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Archive for April, 2012

Fish and some bills

April 29th, 2012 at 06:20 pm

When we got home late Saturday afternoon we found the light bulb in fish tank flickering like crazy and all the fish was so stress out.

DH got a new light bulb yesterday, normally it would have been $22.95 but he had some credit from the aquarium store due to selling them some of the baby fish few months ago. In the end it only cost him $9.95.

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Received the gas bill for $91.95 and AMEX over $750 (a lot of it is all the dining out that we been doing, oh my...). Both are due middle of the month.

Payday

April 28th, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Friday was payday.

On paydays I finalise the exercise challenge. It was pathetic, only $19 in 4 weeks. DH was sick for about 3 weeks so he didn't get to do much exercise at all and I got a bit lazy, ok a lot.

As mentioned earlier, I put in another $1000 into the mortgage. That brings it down to (almost) $136K. This make it $3000 extra payment for April. We are slightly ahead in this for the year, it will have to slow down now so that we can put a bit more money into our other financial goal for the year.

According to my spreadsheet, even if we just put $1500 a month from now until the end of the year we should be able to meet goal #1 with no problem, barring the bank don't increase interest rate. The good news is that most economist has predicted a decrease in interest rate by the reserve bank in the next month or so (fingers crossed that the banks will follow).

Update

April 28th, 2012 at 08:38 pm

3rd time go at typing this, I don't know what is going on. I've decided to now use Notepad and will just cut and paste.

Just a quick update on what I've been doing in the last few day. Been a bit busy.

Tuesday night DH went to ALdi to get some groceries.
He spent $19.55 which left us with $7 in the grocery budget for the month. Will get sausages for lunch, should just have enough. Also bought a small mother's day gift for DH's mum. Will still have to think of something else to get for her. I'm running out of ideas.

Wednesday was our public holiday. Spent the morning helping mum buy a car. In the afternoon we stayed home to watch the footy game. We got pizza for dinner.

Thursday DH put in another $50 into his train pass, we are now over our transport budget.

Friday we decided to put another $1000 into the mortgage, apart from this it could have been a NSD.

Saturday we finally went to the dentist, our health insurance covered for it this time except for the $8 for a special toothpaste for DH. Also $12 for the day parking. After the dentist we decided to stay in the city, we thought may as well make good use of our parking. It was such a nice day to just hang out. There were a lot of street performance that kept us entertain. We stayed for lunch and coffee in the afternoon. We decided to use our allowances for this expenses. It was such a lovely day, was not planned especially the spending but worth it. Loved sitting by the riverside with coffee just people watching and listening to this couple basking/singing. Afterwards, on our way home we decided to stopped by the factory outlet place. Ended up spending $154 for 3 tops for me (I wanted more winter tops) and 2 t-shirts for DH and 1 business shirt for him.

Ralph Lauren was having 70% storewide, we got DH's business shirt from there and one of my top. DH should have enough work shirts now. I actually only really budgeted $50 for clothing this month, this is one of those things that I could never budget well.
Most months we don't buy clothing. But looking at our yearly budget we still got $300 in the clothing budget. This purchases now push as over by almost $100 for the month. The month ends tomorrow so it is not too bad.

Car Shopping

April 23rd, 2012 at 07:06 pm

I spent about 2 hours last night looking at used car online. It is not for us it is for my mum, 2 weeks ago today she had an accident and her car is no more. Her car insurance provided her a rental car but had to return it yesterday. So now she needs a new car. I found a couple last night and we will go tomorrow to have a look at it.

While looking a car for her I kind of had a quick look at one for us. Couple of years ago when our car was not doing too well, when we thought that we might have to get a new one, we went and had a look at some new cars. The one that we like is a lot cheaper now, it's great to know. Our car right now is still pretty good (knock on wood), we did spent over $1000 to get it fix. I'm hoping that it will last for another 3 years or so, when we hopefully pay off the house by then. There were also a lot older car that I won't mind get as a second car. But I don't know I'm still not that keen on having two cars.

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On another news, I mentioned a week ago here that we got invited to a wedding for next month. We opted not to attend but we will send a gift. I actually got some idea the other night of what gift we will send when I was going through websites that sell gift baskets. I think a basket with a nice bottle of champagne and other goodies would be nice. Unfortunately they don't have a gift registry, that would have been a lot easier. We are not going because the wedding is held about 2-3 hours away. I don't think they will mind, I've never meet the bride to be and I haven't seen/spoken to my friend for about 2 years. I think a lot of our friends won't be able to make it either. I hope they have a lovely day.

And oh yesterday was a NSD, for real this time.

Retirement Fund (superannuation)

April 22nd, 2012 at 10:07 pm

On Friday I got to check my retirement fund, DH also decided to check his on the weekend. Our retirement funds is now over $101K. Finally!!!. The last $20,ooo has taken so long because of the GFC. Hopefully it will stay above $100K from now on.

I also did a quick look at our networth estimate, I think it has increased over $20K since end of last year. Slow but steady we go Smile

NSD no more

April 22nd, 2012 at 07:24 pm

I said yesterday was a NSD, well that was very late in the afternoon here and by then there was no way that we would be going out to spend any money. I was wrong.

After dinner I got thinking about mother's day, which is in 3 weeks time. DH's mum is hard to shop for and to top it off she lives in another state. I thought maybe a gift basket it can be delivered straight to her. No luck, she won't like most of it. She doesn't drink and she has a very strict diet. The only thing that might work is the chocolate basket but $50 worth of it is a bit much.

After that I decided to look at Groupon and other sites like it. I was thinking of maybe a weekend getaway but it can't be too far from their place, she don't fly so it must be driving distance. Nothing at the moment, I will keep trying.

Anyway, while going through the Groupon website I found a handheld steamer for $49 each or $90 for two. Unfortunately, MIL already got one. I asked her about it and apparently it is not bad. I'm willing to give it a try for this price. MIL one cost her over $200 but it came with the vacuum cleaner. I got 2, I will give the other one to my mum as part of her Mother's day gift. I used my birthday money for my one, MIL actually suggested it.

So to recap, I officially spent $45 last night for Mother's day gift for next month. And I've taken $45 out of my allowance for my steamer.

Weekend Update

April 22nd, 2012 at 12:22 am

Yesterday (Saturday) we went to my mum's place to again celebrate my birthday. My brother came and few other people were there too. We had a bbq and lots of other food that mum cooked. Also had a birthday cake. DH decided to update mum's computer, so we ended up spending all of the afternoon there. We came home with lots of leftover, I don't even need to cook for dinner tonight.

Today was a relaxing day. Was meant to plant the lime tree but my mum thinks that I should wait until the full moon to plant it. She believes on that stuff, may as well give it a go which means I won't be able to plant it for another 2 weeks. May aswell I think The soil is still not right yet and I will also need to get some sort of material to protect it during winter, which mean I will need to build/ put posts around it.

Today was a NSD, yesterday I bought couple bags of coal for $6. Very low spend weekend, was not plan really. We didn't do any grocery shopping at all. I'm not too worried though, we got plenty of food in the freezer. Also, this Wednesday is a public holiday we should be able to get milk and fresh produce then. DH should be able to make his yogurt then too. Only got $27 left in the grocery budget, should be enough if we are careful.



Extra Mortgage Pymt

April 20th, 2012 at 04:47 pm

About to go to mum's for lunch so I just wanna quickly update my side bar. Decided to put $2K into the mortgage, I just couldn't wait until Friday's payday. I will probably put a bit more in it again on Friday, I just don't know how much yet.

Well, off to mum we go...

A more productive day

April 20th, 2012 at 02:31 am

After yesterday's lazy day, I was so much more productive today.

- I cleaned our bathroom, I gave it good scrub.
- Did a bit of dusting
- Vaccuumed the floors
- Got the laundry ready for tomorrow, including soaking some of the whites. We try to do our laundry on the weekend when its off-peak time for our electricity.
- Also did some gardening. I re-potted an orchid got 4 bigger pots out of it. It really needed it, I actually had to break the old pot to get it out. I got another 3 or 4 more to do. I will need to get more of the bigger pots. Also planted some of my coriander seedlings into its permanent place.
- Called and sorted my super fund (retirement fund) to get access to it online. Good news it is up, more than I expected it to be. I normally contribute to it $40 twice a month and then I get a co-contribution from the government - around $1000 per year. Because I haven't work for months now there hasn't been anymore money going into it but my little contribution.
- Cooked dinner early, no chance of take away tonight. And that made it a NSD today.

Utilities

April 19th, 2012 at 06:03 pm

I've just been reviewing my budget for this month, I just realise that we don't have any utility bill due. Normally the electricity bill would have been due by now. Thanks to the power of the sun and the work of our solar panels we only owe $2.88 for this quarter. Because it is below $10 they don't require a payment they will just add it on to the next bill. I'm hoping next electric bill will be even better, maybe we can get some credit instead. We lost about 2 weeks worth in the last quarter because the inverter wasn't working properly. It is all sorted now and we have not any problem since then.

Any saving we can get from this should hopefully help with the transport cost this year. Both petrol cost and train cost has gone up a lot this year. Two months ago they increase the public transport ticket by about 10%+ again.

Could have been

April 19th, 2012 at 05:46 am

It should have been NSD again today until I got too lazy to cook dinner. We had a bit of left over and there are even some stuff in the freezer but I got a craving for Thai curry. I called DH to get some on his way home, $12.90. I will take this out of my allowance money to be fair.

I spent some time this afternoon trying to log on to my retirement fund but for some reason it wouldn't let me. I will have to give them a call tomorrow.

I also checked my managed funds, it is slowly going up. I only put $200 per month so I don't really expect much from it but it is good to know that it is going in the right direction.

NSD and stock market

April 18th, 2012 at 07:06 pm

Yesterday was a NSD, maybe today would be too if DH don't need to fill up the car. I'm pretty sure it is due for a fill up, I don't drive so I never really know when it needs it but it seems like it has been a while since he went to the petrol station. He might also need to top up his train pass.

Just been looking at the stock market last night and there are a couple stocks that I want to get. DH got some cash in his retirement fund to get some or he could get some in his margin loan account. I think his retirement account might be better, he said he got $10K cash just seating in it ready to buy. We won't need to pay interest if we use that instead of the margin loan.

Speaking of the stock market, my trading is doing alright but not as well as I hoped it to be. The market is pretty much just been going side ways. I think since I started trading in Nov 2011 it has only been up 3-4%, but at least my trade has gone up around 10%. It was up around 20% at the start but I have given some of it back a bit lately. I will do a final analysis of my trades once I've closed off 20 trades.

Gift money and mobile phone

April 17th, 2012 at 08:02 pm

I still don't know what to do with my $100 that I got from the in-laws yesterday. My mother inlaw already asked me last night about it. There are a couple of things that I've been wanting to get. I've been thinking of getting an ipod touch for years now but because I got the ipod shuffle (which we got years ago for free), I still have doubt whether it is necessary. And the price is still too high for me. I know it's funny that we can spend a lot of money on dinner out, I obviously put more value on that, but could spend years trying to figure this one out.

Another thing I could get instead is an iphone or some other smart phone, DH actually suggested this. This will be a lot more expensive and plus I still really love my really really old phone. I don't want to spend more on phone bill just because of the new phone. So far this year we've only spent $45 on both our mobile phones, and this is including the $15 that I just put into my phone the other day, I don't think this will be possible if I get a new phone. Last year we spent less than $100 on both our mobile phones! If anyone deserves a new phone its DH, his phone is as old as mine and it is more banged up. And he gets laughed at work for it, I've told him that he could get a new one if he wants but I think he wants to wait when the Samsung s2?? gets cheaper. And he doesn't like the idea that the battery on those new phones don't last long and that you pretty much have to recharge them everynight. He has problem with it now when he only has to deal with it once a week. Another thing that DH don't like about it is how people get so addicted to those phones, and I do too. Great example of it was last night, the couple next to our table were just crazy with their phones. The place was really romantic and the lighting was really dim but you could see bright lights coming from their phones from the other side of the room. Although it helped a lot when I was trying to find my way back to our table when I was coming from the bathroom, it was like a beacon. They kept looking at their phones every couple of minutes, that I started thinking that maybe they were texting each other from across the table lol. This compare to us where DH didn't even bother bring his phone, knowing that I was taking mine, we didn't need two. I did get a couple of text at dinner from friends wishing me happy birthday, I didn't respond to them until we were driving home.

SO after about 3 years we still haven't made a decision about getting a new phone, eventually we will have to get new ones.

Last night

April 17th, 2012 at 06:39 pm

My birthday dinner last night was fantastic, I ordered everything that I like. In the end it cost $151.50. This was DH present to me. He also got me an indoor plant and a coffee cup with our footy team logo on it. I bought my self a guitar few weeks ago as a birthday present to myself, it was only $50 at Aldi.

Another year gone.

I was feeling a lot better last night, no heartburn at all. I slept like a baby last night.

Going out tonight to my fave restaurant

April 16th, 2012 at 08:38 pm

DH went to Aldi after work yesterday, we needed milk and he also got a bag of muesli for him to take to work. He keeps it in his desk because he has breakfast at work. He also went to the pharmacy to get more allergy tablets.

Around 3 o'clock this morning, I woke up with a really bad heartburn. I can't remember ever having heartburn before so I thought I was having a heart attack. I don't really know why that happened I didn't eat anything I haven't eaten before. Maybe I'm having some internal anxiety about getting old. haha. I don't think I am really, I don't mind getting old at all. ANd really mid 30s is no that old.

Today is my birthday and DH is taking me to my favourite resturant tonight, I'm so looking forward to it. The start of the day hasn't been that great with not getting much rest because of the heartburn, I couldn't get back to sleep until around 4:30 and then got woken up couple of hours later when DH got up. ANd just when I was falling asleep again my aunty from Canada called to say happy birthday. Then a constant stream of sms followed and more phone calls from the in-laws, nephews and niece. It was nice and all I just wished it was a little bit later.

Just got the mail, got a birthday card with $100 in it from DH's parents. Also got a dividend statement for $21.60 to be deposited in our bank account.

Nice Day

April 16th, 2012 at 12:06 am

We been having a nice autumn weather here for a week now, but I think that might change tonight. I can see dark clouds forming.

I did a bit of gardening this morning. We got a kaffir lime plant few weeks ago and I have been preparing the soil at the spot the I want to plant it at since then. I've been putting kitchen scraps in there and it has now attracted some worms. I'm hoping, if the weather is good, to plant it some time this weekend. I love to use the leaves for a lot of the Thai dishes that we like. My Thai friend got me addicted to it.

Got a couple of bills from the mail today. Home phone for $14.95, due on the 24th. It gets directly debited from our bank account on that day so we dont need to do anything, I just need to post it on my excel spreadsheet. The other is for Mastercard, not due until early next month. I'm happy coz it is almost half to the previous bill that I paid last week. Only $256.45!

I'm planning to make stirfry for dinner tonight and might also make some rice paper rolls.

I need to do the ironing but have been procastinating, I might do it tonight when Revenge is on. I just don't like ironing, it is probably one of those choirs that I would be willing to pay someone to do it, if we had the money. I really don't have much to iron, about half a basket full, I just hate it.

Visiting mum

April 15th, 2012 at 01:53 am

We went to mum's place today to drop off our bread maker. She's borrowing it to help her mix the dough/pastry for her empanadas. She's been making a lot of those lately, few of her friends have been asking her to make it for them lately. I think she sells them for $1 each, not bad and she loves to cook, it's a hobby for her that and gardening.

It is impossible to go to mum's without getting served some food. Today we had lunch, she had to quickly make fried chickens and spring rolls (she just got home from church so she didn't have anything prepared). I helped her with the dough using the bread maker. She already made the filling early this morning before church.

While there we did more work on fixing couple of cracks on her ceiling. Finally finished one of them, painted and all. Should be able to finish the other one next time. DH and I also cleaned up afterwards, vacuuming all the floors.

We came home with some empanadas and the leftover fried chickens (she always make extra for us to take home), more than enough for dinner.

Today was another NSD. And dinner is done Smile

Shopping at the market

April 14th, 2012 at 05:51 am

DH and I went to the market, it is only few minutes drive away from our house but the problem is parking, it gets crazy when the market is open. Today I ended up swearing at this lady for stealing our parking spot. We were just about to go in when all of the sudden she decided to keep driving forward to our spot eventhough she already had a spot just in front to that one (or should I say just behind where she parked). How selfish and inconsiderate, so I swore at her and all she said is sorry but can you go around and to take the spot right behind her. The thing is by the time we go around in the next lane it will be gone. There were cars everywhere lining up trying to find a parking spot. I really don't understand why she couldn't park at that spot, why she had to drive forward.

Eventually, we got there. A lot of the shops were having their end of the week sales. We got a loaf of dark rye and a bag of turkish bread for $1 each, they are still very fresh made this morning, we are having some of the dark rye now and it is really good. DH loves to grill the turkish bread with a bit of olive oil to go with the cucumber and yogurt dip. They keep well in the freezer for couple of months.

I got 2 fresh calamari for $4 and a bag of mussels for $6. I also got $4 worth of fish which I made into Thai fish cakes (a nice recipe I got from a Thai friend, a family recipe) for lunch. Some of the calamari and mussels I made into seafood pasta for dinner. DH and I made the pasta fresh today, fettuccine and lasagne pasta.

The lean mince beef was only $6 a kilo. I already cooked half of it today, I made lasagne for the freezer which DH can have for lunch on Wednesday. I won't be able to cook Tuesday night because we are going out so by preparing something now he won't need to buy his lunch, I'm pretty sure Tuesday night is going to be very pricey.

There are few nice deli shops there too. Today, we got a small block of mozzarella cheese (for the lasagne), couple of chorizo and filo pastry.

Apple and nashi pear were $1 a kilo. Also got lemons, spring beans, potatoes and purple carrots.

All up we spent $41.95 today.




Mail

April 12th, 2012 at 09:19 pm

Two posts in one day.

Just got the mail. One is a new replacement Credit card for DH's mastercard. We have been waiting for this the current one is expiring end of the month. We been getting emails already for some of our bills (in particular mobile and voip phone) for the new expiry date. DH will have to update those this weekend.

This new card has the Pay Pass chip on it, a bit scary that you can now use this card without signing or having a code. We will just have to make sure that we keep the available credit low.

The other mail, is a wedding invitation for next month. I don't know the bride but the groom to be is a friend of mine who I went to the same university with. WOuld love to go but the actual wedding is about 2-3 hours away, which means we will have to stay overnight since the receiption will go on until around 11pm. DH and I will make the decision this weekend, I might look into how much accommodation will be. If we can't go then we will definitely send a gift.

NSD

April 12th, 2012 at 07:42 pm

Yesterday was a NSD. I think today should be too, unless DH decide to get car fuel on the way home tonight.

Tonight is footy night, we will be having meat pie and sausage rolls (these I got from my mum on the weekend)for dinner...easy.

2 more weeks until payday, it feels like it has been forever. That $5.17 at the end of the mortgage balance is annoying me. I should be able to put in another $2500 (or should I say $2,505.17) extra to it this month. Anything more than that will be gravy, especially since this month's pay will be a lot less than normal becuase of the easter holiday.

Dividend cheques

April 11th, 2012 at 07:33 pm

Last night's dinner was very good, DH had to have extra. And he said that he was looking forward to having it again for lunch. And we should have enough left over for two more meals, for some reason casserole taste even better reheated. So I don't need to cook tonight, I might just make some quinoa salad.

Nothing financial much is happening here. DH yesterday topped up his train pass, $50.

Received couple of cheques, totalling just ove $86. Hoping to cash them in soon.

Slow Cooking

April 10th, 2012 at 08:18 pm

I just put on the slow cooker, I'm making beef casserole for dinner. It should be ready in 6 hours time.

I've also got a couple of corn in the cob that will need to be used up. I think I will make corn fritter with some bacon bits. I just don't want to waste it. Last night, DH made some yogurt, also using the slow cooker. I think a cucumber and yogurt dip will go nicely with the corn fritter.

Credit cards

April 9th, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Just paid the credit cards this month, another low balance this month. We have been doing really well with our credit cards this year.

Amex =$327
Mastercard = $465

Below $1000 is always a good balance.

Stay-cation

April 9th, 2012 at 04:48 am

We normally go away to the in-laws, which is in the other state for easter, this year we decided to stay home. The in-laws decided to go visit my sister in-law instead in another state, we could have meet up with them there which is more of a half-way point (which would have been only 6 hours drive). DH has not been feeling that well so we thought for his sake we stay home and get a proper rest. We did a lot of sleeping in.

It has been pretty good just staying home, we did do a bit of eating out. So, we spent a bit of money this long weekend but not as much as if we went away.

Thursday night I meet up with DH and some of his co-workers for after work drinks. Then afterwards DH and I stayed in city for dinner we had dumplings and noodles, it was nice and cheap. We will definitely go back there again it is only about a block away from DH's office, I think it will be nice place for lunch date.

Friday was a quiet day at home, just ate a lot of seafood.

Saturday we went crazy with shopping, most of it was things that we needed, mainly groceries. We did have lunch out at a celebrity chef's restaurant, it wasn't bad at all, I was expecting expensive stuff but only spent $31 and we couldn't finish it. It's a nice place right by the river where people rides their bikes and go for a jog/run and the food was amazing. Sometimes places like these are just over-rated. Plus this place is close to our favourite nursery, about 5 mins walk along the river.

Sunday, I got a haircut and afterwards we watched The Hunger Games. I've read all the books couple of months ago, of course the book is always better but the movie was pretty good, except we had to move seats to the back becuase we both got a bit sick watching it too close when the camera moves too much. We went out for dinner again, to one of our favourite restaurant. Afterwards we went for a walk to a nearby pier, where DH once proposed Smile. It is one of our favourite place in the world.

Today, we slept in. Then went to my mum for lunch. We came home this afternoon with a bag full of goodies. Today was a NSD!

Mortgage April 2012

April 8th, 2012 at 05:25 am

Mortgage got paid the other day.

$389.41 went towards the principal and
$828.59 for interest.

Current balance = $139,005.17

There's talk that interest rate might go down next month, I've got my fingers crossed for it.

UPDATE...it's about time.

April 2nd, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Well it's been over a month since I updated my blog. It is about time I update my side bar too.

Firstly, last month we went over our budget by over $68.45 - went over because of entertainment and transport costs. Feb was a lot better we were under by $243.16.

Now for our April budget.

Grocery - $230.00
Utilities - $100.00
Home Phone - $20.00
Mobile Phone - $40.00
Internet - $50.00
Fuel & Fare - $180.00
Health Insurance - $250.00 **
Entertainment - $200.00
Gifts - $150.00
Per/Med - $200.00
DH Allowance - $100.00
My Allowance - $75.00
Misc Items - $25.00

TOTAL = $1,670.00

**Health Insurance went up ~$18 p/m - crazy!

There was two payday in March, so we managed to put in more into the mortgage, it is now under $140K. Also topped up the Emergency Fund to $10K, Goal #5 is now done. I decided to put more money into here because there is some changes that is coming up in DH work and just in case we need it. The $10K is in various saving accounts that are easily accessible. Also managed to put a small amout of money to the household fund and holiday fund, this always makes me happy.

And before I foget to update this again, we put in $89 into the exercise challenge/xmas fund.

NSD: Feb = 10 and Mar = 8.
$180 towards my sunny day savings.