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WEEK 49

December 11th, 2018 at 09:05 pm



I’m currently fixated with gardening, in particular trying to grow carrots. I’ve been spending too much time watching gardening videos on Youtube.

We are still doing the cementing thing in one of the garden bed, when it is done I will post a photo. We are trying to do one bag a day but sometimes when the weather is either too hot or raining we can’t. I tried to do it by myself but it was hard to try and get it done before the mix gets dry. We are so much in a hurry now that the rocks are back on its place. For few days we had to roll them off to the lawn area and that made the lawn yellow. They are still a bit yellow now but I’m hoping with some rain coming our way in the next few days it will be green again.

Grocery - We went to another market this one was the best so far. Overall, grocery spending for the week was $74.85.

Lunch out – We had lunch out to get together with friends to celebrate Christmas ($44.50).

WEEK 48

December 5th, 2018 at 10:39 pm



Was meant to post this yesterday but my internet wasn’t working properly when I had time to do it. Anyways…

Grocery = $72.46. We went to another farmer’s market on Saturday. This was better than last weekend but they had a $2 per person entrance fee, although it went to the Rotary Club so I didn’t mind too much.

Electricity bill – We got the last one for the year and it was a credit for $49.46. so I’m happy about that.

Cements = We had to buy 6 bags of 20kg of cements to put between big rocks that border the back garden. It has been a lot of work, we have been at it since the weekend. We took the rocks off, they are heavy - some of them are about 40-50 kilos in weight. Then we had to make sure to get rid of weeds and grass roots that have gone under the concrete that is between these rocks and the lawns. And now we are putting it back together again and also making sure to put cements between the gaps. We are only half way and I think we will need another 6 bags of cements.

NOVEMBER 2018

December 3rd, 2018 at 04:06 pm

Total for the month of November is $2,490.82.

We mainly spent it on:

Grocery = we were under budget, spent $236.29. I’ve decided to put $20 in the challenge because we are under this month.

Household Expenses = $500.87, it was mainly for the Skip Hire.

Transport Related = $290.96, DH hasn't been taking the early train and this also includes fuel and the registration for the camper trailer.

Entertainment total = $184.93

Gifts = was high this month because of my cousin’s wedding, that was $300 for the month.

Holiday (November portion) = $269.49

Christmas = $253.51, started getting stuff for Christmas. This year and for the past few years I budgeted $1,200 for our birthdays, anniversary and Christmas, we didn’t spend much for our birthdays and anniversary this year so we got a bit of money still in this category. We still got over $800 in it available for the rest of the year. I don’t intent to spend this much for Christmas though, hoping to only spend half.

**CHALLENGE** we had 10 NSDs in November so $30 to the Challenge Fund plus the $20 from the being under in grocery, so $50 for the month. I still need to set up an actual bank account for this. For now it is just written down in my spreadsheet.



Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). === DONE!!!===

*Save $4K for Holiday money. = We have now spent $4,754.63 under this category because of the camper trailer.

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. = We will most likely end up spending around $1K under this category this year, not too bad.


Other –

*Read 70 books.
160. The Scandal - Fredrik Backman (3 Nov)
161. The Travelling Cat Chronicles - Hiro Arikawa (9 Nov)
162. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty (10 Nov) - Audio
163. Zealot - Reza Aslan (13 Nov)
164. Started Early, Took my Dog - Kate Atkinson (14 Nov) - Audio
165. Smiling Mind - James Tutton & Jane Martino (15 Nov) - Audio
166. The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion (17Nov) - Audio
167. #NOW: The Suprising Truth About the Power of Now - Dr. Max McKeown (17 Nov) - Audio
168. The Brain that Changes Itself - Norman Doidge, MD (18 Nov) - Audio
169. The Hidden Life of Trees - Peter Wohlleben (20 Nov) - Audio
170. Aristotle's Way - Edith Hall (21 Nov)
171. Revenge - Andrew Holmes & James Patterson (22 Nov) - Audio
172. The Lion Tamer who Lost - Louise Beech (25 Nov)
173. The Brain's Way of Healing - Norman Doidge (27 Nov) - Audio
174. The Science of Getting Rich - Wallace D. Wattles (28 Nov) - Audio
175. Dark Emu - Bruce Pascoe (30 Nov) - Audio

In the last couple of weeks I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden, didn’t have as much time actually reading but I been loving listening to audiobooks while gardening.



*Learn Spanish. = Still going everyday

*Workout 3/4 times a week. = failed but I been doing so much physical work in the garden that I been going to bed dog tired.

*Try new recipes every other week.
Made lemon tart and tomato chutney for the first time.

*Blogging once per week. = I missed one when we were away

*Continue Garden/Landscaping. = We did a lot and still going.

*Wake-up early (before 7am) = yes

*Continue Decluttering. = YES!

WEEK 47

November 27th, 2018 at 09:35 pm


Grocery = $91.25, bought a bit of fish for the freezer, $23 worth. Also we went to some sort of a market on Sunday, it was supposed to be a farmer’s market but there weren’t many farmer’s there at all.
Wedding = Last week a relative of mine got married we gave a $200 cash gift.

Garage sales = high chair for $1, this will be for my little niece when they comes for Christmas. It is still very good the guy just wants to get rid of it because they are selling up. There was also another garage sale on the same street and I got a set of lamps for $15. I want to build a headboard and I think I can used these lamps for it.

Garden = On the way home from the market we saw a sign for horse poo for sale, we end up getting a $7.50 worth. It better value than getting from the store. The best thing I got from the market were seedlings, they were only $1 each. I end up spending $12.

Christmas stuff = Got some more random stuff for Christmas to put under the tree (that’s if we are getting a tree this year???)

Making Sauerkraut = I made sauerkraut, for the first time ever.

Lunch out with friend and her family = On Saturday DH and I had lunch with a friend and her family. For some reason they end up paying for lunch so we picked up the bill for coffees and cakes afterwards, $18.50.

Change Registration Plate for Camper Trailer = DH had to get the registration for the camper trailer transferred to our state. He ended up spending $96. This included some once off fee, it will eventually be $59 per year.

WEEK 46

November 19th, 2018 at 04:49 pm


Grocery = $55.91, a fairly regular shop. Got a good deal on broccoli, 4 heads for a dollar, it was great baked with cream and cheeses.

Clothing = bought a dress for a wedding that we are going to be attending this month, that was for $46.

Cleaned the Garage & Hired a Skip = we spent most of our weekend cleaning the garage and throwing out stuff we couldn’t get rid of during our annual hard rubbish collection. Mainly broken bricks, building materials and we also dug up rotten wood borders that held our front lawn. We have also started digging up our front lawn (or should I say front weeds). Since we cut down the massive palm tree in the front yard we can finally do more work there. The roots are still there and it would probably few years for it to compost so we will just work the design around it. So far I am happy how it is going. We put some soil that was under the lawn on top of it and I put in some seeds to see if it is any good at all. So far a couple sunflowers are growing and some radishes. I’m hoping radishes will help break up the soils a bit. I also put is some flowers (seeds), not much luck yet though.

Dinner Out = after all that hard work we had dinner our on Sunday. We had Vietnamese food for $36.50.

WEEK 45

November 13th, 2018 at 03:18 pm

Grocery = $89.13 did a bit of shopping when we got home and then we did a big shop on the weekend. We got a little bit more stuff than usual since our fridge was really empty. I’m happy that vegetables are cheaper now that the weather is warming up. I particularly got a good deal on tomatoes; it was over a kilo for only $2. I know we can’t finish it all before it goes off so yesterday I made tomato chutney (for the first time), used up about half of the tomatoes.

Christmas Shopping = Started getting some stuff for Christmas, $206.56 worth. Couple of weeks ago my brother called me to asked if they could come at our place for Christmas, before that I was thinking of not really doing much for Christmas but now we got guest so I will have to do more shopping. I don’t mind I get to see my little niece again. Apparently she is running now.

Some people requested photos of our new (to us) camper trailer. Hope this works. I haven’t posted a photo here for years.


This camp site has great view of the lake and the sunset


There's so much room in this tent.

I don't have any photo of the little kitchen next time we go camping I'll make sure to get one and post it.

EDIT: DH actually had a photo of the kitchen.



Holiday away and Camper Trailer

November 12th, 2018 at 04:35 pm


We went away for 2 weeks, total spend was $708.63.

Accommodation = $105.00 for 3 nights camping
Transportation = Fuel cost $303.10
Food = $300.53


October (portion) = $439.14
November (portion) = $269.49

It was a great holiday just relaxed and watched the sunset (a lot).

On our 3rd day there, as we were driving from the market, just a block from the in-laws house at this parking area by the lake there was a sign for sale next to this camper trailer. A guy and his family were there, they had the tailer set up. We thought that looks interesting and we wondered how much it would be. We didn't bother stopping by because we wanted to get home (i.e. to the in-laws place) for lunch. Anyway, we talked about it during lunch and decided that we should go back and check it out. At this stage we didn’t think we would get it, we thought it would cost around $5k but we were interested to see what it was like. We were surprise that the price was for only $2,650 and that we would like it. We umm and ahh and slept on it. The next day they lowered the price on Gumtree (this is probably like Craig’s List in the US). We felt that they just want to get rid of it because they already got a replacement, an upgrade, they bought a caravan. So they don’t have room anymore in the garage for it.

We message them to ask to look at it again and if they are willing to accept $2300. They agreed. We made sure we could tow it in our car; it was all good so we bought it. It has a nice little kitchen, we can hook it up to power and there are a lot of space. It is a good solid trailer and can be taken off road if we want it to.

We decided to put this under holiday spending. So far this year we have spent $2,454.63 on holidays, I budgeted $4,000 for the year so we are way under, with a leftover of $1,545.37. We don’t have plans to go anywhere until next year.

Change to our Challenge?
We are going to still go ahead with our saving challenge. We will most likely keep this camper trailer for 5 years and then maybe upgrade? That's what tends to happen.

OCTOBER 2018

November 8th, 2018 at 10:43 pm



This is very late but I’ve been away and got sick since the last day of our holiday. We got back Tuesday afternoon and I have just been trying to recover from it.

So Week 43 and 44 was spent away on our holiday, we went and visited relatives interstate. And then somehow end up getting a camper trailer – that was not planned at all. I will do a separate blog about this purchase and about our holiday later.

October Total = $4,706.26

CAMPER TRAILER = this includes the cost of camper trailer for $2,300.

GROCERY = $188.19

UTILITIES = only for electricity bill this month, $126.93. This was our first payable bill for the year.

PROPERTY RATES = $202.90 – for some reason they are now taking the money out of our account on the first of the month instead to the end of the month, so in September we actually didn’t had to pay this.

Household and Garden Items = $177.91

DH Birthday and Anniversary = 311.92

~~~~~~~~ 2018 GOALS~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). Buying the camper trailer made us missed out on achieving this goal in October but it should really happen in November.

*Save $4K for Holiday money. In the month of October we spent $439.14.

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.


Other –

*Read 70 books. I didn’t get to do as much reading while on holiday.

148. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (2 Oct)
149. Unforgivable - Mike Thomas (4 Oct) - Audio
150. The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz (8 Oct)
151. The Other Half of Happiness - Ayisha Malik (9 Oct) - Audio
152. The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena (11 Oct)
153. Unwritten - Jack Delosa (12 Oct) - Audio
154. The $1000 Project - Canna Campbell (15 Oct)
155. The Love that I Have - James Maloney (16 Oct) - Audio
156. 10% Happier - Dan Harris (17 Oct)
157. Anthem - Ayn Rand (18 Oct)
158. The Unquiet Dead - Ausma Zehanat Khan (25 Oct) – Audio
159. The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle (30 Oct)

*Learn Spanish. – yes, daily.

*Workout 3/4 times a week. – did really good before going away but we only did walking the dog while on holiday

*Try new recipes every other week. – Yes, I tried cooking beef brisket for the first time and I fermented some swiss chard before we left. The fermentation turned out well and we been having some for the last few days. I also tried baking bread in the bbq.

*Blogging once per week. - Failed

*Continue Garden/Landscaping. - Yes

*Wake-up early (before 7am) - Yes

*Continue Decluttering. - Yes

WEEK 42

October 23rd, 2018 at 01:06 am



We did a bit of gardening this weekend even though it rained a lot. Not much else really happened here.

Grocery = $57.10. This will be it for the month since we are going away.

Clothes = socks, tracksuit and leggings for $20.98

Sunscreen and eye drops = $15.45

SAVING CHALLENGE

October 18th, 2018 at 06:20 pm



Saving for Caravan/Campervan/Camper Trailer Challenge

For the last couple of years now DH and I have been discussing that in the future we would like to get either a caravan, camper trailer or even a van that we can convert into a campervan. The reason why we hired one when we went to Tasmania back in May is because we wanted to try what it would be like sleeping in one. We want to travel around Australia (or at least part of it), this will probably happen in 5-years’ time and maybe hopefully even sooner than that. And we believed this one of the best way to see this beautiful country of ours.

AIM: $15K in 3 years (at least a starting point)

By/From:
- Gifts – any gifts we receive that’s useful to us (I will decide on individual basis)
- Savings from Grocery – we will stick to our $300 p/m budget if we spend less than this amount the leftover money will go to this saving challenge.
- Savings from Entertainment Money – same goes with this, we will have $150p/m budget (Netflix is included in this amount).
- Any Cash Rewards that we might get (eg. Credit card rewards)
- NSD’s – ($3 per NSD) – I actually still take note of our NSDs in my spreadsheets, so I would like to bring this back just like when I used to save up for my Sunny day savings few years back.
- Savings from buying something we NEED cheaper. Good incentive to make sure we are getting the best value for our money.
- Extra Income – if it happens I would like to put part of it in this saving challenge (Any of our current or future investment income, eg. Dividend money is not included in this)
- Tax refund – If any, I would like some of it to go here also.
- Trading Income – I very rarely do trading these days, the last time was over a year ago. I just haven’t been motivated enough to do all that work, I just been investing long-term, so much less work. But I think I might start doing it again but with very small amount of money and if I make some I will put a percent of the profit into this challenge. DH also pledges to contribute some money into this saving challenge if he makes some money from his trading. He does a bit more trading when he has time, he likes it, he likes following the market. I have just over $1,700 in my CFD trading account. DH probably got around that same amount in his account, whenever he gets his account above $2K he takes some out as reserves and when it goes below $1.5K he put some back in. It really is just “play” money.

I’m going to keep this money separate so I’m thinking of opening a new bank account or maybe a sub-account from our current savings account if it is available I haven’t checked yet.

Normally I would have started this challenge in the beginning of next year but I’m really eager so I’m going to start next month. I just read a book that also motivated me to start now, why wait? We will try to keep our spending plan to as close to this year for next year.
DH is about to finish the tax return for the last financial year; I’m hoping we will get some more money this time. Last time we had to pay a bit for DH.

So, here we go. I’m excited about this!




Car Service and some Financial Updates

October 16th, 2018 at 08:21 pm


Car Service = Yesterday’s car service was $321.20 - it included the normal service and a change in fan belt.

Increase in Income = DH got an increase but only CPI rate, not surprising really, income here have mainly stagnated in the last few years.

Salary Sacrifice = We’ve decided to increase DH’s Super contribution to hopefully decrease his tax. He is salary sacrificing few hundred dollars per month. Now that the house is paid off this makes a lot of sense for us.

Garden = I’m still getting a lot of swiss chard, I even gave some away to a couple of friends. I’ve been trying out different dishes with it. The other night I made crust less quiche with it. It was very good. A lot of seedlings I planted couple of weekends ago are now coming through. I’m just hoping we get a bit more rain this summer.

WEEK 41

October 15th, 2018 at 07:50 pm



Grocery = $54.96, almost on budget.

Car Fuel = $70.50, this was a lot but it was almost empty and prices are really high at the moment.

Carpet Cleaner Hire = On Saturday we went and hire one of those carpet cleaner for 24 hours. We cleaned couple of rooms that has carpet, 3 couches, 4 rugs and the car. It cost us $73.85 including the cleaning liquids that was needed for the machine and a spray bottle of a spot cleaner. There are enough leftovers we can use for next time. The hire of the machine for 24 hours was only $43.60 ($5 was for the upholstery handle). This is our first time using and I was happy with the result, I want to regularly do this, maybe at least once a year. With the dog around it’s good to give these things some deep cleaning.


SALVO = we took a bag of stuff to the charity, then I got a couple of books and DH got a Wii game, total $10.

This morning DH dropped off the car to the mechanic, not sure how much it will cost yet.

WEEK 40

October 8th, 2018 at 05:44 pm

Week 40 already, 12 weeks to go for end of the year. Man that went fast.

Last week we celebrated our 12th anniversary and on the weekend DH’s birthday.

GROCERY – $76.13 bought some extra stuff for DH birthday get together.

Anniversary & Birthday – We went out for our anniversary spent $120. We had Italian. For DH’s birthday we spent $144.92 for gift, sweets, snacks and drinks. We had bbq, the weather was beautiful.

Laundry – We were meant to get our winter quilt washed a couple of weeks ago but it got push back, we finally did it on Sunday. It cost us $9. And also got a latte to share while waiting for the washing, it cost $4.80.

Added: I forgot to mentioned that I got a hair cut on the weekend - $20.

SEPTEMBER 2018

October 2nd, 2018 at 09:39 pm



Total Spending for the month = $1600.05

GROCERY = $277.35, a bit more than I was hoping for but still under $300 so we are still doing very well since September had 5 Saturdays.

WATER & GAS BILL = $393.60

HOUSEHOLD & GARDEN = $215.15

ENTERTAINMENT = $349.59 , high, very high. Celebrated few birthdays and got far too much takeaway food.

GIFTS = $157.75

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2018 GOALS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K).
We are now at $42K, so we should achieve this goal in October.
*Save $4K for Holiday money.
N/A this month
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.
Still not sure what we want to do with the house but I decided that the savings that we have been contributing to the “Car Fund” will now be for this (if we ever need it). We have been putting $200 into a couple managed funds for 10 years now; it has mainly been earmark as “Car Fund”. Last year the account got to just over $40K, we decided to take out $10K (we don’t need $40K to buy a new car, if when we get a new car we will be getting the one around $20-25K). So, that 10K got invest into something else. Anyway, last time I looked it was again almost to $40K mark (although it might have gone down since then, the market has been down in the last few weeks). We will just continue putting $200 a month and see where it can get to.

Other –

*Read 70 books.
I didn’t have as much time to read. I listen to a bit of audio books while doing the grout. Also I finally found a Dave Ramsay book, first time reading his book.
134. One of Us is Lying - Karen Mcmanus (2 Sep)
135. The House - Simon Lelic (6 Sep) - Audio
136. Stuffocation - James Wallman (7 Sep)
137. Minimalist: A Better Life with Less - Anthony Wright (9 Sep)
138. Altruism - Matthieu Ricard (14 Sep) - Audio
139. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank (15 Sep)
140. The Honourable Thief - Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios (17 Sep) - Audio
141. Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood (19 Sep) - Audio
142. The Total Money Makeover - Dave Ramsay (20 Sep)
143. The Awakened Millionaire - Joe Vitale (23 Sep)
144. Don't Wake Up - Liz Lawler (24 Sep) - Audio
145. Econobabble - Richard Deniss (25 Sep)
146. Find Your Why - Simon Sinek (26 Sep)
147. Ash and Bones - Mike Thomas (29 Sep) - Audio


*Learn Spanish.
I put in more time on this in September.

*Workout 3/4 times a week.
I would actually give myself an A here for September, I just need to keep it going in October.

*Try new recipes every other week.
I forgot about this in September. I cooked a lot of stir fry because we got a lot of snow peas and swiss chard right now in the garden.

*Blogging once per week.
Yes.

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Have been doing a bit more work outside.

*Wake-up early (before 7am)
Yes

*Continue Decluttering.
Yes – we have been doing some spring cleaning. I need to drop some more stuff to the charity place.

WEEK 39

September 30th, 2018 at 10:04 pm



GROCERY – $43.07 – it could have been less but we bought some snacks to have for the football grand final game, our team was in the grand final but unfortunately we lost (maybe next year). But we had fun eating chips, dips and cheese and drinking beer while watching it.

GARDENING/LANDSCAPING – Spent $109.21 on stuff for the garden, it is best time to start working in the garden again. I also bought some more seedlings and seeds.

FABRIC – Also got some fabric to cover the couch, $60 (9 meters long).

Eating Out – Still been loving the Vietnamese food too much and being out an about we have been getting some food on the run - $49.30. We can’t seem to stop.

WEEK 38

September 25th, 2018 at 10:32 pm



GROCERY – $65.07, we went to this butcher shop we haven’t been to for 3 months or so. We end up getting more than we intend to.

GIFT - $110 for a friend’s 40th.

LUNCH & GOLD CLASS MOVIE - $88.50, also for the friend’s 40th birthday.

It was a bit of spending on the weekend but it was good to be out with friends.

WEEK 37

September 18th, 2018 at 10:32 pm



GROCERY – an even $42. It's more in line with we are aiming for.

I haven’t done much else but painting the grout. I finally finish it today. I was hoping to do it for a week but it has taken a week and a half.

The weather is warming up so I will be putting away the thick winter quilt for the lighter one. I will go to the laundry mat this weekend to get it wash. Our washing machine is too small for it. And then I can put it away for the next 6-7 months. I will also put away the electric blanket until next year.

WEEK 36

September 11th, 2018 at 03:31 am


GROCERY - $70.77, a bit over than what I wanted to spend but just when I thought I’ve finished my shopping, in the last shop I went to I found they were having good sales of chicken breast so I decided to get some. Bought a bit of household items this weekend (dishwashing powder, toothpaste, handwashing soap ,etc).

GIFTS = $47.75, for our niece’s first birthday. We had to send it via post we can’t go to the party this weekend.

CLOTHING = Bought DH couple of new business shirts, they were only $10 each. He got rid of 3 shirts. We are currently doing one in one out with our clothes. I also got a workout jacket to replace one I am about to throw out once the weather gets warmer. That was also $10.

EATING OUT – We went out for Vietnamese food and coffee and cake afterwards, $30.30

GARAGE SALES - $35.50 - mainly got a set of knives. DH and I have discussed of getting one last month, so when we saw it we got it. They still look fairly new. We also got a nice painting, a handmade pottery and some garden pots.

SEEDLINGS – Got some seedling, tomatoes and Thai chillies for $7.60

HOUSE REPAIRS – we went to the hardware store to get some paint for grout. Also got some other stuff I need to make some little fixes around the house. All up it cost $19.87. My current project for the week is to re-grout some areas and then paint all the grout in three areas (3 rooms). We already have some grout but it is hard to match the current grout so we decide to just paint the lot to match and to make it look fresh. So far it is looking so much better but it is a bit fiddly, it will most likely take me a week or so to do the three areas.

WEEK 35

September 4th, 2018 at 09:41 pm

We had a fairly reasonable weekend.

GROCERY - $56.44, $15 was spent on 1 kilo ground coffee (it was on sale, 50% off) and we also spent $10 worth of mixed nuts and fruits and a bag of pepitas (this should last at least a month). This is what we normally have for in our breakfast. DH makes our breakfast, he would soak rolled oats with homemade kefir, in it he would also put frozen berries and the mixed nuts & fruits. He would normally make enough for 2 to 3 meals. In the morning we would normally add slices of banana and whatever else fruit we have, normally strawberries, avocados, and whatever is in season.

BIRTHDAY – we went out for lunch on Saturday for a friends 40th, spent $90. I bought her gift last month.


That’s it.

August 2018

September 2nd, 2018 at 11:21 pm

Total for the month was $1,247.36. Not too bad and it was mainly because we did not have utility bill due (this is going to be different story in Sept) and there was no property rate again in August (but it is starting again in Sept, for 10 months and we just receive the statement, it is going up a bit). Some highlights on our spending:

GROCERY = Total for the month was $246.99, under $250 so I’m happy. I think we will try to keep our grocery spending at this level, so around $45-50 per week.

TRAIN FARE = Big one this month $245.04. DH bought a 4 week pass on the last day of Aug. DH decided to take a break from taking the early train in September so he and I can do our workouts in the morning together. So he won’t be getting discount (well… he is still get a bit for buying bulk rather than the daily pass) on his train fare in September but it is now all paid for the next 4 weeks.

ENTERTAINMENT = this was not too bad actually $175.18

ALLOWANCE = but this was not so good…$165.39. DH had to go to a lot of farewell lunches at work.

GIFTS = we had few gifts to buy for $213.00




~~~2018 GOALS~~~


Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K).
Back in early to mid-July DH signed up to salary sacrificed more into his Superannuation (retirement) fund, which means he has been getting less take home pay but it should save around $3K a year in tax. So, we got less money to put into this goal but this should still get fully funded in around 2-3 months’ time.

*Save $4K for Holiday money.
N/A this month but we are thinking of going somewhere in November.

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.
N/A


Other –

*Read 70 books. – For the month of August I challenged myself to finish 1 book a day and I actually managed to do it.

101. What Lies Between Us - Nayomi Munaweera (1 Aug)
102. Witness to a Trial: A short Story Prequel to The Whistler - John Grisham (2 Aug)
103. The Other Side of Happiness - Brock Bastian (3 Aug)
104. How you Learn is How you Live - David A. Kolb & Kay Paterson (4 Aug) - Audio
105. The Power of a Half Hour - Tommy Barnett (5 Aug) - Audio
106. The Whistler - John Grisham (6 Aug)
107. The Five Levels of Attachment (Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World) - don Miguel Ruiz Jr. (7 Aug)
108. Free Yourself from Debt - Paul Clitheroe (8 Aug)
109. Last Seen Alive - Claire Douglas (9 Aug) - Audio
110. The Breakfast Club for 40 Somethings - Vanessa Stoykov (9 Aug)
111. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho (10 Aug)
112. Frugal Isn't Cheap - Clare K. Levison, CPA (11 Aug)
113. Life in the Refrigerator Door - Alice Kuipers (12 Aug)
114. Hangman - Jack Heath (13 Aug)
115. Living Thin - Antonia Magee (14 Aug)
116. Happiness - Matthieu Ricard (15 Aug) - Audio
117. Broke Millennial - Erin Lowry (16 Aug)
118. Chaos to Calm - Shannah Kennedy & Lyndall Mitchell (17 Aug) - Audio
119. The Money Motivator - Paul Hannah (18 Aug) - Audio
120. The Mood Elevator - Larry Senn (19 Aug) - Audio
121. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (20 Aug)
122. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... and it's all small stuff - Richard Carlson Ph.D. (21 Aug)
123. Hyper-Capitalism - Larry Gonick & Tim Kasser (22 Aug) - (Graphic book)
124. The Star Principle - Richard Koch (22 Aug) - Audio
125. The Money Motivator - Paul Hannah (23 Aug) - Audio
126. Civil Disobedience - Henry David Thoreau (24 Aug)
127. Skin in the Game - Nassim Nicholas Taleb (25 Aug)
128. Enchiridion - Epictetus (26 Aug)
129. Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka (27 Aug)
130. The Duel - Anton Chekhov (28 Aug)
131. Get to the Point - Joel Schwartzberg (29 Aug) - Audio
132. The Little Book of Big Happiness - Bernadette Fisers (30 Aug) - Audio
133. 12 Rules for Life: an antidote to chaos - Jordan B. Peterson (31 Aug)



*Learn Spanish.
Still been doing 15 on Doulingo and have been watching some YouTube videos in the last couple of weeks. I will focus more on this in September maybe spend 3-4 hours per day instead of just 20 mins.

*Workout 3/4 times a week.
DH and I are going to do a bit more extensive work out in September. It was okay this month but really nothing to write home about.

*Try new recipes every other week.
I tried a couple, one was a disaster.

*Blogging once per week.
Yes

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Did do anything but we got to harvest some Swiss chard, snow peas and coriander from our dismal winter vegetable garden.

*Wake-up early (before 7am)
Yes

*Continue Decluttering.
Didn’t do anything this month but I will do some spring cleaning soon.

WEEK 34

August 28th, 2018 at 04:30 pm



The weather was very nice so we went to the park on the weekend.

Grocery - $54.56

Fuel - $57.76

Gifts - $103.00 (for 2 birthdays next weekend)

Short and sweet since I will be posting the end of the month summary in a couple of days.

WEEK 33

August 21st, 2018 at 09:31 pm



Grocery - $64.98, we got a bit of meat on the weekend. We are at $192 spending for the month and I am hoping to keep this under $240-50 this month. I think it is doable.

Lunch Out - $22, the weather was terrible on the weekend and I really wanted some Pho soup.

Garden – $31.00, we got some soil for this native plant that I want to re-pot to a bigger pot also got a couple solar lights for the garden.

Gifts – $110, we had to get a couple of gifts for a friend’s new baby and mother in-law’s birthday.


WEEK 32

August 15th, 2018 at 12:12 am



Grocery - $32.45, we only needed some stuff.


Second-hand Store – We checked out this store near this Aldi we went to on the week (not our normal Aldi), they were selling CD’s for $1 and I found a little Spanish/English dictionary for $2 and another book. We end up spending $14 there.

It was a quiet weekend.

WEEK 31

August 6th, 2018 at 07:50 pm



Grocery - an even $95.00. This is what happens when I don’t put a limit on spending, end up spending twice as much than necessary. About $40 was spent on some unusual stuff, things that we rarely get. The main thing was the sashimi grade salmon, tuna and king fish. We made some of them into sushi and the rest just ate it as sashimi.


Train Fare - $50


Eating out - we went to the shopping centre to mainly get out if the house. Had lunch and had our monthly ‘meeting’ while having coffee and cheese cake. Total $34.95.

JULY 2018

July 31st, 2018 at 04:49 pm

Total Spending = $951.07
UNDER 1 GRAND!!! I can’t remember if this has ever happened before.

This was a very low spend month but not very frugal because we went out a lot so Entertainment expense was high and for some reason we were craving a lot of Vietnamese food. We spent $287.29 under the Entertainment category. And then DH had few lunches out because there are a lot of people at his work that are left this month, so Allowance spending for the month was $58.95

GROCERY - $179.17 (under our $180 for the month). DH wants us to continue this challenge but I’m a bit reluctant I don’t even really know why. Although, I think this experiment has been really good for us, eating a lot less meat has been really good not just for monetary reason. Actually eating less overall has been an eye opener. It just shows that we might have been over eating. Cutting down on food spending meant we had to be selective and only buying food that is necessary and has high benefits for us. We never went hungry but sometimes I opted to skip some meals if I thought I don’t need to eat yet. I’ve discovered that it is sometimes okay not to eat until your body tells you so. I have been doing a bit of short-term (intermittent) fasting. I think it has been better for my insides too.

The rest we spent on:
Gas - $103.72
Mobile Phone - $30
Household Goods - $96.34
Fuel - $40.70
Train Fare - $100
Personal/Medical - $31.00
Misc - $23.90

No Property Rates – for this month and next month.



~~~2018 GOALS~~~

Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). – We got to put a bit of money this month because of low spending and 1 extra income. I think another 3 months and we might have this one done.

*Save $4K for Holiday money. – This is probably should have been labelled budget or limit instead of save. N/A this month

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. – The same goes with this one. This is a budget and then anything extra goes under future remodelling of the house. Although, lately we have been thinking that we might just sell up and get something smaller and if that happens soon we might sell the house as is.


Other –

*Read 100 books. ---DONE! I never thought I could read more than 1 book a week but apparently I can read 3 books a week and might even be able to do better. Now that I’m used to it I think it is doable for me do read 4-5 books a week. Mindset!

87. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling (6 Jul) – Audio (I actually really enjoyed this audiobook. I was never able to read this book before. I have actually tried reading this book twice before but just could get into it, the same goes with those Twilight books. I know, I probably should be locked-up for admitting this. Lol)
88. Memory Man - David Baldacci (8 Jul)
89. The Joy of Less - Francine Jay (10 Jul)
90. You Can Do It! - Paul Hanna (12 Jul) - Audio
91. Goodbye, Things - Fumio Sasaki (13 Jul)
92. By the Book - Julia Sonneborn (14 Jul)
93. The Art of Tidying Up - Kim Carruthers (17 Jul)
94. Clutter Busting your Life - Brooks Palmer (19 Jul)
95. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (22 Jul)
96. The Perfect Stranger - Megan Miranda (23 Jul) - Audio
97. The World of Philosophy: Stoics and Epicureans - Daryl Hale (24 Jul) - Audio
98. A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind - Shoukei Matsumoto (25 Jul) - Audio
99. The Secret - Rhonda Byrne (26 Jul)
100. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (31 Jul) – I finally finished this one. It has taken me months to read it. It’s my own copy so I kept putting it aside for the library books.



*Learn Spanish. – Still going


*Workout 3/4 times a week. – Still trying


*Try new recipes every other week. – ummm I can’t remember, I think this might been a no.
**Actually I just went through my blog and I forgot about the brussels sprouts, that was definitely new to us**

*Blogging once per week. – Yes


*Continue Garden/Landscaping. – Too cold still. Only did some weeding in the veggie garden.


*Wake-up early (before 7am) – Yes


*Continue Decluttering. – Major one in the garage for our annual rubbish collection.

WEEK 30

July 29th, 2018 at 06:51 pm



Grocery = $42.75. DH did the grocery shopping, I had a headache. I just have to give him a detailed shopping list and a budget. He did very well. He got everything that was in the list, even the extras ‘if there was any money left’.

Items he got:
- 4 litres Milk
- 1 doz Eggs
- 1 loaf of Bread
- 2 Frozen Slow Cooked Beef Pie
- 1 bag of Rolled Oats
- 1 bottle Passata
- 1 whole Chicken
- 2 Frozen Salmon Fillets
- 1 big Beef Rump (almost a kilo??)
- 1.5 kilo of Potatoes
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Toothbrushes
- 1 bag of assorted Vegetables (for $2) – 8 tomatoes, 2 cucumber, 1 eggplant, 10 baby okra, 1 brussels sprout, 2 pickled onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 potato, a small piece of ginger, 2 sweet potatoes and 1 capsicum.

WEEK 29

July 24th, 2018 at 02:15 pm



Grocery = $68.62 – got 20 kilo of rice for $33.00
$43.58 left in this month’s grocery budget.

Items we got:
- 20 kilo sack of Rice – this normally last around 25 weeks.
- 3 litres Milk
- 1 doz Eggs
- 1.8 kilo of Pork Shoulder (it was $5.95 per kilo, on sale)
- 500g of Butter
- 200g of Bacon
- A bottle of Passata
- 105g can of Salmon
- 500g of Spiral Pasta
- 50g of Recipe Base
- 400g Turkish Bread
- Dried Noodles
- 500g Zucchini
- 8 Bananas
- ¼ Japanese Pumpkin

Gas for BBQ – DH got a new tank of gas for our bbq that was $23.90

AFL (Australian Football League) – our game was again on cable TV so we thought we couldn’t watch it live again. We didn’t go out to the pub again instead we found out that we can watch it online for as little as $5 per week (cancel anytime) and it had 2 weeks for free. So we signed up for a week, cheaper than a pint of beer at the pub. For the whole season the fee is $99, maybe we will sign up next year.

Plumbing Issues

July 19th, 2018 at 09:43 pm

On the weekend we were starting to have the same problem with our sewage pipes as couple of months ago. The plumber did warn me when he unblocked the pipes that the problem might be bigger than blockage. He wouldn’t know though unless he put a camera in there (he didn’t have one with him and it would cost more) but when he was unblocking it he said it didn’t feel right. He thinks it might be a problem at the intersection where our pipes meet the main pipes. DH was going to try to call either the council and/or the water company to find out where that intersection might be located in our property. The plumber tried to look for it but he couldn’t find one, and when he asked me about it I had no I idea there is such a thing. Apparently, there should have been a pipe or a vent that sticks out from the ground, and that sometimes they can collapse and cause blockage. We have lived here for almost 20 years I’ve never seen one, neither has DH. So both DH and I were anticipating that if this is cracked/collapsed pipes then it will cost thousands. Few days later it was getting worst.

Yesterday DH called the water company instead of the plumber, he was fully expecting for them to say ‘to call the plumber’ but they were actually very helpful and came over an hour after the call, he actually got here before DH (DH left work early so he could be home for it). I explained to him what happened and what the plumber has said to me. He mentioned that some houses especially houses built at certain time, which ours falls under, might not have the vent pipe. And he also said that plumbers are only allowed to go a certain distance, so maybe he couldn’t go too far with his machine. This guy got so much better machines, it only took him less than 10 minutes and he had a camera, we got to see what was inside our pipes, it looked really squeaky clean and he also pointed out the intersection, according to him it looks good. Hopefully that is the end of it and we won’t have to deal with it for another 10 years.

He was really helpful and just before he left he suggested that next time it happens to call them first instead of the plumber; it won’t cost us for them to come to assess the problem instead of the other way around. Next time we will for sure. I’m just thankful it only cost us $250 for the plumber and we didn’t need to do any digging up and replacing pipes. We were so relieved.

WEEK 28

July 16th, 2018 at 04:43 pm

Grocery = $32.55, under budget.

Items we got:
- 3 litres Milk
- 2 doz Eggs
- 2 litres White Vinegar (mainly use for cleaning)
- Frozen Puff Pastry
- 1 Whole Chicken
- 1 bottle of Passata
- 1 can of Whole Tomatoes
- 1 can of Cannellini
- 500g of Spaghetti Pasta
- 1 pack of Custard Biscuit
- 1 box of Tissue
- 1 bottle of Tomato Sauce
- 1 Loaf of Bread
- 1 Fillet of Fish
- 1 tube of Toothpaste
- 1 Sweet Potato
- 4 Mandarins
- 3 Onions
- 1 Garlic
- 1 bag of Carrots (on sale for $1)
- ¼ Pumpkin
- 2 Tomatoes



Annual Hard Rubbish Collection – This week our council is picking up rubbish that they don’t normally collect weekly. So we spent few hours Saturday afternoon going through some stuff in the garage that we’ve keep in there for storage. We ended up taking a car boot full of stuff to charity shop and some we put at the front. We throw out an old lawn mower, a chair that has been gather dust, some old appliances that no longer work, some kitchen stuff (old pot, chopping boards, etc) and the big fish tank that leaked last year that DH couldn’t fixed. Slowly but surely we are decluttering, I try to throw few items out every single day.

Date – It feels like it has been forever since we went out on a proper date. And as some kind of reward with our hard work on Saturday we went out for lunch on Sunday and made a nice outing for the whole Sunday afternoon. It was expensive but no regrets, we sent just under $200. Another reason for going out was to be able to watch our team football game play on tv. The game was only shown on cable tv, which we don’t have. So we went to a Texan smoked bbq restaurant where they show sports games. DH work very closed to this place so he has been here last year for work lunch and has mentioned about taking me to this place one day. We spent the first half of the game there and then we moved on to the gaming room in the casino (this whole place is in a casino complex) where they have a sport bar where we drunk some beers and watched the second half of the game. We lost Frown. Then we played the roulette (also lost), spent a bit of time there making sure DH is not over the limit to drive, then we went home. We had so much food for lunch that we decided not to have a proper dinner, just a bit of soup.



GAS for the Car - DH filled up, $40.70. We haven't been driving so haven't had to fill up for the last 6-7 weeks.

WEEK 27

July 9th, 2018 at 06:04 pm


Grocery = $35.25, right on target.

Items we got:
- 4 litres Milk
- 1 doz Eggs
- 2 bags of Rolled Oats
- 600ml Cream
- 500g Frozen Raspberries
- 1 can of Sliced Pineapple
- 105g can of Pink Salmon
- 95g can of Tuna
- Loaf of Bread
- 1 Continental Cucumber
- 9 Bananas
- 600g Pork Leg Chop
- 2 Fish (Leather Jackets)
- 2 bags a assorted vegetables - it had 8 Brussel Sprouts, 3 different coloured Capsicums, a baby eggplant, broccoli and 5 tomatoes

This is probably my first time buying brussel sprouts, we’ve had those couple times before in restaurants and hated it. But on the weekend I thought I should give it another try. I cut them in half and roasted them with a lot of butter. It was actually yummy.

I also roasted some of the tomatoes and capsicums, while I had the Brussel sprouts on and made soup out of it, nice to have soup on these cold winter days. I know there’s a heat wave in the US at the moment but believe me the weather we had here on the weekend was horrible also, very strong wind. Apart from going grocery shopping we didn’t go anywhere. We stayed in bed for most of it with our electric blanket, reading our books and watching Netflix, I’m obsess with those FBI files and real detective shows at the moment.


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