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Big Mortgage Repayment, New Bank Accounts

October 4th, 2021 at 07:50 am

I think my last blog entry was in the start of September?  I know it's been a little while.  I've been working now for just over a month so have completed my work's trial period.  In Australia employers can choose from 3 months to 6 months for an employee's probationary period but my boss just wanted 1 month.  If an employer doesn't want to hold on to an employee during the probationary period here they can simply let them know that they have not passed the probationary period and give them the date the employment ends; and if an employee finds that they do not want to work there long term they are also free to leave without notice during the probationary period.  So as of last week I have passed my probationary period, which is great!  

I'm a big believer in if you receive an amount of money unexpectedly (or just money that is not your average pay) you should save half and spend half.  So I got to thinking about my payout from my previous job and decided that I would save half of whatever is left now that I have a part-time job.  Half is around $7000 so DH and I decided that probably the best thing to do with this money is make a large payment on the mortgage, so I paid $6060 down against the mortgage, bringing it down to $79,999!

There's just under 10 years left on the loan so this is motivating to bring the balance down even further.

Now there is just under 6 months pay of my package, being a lesser amount required from it due to employment earnings too.  That will give me time to build up the business, or if that doesn't work out, get a job for the remaining days of the week.  We'll just see how the next couple of months pan out with all of this.

The other big thing that is currently happening is we are currently in the process of changing banks.  After 20 years of being with the same bank we received a letter at the start of September advising us that they are restructuring our bank accounts and we are now entitled to one checking account and all the rest will become savings accounts which do not allow direct debits or a lot of other transaction types.  As one of the bank accounts that they have decided to turn into a basic internet only savings account is where our pays are deposited and all of our direct debits and bill payments come out of this is extremely annoying!

They have given us until the 22nd of October to change the bank account where all of our deposits and debits are withdrawn, and advised that we can open another bank account but we still have to change everything out of that bank account, so after speaking with DH we decided to change banks entirely.  DH is currently on forced shutdown until tomorrow as his industry got closed down for 2 weeks due to the pandemic so today we met with the new bank and opened four bank accounts and a credit card in DH's name doing a balance transfer for the amount owing on his card (around $2500).

It was a very quick process meeting with the bank and getting them to set up everything, which is great!  Now I will need to spend tomorrow and the day after notifying all of our direct debits of the new bank account to withdraw from.  The only upside of this whole process is we will no longer have to pay account fees anymore and years ago DH got talked into putting credit card protection on his credit card so we will not have to pay that anymore as the card will be closed soon.

With DH's balance transfer there is 30 months interest free so I am thinking of setting up automatic repayments each month until it is cleared, and doing the same thing for my credit card also.  We generally repay every purchase within the week, or the month at worst, so this is just old debt hanging around.  All we will need to do is keep our current habit of repaying everything purchased quickly and the problem of the old debt will be eventually sorted.

I also paid four weeks towards the 52 weeks saving challenge for some new fur babies, the balance is now $106.

Flight Refund Received

September 1st, 2020 at 07:26 am

My biggest news is that today we received the refund for the cancelled UK flights to my credit card. We received $3012, which only leaves a balance of $680 owing on that card.

I am ecstatic! I have been worried about how high the cards are and to have this reduced by so much is a big peace of mind. I can now afford to pay this card off in full within two months.

I am also really pleased that our travel provider advised us that it would take 12 weeks to receive the flight refund back and it took exactly that time - we received the money on the day. I have heard some horror stories of people not receiving their pandemic travel cancellations for ages and sometimes not even the full amount, so I am really pleased with the travel provider.

With the 52 week challenge the money I would normally be putting on that card will now go back to the holiday fund as eventually we will need to buy the flights again. I doubt we'll be able to travel for a couple of years but should not leave the saving for too long as it is an expensive trip.

My boss also reimbursed me for the home office computer equipment I was required to buy, for the amount of $330; which is to be repaid onto the other card. This card will now be under $3000 and paying that off will be the next course of action after the $680 credit card debt is repaid.

Definitely have to have the mindset of repaying the card in full each month to avoid the cards creeping up again! I may set up debits to have the full amount debited from the bank account to avoid this happening again once each card is repaid.

25% of 52 Week Mega Money Challenge Completed!

August 20th, 2020 at 02:30 am

I'm happy to say that we're now at Week 13 of the 52 Week Mega Money Challenge (in which both DH & I are repaying part of our credit card debt), which marks 25% of the way done!

The credit cards are slowly getting there. It's just great to see progress on the goal as well as sticking to the goal, which is sometimes easier than done!

52 Week Mega Money Challenge Weeks 3 & 4

June 17th, 2020 at 07:17 am

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!

52 Week Mega Money Challenge Week 1

May 21st, 2020 at 07:25 am

To get our credit cards under control, I have decided to do a 52 week challenge, as these have worked so well in the past. This time the one I am doing is the 52 week Mega Money Challenge which starts at a $5 payment and finishes at a $260 payment. The total amount repaid on our credit cards would be $6890, which will be split exactly in half.

B owes roughly $3700 on his and I have two cards in which I owe around $4200 excluding the pet expenses which we will be repaying soon.

I have listed two columns, one listed B and the other listed V.

This week B needed $100 on his card so I have listed that his share has been paid for the $200 week. This week I needed $65 repaid so I have listed that my share has been paid for the $130 week.

I am really aiming to be diligent with keeping up the challenge and look forward to lower credit card balances!

DH Got A Job!!!

May 19th, 2020 at 02:22 am

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 Smile.

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!

Hello, It’s Been A While!

April 11th, 2020 at 08:23 am

Well where have the months gone? It’s been forever since I’ve blogged and now I can see that my blog is now retired - it says the last entry is December 2018 however I know I did do a couple of entries last year but I think they got wiped when the site got hacked. Anyway I miss you guys and I have been lurking, just haven’t got around to actually doing a blog entry. Who could’ve ever pictured what is going on with the world right now? It’s insane.

I’m currently working from home and now it is going okay, I have some sort of a routine where I’m pretty much just trying to stick to the exact hours I work when I’m at work.

So what’s been going on in the last nine months? I went down to working four days a week and I’m still doing it - I have been doing a course which I’m still in the middle of doing, am halfway through it however only have a few months to go so might possibly need to extend it or really put a lot of energy into getting as much done as I can. This was all for the aim of starting my own business doing bookkeeping which I still want to do and have been putting a bit of energy into it. So far I have a laptop, one client but I’m not really trading yet because I’m still learning - I will wait until I finish my course before I decide to start a website.

So that’s what’s been going on with work - at home we have had a lot of problems with our dog and our cat in the last few months. They are both little old ladies however our dog who was going blind had to have an eye removed just before Christmas which was all pretty horrible and then we decided to have our cat fully checked out and it turned out that her kidney disease became really advanced and she had blood in her urine which means that over 70% of her kidneys have been lost. Unfortunately we had to make the decision to put her down, at the start of March. It was so hard saying goodbye to her but we were able to have the vet come to the house and she was able to be euthanised in her favourite spot in the garden surrounded by us. We miss her so much but it was the best thing to do so that she would not pass away in pain. Last week we found out that our dog has an ulcer in her good eye and it was very touch and go but by Thursday the vet said that she was over the worst stage but it will still take a month to heal and we are not sure if she can keep the eye. The ulcer is very serious and she requires medicine every four hours so I am lucky to be able to work from home to be able to do this. All the same though we decided that if they say that she has to have the eye removed as she is now 17 we won’t put her through that and so we may possibly put her down instead... it’s so hard being without the cat and think that we may not have the dog either is heartbreaking but she shouldn’t be in pain so like the cat we have to do the best thing for her.. hopefully it doesn’t come to that though as she seems to be recovering well.

Financially we are ok. The credit card debt is higher than before (mainly due to lots of vet bills and travel expenses due to our upcoming trip) but we are trying to control it. I always find though that when I am blogging and talking to you all I am much better with managing debt and savings as you all keep me accountable 😊.

In terms of savings we have $5750 towards my next car plus around $3000 in shares. Due to market volatility we have lost around $1000-$1500 but as we won’t be selling anytime soon hopefully it will all come back up. Anyway it’s good to have a bit of money available in the event it’s needed.

In December last year we booked flights to go to the UK to visit a family friend for a few weeks in July this year. As Coronavirus was starting to turn bad I had it in the back of my mind that it might not be safe to go this year and now it’s clear we can’t go so tonight I bit the bullet and filled an online flight cancellation form with my travel provider. We have decided that we will go at pretty much the same time next year if everything is ok.

Glad to be back blogging and looking forward to trying to stay accountable with you guys!

Week 20

May 24th, 2018 at 07:57 am

I can't believe I haven't blogged at all this year!!! I thought I blogged at the start of the year but just checked, and not so. Seeing Shiela's comment that she's missed seeing my blog prompted me to not just lurk, but blog. The first few months has been very very busy but now we are in a quiet patch so it's time to resume old habits. I may try Shiela's habit of blogging weekly and titling the blog by week number.

A very quick summary of the first four-five months:

- January: lots of public holidays in Australia for this month; was basically either at work or away (we not only have the two weeks of Christmas off but also Australia Day weekend) or catching up
- February: the realisation that we were going away to Thailand and it is leading up to my busiest time of year at work. Have not worked so hard in a long time! Started an hour early every day, pretty much worked through lunch and worked back. Got an astonishing amount of work done, didn't have time for anything else and was super stressed. Most importantly though I got the required work done so that's all that matters.
- March: we went to Thailand for two weeks!! It was amazing. I will have to do a separate post with pictures, stories and will try to outline what we spent. The second half of the month was spent recovering and getting back to normal.
- April: it was my 40th birthday in the middle of the month, so we threw a party at home which was pretty big, we had just under 50 people and had it catered for. It was a great night, and pretty much everything I would want in a milestone birthday celebration. Also in April DH decided to change jobs, and found a job working at a friend's company which turns out to be in the same suburb as we live (slightly higher pay too).
- May: B started the job and is still getting used to it. We've had a lot of money come in this month due to his final pay from the previous job, and his new work also paid a pro-rata amount for 3 weeks pay. Important to note though that this must last until the middle of next month. Another big thing that happened is we bought a new camper. It was the kind of thing we wanted to get eventually but we had friends who bought a caravan and were selling their camper much cheaper than what it is worth. To get it we had to empty our savings so I was very nervous before we got the extra pay! We still have to sell our camper, will start advertising it next week.

What with the Thailand holiday and my birthday my credit cards have somehow crept up to around $2500. Reading the SA blogs has started to make me accountable to the cards again, so am focusing on reducing the balances down and getting them repaid.

I think that's all for now, hope you have all been well!

Credit Card & Bills In Order; Another Snowflake

April 20th, 2017 at 11:37 am

Today I sorted out my credit card and have paid both down to $0 (not that there was a lot of out-of-pocket to pay). With the Virgin card I paid $348.32 but only $124 of that was out-of-pocket spending, the rest was budgeted for and with my other card I paid $33.74 for last week's transactions.

It was then a great feeling to clear the note I keep on my phone of the various expenses I have put on the cards! (To not let little expenses sink a ship, every time I charge something to my cards I note it down in a note on my phone - this allows me to keep track of what is going on there and also makes me think twice about what is put on there).

All credit cards are now in order.

I then paid for the animal registrations which I neglected to pay last week.

Today I had to get some makeup as I was running low and when I paid at the cash register they informed me that I have a $5 credit as it was my birthday this month! I then applied it to the purchase and put it into the Christmas savings account later.

I have updated my snowflakes spreadsheet including the dividends received. So far I have received $437 in snowflakes; the two highest snowflakes are the dividends received this month of $153 and $140 in Safeway Everyday rewards. Following that is Christmas savings (the balance to make up the challenge) of $74.92, digital change savings of $30.63, the Medicare refund overpayment of $21.15, Priceline rewards $10.58, savings on gift cards $4.50 and interest earned of $2.58.

Technically the savings items aren't really snowflakes but I still feel like I have to add them in there.

Last night B was snoring really loudly so I had my second awful night of sleep. Two nights of falling asleep at 1am and being up at 6am has made me feel like a dead woman walking. As a result I'm only doing a couple of small things tonight and will go to bed soon. Hopefully I can get up before work and watch some more of the lecture I was watching (to avoid leaving everything to the weekend). We had a pretty relaxing night and I'm looking forward to sleeping soon. Goodnight all Smile.