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Archive for August, 2016

Into The 118's!!

August 30th, 2016 at 10:39 am

The mortgage got paid yesterday and interest of $548 got charged, bringing the new balance to $118,915 - we've moved on from the 119's and we're now in the $118's!!!!

I was really hoping we could hit $115k by the end of the year and it's looking like if we can put $500 extra in for October, November and December we could close the year at $115,571. (The $500 extra per month is as per the mortgage challenge on the sidebar).

Would be really awesome if we could close the year out in the $115's!!!!

Emergency Plumber = EF Withdrawal

August 29th, 2016 at 10:14 am

Our weekend was mostly pleasant with the exception of having a sewer blockage!

B noticed on Saturday that the kitchen sink wasn't draining so had a look at it but couldn't fix it. On Sunday I was doing the morning dishes and it just wouldn't drain at all. B had a play around with it and first outside flooded and then inside flooded! We cleaned it all up but then B realised he couldn't fix it so we got his uncle to come today to have a look.

It turns out we have two sewers- one for the kitchen and because our house is long the other is for the bathrooms, toilets and laundry. So thankful it was only the kitchen that went!

His uncle came and then someone else had to come out to finish the work- total cost $160.

As September is a hugely expensive month this is going to be purely a withdrawal from the EF. To me an EF covers emergency needs (house, car, health) and unemployment assistance. Therefore this event falls under that umbrella. I will also reduce my challenge by that amount accordingly as this has been a reduction in savings.

Snowflakes 26/8/16

August 26th, 2016 at 07:51 am

Challenge starting balance: $6,598.11
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- football winnings $9.00
Challenge closing balance: $6,642.80

Our weekly EF savings got transferred over and I transferred $9.00 from my teams last football win over to the EF.

I still owe the first six games from when I was saving for the trip so if I can I will add them to the challenge in September.

I've decided that starting from the first week of October I'm going to do the 12 week $1000 challenge for our Christmas money, so I am stopping the football challenge at the end of September.

Sure I could just save the money but this is more fun!

Reworking The Bills Budget

August 24th, 2016 at 11:13 am

I call September "Scary September" because we have high gas & electricity bills plus property rates plus roadside assistance. Plus plus plus basically.

In the interest of balance I decided to work out exactly how much we pay in bills per year and then divide it monthly and simply allow for that amount each month in the hope of avoiding the horrible September month.

We used to do this years ago and it worked well, so hopefully it will again. We did this up until B started his business and cashflow became very erratic for quite a while. Now that he is back earning a steady income we should be able to revisit this habit and hopefully breathe a little bit easier.

I'm not going to list the items we pay for or the amounts because frankly it's depressing! We just have to keep watching various things to try not to pay too much. (Eg our house insurance came in last month and has increased by $10 per month. We don't mind paying monthly as there is no charge for this. Anyway I compared the policy against some other insurers and found it is reasonable so we will stay with them)

Starting October, we will set aside $4011 (this covers all housing costs - mortgage, insurance, utilities, all car costs - loan repayment, insurances registration, cell phone costs, motorbike loan repayment and costs, and various other bills) per month.

Hopefully next September will be much more manageable!

Coincidence Or What?

August 23rd, 2016 at 10:37 am

Remember how I wrote about something going wrong with the Internet and not having wifi a couple of weeks ago?

Well I was in the middle of doing some budgeting and had a look at the September 2015 budget and our internet (iPad) bill was $200 higher exactly one year ago due to the wifi dropping out!!!

It shouldn't be this year as we realised in time but am I the only one who thinks that there is a bit of a conspiracy going on here or what???

Does anyone else know of things like this happening?

Sunday Goings-On

August 21st, 2016 at 08:19 am

It's been a pretty quiet day too, not too much to report.

My to-do list today was:
- walk the dog (had to do this early on as it's been rainy today)
- washing (the remaining three loads)
- vacuuming (I spent an hour vacuuming floors and places where spiders may hide and vacuuming and wiping the window sills in the front half of the house)
- grocery shopping (not good value for money today, the only things on special were fruit, muesli bars and gravy; we spent $129 as well as $11 for some hotdogs for B's poker night next week)
- cooking biscuits and soup and pasta for lunch (made the choc chip cookies which turned out ok, about to do soup for dinner; think I'll do the pasta for lunch tomorrow night)

I also added the study unit negative amount to my sidebar to remind me to get to work with preparing B's tax return so I can get my refund and reimburse the EF.

That's about all, think it will be an early night tonight!

Ticked Off The Saturday To-Do List

August 20th, 2016 at 08:45 am

I haven't really bothered with to-do lists lately but the other night I was watching a tv show where they had a to-do list and thought I may reincorporate that into my weekend (weekdays are a bit harder for me).

Today's to-do list was:

- Body Balance class (I did this and this class is always so great, it's a combination of pilates and yoga with meditation at the end; I always come out with a smile on my face)
- Washing (we are set to get rain for the next week, have already had a large amount yesterday so this task was completed early on in the day so hopefully things dry in time)
- Folding clothes (got last week's washing folded, nothing sitting around in baskets for once)
- Cleaning (spent 45 minutes cleaning bathrooms, tidying up through the house and dusting. It's a necessary evil!)
- Organising the desk in the study (it's been pretty abominable so last night I bought two in-trays after work, one for filing and one for things to deal with; organising and throwing out documents no longer required took 45 minutes; the desk looks oh so much better!!! It's organised and I am so glad I accomplished this task)

All in all, it's been a pretty good Saturday, I feel like I've been productive. I wanted to go somewhere tomorrow and do something cheap and fun, maybe a drive and have lunch somewhere not too flashy but B has come down with the flu so that is out the window.

I bought an iTunes card for us to watch movies and decided I wanted to buy a CD for my phone so I guess this is my fun thing for the weekend! And baking and cooking various things tomorrow!

Well, must go cook our dinner - indian butter chicken and rice with garlic naan bread Smile.

Snowflakes 18/8/16

August 18th, 2016 at 11:15 am

Challenge starting balance: $6,436.17
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- balance transfer CC payment $110.25
- mortgage principal payment $16.00
Challenge closing balance: $6,598.11

Today true to my word I woke up 15 minutes earlier. It's amazing how tired I am with the 15 minute difference, it means a lot I guess! Should be used to it soon. I have to go to bed soon also, which is the other thing I need to get used to.

I used that time to pay the bills, B's speeding fine ($190)(ugh) and his driver licence renewal ($267).

Yesterday morning when I got up early I ordered my textbook ($140.94). My credit card is now just below $2000 which was nearly giving me an ulcer so I transferred the full cost of the study unit and textbook ($1445.94) from the EF. I did not spend 1 year 1 month (so far, next month is the final month) repaying credit card debt to become lackadaisical about large amounts sitting on the credit card, don't want to end up back in that hole! No way no how.

Seeing the cash balance in the EF after doing the transfer is now giving me an ulcer though, so need to get B's tax return sorted asap so we can lodge and I can get the $1073 refund to put straight back in the EF.

After work I went to the shops to get some food for dinner but also decided to do CB's 10 items idea. For $34.54 I got ravioli for dinner, liquid hand soap, toothpaste, meat for the dog, bread, peanut butter, potato chips, coffee pods, almond milk, mini chocolate bars and garlic bread. Ok, I got eleven things. We are running really low on food at the moment so need to build the pantry up a bit!

Goodnight all!

Forming New Habits & Adjusting

August 16th, 2016 at 10:38 am

Yesterday I woke up half an hour early to start adjusting my body clock to the new sleep schedule. Although I got my usual 7 hours sleep I was still pretty tired throughout the day but I noticed the most tired I felt was the first and the last 15 minutes of the day.

My plan is to spend three days waking up half an hour early, then three days 45 minutes earlier and then the last four days an hour earlier. My body should be in a routine then.

When I've been waking up earlier I've been doing things instead of just sitting there slowly waking up. Yesterday I put a load of laundry on, today I had to make my lunch because it got too late last night and I needed to be in bed by a certain time. Tomorrow I'm actually going to start going on the computer before work to get into that habit, of getting my mind to work in the study sense. Tomorrow I will be buying the required books for the unit, then on other days I will get B's tax stuff ready for his tax return so we can get our money back.

The other thing I've been doing to form my new study habits is reading something on the train in the morning which is not Facebook or blogs etc. This week I'm doing it in the commute only, next week I will also be doing it on the way home too.

This change of habits has definitely kept me busy!

***

Financial goings on is over the past two days my only spending was $28.50 for the balance of our groceries, $99 for the week. We will need to buy something for dinner on Thursday night when our spending money gets deposited though.

Weekend Doings; Said Yes To Part-Time Study

August 15th, 2016 at 10:48 am

Saturday I got my hair done then went out with my mother to have afternoon tea with my sister for her birthday, which was a really nice outing.

We actually got some good weather on the weekend and our garden has been much in need of some attention so yesterday we mowed lawns, weeded, cut back some overgrown bushes and hosed down pavers and decking in the pergola area. It looks so nice now.

I did a bit of grocery shopping, spent $70.86. That's not all of the food we need to get, but I'll get things as we need them.

We then had a hot tub to enjoy our nicely cleaned up yard Smile.

***

Yesterday was also the closing date for enrolment for another study unit in my accounting degree. After a few discussions with B, my mother and a bit of thought, I decided to enrol. It is a good opportunity doing something I like where I can realise my potential and also earn a good salary.

My job is interesting but part time studying as well as full time work becomes a 60 hour week, so work/life balance becomes really important, and studying on the weekend was not working for us (meaning quality time with B, and general upkeep of the house, not to mention my stress levels).

But then I used an app to track my time and realised if I can get up an hour earlier and use my 30 minute train commute each way that is 2 hours per day studying, and I like that idea better because this is happening in my work week instead of encroaching on my weekend which I don't think will work long term.

Last night I went to bed half an hour earlier so was able to get up half an hour earlier without any problems and pretty much felt fine today, just a little tired. Hopefully forming new habits makes part time studying a bit easier to maintain Smile.

The unit cost was $1305, need to do my tax return now to get the $1073 refund to put towards it. I paid on my credit card so that needs to be sorted out soon.

Phone Bond Refund Received

August 13th, 2016 at 09:12 am

They said 3-5 days for the $100 phone bond refund to be received and it came through yesterday which is really great. I promptly transferred it back against the holiday fund, so we now owe back $259 there. Getting there slowly.

After work we went to the camping store where B got vouchers for his birthday and got a camping toilet, had to pay $40 out of pocket.

Then we got my sisters birthday present ($18) and some groceries ($6.30) and some wine for me ($19).

After that we went home and had a quiet evening. Remember how wifi got turned off and I resolved not to turn it back on? Well I had a bad moment, was desperate and tried to turn it back on! It didn't work, appears something is not working so I am still on minimal Internet. Maybe it's not the worst thing after all?

Snowflakes 11/8/16

August 12th, 2016 at 07:29 am

Challenge starting balance: $6,329.46
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- football winnings $71.00
Challenge closing balance: $6,436.17

My football team had a much bigger win than anticipated! Some creative accounting was involved because I am getting my hair done tomorrow and $71 was a bit hard to swing. In the monthly budget I put that we would put $40 towards the holiday fund so included that in the $71 and put $31 over from our spending money.

Now that B's car loan is reduced and we are paying $180 per month it is time to watch closely what he is spending. We put $80 on it per week to cover car washes of the company car and takeaway but he spent $116 so I transferred $36 from our spending money over. I also repaid my $38.50 bag and $13 being the final part of the coffee machine.

Work was much better yesterday. Random emails and phone calls had me looking into things I don't normally deal with, it was quite an enjoyable day. Finished the day off with a good workout at the gym Smile.

Quiet Day

August 11th, 2016 at 07:50 am

Yesterday was a quiet day on all counts. Work is super slow at the moment in my area - not a lot coming in and my boss is on holidays so not much coming in from him either. I had to string work out and look busy. I wonder if that means that once it starts coming in there's going to be a deluge? Time will tell.

No money was spent anywhere so it was a no spend day.

B got a birthday card at his new job that everyone signed so he was very happy with that.

Then we went to bed at 9.30 and had an early night, which is always good. I may have spent an hour gaming on my iPad but I still got an early night Smile.

Quiet days are never a bad thing as long as there aren't too many of them!

Phone Bond Refund etc

August 10th, 2016 at 09:14 am

Last month when I deactivated the global roaming on my phone I was told I had to wait until after the 7th August to request the $100 bond refund. Annoying but anyway, yesterday I spoke with it and requested it. They put the claim through and said it would take 3-5 business days.

***

Was still considering study so decided to prepare my tax return for the year ended 30 June 2016 to see if I would get a refund to put towards it. The unit would cost $1445 including books and I will be receiving a tax refund of $1072 once I lodge it. I need to prepare B's tax return too and have no idea what the outcome of that will be as he closed the business down 3/4 of the way through the tax year and got a job. We'll see.

As for studying - the financial side is sorted but it is a gruelling schedule with full time work so it's highly likely that that I'm going to pass on it. It's a hard choice - to study to get qualified will mean I'm not working at a fraction of my potential once qualified however working at my current level (bookkeeping) means I'm not living a fraction of my life! While studying I can't do the things I love- spending quality time with my husband, family and friends; camping and travel. That's the toll of 60 hour weeks and I'm not sure I want to do that for years on end. Enrolments close on the 14th so I have until then to decide.

B's Birthday; New Work Bag

August 9th, 2016 at 11:06 am

Part of the reason why August is so spendy is because it's B's birthday. His birthday was not a special year so we didn't throw a huge party this time, but we still did lots.

He went motorbike riding with family at one of his country friend's houses which is on 20 acres of land. Fuel for the bike was $18 and he spent $15 on a bbq lunch (he also bought breakfast on the way though).

Then on Sunday we went out to lunch with all of his family, which was a nice day. $32 for a cake, $54 for lunch for us two and $35 for drinks. I actually had $80 for drinks in cash but won $45 on the poker machines so that offset the spending!

Then yesterday, Monday was the actual birthday. I bought B a box of chocolates and a nice card. I got his birthday present a few weeks ago so didn't need to get anything else. Last night we went out for dinner on a double date and his friend was joking to the waitress and asked if B got a free drink because it was his birthday and she replied "no he gets a free meal!". We totally didn't see that coming!

The restaurant was a bit pricey so even with B's free meal and 10% discount, it was still $65. It was a lovely night though.

***

I've had on my wish list a while a new work bag. My work bag is so old the material on a lot of parts is completely worn. So every now and then I check Myer's website to see if they have a sale. They have the best quality bags here, they last for years.

Well yesterday they did! They had 30% of all bags. Normally I go for black or darker colours but there was nothing below $129. They had a nice caramel coloured bag for $109 (not my usual colours I choose, but I just thought it was a great bag). I got to the checkout and when the lady swiped it the price went down to $55 and then I got 30% off!!! Total price: $38.50!!!! I was doing a happy dance.

***

Thank you everyone for your well wishes, my neck has pretty much healed up now. I haven't had to put any ice gel on today, which is good.

Now I just need to repay the $122 in chiropractor fees, the $38.50 bag and $40 in miscellaneous charges by the end of the month if I want to reach my goal of having nothing owing on my credit card by the end of the next month.

I can do it, I just need to curb the spending! Wish me luck guys. I am practising restraint now.

Snowflakes; Old Neck Injury Flared Up

August 4th, 2016 at 05:37 am

Challenge starting balance: $5,773.06
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- football winnings $15.00
- fortnightly balance transfer payment $151.50
- repayment to B's credit card $180.00
- mortgage topup $174.21
Challenge closing balance: $6,329.46

We have a very spendy month in the bills department so this will be the majority of the snowflakes.

Weekly EF savings as usual, football game winnings from two weeks ago both went to the savings account.

My balance transfer credit card balance showed as $523.50 owing, which is less than the $614 balance there should be so have reduced the monthly balance transfer payment from $303 to $261.75, with $110.25 to be paid in the second fortnight of the month.

Next month by the end of the September I will have no credit card debt!!!!

What a turnaround from a year ago. Then in October I start to save for a new car (hopefully don't need to buy for a long time!).

I also have put $180 towards B's credit card debt and have added his credit card debt to my credit card debt paydown spreadsheet. We were able to afford the $180 payment due to his reduction in the car loan which he refinanced. According to the spreadsheet, his debt will be repaid in March 2018.

I then paid $174.21 against the mortgage principal (goal 1 on my sidebar). May mortgage interest was $563.61 and $89.40 had already been paid towards the interest. $263.21 - $89.40 = $174.21. We can't afford to pay two months this month, but as it is we should be into the $118000s next month which is good.

***

Non financial stuff (ok kinda financial): I am having my first sick day in 3-5 years today. Yesterday I hurt my neck (long running injury which flares up occasionally) and when I woke this morning could barely turn it to the right so knew I had to go to the chiropractors asap.

My sister lives a block away so I parked my car there, had coffee with her and got to see my toddler nephew; then went to the chiropractors.

As I am so stiff he could only work on me for about 10 mins, so I have to go back in 2 days time and in the meantime use Ice Gel four times a day. I booked a Saturday morning appointment, he said as for work to just play it by ear.

The charge for today was $64. Time to go put more Ice Gel on and watch a bit more tv.