We are away at the moment and I got limited internet connection. I will finalise holiday spending when we get home.
Last weekend we didn't really do much, grocery shopping was under $50 (can't remember exact amount).
Found really cheap work shoes for DH so we could pass up on that, one is for suit and the other boat shoes that he can wear with jeans for Friday casual days. Total $30.
After shopping we splurged and got some Vietnamese, $26.50. I used my allowance money, I hardly use my allowance money these days the only thing I use it for is on books and I haven't spend much.
We are away at the moment and I got limited internet connection. I will finalise holiday spending when we get home.
On Sat 1st of April we went to a winery about 1 ½ hours away. I got a gift voucher for this place last year for my birthday and it was about to expire later this month. We went there with 4 other friends and in the end we only had to spend $10 extra.
Grocery – On Sunday we got groceries, total $80.68
Palm Tree Removal - Also on Sunday afternoon we got a knock on the door, it was a guy asking us if we want to remove our palm tree at the front. This is actually one of things that we have in our ‘to do lists’ for the outside landscaping (or should I say re-landscaping). This palm tree (almost 20 years old) has now grown too big and it is now touching some of the wires above. They were in the area trying to get some business; there were an army of them. To start with we weren’t very sure about it they seemed a bit dodgy but since they won’t really need to go inside the house and I kind of like that DH is home while we are getting it done so we said why not. Plus the price was really good, we thought removing this would have cost around $1,500 to $2,000, we eventually agreed on $800 but in the end we decided to give them $850. This tree was about 7 metres tall and about 1+ metre in diameter so it was hard work and the chainsaws kept getting clogged up which they had to stopped few times to cleaned it. They also grind the stumped and got rid of the rubbish, a truck load of it. I think we got a bargain.
Electric Bill – DH paid electricity bill for the 1st quarter of the year, $26.49.
Car (more car expenses) – Couple of weeks ago when DH took the car for service they end up turning off the radio which needed a code to turn it on again. So on Thursday DH had to take it to the Ford service mechanics to get the code, which cost $40. While there he decided to get the other (spare) key fixed that was not working properly and to also get the ABS looked at. In the end everything costs $370.
Lunch Date – Today we had our first lunch date for the year. This was kind of a reward for finishing Stage 1 of my workout. We went to some fancy restaurant. It was good but I expected more than good for the price so I doubt we will be going there again. Also, I had my first coke this year. I found the duck confit a bit too salty and wanted something to wash it down so I asked DH to get me a glass of coke while I went to the bathroom. I wished I just stuck to water and I wished DH asked how much it was before getting, it didn’t taste like it used to be and the worst part is it cost $6 for the 330ml glass of coke. Oh yeah I forgot, lunch cost $86.
We spent a total of $3,046.63 for the month of March. The biggest expense was the car repair. And utilities this month was higher than average, had to pay for gas and water bill. DH train tickets were $207.76 higher than normal but that’s because in Feb he didn’t spend any. The grocery bill was right on budget $299.72.
And oh… first month of NO MORTGAGE REPAYMENT!!! This reminds me we still haven’t heard from the bank, no paper work. I guess DH will need to ring them up? We really don’t how all this work.
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (22 Mar)
Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson - Thomas Jefferson (26 Mar) (Not what I expected, don’t think I really understood most of it but some stuff, the once that made sense to me, was very interesting)
Blindsided - Jay Giles (30 Mar)
Workout – Still at it although some weeks I end up doing only 3 days but then I make up for it the next by doing 5days.
'no buying soft drinks' – Still haven’t had any this year. This rule is supposed to be only not buying it at the supermarket hence I won’t keep any at home, there was supposed to be an exception to this rule like buying it at a restaurant to go with dinner is alright. I haven’t been tempted yet which is good.
Blogging once a week– I'm still going even though I suck at it.
7am wake-up – technically I have been waking up at this time but sometimes I stay in bed to read or look social media for half an hour or so before actually get out of bed. :P
Decluttering – I’ve got rid of about 10 pairs of shoes/slippers, also a couple handbags and a wallet. Been scanning a lot of paper work and have shredded them. Also been keeping up with my email inbox.
Gardening/Landscaping – Still doing it but not enough, once the weather is a bit cooler we should be able to do a bit more work on it.
Car Service/Repairs – Total cost was a whopping $836! We got 2 new tyres for $198, they suggested that the front tyres can last until the next service. They had to replace the front brake pads that cost $203.50, again the rear one can be done next time. They suggested to just re-gas the A/C, because our car is quite old now it would be better to just re-gas it every year or so it would cost a lot more to repair it. The re-gassing was $110. They had to replace 4 wheel nuts for $88. The rest was then for the all other car services that needed to be done.
Grocery – I got DH to do the grocery shopping again and told him we only got $16 left in the budget this month. He went to Aldi and only spent $15.70. With that he got a whole chicken, 3 litre milk, 4 bananas, 1 punnet of strawberries and 1 dozen eggs. We will probably need to get more milk later this week or we could use the long-life milk we have for emergency, we probably will I'm sure the expiry date on it is probably close.
Scanner App – We have started some of our paper work that we wanted to digitalised. We have an old scanner printer but it a pain to use, it take about 2 mins to just scan a page and then you have take out the SD card to save it into the computer. We thought about getting a new one and we almost did but then DH wanted to think about it some more. Last week DH took our old Electric bill and Gas bill to work to get it scanned, they’ve got great industrial scanner at work it only took him minutes to scan 7 years worth of bills. Now that we don’t get paper bills for these 2 we wanted to get the old scan them and throw them out (I actually shredded them and put it in the compost). We still got hundreds of paper work to scan which will not be possible for DH to take to work. He then looked into Scanner Apps, just using his phone camera he tried it a couple different Apps he preferred the second one he found. After using for a while he decided to buy it for $2.60 (was on sale from $5), worth paying to get rid of the watermark of their company logo. Anyway, it is so much more efficient than our old scanner. DH love using it. He was just sitting in front of the TV while watching a cricket game scanning away. This one it saves it automatically into a PDF and then DH can easily just email it to or save it google drive.
Other Spending – Got more soil for the garden, $11.85. Gas for the car was $42. I also gave my mum $300.
Grocery – We spent $61.94 on food this weekend. We only got $16 left in the budget for the rest of the month so we most likely won’t be able to stay on budget this month. We will try not to go over too much. We have been under budget in the last 2 months so there a little bit of a wiggle room, about $20.
House Repair - Fixed our bedroom door that wasn’t closing properly, the hinges was coming loose – easily fixed.
Mum - We went to my mum’s place for lunch on Sunday. She had an eye surgery on Friday for cataract so we thought we visit her to see how she was going. DH was actually the one that picked her up after her surgery. The hospital was near the city so DH drove to work on Friday, parking cost was $16. He left work an hour early to pick her up and the parking at the hospital was $10.20. DH also went to the pharmacy to get her prescription meds which he paid for just under $17.
Shopping – After lunch we left our dog at my mum to go shopping. My mum actually used to own this dog, long story short we feel in-love with her and kind of stole her. Spent an hour shopping for DH’s running shoes ($110), also got myself a wallet (my current one is all scuffed up) it was 40% off for $35, and we got a cup of latte to share for $4.70.
That’s pretty much our spending for the weekend. Tomorrow DH is taking the car for service including getting new tyres and I think maybe also getting the air con looked at. I have a feeling it is going to cost a bit.
Camping – We went camping last weekend, finally! DH was very happy about. The weather was just perfect for camping. We took the dog for the first time camping, she did well but didn’t get much nap so she was very tired when we got home. The cost for the site was $25 and we got food for $22.70, so less than $50 for a weekend away. Pretty good. The area where we went to is known for mineral spring water most people that go here go to mineral spas. And since it is only about an hour away from Melbourne it is very popular place. The camping site actually have a pump set up so people would just go there to get fresh mineral spring water. You have to go on a short hike to get there but it is pretty easy walk and along the way there were wild blackberries everywhere which were very sweet.
Hot air balloon- We got woken up Sunday morning by a hot air balloon being set up only about 100 metres away from our camp. Some people were not happy about it because it was pretty loud but really it was already 7am so it wasn’t really that early. I thought it was really cool seeing it up close and it only lasted about 15 minutes and they were off. But someone woman got very upset about it.
Groceries – Last weekend on the way home we stopped by at Aldi and spent $86.95. This weekend we spent $135.11. A bit more than I was hoping to spend but I found porterhouse steaks at 40% off, so I ended up getting 2 trays for just over $20. Just have to grab them when they are that cheap because they never seemed to be on sale when I actually want to get some. I also bought a 20kilo bag of rice which should last for months.
Fish Tank – The filter in the fish tank died and also it started leaking. DH bought a new filter for $44.82 and he also got a tube of silicone to fix the tank.
Other Expenses – I bought some clothes $33. DH got train ticket and filled up the car. Also the water bill for just under $230.
FEBRUARY NUMBERS –
Mortgage was $918.79.
Other Expenses totalled $1,338.76, I love Feb it’s normally a very low expense month. There was no utilities bill due this month.
Books – Not as many as Jan but I started another 3 books around the same time last month - don’t know why I did that. Also in the last week or so we decided to try out Foxtel (cable), so instead of reading I’ve been catching up on GOT, The Walking Dead, Wentworth and so many other shows that only on Foxtel. We only got the free trial for 2 weeks, ending this Friday so I’m trying to watch it as much as I can humanly do.
Kill Switch - Steven Lee (4 Feb)
The Whisper of Stars -Nick Jones (8 Feb)
The Devil's Secret - T.G. Stevens (10 Feb)
Someone to Love - Jude Deveraux (15 Feb)
Avoidables - Rachel Medhurst (18 Feb)
*Workout 4 times a week – did alright on this. I’ve finished the program that I was following and I’ve now again started it, another 4 months of it.
*Continue the 'no buying soft drinks' rule this year. Still haven’t bought any.
*Get back to blogging, at least once per week. Done
*Re-do landscaping in both front and back yard. Still working on it, this will be a year-long projects.
*Use floss and piksters everyday. Have not failed yet
*Wake-up before 7am. I’m failing at this miserably.
*Continue getting rid of "Stuff". Still doing well I got another big bag of stuff I need to take to goodwill. I’ve also shredded a lot of papers.
*Organise my emails. I still need to do this and worst thing is that in the last few months I’ve been getting a bit of spams.
Ended up to be a quiet weekend. During the week we talked about going camping but we weren’t too sure about the weather. We should have gone the weather was wonderful especially on Sunday. Oh well.
Groceries –On Saturday DH did the shopping alone, since we didn’t need much and also don’t have much left in the grocery budget it was a very short shopping list. DH did really well, I told him that we only got $30 left in the budget and that all we really need are a couple dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, few bananas, a red capsicum and a 2litre milk to top up the milk we already bought on Thursday. The rest of the money, if there are any left, he can get some more fruits and vegetables. He ended up spending $21.90, on top of the items above he also got a punnet of strawberries, a punnet of blackberries, a bag of carrots, Japanese pumpkin and a massive bag of zucchini which he found on sale. DH was very proud of going way under the budget, he took it very serious.
BBQ – On Sunday we took the doggy to the park and also shop to get DH a new exercise band for $28. Seeing that the weather was so nice DH suggested we should have a bbq, I guess if we did went camping we would have had a bbq there. So on our way home we decided to get some meat to bbq. I ended up getting some chicken drumsticks it was on sale for only $3 a kilo even cheaper than the wings that were $4 a kilo, got 6 pieces for $2.80. DH also barbequed some of the vegetables (zucchini, pumpkin and carrots) to go with the chicken, we just put a bit of salt, pepper, rosemary and olive oil.
Groceries - We did our usual Saturday morning shopping for food. Spent $82.33, it would have been about $20 less but I found a Porterhouse steaks that was 50% off (normal price was $32 a kilo) and also got some pork chops that were 20% off (can’t remember the original price). Total for the month so far is $269.42 (budget $300), so just over $30 for the rest of the month. It’s tight but I think we can do it. I’ve done a rough meal plan for this week which should help. Also the pantry is still really full we still got a lot of stuff in there to get through. I think we will just need milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables next shopping trip.
Other Spending – I bought myself a new running shoes, it was on sale for $90. I’m overdue for a new one. DH will also need a new one soon too. His is actually worse than mine but we couldn’t find one that he likes at the shop that we went to and we didn’t have time to shop around.
Cooking – I did a bit of cooking on Sunday. I made spring rolls and meatballs to put in the freezer. Also made butter chicken in the slow cooker, which feed us for 4 meals. And I used up some frozen banana that I had to make a banana cake.
Decluttering – I went through our pots and pans and decided to throw out 2 old pans and 1 wok. I’ve also been going through a box full of papers/notes that I wanted to type out or scan, it will take me a while to get through the box but at least it is good to get it started since I’ve wanted to do this for years now.
Passports – We need to re-new our passports, it expired last year. We are thinking of going overseas this winter so we need to get new ones soon. I don’t know how much they are now these days it has been ten years since we got the last one.
Not much is happening here.
Grocery – Spent just under $100 ($98.26) bought some special stuff for Valentine ’s Day dinner; steaks, fancy cheeses, oysters, and some other yummy stuff that we don’t normally get. We prefer to have nice dinner at home instead of going out to restaurant for Valentine’s Day.
Takeaway – At the market where we did our grocery shopping this weekend we got a couple of dim sims and croissants to take to the nearby park where we walked the dog. There’s a café at the park where we bought a cup of coffee to share to go with the croissants.
Fuel – got some fuel, it was for $55.80.
Other - we got some fabrics to use to cover the couch, $44.00. Also spent some money for the garden just under $40.
Garden – I planted a bird-eye chilli last summer. Got a couple handfuls of chillies last summer, it wasn’t looking good during winter and I thought it was going to die. I trimmed it and hoped for the best and it is doing well again. So far it has produces more than double that we got last summer.
Decluttering – I emptied DH’s clothes drawers. I put all the clothes that I thought don’t belong in the drawers anymore in a laundry basket and then DH went through each one, some he tried on to see if still fits. Most of it got thrown away, about 5 went back into drawers and a few he wanted to keep (souvenirs items) that we put into a plastic container to store away.
Weekend – We did the grocery shopping Saturday morning and spent $75.33, right on our weekly budget. Saturday night we went out for dinner to celebrate paying off the mortgage. We went to a Croatian restaurant it was very yummy but pricey. It cost $106 for 4 entrée size dishes (we wanted to try variety of dishes) and a glass of wine for me and Croatian beer for DH. We used a $50 gift card and I received last year for my birthday (expiring in couple of months so it was good time to use it), so was out of pocket for $56, still a tad costly. Lately I’ve been rather anti going out to restaurants, I mean I still like eating out but I don’t like spending all that money and then sometimes you go out you get disappointed with either the meal or the service and end up feeling that it was such a waste of money. A $100 is more than a week worth of food for us or for that amount of money we could invite a bunch of friends and have a pretty good dinner party. We also spent $6 for 2 hour parking, we should have really parked further for free but they are hard to find. We spent most of our Sunday building a vegetable garden using old bricks from the old brick fence that we used to have. That brick fence collapsed last year when we had a really strong wind, it was already in bad shape to start with.
Mortgage – Our very last interest payment was $14.62. They actually now owe us some money, just under $300 because they just took out the usual monthly payment. I’m sure it will get all sorted out soon. And depending on how much the closing cost is we might still owe them some.
In the last week – I was not feeling too good on Thursday and Friday so I mainly watched the cricket game and Netflix. Saturday we went to the beach an hour away, spending for the day was $54.74 for fuel (first time filling up this year) and $12.50 for lunch, fish and chips. Sunday got some grocery for $16.90.
End of the month numbers - Total expenses was $3,148.99, it was big month mainly because of the annual insurance bills for the home and car. Spent another $6,418 for mortgage repayment, interest for the month was only $32.44. Technically, we are now mortgage free. DH transferred the money to Citibank CC (ready credit), that is where our monthly mortgage payments gets taken out, it will most likely get taken on Friday. Then it will be celebration time. So this month we can start on other financial goals, I cannot wait.
Non-financial goals so far:
*Read 50 books – Books I read this month:
Inferno - Dan Brown (6 Jan) – I started this last month
Between You and Me - Lisa Hall (7 Jan)
Noble Beginnings: A Jack Noble Thriller - L.T. Ryan (11 Jan)
Malevolent - Jana De Leon (16 Jan)
Over You - Christine Kersey (20 Jan)
I Spy, I saw her die - Ian C. P. Irvine (25 Jan)
Taken by Love - Melissa Foster (31 Jan)
*Workout 4 times a year – did well until last week, I only did two last week, I wasn’t feel to good last week the hot weather was getting to me. I’m trying to catch up this week, will try to get back on schedule.
*Continue the 'no buying soft drinks' rule this year. Still doing well on this, luckily DH doesn’t really care for them so it make it a lot easier.
*Get back to blogging, at least once per week. Check
*Re-do landscaping in both front and back yard. Still working on it, this will be a year-long projects.
*Use floss and piksters everyday. Check
*Wake-up before 7am. I have been trying to get up around 5am this week. Still working on this, again I was doing well until last week when I wasn’t feeling too good.
*Continue getting rid of "Stuff". Aim for this year is to get rid of around 10% of our stuff. I got rid of about 15-20% of my clothes in my drawers and just started on DH’s drawers today.
*Organise my emails. I need to get started on this soon
Gardening – I have not done much with the veggie garden this summer. I just did not have much time but I did make sure to plant some tomatoes and basils, I've got a bit of tomatoes already.
Dinner party – Saturday night we had few friends over for dinner, card games and a Netflix movie. It was a lot of fun. It increased our grocery bill this month but it would have been a lot cheaper than going out to a restaurant.
Long weekend – DH is taking Friday off and since Thursday is a public holiday (Australia Day) then he will have 4-day weekend. We are thinking of going for a day trip somewhere maybe fishing, we have not done that for couple of years.
Grocery – Our grocery budget for this year is $300 per month. So far this month we are at $260.45, half of it was spent on the weekend when we did a big shop and bought some extra stuff for the dinner party. Even though we only got $40 left for this weekend it should be plenty, I’m hoping we might not even have to spend all of it. Right now we got a lot of leftovers in the freezer and the pantry is full.
We just paid the Home and Car Insurance for the year all up it was $1325.09. I have always liked how we pay these couple of big expenses at the start of the year, good to get it out of the way.
This waking up at 5am on weekdays is hard getting used to. We did it 3 out of 5 last week and so far this week 1 out of 3. We got woken up by the doggy at 2am this morning and DH had problem getting back to sleep so we decided to sleep in until 7. I actually feel more tired today that I slept in. I tend to have more energy when I get up at 5 and I end up getting so much more work done. Work in progress, hopefully another month and it will get a lot easier.
DH got paid yesterday, he put another $2K into the mortgage and 2 weeks ago he paid $1200. We are currently now just under $3K. 3 more weeks it will be all gone!
My goals this year are:
*Pay off Mortgage
*$30K into Equities
*Save $5K for Holiday money
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Remodel
*Read 50 books - one of my goal last year, I'm hoping to actually achieve it this year.
*Workout 4 times a year (I meant a week, lol). I have been doing this for the last 3 months now, I'm hoping to keep going.
*Continue the 'no buying soft drinks' rule this year.
*Get back to blogging, at least once per week.
*Re-do landscaping in both front and back yard.
*Use floss and piksters everyday
*Wake-up before 7am. I have been trying to get up around 5am this week. This one is going to be hard one to achieve.
*Continue getting rid of "Stuff". Aim for this year is to get rid of around 10% of our stuff.
*Organise my emails.
Hello everyone it has been almost one and a half years since I wrote an entry here. I think it's time that I come back to the blogging world. On NYE it would have been my 10 year anniversary here so I think this start of the New Year is great time to get back to blogging.
Few things have happened while I have been away here. In my last post DH just started a new job, unfortunately he only lasted 3 months at that place. The company was not a very good fit for DH, so he quit back in Sept 2015. It took him 6 months to start another job. In between those jobs we went overseas for a month. We ended up buying a land there, main reason why we went overseas. And our mortgage owing went from around $12K back up to $37K (we got a redraw account).
Last year (2016) DH got a job in late March. Since then we have been paying the mortgage back as much as we can. Our biggest expense in 2016 was replacing most of our fences. All up including getting the land surveyed it cost us $5.5K. Right now our mortgage is down to less than $7K. We are hoping to be able to pay it off by maybe end of next month. DH will have a 3 pay month (instead of 2) this month. Unfortunately, the original plan of paying the mortgage off in late 2015 (DH's 40th) didn't happen but we are still very happy about finally seeing the end of the mortgage debt.
Anyway, I aim to blog at least once a week this year as one of my goal for 2017.
It has been a crazy busy last 5 weeks. Back in April DH decided to give 4 weeks notice at work, we'll actually he stayed an extra 3 days because a co-worker requested he stay until he comes back from his holiday. On his last day of that work he got a job interview and did a psychometric test the next day and got the job offer that night. He started the new job less than a week after he finished the previous job.
The new job requires a bit of travel and he is meant to be stationed overseas to be the head of the office over there but last week that has been delayed because a client here in Australia have requested that he stay here for a while. DH really wants to experience living and working overseas that's why he took this job, and it is quite a step up position for him too. Money wise it will be the same as the previous job, depending on the exchange rate it might be a bit better take home pay.
When he took this job we decided to do a list of things that we desperately need to fix/replace around our home before we can move. Unfortunately, I had to do and deal most of it. A week in the job DH was asked to travel for over a week and when he has been home he had to work extra hours and the travel and long hours have taken a toll on his health, he has been battling with this annoying cold for two weeks now.
Anyway, the jury is still out on this new job, there are some positives (in particular experiencing living and working overseas and DH are learning new things) but there are also some negatives and questionable things about the company. DH will just take it one day at the time.
One great thing of him finding a job right away is that last month's income was almost double because he received his last pay from previous job plus annual leave pay. It helped with the expenses of repair in the house, the biggest expense was for replacement of our external sliding door, that was for $2,000 including installation. I think we've spent another $800 on other little repairs we have done in couple of rooms in the house.
We also decided to put in $2,000 into the mortgage out of that extra income last month. After last week's mortgage payment we are now currently under $15k owing on our house.
Saturday we went to shopping for food, we didn't get (nor do we needed much), spent $37.41.
Went and watch my brother play footy again, it was his 50th game, they won again 202 to 26, I think it was. Only spent $1 for a cup of coffee there, we actually took some sandwiches and some fruit that we got shopping that day to have for lunch.
That night we got invited to someone's 65th birthday. Bought a card for $1 and gave $50 cash gift.
On Sunday the only thing that got charged was my mobile phone, it get automatically get topped up when my credit gets below $2. That was for $10.
Total spending for the weekend was $99.41 - it's good to see it under $100.
The weather this weekend was almost perfect, we should have picked this weekend to go camping, oh well can't predict the weather.
Saturday we decided to go and watched my brother play footy, his team had a fantastic game they won by over 200 points (248 - 13), that rarely happens. while there we shared a sausage roll (haven't had one of those for years) and a cup of coffee each, was for only $5. Their game was held near a trash and treasure market place so decided to stopped by to see if I could get a case for my new mobile phone, found one for $10. We got there late in the afternoon so we didn't have to pay to enter which would have been $1 each. Also got a wheel that we can use to fix our gate, $2. And spent another $2 for a dog leash for my mum's dog. Afterwards we went grocery shopping, all up spent $65.39 on grocery this weekend. Went home, made Paella and opened a bottle of wine with it, read a book while doing a bit of crocheting.
Sunday we went out to get a new washer for a tap outside. Then we went back to the shoes store that we got DH's new shoes last weekend to get it replaced because there was something wrong with it that I didn't see until we got home. When we got there we found out that they are now on sale, it was almost 65% off, from $49.95 down to $18. So instead of exchanging it we got a refund and just purchased two pair of shoes (different style) for $36. Then we stopped by at another store nearby and got a jumper for DH, underwear, bra, toothpastes, hand towels and DH's favourite bar soap. All up we spent $27 there. Then lastly, we went to Big W to get leg bands they were also on sale from $15 down to $10. Total spending for the weekend = $163.55.
When we got home DH fixed the tap while I made roast pork and then we watched our footy team play on TV, we lost. Had dinner. Relaxed watching more TV and finished reading my book. End of weekend.
On Wednesday DH took the car to the shop to get repaired, that cost us $264 but DH will need to take it to get the ABS looked at. The mechanic can't fix the ABS, it will need an electrician of some sort.
Thursday afternoon we decided to cancelled our camping booking because the weather was going to be terrible, we were heading to the Highlands and the weather was going to be snowing, wet and windy. Just unfortunate because the weekend before that the weather would have been perfect. This trip was planned about 2 months ago, when we got a voucher for it. I think we will go in October instead now.
Luckily, we cancelled it because on Friday when DH and I decided to go out shopping (DH was home because he took a holiday on Friday for the camping trip), we noticed a lot of liquid/oil pouring out of the car as we were driving out of the driveway . So instead of going to the shops we just drove it straight to the car repairer. The repair shop is closed to an Asian store so we went there instead and got some stuff (spent $14.15 for a bit of stuff good value for money) and just walked home (less than 30 mins away).
Apparently, when they were replacing something in the car on Wednesday they accidentally bumped something off. It was an easy fix but the car was there for 3 hours. Lucky we found this out while we were near home and not while were camping. DH didn't noticed anything when he drove the car back home Wednesday night so it didn't get trigger until we drove it out that Friday. Now we have a trail of fluid all the way from the garage to the road and maybe even all the way to the repairer place, by the time we got there it ws empty.
Saturday we did our proper grocery shopping, we went to Aldi and got Milo at Woolworths, all up we spent $64.45 on food this week. And then we got something for Mother's day and also got myself a couple of jumpers and a pair of socks. The jumpers and socks only cost me $21. Also got DH new work shoes but we will need to go back and get it replaced.
On Mother's day we went to my mum's place and had a bbq my brother was there as well and we all got a lot of left over to take home.
Mortgage Payment went through yesterday.
Mortgage Payment = $1,218.00
Principal =$1, 126.86
Interest = $91. 14 (YES! Less than $100)
The Australian Reserved Bank lowered the interest rate today to an all time record low of 2%. At this rate we are starting to think of taking some money out of the mortgage Redraw Account to invest on shares instead. It's very tempting.
We had a relatively quiet weekend. Our car was making some weird noises so we didn't wantto drive it too much. We just went grocery shopping and dropped off some stuff to the Salvo, which was just a crossed the street of the Aldi that we went to. Spending for the weekend was less than $100.
DH already booked the car for service on Wednesday. Its next service is not until next month but since it is making that noise and we are going camping this weekend we need to get it check before driving it 3-4 hours drive to the country.
DH spent some of his weekend applying for jobs. The rest of the weekend I spent tinkering in the garden, DH helped a bit too. He loves being outside, it was great to see him a lot more relaxed on the weekend. He was a bit stressed out again on Wed and Thurs night, he keep wondering whether he has done the right thing quitting. I assured him that he did and that we will be alright. From what he has been telling me about his work I am 100% sure that he is doing the right thing. So far this year DH counted 15 people that has left (that's about 1 a week). He has seen 3 people this year that cried because of work issues.
The other developer is now also considering of leaving earlier than end of June, she doesn't want to take on DH's job. She knows how much ha was to do and deal with, not only dealing with the customer that they support but also dealing with the boss (DB). She's also thinking of travelling in mid-June. Not sure if she will actually do it but she has told few people about already.
DH got a couple of lead today about some work so hopefully something will pan out soon.
Living Expenses- $1,932.34
Mortgage Repayments = $6,818.00
(Interest = $112.17)
(Principal = $1105.83)
(Extra Repayment =$5,600.00)
Other Expenses = $1,220.48 - big chunk of this was for my Samsung Note. Also spent a bit on house repairs, gardening, new BBQ and Rubber mats.
I don't know how I feel about that big extra repayment to the mortgage that we paid last month now, maybe we shouldn't have done since DH quit his job (but we didn't that was going to happen - not so soon) it would have been good to have more liquid cash in hand, but at the same time because of that repayment we will most likely be paying less than $100 of interest every month from now on.
Changes in our Goals this year:
The biggest one is that we will most likely NOT be able to pay off the mortgage this year, unless of course DH find another job fairly quickly. We could however cash in some investments to pay it off but really we want to keep cash or assets we can easily cash in if we need to. Also all extra repayments we have made to the mortgage is in what they call "Redraw Account" that technically we can redraw if we want to. But we will not be doing that unless something catastrophic were to happen. The other reason that I'm not as bothered by it is that our interest rate here (which I guess is similar in the US) is at it's all time low. So putting off pre-paying it for now is not so bad and even if we don't ever make any extra payment the whole thing will be paid off in less than 20 months. Unfortunately here in Australia we done get any tax incentives in delaying paying our mortgage off that's why all this time I have been very determined to pay it off as soon as possible. Anyway, at this time our plan is just being delayed, definitely not abandoned.
It goes without saying that another change we will have to do while DH is not working is to stay within our budget as much as possible and even try to tighten it. We can definitely save some money in some categories, especially under transportation cost - DH won't need to buy train pass.
ARggh I lost my post earlier today I pressed Save as Draft and it disappeared.
DH just gave his 4 weeks notice, after May he will not be working anymore. DH just had enough and I don't blame him and I fully support his decision. I'm actually surprise it took him this long. He almost quit back in Dec and again in Jan.
2 years ago there were new bunch of upper management that got hired and I guess they were told to get rid of people. 2 years ago their team used to have 12 people in it and now there are only 3 left and 1 of them has been taken to do something else (he is complaining about it but there is not much he can do). Being the team leader a lot of the stuff falls on DH. 2 years ago they used to have a Business Analyst, a couple of Data Managers, few testers and few developers (including DH). They used to have a boss that looked after them but he left in October and still haven't been replaced, he didn't get along with his new boss DB (which now DH has to deal with, he is horrible to say the least). The BA and data managers and some of the developers and testers had been let go over a year ago. The 2 testers that were left quit this year (actually 1 got another job and the other decided to retired early instead).
The other developer has already told DH that she will not renew her employment if they get extended after June. That's if they actually get extended, they say they will but 2 months to go and there hasn't been any actions to show it yet. DH had been lied to few times now and he just can't trust them. DH had to step up a lot especially since his old boss left but they wouldn't acknowledge it.
Couple months ago they finally got approval to hire DH old boss position, the one that left in October. DH wasn't really interested in applying for it but at the same time thought may as well since he has been doing this job for months now and also the lady that said she will be living in June said that she would stay if DH gets the job. But ultimately DH just want them to hire someone so he can just concentrate in doing his role that he was hired to do. Anyway, he got interviewed for it and at the end DB said that this the last interview and that he will find out in the next 48 hours. 2 weeks later still nothing and in the meantime DH found out that they actually interviewed 2 more people after that. So on Friday DH asked him if he could talk to him but he said he is busy and would like to discuss it later on that day he will call DH then. Anyway 4:45 that afternoon DH still haven't heard from him. He tends to do this he just ignored things that he doesn't want to deal with, like not answer emails for weeks. DH contacted him to ask if he could talk to him, he said can we do it on Monday but DH really wanted to deal with it then he didn't want another weekend to pass. Lucky he did because DB was actually away on Monday and Tuesday. DH thinks he likes to delay stuff in a hope that people will just forget about it he has done it few times before to DH. In Dec last year DH emailed him something and he didn't respond to it a month later and actually told DH off for not ringing him about it instead. WTF. Apparently, a lot have got caught out with it were they email him stuff that he wanted but never get a respond and down the line they get told off for not ringing him about it. Things that are important to him cannot just be emailed to him they must contact him via phone but the problem is people don't always know what he consider important. He is in a major power trip. Anyway, he told DH that he didn't get the job which is fair enough apparently other applicants had a lot more managerial experience. DH understands and wanted to know when the new person will be starting? Well apparently he will not be hiring anyone he wants to post the job again through a job agency this time. Another WTF. That means it would take at least another 2 months in the meantime DH still has to deal with everything. No thank you! He has been so stress out about work lately and hasn't been sleeping well from constantly thinking about work, he just can't deal with it anymore. So we decided that he should just resign now even without another job to go to. He can have a rest while looking for another job. A quick calculation we should have enough cash in hand to last for the rest of the year. I will look into it more this weekend.
Our goals will have to change this year but hopefully only for short time.
Crap the roof is still leaking. Luckily we decided to not to fix the hole in the ceiling yet because when it rained on Saturday we found that it is still leaking. So we decided to just make a bigger hole in the ceiling to see where the water is coming from, we should have done that in the first place. So we found another tile that is broken, we can clearly see where the hole is now. DH thinks that he might be able to change the tile from inside the house rather than having to go up on to the roof. We will have to wait when the weather is good, too wet at the moment. The drip of water is just going straight to a bucket it is not hitting any timber so there will be no further damage to the ceiling.
Apart from that we had a quiet weekend. We stayed home on Saturday, the weather was terrible anyway. We watch our footy team played, we won! Yeee...
Today (Sunday) we went and watch The Avengers, before the movie started someone got sick, I think they he an epileptic fit and they had to call the ambulance to take him to the hospital. After the movies we went grocery shopping to Aldi, spent less than $45.
It has been a busy week. It was my birthday last week. We spent a bit of money. To say it was a spendy weekend is an understatement. But I scored some really cool presents. DH spoilt me on my birthday. We over indulged, it wasn't planed but we truly enjoyed it anyway. The best thing l got is a Samsung Note with S - pen . It's a nifty gadget. DH picked it, he did all the research and found a pretty descent deal online. He found one that was $130 cheaper than that were in the shops. I'm absolutely loving it. I've used all of my saved allowance money for it and the rest will come out of gift category of the budget, $160. My allowance money added to just under $500 and then the in-laws gave me $100, which I added in as well.
Another thing that got is a new phone, I have now officially joined the 21st century. That was for $88 unlocked, so I'm just using the same sim card as before. I don't think I will bother getting a data for it yet. I will just use our wi-fi at home. I don't think I will be using it much since I have the note and laptop to use at home. And if I'm away from home 95% of the time I'm with DH so I can just use his. My friends also spoilt me. I got Gold class tickets to the movies, a book gift card, a bottle of wine and mum got me a mattress protector.
DH also took me out to dinner on my actual birthday and then we went to a winery with some friends and also to dinner with some of them on Saturday night.
Oh I forgot to mentioned (just really busy at the moment) that DH put some money into the mortgage to get it under $20K. His mum told him that they don't need to borrow money to paint there house. The weather at there place is so crazy at the moment, their power was off for few days because of the massive storm they got. A lot of people in there area is flooded, luckily for them they are on top of a hill. Anyway, I think they will just wait until the weather is warmer again to get it done. DH used the tax refund and that extra pay this month to put $5,600 which make the mortgage balance down to $19,974.99
House Alarm Battery
The battery for our house alarm needed replacing. I think the last time we replaced it was over 5 years ago. DH bought one after work and was easy install for him to do. The battery cost $50.
Broken Roof Tile
We had to get someone to replace a broken roof tile. Luckily we already got some spare tiles around. We paid $50 and it only took him 10 minutes to do it. It was worth it. Another two quotes we got were for $150 and $250. Normally we do a lot of repairs ourselves but DH is not too keen on heights. He can get up a ladder but he won't actually get on to the roof. The broken tile was just out of reach for him to do. And he absolutely would not let me get up there either. $50 was a lot of money for 10 minutes work but it was necessary. Now we will have to fix the ceiling in the guest room where there is a little water damage because of it.
The shares that we purchase last month through Share Purchase Plan (SPP) was settled the end of last month. The plan that DH and I decided was to sell half of it right away so we can get part of our capital out. We got the maximum amount we could get but didn’t want to keep too much of it long-term. Since then it has just been going up so we decided to wait and see where it might go until on Wednesday last week we decided to sell some but since it has gone up a bit more than expected we decided to only got 1/3 out. The 1/3 got us almost 40% of our capital back, so we are happy with that.
It was a costly weekend. On Saturday we did the usual grocery shopping for the week and then went to Bunnings (hardware/garden store) to get some netting for the garden. We got those white cabbage butterflies/moths around and they just love laying their eggs on my vegetable leaves. I thought putting netting around them especially the cabbages and cauliflowers would be the best way, don't like to use sprays. We end up getting a really big size because it was half price and best value for money, only couple dollars more than the smallest size. While there we saw that they have a greenhouse on sale for half price as well, from $50 down to $25.
Saturday night we were invited to a 50th birthday celebration. It was held in one of those reception places normally more for weddings. Actually, been to this place back in 2001 for a friend’s wedding, unfortunately it is not what it used to be. The food were terrible, DH thought he had the worst steak ever. Everything was over cooked, I think they reheat things and that's why they end up so over cooked. It was a big party around 150 guests, it would have cost a lot. We just gave $100 cash as a gift, I had no idea what to get. They hired a photo booth and we all had fun with that.
Sunday we decided to go to a Trash and Treasure market, spent $34 which includes $2 entry fee for both of us. Got $10 of 4 tubs of seedlings, they were about half the price instead of getting from a nursery. I remember to back here next time. Also got 4 pot holders for $2, couple of plastic tubs, few metal brackets and a plaster saw for $1. The best thing we found a glass lid for our fish tank for only $4. Back in December we got a bigger fish tank from a friend but it didn't have a lid so we have been looking for one since then. The lid is millimetre perfect for our tank. One of the biggest things we got on the weekend and were a bit pricey was 6 rubber mats for the gym area in the garage that we are creating. It totalled just under $180 but it has been the cheapest thing we have seen out there.
On Sunday we also both got a haircut. I really needed one. All up the weekend expenses were just over $550. This coming weekend is not going to be cheap either.
Back in Mar 2011 I blogged about our solar panels. We got it installed that month and at that time DH calculated that it would take us about 4 years to breakeven. Well, it is now 4 years later. Oh by the way our first electricity bill for the year came last month it was for $23.13 CREDIT. The previous bill in Dec was for only $8.89 (debit) so we were not required to pay so they just carried it forward to this new bill. So the current balance is $14.24 credit. We will not get this in cash because we have opted for any credit to just carry if forward to the next bill.
I did some calculation of our electric bills:
In 2010 (the year before the Solar panel) we spent $763.49 on our electricity.
*Dec 2010 there was an increase in rates.
2011 it was $653.77.
*Dec 2011 there was an increase in rates. Mar 2011 we got the Solar Panels installed.
2012 it was our best year and we actually got $249.44 CREDIT.
2013 electricity only cost us $87.56 debit.
2014 was $452.71.
This was a lot higher than previous years mainly because we had my brother with us for 6 months that year. *Dec 2014 there was another increase in rates.
So assuming that without the solar panels we would have paid around $800 per year (accounting for the rate increases and my brother staying with us) it would have amounted to $3,200 in 4 years. Instead we only paid $944.60, so a saving of $2,255.40.
The Solar Panels cost were:
Cost Including Installation $7,857.00
(minus) Government Rebate $5,360.00
Out of Pocket $2,497.00
Payment to the Electric Company (for connection) $215.78
TOTAL = $2,712.78
So, that is still $457.38 in the negative. But I also had to calculate our gas bill because we now only use electricity for heating in winter instead of gas.
2010 was $757.57 - the year before solar panels
2011 was $675.01
*Jan 2011 there was an increase in rates
2012 was $579.55
*There were 2 rates increases in Feb and Jul
2013 was $408.89
*Again another rate increase in Jan 2013
2014 was $463.34
*Another rate increase in Jan but it decrease in Jul 2014 because of the removal of the carbon tax.
Note also that my brother stayed with us for 6 months.
Again an average of $800 per year would have been a reasonable gas bill for us. So that would have been $3,200 for the 4 years but instead we only paid $2,126.79 (we normally use gas for cooking and hot water), a saving of $1,073.21. Overall this takes us to $615.83 in the positive. So yeah we are now break-even, it probably really happened mid last year. Obviously, the government rebate helped a lot in breaking even a lot sooner.
Our long-weekend was pretty quiet, we did more work outside as clean the garage (half-way through it now). We did go out and did some shopping, we got a new little bbq and a small foldable table that we can use outside and should be able to take camping as well. They were both on sale. While shopping we ate out for lunch to a fairly inexpensive Chinese/Dumpling place. Apart from that we mainly stayed home and watched more Breaking Bad – it was BB marathon weekend for us and now we have finished it. We will probably now move on to watching "Better call Saul".
Normal monthly mortgage payment went through and the interest paid for this month was $112.17, so principal paid was $1,105.80. Balance right now is $25,574.99.
I did a calculation of our net worth for the end of the first quarter and we just hit $700K. That was a nice increase from the last time I looked at our net worth.
The cabbages are now about double in size and the cauliflowers are doing well. And the beetroots and beans and also starting to shots up. There are more kales and snow peas seedlings that have come up but the coriander are dead except for 1 and even that is not looking to good. And those seeds that DH planted are not happening.
Day light saving time finished on Sunday and now it feels like winter. I don't like it.
Mortgage = $1218
Living Expenses = $1527.82 (Not too bad)
Other = $802.41 (A bit too much here)
About $220 of this was for Mitre Saw compound ($148), sledge hammer and some MDF material. About $180 for gardening materials – soil, manure, seedlings, plants (both indoor and outdoor), a big bottle of weed killer, weed mat cover and small gardening tools. The other $170 was for quilt, quilt cover and comforter. We also spent about $35 on office supplies, mainly on a box of suspension files. The rest was for batteries for smoke alarms, brushes, etc. (too many rubbish to mention) and DH got a new fishing rod.
Total = $3,548.23
The red cabbage and cauliflower are doing well so far. Some goes with the lemongrass and Vietnamese mint. But the coriander is not looking too good. DH scattered some coriander seeds in the garden the other day maybe that will be better than the seedlings we planted. Today I saw 4 of the snow peas already poking through and I'm pretty sure there are a couple of the kales as well. Just been spraying the seeds we planted in the egg cartons on the weekend, I don't know how well they will go, time will tell.
|<< Newer Entries||Older Entries >>|