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2010 and some Update

January 3rd, 2011 at 04:36 pm

Was meant to do this blog few days ago but I have been in pain. My neck and left shoulder has been really sore for a week now. It was worst yesterday, DH had to help me get out of bed.It is feeling a bit better today after taking few painkillers yesterday. I hate taking medicines, I normally refuse to take any until I can't take it anymore. Typing still hurts my shoulder a bit but the neck is a lot better.

Anyway, our final total for 2010 for our living expenses (excluding mortgage) came to $22,468. That is $3,468 over the budget. The main problem were:

-Entertainment over $1,141 (we went crazy and the budget was not realistic, I have increase this item this year)

-Medical/Personal Expense over $702 (a lot of major injuries last year and it appears that is still continuing now)

-Clothes/Manchester over $606 (had to buy DH a new suit for new job and other items that we probably didn't need)

-Fuel & Fare over $433 (just general increase in price, i have also increase the budgeted amount for these items this year.

- Utilities over $326 (again fees have been going up and will continue to this year)

- Groceries over $246 (this is not bad at all, our budget here is tight to start with but a $3,046 groceries for a year for 2 adults who loves food is fairly reasonable)

- Misc Items over $179 (we need to cut this out this year).

Well, there you go not a very good year last year but I am hoping to improve this year.

We did managed to more than achieved our financial goals (sidebar goals), however I wasn't as good at keeping up with the non-financial goals. The good thing about a new year is we can start and try again. I have a feeling that this year will be better than 2010. DH and I had good talked yesterday (while I was stuck on the sofa dealing with my neck and shoulder) about what we want to achieved this year. Our priority will be to renovate the bathrooms and then pre-paying the mortgage as much as possible. To start with we put in $500 into the mortgage principal yesterday in the middle of our discussions. And we also agreed to put in another $1000 on Friday when DH gets paid for this month. We could put a bit more but we need to keep cash on hand for the renovation.

I will put up my 2011 goals later, I think I need to rest my shoulder for now.

I hope everyone is having a great new year so far.

November

December 1st, 2010 at 04:20 pm

Was going to post this yesterday but I got distracted with emails.

We managed to save $2000 for the month of November, $500 of it was put into prepaying the mortgage. Overall, it wasn't that bad, again entertainment was over (what else is new). I think we will try to get it out of our system until the end of the year. Next year it will have to stop. The dental work I got done and the property rate also made up a lot of our expenses in November.

So we only got $1000 to go to achieve Goal #6 for the year. We should be able to do it but I don't think we will be able to save $2000 though. Our car registration is due.

Our 19K challege is way out of hand now (I will update my sidebar after this). Really I got no excuses anymore.


By the way, yesterday was NSD, first one for the month of December. Oh and we had 11 NSD in November, I will try to achieve this again this month. I think today could be another NSD, but I'm not really sure yet, DH might get his monthly train ticket today.

On another news, we received our $250 wish card from claiming our AMEX points, and it did came with 2 movie tickets. I will probably give those tickets to my brother and his gf for christmas as part of their xmas presents.


Update and Confession

November 10th, 2010 at 05:34 pm

Hmmm... I don't even know where to start. I haven't been in the mood to blog at all lately. I have stopped by few times a week to read other people's blog. But I haven't had much time to actually write and update my own blog. As a consequence we have over spent by a lot. Our 2010 challenge/budget is officailly over budget. I have actually already revised it for next year. We will try to go back to the 20K challenge. I hope this will be enough, but I can't predict how much more our utilities bill will go up by. As I was looking back to our spending this year, the gas bill has been crazy, I didn't even realised it until now. At the start of the year (note: this is our summer time, when we don't use as much gas) was only around $80, but our last bill for it was almost $250! Water and electricity has been going in the same trend.

Also it doesn't help that we have been going out so much. This the definitely the biggest item that we need to change next year. Reason for it to be so huge expense this month and last month is that we had relatives visiting us and we took them out a lot. So this was an unusual occurrence, we are hoping not have too much of this next year. We had a lot of people visiting us this year, more than usual.

We have also been spending a lot on other areas, we spent a bit this year on buying new furnitures and other "want" items. Example, I just recently bought a kindle. This was an item that I wanted when it first came out, but it wasn't really avaible here in Australia until mid last year. At that time I wasn't that happy about the price. But the new kindle is so much cheaper and now that the Australian dollar is in parity (and at time of buying, it was even above) with the US dollar. It is the best time to import it. I have been downloading a lot of free books, mostly classic books that are now past copywrite. I'm really loving the new kindle so I'm not as guilt-ridden about it (oh I'm so weak, justifying this right now...lol).

Anyway, we will most likely be over $1,000 over our 19K challenge. It is bad but if I look back 5 years or so ago we used to spend around $23-25K for these items. So it is still an improvement.

The good thing however about not blogging is I've been busy cleaning the house, and I have to say that it is now about 90% clear from all the clutter inside the house. I've only got the pantry and a closet to clean out. We are trying to eat as much of the stuff in the pantry so it gets clean. I am currently trying to tackle the garage. We will probably get someone to come and pick up the rubbish as soon as I'm done clearing out stuff we don't need anymore.

Hopefully after christmas we can start our renovation again. We decided to delay it because of DH new job. And now that christmas is just around the corner it is a bit risky to start one now, I don't want to deal with it during the crazy season.

I now feel better writing this blog, I just really need to get back to my routine. This is always what happen to me when I'm out of my routine, I end up over spending.

Now I need to update my sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by.

I've been lazy...we have also been too busy with things

September 6th, 2010 at 04:47 pm

Ther are a lot changes happening with us financially. I will talk about it when things are all finalise.

Here's our Aug actual and Sept budget:



As can be seen, DH's medical rebate has been paid in August.

We also managed to put a bit in to our sidebar goals. The Car Fund in now fully funded for the year. And $2K went into the saving/investing fund.

JULY and August Budget

August 3rd, 2010 at 05:35 pm

July was a lot better than expected, we only went over our budget by $41. A lot better than the previous few months.



July Achievements:
-We had 14 NSD last month, so $70 into the Sunny Day Savings
-Have fully funded the Baby Fund for the year.woohoo!
-Only got $500 to go in the Car Fund, this should be done in August.
-Have put in some money towards the principal of the home loan. And now our cash flow is pretty low. This is because DH's reimbursement for hiw medical expenses that was meant to be deposited on our account on the 22 of July didn't happen. Hopefully they will put it into his next pay.


Here's hoping next month will even be better. We really need to see the dentist though.


A lot to update

July 14th, 2010 at 01:51 am

Emergency Fund:
I had to get some more money out of out EF. Weíve had a death in the family and we decided to give some money for hospital bills and funeral expenses. Right now our EF is down to ~$5,600. I will not put any money into it until next year.

June Expenses/Budget:
Sorry this is a bit late but as you can tell from above weíve been busy. We went over again! A lot of it was because I bought/prepaid train tickets. Also we have been driving a lot lately, and so our Transport exp was through the roof.



DHís medical bill reimbursement:
DH received a letter from HR yesterday telling him that they will be reimbursing his medical exp earlier this year. It will be deposited into our savings account on the 22nd, it will be over $600. Right now Iím just trying to figure out how to deal with this money in our 19K challenge. I donít want to classify it as an income. I need to put the money back into the personal/medical category of our budget. Right now all I can think of doing is to put it in as a negative amount to nullify the previous expenses. Itís really not a big deal - this is only for our challenge. Iím just glad that we are getting some money back, now we can spend it on things that I actually budget it for, dental and optical expenses.

DHís pay rise and overtime:
Here is Australia, July is the start of new financial year and usually means for DH it a pay rise. Itís not much but itís something. We donít really know yet how much net per month, maybe $100 per month after tax and superannuation is taken out. Right now I would like to put it all into the mortgage.

This monthís DH pay should be a little more than usual, on top of the pay rise and reimbursement he has also done a bit of over-time, maybe few hundred dollars worth. I canít wait til tomorrow for his pay day.

July Budget:
There are a lot of utility bills due this month so Iíve budgeted a bit for it this month.

June Budget

June 2nd, 2010 at 05:33 pm

Told DH that we both need to do better with our budget this month.



Hopefully this month we won't need to spend money on medical bills.

TO DO (MAY):
- Fully fund Household Fund for the year - another $1,935 to go. (DONE)
- Read 2 books (Only 1 - was too busy swimming instead)
- Do 10Km on the exercise bike (I'm pretty sure I manage to do 10Km including the ones I did when we were on our holiday)
- Clean closet, put away summer clothes. (Half done)

TO DO (JUNE):
- 15km on the exercise bike.
- Other types of exercise for 2 hours a week.
- Read 3 books!...hmmm lol
- Clearing/cleaning the whole garden such as trimming branches, weeding, spraying, fertilizing and some planting for winter.

May Actual

June 1st, 2010 at 09:55 pm

We are over budget again but at least it is not as bad as last month. Again the main culprit is the medical expense and entertainment of course. Luckily winter is here and this normally means less going out for us and hopefully the entertainment budget can recover.




Accomplishment this month:
- Goal #3 is now DONE.
- Have started Goal #4 early with $960 deposit.

Things need improvement next month:
- Need more NSD, only got 3 this month.
- Need to stay under budget.

May 2010 Budget

May 2nd, 2010 at 07:06 pm

Our May budget, there are too many things going on at the moment so I don't know how we are going to go this month.




Oh I forgot to update my sidebar, I will do it now.

April 2010 Actual

May 1st, 2010 at 03:18 am

April was again a really bad month. It was mainly due to DHís injury. He needed to get an ultrasound (although that was free) and a MRI (that cost about $260), and few doctor visits and several Physio visit (and still going). All up weíve now spent over $500 on it but hopefully DHís work will reimburse for some of them, since he qualifies for workerís compensation. DH didnít really ask for reimbursement but they are actually offering it, which is very nice of them. For now though I am including this expenses in the April actual (and some was also spent in March) until we actually get the reimburse money, just in case. Plus, I donít think DH would worry too much to get back every cent. Hopefully we will get the money back in this monthís pay check and when we do I will just deduct that amount to this monthís total.



I actually achieve most of my goal in April except for some of the non-financial ones.

Financially, I put in:
- $300 was put into the Anniversary/Xmas Fund, so Goal #1 for this year is DONE
- $1100 into the Holiday Fund - $500 came from DH's bonus money and the rest came from saving this month. So now Goal #2 has now been ticked off.
- $1000 to the Car Fund Ė Most of DHís bonus was put in here. This was really unexpected money so we both decided to put most of it here because we will most likely need a new car soon..
- The rest was then added into the Household Fund.

I think I will update my side bar later I got to go.

March Actual and April Budget

April 6th, 2010 at 05:52 pm

This is a bit late, been so busy here with easter holiday. We have people over, which ruined our March budget. It's ugly, I don't know how we are going to get back on track , we are about 5% over the budget (the 19K challenge)at the moment. We were over by $439 last month, luckily we earned a lot more income. Although this doesn't really help with our 19K challenge, I guess this is the beauty of this challenge, no matter how much we earn we will try to keep our expenses at this level. We will try anyway...

March actual



April budget



TO DO (Mar):
- Put $300 into Xmas Fund (DONE)
- Put $300 into Holiday Fund (DONE)
- $1,500 into Household Fund (DONE - $2700 for the month yippeee)
- Read 2 books (done 1 1/2)
- Go for a swim and jogging or hiking (not much got done here maybe only 50% of what I really wanted to do).
- Clean outside area (DONE)


I will change/post my April to do list on my sidebar.

March 2010 Budget

March 1st, 2010 at 06:57 pm

Our budget for this month:




To do list (the same as last month:

- Put $300 into Xmas Fund
- Put $300 into Holiday Fund
- $1,500 into Household Fund
- Read 2 books
- Go on a day trip (maybe twice)
- Cont. cleaning outside area.

Feb 2010 Result

February 28th, 2010 at 04:42 pm

Budget vs Actual: we just made it!




Feb to do list:
- Put $300 into Xmas Fund (DONE)
- Put $300 into Holiday Fund (DONE)
- $1,500 into Household Fund (DONE - even managed to put in extra $65)
- Read 2 books (Failed - Still reading the first book)
- Go for a swim and jogging or hiking (DONE - I was really good, have done some physical activities in Feb, I hope to continue it again in March. I've been recording my activities on the Wii Fit)
- Clean outside area (Done a lot but still got a lot to do - to be continue...)

So far so good, 2 down 10 months to go...


Ohh I almost forgot about the eat at home challenge - we did okay 24 out of 28.

Feb 2010 Budget and Goals

February 1st, 2010 at 03:58 pm

I'm looking forward to this month, it will be a lot better than last month.



Feb To Do List:
(very similar to last month)

- Put $300 into Xmas Fund
- Put $300 into Holiday Fund
- $1,500 into Household Fund
- Read 2 books
- Go for swim and jogging or hiking.
- Clean/Clear the outside area.

Jan 2010 - Budget vs Actual

February 1st, 2010 at 02:34 am

We actually went under our overall budget in January mainly due to lowering our annual car insurance. If it wasn't for that we would have been over.



Edit: I'm just adding this here too:
TO DO (Jan):
- Put $300 into Xmas Fund (DONE)
- Put $300 into Holiday Fund (DONE)
- $1,000 into Household Fund (DONE)
- Read 1 book - currently reading "Start Over Finish Rich" - Thanks BA for the link. (DONE - A bit too basic for me but it is good to see that we are doing the right things. A lot of the info just don't concern us, but I am used to reading US books and I tend to just skip through those part).
- Go for a swim and jogging (DONE except for the jogging part but we went for a lot of long walks).

JANUARY

January 5th, 2010 at 08:16 pm

This my spending plan for January:



This month we have our Car and House Insurance due.

According to our goals (sidebar) we also need to put away:

- #300 into Xmas/Anniversay Fund
- $300 into Holiday Fund
- and I'm hoping to be able to set aside $1,000 into the Household Fund.

2010 Spending Plan ($19K - Australian dollar)

January 4th, 2010 at 09:02 pm

This is our living expenses budget in 2010. I think this one is a better balance than last year. Although last year we had people living with us for over a month that we didn't account in our budget. I guess that is the disadvantage of having a yearly budget it is hard to predicted what will happen in the future. But then again that is why it is called a budget, it's only an estimate.



* Entertainment - we will give ourselves $30 per week to spend plus $20 a month for takeaway. I want keep the money we spend on takeaway as separate to see how much we actually spend on it.

* Allowances - DH will get $15 per week and I will get $10 per week.

* Personal/Medical - I have increased it because I need new glasses and contact lenses.