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Archive for June, 2015

June 30 -Halfway through the Challenges

June 29th, 2015 at 04:02 pm

The moment I've been waiting for has arrived! We're halfway through the two challenges created, yay. So to officially mark where we are $2438 has been saved for the 52 week challenge and $2458.04 has been saved for the Banking the Difference challenge, a total of $4896.04 saved. Woohoo!

Credit card debt is roughly $7.5k now ($4541 for CC1, $3003 for CC2, so rounding down we can say $7.5k), down from $9.1k at the start of the challenge. The EF was $2651 (up from $0) but unfortunately I had to withdraw $265.76 to cover the balance of personal and business spending expenses for the week. And then there's also $745 in the mortgage home offset account.

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With the savings for the party, we have enough to cover expenses and live on the bare minimum because we are short $4200 which I've earmarked as to be put straight to the party when these funds arrive. So we have the option of using credit cards to cover the shortfall or borrow from the EF. As we have the choice to choose from either I'm going to borrow from the EF. The EF is held in an online trading account separate from our bank (mind you I don't think I've traded for a couple of years! That will change as the EF grows) and earns a pitiful amount of interest, so while we might not earn interest there, at least we're not going to be paying extra interest on the credit cards.

Last weekend we had a birthday party at a restaurant so that was expensive and had to repay $265.76 on our credit cards that we overspent. I'm going to start a tally of how much needs to be paid back to the EF, so far $265.76.

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B's earnings for 11 months of the year are now $37633, tax payable $3777 (up from $3115). Will need to make up the difference of $662.

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Frugal things I've been doing: instead of buying invitations we designed them off a free template, did four to a page and glued them to a thicker paper backing. Found among our wedding invitation things 17 unused good quality envelopes worth $8.95 (woohoo) so only had to buy 20 envelopes. Envelopes, glue, textas and thick paper cost: $10.50.

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FrugalTexan inspired me with her banana and oat pancakes! I had a day off today so made them this morning, they were so yum!

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Super happy today, I feel like we've done so well!!!

Week 23 Update

June 28th, 2015 at 04:12 am

We're now 2 days from being halfway through the challenges (June 30) and I look forward to marking the occasion with a post. It's all going well and on Friday I got our half yearly bonus from my boss for $980. I was very happy about that because I took $1000 out of the EF to pay towards my study subject and I was then able to transfer it back into the EF (did it Saturday).

I spent a lot of the week being really worried about how we will come up with $4000 in 6 weeks without relying on savings or credit cards. I could feel anxiety coming on all the time and it was giving me a stomach ache.. Had to deal with it! Then in a moment of a mishap the answer presented itself.

B got paid on Thursday but I noticed he got paid for an invoice dated the middle of the month while there were still invoices dated the 1st, 4th and also a couple of 14th invoices (he sent out 4 invoices that day). So I asked him what was going on and he told me he was working for two different guys in the same company and one guy is new and so far not so good. The outstanding invoices are for his work. B said he will follow up (clearly as this guy is new B has to be speaking with him regularly to ensure the right thing is being done).

I looked at what is outstanding- it's $4200, so after tax will be $3800. We paid a deposit for the party of $300, leaving $3700. I realised as the invoices are old, B has since earned enough to cover expenses that are upcoming and I can earmark the outstanding invoices as savings for the party!! Yay!!! No more anxiety! We may have to dip into the EF for a couple of weeks but it looks like we may need a few hundred not much more. Have been feeling so relieved.

Another relief is my MIL who has onset Alzheimer's/dementia has been ruled unfit to drive. This has been a huge worry because I know that she wouldn't have the reflexes to avoid an accident if a situation presented itself and she's so independent that she would not see reason and continued to drive. And the fact that even though she has onset Alzheimer's/dementia the tests for being fit to drive were yearly not quarterly- so much can change even in a quarter, I thought they were all mad! I know she will have adjusting to do but it's for the better good. People don't realise that driving a car is operating a piece of heavy machinery and that they could take somebody's life. Am *so* relieved with this decision.

Week 22 & We Are Having a Party After All

June 22nd, 2015 at 12:54 am

It's now week 22 of the challenge and everything is going well. Banking the Difference challenge is on hold until after B's birthday as we now need to come up with about $4000 in 6 weeks

We confirmed the party venue this morning. $4000 might be too much but it's the absolute maximum we will spend. We worked out the list and there are about 100 people on it. So if all 100 people came, that's what we would spend. (I doubt everyone would come though, there are always people who can't make it to these things).

We were on track to come up with half the money by the end of the month but then B's drill broke and a replacement cost $660. That definitely cut into the profit.

We have been spending as little as possible and have been trying to be creative with ways to save money, we just need no more big repairs or things to be replaced. But at least we have savings there to use if needed. I just don't want to use them because I know how much effort went into getting the savings in the first place.

50 Week Challenge Week 21

June 15th, 2015 at 04:50 am

It's now very close to being halfway through the challenges (will be June 30), which is pretty exciting.

At June 30 there should be $2619.06 in the EF, CC1 should be down to $4564.38 and CC2 should be down to $3003.43 - definitely a better place than where we were at the start of the year when things were oh so desperate. It's a nice feeling and great to be progressing in the right direction.

We still don't know about the party yet. We wrote up a list and there would be around 90 people (B has a big family). We found a venue and are waiting to hear if it is available. If we have the party, we will not be going away on a holiday this year, we would just be camping. People say "do both" which is annoying, because clearly they don't get it - sometimes you have to impose limits or you will just be blowing all your money away on frivolous things, and what will you have to show for it? Wonderful memories but also not much else. Low savings. Credit card debt. I'm trying to move us away from that.

So still no decision but we have researched and are waiting for an answer back, so it's all in the works, we'll see what happens.

No more interest free period on B's CC

June 12th, 2015 at 08:10 pm

At the start of the year (in one of our many money saving moves), we switched B's credit card from the high rate of 20% to the lowest possible rate with the same bank of 13.49%.

Then I noticed (and mentioned it in some of my blog entries) that no interest was getting charged. I wasn't complaining trust me Smile

Well last week we got a letter in the mail from the bank- we realised we made an error and did not charge any interest, as of this date you will be charged interest as per that particular credit card rate.

Thankfully they made no mention of back charging the interest, so I'm glad about that. And we got five months of no interest! I was able to include a couple of months in my challenge- I think around $120. So that's the end of that snowflake, I'm guessing monthly interest now will be around $35.

Financial & Non-Financial Going Ons

June 8th, 2015 at 01:16 am

Had a really spendy start to June. Got my hair done ($105), the car exhaust system replaced ($580) and then bought a new suit ($285). I had to replace it anyway so I thought may as well do it to wear to a fancy lunch. The suit was bought on my credit card - I repaid $85 this weekend, have $200 to go. The car exhaust system and my hairdo were bought using extra money in the home loan offset account. Will be repaid by the end of the month.

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When doing B's tax I calculated how much he earned and to the end of April it was $34596, tax on that is $3115 - we have paid $2400 so have to start making up the difference, $200 has already been saved and we will make up the balance soon.

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One of my games I play on my iPad is words with friends and one of their new options is to play in another language- I studied Italian all through high school so I thought why not? It's so much fun!! It's like this whole new little world has opened up, am really enjoying it.

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Just finished a really great book last night called The October List by Jeffrey Deaver - it was slow to start (which wasn't a problem with me as I've been a bit too busy to be engulfed in a book - a chapter here or there has worked well for me) but last night I was able to sit down and read the last three chapters (which were long), did not disappoint! I guessed half of the ending but the rest of the ending took me by surprise, delivered lots of twists and turns, which every thriller should. Highly recommend it.

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Today I took the dog to my friend's place, who lives by the beach and went for an hour and a half walk with my friend and her 5yo son, was a really lovely morning Smile

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And finally, my last piece of news of what has been going on in my life lately - B's 40th party. We didn't know what we were going to do for it, and B was ummming and ahhhing, and thinking of perhaps going away on a holiday instead. It looks like we will most likely have the party. I have no idea how many people will come - the list we drew up was 88 in total but some people live interstate, and it is likely that they won't be able to come. We're looking at having it at our house (there'll be a fair bit of work there) and B said to just do finger food, but we thought we will also check out catering. The caterer we used for my 30th now has a website (um my 30th was quite a few years ago now!) and their prices look reasonable - $15.90 per adult for 3 meats, 4 salads & 3 desserts, $11.90 per child.

We're thinking of going with the catering option (I can't see myself handling the food for 88 people maximum singlehanded!), and providing the alcohol also. (More calculations required there).

The party is exactly 2 months away (on a Saturday) so we need to do proper calculations (especially for the alcohol portion!), prepare invitations this weekend and book the caterer. I hope we go ahead with it, I'm starting to get excited! I already have various ideas going through my head.

Financially it will probably be a stretch, but I think once we start to have concrete estimations of price we will be more motivated to save whatever we have towards the party, especially as it's only 2 months away. If we go ahead with the party, the 50 week challenge will still be proceeding as normal, but I will be putting the Banking the Difference challenge on hold for the 2 months while we are saving for the party instead.

Banking The Diff deposit $109 + $22 Football Win -Yay!!

June 7th, 2015 at 06:17 am

Banking the difference deposits made Thursday last week - been slack with my blog posts but not the actual financial doings!! Hope you're all wellSmile

50 Wk Challenge Week 20 Has Been Paid

June 7th, 2015 at 06:13 am

shortest blog entry ever!

Can't Wait for SA to Fix This Problem, Can't Read Blog Posts :(

June 7th, 2015 at 12:49 am

I'm logged in to the site but once I try to open the blog there are about four lines in jibberish saying "error". Can't wait to see it fixed!