Well I have just now paid B's tax bill of $2780.95. That is DONE. It took 6 months for us to save up the money and I am so glad to not have that expense anymore. It is money we owed because it is a portion of his earnings from the business but it certainly was not fun saving up to pay a big bill. Oh well.
After the tax was paid, I swept the first two months of the Christmas savings challenge into the tax account because it turns out it pays slightly higher interest.
I then sorted out which bank accounts the car insurances will be getting deducted out of; turned out his car is still getting debited out of the business account. So $2090.56 car insurance sorted out now. DONE. It is due to be withdrawn somewhere between the 19th and the 21st. Part of me thinks the bank account for his should be changed but part of me thinks that we may be looking for another car insurance provider next year anyway as it went up $149.16 this year, I imagine it will go up again. My car is amazing because it is 14 years old yet is nearly $1000 a year to insure. Part of me wonders if it is even worth having comprehensive these days with a 14yo car because the market value if stolen or written off is only $3000-$5000. What a crock it all is. Anyway that task can also be ticked off the list. DONE.
Then we received the dishwasher seal on Tuesday night. We managed to get ourselves into a dishes routine so as to not be too bothered by not having a dishwasher and B spent some quality time giving the dishwasher a deep clean while we waited for the seal. Then it arrived and after a couple of nights and a bit of water all over the floor, my handyman husband fixed it so now we don't have to call out a repairman or (worst case scenario) buy a new dishwasher. I am so blessed to have a husband who is so handy with repairing things and tinkering with engines. So we can cross that off the list too! FIXED.
That's about all I have at the moment in the way of news. The $5000 outflow from our bank accounts is enough financial news! Thankfully the dishwasher is fixed so no outflow there thank goodness.
Viewing the 'TAX' Category
Well I have just now paid B's tax bill of $2780.95. That is DONE. It took 6 months for us to save up the money and I am so glad to not have that expense anymore. It is money we owed because it is a portion of his earnings from the business but it certainly was not fun saving up to pay a big bill. Oh well.
Yesterday we made a small withdrawal from the holiday fund of $189.25. This was for an esky (large drinks cooler for camping) as our other one has been broken for a while. The holiday fund was $485 and is now down to $295.75. I like keeping a bit of money there just in case, and the football season is due to start next week so I will do the points challenge (whenever my football team wins I will put $1 per point to the holiday fund; it's a fun way to build some holiday cash when you don't actually have a holiday plan so that if some sort of holiday plan or idea happens there is a little bit set aside for it). Imasaver actually gave me that idea; wherever you are Imasaver I hope you're ok.
Other financial news is we received the gas bill ($131, up from last year) and the electricity bill ($491, down from last year); net difference for both was $3.63 saved compared to last year. More importantly as this big bills month closes over it looks like we could possibly have only $211 left over at the end of the month so any extra expenses will need to be funded from savings if they are over that amount.
By Thursday I will pay the $2780 for B's tax and make sure that the $2100 (roughly) is there for the insurance to debit from the account.
Ps I can see many of you have wild, crazy weather - please stay safe and best wishes for no damage or long outages!
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 . 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 . 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!
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 .
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.
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.
Challenge starting balance: $7,581.56
- weekly EF savings x 2 $71.38
- Safeway rewards $10.00
- digital change $22.14
- QBE dividend $63.00
Challenge closing balance: $7,748.09
It's been a while between entries, have been super busy with this studying and trying to keep all the other areas of my life afloat too. I have to do 10 hours per week study, and last week as it was a public holiday we went away and therefore I only managed 6 hours.
This weekend is a very quiet weekend so will most definitely be catching up. I have made up last week's 4 hours, so tomorrow and Sunday I need to do 5 hours each day. I would have done more during the week but catching up on home duties after work took up some time. I'm looking forward to spending some blocks of time to increase my understanding of the material; have been so busy I feel like I'm doing the work but not really retaining anything or understanding much.
Because I didn't write an entry last week I didn't note down the EF savings, so this entry I have put two weeks in.
The supermarket chain I have rewards with, Safeway, have reintroduced their old rewards program again, so after spending the required amount (I think it was $100), I got $10 off the shopping, which I sent to Christmas savings. They have introduced their biggest rewards deal ever since I have been doing it - spend $90 per shop there for four weeks in a row to get 8000 points ($80.00 off the next shop). We've spent $37.76 there so far this week, have $52.24 to go, which can be done on the grocery shop for the week.
Trying To Get Ahead with all of her change jars prompted me to do an experiment for the month of September and I have been doing it still. What if every transaction from our checking account we round up to the next dollar and deposit it into our savings account? I know somebody wrote that there is an app for that, but I didn't find it in Australia so have just been doing it manually. So far we have saved $22.14.
We also received a dividend of $63.00 for our QBE shares. They are currently way down in value so I am considering buying another 100 but that would bring our cash down a bit so am sitting on the fence. Our averaged out purchase price is $10.70 per share and they dropped down to $9.33 which is a year low. (It was also a big loss so I was a bit worried) Now they are currently just under $10, so still lower than normal but at least we have not lost as much now. Will see what happens over the next month before deciding. Was actually going to buy in about January, give the EF a chance to build up a bit.
I also added $8.00 to the holiday fund, so the balance there is $-90.00 now.
This month we are on a five week month so funds are a little bit short. Our usual spending money is $580 ($500 into our checking and $80 onto B's card to cover his work expenses and takeaway) so have decreased it this month to $430 per week into checking and $65 onto his card; so usual monthly spending money was $2320, with these adjustments and an extra week included it only increases to $2475, which is not too painful.
We did work out his tax though which will be $2780 due in March, so have to save $463 per month. Ouch. Oh well, it must be done.
And also need to start saving $250 per month towards Thailand. And hopefully we can still afford $300 for my new car fund but we'll see. We need to start saving for Christmas so may need to shift some money out of certain categories to make it happen.
According to my Christmas saving challenge we need to save $330 this month, and so far have $32 saved however it is only the first week of October however I may even re-examine Christmas spending money and cut it down slightly.
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.
52 Week Challenge starting balance: $868.60
Plus this week's EF savings: $71.02
52 Week Challenge closing balance: $939.62
This week's EF savings will be automatically transferred in the morning, so thought I would update now. Next week we will be over $1000.00, so that's exciting!
I think on Sunday, being the 31st of January, I will officially update the Mini EF and Maxi EF breakdown on the sidebar too.
The other day I lodged B's sales tax report and we also have to pay an amount towards his 2016 income tax. This is a percentage of his net earnings based on a rate the government give us. I looked at his earnings and worked out the tax payable so far to be $1904 and it turns out that in the first two quarters of the year we paid $1988! Very happy about that because that's something we don't have to try to find money for.
I had to buy catfood today so went to Safeway to get it and they had a few good deals on things- I spent $35 and got two weeks worth of catfood, a month's worth of biscuits, coffeepods, dinner for tomorrow night, stirfry sauce and deodorant for B. We have now spent enough to qualify for the first week of the snowflake.
I thought we had to spend two weeks of $80 in a row but as soon as I paid for groceries there was a printout saying that I now qualify to receive $20 ($15 for spending $80 plus $5 already in my rewards balance), so that will be good to add to the challenge also. Not sure what will happen next week though - maybe I will do the rest of the grocery shopping there on the weekend, get the snowflake then, and then next week do the grocery shopping there again to qualify for week 2 by spending over $80.
I also bought a bottle of wine for $8.50 (marked down from $17, so it is a fancy wine). I have not been good with my new years resolution of only drinking one bottle of wine per week, so will aim to do this this week. The only reason why I may have more is if we catch up for a friend's birthday on the weekend, which is likely as we spoke about it last week - no concrete plans have been made yet though.
Another weekly payment went through to the EF, it is now $284.08, with the 52 wk challenge standing at $868.60.
Have simply been plodding along in Oz, and trying to do what needs to be done? Financially the New Years resolutions (plans) are progressing well.
Cutting down from 2 bottles of wine a week to 1 hasn't happened. Gonna need a whole lot more willpower for that one.
The other non-financial resolution was to keep the kitchen bench tidy; happy to say that resolution has fared a bit better.
I also had to do B's monthly sales tax report and checked on his earnings for 6 months: it is $28,223. This is up about $8000 from this time last year and that is because last year he was off work from mid October to mid January. How much have we saved up? Not enough. I worked the tax out to be $1904, I think he's already paid $600 back in September and we have to pay $600 in the next week or so. But at least there's 6 months to make this up so I'll start withholding more from his payments that come in from now on. This is why it's handy to keep a close eye on your earnings when you are self-employed.
Our financial year in Australia finished on 30 June, and I have now finalised B's tax. I nominated to pay his tax monthly as he is registered for GST and it makes it so much easier to do it monthly, and it's done so quickly.
I wanted him to earn around $40,000 this year before tax and it has turned out he has made $39,970! Getting there, this is an improvement on last year! Last financial year he recorded $37,986 - he was working for a guy who was an awful payer for much of that year (which is around when my credit card got maxed out, because we were short a lot). This year he spent 3-4 months out of work and has still managed to improve, which is good.
While businesses always try to minimise their tax, with B's income it's a bit low - he's done well with tax minimising! We can live off it but if he ever gets to needing to borrow money he has trouble getting finance because a lot of companies have a $50,000 income minimum rule (like when he borrowed money for his motorbike last year - he was lucky the tax return he used, the previous one, was $49,880 or something like that, and not the one lodged a few months later of $37,986!).
Have estimated the tax payable as $4537. We have paid $3034 and have $1000 saved up so not far to go to meet the required balance.
Hoping he can make $45000 next year, or at least $42000 to keep up with increasing inflation. Happy with this result, that he has made progress!
The moment I've been waiting for has arrived! We're halfway through the two challenges created, yay. So to officially mark where we are $2438 has been saved for the 52 week challenge and $2458.04 has been saved for the Banking the Difference challenge, a total of $4896.04 saved. Woohoo!
Credit card debt is roughly $7.5k now ($4541 for CC1, $3003 for CC2, so rounding down we can say $7.5k), down from $9.1k at the start of the challenge. The EF was $2651 (up from $0) but unfortunately I had to withdraw $265.76 to cover the balance of personal and business spending expenses for the week. And then there's also $745 in the mortgage home offset account.
With the savings for the party, we have enough to cover expenses and live on the bare minimum because we are short $4200 which I've earmarked as to be put straight to the party when these funds arrive. So we have the option of using credit cards to cover the shortfall or borrow from the EF. As we have the choice to choose from either I'm going to borrow from the EF. The EF is held in an online trading account separate from our bank (mind you I don't think I've traded for a couple of years! That will change as the EF grows) and earns a pitiful amount of interest, so while we might not earn interest there, at least we're not going to be paying extra interest on the credit cards.
Last weekend we had a birthday party at a restaurant so that was expensive and had to repay $265.76 on our credit cards that we overspent. I'm going to start a tally of how much needs to be paid back to the EF, so far $265.76.
B's earnings for 11 months of the year are now $37633, tax payable $3777 (up from $3115). Will need to make up the difference of $662.
Frugal things I've been doing: instead of buying invitations we designed them off a free template, did four to a page and glued them to a thicker paper backing. Found among our wedding invitation things 17 unused good quality envelopes worth $8.95 (woohoo) so only had to buy 20 envelopes. Envelopes, glue, textas and thick paper cost: $10.50.
FrugalTexan inspired me with her banana and oat pancakes! I had a day off today so made them this morning, they were so yum!
Super happy today, I feel like we've done so well!!!
Had a really spendy start to June. Got my hair done ($105), the car exhaust system replaced ($580) and then bought a new suit ($285). I had to replace it anyway so I thought may as well do it to wear to a fancy lunch. The suit was bought on my credit card - I repaid $85 this weekend, have $200 to go. The car exhaust system and my hairdo were bought using extra money in the home loan offset account. Will be repaid by the end of the month.
When doing B's tax I calculated how much he earned and to the end of April it was $34596, tax on that is $3115 - we have paid $2400 so have to start making up the difference, $200 has already been saved and we will make up the balance soon.
One of my games I play on my iPad is words with friends and one of their new options is to play in another language- I studied Italian all through high school so I thought why not? It's so much fun!! It's like this whole new little world has opened up, am really enjoying it.
Just finished a really great book last night called The October List by Jeffrey Deaver - it was slow to start (which wasn't a problem with me as I've been a bit too busy to be engulfed in a book - a chapter here or there has worked well for me) but last night I was able to sit down and read the last three chapters (which were long), did not disappoint! I guessed half of the ending but the rest of the ending took me by surprise, delivered lots of twists and turns, which every thriller should. Highly recommend it.
Today I took the dog to my friend's place, who lives by the beach and went for an hour and a half walk with my friend and her 5yo son, was a really lovely morning
And finally, my last piece of news of what has been going on in my life lately - B's 40th party. We didn't know what we were going to do for it, and B was ummming and ahhhing, and thinking of perhaps going away on a holiday instead. It looks like we will most likely have the party. I have no idea how many people will come - the list we drew up was 88 in total but some people live interstate, and it is likely that they won't be able to come. We're looking at having it at our house (there'll be a fair bit of work there) and B said to just do finger food, but we thought we will also check out catering. The caterer we used for my 30th now has a website (um my 30th was quite a few years ago now!) and their prices look reasonable - $15.90 per adult for 3 meats, 4 salads & 3 desserts, $11.90 per child.
We're thinking of going with the catering option (I can't see myself handling the food for 88 people maximum singlehanded!), and providing the alcohol also. (More calculations required there).
The party is exactly 2 months away (on a Saturday) so we need to do proper calculations (especially for the alcohol portion!), prepare invitations this weekend and book the caterer. I hope we go ahead with it, I'm starting to get excited! I already have various ideas going through my head.
Financially it will probably be a stretch, but I think once we start to have concrete estimations of price we will be more motivated to save whatever we have towards the party, especially as it's only 2 months away. If we go ahead with the party, the 50 week challenge will still be proceeding as normal, but I will be putting the Banking the Difference challenge on hold for the 2 months while we are saving for the party instead.
Last weekend was week 15, and now in one section, the EF, we have hit triple digits! Progress is a beautiful thing
Last weekend was the first of three weeks where we really have to watch our money, because of B's uncertainty of when he'll get paid next- they're saying three weeks so we'll budget for that.
I prepaid over the interest to his card and then it wasn't charged (still on $0, yay). I normally would have counted it as a snowflake but he bought petrol for work at $96, so leaving off the $62 received, we had to pay $34. (So we had a $567 less $34). So this weekend our money situation was semi-normal really. Missed out on a snowflake, and while we couldn't afford the party savings, we still made the 52 week challenge (which to me is crucial, as we need to build up savings and reduce debt). Have to pay some bills next week and there is enough in that account to make the banking the difference deposit (estimated at $143), so as long I can do that, that's good.
We had a quiet weekend, saw a movie called "The Longest Ride" which was a really sweet movie (directed by the director of "The Notebook" and "Dear John"). With groceries, spent our old spend of $170, but part of that was dogworming tablets and we just seemed to run out of a few things this week. Looking over the month, we haven't actually spent that much on groceries because we were away the first week of April and then my birthday was the second week (we had lots of left over food that week).
I have been spending all month jotting down the things I spend and how long it takes to earn each thing as an exercise in money mindfulness. A few things I can tell you is, with both the challenges combined, have managed to save 11.7% of my pay (or 18 hours that I worked within the month). I was aiming for 20% but after the last couple of weeks, it's not possible.
It's really made me evaluate what I spend on though. I don't feel like it's made me not want to spend but rather aim for a few quality things, here and there. I guess I can tell you, the bills portion - housing, insurances, bills, door lock repair to car, dentist visit and insurance savings amounted to 45% of my pay.
I saved $10 on petrol because I filled up once at the second week of the month, for $50 instead of $20 each week simply because I couldn't be bothered updating my notes! They do say that if you fill up once instead of small amounts here and there your fuel does last longer, and I found that it is true.
As I started this exercise in the second week of the month it's not totally accurate. I'm great with tracking expenses most of the time but whenever we go on holiday, I am officially on holiday. No updating finances - the bills get paid before we go, we have some money to spend and what it gets spent on I don't note down because I'm on holiday and relaxing is my priority.
But I found that this exercise is great for helping me live within my means, and to appreciate what I earn and what we can afford.
On another note, B got told about a job opening as a Building Supervisor for a new homes construction company, so we did an application letter for it and sent it with his resume. He thinks it would be a good idea because of the physical toll carpentry takes on the body, he could have a point there. If he's happy, I'm happy, so hopefully he gets it.
Also, last week I had to go over B's tax and work out how much he's earned from 1 July - 31 March, and he came in at $30,814 with $2396 tax payable. As we've paid just over $2400 for the year, there are no problems with not having paid/saved enough. I wanted him to make $40k, and I think he would just squeeze through, if he's lucky. (Of course if he gets a job, we won't have to worry about this anymore)
My husband B is self-employed so it is important to keep up to date with his tax Withholdings in order to avoid being in a world of financial pain when it's time to lodge the tax return!
We had money problems while he was off work but now he is back working and we are recovering, he has a lot of work at the moment.
Now that we have money again a friend has offered to sell him a camper trailer for $2000 which is in pretty good condition and would be a valuable purchase for us, we would get a lot of use out of it. I told him I would let him know this week if we are able to get it.
The Australian tax year starts on July 1 and ends June 30. The way I look at his tax is to pay instalments towards his tax as the government advises for the first half of the year, and then between months 6 & 8 start looking at his profit & loss to see have we paid enough tax? If not, we have a few months to get things back in order by year end. (If he was making way more money than usual I would be checking earlier).
So I had the family banker hat on this week and have found that he is doing ok. He hasn't earned much this year ($27000 so far), tax payable is $1300, tax we have paid is $1700. So it works out I have over saved for tax so we can use that money to buy the camper trailer. It's nice to know that we're on track and won't get any nasty surprises in the form of big tax bills. Really hoping B will make a taxable income of over $40000 by year end (which will be an improvement on the $37000 he earned the year before).
Oh, and once I start checking at months 6-8, I continually check at the end of each month to keep a clear picture of where he's at. (As a salaried employee I don't need to do this for myself, there's not a lot to report and tax is withheld at the right level).