<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: Investing
 

Viewing the 'Investing' Category

Share Purchase

August 30th, 2017 at 08:35 pm

After I received a dividend for my QBE shares in April, I slowly started saving for the purchase of the next parcel. Then I got to thinking in August about how lax we have been with saving lately and transferred 10% of my pay over to the investment account.

This meant I had enough to buy the next parcel, which I did last Friday, for a total of $554.95.

I originally wanted 1000 QBE shares but I originally started buying them in December 2015 for a cost of $12.54. Just last Friday the cost was $11.10. They have been up and down over the last year and a half but the price hasn't seemed to grow much, so I think I will leave these at 500 shares and look for something else to invest in next.

I'm not going to sell them because the dividend income is good (and also because I tend to hold onto shares rather than sell), but I think next will be maybe an ETF share or something. My brother-in-law has a lot of Vanguard shares and highly recommends them, so I might look at something like that - with more of an international focus.

And I've just realised that I can pretty much tick off savings towards shares off the sidebar because I have saved that amount!

That's about all my musings are for today, hope you are all well!

Quick Hello

June 7th, 2017 at 12:20 pm

It's been 2 and a half weeks since I've blogged but it seems like forever ago.

I got through the majority of the statistics work and sat the exam. Because there was so much work and a few other things happened (my house of cards kind of fell down) I sat the exam without even studying the last two weeks of the course. When I say my house of cards kind of fell down, I had some personal stress plus lots of social things like public holidays and birthdays, so basically the last two weeks of the course I was either studying and catching up or attending social things. Although I barely studied the last two weeks of the course, I do feel like I kind of did ok. I had a score of 85% before the exam; the exam is worth 60% and I was able to do 75% of it ok. The other 25% unfortunately I left, so we will see what the end result is.

Unfortunately I missed the payment by the enrolment date for the next subject and I logged in on Monday thinking I could catch up but the subject wasn't even there. The payment was actually due the 24th of May and for some reason I thought it was later. I don't know what I am going to do yet because to be honest it was a bit of a relief to have a break. I got severely burnt out and the last few weeks, it got to the point where I just didn't feel like myself anymore. While I'm grateful for the opportunity to better myself I felt like everything was falling apart and I was missing out on all the stuff I loved because all my spare time was spent studying.

The day after the exam I got a cold so had to have the next day off work and was sick for a few days. This was all last week. This week I finally feel like I am getting back to my normal self. I have been sleeping better and am starting to learn to relax again, and am looking forward to going to the gym tomorrow night.

***

Tracking spending fell out the window a few weeks ago and I'm not sure when I will be back doing it. Because I was so busy though spending has dropped way down so there is no concerns there.

I checked the mail (which hadn't been done for 3 weeks) and paid some bills tonight, so that is all in order. We turned our spa off 2 months ago so the electricity bill is $130 lower than last year, which is great. (Not sure how much the spa will cost to fix but anyway!)

Because we average out our bills and put aside the same amount each month after we paid the car insurances in March and pretty much cleared out the bills account, I have started working out just how much surplus we should have from each month (the surplus being the monthly amount of $4041 less whatever the actual monthly bills are). This month the bills were actually $3969.67 so the surplus is $71.94. This surplus plus the surplus from the previous months is now $654.73, which we have to add to future bills.

I checked our shares tonight as 30 June is our year end so was wondering what our profit for this year would be. Last year's return was -7.90% and this year's return at this current date is 15.32%. I calculate return by increase/decrease in value plus investment earnings. So for two years we are looking at a rate of return of 7.42%, which is 3.71% each year. That's not too bad considering what you would earn in interest instead.

***

I loved FrugalTexan's idea of the SHE (sidetracked home executive) system and have started implementing the basic weekly plan. Monday night I did the shopping and tonight I paid the bills and attended to some paperwork. I will aim to do some cleaning tomorrow night and then some on Saturday.

I'm not completely sure about the card system though. I actually have a housework ideas app which I think would work fine, I just need to stick to the routine outlined.

I think that's all for now, must be off to bed!

March Spending Will Be Closed Off Soon

April 1st, 2017 at 05:30 am

As I mentioned a few days ago, for the first time in a long time our spending app and bank balance were both pretty close to each other.

We ended up finishing March with $399 left over. The only thing is because a lot of our transactions are credit card / EFTPOS transactions they don't show up immediately, especially over the weekend. I find that it takes about 3 days to see the transactions.

So I'm thinking of definitely closing off March by Tuesday the 4th.

There are a couple of things I want to do with the left over money once I know what it actually is. Firstly, put $59 towards month 3 of the $1000 Christmas savings challenge in order to complete it.

The balance will go to savings. It is the lowest it has been since tracking our joint since when B started his job in March last year, at 2.5% of our income. With about $340 (if that is what it ends up being) it would be around 5%-6% which is a bit better. Will post actual balances in a few days.

On another note, I have now updated the sidebar to reflect that we have completed another one of our goals, to pay off B's tax. (Ok it was more of a necessary goal than something we wanted to do, but still it felt good to complete something)

I then checked our balances in savings and shares; we are now standing at $10,366.25 in total!!! Part of it is due to the market being on a high (the shares have gone up by $842 which is a pretty substantial increase) so am not really sure if the balance will stay that way but it is nice at the moment.

The EF is actually part savings, part mortgage repayment as it is all sitting in the mortgage offset. In the end though if the money is needed then it is needed and will get used. I am just very strict about the actual definition of what constitutes an emergency so hopefully it won't get used.

11 Things For 11 Days

March 11th, 2017 at 06:10 am

It's been a little while since I've posted so rather than write about whatever the latest thing is, I'm going to write about 11 things (hopefully mostly financial) that have been going on in the last 11 days:

1. On Tuesday our dishwasher seal broke Frown. Luckily I was standing near it and it had only run for 3 minutes so there was no water damage. B had a look at it and found the manufacturers website so we bought a double pack of seals (just in case the other seal goes, so that we don't have to re-order) for $52.73 which they say will be delivered to us next Wednesday. We are both so sick of washing dishes by hand but thankfully have got ourselves into a more regular routine so it's a bit less painful.

2. I finally got around to checking my superannuation account (retirement account) and the balance is $92,008. Going by ceejay's years x income, by the time I turn 40 next year I need to have 2 x times my income so $108,000. I realized that combined with the taxable investments I hold outside of superannuation and earnings that hopefully the account will receive it should be a possibility. The earnings last year were a paltry 2.44% however over 5 years in total they were 38.75% which equates to 7.75% per year which beats the standard 5%. I am happy with 7.75%.

3. B got a letter from a superannuation account which was an employer one from a job he had 9-10 years ago stating that if he didn't give his instructions on what to do with the account they would be turning it over to the Australian Taxation Office so they could hold it in the unclaimed moneys department. We had a financial planner roll all of our employer superannuation accounts into one years ago however he missed this one, the current account balance is $4,187.50. The letter was dated 1st February and gave us until 22nd February however I don't think they sent it for a while because we saw the letter on the 28th so the money has now gone to the Tax Office. There will now be a lengthy process to get it and roll it over as B will need to apply in writing and we will need to wait a while most likely to receive it. How annoying.

4. We have decided not to go on the Phuket holiday. This is due to our friends not being interested in going anymore and also B not really being interested. I wouldn't mind going but I'm not too bothered that we aren't doing it anymore as I had a big trip overseas last year and generally like to go overseas every 2-3 years, otherwise it can be a bit expensive going on annual overseas trips. We are now looking at doing a camping holiday in the next state at a beachy sort of area instead, which I am looking forward to. I'm not sure of when we will go though, it would be sometime between July and September and would be dependent on B's work (my work is a bit more flexible at that time of year).

5. This month we pay B's tax of $2,780. All funds have now been saved and the money will be transferred over soon.

6. Our car insurances also get debited out of our account around the 19th of March; mine is $969.40 for a 14 year old car; B's is $1,121.16 for a 6 year old car. We have enough money in the account and because I averaged out the bills amount back in October we did not have to pay for any of it out of pocket which is great! Last year we had to find $461.40 to cover the remaining portion. All I need to do is work out which bank account B's car insurance comes out of, don't remember.

7. We made month number 2 of the Christmas savings challenge, so we now have $135 saved up. This month we are supposed to save up $95. We currently have $2 saved up so need to start working towards it.

8. I bought a replacement suit for work a couple of weeks ago for $132, which was an $87 reduction in price. This suit should last a long time so was happy to pay it.

9. B is on a health kick and has rejoined boxing classes. He went regularly just before we got married but then it died off after the wedding so it's been a few years since he's been. To test the waters instead of signing up for a membership we bought a 10 class pack for $130. So far he has done 2 classes this week and has lost 2 kilos so is pretty happy. If he decides after using up the class pack that he wants to rejoin, it is $19.95 per week (same as my membership).

10. Last week we had my family over for lunch and it was a warm day so we cooked up chicken with roast potatoes and salad, then my sister and I both did a dessert each. It was a lovely meal and for 7 people we spent a whole $37.86 Smile. You could spend that on 2 people going out for lunch so I was pretty happy.

11. It is week 2 of my study unit and I am coping ok with the workload. They say you need to allocate 10hours per week however this subject's tutor has said we should allocate 15(!?!) which I really hope is not the truth because I don't know how on earth I would fit that amount of time in. I really want to be diligent with doing 10hours from the very start to avoid having to do 20hours around exam and assignment time, but this week I am finding that I have put in 7.5hours and don't really have 2.5 more hours of work to do.... I will probably finish the online quiz I have to do and do some revision.

I struggled to think of the 11th thing but I'm glad to have jotted down some bits and pieces. Off to check the blogs!

Possible Takeover For My Largest Shareholding

February 3rd, 2017 at 09:17 am

I don't really check what price the shares I have are that often - maybe a couple of times a week to ensure that they haven't massively dipped or also to see if there has been a big rise in price.

Anyway this morning I checked and they had risen a fair bit since the start of January but on the 31st there was a media release that a larger global insurance company had made an informal takeover offer. Who knows what will happen because apparently it is a rumour so far and nobody is verifying anything. However it was a media release on the stock exchange so there must be some truth to it.

These days I am more of a hold for as long as possible person so this was a bit of a shock and my initial reaction was now what? There are two reasons why I am like this: 1) at work we prepare financial reports for clients' retirement accounts and the shares that have the highest gains and income received the clients have had for many, many years and 2) it's so easy to lose money so if you find something good you should stick to it. Who knows I might change my way of thinking, but this is currently the way I think.

Apparently the offer is $15 per share which is above the current price and above the price I bought for. I wouldn't say there is a huge profit and then tax has to be paid on that also.. total outlay was $5194 and if the takeover goes ahead the sales proceeds would be $6000.

I will be watching in the next few weeks to see what happens and if I have to pick out another share to buy.. In the back of my mind I was thinking next time I want to get something more global.

In other news keeping up with this blog is so hard with my limited ipad internet access! I have 17 more days to go until the end of the billing month and my monthly data is restored. Normally during the week I would read quite a few blogs on the train but now I have to wait until I get home and quite often don't have a lot of spare time in the evenings, in between spending time with B and doing various housework items.

Spending today has been:
- descaling kit and 2 sets of coffee pods (occasional treat) $32.20
- sushi for lunch $5.60
- iTunes card $25.50 ($30 card with 15% off)
- half rockmelon, spinach & ricotta pastizzis $7
- wine $7

Yesterday I got another snowflakes to add to my yearly other sources of income spreadsheet, Priceline rewards to the value of $5.58. So far the spreadsheet total is at $48.75.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

New Tyres Became A New Mattress

January 6th, 2017 at 04:34 am

Hoping everybody had a lovely New Year's. We went away for a few days in our camper trailer, which was lovely but B's back got really sore from sleeping on the rock hard mattress. We put a foam layer on top of it to soften it but that has only lasted so long.

B thought my car needed a new set of tyres however after looking twice decided it was fine. We then decided to use the money allocated towards tyres towards a new mattress for our bed. We will then put one of our other mattresses into the camper trailer and get rid of the really hard mattress. We haven't bought a mattress in 15 years, so I didn't have any objections to buying a new one.

The maximum we had to spend was $1000 and the mattress came in at exactly that. I have just done our monthly budget (normally I do this between the 25th-3rd depending on how expensive I anticipate the month to be) and have found that we can afford this, we just need to not overspend our weekly allocated spending money; as in be super-diligent with this.

Looking forward to seeing what the new mattress feels like to sleep on!

My other financial transaction of note was that I have transferred all but the $110 allocated savings towards shares ($3018.59) into our bank account, which will be then transferred into our mortgage redraw account (which is also a mortgage offset account).

If the maximum interest paid pa is 3% but we are being charged 5.29% pa on our mortgage it seems to be more useful to reduce the interest payable on the home loan. (If anybody has anything to add here, I'm interested in hearing because I could be wrong).

As far as I knew we could have up to $15,000 in redraw. After we transfer the $3018 in there, there should be $5,065 so it would be quite a while before we hit $15,000. Eventually I will have to enquire with the bank as to how much is the maximum you can have here.

Must tidy up our room a bit before we get this new mattress put in tomorrow!

2016 Savings Balances / 2017 Plans

December 28th, 2016 at 08:05 pm

I don't know what I will be doing over the New Year, it is all changing but generally around this time I find it hard to blog and update so I've had a look at the savings account and the final balances are as follows:

Cash (Mini EF): $2,233.21
Study unit (from Xmas bonus): $500.00
Holiday fund: $485.00
Shares (Maxi EF): $5,586.00

Total: $8,804.21

Yesterday I bought another 100 QBE shares for $12.48 per share. These shares are doing really well at the moment. Therefore the mini EF is slightly smaller than usual.

I've decided that I'm going to do a savings challenge on a smaller scale this year and simply budget our savings.

The challenge I am planning on doing is a 12 month Christmas savings challenge. SA had a 12-week $1000 challenge, so I have used the same amounts but modified it into a monthly plan. The January deposit required of $60 already has around $18.50 in the account, which is great.

In 2017 we are going to be doing a few much-needed things to our house as well as taking a holiday, so there will be less going to savings than in previous years. I feel like we have had two good years to repay debt and build up savings so this is kind of a year off from that.

I have cancelled the weekly EF savings debit and have created a yearly planner showing which month each goal will be accomplished, savings will be transferred accordingly.

Our plan for 2017 savings is:

- B's tax $1390 (due March)
- B's credit card repayment $2160
- Phuket balance of deposit $815 (due around April)
- Phuket spending money $2000
- New security doors for house $1000
- Garden updates to front and back $1500 (due by September, our spring time)
- New tyres for my car $600 (due asap - could be up to $1000, we will save the balance)
- Savings - shares $1265
- Savings - cash $1270

Based on these items, the percentages for the categories is as follows:
- Tax/debt repayment 30%
- Travel 23%
- House spending 21%
- Car spending 5%
- Savings 21%

B's credit card won't be repaid by the end of the year, but the balance will be much lower. With regards to travel, it is probably going to be our last overseas holiday for a couple of years (unless we do something for my 40th). I had a category for a new car fund but have been finding it too hard to do this as well as repay debt so may simply when B's loan is paid off in 1.5 years use the amount we were paying for that loan to save for a new car.

If I don't get around to checking in, hope you all have a wonderful new year!

Snowflakes 01/09/16; End of August

September 1st, 2016 at 08:26 pm

Challenge starting balance: $6,642.80
Plus:
- weekly EF savings $35.69
- football winnings $58.00
- plumber visit -$160.00
- addition to mortgage principal $259.25
Challenge closing balance: $6,835.74

The above transactions took place; weekly EF savings got deposited, I transferred over my team's big win (yay!), withdrew money for the plumber visit and added $259.25 to the mortgage being for June interest $559.25 less $300.

My team is now out of the finals so September is purely making up for the first six wins (if possible).

I also checked the EF balance on the 1st and have updated the sidebar. The mini EF is looking a little small because it is $2771.16 less $1445.94, less $192.00 (however on the upside thanks to the big win we are now below owing $200). Must get the tax return lodged and the $1073 back!

The maxi EF (the shares) dropped about $100. The MXI shares which I bought at $0.585 spent a couple of months well below what I bought them for- around $0.45, which I was not thrilled about. On 31st August though they raised up to $0.61 which is a bit of a relief.

The QBE shares which are the bigger portion (think $3200 compared to MXI $600) instead have dropped down! They are currently around $9.97- the average price I have bought them for is $10.70.

The main thing is, even if there is not a profit at the moment, there is no big loss.

***

September is a huge bills month - we are looking at around $1500 in bills which will stretch us. We could pay them but cannot also save our usual 10%, which doesn't thrill me.

I'm thinking I'd rather we pay half this month, half next month as we have no bills really in October. Then in November we start paying the monthly averaged amount of $4011. Much less stressful that way.

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!

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.

Holiday Financial Transactions, EF Thoughts

May 9th, 2016 at 11:04 am

My $730 that I transferred over to the travel money card hit the bank today so I converted the money to GBP. The $730 AUD converted at a rate of 0.4827 GBP, and I received 351.41 GBP after conversion fees (1% of the transaction). Looking around at other currency converter sites it seems pretty standard, so that's good.

Tonight I got around to buying travel insurance, paid $139 for a policy with CoverMore. I shopped around for cheaper travel insurance policies but upon reading the bad reviews decided to stick with CoverMore, they have better reviews. I did increase the excess to $250 to reduce the price of the policy though.

After that I bought a pair of compression socks for flying from OurDeal for $19, have heard good things about them.

Finally I logged into the EF and transferred the $49 over to our savings account - soon will need to exchange $180 for GBP cash (want to have a bit available for small purchases).

I have now updated the sidebar to show the EF breakdown. I don't mind borrowing a little bit from the EF and repaying that amount when I return home.

Looking at the EF, in a month or two will buy some more QBE shares - want to have 300 at least by the time the next dividend is to be paid. Or might wait until about August.

The other thing I want to do with it is move the cash portion to a higher interest account, but will look at doing that after coming back. (Along with refinancing B's car - going to be busy, I think!).

In the account (aka Mini EF) I want to have a minimum balance of $2500 and will probably increase that by $500 annually. The rest of the EF savings will be investments in the Maxi EF.

It's Been A While

April 20th, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Challenge starting balance: $3,297.90
Plus:
- 2 week's EF: $142.04
- 2 weeks balance transfer repayment: $151.50
- Safeway everyday rewards: $30.00
- Maxitrans dividend: $21.00
- QBE dividend: $60.30
Challenge closing balance: $3,702.74


April is typically a very busy month. We have Easter plus my birthday plus another family birthday (niece) plus another public holiday, Anzac Day, which remembers Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought in the First World War, plus work gets busy in the lead up to our annual major deadline (15 May- this year 16 because it's on the Monday.

So I've been doing lots and simply jotting down the spending etc in our spending app. Financial things have been plugging away.

I have put the previous two week before's EF savings in the challenge total. I also transferred 2 weeks balance transfer payment - finally got around to updating my credit card paydown spreadsheet. I received a statement on the weekend stating that $1432.10 is now owing, according to my spreadsheet by the middle of May I will owe $1220.00 on the progress payment. By the time I go to the UK I will be down to below $1000, so am looking forward to that.

Along with the busyness, we have been going away, celebrating my birthday, adjusting to a new budget and it hasn't been pretty. Yes there are snowflakes up there but I have had to withdraw $405 from the EF to be able to save the certain amount each fortnightly pay for the UK holiday.

I am hoping we can make up for our overspending in May and start to find balance again. I decided to withdraw some money from the EF each fortnight because I didn't think it was fair that B suffers because I am going on an expensive holiday, so was thinking I need to save $580 per fortnight so would withdraw $290 per fortnight to ease the burden a bit and repay it back over the next few months. Was not thrilled about withdrawing $405 though, that was higher than I would have liked. For repayment purposes I will have the Mini EF and the Maxi EF at their current balances with a negative balance in the holiday fund. As it gets repaid it will be adjusted.

***

Have done well with the Safeway Everyday rewards and was happy to get dividends from both the Maxitrans shares and the QBE shares.

With Maxitrans the purchase price was $614.25 and the dividend received was $21.00. The return on that is 3.42%. Unfortunately the value is $546.00, so while the return is more the value is now in negative of $68.25. Not great but I was not planning to buy more of these.

With QBE the overall purchase price was $2183.61 and the dividend received was $60.30. The return on that is 2.76% and the value currently is $2243.16, up $59.55.

So overall the outlay was $2,797.86 and the remaining amount is $2789.16, down $15.18 in total. The return from dividends was 2.91%. The loss of $15.18 is -0.54% from the balance, so 2.91% - 0.54% = 2.37% overall return.

It looks like my return is currently roughly the same as an average savings account. You can get up to 3.60% interest however there are clauses, ie it is an introductory period rate and will revert back down.

Currently I'm happy with the return, will have to see how things go in 6 months time when the dividends get paid again!

March Wrap-Up

March 31st, 2016 at 11:37 am

52 Week Challenge Opening Balance: $2,982.66
Plus:
- EF savings $71.02
- Balance transfer repayment $60.60
- Mortgage principal repayment $34.00
52 Week Challenge Closing Balance: $3,148.28

This week I made the EF savings, the balance transfer repayment and the mortgage was at $122,033.97 so paid $34.00 so it would drop down into the next thousand. Unfortunately with the outlay for the holiday I was not able to pay some of the mortgage interest charge so it would not be more than $300 interest paid.

For February I was able to save 9.38% of my pay, which was pretty good considering the outlay. It was a huge month financially. I was able to keep the other categories down/normal (food, fuel, entertainment, alcohol).

As it is the end of the month I have updated the EF breakdown. Our mini EF balance is still larger than our maxi EF, but only slightly.

The shares haven't really dropped too much in value since I bought them, so that's good - only about $43. Last month they were down $60 so there's a slight improvement there.

Ps. credit card debt is now below $1826 - it is moving towards $1523, so that is progressing well. My CC1 (my short term card) will be paid back in full by the start of June, is currently $1086.

Snowflake from February

March 3rd, 2016 at 11:15 am

52 Week challenge opening balance: $2,567.38
Plus Safeway Everyday rewards to EF: $10.00
52 Week challenge closing balance: $2,577.38

I was checking through my budgeting app and realised that I forgot to transfer into the EF a $10.00 snowflake I received last month, so transferred it over tonight.

Today the car upholstering got done to the ceiling - it looks sooo much better! No more front and back of the car ceiling hanging down any more Smile. As quoted, this work was $250, and well worth it.

I discussed my holiday options with B a bit more - I am so happy that he's totally fine with me going away without him. He just wants to know that I'll be safe and won't be spending a fortune. I've asked my friend about going on the cruise, so we'll wait and see.

I ended up buying 51 more QBE shares, so now hold 201 of them. Expected dividend will now be $60.30. Now the mini EF and the maxi EF are more evenly balanced. Cash is $2,997.32 and shares are $2,860.86. My plan is cash to be around $2500 or so, and then invest the rest.

That's all my financial news for the day, talk soon!

B Got A Job!

March 2nd, 2016 at 11:29 am

This has been in the works for the last week and yesterday it was made official. B got a job! Very happy news.

He has had a carpentry business for nearly 9 years, but it was taking a toll on his body. Before that he was working as a building supervisor - overseeing the construction of new homes, and now he has just got a job doing this again.

This will mean that he can work in a non-physical job, meaning less damage to his body. The money is very good ($75,000 per year as opposed to around $40,000 which the business brings in), but it is a higher stress job, so we'll have to see how he goes with it. Hopefully it will be all fine. He starts in 2 weeks so has a very busy couple of weeks finishing up his current jobs.

***

My holiday plans are now officially up in the air. I took a couple of short holidays last year, but really our money was tied up with saving for the big party we had for B's 40th. I feel like I need a decent holiday. (Like an adventure holiday!)

B can't go now because you don't get holidays in the first year unless it is mutually agreed, and often it is unpaid. For him now though, the new job will be his focus, so he doesn't want to ask anyhow; and I'm totally fine with that.

So now I'm left with either doing something with friends or (gulp) going somewhere on my own. I do want to organise something this month so we'll see how that works out.

***

This morning I thought I would look up the dividends my new shares are going to receive. It turns out they are both being paid in April (a day after my birthday), one is $21 and the other is $45. The shares that will pay $45 (QBE), I have 150 in and want to end up with 1,000. The dividend record date is 11 March, so if I buy more by 11 March then I'll get a bigger dividend. I was planning on buying 50, so put in an order in, so we'll see what happens there. If I was planning on buying anyway, may as well earn a bit extra on it Smile

February Wrap-Up

February 29th, 2016 at 10:34 am

52 Week Challenge Opening Balance: $2,496.36
Plus:
- EF savings $71.02
52 Week Challenge Closing Balance: $2,567.38

The EF savings hit the account over the weekend so have added it to my challenge - really the only addition I expect over the next few weeks as I made all the savings payments in one hit.

For February I was able to save 21.17% of my pay and will also add $135.00 to the Holiday Fund. It was a quiet month, and my highest variable expenses were reupholstering the car ceiling for $250 and I spent $159 on clothes. I will be spending a bit on clothes over the next few months as from November-January I pretty much bought the bare minimum and things need to be replaced.

As it is the end of the month I have updated the EF breakdown. Our mini EF balance is still larger than our maxi EF, maybe in the next month I might buy some more shares to even out the balance. I don't want the cash portion to dip below $2000-$2500 though.

I have renamed the Thailand savings as the Holiday Fund as we are now going to Thailand next year. I am itching to book a holiday but at the moment there are a few factors that are making me hold off. I did say to B that no matter what I want something booked by the middle of March.

Work will be really busy up to middle of May and will well and truly die off by June-July. I barely took any leave last year because we were saving for B's party so I have lots of leave accrued now and within a couple of months will really need a break of some sort. Will be looking at doing something between June and August, depending on various factors.

The shares haven't really dropped too much in value since I bought them, so that's good - only about $60. I think the account (all balances combined) is possibly the biggest it's ever been! Ok, that's kinda sad. I'm going to have to get used to the balances increasing. Did anybody else have this problem when their savings were increasing?

I guess in perspective, there is a bit over 1.5 months of my pay there now, so even though the dollar value is increasing, in actual fact there's not "heaps" there. And if you combined both our pays, then there is 1 month's there. Really not heaps.

Another thing too, when you think of how many months salary you want to have in an EF, do you use your current salary as a guide or bare minimum monthly amount required? I would rather use bare minimum monthly amount required because if you were in a financial bind you should cut all expenses to the bare minimum, I believe. (I worked out my bare minimum to be between $2200 and $2500 per month)

Ps. credit card debt is now below $2000 - it is $1826, so that is progressing well.

February Snowflakes & Savings

February 25th, 2016 at 11:41 am

52 Week Challenge Opening Balance: $1,809.96
Plus:
- Priceline rewards snowflake $4.38
- Safeway grocery rewards snowflakes $20.00
- Mortgage additional repayment $288.00
- EF savings $71.02
- Credit card repayment $303.00
52 Week Challenge Closing Balance: $2,496.36

Money here is slowly getting back to what we know as normal, B is starting to get paid weekly instead of us having to stretch his payments to 2-3 weeks (yet the payments are worth 1-2 weeks).

So I've just kind of sat on transferring various payments (due to not being sure if we would have enough to do all the payments). It's probably more time effective to just do it all in one hit anyhow.

We received the Priceline and Safeway snowflakes at the start of the month (by reduced prices at the checkout) so when I got paid, I just transferred the amount over.

The mortgage additional payment and the credit card repayment are both monthly payments - the credit card is actually for the month of March but as the payment is due by the 7th, I just paid it at the same time as the other payments.

All that is left in the Bills account now is enough to cover all direct debits and $250 for the car being upholstered next week. Last year we noticed that the ceiling of my 13 year old car is starting to drop at the front but as we had so many other repairs, we put it in the not urgent category. Now the back is falling down as well as the front and you can see the ceiling drop in the rearview mirror, so we thought we'd better get it sorted out fairly soon - it will possibly get done next Thursday.

Spending this month is still low, so we're doing well in that area.

***

As I've decided not to study for the degree any further I spent the money set aside for the study unit by buying 100 QBE shares. I bought 50 in December for $12.15 and they dropped down, so I got 100 for $10.10. At the end of the month I will update the EF breakdown on the sidebar properly.

Work is also going well with the job change - I spent some time today doing some bookkeeping work for our clients and have been spending a bit of time each day training our part-timer in various aspects of my job. Possibly about a third of my job involves so many administrative duties it would take days to train someone in! So I figure 2-3 new things each day is enough to teach her while not overloading her. The idea is that she will be doing a lot of administrative overflow and be able to work more than 3 days per week.

I have plenty of things to write about but it's right before bed and I've gotten really tired all of a sudden! Hope you're all doing great Smile

January Savings & Monthly Wrap-Up

February 3rd, 2016 at 11:37 am

52 Week Challenge starting balance: $939.62
Plus:
Interest received $0.30
Credit card payment made $303.00
Left over money from January saved into EF: $425.00
52 Week Challenge closing balance: $1,667.92

January was a very low income month for my husband, so we cut our spending right down. The only bill we had to pay other than our mortgage and other set bills was a gas bill of $113, so we were lucky there also.

I left my pay sitting in the bank account our bills get deducted out of and was ready to use some of that if needed. (B & I agreed a long time ago that because my pay is always paid on the same day of the month, I pay the house bills. Because his income varies so much he pays the business bills and our spending money. I admit it's not as romantic as the couple who puts all their savings in one bank account but it means that because things are slightly separated, it is easier to handle. At my last job I was getting paid fortnightly and he weekly, and we used to have the money in the same account and it was a nightmare because it was so easy to spend on that one thing that would cause a debit to bounce. Now the accounts are separate, everything gets paid as needed).

Anyway, we only needed $110 from there. There was actually $925 left over but because I wanted to pay a water bill of $315 and my monthly balance transfer payment of $303, I simply put $425 into the EF - will put the other $500 in on around payday.

I actually can't believe there is that much left over from my pay! Having not much in the way of bills to pay was helpful. Probably the other thing that was helpful that we simply used what B had for spending money, even though it was low. So we were shopping at Aldi to bring groceries down, we went away camping which is super cheap because I tend to be of the belief that when we camp we don't shop so I get everything beforehand and then we have no spend days because we're enjoying ourselves camping and making the best of being in the outdoors. I spent $80 on clothes that were needed. We went out for three meals - the most expensive being on Sunday morning for brunch would you believe! $50 for two people having pancakes, bacon and eggs, coffee and orange juice. (It was really nice though)

So, I've checked the EF and have updated the sidebar accordingly. The mini EF has $2562.02 along with $1318 of funds set aside for the Thailand holiday payment and my study unit. The maxi EF (the shares) unfortunately is down $100 (exactly, would you believe!) from when we purchased the shares.

I had to pay some money onto my balance transfer credit card by the 7th and thought I may as well pay the whole lot for this month ($303) to save having to make two transfers. There will now be $2129 owing on this card, so that along with the $104 owing on CC1 brings my credit card debt to $2233 - now $3167 paid off from when I started this last year.

February may not be as low spend as there are more bills, so far the water bill of $315 plus council rates of $390, so we will see what happens.

I apologise for the super long post, must make a habit of posting more often to avoid this!

My First Share Purchases Since 2013

December 11th, 2015 at 11:11 am

The last couple of years haven't been wonderful financially so I've had a trading account for many years but haven't had the funds to justify owning shares.

This year we're now in a better place and the EF is sitting in my trading cash account which earns next to no interest. Seriously we get about $0.30 a month! I like having the cash there though because it is a separate bank to all our other accounts and it is a hassle to withdraw funds so there is less temptation to withdraw all the time.

I decided to split it up into a mini EF and a maxi EF. The mini EF has $2000 plus $518 Phuket money plus $810 for the two weeks we are on holidays to cover B's salary (which is the spending money he provides us). The maxi EF is the $1221 shares purchased today. The idea is next year that the mini EF gets $1k so there will be $3k cash available and the balance goes to the maxi EF.

I bought 1050 Maxitrans shares for $635 including brokerage. It's been so long since I've bought that the minimum trade has gone up from $500 to $600! Maxitrans cost $0.585 per share. They are a local company who I invested in last time at $0.60 and sold for $1.40. I think they're good and I guess I'm being a loyal customer coming back for seconds!

The other shares I bought were 50 QBE insurance. I dealt with them recently for work and they were so efficient that I thought if there was any company I'd want to own a part of it would be them! Their figures checked out ok (by my unprofessional standards of course!), so I bought and hope to buy more Smile

I feel like things are falling into place now, and am glad to have our money somewhere we can get a return better than $0.30 a month!!