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Archive for November, 2016

Snowflakes & Savings 30-11-16

November 30th, 2016 at 02:21 am

Challenge starting balance: $8,898.75
Plus:
- weekly EF savings x 2 $71.38
- digital change $7.01
- Safeway everyday rewards $10.00
- B's credit card repayment $180.00
- B's tax savings $463.33
- Phuket holiday savings $250.00
Challenge closing balance: $9,880.47

What a month! Thank you for your well wishes for my exam everyone. Last week I was lost in a cocoon of economics related subjects but all in all I think I did ok on the exam. I did some revision, did a practice exam, found out where I was deficient and studied on that. When I was doing the exam paper, while I don't think I'll pass with flying colours I felt like I had enough of an idea to pass in any case; nothing was foreign to me.

Economics was actually an interesting subject; I learned all about productivity (there is no such thing as a free lunch), market equilibrium (balance - one of my favourite subjects) and many other business things. I did feel guilty about how much time I was spending away from B though. Even with the best time management, it's still hard to avoid having to shut yourself away for 5-10 hours per week (or 15 like last week). Anyway now it's time to focus on other areas of my life, like Christmas - I've spent a couple of days getting things back into order ie washing, tidying up.

***

The challenge keeps on clicking along! I do believe that we will comfortably save over $10k. If the only thing we do is save the weekly EF savings and the monthly holiday savings, make the $180 payment on B's card and save the $463.33 for his tax the closing result will be $10,925.

In reflection, I'm happy with the EF savings and the debt repayment (ok really happy with the debt repayment! SO happy!), but the mortgage repayments and the new car fund have taken hits thanks to having to save $463.33 per month towards B's tax which is due to be paid in March next year.

The other thing stopping me from saving more is that we have a big insurance payment due in March also, which is around $2000 (this is for both cars) and while we have been saving an averaged amount of $4041 to cover all bills and loans, for the last few months all bills and loans have roughly been this amount. I just checked what is left over in the bills account towards future bill savings and it is $283. Not wonderful.

I've been spending a little bit of time doing some cash flow forecasting for the next few months and there are a couple of low bill months ahead. I think if bills are roughly the same by the time it hits March we will have $1690 leaving around $400-$500 to be paid out of pocket. I just have to remember to be mindful of the insurance savings and what the monthly bills are in case we need to save a bit extra.

The final $124 in the study unit has been repaid and we added $250 to the holiday fund. My coworker went on a trip to Thailand just last week with her new partner and loved it so that was good to hear great reviews about the place we are planning on going to.

The EF has been looking much healthier lately, thanks to the market going up. For so long it has kind of been stuck at around $6500, now it is around $7900 since the shares value has now risen plus the final part of the study unit got repaid and we've added more to holiday savings.

The Mini EF is $3,923.16 (I still need to repay that $80 from the UK!!! I might actually upload some pictures to here when I do it) and the Maxi EF is $3,970.50.

One of my goals next year will be to sort out our bank accounts. The Mini EF is sitting in an account which earns next to no interest, so I will be on the lookout for a high interest account. We have a bunch of bank accounts which we pay a package fee per month of $15 for (four bank accounts) plus we have a bank account for B's now closed down business which we pay $10 per month for. After his tax is paid we will close down the business account and look at restructuring the accounts and try to avoid paying fees.

Must try and wind down a bit before bed after this long entry! (Has been great to jot everything down though and touch base with you guys)

Rewards Credit Card

November 24th, 2016 at 01:12 am

I got my Virgin credit card statement today and was happy to see that for the last month I've been using it regularly and repaying it regularly and no interest was charged this time. After the balance transfer was repaid a couple of months ago I used it pretty much straight away and interest got charged so I held off on using it, now I'm glad to see that interest is not being charged just the way it should be.

Apparently I now have 602 velocity points. These can be used towards Virgin Airways flights or redeemed for gift cards. I looked up points to redeem gift cards, for 9000 points you can get a $50 shopping gift card.

When I get a spare second (like after the exam), I will look into ways to boost points. Four days of studying to go, hopefully I can remember everything.

Oh I have 6 NSDs now and I know tomorrow will be a NSD (unless an unforeseen and unavoidable emergency happens).

I don't know when your thanksgiving is but I am reading posts about it, so I hope you all have a safe and happy thanksgiving!

Quick Hello

November 21st, 2016 at 02:28 am

Life is super busy here, I am in my 12th week of this online subject and the exam is next Monday. I've also had a good friend move house so we have been having going away get-togethers, and have been helping her with the move; then had another old friend's 40th on Saturday night.

I've been keeping up with the coursework but will have a pretty intensive week of studying to brush up on various bits and pieces. This studying of economics really gets you thinking about productivity and efficiency just to name a couple of things.

I haven't told my work I am studying as yet because I didn't know if I would continue the studying and would rather tell them when I know that I can do it and stick at it. (Sticking at it is the hard part because even with the best time management other parts of your life get left behind and public holidays crop up and then studying becomes hard). So they don't know, but I will need to take a sick day to go to the exam.

I do have snowflakes to report but I think I will just do it at the end of November, much easier.

Please accept my apologies for not answering back to the comments on my last post guys! I am looking forward to not being frantically busy all the time and being able to interact with you guys a bit better again.

Also, I'm hoping Imasaver is ok, was just thinking of her.

Snowflakes 14-11-16; NSD #4

November 14th, 2016 at 02:16 am

Challenge starting balance: $8,840.21
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- digital change $2.85
- Safeway everyday rewards $20.00
Challenge closing balance: $8,898.75

The weekly EF savings got withdrawn, some more digital change got transferred to the Christmas savings account and then I redeemed $20.00 in Safeway everyday rewards tonight while getting some groceries - we only have $10.00 left there now.

The Christmas savings bank account is currently at $96.98, will be over $100 very soon. It may not pay for all of our presents but every bit counts. For example my main Christmas present that I would like is a gold bracelet to replace my fake gold bracelet, the cost of it marked down is $149 - I tried it on today and it looks nice. These savings could very well pay for that.

Speaking of Christmas presents, B wants to get a sticker kit for his motorbike at $300 (I'm told they will last a very long time though!). I told him he can order it, he is really very good with not wanting too much I don't mind a splurge now and again.

Just think, if I did this next year from January we could possibly effortlessly pay for Christmas...

On Thursday I had a NSD, then yesterday I was feeling pretty tired from having my friends over on Saturday night so decided not to do any grocery shopping and just use up what we had, and we had plenty of leftovers so it was fine, so then was able to add another NSD to the challenge! I could possibly make Wednesday and Thursday NSDs also - need to get petrol and the balance of the groceries tomorrow, so if I plan well enough that could be it until Friday.

I really need to do some more savings transfers soon and credit card repayment etc so you will see another entry soon.

NSD #2

November 9th, 2016 at 02:33 am

Mrs Frugalista got me thinking about the no spend November challenge. While I'm not doing nearly as well as her, yesterday was my second no spend day and tomorrow I plan on making it my third.

The fact that you are planning to spend on certain days only does make you think about what you are buying, and you tend to plan more. If I can get 10 days this month, that would be great.

Today I bought enough food for the next four days for us, groceries came to $56.61. I am then planning on not spending anything tomorrow, buying a tshirt on Friday and then buying required food on Saturday - I am hosting a small get-together with my friends so will need to pick up more food.

I have already got mini-quiches for hot food(we are doing nibblies and then later on putting some hot food in the oven, everybody will bring something each) and am doing a spinach dip in a cobb loaf for nibbles. Will no doubt buy a few more things but just a couple of extra things really.

On another note, I just paid some bills and among them was our water bill, which was a case of bill shock - it was up 45.51% from last year! Roughly $100 extra. We went through the bills and checked the gas meter, but later on I compared October's weather this year to last year and it turns out it has been much colder this year - we had 18 days where the heater was required to be on, compared to 9 last year when the weather was much warmer. I'm hoping we get a couple of months weather where no heater or air conditioner is required - November hasn't been too bad, I don't think we have turned the heater on since Saturday.

Snowflakes & Savings 07-11-16

November 7th, 2016 at 02:27 am

Challenge starting balance: $8,779.91
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- digital change $3.61
- Safeway everyday rewards $10.00
- Melbourne cup winnings $11.00
Challenge closing balance: $8,840.21

I've been pretty busy lately so I think my goal at the moment is to just write a little bit about whatever happens each day.

The Safeway four week shopping challenge (where I had to spend $90 per week at Safeway for four weeks in a row to receive $40) has ended so there was $40.00 sitting there to be deducted off my shopping bill. Today I bought some groceries worth $13.80 so $10.00 was automatically deducted - I have then sent it off to the Christmas savings, along with digital change for the weekend plus some winnings for the Melbourne Cup.

The Melbourne Cup is a horse race and a big event in Victoria and we get a public holiday from it. Just for fun I chose some horses and while I didn't actually place a bet, I allocated the winnings to savings. Christmas savings are now $74.13, looking forward to reaching $100 on the weekend.

On the weekend I also sent $10.00 to the UK owing amount, it is down to -$80.00.

That's all, hope to talk soon tomorrow!