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Archive for July, 2016

July EOM EF Balance; New Coffee Machine

July 31st, 2016 at 08:25 am

Challenge starting balance: $5,737.37
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
Challenge closing balance: $5,773.06

As always, on Friday the weekly EF savings got transferred to the EF account.

I've just checked the balance for the end of July and it is as follows:

Mini EF: $2,743.35
Maxi EF: $3,784.50
Holiday Fund: $-445.00

All in all, $6,527.85. The Maxi EF, the shares portion of the savings gained $200 from last month. The Maxitrans shares are down by $120 and the QBE shares are up by $80, so not awesome but not too bad.

***

No football winnings this week as my team lost and we didn't have enough spare money to transfer the $15 over from last week so will do that next week.

***

I've been saving for another coffee machine because the current one has been leaking for quite a while, even though I've descaled it. B had a look to see if he could pull it apart and change a seal but no, not possible.

I had $40 saved. This morning while using it, it made an unmistakably bad and scary sound so it was apparent that this was it, time to go to the shops.

The remainder of this purchase is coming out of August money!

Good Guys had the best price for Nespresso coffee machines and I saw one for $229 (rrp is $329) pretty much exactly the same. But.... then I spoke to a salesman.

We ended up with a slight upgrade, getting a Nespresso Lattissima for $399 (rrp is $515, so we got a good deal as they are running that model out), which I'm happy about as this machine does your milk and coffee at the same time, there's a bit of time saving there.

Still have mixed emotions though because instead of saving $100 we overspent by $170. I think in the longterm we'll see the value though. Mr Money Mustache would not be proud though!

Wifi We're On A Break

July 30th, 2016 at 08:54 am

I found a time-tracking app that gives certain categories of activities and allows you to track the amount of time spent on them and then gives you a pie chart along with percentages for the day. I've been receiving emails from my online university about a study unit coming up and was thinking can I do it? It was so hard last time, can I change something so I can endure the next five years (because that it is what is left).

The upshot of that is: no, not really. I will always be on a tight rope waiting for the house of cards to fall whenever I get sick, or something happens. Quality of life will suck majorly. That is what happened and why I gave it up. I like balance and spending half my free time learning this that and the other plus writing academic essays (very difficult for me) means that all other areas of my life go to complete disarray. Not doing it.

Have had a stressful week thinking about it all but back in February when I made the decision not to continue I did it for a reason. It's been fun tracking my time this week though and looking at how can I be more productive?

So last night I was relaxing in front of the tv with my husband, ok he was watching tv and I was spending quality time on the ipad and had been for a good hour when I just happened to look at the wifi signal and realised my ipad was not using wifi! Then found the phone wasn't either. Today found B's phone and ipad weren't either.

Last time this happened my ipad incurred an extra $200 in data usage charges and the previous six months of reduced plan savings got wiped because of it.

My phone doesn't have a lot of data and there is three days to go. I check it fairly often and did notice during the week that it went up a bit but didn't register as to way. Had other things on my mind I guess. My ipad says it has used over a quarter of the usage and 22 days is left to go so I can monitor that. I have no idea how long the wifi was off though, we had modem trouble 2 weeks ago and turned it off to restart it so I'm guessing it was then. Hopefully last month's bill isn't too high.

This morning tried reconnecting the wifi and it wasn't working. I remember from last time it is difficult. Then I had another brainstorm... what if I just don't reconnect for a while? Like a long while?

So for the moment that is what I have done. Productivity has shot up heaps. I've been to the gym, spent nearly 3.5 hrs doing housework, have sat down and watched relaxing travel shows with B. My day has opened right up!

Wifi we're on a break and it is great! I'm hoping to do this experiment until the end of the year to enforce some new time management changes. A bit more decluttering, a bit more life enjoyment instead of constantly flicking between life and the internet - ie spending concentrated time on specific tasks whether they be work or play. I don't need to google every single question that pops into my head (this is a habit of mine). Wish me luck guys!

Into The $119's!!!!

July 29th, 2016 at 10:37 am

I woke up in a good mood this morning and checked the bank and was in an even better mood!

The mortgage payment got applied to the loan and interest got charged and it went down to $119,558 - first time ever under $120k!!!!

So ecstatic! I'm enjoying this day while I can because it's going to be a long time before we go down another $10k. I have been mentally happy dancing all day!!!

Snowflakes Update 25 July

July 25th, 2016 at 11:40 am

Challenge starting balance: $5,193.18
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- football winnings $36.00
- fortnightly balance transfer payment $151.50
- repayment to B's credit card $10.00
- mortgage topup $280.00
- plus extra paid towards mortgage $31.00
Challenge closing balance: $5,737.37

The weekly EF savings got transferred out and I transferred last week's football winnings of $36.00. So far I am at $47.00 with that challenge and then my team won again! This time by 15 points so that will be next week's transfer. The holiday fund has been reduced to $-445 now.

The fortnightly balance transfer came out and then over the weekend I got the monthly credit card statement emailed to me, the balance is now down to $523.50!! Somehow I am ahead by $110 as opposed to my credit card paydown spreadsheet. I have no idea but it means that in September instead of final payment being $311.00, it will be $220.50.

We also threw $10 over to B's credit card from our weekly spending money.

April mortgage interest was $588 and in the month of April we paid $8 extra, $580 - $300 maximum interest we want to pay is $280, which we transferred over.

Then I saw that the mortgage balance was $120,061 and got excited and figured that perhaps we can pay $62 and it can be down to $119,999 by the end of the month, so have transferred $31 over from our spending money.

Speaking of spending, on the weekend we made up for the two weeks prior where we barely spent anything. We got B's birthday present, some motorbike riding gear for $300, these two gorgeous lamps I've had my eye on for a while for $168, black printer toner ink for $71.77 and a laptop bag for B's work for $46.

I had to put the lamps and the groceries for $116 on my credit card so it will be getting paid back out of next week's spending money. We have no social plans and will just do everything on the cheap next week. The purchases were worth it.

Another thing I bought is my first herb plant- parsley. It sits on our window sill, hope to get a lot of use out of it.

Whew so much writing !!

I enjoyed last week writing small posts about different financial matters, so hope to be back doing that tomorrow Smile.

Ps does anybody know what has happened to Imasaver? I just realised I haven't seen her blogs in a while and she's not on the "all blogs" list. Thanks.

Loan Approved

July 22nd, 2016 at 07:55 am

After emailing the required pre-loan quote and privacy form with B's signature, I received an email a couple of hours later confirming that the loan is approved, along with many more forms to sign and send back. All great news!

I also transferred $36 from last week's football winnings to the EF, for B's credit card we transferred an extra $10 onto it so will do a big snowflake update tomorrow counting these transfers in.

More Loan Stuff, Grocery Shopping

July 21st, 2016 at 08:06 am

When I talked on the phone to the finance company yesterday they needed to ask me more detailed financial questions so I said it's probably best to call on my lunch break. Good thing I did because I was then able to walk outside for a bit of privacy. They emailed me a preliminary quote for B to sign and a privacy form for him to sign along with a request for a copy of his driver's license and registration, and two most recent payslips. I said I'd email them back everything tomorrow.

After work I did the balance of the grocery shopping. I was running short on time on Sunday so only bought 2 days worth of food. The shopping came to $81.24 and then I bought a $6 bottle of wine. This was a cleanskin and was actually really nice.

Shopping so far this month is $415.80 with two weekends to go so we may go over our usual $600. I kind of am not really bothered because we've barely gone anywhere so what we're overspending in one area we're not spending in another.

Refinancing B's Car

July 20th, 2016 at 07:50 am

We're at the end of B's car lease and were required to pay a $15000 residual balloon payment on the car, which is due on the 5th August. We don't have that much money available so need to refinance.

I did a bit of research on the best loan interest rate and found 8.5%.

He got a phone call from the finance company asking what he wanted to do with the car and then a letter. As he is pretty busy with work and I handle the financial side of things I called the company back.

They said their current rate is 7.99% so I am happy with that. It will be a 2 year loan term and will come to around $750 per month. We currently pay $926 per month so I will put the difference towards his credit card debt.

While he had the business it was pretty much always maxed out. I'd make inroads into paying it down and then he'd get short paid and need to use the card to get by, it was a never ending cycle. Now he is an employee like me he barely uses it so I think if we pay the amount we've saved ($150-$175) onto that card it will be paid off around the same time the car is paid off. Exciting stuff Smile.

His motorbike loan will be paid off in the February of 2 years time and then the car and credit card will be paid off in the August.

We will have a spare $1200 per month then, which is very exciting. (I'm a bit scared to say too much more, plan too much more, in case things get jinxed).

I have to send some signed documents back before they draw up the actual contract. They say approval should happen tomorrow and all paperwork finalised next week, so it's all going to be cutting it fine.

Monday Movements

July 18th, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Spent the weekend spending quality time with B plus we visited both our families. By the time it was Sunday night and I had just enough time to hang all the washing out all I felt like doing was my nails! Glad I did, they look so nice.

But after work I had to spend a good couple of hours cleaning up and various chores. Our weather is more rainy than not at the moment so quite often have to use the dryer. Not last night Smile.

I managed to fit most things on the clothesline and put all our socks etc on the clothes horse. My frugal contribution for the day Smile.

On the financial side of things it was a pretty quiet day. I gave B $20 for his poker game with his friends (at $5 per week they all have a lot of fun) and I spent $10 on a really good hair mask for me. I tend to buy the cheapest shampoo and conditioner I can get usually so why not splurge occasionally? I can't wait to wash my hair tonight and do the mask treatment Smile.

Snowflakes Update

July 17th, 2016 at 10:17 pm

Challenge starting balance: $5,146.49
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- football winnings $11.00
Challenge closing balance: $5,193.18

Last week the usual weekly EF savings of $35.69 got transferred over on Friday so that got added to the challenge balance.

As I am now not saving every spare dollar towards the holiday I am doing the same football challenge as last year. For every point my team (St Kilda) win by, a dollar will get added to the challenge and will go towards the holiday fund.

So last week my team won by 11. Then over the weekend they won again! This time by 36 points. That will be a nice snowflake. They have won 8 games so far this year so on the weekends that they lose I will backdate and add those wins to the challenge.

This brings the holiday fund in negative of $-481 now.

I am trying to post a bit more regularly so I hope to do small updates each day. We'll see how this goes! (And you never know I may finally upload my UK pictures to show you guys!)

Various Financial Transactions

July 8th, 2016 at 03:17 am

Challenge starting balance: $4,932.01
Plus:
- March mortgage interest payment: $214.48
Challenge closing balance: $5,146.49

One of my 2016 goals was to pay no more than $300 per month interest. Looking back at the bank statement I can see that $548.48 interest was charged, leaving $248.48 to pay. Looking back at my March blog entries I can see that we paid $34.00 towards the interest charged. Therefore to match that goal I have transferred $214.48 onto the mortgage.

Also happy to see that I have now clicked over the $5k mark in the challenge Smile.

***

My lovely boss gave me a bonus of $1045 on the last day of work before my holiday. I transferred $102 onto my credit card (the overspent portion), $398 onto my credit card to be allocated against the dog's dental surgery (estimate has now been changed to $900-$1200) and $500 repaid to the holiday fund.

I also repaid $500 from our pay for this month against the holiday fund. Balance now owing is $492.00.

***

I knew I wanted to buy another 99 QBE shares by September (dividend payment time) to even it up to 300 shares. Due to the Brexit happenings our market has dropped and my shares have dropped significantly.

Therefore I have now bought 99 shares at a price of $10.39, total cost of the purchase was $1,048.56. Basically $1045 went into the account and $1048.56 came out, so not bad at all.

My average QBE purchase price is now $10.71, so I am down slightly there. The MXI shares owned are down heaps, hopefully one day they increase value again.

The EF breakdown will now be:
Mini EF: $2,636.28
Maxi EF: $3,584.25
Holiday Fund: $-492.00

All in all, $6,220.53 at this point in time.

***

I have dropped the dog off for her dental surgery and her physical shows that her heart, lungs and temperature are ok. They do blood tests before giving the anaesthesia also to check that everything is ok.

I just got a phone call from the vet that her blood test recorded a low white blood cell count which we need to get looked at in a couple of weeks.

And the happy news that she is ok!

They have said that 7 teeth were taken out, mostly the back ones. My poor baby. Hopefully she recovers well.

They changed the estimate from $900-$1200, so am interested to know what it will be. If she was in pain from the broken teeth then it is completely worth it for her to be pain free.

I'm Back From The UK Trip; Goals Checkup

July 7th, 2016 at 07:11 am

Challenge starting balance: $4,744.82
Plus:
- Fortnightly balance transfer repayment: $151.50
- Weekly EF savings: $35.69
Challenge closing balance: $4,932.01

Hi everybody, I'm back from the UK trip! Had a really lovely time, it was amazing. Saw so many cool things, had quite a few "wow" moments. It was so lovely to meet SG in Scotland, had a really nice lunch with her and her family and my friend.

I will upload pictures when B is around - I had problems doing it last time, so pictures will come soon.

My friend and her husband were such wonderful hosts, they took me to see so many places and made a really big effort to show me the UK side of life, especially food. I am so grateful to have been able to do this big trip.

They live in the middle of England so we checked out lots of castles, historic buildings and English gardens in their area; they took me to a place near Yorkshire where we stayed in a really nice caravan; we went to London for a couple of days and to Scotland for a couple of days.

Financially I only overspent by $102. They are pretty frugal so we cooked a lot of meals at home and mainly ate out on the weekend and when we were away in London and Scotland. My main expenses were meals when out, gifts and alcohol. I am currently staying sober for the rest of July to make up for it! In Australia we have a charity thing called Dry July, so while I am not entering it officially - I had a few drinks at the start of the month so can't - I am basically doing the same things as the people who enter it (except for raise money). I am now on Day 2.

I was lucky enough to have wifi so was able to speak to B pretty much every day. All the same I was very happy to come home! B said the cat was driving him crazy because she was meowing non stop. As soon as I got home I gave her lots of cuddles and it soon stopped. I guess this is her way of telling me I was gone too long!!

The dog decided that she was a daddy's girl and ignored me for the first night and day - now after feeding her and walking her, I am back in her good books and all is normal again.

Jet lag - all I can say is oh my god!!! Yesterday (my first full day back - I got back into Oz the night before) - I experienced a new level of tiredness I have never had!!! Even my bones ached and I was too tired to sit up. Today I don't feel wonderful but have more energy. All the same, I am going in the spa soon to try and help the aches. I guess if you sit mostly still for 27 hours you can expect a touch of pain.

It was still worth it though Smile

***

While I haven't been posting or commenting on the blogs, whenever I've had a chance I've lurked and even on holidays my mind was never truly off financial stuff.

I didn't track expenses for the entire month of June, simply set automatic transfers weekly for our spending money and B's credit card, and fortnightly transfers for my balance transfer repayment. I decided I liked having our spending money and B's credit card payment get deposited every Thursday so simply changed the weekly spending amount from $300 to $500 (being for both of us), and left B's credit card payment at $80 per week. I can simply look at the monthly budget and if something needs to be changed it is very easy.

Being halfway through the year I looked at my 2016 goals and realised that while I have saved just over $2000 into the EF, I have only realistically paid no more than $300 per month mortgage interest for the first two months of the year so need to work on that goal.

As a result I have adjusted the weekly EF savings from $71.02 down to $35.69 (being $3000 - $2072.10 / 26 weeks), and will be working more on the mortgage interest - will write more about that next week.

***

Back in March I took the dog to the vet for a checkup and they reported that she has two broken teeth and needs her teeth cleaned, with an estimated cost of $900-$1100. It never left my mind that I needed to get this done and as I have a day off work tomorrow (I don't start back until next week); I have booked her in to get the work done. As she is 13, I really really hope she will be ok. Cross your fingers for her.