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Archive for September, 2009

Weekend Update

September 21st, 2009 at 07:07 pm

Spent a lot of money again on the weekend. This is becoming a habit for us, buying too much stuff on weekends, and it has to stop. I will have to make a list of things that we bought this month, it's not pretty.

Apart from shopping too much on Saturday we also did a lot of gardening on Sunday. DH planted a lemon tree and I planted a tomato. DH also bought a blueberry bush, hopefully we can plant it sometime this week. We've never had berries before (except for strawberries), so this should be interesting. It was only $8, and DH really wanted to try it.

Nothing much else happened here, there are a lot of bills this month. Our quarterly property rate is due this week, and utilities are a lot more this month because of annual fees. I can't wait for this month to finish, October should be so much better than this month.

Gardening this Summer

September 16th, 2009 at 05:51 pm

I've decided not to waste my time with the veggie garden this summer. According to the experts this is going to be a very hot summer. We just don't have enough water to have a veggie garden. Hopefully this time next year we will have a water tank but unfortunately that is not our priority right now. I also want to spend most of my energy this summer on doing more house repairs/renovations instead. I think if I plant too much it will get neglected, and it will just be a waste of time and money.

I'm thinking of still planting a couple of tomato plants and keep up with my herb garden and other plants that is already in the ground. Also DH want to get and plant a fruit tree or lime/lemon tree this year. We will probably get one and plant it this weekend. I really miss our fruit trees (esp the fig tree), we had to get rid off it because it was in a bad spot.

Hopefully the weather will be nice this weekend for gardening, we need to get our garden and lawn prep before the really hot weather comes. This should have been done a month ago but we got too busy and on our free time the weather hasn't been as co-operative.

$30 Gift Card

September 15th, 2009 at 05:20 pm

DH won a $30 Gift card last week from work, and it didn't cost him anything. They were celebrating some milestone at work and was just giving a lot of prizes. Many people got movie tickets, alcohol and gift cards.

The one he got was for Bunnings (a one stop shop Hardware Store). We spent it by buying new filters for our under the counter/sink water filter.

Some Photos from our Holiday

September 15th, 2009 at 12:23 am

Our holiday cost was just few cents below $1,930. It was worth every cents. Our accommodation was expensive but was very nice, the view from the balconies (it had 2) was priceless. Hopefully next time we go to this side of the country I'll be game enough to snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef.




Back from our Holiday

September 13th, 2009 at 01:24 am

We got back couple of days ago but was too busy to blog. I haven't even uploaded any of our photos from the holiday yet. We had a great time, and the bonus was that we went way below our budget. I budget $2,500 but only spent less than 2 grand. We saved a lot by cooking all our meals, we didn't eat out at all, only spent some on some snacks. We could have saved more, but the food in the island on average costs about 2 to 3 times more than want it is normally at home. The costs for activities were pretty reasonable. We did a lot of swimming, kayaking, hiking, cruising around the island with a golf buggy and just relaxing while watching the sunset. We also went on a boat cruise to "find Nemo" at the coral reefs.

Hopefully, in the next few days I can finalise everything and might even put up some photos.

Menu Planning for the Month

September 2nd, 2009 at 06:00 pm

I tried this out last month and it worked out so well that I decided to keep doing it for this month too. I've never really done a whole month menu planning before, I think the most I've done in the past was for 2 weeks. I like that I only spent about 1/2 hour writting it out and I even got some input from DH. For some reason he is craving for maccaroni and cheese, weird man!

I really like how I just get up in the morning, look at the menu list and just take out the meat (if required) from the freezer. It really helps me from agonizing on what to cook for dinner that night. This way I make the menu list and then from that I spend about 15 mins writting out the shopping list. A lot less work doing it this way than weekly or even every other week. Well so far so good anyway. The biggest reward for doing a menu plan and then having a grocery list based on that menu plan is the savings we make from reduce grocery bill. Last month we only spend $196.10, our lowest grocery bill since Jan. I don't know why I don't make menu plan all the time when it saves me so much time and money. Pure laziness I guess, which is stupid cause by having one I actually spend less time thinking about what to cook every night.

Our brand of Frugality

September 2nd, 2009 at 01:36 am

Interesting topic BA.

I guess it depends on how you define frugality, if it means always buying the cheaps item then that's not us; or if it means always watching our money then that's not us; or if it means always thinking only about the future then that is not us either. Mmmm...maybe we are not frugal at all.

This is what we normally do:

We don't always buy the cheapest thing in the market. No matter how cheap an item is, if it doesn't taste good or it doesn't work then it just become a waste, and that is just not frugal to us.

We are not a "brand name" snobs either. Sometimes this saying can be true: "Only the rich can buy cheap". For us it mostly about quality rather than quantity, don't really care about its brand name. Most of the time it can cost less in the long run. A RayBan sunglasses that DH bought back in 2000 for almost $200 is still in very good condition despite how many times he has dropped it and wears it practically everyday.

For us it's all about having a balance life style. Eventhough we put money away for our future we also have no qualms about spending our hard earn money today either. If it's within our budget then why not spend it, especially on something that we value, like date nights or holidays. Our relationship is more important to us than money.

So I think overall we are not uber-frugal but mindful about where our money goes.

I personally do love doing up the budget, I just love working with the numbers. I just love thinking about what we can do/buy with the money. It is not necessarily about things that we want to buy really. Most of the time I dream about which stocks I can buy for the money I save from spending less on groceries or from lowering utility bills. I just love buying shares Smile


August 2009

September 1st, 2009 at 12:27 am

Saving = $1,000 which was put into the mortgage account.

Also, $1,190 into the Household Fund.

All left over money from Aug to Nov will be allocated this way - $1000 into saving and the rest into the household fund. In Dec it will be put into Xmas/Anniversay Fund for 2010.

I've been thinking a lot lately about our 2010 goals, I have even spoken to DH about it already. He seems to be all for it, he is easily persuaded though. Initially, we were just going to have similar goals as what we have this year but now we are really eager to finish all our major renovations by mid-next year because we are getting sick and tired of living in a place that is always "under construction".

So next year we will postpone putting money into the EF. We currently have $8K in it, which cover about 6 mnths worth of living expenses. It should be enough for now and we will continue funding it again in 2011. Car fund will have to stop for a year also. We are not planning to get a new car for another 4-5 years. Right now we have about $5,000 in it so anything untowards were to happen with our current car we got that to fall back on. Well, that's what we are thinking at the moment, I guess we got another 4 months to finalize our goals for 2010.

Better go and update my side bar.

Oh by the way we had 11 NSDs in August.