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Archive for October, 2011

New glasses

October 29th, 2011 at 05:13 pm

I know I said yesterday that we need to make sure that we don't spend unnecessary money in the next 3 days. Anyway, it seems that I lied...lol

I bit the bullet yesterday and bought new glasses, 2 of them. I was walking pass the optometrist yesterday while grocery shopping at Aldi, I thought I should check it out. Few months ago I got a letter from my private health insurance about a special deal they have with this optometrist (it's a chain). Basically, I got the frames for 2 for 1.

They had opening for me to see the optometrist so I got my eyes check (no cost, covered by Medicare). Apparently, my eyes are getting a bit better, ie my current glasses right now is stronger than I need, but my stigmatism (I really don't know what this means, something about the way the light hits my eye that cause me a headache) has gotten worst. This is way I have been getting a headache due to sore eyes.

My current pair is more than 5 years old, it is still good, in fact the optometrist said I could keep wearing them if I want but I'm hoping the new glasses will help stop the headaches and there are some small scratches on the lense so really the lenses will need change.

I asked how much to just replace my current lenses, it was about the same as getting 2 new ones.

In the end it cost me $149.40 out of pocket, it would have been $334 but my health insurance paid for the rest. One of the glasses will have a uv tint, so I will use this as a sunglasses, good time for summer for those days that I don't like to wear my contacts. The other one will be for my everyday use, it will all have all the extra crap on it.





Mortgage

October 28th, 2011 at 06:44 pm

Last night DH put all his "special pay" into the mortgage and added few hundred dollar to make this month's principal mortgage payment to $5000!
Just need another ~3,700 for the year.

And since there are only 3 more days left in the month we should have enough money left to get the Car fund to 13K. Just need to minimise spending in this last 3 days.

I'm getting really excited!

Finally got paid

October 27th, 2011 at 07:58 pm

Lost my original entry Frown

They finally deposited DH's missing pay! We will transfer it straight to the mortgage either tonight or tomorrow.

Not much is happening here financially. DH bought more shares, probably the last one for the year, not much left in the trading account. There is however one of DH stock going to be liquidating soon, they are being bought out. I think that would amount to just under $1000. DH only bought $500 worth couple of years ago, so almost double his money- not bad, I wish he got more but at that time we didn't have as much money. Plus, it was considered risky stock so we didn't want to put too much into it.

I think starting next year we might be able to start putting $500 a month into our trading accounts. This should be doable without slowing down the mortgage repayment too much.

Here in Australia, there is no incentives to put the mortgage repayment on hold, especially with high interest rate right now (7.11% ours right now, probably one of the lower ones at the moment). In the past when interest rate was low we spent more of our money on buying more shares but right now its best to prepay the mortgage. There are talk about rate going down, if it does go down enough we might change strategy again.

The other day I spent the whole day reading through a prospectus I received for investing in a company Notes. In the end DH and I decided to stick with prepaying the mortgage. The payment for the Notes would have been around 8% p.a., still not enough for us because of the risks to would have. With the mortgage prepayment means a guarantee 7.11% savings for us. But it does gets me excited about the future when we will be able to invest on those type of instruments. Notes would definitely be something I would be interested in investing.

Financial Update

October 23rd, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I meant to do a financial update last week but got too busy.

DH pay came while we were on our holiday, and again they forgot to pay him that 1 week that they missed last month. It's starting to get really annoying. Lucky we are not living paycheck to paycheck. DH had to again chase it up, he doesn't have time to waste with these things, especially he had so much to catch up on last week. Anyway, according to DH they will "look into it" (again!)and might have to do a special payment. I hope so.

I paid an extra $2,500 into the mortgage on the weekend. Just got the AMEX bill (not due til mid next month couple days after next payday) and we actually don't owe much. Only really used the CC in the resort, most of the time we either paid cash or used the Pre-paid Visa that we got as a rebate for our airconditioner last month. We used that for DH's suit and other stuff. I think there's still around $20 left on it.

We might even be able to put more into the mortgage if I wait to pay the AMEX on the last day. And will definitely put more if the "special pay" comes. I am really getting excited to get our mortgage under 150,000 and I'm hoping to get there this year. At the moment we still got over 6,300 to get there. $500 - 600 will come from regular payments in the last two months. So I need to come up with another $5,800 to make it.

Another crazy goal that I have right now it to fully fund the car fund this year. We have almost 12K in it and our ultimate goal for this is 15K. We should be able to get 5K for our current car, so 20K for a new car is more than enough. I probably should explain here that some of this 12K is actually in our mortgage redraw account (it helps lower interest rate pay) and some I bought some shares about 4 years ago. It has made a bit of money due to increase in price and DRIP, but I'm not including that profit as part of the car fund.

First priority at the moment is the mortgage. The car fund will definitely be fully funded by early next year, if not this year.

Photos

October 22nd, 2011 at 07:00 pm

Some photos:

The salt water pool in our resort.


with the pool bar in the background.


Kata Beach


The start of our elephant trekking.


View from our resort.


Banana pancake. DH loved it.


Nai Harn Beach. Where I got my foot massages.

Been Gone and Back

October 21st, 2011 at 12:42 am

We had a fantastic holiday. It rained on the first day (we got the tail end of the storm from up north Bangkok area) but for the rest of our holiday the weather was perfect. Apparently, the week before it was raining non-stop, so we were lucky. On the first day when it was raining so hard we spent most of it shopping at a big shopping mall. I got a bit of Christmas shopping done, stuff are a lot cheaper than here in Australia but then again anywhere else is cheaper than here.

We did a lot of swimming, the pool in the our resort is salt water instead of chlorine, which I found so much better. We decided not to go swimming in the ocean though, because of terrible weather it was not very clear and it was very rough. We just walked on the beach and bought some fruits in the near by street vendors. DH got addicted to banana pancakes and coconut juice, they were everywhere and so cheap.

We ended up spending ~$1,400 (although I still need to confirm this when our Amex bill comes, there might be a slight difference due to exchange rate). Around $325 however are christmas/gift spending. So in the end we spend just a bit over $78, $1000 was our budget for spending. Coincidently, we spent $77.21 on duty-free alcohol in Singapore airport, this was a last minute decision to get some. For it we got 2 1 litre bottles of Baileys and 1 litre bottle of Chivas Regal, this would have cost over $100 here.

Overall this is what we spent = $3,456.88:

Accommodation - $199.00
Airfares - $1,735.82
Shots - $260.00
Airport Transfers - $75.00
Travel Insurance - $108.63
Holiday Expenses - $1,078.43

Was hoping to only spend $3,000 but because of the shots and insurance it didn't leave us much for spending. Still $1,000 on spending is still very good.

The $325 on top of this expenses was mainly spent on DH suit, that was for $170, it would have cost here for at least $250+. The material feels really good and it fits him perfectly, we've always had problem getting him the perfect pants because his legs are shorter proportion to the rest of his body. Also got couple of Adidas shirts for $6 each, one for DH and one for my brother's birthday present. I also found a bag I been looking for, I got one for only $25, the cheapest I could find them here in Australia was for $60. Also got some stuff for my mum and DH's mum.

Unfortunately/fortunately, our resort was not near the shops so we didn't have as much opportunity to go shopping or to spend too much money! We had to get a taxi or tuk tuk to get to the markets and shopping malls. The resort did have a complimentary tuk tuk every hour that would take you to one of the nearest beach Nai Harn and they had some shops there but not that much. We took advantage of that couple of times, I went there to get my Thai foot massages, 1 hour massage for only 300 Baht (~$10 Aus) compare to the one in the resort which cost over $1,800 Baht (~$60) and then they probably then put an extra 10% for service fee and 7%VAT. The food were 2 to 3 times more expensive in the resort but because the taxi cost around 400-600 Baht one way it was not worthy going somewhere else to eat, unless you are already there for something else. We however found the buffet breakfast to be cheap, we managed to get it for $12 each per day instead of $17 by buying it all in one go. It was really nice that we probably eat too much of it. We found that we didn't really need much for lunch because of having too much for breakfast. We also found it to be cheaper to organise things ourself rather than going through reception, we went on an elephant trekking it cost us half than if we organise it through reception, and it includes free pick-up and drop off. We asked them to dropped us off to the town where we organise our tickets, which is only a block away from where we had to pick up DH's suit, which saved us 400Baht.

Wow this is a long entry. I will try to post photos later, if I don't get too lazy.

Laptop is fix

October 6th, 2011 at 12:04 am

Thank goodness.

Had to spend all day yesterday running various virus etc scanner. It took a while but my little baby is back Smile

I have not spent much money in the last 2 days. Today was a NSD.

Update

October 4th, 2011 at 12:11 am

- Got in the mail today another electric bill, apparently the last bill was only an estimate. I knew the guy that read the meter last month had some problem, he mentioned to me as I was helping him with our gate that he couldn't get a reading, he also mentioned that he did dropped his machine.lol. And another guy had to come and read it again the week after. Anyway, we paid that bill already it was due yesterday. The initial bill was $87+ now the revised bill is for only $66.01. So now we will be credited that $21 in the next bill. The good news is that we did even better, and I'm hoping that we won't have an electric bill in the summer months.

- Laptop is still not fix, Dh will work on it tonight. He thinks it will take a while to fix it.

- Just spent $18 today to get our mail on hold while we are away.

- Dh just converted $50 worth of Thai Baht, unfortunately he picked today when our dollar is at its lowest in the last 12 months. I've asked him to get some last month when it was $1.06 US, now it is around 95cents US dollar. I think it also cost an additional $8 for fee. This is for just in case cash, especially since we will get to Thailand very late that night (almost midnight).

- Daylight saving time started the other here and it has been very hard to get used to so far. I've been getting headaches lately, I don't know it its to do with my wacky sleeping pattern lately. My eyes been really sore and I think this is where the headache is coming from. I might just need to replace my glasses. Probably time to get a new one, it is 5years old. It has a lot of scratches now. I was hoping to wait til next year for a new one but I think it might be best to get one now just before the end of the year when the our health insurance benefits re-adjust (is that the term they used?). May as well use it I guess. I will deal with this when we come back from our holiday.

- Last night dinner was good. We used a voucher, $39 for 2 mains and a bottle of wine. It would have cost us $70, if you discount the left over wine that we couldn't finish. There was probably 1 to 2 glasses left. DH was driving so he could't have too much and I had a headache. Afterwards we went somewhere else for dessert. Spent $5.80 for a flourless cake and hot chocolate, we just shared we were too full by then.

Virus attack

October 2nd, 2011 at 09:55 pm

My computer got some nasty virus late last night so I'm using my old computer that switches off when it gets too hot and it doesn't take much for it to get too hot either so I have to keep giving it a break every 10 mins.

Dh tried to figure it out last night. He did managed to save my spreadsheets into a usb stick by using linux (I don't really know how he did it). At least I don't have to worry about trying to figure out all our financial stuff, no way I would remember months worth of info. This is a great reminder that I should be backing up my stuff more often. This was a really bad virus for some reason it hid all my work. And some crazy stuff kept popping up. I was stressing out but luckily DH deal with these kind of stuff at work all the time. He said he has some plan of action but unfortunately it was getting too late for him to fix it last night. He might not get around to it until Tuesday night, we have to go out tonight for DH's birthday. I'm sure he doesn't want to deal with it tonight on his birthday.

In the mail today, I got 2 dividend cheques worth $87 and another dividend worth over $113, this was reinvested (4 extra shares!).





We lost :(

October 2nd, 2011 at 01:32 am

Our football team didn't quiet make it this year. The injuries really killed us. Oh well, there's always next year. And right now I am currently in front of the tv watching the rugby league grand final, I am not as into this game specially since our state team got knocked out last week. Now that footy season is over our attention is starting to switching to cricket. We love to watch sports Smile.

Yesterday morning we got up early and went to the city to have our buffet break. We went to the same hotel that we stayed at on our wedding night. We did contemplate of doing the whole staying in hotel thing but we wanted to save the money instead since we are going on our holiday very soon.

The breakfast was amazing, they have everything you can think of. They make the eggs and pancake right there. Every kind of juice, the rasberry smoothie was so yummy. The fruit platters was great, they even have the chocolate fountain going. Strawberries with chocolate was definitely an unusual thing to have for breakfast. The typical stuff was there too from bacon, toast (with so many different condiments) to bakedbeans, but it also had smoked salmon and pastries and mini muffins. I couldn't try them all or I would have burst!

We spent a bit of money this weekend. We decided to get some new summer pajamas. And DH finally found a new sunglasses. It was for $157, he decided to used his $100 birthday gift he got from his parents and the rest I covered as part of his birthday present from me. I also got him a levis jean for $35, he desperately need another one.