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Banking The Difference deposit

May 14th, 2015 at 04:43 am

As B got paid the other day, and I got paid today, I knew we would be ok to not have to watch every cent this weekend, so I decided to transfer the rest of the Banking the Difference from last week's bill payments, which was the savings on the phone bills - $88.02 for B, and $11.96 for the home phone.

Banking the Difference has now hit just over $2K ($2,004.63 to be exact), which is pretty awesome. Now along with the 52 week challenge money that will become $7.5K ($7,516.63 to be exact). Who would think that just by making a few simple changes there would be such an awesome payoff. I'm so thankful I stumbled upon this site and have you guys to share my experience, cheer me on and inspire me!

As we've really been watching what we spend down to the very last dollar for the last few weeks, this weekend I'm having a mini-celebration. I'm also having a mini-celebration because tomorrow is the 15th of May, our big deadline for work, and this year we sailed through it. Work has become so quiet (I have still have various jobs to do though so I'm not twiddling my thumbs or anything) for before 15 May - this time last year we had to work back every day and it was so busy that as soon as you walked in the door at work your head was stuck in whatever you were doing until you went home - no time for thinking about anything to do with the outside world. So to have everything done on time is really great and such a relief.

I got some nice wine (for more than the usual $6 a bottle - I got nice NZ Sauvignon Blanc for $14 a bottle, $10 a bottle and one other cheap bottle for $4), and I plan on getting Nespresso pods instead of pods from the supermarket. We don't really have any big expenses such as birthdays this weekend so I'm not bothered if we spend a bit more here or there as long as it's within range. Also thinking of making pancakes for breakfast and spinach & ricotta pasta roll-ups for Saturday night dinner.

I also transferred $1303 onto my credit card - $20 banking the difference and $1283 course fees for the latest subject, which starts June 1. I will then be back to working a fulltime work and doing 10 hours of study per week, so am currently looking at ways to structure my time better. I didn't do too badly last time, but time management is crucial with these things, so you have to keep on top of it and not get burnt out, or it will become too much for you.

Don't really have any plans this week other than visiting my sister with my mother for lunch - I usually spend around $20 on these outings and have a lovely time.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Challenges Week 17 & Third Football Win

May 11th, 2015 at 02:33 am

We managed to get through the weekend on $304 - just, but still did it. Our shopping was amazingly $121 including food for entertaining- it's B's turn to host his poker night, so he made meatballs & risoni for 8. For Mother's Day for the inlaws we had to bring a dessert so I made a double batch of white chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate ganache (one for inlaws do, one for poker do).

Mother's Day gift was $48 for inlaws, mine = $0. My mother has increasingly distanced herself from us and tolerates these occasions. But... I had the inlaws do & accidentally booked a get together with a friend so wasn't enthused about also seeing someone who really doesn't care about it. So I texted her asking does she want me to see her & I know it's not really her thing so I'll let her choose. Her response was father day doesn't exist here anymore (he died years ago) so let's pass this day onto the next generation (my sister had a baby last December). I wasn't expecting that! I was expecting doesn't bother me it's fine, not let's delete this day forever.

So I don't even know why I'm upset but I am. Of course I went on Facebook to rub salt in the wound because every single person it felt like was having an awesome day while my mother was just being a cold so-and-so. Grrr. But the rational side of me is winning. (And a day has passed) She is different now to what she was. That was then, and this is now. These things don't interest her. Family doesn't interest her. It's best to just accept it and try to let go of any negative feelings. Not everybody has the ideal family, and that's life.

Anyway, moving on from that.

A couple of good things. I caught up with an old friend last night who I hadn't seen in 6 months and we had so much to talk about! And still share lots of common interests which is really great! We are aiming to catch up again in the last week of May (unfortunately as well as having lots of common interests, we are both really slack with social arrangements), hopefully it will all work out. She has just moved 5 minutes drive away from me, and is sharing a beautiful house with a friend.

And the final good thing - my football team St Kilda won their third game for the year! By 7 points, so I sent $7 to the EF (So far the points has been 101 + 28 + now 7), and have added it to Banking The Difference challenge.

We had to pay for the 52 week challenge out of our buffer in the account (non-EF), there is now $141.20 there - not good. We are hoping B will receive money this week but I am preparing myself for a possible withdrawal from the EF (which will be as little as possible).

I have to withdraw money from the EF anyway to pay for a subject for my accounting degree, booking closes on the 20th. My work pays me bonuses which I use to pay for the subjects. So I will have to withdraw $1000 but then (unless things change for the first time ever) next month I will get the bonus and put it back in the account.

To Save Some Is Better Than None At All

May 7th, 2015 at 04:51 am

It was bill paying day today, but the outcome wasn't as great as what I would like. It is our third week of living off $567 less business expenses but unfortunately B filled up on petrol at the start of the week and the end of the week, so we had to pay for two tanks of petrol plus a couple of minor purchases he made (McDonalds was one of them). $265 later and we were left with $304 (ok there was $569 in the bank) for the week, which is possibly doable.

Then it was time to pay bills - water $278.85, B's mobile $119.97 and the home phone $105.79. Total savings on these plus the business insurance added up to just over $151. But then I knew that the bills account would be cleared out pretty much completely if I transferred the $151, and the savings account is paying for the 52 week challenge money so don't want to touch that.

Sooo... I decided the safest option would be to bank the difference for a couple of bills. To make it easier I simply picked the bills paid/due from between 1st & 6th May, which was the business insurance ($9.68 savings, deducted on the 1st) and the water bill savings ($41.95, the bill due date was the 1st - oops).

Total deposit this week for banking the difference was $51.63. Not the same as $151, but as the title states, to save some is better than none at all. Maybe we will get paid next week and then I can save the rest, who knows.

On the upside we are now below $8k combined credit card debt after making those deposits, which is good to see.

Looking like another cheap weekend on the horizon with the exception of Mother's Day for two parents, we will need to get some sort of presents, hoping to spend about $30 each and get a decent present.

Soooo Close..

May 5th, 2015 at 03:44 am

I checked our combined credit card debt just now after the 52 week challenge payments got paid as I knew it was hovering around $8K (when we started the challenges in mid-January it was $9.1K) and as of now it is $8,001.56.

So close to being under $8K! At least next time we have to make a deposit it will be under $8K then. Progress is a beautiful thing.

In other news we received 2 possibly 3 snowflakes today. A cheque from our old car insurance for the overpaid portion on my car for the amount of $84.48 (or thereabouts- it's $84 something anyway). I received a Priceline cheque for $3.87. And Priceline have given me an offer of $10 off my normal foundation (this is a possible snowflake as they had this offer last quarter too but were sold out so I couldn't get it before the offer expired). Will update the snowflakes properly when they are actually banked/used.

52 Week Challenge Week 15 & bits and pieces

April 28th, 2015 at 05:03 am

Last weekend was week 15, and now in one section, the EF, we have hit triple digits! Progress is a beautiful thing Smile

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)

Time to tighten the belt a bit....

April 22nd, 2015 at 05:15 am

Our finances have been travelling pretty well, so lately I've been feeling that maybe I don't need to have blog label "trying to survive the rollercoaster ride of my finances"... and then I'm reminded why I have that label up there.

1) to remind me that my husband's work is seasonal, so when savings get to a certain point not to get too complacent, because there are three months of the year where work is hard to come by and savings are needed.
2) because he's self-employed there can be big ups and downs.

Right now we're dealing with a sucky small business problem. Hopefully it will be short-lived, and expenses will not balloon out in this time.

He's been lucky enough to work for about 12-18 months (somewhere in that area) for pretty much one guy at a new homes company. The company pays weekly-fortnightly (some of B's jobs take longer than a week, which is the reason why I say weekly-fortnightly) and we've never had a problem with them.

But.... the guy changed jobs. (as these things happen)He told B that he wants B to do his jobs for him because he loves the quality of B's work (he's a great carpenter), and there will be so much work he should have 1, maybe 2 apprentices. We were talking about getting an apprentice but we're still slowly getting back on our feet after him being out of work so long. So we said we'd think about getting 1, but as we are being conservative, nothing has come of this. (We don't want to hire staff until we know for sure that there is enough work for them, otherwise we wouldn't be able to afford it).

So he changed about a week ago, and B just started working for him at his new job this week. B finds out that they pay fortnightly too, but there is a waiting period first of a week, so you are looking at receiving money in 3 weeks (not great). Day 2 of working there (today) and the other carpenter for this company, who happens to be related- it's a family owned company, finds out the supervisor has got somebody outside of the company doing carpentry work and completely cracked it. As he is family and has six employees, the new supervisor had to apologise and state that B will only be doing one job for him, he will use the family-owned carpenter now.

Lucky we didn't hire someone!

So he is looking at one week of work, which will be paid in 3 weeks, and the previous company he was working for do have work for him (luckily) but not for a couple of weeks. UGH.

The four months of no work taught me what rock bottom is for us financially, so I know what we can function on. We should be ok. But we are both on the same page (discussions have been had), that we don't have a lot of money to spend. That way if we really need something we can dip into the EF, but it's a last resort.

We have three weeks of $567 per week to live off including business expenses (where it gets dicey- B's car can cost $100 a week to fill if he gets a full week of work).

I saved $149 to the mortgage, as the difference between old and new mortgage, and the monthly insurance savings. I updated Banking the Difference, but I'm guessing that's my last snowflake for 3 weeks or so.

Wish us luck to make it through the next few weeks with little out of the ordinary expenses guys!

Challenges Week 14 & bits and pieces

April 19th, 2015 at 02:02 am

As always, the 52 week challenge debits got paid. I was a bit busy during the week so didn't get around to paying bills until just now (I usually do this Wed/Thursday).

This week's bill savings were $133.27, from the following places:
- business insurance $9.68
- my phone $55.45 (thank you $30 plan!)
- animal registrations $7.50 (our cat has a reduced fee to due to her age now- lower price for animals over 10 years old)
- train ticket savings $60.64

Other stuff that went on:

I went to the dentist for the first time in 4 years, due to a chip on one of my fillings. Amazingly, that was my only problem (I'm strict with brushing, flossing & mouthwash). So a clean, polish & filling patch up was $270. I'm pretty happy that there was only 10 minutes of physical pain and, while $270 sounds a lot, over 4 years it works out to $67.50 per year. Not bad.

We are starting to plan B's 40th, which is 4 months away, and saved our first $100 towards it. While we're not sure how many people will be there, we do want to pay for food and alcohol. (We're not sure what type as yet though, that is negotiable)

We had some friends over from dinner last night that we hadn't seen since January, so was a lovely catch-up. We decided to do a last BBQ of the season. All up $60, however we put leftover meat in the freezer and are eating salads again tonight.

Today I went for a swim first thing, then went to the shops and spent some of my birthday vouchers- I got a pair of winter pajamas for $20, and my friends got me a Rebel sport voucher worth $150, so I got a nice tracksuit worth $130. Was great spending money that wasn't my own for once! (or our own I should say)

Then we went "camping shopping" eg getting things for our camper trailer. Today we ended up replacing my broken chair. We got a good chair worth $140 for $70, which I was very happy with.... If you are sitting around a campfire all night, a good chair is something that is money well spent. This chair is fairly straight with padding, I think it's a bit better for your back.

Food shopping wasn't too too bad at $120, however I pretty much got the bare minimum. Tonight we are having steak & salad, tomorrow ham, cheese & mushroom omelette, Tuesday pork & vegies, Wednesday & Thursday meatballs with tomato risoni (new meal, however looks like I can stretch to 2 nights).

Time to cook tea & then catch on blogs. Hope y'all had a lovely weekend!

Challenges Tally Month 3

April 16th, 2015 at 12:55 am

Today it is exactly 3 months since I started the challenges, so it's time to note down the progress for a quarter of the year!

For month 3 of the 52 week challenge, approximately $1,381.00 has been saved/repaid against the various places.

For month 3 of the Banking The Difference challenge approximately $1,563.75 has been saved/repaid against the various places.

For both a total of $2,944.75 has been saved/repaid. Total current goal $5512 + $1,563.75 = $7,075.75. This makes progress of having saved 41.62% of the total goal (if there was no more banking the difference for the rest of the year and we just stuck to the 52 week challenge).

The result so far for each account / card is:
EF = $1,545.23 saved
CC 1 = $462.96 repaid
CC 2 = $489.56 repaid
Mortgage = $447 saved

It's great to see some results, now it's just a matter of not getting too complacent. It still looks like we kind of have a mini-EF now which is good. Credit card debt at the start of the challenge was $9.1k and is now just under $8.2k, so is moving further away from the $10k mark (which to me is scary). Mortgage $127k (we'll tackle the savings and credit card debt first).

Challenges Week 13 & money to repay CC

April 12th, 2015 at 03:26 am

Week 13 of the challenges has been a huge week. Not so much for the challenges, but more because tomorrow is my birthday and we have been celebrating all weekend. Currently we're winding down in preparation for the work week, so I thought I'd create an entry while we have some downtime.

Of the 52wk challenges, the EF is now creeping up to $1000, will be nice when it hits it!

Of the banking the difference challenge, my team St Kilda won the football by 28 points, so $28 will be transferred to the EF. Yay!

After Easter, a heavy workload at work and going out to our niece's birthday on Thursday night, I was glad that I thought ahead and decided that this birthday would be a quiet one. When we have parties with all our families, mine & B's, a birthday celebration becomes not only expensive but a lot of work. Before Easter I decided that as my birthday is not a special year, all I want to do is go out with my friends on Saturday night, and have my family over for afternoon tea on Sunday. B also came out with my friends, amazingly he was ok with being the only male, was very proud of him.

For my friends I decided to do nibbles platters plus put on some frozen food (mini-quiches, sausage rolls, spring rolls etc), and for my family, nibbles platters. So I decided when shopping to look for buy 2 get discounts deals. For celebrations I buy mostly brand name food. It's a celebration so I allow leeway in the budget to enjoy the nicer things. $111 in total, $10 was for grocery items however. Didn't have cash or money in checking, so used CC & need to repay tomorrow when I log into Internet banking.

Got my hair done, this was $95, paid cash.

Bought petrol & am hoping to stretch this for 3 weeks (fingers crossed), $50, which needs to be repaid back to CC.
Bought alcohol & am hoping to stretch that to 3 weeks too, $47.48, this needs to be repaid back to CC too.

So in total, I need to transfer back $209 back to CC tomorrow (rounded it up slightly), and $28 to EF.

We didn't go out until 10.30 so only had a few drinks, $65 was spent.

Had such a lovely time with friends and family! I'm glad that I decided not to do anything huge, because I had a great time, am relaxed and feel like I'm glowing! I love the people in my world Smile

Banking The Difference deposits & this and that

April 8th, 2015 at 05:44 am

It was a happy time tonight, where I got to pay bills and there were savings galore! It was time to pay the phone bills for B & for home. B's phone bill was the big saving because the new plan has officially kicked in, there was a saving of $88.02 there, and the home phone had a saving of $12.71 (only because I am now in the habit of paying on time, thus avoiding their exorbitant $15 late fee), so total banking the difference deposit today was $100.73. I forgot to add the business insurance savings of $9.68, will need to do that next time.

I notice that Banking the Difference has now clicked over to $1,535.75 so adding that to the $5,512 52 week challenge money, I am now anticipating by mid-January $7,047.75! We've just clicked over into the $7k zone now, happy times Smile

But to bring the happy times down a notch, we had a kind of expensive day today. Hubby found out the whipper snipper was broken and since we have had it since we moved in 14 years ago, the part needed to fix it is no longer available. $190 for a new whipper snipper. Then I noticed that my car central locking has been making a weird noise so when B went to look at it, he found that the driver side passenger door lock is broken. This is the fourth time we have this lock problem, it happens on various doors. B knows how to fix it which is good, but parts will be around $150.

So some great things, some speedbumps. We can afford the whipper snipper and door lock, so there is not much stress there. They are just things which need attending to.

I also got a rewards card in the mail for Safeway/Woolworths (supermarket). As I have credit card debt, I am not interested in a rewards credit card until the debt is paid off, but I see no harm in earning rewards from supermarket shopping (this is not a credit card at all). I also got a Dan Murphys rewards card, and I am still using my Priceline rewards card (I get about $5 a quarter, but I would shop there anyway so enjoy receiving the money).

Made it to $4999! (Barely)

March 31st, 2015 at 12:10 am

I wanted to see my credit card owing $4999, out of the $5+ region, by March 31, to see a bit of progress. I made the $29 deposit required to do so (this has been added to the Banking the Difference challenge) but because we had a really expensive week it was a struggle to pay it.

With buying things for Easter plus a birthday plus big night out, we overspent. I'm not going to feel guilty about overspending because we've been good otherwise. We have a savings account with about 2 weeks bare necessities money in case B doesn't get paid, so we paid the overspent amount plus the $29 from there. (There's now $290 there so will need to go back to topping it up).

But- it was really nice to see $4999! I feel like that's a big accomplishment and that this debt will be going downhill from there.

On another note, work is crazy busy. I did something rare and took work home. (Really needed to). Had a problem and realised I'd need to spend some time reconciling, which I don't really have at work. I need to do some iPad updates etc so will spend some time on this job while it's happening. (And if I find the problem, it's one less stress in a stressful day).

Onward and upwards Smile

Challenges Week 11

March 27th, 2015 at 03:51 pm

Once again, typed up an entry, clicked "Save and Publish" and the damn thing disappeared into thin air! Ugh.

Take 2: the 52 week challenge amounts have been paid into various places (yay). Banking the Difference was not found in bill payments as such, but the difference in the mortgage repayment ($149 as per previous month), so that got sent to mortgage offset account. A bit under $500 sitting there now.

The other Banking the Diff saving turned out to be our credit card interest expense. I treat the interest expense as a bill and prepay the interest I think will be charged ($60 per card). My interest came in at around $55, so $5 saving there. B's card was the big saving with $0 interest charged! Not sure why. We swapped over the card to a low rate in Dec/Jan, and it says on the banking website 3 months interest free for cards opened between Feb & May. Who knows, maybe we got the deal too? I'm counting it as a snowflake and adding to the challenge.

As a result, B's card is doing great. I wanted it to be $3299 by March 31, it is that now (actually a bit under) so no extra repayment required there. My card will still need $29 transferred on Monday to meet my wish of seeing $4999 owing on March 31.

Hoping you all have a lovely weekend!!!