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Archive for November, 2015

$14 For The Rest Of November? Maybe...

November 28th, 2015 at 04:46 am

November finances have been an absolute shambles for me, because of visiting my Nan to say goodbye. I have been watching my spending like a hawk and trying to cut back wherever possible...

Mortgage and bills was semi-high, coming to $1441, due to usual bills plus a water bill, gas bill and council rates (property taxes). Savings & debt repayment lower than usual at $429 (still 12% of my pay though),but it's basically just 52 wk savings and credit card balance transfer repayment only.

Health items was $175 due to my $140 dentist visit today. No matter how poor I may be at the moment there is no way I'm re-scheduling that because I know I may not re-schedule that for a while and it will stretch out to the next visit. Happily only a clean and polish was required today. My dentist said one of my silver fillings is starting to wear and may need to be replaced, but will check on my next visit (May-June next year). Glad to keep up the maintenance on these things though, because prevention is better than cure.

Shopping was $300, which is about normal. Petrol was only $20, because B filled up my car at the end of last month and it lasted that long.

My main other spending item was I bought a pair of work shoes last night. My last pair I bought for $120 and they lasted 18 months (possibly 3 months too long, but anyway!). They were good leather so I was looking for something about the same. You guys have Black Friday sales and here we have been having four-day Cyber sales to match it, so we have been getting all of your US brands cheap. As a result, the Australian retailers are trying to match the sales to not miss out. So, I got a good pair of leather shoes worth $140 for $65. The shoes are not a want, but a need as my old shoes had holes in both soles and the leather on top was coming apart. And they were a bargain buy - would rather pay $65 than $120/$140.

Which brings me to Nana's trip. I put the whole price of $1359 into my spending app as well as all of my expenses, but knew that I could not afford to pay back $1359 in one whole month. So I figured I would adjust the amount I was over down and carry forward whatever was owed into the next month. So I am at $745 over. $1359 - $745 = $614.

So I'm thinking what if I can only spend $14 for the rest of November and then I will have paid back $600 against the $1359 trip.... This will involve instead of doing a full shopping trip just buying bits and pieces for the next couple of days and making up the difference in December.

An inventory of the food needed brings me to coffee pods (can get for $4), meat for the dog ($3-$5) and something for dinner... We have beef already and a couple of rolls, maybe just get a couple more ($0.80 each) and lettuce ($2-$3)...

Then $1359 - $600 = $759 carried forward towards next month, and at least I have a big payment to show for all of the scrimping and saving done! I don't know if I can pay back the $759 next month, but I will try.

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! (we don't celebrate it in Oz however)

Holiday Fund Snowflakes, Credit Card Payments

November 18th, 2015 at 02:42 am

I got my tax refund a couple of weeks ago, which included a $203.00 snowflake(the rest was simply repaying the EF, which has also been done). Add to that a $30 Safeway gift card for my three weeks of spending over $100 per week on groceries a few months ago, another $10 gift voucher for Safeway and a Paypal refund of $15.00 for a top I bought for my spring capsule which wasn't in stock after all. (I didn't see any like that for that price, so decided I couldn't be bothered and claimed it as a snowflake!).

The total amount added to the holiday fund was $258.00, bringing the holiday fund to $518.00. As earlier discussed, the holiday is on the backburner so this will be the last deposit for the year I imagine.

Banking the Difference is now $4,076.54, so that plus $5,300.00 will bring an anticipated year end balance of $9,376.54. In a way better place than this time last year!!!

I paid the balance of the $303.00 monthly balance transfer payment, that card is now at $3,034.00. There is still a balance of around $30.00 on the original credit card. One day I'll clear it out completely!

I also repaid the last of the New Zealand expenses on the original credit card (which I use as a transaction card).

Have barely been spending, have been spending lots of time studying for my degree unit which is near its end, and my body is at its end of its tether also. Battling sinus and a toothache and possible ear infection - but really I think it's all sinus-related. Tired and achy is not a great thing. At least the financial house looks a bit more orderly! (Other than that life here is not too bad, husband and animals are well).

Thailand On The Backburner

November 14th, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Things are slowly getting back to normal here. After nearly two weeks of work off, this week I had a massively busy week at work. I now feel like I'm getting back to what I considered normal in terms of my workload, five days on.

On Friday night I went to visit one of my friends who is also going on the Thailand trip. Hadn't seen her in a while so I thought a catchup would be good.

When I asked her if she'd heard anything about when we're going she told me that one of our other friends who is also going has just found out she has ovarian cancer. It's too early to know what stage it is, but I'm praying it's an early stage and she can be operated on, have chemo? and go into remission. Praying for her.

She hasn't said anything because she's still processing it, she has three girls under 10, so you can imagine how scared she would be.

The Thailand deal is open for two years so it doesn't matter if we go later. Her health is the first priority, so we will see what happens with her first, then make plans. I'm still going to put some money aside here and there so whenever we decide to go it won't be very difficult to come up with the balance.

Meal plan for today:
Breakfast: poached eggs on toast
Lunch: sandwich or sushi (TBA)
Dinner: homemade pizza and garlic bread

Heart & Soul Happy, Pockets Empty

November 6th, 2015 at 01:41 pm

Hi everyone. I've been lurking on the blogs here & there, but have had too much going on to be able to post.

Last week B & I went on our camping holiday as planned. We cooked breakfast and dinner camping style and ate out every day. We went bike riding, to a winery, also to a brewery, to a national park, we did so much stuff. Because I really wanted to be able to put some money towards Phuket payment of balance of trip, I actually tracked all expenses while on holiday. I never do this normally but it was important know how we were going. By the end of October there was $260.00 left over, so have put it towards the holiday (as part of the banking the difference challenge).

We also spent the weekend visiting friends too. Then I got home on Sunday and mum called me up to let me know that nana had gone into renal failure, and if we wanted to say goodbye it needs to be done asap. All our family other than immediate family is in New Zealand. Nana was 86 and has had diabetes for many years. Last year she got sick with giant cell arteritis and never really recovered.

I love my nana very much so decided I had to go see her. Unfortunately my mother has just become so unfamily oriented. I saw nana last year when she was sick and had to beg her to go and see her. It was like pulling teeth. Then they had a great time and it was really happy. When she called me she said there's no point going as she won't know what was going on and she wasn't going because she already had happy memories.

I thought about and decided to go anyway. I wasn't really hearing back from anyone and didn't want to impose, so booked a hotel room instead of staying with relatives. My aunt told me off because she made up the bed as she thought I was coming, I wish I did stay there. The hotel room was nice though. I was in New Zealand from Wednesday through to last night, the entire cost (flights, accommodation, food) was $1400. Ouch. I only have $140 left for the month after accounting for bills and some savings, so it will be a quiet month.

The most important thing though is I got to see my nana and say goodbye to her. As soon as I got there l told her thank you for holding on for me and she started to move to hug me (I then had to hug her as she was far too weak). I got to tell her I love her, and chatted to her about many things, and we all reminisced of happy memories of her life. It was a lovely day and I now feel like I got closure. I will miss her.

She stayed alive until my cousin arrived from Australia yesterday morning and then died about 20 minutes later, she had declined rapidly by then. The funeral is next Tuesday. I wish I could be there but can't, I got to say goodbye that's the most important thing. RIP nana, love her so much.