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Final Balance Transfer; Final EOY Results!

December 19th, 2015 at 11:16 am

Last week among financial things I made my final balance transfer payment of $303 per month for 2015. The balance transfer card should be at $2734 owed after the payment hits. It's good knowing that I will close the year out at under $3k credit card debt compared to $5400 at the start of the year.

I was thinking about adjusting the totals down to reflect what the balances actually are but have decided against it. The reason being we did actually save that money at some point during the year. It was simply used for certain purposes. Some of it was used on holiday purposes. Some of it was used to cover B not being paid in the first week of December. Unfortunately what was used on B's card I cannot exactly say what it was for; a lot of it would have been work stuff, fast food, motorbike stuff.

Eventually we will need to look at that card and work out some sort of solution. He doesn't need a card with $3700 credit because his spending habits are to spend whatever is available. Probably a card with $1000-$1500 credit is better for him. Big enough to make decent sized purchases (eg car stuff) but not big enough to cause too much drama. So eventually, probably after my balance transfer has been done, we will organise a balance transfer for him and a new card with a much lower balance.

Anyway back to end of year stuff. I am doing end of year totals now before christmas and new years in the event that we are a bit too busy for me to sit down and work this out, and I know that no more savings will be made for the year. My end of year total will be as follows:

50 Week Challenge $5300 + Banking the Difference $4379.54 + $90 Caravan Park accommodation spent + $210.00 Phuket Holiday Deposit spent + $35.00 Cash Savings =

$10,014.54!!!

Thank you all for sharing my first year of savings challenges, your advice and your journeys with me. You have all helped me to become a bit more financially responsible and you have all inspired me in your own different ways!

(Most likely by the time you read this I will have updated the Banking the Difference category to read $4679.54, with $818.00 holiday fund)

What does next year hold??? I'm not sure yet. I don't feel I need to do two separate challenges anymore. I think I will work out a couple of goals and plans, maybe possibly do one challenge like Imasaver but with a different name to $20 challenge. I have roughly 11 days to decide, so the thinking cap is on!

Christmas/End of Year Stuff

December 10th, 2015 at 03:34 am

It's been a little while since I've written! I finished my study unit and have been slowly adjusting back to 40 hour weeks instead of the 50-60 hour weeks I've been dealing with when I had to study as well as work. It's nice to have a bit of free time.

And now Christmas is just around the corner! We put the tree up a couple of days ago which is really nice. And my family decided that the adults would partake in a Kris Kringle for the first time ever! The presents must be worth between $40 and $60 per person, but this is a reduction in presents as we would normally have to buy 5 presents and now it is one per person. Happy about that.

B's family we will need to buy 4 adult presents for, not completely sure what yet. Then there are four nephews and one niece. I have $100 in gift cards saved up from previous months which I will use to pay for two nephews and the niece (or three nephews? will work out the same anyway). So we are looking at two presents for my family; four for B's; plus two kids; so I'm guessing around $250-$300 in presents. We'll see what it ends up as.

My Christmas present is half the anniversary present; it is an eternity ring. A gorgeous ring marked down from $600 to $420, with the stones set in a V, which sits perfectly in front of my engagement ring. We have been paying it off on layby since the middle of last month, so no problems there. Speaking of anniversary presents; my gift to my husband was changing my name but my marriage certificate request was denied as I had the wrong person certify my ID, so now have to redo that by getting the police to certify and sending it back. I have 60 days, and was notified on November 2, so will have to get moving on that one! I want it done by early next week.

B wants a solar panel for our camping stuff, which has been priced at $180 on eBay. His parents said they will give cash towards it, so I said they can give cash towards my present too. That means we will be out of pocket there about $100.

I have still been living quietly to try and get back to normal after my trip to see Nana; hoping to finish the year out with that dealt with. Then B had problems at work and didn't get paid last week, so we were really out of pocket.

I ended up having to transfer $880 from savings and use up his tax savings money of $634. It's so amazing that it can take so long to build and can be gone so quickly! At least it was there though.

As a result this week when he got paid, most of it pretty much went. He is supposed to be getting a good pay next week, but it will need to last us. I think he gets one more pay before Christmas, and then we will need to wait until around the 20th January.

I am still planning to allocate two weeks spending money for him from our EF though, so that will help us. I was thinking a maximum of $1000 but really I think I will just see what we need, we could possibly be comfortable with less. I think this is a good idea for him as he is self-employed though - everyone deserves to have a holiday free of trying to work out how you will pay for your time off! At least this way he can relax the same way I, as an employee, does.

Finally, I am steeling myself for a profit downgrade when it comes to the challenges.. The EF and CC1 have had the correct amount saved/repaid, however CC2 (which we use for B's work) is generally lucky to have around $250 free! So according to the challenges $1068.63 will be repaid by year end - so that will likely need to be reduced by $750. The mortgage savings - hopefully the $880 used last week will be repaid by year end. $293 was repaid tonight. I am hopeful that we will repay it.

So instead of $5300 + $4076.54 = $9376.54, it could be $5300 + $4076.54 - $750 + $303 (balance transfer CC1 payment not made yet but will be made)

= $8929.54.

Who knows, maybe I can find $72 to push it over $9k?
Anyway even with a profit downgrade, it's still a billion times better than what we had 1 year ago!! I'm still happy with that.

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).

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.

Banking the Difference on Mortgage, etc

October 24th, 2015 at 10:31 pm

Hello all, hoping all is well!

My latest financial transactions of note are adding the $183 mortgage savings straight onto the mortgage principal. Have added this amount to the banking the difference challenge, and the anticipated end of year figures will now be:

$5300 50wk challenge + $3558.54 banking the difference
= $8858.54

At the same time, I also put our $180 monthly insurance savings into the mortgage offset too - we now have $760 saved up for that, so those savings are on schedule.

The mortgage interest rate has gone up so next month our payment might be a bit higher, which reduces the savings Frown

***

On my mind as well as going away on our camping trip is paying for the balance of the Thailand trip next year. We paid $300 (which mostly came out of the holiday fund) deposit and $1300 remains, haven't been advised as to when it is payable so it's best to work towards repaying it anyway.

I lodged our tax returns and I receive back $1616. Of that $1283 goes back to the EF for the study unit I purchased, and $130 goes back to the EF for money we borrowed from it.

That will amount to a $203 snowflake which I will put towards our $1300 payment, leaving $1097 payable. Over the next couple of months I think our focus will be trying to save a decent amount towards it.

I also lodged B's tax return, but he is payable and that payment is coming out of his business income which he has saved.

***

The only other thing on my mind right now is doing the grocery shopping. I was given a $10 off voucher if we spend over $100, so I'm pretty sure we will need to spend that - so there will be the first $10 towards the holiday fund!!!

Balance Transfer Payment No.3 Done

October 15th, 2015 at 02:46 am

Today was payday so as soon as I was able to, I transferred the money out of the account and paid the third balance transfer payment! Only 11 more to go.

Once the payment hits the balance transfer card will be at $3341.00. It's so good to have the credit card debt under control and not be charged interest anymore.

The balance transfer payment was $303, with $106 coming from 52 week challenge savings and the remaining $197 coming from today's pay, which got added to the Banking the Difference challenge. The totals for these two challenges at the end of the year will now be:

52 wk challenge $5300 + Banking the Difference challenge $3375.54 = $8675.54.

Hoping you're all well!

3/4 Through The Challenges

October 8th, 2015 at 02:24 pm

It's October 9th but I haven't updated my sidebar since the last week of September so thought I will mark my progress at being 3/4 of the way through both challenges.

52 week challenge total saved so far = $3,805.48
Banking the Difference challenge saved so far = $3,168.54

Total savings as at 30 September = $6,974.02

The banking the difference challenge has changed totally since moving my credit card over to the 0% credit card and putting myself on a 14 month repayment plan to get it paid off by the date it comes off 0% - I now find that we can afford to pay the $303 payment, 52 week challenge savings and the $183 mortgage saving and that's as far as it goes to be able to live kind of comfortably.

It works out to be about 15% of my pay which I think is reasonable. It's funny how things change in such a short time!

Holiday Fund Complete Withdrawal, EOM transactions

September 23rd, 2015 at 05:12 am

So glad I thought of the holiday fund earlier this year, it has become so useful! Was not even thinking about overseas holidays at the moment but then yesterday a good friend of mine (whose wedding we went to in March) invited us to go with them and a bunch of friends to Phuket, Thailand next year! She found a deal of $800pp for 7 nights accommodation, airfares and breakfasts. We have not planned dates to go as yet but once we buy the package they are valid for two years - we imagine we will be going next year sometime. So excited - did not consider going to Thailand but many people have said how beautiful it is, and it looks gorgeous. Luckily B agreed to go! So there was $207.00 in the mini-holiday and deposits to lock in the deal were $150.00pp, so I transferred out the $207.00 from mini-holiday fund and $93.00 from our bank account.

Must do the tax return and get the EF back to what it should be.... So bad with procrastinating on this one...

I worked out to get 15% savings I would need to save an extra $188.

$58 of that had to go towards the Balance Transfer payment of $303.00. I transferred over the payment tonight and the balance in a couple of days on that card should read $3,644.00 - which is awesome. The balance on the actual CC1 is around $68 now, eventually it will be down to $0. No rush there, I just keep on transferring $10 per week.

The remaining $130 saved was part of the mortgage snowflake of $183.00 reduction in our mortgage compared to what the repayment used to be (B covered the rest).

I also transferred our insurance savings towards the two cars tonight as well of $180, there is now $580 saved up.

As it is the end of the month (well close enough) spending will be minimal from now on. I had a long day at work and craved a bottle of wine and gave in - there was $10 spent (had two glasses though, the rest is still there). But there is no weekend plans, so should be very quiet. Will need to be because most of the money is now spent! I am not bothered though because I feel like it is going to useful places.