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We Got A New Puppy!

February 21st, 2022 at 10:53 am

Hi everybody!  It's been a while since I've posted an entry (in fact this is my first for 2022) but I have been reading everybody's entries, life has just been a little busy lately.  A pleasant kind of busy though, because in the middle of last month we got a new puppy!

I had been doing a 52 week challenge to save for new pets (which I wasn't completely regular with), we saved about $200 intermittently.  We were originally intending to wait a few years for a couple of new pets but I guess we just missed having the company of pets in our home and started to fall in love with the idea again.

We got given some cash from our FIL which is how we funded the purchase of the puppy.  He is a Jack Russell Terrier (like our beautiful dog who passed) and is so adorable! As we haven't had puppies for around 19 years now it has taken a little while to remember what life with a puppy is like!  It's so full on - nothing is off limits!  He is probably 75% well behaved 25% not.

Life has certainly become more fun though, and he is very much a member of our family!  It's so much fun going through all of the first milestones and watching him learn and grow.  He is such a confident sweet little puppy!

One thing I have done with the pets this time around is called one of our bank accounts "Holidays & Pets", set up a weekly deposit of $20 to be deposited there and have created his own spreadsheet. We could have opted for pet insurance but I think we have so many insurances as it is that it is simply another thing to deal with, another person to contact etc and decided that I would simply rather we set up a sinking fund as such instead.  For the first year that account will mostly be to pay vet bills and we are paying for any other purchases from our monthly spending money (there is always a big outlay when you first get a new pet setting things up and getting them bits and pieces).  He will getting desexed/neutered at 6 months old and the vet has quoted $350 for the procedure so there should be enough in the bank account for that when it happens.

Unemployment Week 4, Pet Savings Goals

August 12th, 2021 at 08:41 am

I have now hit four weeks unemployed, and on the 15th am due to withdraw the second month of my payout from the last job.  The amount I will be withdrawing is $3000.  Last month on the 31st we had $620 leftover from our pays, so I could possibly withdraw a bit less but I am thinking I will wait until we have a bit more leftover at the end of this month (ie if we have $1000 left over I might withdraw $2500 instead of $3000).

I have been applying for jobs, so far I have applied for 24.  Last week I applied for a job and had a response back from the employer at 9.30 at night asking for an interview, which I had on Tuesday.  It felt like it went ok but I am not sure about the vibe, it didn't feel great.  The job was working 10 hours per week, with the opportunity for extra hours as the company grows so in the interview I told the interviewer I'd be happy to go up to 20 hours per week and she replied back with that they are happy to accommodate school hours and I got a funny look when I replied that I don't have kids... as in if you don't have kids why do you only want to work 20 hours a week?  My husband said to just tell them that your husband has a well-paying job which is enough to cover the shortfall (he is very proud that he earns enough to be able to say that, and I am proud of him for doing so well; not that I am expecting him to pay for everything)

It just seems like I am expected to explain what I am doing in my free time because it's not standard to only want to work half a week, when in actual fact it's nobody's business.  Yes, in the other half of the week I do want to get my own business going, but I am careful not to apply for any jobs that say part-time with opportunity for full-time.  If a mother wants to work part-time to be with her kids more it is viewed favourably but it feels like if a woman just wants to have a bit of time-out to live a slower pace of life it is frowned upon.  I'm happy to tell people at the moment how many hours I'm willing to work and that if I decided to go to full-time I would come to them first, and there is no second part-time job that people have to work around. 

So I was so annoyed about it all that I saw an ad for temp professionals and have decided that maybe that's what I will focus on instead.  So today I applied for a temp professional role and maybe that is how I will focus for the time being, because then I will be free to work around my business.  In regards to my business, I am planning to launch my website in September - I had to give myself a deadline to work towards.  Yesterday I got my second client through my old work, which was great.

In other news, DH and I started looking at pets properly last night.  Last year both our cat and dog passed away, with our cat Gemma being just over 18 and our dog Jessie being just under 18.  While I am not too fussed about the breed of cat, DH (and I) really love Jack Russell terriers.  I haven't seen any Jack Russell terriers at rescue places unfortunately so it looks like we may need to buy a bred puppy, which starts at about $2000.  I gave the idea of perhaps saving a bit each year until we have enough and DH was fine with that.  I'm guessing a kitten will be up to $400 - I want to get the kitten from a rescue home.  We love watching this show called the The DogHouse where they match rescue dogs up with prospective owners, I want to do something like that with kittens.  Right now I'm drawn to ginger/champagne coloured kittens but we will see what we end up with!  Generally we would spend $1000 per year on our pets and we have not spent anything yet this year on pets so I'm thinking that's what our savings goal will be, and we should comfortably be able to open our home to a couple of fur babies in about 2-3 years.  Nobody could replace our Jessie and Gemma but it will be nice to give a good home and share lots of cuddles with a couple of new fur babies.

Of course, the disclaimer is that we will save the $1000 as long as we can afford it while I am not working....  or maybe this is motivation for a new 52 week challenge?  Maybe it is...

Wednesday 24 February

February 24th, 2021 at 06:48 am

Hi everyone,

I read your blog entries all the time but it seems that whenever I am busy blogging goes out the window.  So rather than talking about the last nearly two months, it might be easier to just share a daily snapshot from today of the things I have been doing (in the same fashion as MonkeyMama has been doing).

Today I worked from home as I only go into the office 2 days a week and work from home the other 3 days.  (My boss has said that he is happy for us to continue in this fashion indefinitely rather than constantly have to adjust whenever there is a lockdown).  Because I worked from home it has been a NSD.

While it has been a NSD, I did pay a couple of bills - council rates (probably the same thing as property taxes in the US) for the amount of $489 (this is quarterly) and registration for one of DH's motorbike for the amount of $134.20.  While paying the bills I realised that there wouldn't be a loan payment for DH's bike anymore as we paid it out last week so transferred $500 over to savings for our caravan.

We bought a caravan a month ago, which is currently getting made but finance does not start until we collect it so I decided to use the money we would normally spend on a motorbike loan repayment to put it towards the deposit.  The larger our deposit when we get it, the smaller the loan because while we have been approved for the full amount we can borrow less if we can contribute a cash portion.  We were going to get a caravan in our 50s but fast tracked it a few years because DH is struggling to set it up.  We are planning on keeping the caravan for a very long time and know that we will get a lot of use out of it.

The other thing that happened today is that DH resigned from his current job as he has landed a job with a company he was previously working for.  He took a $10k paycut last year after being made redundant so this job is paying $5k more, bringing it to $5k less than what he was making pre-pandemic.  He knows what this company he is going to is like and was comfortable there before, so he is looking forward to settling in there and being there for a long time.  Luckily his current job took the resignation well and were happy that he gave them a full month's notice when he has only been there 9 months.

Glad to see you're all well and it has been so interesting reading about people getting the Covid vaccines because ours have only started this week.  As I am an adult under 50 without underlying health conditions, I am in the fourth group of our population listed to receive it, so probably won't get it until July to September this year (that's what the government website advises).

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!

Home Hair Dye Experiment (successful)

August 27th, 2018 at 11:05 am

I'm not even sure what happened last time I wrote but here's a small financial thing I did a couple of weeks ago - dyed my hair successfully for the first time!

My hairdresser is great and much cheaper than hairdressing salons at $110 for a half head of foils. I always said that if I stopped going to her I'd dye it myself because generally what I get done is nothing magnificent really, just touching up my regrowth and a haircut.

So our security doors were getting installed at the same time as the hair appointment so I tried rescheduling however she didn't have anything for the next month so I got to try out my experiment! I watched some videos on YouTube and then went to a hair supplies shop and they worked out what I would need, the best colours and gave me instructions plus directions on how much of each.

All up it cost $106 however with their ratios I still had half a bowl of dye left over so I actually have enough hair dye left in the tubes for another two dyes! So instead of $110 for foils and haircut it was technically $33 for a tint (per use). I will go back to her in October however as the December appointment is at 6am I am thinking of cancelling that then and doing the tint then too.

New Car Savings, Murphy Strikes Again

August 3rd, 2018 at 07:46 am

I was listing the events that happened each week and keep getting my weeks mixed up, so that's all getting a bit hard! The point is I'm now back in the groove of writing weekly so I'll keep that up without listing each week's number.

Since I wrote last I've been to my post-operation appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon and he believes everything is healing in the way it should, which is great. I've been cleared to drive and resume normal activities within reason but must wear a sling in crowded places. Every day I'm healing a bit more. I'm now going to weekly physio appointments up until the final post-operation appointment at the start of September.

The good money things which have happened is we have found out that B's final car loan payment is next month! As previously agreed, I am going to take part of what we would pay each month and put it towards savings towards my new car. His payment is $742 per month - I would like to get a car for around $25000 in four years time, so worked out to do this would need $520 per month. Hopefully my car will last that long - the engine is pretty good but it is now 15 years old. Need to pick out and organise an internet account with a high interest rate soon 😊.

Now for the bad money things.. as well as having surgery which we had out of pocket costs for to the tune of roughly $3000, we last week decided to make two large purchases (the security doors for $3000 and the exhaust for the Harley for $1200). This would have been fine over a few months. But on Monday night the hot water service blew up. Grrr. That is $1500. Then a night or two later the dishwasher jammed up and it looks like it is a problem to do with the computer board in it... our savings are pretty much cleared out from the hot water service and exhaust so we are washing dishes by hand at the moment. A dishwasher is not a necessity and there has been so much money spent lately the thought of spending more is making me ill. This situation is looking kind of like the spa purchase last year where we repaid the credit card back over four months. Once I have final costs I will work out how much we need to repay per month.

All the same, even with the above expenses I am still determined to set up an account for the car and set up a monthly savings direct debit into it. The thing is, if you have a car loan you will always have to pay it monthly no matter what the situation is so I want us to be disciplined to save in the same way.

Week 27: Surgery Successful, Other Health Problems Now

July 19th, 2018 at 10:13 pm

Well I got through my first ever operation ok. I was so nervous but the hospital was really great and looked after me so well. I would highly recommend private hospitals from this experience. It didn't come off completely without a hitch though.

When I met with the anaesthetist right before the surgery he got the stethoscope out, listened and told me my heart is beating too fast, and hooked me up to a heart monitor. This told us it was beating at a rate of 8-10 extra beats per minute. He said we can still go ahead with the surgery but we will look into it afterwards.

After the surgery I was told that my heart kept on beating at the 8-10 extra beats through the entire surgery and that they would monitor how it is overnight, so I got moved to a high dependency ward and hooked up to a heart monitor. The next day they saw that it had mostly stabilised except for an episode in the morning so they gave me a referral to a local cardiologist (the same one B went to last year) and discharged me.

Recovery from surgery was pretty much a one week process. The first four days I had a lot of muscle soreness so movement was very limited. DH looked after me well and found out how much a nurse really has to do!!! There were a lot of pills to be taken and half of them required food to be eaten first so there was no sleeping in for him as quite a lot had to be done for me. He was so good though and had no problem doing any of it. On the Thursday he took me to the hairdresser to get my hair washed and blow waved which was really lovely ($70, so is definitely a treat!)

There were no extra charges for being put in the high dependency ward, we simply had to pay the $500 excess upon admission. I paid the $2158 to the orthopaedic surgeon a few days before, so now need to get the refund of $743 from Medicare and private health insurance. Probably the other big expenses (kind of) is the parking at $30.75 per day for the Monday and Tuesday - B spent as much time as he was allowed to be there for me. We also went out to dinner on Thursday night ($59.30) and went out to lunch and to a nice chocolate shop on the coast on the Sunday.

The only other financial thing I did was save $100 each for us. Our savings are now about $2600 each in my shares account and in the home loan offset account, so want to gradually add a little bit each month. Eventually when things calm down a bit I'll look at our credit cards as they're creeping up a bit.

All in all, I'm alive and well so all is good 😊.

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!

First EF Withdrawal For The Year

July 19th, 2017 at 12:33 pm

This year we haven't needed to make a withdrawal from the EF until today. B was on his way out and mentioned that his car was really slow to start and may need a new battery, so he was going to see how the car went today and decide on whether or not to replace the battery.

Well he made it out of the driveway and halfway across the road and then it promptly died! We pushed the car out to a safer spot and called roadside assistance. After all, this is what we pay for Smile.

They came out to our house with a new battery for which we paid $319. Because this month has been crazy with spending and this is technically an emergency, we withdrew it from the EF. Glad that we have the funds available to cover true emergencies like this. I think we have about $2200 cash now so will look at boosting this back up again next year.

Thailand Trip Back In Motion

May 21st, 2017 at 12:37 pm

It feels like forever since I've blogged. Working plus studying has gotten really hard as there have also been several social things on that taken up a fair bit of time.

Although all of this time has been spent studying and simply getting through day to day life, I am severely behind in this subject as there was a lot more involved than I originally thought. It's a statistics subject, so the first few weeks were interesting, especially with the various excel charts that can be used but once algebra was brought into the equation I feel like I'm studying another language. Ultimately it's well beyond my capabilities.

I'm now one week from finishing this subject and am supposed to be sitting an exam next week and have no idea if I will even pass. When I was thinking about doing the subject B asked me if it was really worth it and I'm now inclined to say no, it's not worth it for me. My understanding is below what it should be yet my whole life in all others areas feels like it's falling apart and nothing is getting done.

As a result I'm at a place where I'm planning on withdrawing from the degree and am wishing to change jobs. I can accept myself as a bookkeeper instead of an accountant and would prefer to have my life in order than wholly putting everything into a degree while the rest of it all falls to the wayside, and the studying with the work is too much of a balancing act. I can still earn the same money and while there isn't as much upside to future earnings there is still the opportunity for an extra $10,000 to $20,000 per year if you become good enough at the role so I can live with that.

With changing jobs, we are about to hit a very quiet spell for the next couple of months and I would have to take leave anyway; but I really feel like a change as I have been working at the same company for the last 12.5 years. B has said that he will support me if needed, but hopefully savings will tide us over and we should be ok. I've seen plenty of jobs that I can apply for so am not too fussed.

So that's one big thing that's been going on.

Also, we had a trip to Thailand planned before where we purchased a voucher for 8 nights accommodation plus flights for $800pp and paid $150 each but the voucher expires this September and nobody was interested in going in the end so we thought it was cancelled. One of our friends had the idea of going next year instead around our 40th birthdays and was able to transfer the deposits over to a deposit on flights instead. We agreed and she has booked us flights at $800pp for early March next year.

As a result I saved away $700 last month into the holiday fund, so it is now at $995.75. We haven't received the flight itineraries and payment instructions yet but I trust that it is all in motion as she has said that it is booked.

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.