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Spending, Holiday Plans & No More Physio!

December 13th, 2018 at 01:30 pm

I tried replying to Amber's comment last week but my internet was playing up so much the comments wouldn't post. Anyway, we have no problem with managing our bills, it's more when we were overspending we were dipping into the bills money. Now that we've put the spending money and the bills money into separate bank accounts it's been much easier and we've had less problems.

The next thing to try and manage is our weekly spending money. While we've been having heaps of fun by going out lots, we keep on overspending and as a result spend less on groceries (because there's not that much left) and/or add to the credit cards.

Example: this weekend just gone we added $56.34 to my credit card for some of the groceries (after I repaid $68 on this card so I really wasn't thrilled). Then we were left with $70 cash for the rest of the groceries. So far $20 of that has been spent and we are left with $50. It should be ok. I've certainly had to be creative with what I buy for us, which has been fun! The downside of it though is that we end up lacking in the non-essentials for a while, so we are constantly missing stuff. Each week I try to be more aware though, and hopefully we can do better next weekend.

On the upside though we got dressed up for B's work do, went out for breakfast once and dinner twice and got takeaway once. It's fun, but that's where our money is going!

So I'm planning this weekend to be a bit more mindful of what is being spent, hopefully that will make a big difference.

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In other big news we booked the travel for our next holiday. We are traveling by boat to Tasmania with another couple who are very good friends and taking the motorbikes and will do a 7 day ride around Tasmania. We are so excited, it will be great.
The boat fares up and back are $1000 so the plan is to buy Christmas presents with December's pay and to give the money for the fares from January's pay.

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Another exciting development is I had my last physio session during the week!! No more paying $105 per visit, no more tiny lunch breaks on those appointment days and I slowly get to wean myself off the early morning rehab exercises. As of this week I do four mornings with a day off during the middle of the week. (On this day instead I attend to little financial things that need doing eg paying bills, updating spreadsheets etc - I've really missed having this time because it's so hard to do after work).
I was ecstatic and absolutely over the moon on Tuesday when I got told no more appointments are needed!!

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That is all for now, hoping you all have a lovely weekend!!

Payday Tweaking Done

December 2nd, 2018 at 01:01 am

I have so many financial things to write about I could blog daily for a month but free time is minimal (especially leading up to Christmas) so I'll just stick to one of our larger financial matters.

Probably one of the biggest things we've been dealing with lately is adjusting to both being paid monthly on the same day and re-tweaking the budget. In DH's last job he got paid monthly at the end of the month while I get paid monthly in the middle of the month. It kind of meant that we could set aside an amount for bills and withdraw weekly our spending money without worrying if we had overspent really because there was always another pay coming in in the next fortnight.

Then when he changed jobs in May the payday changed to the middle of the month. It was fine in the beginning because we had a little bit of extra money to fall back on, and then I had the broken collarbone so we weren't really overspending because we weren't going out much and we knew what we had was going to doctors and hospitals etc.

By August and September though the extra money had been spent and we were starting to go out more so we actually started running out of money because the buffer we had got used up. In the month of September we actually ran out of money within the first two weeks so the remaining two weeks were not fun at all! It was then that I decided that our current budgeting system had to be tweaked especially as it looked like we were going to run short in our bills account which is a big no-no for me.

We have two bank accounts that barely get used so I decided that we would have the set monthly amount for mortgage and bills left in the bills account and whatever money is left over to be spent on things we both agree on, repaid on credit cards if needed and the remaining money to be divided by four or five weeks (whichever is relevant for that month) and transferred into one of the bank accounts we don't use. The other bank account we don't use is now used as a holding account for short term purchases we want to make (example: the month of October we put $1000 in for our Perth spending money and $400 for the back tyre we were replacing on the Harley).

This updated method has definitely reduced my stress levels as I know what we can spend weekly and there's less likelihood of running out of money. Because we overspent for a few months the credit cards also have balances which we are repaying but I am saving that for another post.

Holiday At Start Of November

November 20th, 2018 at 10:47 pm

Wow it's been a while since I've blogged! I don't completely remember what happened in September but we celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary last month by going out on a motorbike ride to a nice lunch and then visiting wineries, which was definitely a treat!

At the start of this month we went on a short holiday to Perth, which is two states away, to visit one of DH's old friends who only just moved back to Australia, to spend time with him and meet his family. We had a great time socialising, eating out, visiting wineries in their Swan Valley region and sightseeing in Perth and along their coastal region. It was great to see his friend and his family were lovely, his partner was great to get along with and 2yo son was super cute.

Flights were $1000 for the two of us and we spent $1460 for the period 6-11 Nov (5 days) - as well as eating out and drinks, we hired a car which was $467 in total. We saved $1000 spending money last month and the flights are all repaid, everything is now repaid in full. It was a great trip.

That was the first week of November done pretty well Smile. Perth is three hours ahead of us and amazingly we had worse jet lag than coming back from Thailand, which is an eight hour flight away! Thailand is four hours behind us so maybe that has something to do with it.. all I know is I wasn't getting sleepy until 1.30am because that was 10.30pm Perth time! It took until the middle of last week until we were back to normal. Well worth it though Smile.

Share market Shenanigans

August 30th, 2018 at 03:54 am

Before going away to Thailand I had about $5500 in shares in QBE and $750 in MXI (rough amounts) but something major happened in QBE so I decided to sell all the shares to be safe. Then after Thailand we bought the new camper trailer and cleared out most of the money.

I decided to make it fun I'd slowly rebuild the account so in May I bought 1000 PGC at $0.82 and see how they go at 12 weeks. They didn't go far and were not above the purchase price so I sold them at $0.80.

I'd been adding $100 per month in the 12 week period so was ready to buy something at $1.12 or up. Got 1000 shares in UPD at $1.16 and within 2 days of holding them they dropped dramatically down to $1.09. I checked the news and there was an announcement of a buyback and likely delisting due to private takeover. That seemed really risky so I sold at $1.09 as soon as I could. Lucky, as they dropped down to $1.02 and continues to drop.

At the same time I bought the next pick I had, PLG at $1.07. Hopefully there's a better result there (we'll see at the end of 12 weeks). Definitely looking forward to getting some higher value stocks a bit later on as they always seem to be a little less risky.

Home Hair Dye Experiment (successful)

August 27th, 2018 at 04:05 am

I'm not even sure what happened last time I wrote but here's a small financial thing I did a couple of weeks ago - dyed my hair successfully for the first time!

My hairdresser is great and much cheaper than hairdressing salons at $110 for a half head of foils. I always said that if I stopped going to her I'd dye it myself because generally what I get done is nothing magnificent really, just touching up my regrowth and a haircut.

So our security doors were getting installed at the same time as the hair appointment so I tried rescheduling however she didn't have anything for the next month so I got to try out my experiment! I watched some videos on YouTube and then went to a hair supplies shop and they worked out what I would need, the best colours and gave me instructions plus directions on how much of each.

All up it cost $106 however with their ratios I still had half a bowl of dye left over so I actually have enough hair dye left in the tubes for another two dyes! So instead of $110 for foils and haircut it was technically $33 for a tint (per use). I will go back to her in October however as the December appointment is at 6am I am thinking of cancelling that then and doing the tint then too.

New Car Savings, Murphy Strikes Again

August 3rd, 2018 at 12:46 am

I was listing the events that happened each week and keep getting my weeks mixed up, so that's all getting a bit hard! The point is I'm now back in the groove of writing weekly so I'll keep that up without listing each week's number.

Since I wrote last I've been to my post-operation appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon and he believes everything is healing in the way it should, which is great. I've been cleared to drive and resume normal activities within reason but must wear a sling in crowded places. Every day I'm healing a bit more. I'm now going to weekly physio appointments up until the final post-operation appointment at the start of September.

The good money things which have happened is we have found out that B's final car loan payment is next month! As previously agreed, I am going to take part of what we would pay each month and put it towards savings towards my new car. His payment is $742 per month - I would like to get a car for around $25000 in four years time, so worked out to do this would need $520 per month. Hopefully my car will last that long - the engine is pretty good but it is now 15 years old. Need to pick out and organise an internet account with a high interest rate soon 😊.

Now for the bad money things.. as well as having surgery which we had out of pocket costs for to the tune of roughly $3000, we last week decided to make two large purchases (the security doors for $3000 and the exhaust for the Harley for $1200). This would have been fine over a few months. But on Monday night the hot water service blew up. Grrr. That is $1500. Then a night or two later the dishwasher jammed up and it looks like it is a problem to do with the computer board in it... our savings are pretty much cleared out from the hot water service and exhaust so we are washing dishes by hand at the moment. A dishwasher is not a necessity and there has been so much money spent lately the thought of spending more is making me ill. This situation is looking kind of like the spa purchase last year where we repaid the credit card back over four months. Once I have final costs I will work out how much we need to repay per month.

All the same, even with the above expenses I am still determined to set up an account for the car and set up a monthly savings direct debit into it. The thing is, if you have a car loan you will always have to pay it monthly no matter what the situation is so I want us to be disciplined to save in the same way.

Week 28: Back to Work, Big Spending Items

July 26th, 2018 at 12:59 am

Week 28 saw me back at work except for Thursday morning when I had the appointment with the cardiologist. He didn't think my heart problem was too major and thought that my friend's suggestion that it could be linked to thyroid issues (in my case the adrenal glands) was valid so ordered a thyroid test as well as getting me to wear a heart monitor for 24hrs next month. There was no charge for that appointment as it was bulk billed.

The collarbone got better as the week went on and not much was needed in the way of painkillers by the end.

Tuesday was our 19 year anniversary so went out for dinner to celebrate, which was nice. We also went out to lunch on Saturday and to dinner on Sunday night with friends who were visiting.

On Saturday we had two really big spending items (as well as my operation lol) in the way of the security doors I wanted ($1500) and the exhaust B wanted for his Harley ($600). The security doors were a quote which was about to expire and the exhaust was only one of 7 held in Australia (after that they would have to be ordered from overseas which takes a couple of months for this shop); so both were things that we wanted to order asap. Note also that these amounts are 50% deposits with the balance due in about 3 weeks for the doors, the end of the week for the Harley. With these purchases we can expect to live pretty quietly in the next few weeks as they are taking up the bulk of our money until payday in the middle of next month. We both believe they're worth it though.

Ps I see Shiela posting her blog as Week 29, I'm probably a week out? I'm not too bothered though because I'm trying to report what happens weekly and stay accountable, to me that's the most important thing.

Week 27: Surgery Successful, Other Health Problems Now

July 19th, 2018 at 03:13 pm

Well I got through my first ever operation ok. I was so nervous but the hospital was really great and looked after me so well. I would highly recommend private hospitals from this experience. It didn't come off completely without a hitch though.

When I met with the anaesthetist right before the surgery he got the stethoscope out, listened and told me my heart is beating too fast, and hooked me up to a heart monitor. This told us it was beating at a rate of 8-10 extra beats per minute. He said we can still go ahead with the surgery but we will look into it afterwards.

After the surgery I was told that my heart kept on beating at the 8-10 extra beats through the entire surgery and that they would monitor how it is overnight, so I got moved to a high dependency ward and hooked up to a heart monitor. The next day they saw that it had mostly stabilised except for an episode in the morning so they gave me a referral to a local cardiologist (the same one B went to last year) and discharged me.

Recovery from surgery was pretty much a one week process. The first four days I had a lot of muscle soreness so movement was very limited. DH looked after me well and found out how much a nurse really has to do!!! There were a lot of pills to be taken and half of them required food to be eaten first so there was no sleeping in for him as quite a lot had to be done for me. He was so good though and had no problem doing any of it. On the Thursday he took me to the hairdresser to get my hair washed and blow waved which was really lovely ($70, so is definitely a treat!)

There were no extra charges for being put in the high dependency ward, we simply had to pay the $500 excess upon admission. I paid the $2158 to the orthopaedic surgeon a few days before, so now need to get the refund of $743 from Medicare and private health insurance. Probably the other big expenses (kind of) is the parking at $30.75 per day for the Monday and Tuesday - B spent as much time as he was allowed to be there for me. We also went out to dinner on Thursday night ($59.30) and went out to lunch and to a nice chocolate shop on the coast on the Sunday.

The only other financial thing I did was save $100 each for us. Our savings are now about $2600 each in my shares account and in the home loan offset account, so want to gradually add a little bit each month. Eventually when things calm down a bit I'll look at our credit cards as they're creeping up a bit.

All in all, I'm alive and well so all is good 😊.

Weeks 25-26: Broken Collarbone, Surgery Required

July 8th, 2018 at 12:55 am

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about falling off a motorbike and having a sore shoulder. I simply thought it was bad bruising, a soft tissue injury, however have found out that it was a broken collarbone which completely snapped in two and separated about 2cms apart!!

I really have not been in a lot of pain so it was all very surprising. It was also why we didn't go to emergency and get it all fixed straight away.

As I'm not in a lot of pain the public healthcare system hasn't put priority on my injury. The doctor referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon but said as long as the appointment is within 3 weeks that will be fine. The surgeon he referred me to wasn't available until 24 July and my nurse friend told me that is way too far away: I'm at risk of a worse fracture or it healing up wrong, needing surgery and requiring it to be re-broken in the process. Ugh.

I found a reputable surgeon who was available four days later and saw me last Tuesday. He strongly suggested surgery (joining both bones up with a plate and 3-4 screws).. I don't want it however he has said that it will take 4-6 months to heal with no guarantee of the collarbone rejoining, so then surgery would be required anyway. Therefore I have agreed to have the surgery, which takes place tomorrow morning.

It could have been a day surgery but the surgeon said to stay overnight does not cost much more and it is better to be monitored on the first day so I can get appropriate pain meds. Also it is an hour's drive from home so could be a very rough journey home straight after a surgery.

We are using our private health insurance for this as it is a time-sensitive issue. So far these are the costings:

Physio $105
X-ray $113
Orthopaedic surgeon consultation $110 ($200 - $90 refundable back from Medicare)
Orthopaedic surgeon surgery fee $1435 ($2158 - $723 refundable back from Medicare and private health ins)
Anaesthetist estimated surgery fee $750
Private health ins excess for hospital (surgery & staying there afterwards) $500 (private health ins then pays whatever the balance is)

TOTAL: $3013


I spent this weekend getting our finances up to date and have found that we had a surplus last month of $2109 so there will not be much to pay for out of this month's spending money and there is no need to dip into savings (yay!!)

I have been instructed to take a week off work on sick leave to recover, and B is taking two days off to take me to the hospital, be there during the surgery and look after me the next day when he brings me home. He has looked after me so well since the accident Smile.


Wish me luck!! Will let you know how it goes when I am able.