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Life Right Now In These Crazy Times

August 13th, 2020 at 07:49 am

Life here is very quiet but still busy as always. We have been in Stage 4 Lockdown for the last two weeks, so mask wearing is mandatory, the government has severely restricted the types of businesses that are essential, we are only allowed to travel up to 5km from our homes with the allowance of one person doing food shopping and exercise is restricted to one hour per day outside. Our cases started skyrocketing scarily and it was very stressful watching the news for a while. I am fine with limiting movement outside to bring transmission down - it is not a big thing to do but will have a big impact.

We did not know what Stage 4 Lockdown would involve so I spent three days in the leadup to it buying meat, alcohol, and any other purchases that I figured we would need in 6 weeks. It turns out Australia's Stage 4 Lockdown is not as strict as New Zealand - we have butchers, bottle shops and takeaway still open. Hardware is open only to tradespeople.

So I put all the food, alcohol and purchases on my credit cards and have been repaying it back a bit each week.

B & I are both still working though which is good. I am also coming up to the end of my bookkeeping course so have a very busy month ahead of me. If I do not complete the course on time it will cost $100 to extend it and the extension is valid for a year. I don't think I will need to extend it but I guess there is a small possibility.

So we are not going out but there is plenty to do at home! Last weekend it was B's birthday and we celebrated by having a spa, takeaway for dinner and a virtual music night with friends.

We are not spending very much at all. I am just letting the money sit in our spending account for if we need it but we are spending far less than usual. We might have takeaway here and there but I am trying to limit it as we are in a pandemic and everything is risky. I am generally doing the grocery shopping by click and collect to avoid walking through the supermarket.

The news is saying that we will likely have a meat shortage in a few weeks because the government reduced the abbattoir capacity to 2/3 because a lot of the Covid cases were spread within the abbattoirs as it is a hot environment where the workers work close together so it was spreading like wildfire. The news is also saying that we will likely have a food shortage because the borders are closed so fruit and vegetables cannot be brought into our State unless the other State government allows trucks only. We are currently well stocked for food but I think I will need to think ahead for more things to buy as well as things we can replace the foods with if they do have the food shortage.

These are such crazy times... Our cases have been falling though so our Government is saying by Christmas we could be out and about (still with mandatory masks though)

Hope you are all doing as well as possible in these crazy times!

Wednesday Ramblings

May 7th, 2020 at 09:32 am

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.

Spending, Holiday Plans & No More Physio!

December 13th, 2018 at 09:30 pm

I tried replying to Amber's comment last week but my internet was playing up so much the comments wouldn't post. Anyway, we have no problem with managing our bills, it's more when we were overspending we were dipping into the bills money. Now that we've put the spending money and the bills money into separate bank accounts it's been much easier and we've had less problems.

The next thing to try and manage is our weekly spending money. While we've been having heaps of fun by going out lots, we keep on overspending and as a result spend less on groceries (because there's not that much left) and/or add to the credit cards.

Example: this weekend just gone we added $56.34 to my credit card for some of the groceries (after I repaid $68 on this card so I really wasn't thrilled). Then we were left with $70 cash for the rest of the groceries. So far $20 of that has been spent and we are left with $50. It should be ok. I've certainly had to be creative with what I buy for us, which has been fun! The downside of it though is that we end up lacking in the non-essentials for a while, so we are constantly missing stuff. Each week I try to be more aware though, and hopefully we can do better next weekend.

On the upside though we got dressed up for B's work do, went out for breakfast once and dinner twice and got takeaway once. It's fun, but that's where our money is going!

So I'm planning this weekend to be a bit more mindful of what is being spent, hopefully that will make a big difference.


In other big news we booked the travel for our next holiday. We are traveling by boat to Tasmania with another couple who are very good friends and taking the motorbikes and will do a 7 day ride around Tasmania. We are so excited, it will be great.
The boat fares up and back are $1000 so the plan is to buy Christmas presents with December's pay and to give the money for the fares from January's pay.


Another exciting development is I had my last physio session during the week!! No more paying $105 per visit, no more tiny lunch breaks on those appointment days and I slowly get to wean myself off the early morning rehab exercises. As of this week I do four mornings with a day off during the middle of the week. (On this day instead I attend to little financial things that need doing eg paying bills, updating spreadsheets etc - I've really missed having this time because it's so hard to do after work).
I was ecstatic and absolutely over the moon on Tuesday when I got told no more appointments are needed!!


That is all for now, hoping you all have a lovely weekend!!

Snowflake & Electrician

August 27th, 2017 at 08:40 pm

It's been so long since I've blogged, possibly about three weeks, that I'm not going to write about every little thing that has happened, it would take far too long. I was sick for a week and then my energy levels were a bit low but am feeling a bit better now, so will simply write about the most recent financial things going on.

On the weekend, I received a $10 snowflake in the form of a Safeway everyday reward (grocery shopping). I added this to our Christmas present fund. I was hoping to have $1000 by Christmas but have been a bit lax with the $1000 challenge and monitoring it. Anyhow, we now have $375 for Christmas presents so it will certainly be helpful!

The other thing that happened on the weekend was we had an electrician around to wire up our new spa! It arrived the weekend before, so now we can happily use it - we had an outside powerpoint installed so that if anything happens to it, it doesn't affect power to the house. (This is all I can tell you because I am not particularly savvy with anything mechanical/electrical). We thought it would be around $400 but as B used an electrician through his work, he was only charged $200, which was really great.

Ps. the spa is wonderful, worth every cent!

Hope everyone is well!

Back From Merimbula Holiday

August 7th, 2017 at 08:33 pm

DH and I went away a couple of weeks ago to a place called Merimbula, New South Wales, Australia. It was a week long camping trip - while the camping part was relatively inexpensive, we certainly didn't hold back from sightseeing and enjoying the local fresh seafood.

We are now back to normal. Spending was high in July, so like a lot of you, August is to be a quiet month. We are trying to use up food in our cupboards and avoid spending too much.

Here are some pics of Merimbula:

This is a picture of a rainbow lorikeet, which there were quite a few of at the caravan park where we stayed - they are so friendly!

Looking forward to speaking with you all about various financial matters now that we are back at work and back to normal!

Sunday June 11

June 11th, 2017 at 11:52 am

I'm not completely sure what to write about but feel I should try and keep active with the blogging nonetheless.

Today was a no-spend day because we had a late night out with friends last night and have simply been too tired to go anywhere. A lot of today was spent sleeping. I could have done the grocery shopping but simply didn't have the energy so dinner for us was pies and chips from the freezer.

I am still not tracking spending through the app as I have missed the first 11 days and it is all a bit hard to remember what was spent, especially when part of it was cash transactions. I do want to be back tracking spending next month though. I actually did not track last June either because that it is the month I went to the UK on a holiday. I cannot believe one year ago today I was madly packing to go on a holiday on the other side of the world!

Speaking of which, here is a picture of me & SG from when we met up! (I am the one wearing the pink tshirt)

I apologise for being so tardy with putting this picture up, it was a very happy day and I was glad to meet SG.

Another thing of note today - on a completely unrelated matter - is our dog for the last few days has been madly chewing her claw. I happened to have a look at it today and the claw has completely grown around so we will need to take her to the vet to have her nails clipped. She has to have her vaccinations done anyway so we will combine the two things to be done on the same visit. Hopefully all up it shouldn't cost more than $150-$200.

Credit Card & Bill Management; Another Snowflake

April 19th, 2017 at 12:25 pm

I am conscious that certain things have been let slide for a little while so I am trying to make amends before it is too painful.

Today and tomorrow my main priority is to get the credit cards to their correct balances. I have just fixed up B's credit card so that tomorrow when the automatic weekly transfer of $75 to that card hits, the balance will be $2,470.

We put $75 there per week to cover the compulsory car wash he must do for the company car each week plus his various coffees, lunches and miscellaneous expenses (eg going to the barber).

Unfortunately the card was sitting at $2,990... ! This was due to our easter trip, where he put fuel, alcohol and the new LED lighting kit we bought for the camper trailer on it amongst other small things. (We had to buy the kit while we were away because the batteries went flat on our main light source, luckily it was 25% off - the new lights make such a difference).

Anyway, I digress. I just transferred from our bank account $445.23, being $348.23 to cover the outstanding balance plus this month's payment of $97 against the mountain bike purchased. Ouch. These things add up - imagine if I had left this another two weeks?

So his card is now sorted. Tomorrow I will be paying down my Virgin credit card back to $0. I'm guessing that about $345 will need to be paid. (These charges consist of among other things: train ticket $137, balance of textbooks $55, balance of fuel $15, groceries $45, caravan park accommodation $90). My Virgin credit card hasn't been down to $0 since February, so it is pretty important to get that in order. (Around February I put school textbooks plus a new suit on it so have been paying these items down). All in all, I'm not terribly fussed about transferring over the money for either cards because all expenses have been entered into my spending app so there is nothing that is a nasty surprise.

In regards to bill management, I was so frantically busy last week that I simply paid the home phone and B's mobile bill and neglected to pay the animal's registration fees, must do that tomorrow night.

I received another $10 from Safeway Rewards so have transferred that to the Christmas Savings challenge. $56 towards this month is now sitting there so will only have to put in $44 at the end of the month. Must also update the snowflakes spreadsheet to include the dividends received the other but will get to that. Slowly getting everything back in order!


April 18th, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Happy Easter to you all, hoping you have had a lovely Easter break.

I've had a massively busy couple of weeks so have only had time to focus on the necessities, but now I'm hoping to be back on my feet soon.

The reason my last two weeks were busy was because with this study unit last week I misread the study plan and accidentally did not do half of the work from the week before! It turns out the study plan ran over the page. I was having my coffee on Monday morning and working out my gameplan for the week when I realized the error I had made (it turns out this week was really busy; I had read two sections and did the corresponding work but over the page were another three sections to read with corresponding work for that and they were *long*). I was pretty upset. The normal weekly workload is 10hrs; because of Easter on Friday I did as much as I could on Monday-Thursday which was 7.5hours outside of work; barely had time to do anything else.

My birthday was last Thursday so went to dinner with B and he bought me a watch which was really nice. And he got a raise on my birthday! (so we got a raise haha; well we're married so we did anyway)

Then we went away camping with his family on their annual camping trip about an hour away from us which was really nice. We got back yesterday and are slowly getting back into routine.

This morning I got an email from Kobo about a book I wanted to read a long time ago which was marked down to $2.99 called The Ex by Alafair Burke. I don't normally buy books while I'm reading one but this seemed like a good deal.

Groceries were $17.60. We are going through eating the balance of our camping food but there is not a lot left. Still, I don't have the time to do a grocery shop so 10 minutes each day on the way home is fine.

Today I went back to work and back to studying, did 1hr17minutes - only 11hrs13minutes left.

As I am back in a bit of routine, I hope to be back blogging more now. Talk soon!