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Archive for December, 2008

Happy New Year everyone!

December 31st, 2008 at 04:09 pm

Dh and I had a very nice new year last night.

Still really busy here and been spedning quite a bit of money. I haven't really added it all up, I'm kind of scared. I should be able to finalize my 2008 $20K challenge later today and will post it maybe tomorrow.

Again have a safe new year everyone.

Busy

December 26th, 2008 at 04:11 pm

We've been really busy with christmas stuff, so I haven't been here for few days. I need to catch up on what every one has been up to. I will update when things settle down here, hopefully in few days time.

Hope everyone had a great christmas.

2009 $20K challenge or should I say $19K challenge

December 21st, 2008 at 08:14 pm

But this is not finalise yet. Right now this is what our challenge for next year look like. Deep down I really think it is doable, I think it is realistic enough.


*Amount increasing next year.

I will finalise this at the start of next month. DH right now is actually in the middle of finding out whether we can lower some of our fix expenses (mainly insurances). He is currently doing the research and ringing up. Every cent counts right?

Summer

December 21st, 2008 at 05:30 pm

It's hot here today (above 30deg Celcius) and very windy. I did a load of washing this morning, I put it out to dry (we don't use dryer) and less than an hour later I checked it to make sure that nothing has flown away, it was already dry so I've taken it all inside now.

It is just after midday here and I've actually done quite a bit of house work this morning already Smile. I think I earn to just take it easy this afternoon when it will really gets hotter.

Have a great day everyone.

2009 Goals

December 21st, 2008 at 01:33 am

Our goals for next year are just a continuation to this year's goals:

1. Save $1,000 p/m into Saving/Investment.
I'm hoping to continue saving a thousand dollars a month, as we have been doing for the last 3 months.

2. Add $5,000 into the Household Fund (from Jan to May).
I want to fund the Household first because that is one that's been drained the other day with the recent repair work.

3. Add $3,000 into the EF (May - Aug).
I'm hoping (& should be able) to add some money into the EF at the end of this month which would increase it to $5,000. Adding another $3K will put us up to almost 5 months worth of living expenses without mortgage. Our ultimate goal is to have 12 months worth ($20K).

4. Add $4,000 into the Car Fund (Aug - Nov).
We will have $2,000 in the Car at the end of this year. I am hoping to put in another $3K next year to this total. The extra $1K next year is for car service/repair.

5. Put $1,000 into 2010 Christmas/Anniversary Fund in Dec.
We should be able to fund next year's Christmas expenses by the end of this month, thanks to DH's tax refund (the check is already coming our way). Our fund this year for xmas was $850, I'm going to make it an even $1K to include for our anniversary celebration.

6. Any extra (up to $1,000) put into Holiday Fund (as a reward!).

I really like funding one item at the time, I guess having some money into each fund already make it easier to do it this way. I've already set up a time line on when I expect to fund each item. It is based on what I expect we would be able to save each month. These savings are only base of our fixed income & income that I know is for sure, any extra will obviously speed up the timeframe (I'm obviously hoping for this to happenSmile).


---what's with these weird characters---

Nothing

December 19th, 2008 at 02:03 pm

I've really got nothing to say, haven't done anything. The handyman finished yesterday and nothing has been happening since then.

Lunch today will be eggplant from the garden. I was thinking of going to the market but DH is not feeling well and still in bed trying to sleep it off. I'll probably just do the washing and some light cleaning. I should also be able to finish my financial planning for next year and will post it later.

There are 12 days to go until the end of the year and I got around $600 left in the 20K challenge and $106 will go towards to 2 charities that we've picked to give to this christmas. All the bills due this month has been paid, I wanted to pay it all off before the holidays so I won't forget about it. We got over charge by $60 in our electricity bill this month. Hopefully we should get a credit in the next bill. Also for some reason our gas bill has been coming due a week earlier (it started previous bill)than what it used to be, which make it now due a month early. This latest gas bill should have been due the first week of Jan, but its now due on 31st of Dec. This kind of ruined the utilities budget for the year. But not too worry we had enough in the 20K challenge to cover it.

I have been working on another challenge for next year, it will be very similar to this year. This type of budgeting is not for everyone but it works for someone like me who like having something to aim at and it restrict me from overspending.



House Repairs

December 17th, 2008 at 05:17 pm

Got the handyman here right now doing some repairs that should have been done years ago. We finally have some money to do the necessary repairs around here. We just refuse to put any of these stuff on credit, it will take a while but it will be so much better. Right now we got just a bit over $1500 left in the household fund and this job will cost about that much. I'm hoping to put more money in it at the end of the month. And this will be the first item to fund next year. My goal is to put at least $5K next year, that would probably cover some electrical work and insulation replacement. I think it will take us 5 years to do/save for all the items that we want done around the house. This is the first year of doing some repairs. We are just prioritising our to do list. I do wish sometimes to just click my fingers and everything be all done, ohh don't I wish!

Finished cleaning the kitchen

December 16th, 2008 at 01:16 pm

Cleaned the cupboard under the sink and wiped the cupboard doors. I also got down on my knees and brush the floor really good. My kitchen is now sparkling. Smile

Now I just got to keep it like this for the next week or so.

Gift Wrapping

December 14th, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I'm in the middle of doing that right now, and I'm so over it! I've done about 7-8 items and still got about 5 to go. And one of the item is so big that I'm not really sure how to tackle it. It is taking me so long to do it. I'm so tired of always losing the end of the tape. Oh well that's enough ranting and better get back to it.

The Vegie Garden

December 14th, 2008 at 03:53 pm

It has been raining heavily and really windy here in the last few days. It seemed to have stopped today. All this water is really good for the plants except the tomatoes. I picked the first tomato for the season and it has a split due to too much water. Apart from that it looks tasty.

This is great time in the garden, everyday there is always new & exciting things to be found. I can now see little capsicum and okra growing. Even that once dying zucchini has now got a baby zucchini growing. And some of the eggplants are almost ready for eating.

Car Rego & AMEX

December 14th, 2008 at 01:30 am

Just paid our car registration today worth $593.80 Frown

Amex was also paid today worth more than 2 grand Frown

Sigh....

Making the Kitchen Spotless for Xmas & New Year

December 12th, 2008 at 01:16 am

Since the start of the month I have been on a crusade of cleaning/de-cluttering the kitchen. Although somewhat by accident, I didn’t really intend to clean the whole kitchen (I only wanted to clean the pantry), but kind of on a roll now. So in my spare time I have just been taking one area of the kitchen to concentrate on to clean, I think I might have found a way of cleaning that suits my personality. In the past tackling the whole kitchen would have driven me crazy half way through it and would have probably given up.

Anyway, I managed to clean the fridge the other day and then last night I scrubbed the oven spotless, man that took a lot of effort. I think I might tackle the scary cupboard under the sink next.

Great way to start a New Year - mortgage interest will be less than $1K p/m

December 10th, 2008 at 08:28 pm

This month the interest we paid on the mortgage was just over $1,012, that means next month it should be less than the $1K mark. The interest should be going down further for next mortgage payment because the Reserve Bank lowered our rate by full 1% earlier this month, I'm not sure yet whether our bank will honour the full cut amount. Also there is talk that they might even lower it again next month or so. This is of course good news for us.

Our main goal next year is to put as much into to the mortgage. I'm hoping that by the end of next year the interest payment will hit less than $900 per month. Won't that be really great. Maybe the crazy plan of paying off our mortgage in our 30s would be feasible then (about 8 years to go). Man that would be a dream come true for sure! I'm so happy with just the possibility of it actually coming to reality. Even if it takes an extra 2 years or so to pay off it would still be a good achievement for us.

Done!

December 7th, 2008 at 02:51 am

Spent most of my weekend buying christmas presents and I think I'm all done. Just food shopping to go and we don't do most of it until a day before because we tend to get seafood for christmas. That's what people tend to have around here, I mean we still have ham and even occasionally turkey but because it get so hot that slaving in the kitchen with the hot oven on is just not fun. So seafood (in particular prawn/shrimp and lobster) tend to be more the tradition here. You know the "throw a shimp on the barbie" thing. Yeah that's just not a saying for us, Christmas day is normally spent outside BBQing, and it last to the wee hour of night because daylight don't end until about 9-9:30 at night.

I would love to have a white christmas one day.

Got just over $160 left in the Xmas Fund.

Dinner & More Gardening

December 6th, 2008 at 02:50 am

Dinner was great tonight. I've been craving for salmon for few days now, so earlier today we went to the market to get some produce and decided to get some salmon. I cooked it for dinner tonight on a bed of steamed silverbeet and a side of mash potato and greek salad. Great tasty and healty dinner. And it was quite cheap too since some vegies and herbs were taken from the garden.

Did some more gardening this afternoon. I planted some more tomatoes and capsicum. Also did some cleaning up. I can now see a couple of baby zucchinis growing. There are a few baby eggplants now too (these were from last year's plant). I tried to take some photos but my camera is not working, I need to charge the batteries.

Oh, I finished cleaning the pantry yesterday. Now I'm thinking of re-organising the rest of the kitchen cupboards.

Another shelf and a very interesting comment

December 3rd, 2008 at 04:47 am

Managed to clean another shelf on the food pantry. While cleaning I'm also taking note of what we have and what we need. I think we could get by not buying anymore stuff for the pantry until next month. We sure have enough Oats and Muesli, so breakfast is taken care of, except of course for milk. Oil, rice, all kind of flour, sauces, herbs and spices are all well stocked. I just need to get some more salt and nuts.

I don't need to do much grocery shopping except for christmas food shopping this month at all. We will only really need fresh produce and meat. I also think (although I haven't really looked yet) we won't need to buy things for the bathrooms either, we sure have enough toilet paper to last the next 2 months.

----------------------------

A comment on my previous entry(2 entry ago)by Joan of the Arch has really made me think about frugal cooking. I'm not really sure if I am that frugal when it comes to cooking. I do know how to make some really frugal food that is beyond PBJ sandwiches or ramen noddles. And I guess the influences come from my background and other people that have influenced me in my life.

Anyway, tonight we had homemade pasties. The filling I made yesterday. It is really only some ground meat with diced vegies. I made a double batch. I halved the filling and last night I put in a whole can of baked beans as the sauce base and we just had it on rice. And that was what we had for lunch too (it actually taste nicer the next day). So tonight the rest was made into pasties. And while that was cooking in the oven DH also made some potato chips. Oh and he also cooked the leftover puff pastry (the scraps) with some jam. It turned out really nice, kind of like a crispy croissant that already has jam inside.


Nov $20K Challenge

December 2nd, 2008 at 04:07 am

Here's the numbers for November $20K Challenge. I can't believe there's only 1 month left of this challenge. I can't wait to finalise everything at the end of this month.




Well today was the first NSD for the month. Last month we had 9 NSDs, so it was pretty good.

Crops

December 1st, 2008 at 02:01 am

We had our first serving of the silverbeet, it was nice. I picked and washed it. We then just steamed it and just finished off with a little bit of butter. Really fresh and healthy.

I also picked some basil for some tomato and basil salad. Unfortunately the tomatoes were bought. Hopefully soon we will be getting some tomatoes from the garden.

I just cleaned another shelf of the pantry, 2 down 3 to go.