will most likely just quit and spend more of his time looking for a new job instead.

We have been through this before so we are not panicking. DH quit his previous job without any lined up but was hired right away in this current job. And he has been through long term unemployment before, we survived that we will survive this too. At least this time we are prepared. This is why I'm always putting paying the mortgage off and savings first in our goals every year. All that hard work is for this time. Don't get me wrong, it would have been great if this were to happen next year when the mortgage is paid off. So for now that extra payment to the mortgage is at halt but I'm very determine to still pay it off by October next year (DH's 40th).

Oh, this weekend was a long-weekend for us (Queen's birthday), DH spent most of Saturday applying for jobs. And he is also studying to get some certificate that he believes he needs to apply for more jobs.