Tuesday, June 19, 2012

R9000 and other not-so-little tidbits


1. Did I tell you Nanny V had her baby? No? Well, on Wednesday when my class at gym ended, there was a message on my phone that the baby had to be delivered via c-section as he was in distress. I phoned her today and they were both discharged yesterday and are doing fine.

2. From me thinking I was only going to be able to see one person in Charlotte, the whole thing is coming together too beautifully. My one friend and I emailed back and forth on Sunday late afternoon. She booked flights, and then accommodation in my hotel, all within 15 minutes. I am SUPER chuffed.

Yesterday I finally booked and paid for NYC. I felt slightly sick inside when I saw the charge (R9000) go through my credit card. I think because it's a mere 4 days and I could get a WHOLE holiday in Thailand - flights and accommodation for about a week - for that price.

I'm feeling even sicker now because this morning I updated my trusty little spreadsheet and the combined costs of everything are already more than I budgeted for the whole trip. And I still have to pay for transfers to the hotels, food and fun.

It's not like I don't have the money (I do!); it's just such a lot. The most I've paid for any overseas holiday. Not even 22 days in all 4 countries in the UK four years ago cost as much as this, and at the time, the R was nearly 16:1 to the pound and 12:1 to the euro.

Please remind me OFTEN that this is Life List stuff and to just relax and breathe...I've already had the nightmare of getting to the airport and not finding my passport.

How do you deal with huge sums of money going out of your account? (strange, I didn't feel the same when the flights went off and they were R15 600)

3. Some more interesting things happened on the work front that I need to process. But suffice to say, I have a big RED flag!

However my D is having a terrible time at his work so this is not the time for me to be hasty. Last week something happened and I actually told him to resign and just walk out. Only thing is 1) desperation is not attractive in an interview 2) he is in a specialised industry so not easy to just get a job and 3) he is white and male (the least favoured option in terms of general hiring criteria in SA :) If you know what he does and you know of something out there, let me know. He is fantastic at what he does and has a very good work ethic :)

So how have you been?

If you've been to NYC, tell me what were the things you would absolutely recommend to me.

I've got to maximise my spend :)


  1. I had to chuckle - how am I with big sums going out my account? When it happens I will let you know :)

    Your trip will be so worth it though.

    Sorry D is having a bad time :( It is not nice especially since it consumes so much of your time and energy - I hope it resolves itself.

  2. Gosh, ONE DAY when big money leaves my account then I will let you know how it goes. I suspect that it will make me feel powerful though – interestingly enough, when I spend big money then this is how I feel: powerful, in control, like I matter somehow. Not anxious. Clearly I have some issues to work through?

    USA is VERY expensive. Elton told me recently that one needs to budget about R50k – USA remains (to date) the most expensive overseas holiday that he has ever taken. BUT it is soooo worth it. He is skipping travel this year (dogs and trying to get out of some debt) because he is saving for next year’s USA trip. Says NY is his one true love dahling...lol. Granted, he goes for at least 3 weeks at a time but goodness me, I think I would also feel a bit nervous.

    I have been in D’s situation and I ended up walking out one day. I WISH that I had the courage to do that now. I will never ever judge anyone who does that because I KNOW how hard it is when one gets to that point.

    I would say that D needs to start here: www.bizcommunity.com

    He must check every single day though. They usually have loads of vacancies in Gauteng.

    I get red flags REGULARLY and I am working like MAD to get out of here. CT is terrible at the moment with jobs though so I am struggling A LOT.

    Ps...tell him that he MUST go to USA with you.He needs a break already!

  3. Ack to work issues all around! Although if it's come to walking out, maybe he should just take the leap? A little financial struggle wouldn't be horrible if it saves his sanity right??

    Welcome to the land of milk and honey! Ha! It's crazy overpriced, but we make do. I keep searching around between the Carolinas for when we meet up, so much so I've neglected to do ANY party planning! Mother-of-the-year! I'm also thinking of moving their birthday up a day so we can leave earlier.

  4. Oh gosh yesm I think that is possibly the only reason my DH is hanging onto his job too - or actually exactly those reasons. Sorry about the work stress. As to the money - always important to keep in mind ( but I know you subscribe to this too) that money, is well, just money. Experience is experience, there is never a just connected to a great experience. Enjoy, to the most

  5. Good to hear Nanny V had a safe delivery.
    Hope things gets sorted for D! Sad he's having such a terrible time at work must add to the stress You already have workwise.

    Big money!! Is just money afterall. Just think of the whole experience and that you can afford it, albeit with a dent (or rather whole) in your bank account!! Last time I went to the US, the ticket was R10k plus and I thought it was ridiculously expensive!!!

    In NYC, I enjoyed going up the Empire state building. Reminded me of Sleepless in Seattle. Might also be nice to go to Central Park,Wall street,Ground Zero, Times Square and the Statue of Liberty. I'm not big on the usual 'touristy' things like museums et al but I did take loads of pictures of street signs and buildings (ironic that's very touristy)and shopping in Macy's in Herald Square, it is massive, really it's on 7 floors and there is a half floor involved and spans multiple blocks and Victoria secret (even if you don't like shopping, you have to visit that Macy's). And if you can visit the iconic 5th Avenue!!!!

    1. PS: Remember going on this trip is a LIFE LIST!!! So ENJOY and make the most of it

  6. Glad to hear Nanny V and her baby are doing well! NYC is so expensive, but it is a life list thing and I do think it's so worth it! Places to recommend - sitting in Bryant Park, walking through Central Park, visit FAO Schwartz and see the big floor piano that was in the movie Big (it is there and I have a pic of Phoebe on it, which is awesome!!!), if you aren't into art museums, I still recommend seeing the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the collections in there are awesome!!! When we meet up, DH and I were wondering if we could take you to dinner. We know some great restaurants in the city, or I should say, he does, LOL! Times Square at night is a must see!!! Rockefeller Plaza and you must take a picture of the Prometheus statue there. Ground Zero is also important, but very emotional.

  7. I think the most I've seen leave my account all in one go was R18 000. It felt a bit unreal, like it wasn't my money to begin with but other than that it was okay. Breathe in...breathe out...I bet you are going to have a great time and then it will be money well spent in my opinion. (Especially if you have it) ;-)

    Congrats to V and her baby!

    And then lastly on the work front I hope that both you and D either get some joy soon where you are or that they right alternative will present itself. We all spend too much time at work to be miserable there. I'd rather earn less (up to a certain limit that will pay Nicola and my basic needs) and do something I enjoy than sign up for 8 hours of torture a day.

  8. I will keep my ear to the ground for your hubby. So sorry to hear that he's not experiencing a good time at work. That sucks big time :(
    Do not stress about the money paid for the trip - I'm someone who would perhaps (I say perhaps because I might have it some day) never have the money, to be able to visit NY. So this is an opportunity only few can have - so stop stressing and enjoy everything regarding the trip, even the money spent.


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