Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hello again everyone! I have added my blog roll lists up again to the side. I changed it up and did some editing. Most of these blogs I recalled from memory and from my 'came from' link list for my visitor tracking. However, if you link to me or would like me to link to you, please send me an e-mail or comment and I will do just that!

As a side note, I think I'd like to start trying to do daily updates. I just need to get back into the habit. So here goes!

I worked again today. Work is starting to get better - I feel like I know more and I got to mix it up and do some cash register and some floor walking. I went home feeling accomplished and satisfied. I helped my saffa roommate fix up his resume and sat here watching Family Guy until just now. However, I was too tempted when my roommates said they were ordering pizza (I actually felt kind of bad since they waited for me to get home before they ordered), so I got a medium pizza from Domino's at the cost of £13.99. I only had £9.34 left in my food budget for this month. So I have gone over. (And don't worry about the food budget expired mid-month - I've got plenty of groceries to last!). What I will end up doing is taking a bit from another area - rent or transportation - to balance it out. But either way, it was a decision I could've avoided. It was yummy, though.

Tomorrow I work again, 11-6. Monday and Tuesday are my days off. The weather is supposed to be a bit miserable on Monday, so I'll probably end up just staying in and doing laundry/cleaning/sleeping and I'll head into London on Tuesday for a full day of sightseeing!

That is the best part - the fact that the things I enjoy the most in London - wandering around and taking pictures - are free. It's just the getting there. Although I did determine that it would be a 2.5 hour walk from my apartment to Trafalgar Square - so that might be something to try one of these days - assuming I don't get lost!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

I seriously need to give some big THANKS to Canadian Finance Guy. Seriously. He's given me SO much good information - so thanks!!

I still have a lot to learn about taxes and stuff... I need to get in touch with people and figure everything out. Sometimes I wish I was earning tons and tons of money... other times I wish I wasn't working. Haha. But this will definitely be a steep learning curve.

Thanks to everyone who has given me advice. :)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Okay, as promised, here is my budget. Here is the overall look (it looks just the same as a bunch of other budgets I have). Most of the numbers at the top aren't that exciting - they just keep track of my current bank account balances... hopefully they will be easier eventually when everything is in my Barclay's Account (rate go down...rate go down... rate go down).

This is the more important part. This is my budget. Rent is actually £412 a month, but I'm a bit obsessive and added £12 a month to make the total £1,000. Yes I'm weird like that.

Bills I have budgeted at £75 a month. Council tax is the bill I pay and it averages between £70 and £80 a month. I have a pay-as-you go phone with Virgin Wireless and I don't use it much, as incomming calls are free and I don't call many people.

I give myself £80 a month for transportation, although that is very exaggerated since the most I would spend getting to and from work is £36 a month on Pay as you go Oyster card. Of course, when I want to go into Central London it costs me £2.50 each way.

My budget for food is £120 a month. This is just a tester budget, as November is my first month to be on my own completely (I didn't do a budget for October, and spent 2 weeks with friends). So far £120 seems very reasonable, and as I learn more about food and prices and such I think that I should be able to cut it down even more.

My budget for 'Fun Money' is £300 currently. This is the money I leave myself for everything else. Clothes, Toilettries, Shoes, Trips, Tours, Mailing things, decorations, whatever. Yes, £300 is a lot of money, but I'm here to be a tourist and enjoy myself. I don't think that I'll spend nearly that much, even this month. I plan on being able to 'compound' this unused money for future vacations, like visiting friends in Amsterdam or hosting my mom! Again, this may or may not change depending on how things go.

With these statistics and the current state of my bank accounts, my savings should last me between 8 and 10 months. Not too bad.

My seasonal work should net me between £1100 and £1300, which gives me about 2 months of 'bare essentials' living - ie. no fun money. That was basically the plan, that every month I work equals a month of living expenses. Ideally it would be great if I could work for 40 hours a week, which will net me £1600 during my working time, but we'll see how it goes.

As well, it would probably be nice to work through January, but it's not an essential. I will again start looking for work come July and hopefully work through the fall. And then again, I can count on my Canadian tax return come April and a UK one come the fall again, so that should net a little extra cash. It's all up in the air but for now I'm pleased.

Well, that's enough incoherent mumbling for me. I work tomorrow at 9 a.m. and I should get to bed.


I decided it was time for some changes in this blog. I was getting tired of the old layout and old progress bars. I removed pretty much everything and will be adding things back over the next week or so. So if I linked to you previously, don't worry, it'll be back! I fear that I've stopped reading many blogs, so the list might change a little bit, but by all means, if you link to me or read my blog or anything, simply post and I will definitely put your link back up!

I'm trying to think of new things to put in progress bars... but I'm not sure of any goals I have... any ideas?


I have a job! It's at an big-chain music store here in London. The first one I interviewed for.... actually, the only one I interviewed for... and the only one that called me back. Granted, I only sent out two resumes - and was going to send out more on Monday if the new job hadn't called me in for an interview.

Funnily enough, I seriously bombed the interview. Like, hard. At least, I think I did. As part of the interview, I had to fill out a product knowledge questionairre (which I basically left the song area blank.... the movies and computer games were a bit better), then put into a room with two managers that didn't seem that thrilled to be interviewing me. I stumbled over my answers and didn't really have good ones. I was super nervous and it probably showed.

Obviously I didn't do too bad at it since they called me back, but it makes me feel like I'm at a disadvantage since I did so poorly on the interview - kind of like they think I'm incompetent - which I'm not... so its weird. At the same time, I have to admit I haven't been 'the new girl' in... well... forever, really. My first Subway job we were all new since the store was new, the second Subway job I was knew but I still knew the work, and at Crime Stoppers office job, I had already been volunteering 2 years so I knew everyong. This is new job and new people.

Admittedly I love the people so far - everyone is very friendly and lots of fun. The job itself seems reasonably easy, but at the same time, I don't really care about music... or movies... really. It'll be a big of a struggle to get on top of what's hot and new now. Yikes.

So, here's the stats, since I'm sure that's what you came for!

The wage is £6.82 an hour. After 22% taxes (what they said I should expect) it comes down to £5.32 - a less impressive, but more realistic number. I am guaranteed 30 hours a week, which nets me £160 a week. There is opportunity to pick up extra shifts, which I probably will do if I find I want the extra money. (As well, since I'll be earning, well, not a whole lot, I should be able to recoup some/most of what I pay in taxes... I hope.)

It's 90p each way on the bus, or a 20 minute walk. I will probably try walking home tomorrow just to see how long it takes, as I haven't actually done the walk, yet. Bonus is that the store is in a mall with a Sainsbury's and a Waitrose and an Iceland and a Poundland (my new fav store - everything is just £1!) which means that I can pick up groceries and other goods on the way, rather than making special trips.

So yes... I work 9-4 again tomorrow (6 hour working, 1 hour unpaid lunch), and will hopefully get the rest of my schedule for the rest of my time there. I am contractually employed from today until January 3rd. There is opportunity to stay on... but we'll cross that bridge when/if the time comes.

For now... I am knackered. And I've GOT to remember to pay my rent... due on the 16th.