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Sometimes It Pays To Wait; Feb / March

February 28th, 2017 at 02:49 am

Yesterday I started another study unit and the textbook requirements weren't clear. It also wasn't clear because now I have committed to studying and enrolled in the university for the degree the method of payment is via a student loan. It said textbooks were required however on the enrolment letter it said to complete the form in time to ensure that your materials arrive in time so it was unclear as to whether I have to pay or it goes on the student loan and gets delivered. Then the university gave the login details and stated that no printed material would be distributed. (I am studying through distance education and while the majority of the units are through one university, some are through others). Due to not being sure of whether we buy the books or the university sends them and adds the cost to the student loan I decided to wait until the date the unit started. No books were sent and my form was submitted weeks ago (3-4) so it's clear I had to buy them. The cost through distance education was expensive at $168.75 for two. So yesterday I logged on to the course (which is at one of the different universities) and they had an ebook option with a discount code which amounted to $94.42! I was happy to use this option. It definitely pays to wait sometimes Smile.

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Our shopping for February came in at $621, which for us is pretty good - I like it around the $600 mark so this is fine. Our biggest expenses for February aside from the normal mortgage and bills category (which equates to 47% of our monthly income) were B's savings towards his tax payment next month of $570 and our cat's expenses of $744 (vet visit, then her medical test, then boarding kennel when we went away).

I have low-level anxiety about the cash outflow that's going to happen in March. I've known about it for a while and have budgeted and saved but really hope nothing goes wrong this month as it will stretch us. Pretty much on the same day we pay B's tax bill of $2780 plus get two car insurance policies deducted from our bank account for the amount of around $2100 - so $4880 roughly; a big cash outflow.

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I received the $60 Safeway everyday rewards the other day so transferred that to Christmas savings - $4 to go then month 2 is complete!

At this point in time this is all I can think of, hoping that you are all well.

4 Responses to “Sometimes It Pays To Wait; Feb / March”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Good thing you waited...you saved some money on those books!

  2. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Thanks!

  3. snafu Says:

    from MEC blog...curiosity leads me to ask...what percentage of income is automatically deducted for 'superannuation?" Is it similar to Social Security Cnd? Is it similar to last century employer's pension formula, offering about 85% of earnings, if you've been contributing a minimum of 35 years? Does Superannuation give individuals investment choices? Percentages for equity, bonds [national/international] with a risk criteria?


  4. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Hi Snafu- 9.5% of gross employee earnings is automatically deducted and sent to a superannuation account of the employee's choice. The employee used to have to use whoever the employer chose however it became too hard to regulate (if employee had 5 different jobs they would have 5 different accounts unless they were organised enough to roll their previous employer's contributions into their new employers superannuation account). Nowadays an employee can choose which superannuation company they wish to have their savings invested, they can choose the type of structure (I have chosen high-risk because I wish to take advantage of high earnings but you can choose moderate risk or if you were closer to retirement you would choose low risk to be able to retain your savings in the event of a market correction) and they just give the employer the details of where to pay to. It is not social security - I believe there was supposed to be a large boom in the ageing population and the government needed to find an alternative way to pay ageing benefits. You can also receive social security however there is an assets test, you must have under a certain amount to qualify and the payments are very low. We also have the pension plan formula where you can receive 85% of earnings (it is called defined benefits whereas the most widely used type which I explained at the beginning is called accumulation benefits) however this is mainly given to government workers- politicians, policemen; not many companies are allowed to offer this option- they must be extremely well established with little to no risk of collapse because the employee's retirement is reliant on the company's longevity.

    Employees can also create their own self managed super funds however due to the expenses involved and the constantly changing compliance issues they must start with a high amount (our work recommends $300k plus), be consistent with accounting and audit requirements which are done annually. (My work does a lot of accounting and auditing for self managed super funds). Hoping this helped provide an understanding of what goes on with retirement in Australia, let me know if there's anything else you wish to understand.

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