App Review – Monefy

It’s without a doubt that I spend a lot of my time on my phone (my trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 4) each day, reading stuff on blogs, going on social media, as well as making phone calls. I figured, that given that the majority of you will own a smartphone, I’d review a few of my favourite apps for the Android OS. Sorry iPhone users, I don’t use one anymore & can’t review any!

I tweeted this week about the money tracker app that I recently purchased, Monefy. I tried the free version for a while & liked it & decided to fork over the money for the full version (AUD$2.58). I’ve been doing Google surveys & have earned quite a nice sum in the Play store, hence the decision to buy it was a pretty easy one.

The full version has the ability to password lock, sync to Dropbox & a few other features. I particularly like the visual display & the pastel colours of the app. I’m a bit of a visual person, and being able to see the percentage of my money being allocated to certain categories is really handy.

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Please forgive the stickers, I’d rather keep my actual balance sheet private. The balance at the bottom shows you how much is left after you spend stuff. The ability to categorise spending works well for the librarian in me, there isn’t a shortage of categories to choose from either – going from house, bills, eating out, groceries, right to entertainment, taxis, toiletries & clothes. Now if you’re not like Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) & makes excuses to categorise dining tables from a trip away as essential items, I think you’ll survive.

You can view your spending in daily, weekly, monthly or yearly modes & even go into a budget mode where every dollar is allocated to something – including savings. I’m by no mean a financial expert but I love dealing with figures & coming up with ways to challenge myself to save more & pay off my mortgage sooner. That would be another post for another day.

The ability to be able to enter purchases or bills in advance is really handy if you’re short on time or forget to account for recurring expenditure or bills. I’ve entered my mortgage payments in a few times & also my utilities. It’s been a pretty good visual representation of how each dollar is spent. You can also enter if you paid cash or card for certain things. Helpful if you need to keep track of how much plastic gets used in planning for potential credit card spend control.

There are many more features to this app & I’ll be playing around with it some more & might report back at a later date. So far, I’d give it a 4.5/5. Just cause I can’t set recurring expenses like mortgage payments to occur. Other than that, a fantastic app!

What’s your favourite money tracker app? Let me know!

Garden Updates April 2015

The cold has just started to set in properly, the mercury dipped down to a chilly 11 degrees last night! The days are getting shorter & it is certainly getting harder to crawl out of bed in the dark each morning & drag myself to work.

I’ve planted my winter veggies in their mini greenhouse – kale, Brussel sprouts, purple broccoli & green broccoli. They look like they’re taking a while to make an appearance & are slowly growing in the shade.

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My Mila radishes are almost ready to eat, my basil has almost stopped producing & my butter beans & snake beans are giving out the last of their wares. The peas that I’ve put in last month are making a steady appearance with the cold. I’ve created a decent amount of pesto from my basil, given that I was late in planting them out this season. I must say, I’m pretty proud of the pesto. It’s the first time I’ve made it from home grown basil.

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I’ve also put in a fresh crop of silverbeet & rainbow chard as my current plants have been going for a good 5 months or so. I figured it was time to remove the old, revitalise the soil & put in some more. They were one of my better producing crops, with very little maintenance required apart from keeping the bugs away!

Being verge collection in the neighbouring council, we managed to get some nice big pots & I have made a start on more planting with them. I’ve put in the long white icicle radish & have plans for a few more items like leeks & onions just to make use of the portable space afforded with the pots.

I’ve got many other things growing in the garden too at the moment – chillis (Devil’s Brew, jalepenos & 2 other unknown types), capsicum, sweet potato, carrots, broad beans & chives to name a few. It’s going to be a pretty good growing season ahead!

What have you got in your garden this month?

The Week That’s Been

It’s been one of those weeks post public holidays that is a 5 day week but feels shorter. Anyone else with me? It’s just weird.

It hasn’t been a particularly exciting week, mainly cause things at work has been very quiet & I’m waiting to hear back on the job hunting front. The problem with having a job while looking for another is the ability to take time off work to attend interviews. I haven’t dared to apply for as many positions as I would’ve liked because of this, but the ones I’m picking & choosing are my better picks in a sense. Better to hedge my bets at this point than lose my job completely.

Here’s my week in pictures!

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I found a plant growing in a drain in St Georges Terrace while walking to work one day. Someone on Instagram pointed out that things just grow where they want sometimes, which reminded me of tenacity & when there’s a will, there’s a way. Was good motivation to keep me perky in my job hunting.

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Matt & I were chatting about playing Borderlands 2 this weekend when this typo came about. Haha luckily I knew what was going on, but I haven’t seen him type so many messages so quick in a while!

I’ve got a few things on my list of things to do this weekend which include:
– Studying
– Fixing some broken plugins on my blog
– Sorting out my phone data sharing issues
– Sorting out my TV warranty & repair

What have you got planned for your weekend? Anything remotely exciting? Comment below!

Colouring My Stress Away

I recently got the adult colouring book, Secret Garden & some colour pencils to give it a try. I’ve spent about 15 mins the past 2 nights colouring in & it’s been a great stress relief.

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I’m forecasting hours of Zen like colouring in. The book itself is made of really think, high quality paper & there more than enough pages to last me a year or so of colouring. There are some pages which allow for you to colour in & solve some puzzles which is a great way to blow off steam. There’s just something about doing the simple act of focussing & colouring within the lines! Brings me back to my childhood days, where things were much simpler.

April Goals

I know it’s a bit late to be talking about goals for April but I’ve always been a late bloomer, so this is pretty fitting! I have always been someone who looks to the end result rather than the journey & what better way to measure stuff than by setting myself some goals to achieve. These are my short term goals for the month which are building blocks for my goals in 2015.

1. To put in at least 5 job applications this month.
I’ve submitted 2 last night & am on the lookout for other suitable ones to put in for as I want to hedge my bets & not put in willy nilly. I can’t afford to take too much time off work to attend interviews as I’m a casual & my main boss has no idea I’m looking for work. My immediate colleagues & team have some clue to what’s going on, but I haven’t told them outright as I don’t particularly like jinxing myself.

2. Keep on top of studies.
I’ve fallen off the bandwagon for a bit & have nearly clambered back on to it. I’ve got another 4 pieces of assessment due this semester & I’m going to see it through to its completion, hopefully with a decent enough grade.

3. Fix my TV.
It sort of blew up in January & I’ve been dragging my heels to fix it as I can’t quite afford to fork out a lot of money to get it done. I’m hoping that once I get an estimate & when I get myself a proper job, I should be able to haul the damn thing to the shops to fix. If anyone has any contacts on where to go to fix it on the cheap, please let me know!

4. Get back on the blogging bandwagon.
Another bandwagon I need to get back on as I find it cathartic to be able to write & relax after what can almost always be boring days at work. Writing stuff for me as well as an audience is what I strive & am hoping to get better at it & achieve a balance I am comfortable with.

Since there’s not much left to April, these are my main targets amongst other smaller ones, like pay my bills & the like. So tell me, what are your goals of the month?

Perth Suburbs

It has certainly been a while since I last blogged, but the #ThursdayBlogChat with Jess from The Belle Lumiere and Kirstie tonight has given me that little push to write something tonight!

 

I was AWOL for a while as I was a bit burnt out from work & the whole job application/rejection cycle. I decided I needed to just chillax & not worry about work or uni or my blog over the Easter break. It certainly proved a much needed break as I just played video games for most of the long weekend & didn’t think about work or uni. It’s like deja vu all over again as with my previous job, I was constantly stressed & neglected a lot of things.

 

I read this article yesterday and it just reminded me about the whole “why did you build up North?” conversation I have had with many people. I’ve found myself having to justify why I chose to build my house in the Northern suburbs (aka South Geraldton!) so many times, and I was often left feeling stupid or bad that I made that choice. I have certainly researched it before building, yet that little hint of doubt creeps back every now & then.

 

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But then again, I look at this picture & remind myself that I have made a choice & I am doing much better than a lot of people. It’s all about the bigger picture!

 

Ross Noble Tangentleman Tour

I had the chance to watch Ross Noble’s 2015 Australian Tour, Tangentleman over the weekend. I just admit, I’ve been living under a stone as I didn’t know who Ross Noble is or what they did, some friends were going so I agreed to go along. I figured, it couldn’t be bad as they’ve been before to other tours.

We watched the Saturday session over at the Regal Theatre and boy oh boy did I enjoy it! I went in not knowing what to expect, which in my opinion, is not such a bad thing as I wouldn’t be biased either way. We sat down in the theatre to this sight:

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I still didn’t have any thoughts towards the whole thing yet, so I sat patiently waiting for the show to start. There was an ad that came on the screen for a charity that Ross was supporting (haha, we’re on first name basis now) called Riders for Health http://www.riders.org which gives people in disadvantaged countries skills & motorcycles to be able to provide health care to otherwise unreachable places. I thought it was a pretty nifty program & proceeds from the merchandise were going directly to this charity. I thought it was nice for Ross Noble to be doing that.

Anyway, the show then started & it was magnificent! He interacted with the front row of the audience & went on so many tangents from so many random things. I’m pretty sure you could not script the things he came up with. Like cmon, owl sex, give me krill & Darcy Watkins?? People at that particular show would know what I’m talking about. His jokes & demeanour was absolutely worth side splitting laughter & headache that ensued after. Tickets were well worth it as they were under $50 for the show that ran about 2.5 hours long, with a 15 minute interval. More bang for your buck than say, Russell Peters which was almost $200 but ran only for about an hour or so. Then again, they’re entirely different leagues so I really shouldn’t be comparing.

I would give that show a 5 out of 5 for its ingenuity, originality & randomness. To entertain a large crowd for nearly 2 hours takes some skill, especially when it’s largely freestyle. Kudos to the guy. 100% will be watching the next time he tours!

Ways to De-Stress

I’ve been in a bit of a foul mood yesterday (I blame PMS!) & have only just started really getting my head out of the funk today. I’ve been thinking about the things that can lighten my mood & make me less snappy & came up with the list below.

1. Listening to radio or music

I’m quite lucky that my boss and workplace allows me to listen to music/radio as long as my work is done. The office can get quite noisy at times which is quite distracting,
most staff have earphones plugged into the computer & listen to things on YouTube or radio. Being able to tune into music & just concentrate on that plus work really helps with getting my head back into the right space.

 

2. Having a quick browse on the Internet
Being able to quickly hop on to one of my favourite blogs or cooking websites helps me break up the monotony of the day. Browsing yummy food on the Internet definitely takes my mind away from things!

 

3. Taking a relaxing shower/bath

This has to be one of the more relaxing things for me. The hot water really loosens & relaxes my muscles, which in turn helps with making me feel at ease & more comfortable. It helps if I also have some nice smelling shower gels to use. Coming out of the shower/bath feeling squeaky clean is one of the best feelings!

 

4. Watching TV

Need I say more about the idiot box?

 

How do you relax after a stressful day? Leave your comment below, I‘d love to find out to add to the things I can do to help :)

Unmotivated

It’s now week 3 of uni & I’ve fell into a bit a heap, study wise. I had a site visit yesterday which I had to take time off from work for, which in the end, I didn’t learn much from due to a few reasons. I was with a bunch of noisy first years & I’m a learner who prefers to do their own thing at their own pace. To have so many people around me who knew each other, was a little intimidating to be honest. I can talk to CEOs & Directors but I can’t cope with 40 other students. Go figure.

I also spent a lot of my first year as an OT supporting someone who worked at the site & it brought back so many memories, both good & bad. It reminded me so much of how my old career intersects with my new. It’s strange. It also didn’t help that the bulk of the group were first year students, so the content of the site visit was very much aimed that way. I had to sit through explanations of stuff I do on a daily basis, no offence but I just wasn’t patient enough to do that yesterday, given that I had just sacrificed some work time for it. It just wasn’t enough bang for my buck. Literally.

I did pick up some things which I guess helped a bit but it’s mostly what I do on a daily basis in my job anyway. Just in a government department instead of the private sector. And on a much smaller scale. The thing that I took from the whole session is that they are hiring & for us to apply.

I know I sound pessimistic at the moment but I’m so unmotivated & am exhausted from it all. I work hard for things but don’t see results, which I guess deters me & unmotivates me in a way. I hate being on this head space & in a rut. I’m waiting on news to see if my interview 2 weeks ago went any good, I really need to be earning decent money again. And I need to be doing what I want to do. In which career, it doesn’t matter so much to me anymore, as long as I am able to have a balance in life.

Need to get it all out of me today to try to purge myself of all the negativity & reinvigorate my brain. It’s just been one of those days.

Garden Updates March 2015

The weather has just started to turn to the colder weather of autumn with the much cooler nights. Tropical Cyclone Olwyn is in the State’s North at the moment & we will be feeling the effects of that in the Perth metro area tomorrow or so, with a deluge of rain. I don’t mind rain so much if I’m indoors & don’t have to be anywhere urgently. It’s when I have to be somewhere & it is storming when I really don’t like it all. I remember the one time where it was in the middle of winter & I was drenched from feet to knees from trying to get from my car to a site that I was visiting & I didn’t have spare pants in the car. That was an experience in itself.

The cooler temperatures of autumn has brought about a bit of a change with my veggie garden; the tomato plants have stopped flowering, the brown grass patch is now slowly turning green again and all my plants aren’t getting scorched from the summer heat!

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My snake beans have been growing rather well, with the longest of them measuring a whooping 30cm! I’m pretty excited to see these as they were pretty easy to plant & look after. All they required were some supports so that they could creep & some general fertiliser in the pot I put them in. Considering the space they take up, they produce pretty good yields & I would recommend them for the amateur gardener any day.

In the past week, I’ve put in some purple sprouting broccoli, brussels sprouts, peas & some radishes. It will be May before I even can look at harvesting any of them, but I guess it will be worth the wait if they all germinate in the moderate weather.

What are you planting in your garden for winter? Let me know in the comments below.

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