Hi all, I have been a bit slack with recording the 52 week mega money challenge payments for weeks 3 & 4.
In week 3 it was a public holiday, so I decided that as public holiday weekends are generally a bit more expensive I would save the smaller payments for these weekends.
So with week 3 I paid $25 on my cards (two-thirds on Virgin, one-third on NAB) and $20 on B's card.
For week 4 we paid $62.50 on my cards so I have listed that my share has been paid for the $125 week. I have split the payments into one-third on my NAB card and two-thirds on my Virgin card; this has been based on the proportion of both cards owing at the start of the challenge. We then paid $102.50 for B's card so I have listed that his share has been paid for the $205 week.
B is about to get his first pay from his new job so we will be able to do our new monthly budget - I have worked out how much the 52 Week Mega Money Challenge works out to per month for the two of us and it is $574. This is a lot of money however we have a lot of credit card debt and it is a good idea to get in control of it.
With other credit card news, last week we finally got the letter from our airline advising that they will not be making any overseas flights next month (when we were supposed to go overseas) so we are now eligible for an 18 month travel credit or a full flight refund. Due to the uncertainty of it all, we opted for a full flight refund; so we were advised that $3012 will be getting refunded onto my Virgin credit card in around 12 weeks time. While I am sad we are not going next month, it will be really nice to clear most of the balance of that card.
I have lots of other money news so will probably do lots of other blog posts about each thing. Speak to you all soon!
Viewing the 'Budgeting' Category
Hi all, I have been a bit slack with recording the 52 week mega money challenge payments for weeks 3 & 4.
Very happy to say that yesterday DH got offered a job!
He had a second interview on Friday with the company's general manager and got offered the job yesterday.
He did have to take a $10,000 pay reduction however paycuts are happening right across the industry so we were prepared for that and were fine with it. What he is getting paid is still good for us and we can continue to live comfortably.
He starts next Monday, and it makes him unemployed for just under a month, which isn't too bad at all in this current climate. We're just so happy that he got something so quickly. He thinks the people are ok too, so fingers crossed it all goes well.
We will have a bit of the redundancy package to spend on house items and save away, which is good. At this stage we are unsure of how much will be left as his employment contract says he is paid one month in arrears so we need to see what happens there.
We had pizza for dinner last night to celebrate .
I have decided to embark on a 52 week mega money challenge to repay back both of our credit cards, will write more about that later in the week.
For now, we are just enjoying the lack of uncertainty!
Our state had our restrictions eased today however not as much as other states. While cases have dropped dramatically in Australia, our state's cases have had the highest rate of new cases (14 overnight while other states have had 1).
Mother's Day was yesterday and other states eased their restrictions on Saturday so there were many celebrations. Our State Premier held off announcing restrictions until today which angered many people as they could not celebrate with their families. I think it was the best choice though because while the cases are dropping we are still in a pandemic and nothing is back to normal yet.
Our restrictions are still roughly the same- workers have still strongly been encouraged to work from home where possible, however now we are allowed to have up to 5 visitors in our homes and hiking, golf and other exercises which are non-contact and non-close contact are allowed.
I have missed my two closest friends so we have arranged to have a get-together at my house on the weekend. The weather is supposed to be nice so we will sit outside. In light of it still being a pandemic though I have said I will not be serving any food or drinks and we should not share food or drinks, so BYO whatever you feel like eating or drinking. It will only be a bit of a catch up outside and there will no hugging or kissing on cheeks obviously. So excited!
I have read something today about the amount of money people working from home have been saving on commutes and have realised that for this month we would have spent about $140 on my train ticket. I did not include this in my budget and am just thinking that perhaps while I work from home to leave this aside for an expected increase in heating and electricity costs. The government has said that employees working from home can claim a deduction for home office running costs however this won't be received until after June 30 (our tax year end) whenever we lodge our tax returns. The actual gas and electricity bills will be received before that though so it might be a good idea to set this aside.
Are any of you saving money due to working from home during Corona Virus?
Couldn’t think of a name for the blog post so Wednesday Ramblings it is 😊.
We have been going ok with our reduced redundancy budget.. I’ll call it that because that’s why we’re trying to stretch what we have. Of our $410 from last week the last of it got spent today. Groceries were just under $150 and of that we bulk bought sausages and lemon pepper chicken pieces. They are saying meat is selling cheap here however I saw it going cheap a couple of weeks earlier- we got 4 schnitzels for $2, 2 x Malaysian coconut chicken skewers at $2 each, lamb sausages for $2 and kangaroo meatballs for $2. Lately it’s not so cheap. However I know from past experience that when you are on a reduced budget meat can tear a hole through it so my aim is try and bulk buy as much as possible.
DH went for an interview last week and has a different interview this week. He is applying for jobs daily however is up against a lot of applicants. For example today a job closed and they revealed 137 other people applied. Meanwhile while we are trying to stretch what we have for as long as possible his family are trying to push us into buying shares to make money! DH got pretty upset because his family are totally not on our wavelength and are super comfortable. While we can last a while before unemployment benefits are required and it does not look like we are anywhere close to losing our house, we are most certainly not going to put our money into a volatile share market... much better to see clearly what we have for each month.
Today my employer contacted us to say that he qualifies for the JobKeeper subsidy (an Australian government initiative which pays businesses $1500 per employee per fortnight that they forward on to the employee so that the employer is relieved of paying their wages for up to 6 months). He did not say anything about our jobs or wages in the email and spoke more about using the money to cover IT costs and to get us to upgrade our home offices. I didn’t think JobKeeper would be replacing my income because of this but still called to clarify and luckily I was right. I completed the form and then decided that the things I need to bring my home office up to standard is a stand for the main monitor to bring it in line with my head height and another monitor as my work likes us to work with two monitors. B (DH) is going to work with me over the weekend to clean up the home office and set it up and hopefully we will get reimbursed for this soon.
My boss also offered to put me back on to 5 days a week which was really sweet as he knows B is unemployed now. I have been working Fridays as I have been behind and finally made the time up, and was looking forward to having my Friday back (plus am stressing about my course i am behind on). I thanked him and let him know I would think about it, but just want a bit of a rest this week. If B cannot find work and I went to 5 days per week it would be an extra $800 pay per month and I would probably have to do my course and bookkeeping business stuff on the weekend. For this week though I need a bit of time to rest.
In other financial news, an Australian financial institution has come under fire for readjusting the amount of money their customers can have in their mortgage redraw without telling them and putting the excess funds on to the mortgage balance as a repayment! Some people lost up to $24000 of available funds and it has sparked outrage because some people needed that money and were simply parking it for the time being. As soon as I read that I instantly moved part of B’s redundancy package we parked in our offset account into a different savings account not linked to our mortgage. Scary stuff.
In non financial news I am missing our cat like crazy. It was 2 months today. My mind is rational and says it was her time and it is good she is not in pain anymore but my heart still can’t comprehend she’s gone and there is a big hole there. Of course we’re very thankful for the 18 years of wonderful memories but it’s still hard. Our dog has recovered really well from her eye problems which is great, she is not in danger anymore. She’s nearly 18, who knows how long she could live to? (She still has quite a bit of energy)
We find out on the weekend if lockdown restrictions in our state are loosened however even if they are I don’t plan on doing much while this virus is around and we are heading into winter next month here - will probably lay low for the next few months.
It seems like whenever there is good news lately it’s immediately followed by bad news lately.. for example I had an idea with my business and got my client to agree to it (officially signing up my services and signing an agreement to have regular payments to me direct debited), then the day after I found out the cat was dying.
Sooo.. last Tuesday I spoke with the client and we arranged to meet the next day (social distancing of course). I had been in contact backwards and forwards with the direct debit company and had my account set up and all ready to go. (My idea with my bookkeeping business is that it is actually an ongoing process with regular work, rather than accounting which is often a once yearly job.. here in Australia it is becoming popular to charge clients with a monthly package fee rather than hourly which I like the idea of and have decided to implement; and my thoughts are that if you are charging a set rate it would be great to have the payment direct debited from the client’s account rather than me chase them up). So the great news is I have set up the direct debit form, my new client engagement letter and most importantly signed the client up 😁. The client is a tradesman and based on the number of transactions he needs done per month he is on the lowest package of $110 per month (roughly 2 hours work per month), and he has opted to have the direct debit withdrawn weekly, which is just over $25 per week. That’s my happy news - I was super happy to have an official client signed up and a few business processes implemented....
So that was a big high for me that I am thankful for.... but the next day life laughed at us.. B found out that he is getting made redundant.... so he is now one of the 1/4 of our population out of work..... super stressful times.... he did quite well at his job and made it to a low 6 figure salary so the redundancy package he received is quite good. He received 8 weeks (including unused holiday leave of 1 week), which I have roughly worked out could last us 6 months on a super tight budget (provided nothing goes wrong) before we have to dip into savings. Let’s hope that he can get a new job soon though..
Sidenote: B went in to his work on Monday, returned the company car, phone, tablet and any other company items. He heard past coworkers say that when they quit they had to wait four weeks for their holiday pay. We didn’t want to go through that so I checked the employment laws with Fair Work Australia and found that according to his industry all final payroll entitlements must be paid within 2 business days. Thankfully they obeyed the law and we had our money on Tuesday afternoon.
We have had 2 other times in our past where our money situation was pretty dire - both when B had the business and injured himself and was unable to work and income protection didn’t pay, so we know how to live off small amounts of money. Our new budget until he gets a job again is $160 per week for food, $50 for takeaway and $100 spending money each. Spending money includes alcohol, petrol, clothing if needed, beauty items if needed.
I have also included $300 per month for things that might come up - for example our dog’s eye specialist appointment was on Thursday and that was $150, so half of our incidentals money until the 15th of next month is gone.
I worked out on our tight budget we need $3545 per month from his pay, and that we have approximately 6.5 months of his pay before we need to use savings, apply for unemployment benefits. We will still apply for unemployment anyway though as B received his employment separation certificate however I imagine it will be a while before we see any money from the government as they make you use up your payout first (which we are).
I moved $10k of the payout to the mortgage offset account (because we may as well reduce interest if we can), and all the other months to another account. To keep things simple we will still make payday 15th of the month (each month we set aside spending money and deposit a certain amount into our EFTPOS account on the same day of each week).
We hope B will find work soon - he is being good about applying for jobs either daily or every second day, and making sure he is up each day so if he gets called in to interview he is ready to go. There aren’t many jobs out there though and there is a lot of unemployment which is scary....
Wish us luck in these hard times... While we know what to do to get by, it is still hard... So thankful for this site to help keep me focused and all of your tips you have and share..
I have so many financial things to write about I could blog daily for a month but free time is minimal (especially leading up to Christmas) so I'll just stick to one of our larger financial matters.
Probably one of the biggest things we've been dealing with lately is adjusting to both being paid monthly on the same day and re-tweaking the budget. In DH's last job he got paid monthly at the end of the month while I get paid monthly in the middle of the month. It kind of meant that we could set aside an amount for bills and withdraw weekly our spending money without worrying if we had overspent really because there was always another pay coming in in the next fortnight.
Then when he changed jobs in May the payday changed to the middle of the month. It was fine in the beginning because we had a little bit of extra money to fall back on, and then I had the broken collarbone so we weren't really overspending because we weren't going out much and we knew what we had was going to doctors and hospitals etc.
By August and September though the extra money had been spent and we were starting to go out more so we actually started running out of money because the buffer we had got used up. In the month of September we actually ran out of money within the first two weeks so the remaining two weeks were not fun at all! It was then that I decided that our current budgeting system had to be tweaked especially as it looked like we were going to run short in our bills account which is a big no-no for me.
We have two bank accounts that barely get used so I decided that we would have the set monthly amount for mortgage and bills left in the bills account and whatever money is left over to be spent on things we both agree on, repaid on credit cards if needed and the remaining money to be divided by four or five weeks (whichever is relevant for that month) and transferred into one of the bank accounts we don't use. The other bank account we don't use is now used as a holding account for short term purchases we want to make (example: the month of October we put $1000 in for our Perth spending money and $400 for the back tyre we were replacing on the Harley).
This updated method has definitely reduced my stress levels as I know what we can spend weekly and there's less likelihood of running out of money. Because we overspent for a few months the credit cards also have balances which we are repaying but I am saving that for another post.