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Bills Paid For The Month, Direct Debit Charges, Increased Wage from Job Change

March 21st, 2022 at 06:19 am

Rather than plan a blog entry I thought I would just spend 10 mins blogging of whatever comes to mind (sometimes it's just easier to get things done that way).

I usually log everything into a spreadsheet once a month and pay the bills all at the same time, around the 15th of the month.  Life just got busy last week as we went away camping on the weekend and had a few things to do beforehand.  Anyway, as soon as I had free time I sat down and checked the balances, listed the bills to be paid and any extra out of the ordinary spending.

I have been noticing a slight bill creep each month, some things we can probably change, others I am not completely sure of yet.  One thing for example is our caravan insurance is due for renewal next month and when we got it last year they stipulated it be paid by direct debit - looking at the renewal notice I can see an $84 administration charge for monthly direct debits, so I will contact them and see if we can pay it in one payment instead.  I hate paying administration charges on direct debits, and if possible would rather pay things in one payment only.

My wages went up slightly due to changing my work hours around - instead of working 3 days, I am working 5 mornings; so am working 20 per hours per week and no unpaid lunch break is required now (it was 3 days of 20 hours with 30 mins lunchbreak, but because my shift is under 5 hours by law I don't need to take a lunchbreak).  I'm actually really enjoying working the mornings and feel like I want to keep this routine, and set my business up to work in the afternoon.  Anyway as a result of this, I was able to withdraw less from my payout of my old job and withdrew $448 to bring my wages up to my $3000 monthly requirement.

Hope everyone's well!

New Investments, 52 Wk Challenge, New Couch

November 23rd, 2021 at 04:26 am

It's been nearly a month since I have blogged but all is fine here.  I am now working 3 days per week at my job, which is really great.  The job is going well and I can now plan to get some clients to fill up the remaining two days; now that I know exactly how much time I have available I can work more strongly towards that.

We got all of our banking stuff sorted and tax returns lodged, so it has been great to have that done and to spend less time on that area.

Financial stuff done today is:

Share Investing

I've kind of always had a little bit of money in shares and started spreadsheeting that properly in 2015.  I realised over the last month that I've had roughly $5500 invested for a couple of years now and the cash in the brokerage account has been steadily growing.  I admit, once money gets deposited there it generally stays there except for in a dire emergency, but thought it might be a good idea to re-balance and invest a bit more.  I worked out if I invested $1000 per year from 2015 and reinvested all of the investment earnings technically I should have $7682 invested.  To re-balance I bought 20 shares in an ETF for the amount of $1928 and 1000 shares in a small healthcare company for the amount of $562.  That now brings me to a balance of $7681 invested (current market value on everything $7972).  This should cover me to December next year before I have to think about adding any additional capital.

52 Week Challenge

I have not been keeping track of this but we had a bit of a surplus in our spending account so I paid 2 weeks of the challenge, that brings us to have now $212 saved towards some new pets.

New Couch

I decided to use part of my tax refund on a new couch for the back room/dining area, costing $1100 for a three seater recliner couch in leather lookalike material which is apparently very easy to clean.  It looks lovely and is very comfortable!

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...

Musings Unemployment Week 3

August 4th, 2021 at 08:11 am

I'm now in my third week of unemployment, so far I am not in too bad a place.  I have not hit the very stressed point yet.  I read somewhere that at the moment there are a lot of jobs but potential employers are being slower than usual to interview potential employees and make final decisions.  I definitely think there is a bit of truth in this.

I have applied for 16 jobs so far in this three weeks of unemployment.  I did also apply for one right before I resigned and got a phone call an hour after resigning requesting an interview and had to do three interviews for that job; I decided that I was not in such a need of a job straight away that I needed to interview while working as I didn't like the idea of sneaking around and it was exhausting fitting interviews into my lunchbreak.  So back to my three weeks unemployed, I have applied for 16 jobs since I finished up from my old work and have two interviews lined up for next week.

One interview is for a job I applied for on the 20th of July and the interview is next Thursday, so the interview will be 3 weeks and 2 days after I applied for it... The other interview I have is for a job I applied for yesterday and got an email from the director at 9.30 last night, so this job is much quicker to act to fill their vacancy.  Unfortunately I couldn't schedule it before the camping trip, so hopefully it won't make too bad of an impression (it is at the start of next week).

I went to the gym twice this week, which is a good healthy habit I am rebuilding and hopefully will be able to keep.  I have also slowly been building up the time I spend on my bookkeeping business.  Today I listened to part of a business podcast and then spent 2.5 hours working on the overdue work for the one client I have.  I'm starting to really focus on getting up to date with his work, because my next focus is creating the website for the business.

When I had to work 5 days per week from November last year to my date of termination last month I saved the money earned into my brokerage account (a great place to save because generally once money goes there it doesn't leave that account since it is held at another bank which I don't really check that much!), and found that it amounted to $4500.  So last week I transferred that money into the business account and then repaid all of the business bills for the year that were sitting on my credit card (this amounted to $1067).  I don't know how much the website will cost but the money transferred over is to pay for it.   I have a friend who used to be a website designer so she has offered to help me set it up which is great.

B and I have been good with spending, however spent a little bit on the weekend for extra camping items ($155) and B's birthday present ($210).  He loves camping so will be very happy to be away for his birthday!

A New Chapter Has Begun

July 29th, 2021 at 08:35 am

It's been a very long since I posted and has been a very big few months.  Last year my work (now my old work) asked me to work full-time and I agreed to work full-time until May, which they agreed to... however the job I was doing graduated into really needing full-time work, which was no longer my plan, as I want to run my own business!

So last month I took the leap and resigned!  It was time.  I worked there for just over 16.5 years, which is a wonderful effort.  They were lovely people and we got along well, so I valued that and it made it easy to stay working at the same place for so long.  But ultimately I wanted better work life/balance and the job was working in the city travelling a minimum of 1hr15mins each way.  I was sick of the travel before the pandemic and working from home made me realise that travelling that long each day is too long to commute.

So I was working as an assistant accountant/bookkeeper with an annual wage of $59,148 and an hourly rate of $32.50.  But I guess if you look at the travel time included the daily amount earned for the day of 7 hours was $227.50 (before tax), but add in 2.5 hours it took to get to the job and get home and the hourly rate dropped down to $23.95.  It just did not seem worth it anymore.... but we'll see what financial position I am this time next year, and whether I got it right or got it wrong!

My work was fine about it.  They dropped a few hints that perhaps they thought I was crazy to leave secure employment, but I am looking forward to some personal growth (along with a shorter commute) and a different way of life, but they gave me a lovely send off of lunch one day and a lovely morning tea the next - it was all very sweet and emotional because it was the end of an era.  Because I was there for so long I walked away with long service leave of 15 weeks pay and holiday pay of 8 weeks pay, so this is a nice financial cushion to tide me over until I get my next role.

I worked out that I need to transfer $3k per month to contribute towards our bills and spending money, so we now have 5 months left.  So far we haven't been spending too much and have been living pretty comfortably, which makes me happy that we should be ok for a little while.

Because I had not had holidays since 2019 and was pretty run-down DH ordered me to take a rest of 2 weeks, just apply for a couple of jobs each day and mainly relax, which I've been doing.  I have been applying for jobs, and have been catching up on emails and bills with the bookkeeping business which got left to the wayside when I got really rundown, but have also been watching movies and going for little drives, and we are going away camping next weekend which is exciting.

I am hoping to commute up to about 45 minutes each way but have agreed with DH that if I get to 3 months without a job I will apply for city jobs again.  Last week I got a call about a city job and got an email interested in me working for them however it was also inner city, so we will see if I have to bite the bullet and go back to long commutes!

But next week will mark my third week out of a job so my new schedule will start... I have created a schedule to give myself structure and avoid falling into the trap of laziness, working towards getting a job for half of the day (currently am thinking of allocating the morning but if I get interviews in the afternoon then I will swap it around), and building up my bookkeeping business for the other half of the day.  I now have 2 clients - one who I have had for a long time (and have a lot of catching up to do to bring him up to date - both of our faults!) and one from my previous boss, as he doesn't want to do the bookkeeping work (he is a high-ranking accountant so this is not a good use of his time and I am grateful though; this work is up-to-date and will take about half an hour a day).

I have been following your blogs (and commenting occasionally), and now that I have more time available look forward to blogging more regularly and speaking with you all more regularly!

Good News Then Bad News

April 26th, 2020 at 09:39 pm

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..