No House, No Worries?

Living below the poverty line these past three years have taught me a thing or two. I’ve been forced to learn some lessons, while others have come after reflection on my woeful situation.

LESSON ONE: Debt is cancerous

A month before my last fulltime job went away, I purchased a car on my credit card. That debt has not gone away, 3 years down the track. The interest, combined with the auto insurance and various other bills, is stopping me from paying off anything, since I’m only getting welfare while I study. So I’ve spent all of my time since being gainfully employed with a huge added burden. I could have sold the car, but that would have only been a temporary fix. I have needed a car many, many times these past years. The only safety net I have is living here with my parents. But they still charge board.

LESSON TWO: Apparently, nobody gives a moderately educated mid-twenties gal a job.

This one was a surprise, but in retrospect I understand it – despite it making me quite angry.

Turns out over-qualification is a real thing. And I have it. Plus, low-skill jobs always overlook the adults for the fresher faces that cost less, regardless of their work calibre.

It also turns out that I’m either under-qualified or under-experienced for the jobs on my career path. This one I’ve been working really hard to overcome, but so far it’s been no good. This is why I’ve been looking into getting a Masters degree after my Advanced Diploma: like our favourite treasurer, Joe Hockey, says: “Earn or Learn” – and earning is evading me continuously.

LESSON THREE: Wollongong is good and bad for being unemployed

Jobs? What jobs?

But at least the housing is… almost affordable.

LESSON FOUR: You have to get creative in how to survive on very little, while still investing in your future… somehow

A wealthy person may well stick their nose up at the fact I am frequently buying parts or accessories for my computer, or buying coffee while I am out and about.

Okay, I can’t justify the coffee except that I NEED IT FOREVER… but, as for the computer equipment: I can’t just sit by and watch my computer succumb to age and obsolescence. For someone like me, whose very future depends on her ability to use the latest design and video software, how am I supposed to work on a core duo processor and 2 gigs of RAM? How can I market myself as a photographer if I don’t have a DSLR? As an artist if I don’t have a graphics tablet?

So how can I afford it?

Well, I tread a very delicate path. I give up a LOT. Buy a beer at the pub? Psh, who am I, Richard Branson? Go shopping? Uh no, I have important being at home to do, where my money stays safely in my bank account.

Haircut? It can wait another few months, right? Shoes? Bro, I am wearing these sandals until they turn to dust under my feet. Clothing? Thank goodness for hand-me-downs and Millers sales.

Go to the movies? Ha, I don’t think so. I’ll borrow the DVD from you when you get that. Music? Uh, my Beatles collection is good enough for now.

LESSON FIVE: You gotta get thinking about how not to be homeless

Homelessness is an actual worry for me. I mean, I live with my parents today, but they’re getting on in their years. And what if they both died tomorrow in a car crash? They haven’t come close to paying off the mortgage on this house. There is no inheritance.

This has been the most recent lesson I’ve learned. I’m still working it out, but there is only one realistic way I can currently start living away from home…

Getting a cheap old caravan, and finding someone who’ll let me park it on their land.

So it’s come to this. I’m gonna be trailer trash.

Okay, I am a highly educated young person with a potentially bright future, so I can’t submit to boganity just yet. However, it just might take some years living like a retiree in a shoebox to get my finances back in order. And that’s okay.

In fact, it could be a smart move.

As I live in a spartan manner, I am sure to save money, after paying off my debts that is.

Eventually, I will be able to buy land.

And later, a proper home to put there.

A crummy 1977 Millard might be my ticket to freedom.

Care to… donate to my cause?

101 Things in 1001 Days (Redux)

I’ve just started a new list on Day Zero – 101 Things in 1001 Days. I had one going on my old website, but I’ve decided to start again with fresh goals. This will keep me motivated to do interesting things, I think. I’ve even vowed to write at least 1 blog post a fortnight. We will see how long THAT lasts…


  1. Do Sutherland to Surf
  2. Write a blog post at least every 2 weeks for min 6 months
  3. Attend a drawing class
  4. Make a 30 things by 30 list
  5. Write a song
  6. Do work experience at WIN
  7. Get a pair of shoes that doesn’t give me blisters
  8. Win NaNoWriMo twice
  9. Have high tea
  10. Have a Eurovision party
  11. Win a photography competition
  12. Go to Teppanyaki
  13. Draw a portrait
  14. Escape debt spiral
  15. Make an animated short film
  16. Lose 20kg
  17. Get a full time job that I like
  18. Learn Adobe Encore
  19. Read a novel
  20. Make a live action short film
  21. Exercise every day for two weeks
  22. Eat okonomiyaki
  23. Get a better camera lens
  24. Have a spa day
  25. Stop working on a checkout
  26. Buy something from ThinkGeek
  27. Visit Fiji
  28. Visit Coffs Harbour
  29. Pick 3 things to start and finish on
  30. Get Liver Bird tattoo
  31. Go hanggliding
  32. Learn to make a basic Android app
  33. Document one month of my life in photographs
  34. Watch 26 movies I’ve never seen starting with each letter of the Alphabet In Progress
  35. Make a new friend
  36. Write a letter to myself to be opened when the 1001 days is over Complete
  37. Write a short story
  38. Write a poem
  39. Write and illustrate a children’s book
  40. Sing karaoke at a bar
  41. Make a wish on 12/12/12 at 12:12
  42. Design and name a cocktail
  43. Watch a movie from every year since moviemaking began
  44. Take a free online class
  45. Attend a live taping of a TV show
  46. Learn 50 new things by clicking the random articles button on Wikipedia
  47. Attend a film festival
  48. Go through closet and get rid of old clothes
  49. Beat 5 video games.
  50. Create a budget and stick to it
  51. Update my website In Progress
  52. Finish my “A Rapunzel Story 2012” animation
  53. Fill a sketchbook with drawings
  54. Make my own WordPress theme
  55. Sell one of my photos
  56. Watch every Disney animated classic
  57. Host a movie marathon
  58. Watch all films by Miyazaki
  59. Cook dinner about once a week or more In Progress
  60. Save $1 for each completed task In Progress
  61. Go a month without buying anything that isn’t a necessity In Progress
  62. Design my own t-shirt
  63. Learn 50 new words
  64. Create a Little Big Planet 2 level
  65. Attend a wedding
  66. Create a photographic series of my own design
  67. Practice drawing poses and expressions for 10 minutes every day for 2 weeks
  68. Spend a day making art with a friend
  69. Try rotoscope animation
  70. Get medication for my anxiety
  71. Buy no more than 1 lunch per week at TAFE except in an emergency In Progress
  72. Go a month without eating hot chips In Progress
  73. Refrain from buying alcohol for 2 months In Progress
  74. Watch and try all tutorials for Toon Boom Animate Pro
  75. Submit a film to a film festival
  76. Get paid for doing something I enjoy for once
  77. Spend a whole day in a good mood
  78. Go rollerskating
  79. Buy PS Move Complete
  80. Play a fitness video game every day for a month (min. 10 minutes)
  81. Spend a day wearing makeup
  82. Go a day without caffeine
  83. Use CalorieKing for at least 2 months In Progress
  84. Make a loaf of bread from scratch
  85. Make a simple video game
  86. Create a pixel artwork
  87. Get off Centrelink
  88. Think positively about the future for once
  89. Practice animation by copying a few seconds of an existing cartoon
  90. Make a list of 50 places I would like to visit in my lifetime
  91. Lose at least 2kg for every 1kg gained
  92. Spend a day exploring and photographing my neighborhood
  93. Digitally paint a scene from a fairy tale
  94. One year, instead of NaNoWriMo, storyboard an animation
  95. Complete a course In Progress
  96. Cook a three course meal
  97. Take a photo of each task completed In Progress
  98. Cancel my Quickflix account FOR REAL
  99. Do something awesome with and
  100. Play Skyrim with mods
  101. Reach 20,000 tweets In Progress