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Archive for June, 2012

Electricity and Gas Bill

June 26th, 2012 at 11:10 pm

I just got both of them and both are due on the 10th of July.

Gas = $103.88 for 2 months
Electricity = $74.61 for 3 months

First time we owe the electric company some money this year. We are in the middle of winter so we used more energy than we produced from our solar panels. But because we got a cheque from them for $86.97 during summer we are still ahead. Also our gas bill is almost 50% less compare to that of last winterís bill. We use the electric heater more than the gas heater now. I think we are saving roughly $200-$230 per quarter. So I think another year and we should be able to break-even from the cost of the solar panels.

Payday

June 22nd, 2012 at 01:29 am

Today is payday! I am planning to pay another $1000 into the mortgage. This will put the balance under $130K. Less than $10K to go and this goal will be done. We should have about $1000 left by the end of this month. I will put half/half to holiday and household fund.

Roof rack and decorating

June 20th, 2012 at 07:49 pm

We decided that we will get a roof rack put on our car. Since we converted our car into LPG we lost a bit of space in our boot. We need to pick up a bookshelf that we bought from a charity store on the weekend. So instead of renting a pick-up truck for a cost of around $60 we decided to just get the roof racks done, in the long run it should save us a bit. I think it will get use a bit in the next few months; we already have plans to get doors for our wardrobe and maybe a new tallboy chest. The roof rack that DH wants to get will cost $340 (including installation). The other option would cost $310 but the more expensive one can be used to 90% of other type car, so we could move it to another if need to. Was not planning to get a roof rack until we get a new car, but Iím hoping that our current car can last few more years, since we need one now, I think this is the best solution.

I have been doing some redecorating in the last two weeks. I got great deals on some nice framed prints, got 4 for only $60. I got them at a store that sells furniture and decoration used from ex-display homes. Couple of them are perfect to go in our bedroom it will go very well with another couple drawings that I should get next week created by my artist friend. The other two got some scratches on them but should be able to fix them.

The other day I emptied out a cabinet in the family room. This is a built in cabinet that we just put junk in. I found about 100 candles in there, different sizes, some scented, most of them I got as a gift. So I think itís about time I start using them. There were also a lot of old light bulbs that we donít use anymore, I will take them to Ikea next time because they have recycle bin for them, also got boxes full of old tapes and another with games. I decided to paint it yesterday because it was looking very shabby. I also decided to trim some of the shelves thinner, so it will be even and will be able to put the ironing board in there. I already put the iron and other ironing items in there already. I donít like putting them in the laundry because it is all the way to the back of the house just too far to lug around since I like to do my ironing in the side of the house where the tv is.

Spendy, too much eating out

June 18th, 2012 at 11:19 pm

We have been spending a bit lately.All weekend we were out and about, except for breakfast we ate out 3 out of the 4 meal. The only time we were more to eat was on Satuday night but even then we got takeaway sushi. On a good note we found a nice Mexican restaurant and I guess I could argue that our grocery bill was really low. All up it cost $98 for 4 meals, definitely not frugal.

No more eating out until next month. There is more money in the budget for it, actually we are already over in our entertainment budget. Anymore eating out or activities it will have to come out of our individual allowance money.



NSD and Mortgage

June 15th, 2012 at 06:14 pm

Yesterday was NSD, that makes it 2 this week.

Today, I just put another $1,200 into the mortgage. Extra payment into the mortgage so far this month is $1,700. I'm hoping to make it to put $2.5K extra this month. Next Friday is payday I should be able to put more then. Starting on the 18th of June our interest in the mortgage will go down another 0.21%. I think that should be a reduction of $15-20 per month. Can't wait to see next month's regular payment, I'm pretty sure the principal payment side should be more than $500. something to celebrate about but not too much because the interest side would still be around $700. I be definitely celebrating more when the principal payment is greater than the interest payment.

It's Saturday, normally it's our grocery shopping day. We don't really need anything, not even milk (I only just opened the new bottle yesterday but DH wants to get more so he can make some yogurt. I actually need to start using up the produce soon, we got too much stuff in the last two shopping trip. Last night, I made ratatouille just to use up some of the tomato and capsicum, we got too much.
I cooked a whole fish last night not knowing that DH ordered a sushi platter for tonightís dinner. So we are having more fish today. The platter will cost $29, it normally cost $65 but we got a coupon deal.


Reno

June 12th, 2012 at 06:45 pm

We finished the toilet renovation on Sunday. We painted behind the cistern tank in the morning and left it to dry while we went out shopping. I actually found the window blinds on sale we will put it up this weekend.

Taking out the old door.


New door with the new light/fan switch.


New studs (not talking about DH haha)and new plasterboards.


Coming together.




The built in shelf.




I'm not too sure how much it all cost, I'd say around $200-$250. The most expensive cost was getting the electrician to move the light/fan switch to the other side and the window blinds cost just over $40 and we spend less than $50 on materials. Most materials we used we already had, a leftover from the ensuite renovation. Oh I forgot the new toilet cost $95, we got it last year, it was 50% off.

Saturday

June 9th, 2012 at 02:36 am

Today we got up very late. I got breakfast in bed Smile, nothing special just oats and coffee but it was still nice to stay in the nice warm bed.

Even though it was a very gloomy and it showered on and off all day we decided to go for a run. We went to a park about 25 mins away. We decided to go to this park which is a bit further than the one we been going to because I wanted to go shopping near there afterwards. We run around the man-made lake for almost an hour, we were pretty lucky because it stopped raining just before and didnít start again very lightly, just 5 mins before we finished.

After our run we drove to a market 2 blocks away and had lunch at our favourite Spanish restaurant, we both had a plate of paella each and shared a cup of chilli hot chocolate, it was so good.

Spent $6.50 at the market for fruits and vegetables, we got some bananas, capsicum, bok choy and potatoes. We then went to a store across the road to get a ladle, meat tenderiser and a sifter. I love this store they have everything you need for the kitchen, they actually cater for restaurants (I think they get discounts for buying bulk) but the general public can also come in.

Then just another block away is an Aldi, we only spend $16.61 on grocery and DH got a pipe drain cleaner hose for only $6.99. Just in time because he will need to clean the bathroom drain tomorrow. We wonít need to go to the hardware store to get one.

The last stop was to a fabric/ household item type store. I wanted to go there because they are having some sale, this was the main reason why I wanted to go to this place. I wanted to get a window blind for the small window in the toilet. Unfortunately, the one that I wanted (which is the same to what we already got in the other rooms) is not on sale. I will wait because they usually have a sale every couple of months. The trip however wasnít a waste because I found a good sale on flannelette sheets set. We got a set earlier this year, both DH and I really like it so we wanted to get another set. Was not planning to get it today thought but it was on sale. Also got more knitting yarn, I need another one to finish DHís scarf that I started last month, he wanted a longer one and got another big yarn that should be good to make into a throw rug/blanket. The knitting stuff will come out of my allowance money, my little hobby.

Coconut Pudding

June 7th, 2012 at 06:15 pm

I experimented last night and made coconut pudding. I bought a whole coconut on the weekend at the Asian shop and I decided to use that instead of opening a can. We got this coconut grinder 2 years ago in Fiji and this is our first time using it.





We had to sit on it. We put it on our step so it was easier to put a bowl under it to catch the coconut meat. I then put it into a cheese cloth then DH wringed it to get the coconut cream/milk out. A lot more work than opening a can of coconut but it was not bad. It was actually fun to do.

The coconut pudding is already half gone. DH took some for his morning tea. I will definitely make that again and will take a photo next time (I forgot this time).

Long Weekend

June 6th, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Last week DH and I discussed about maybe going away this weekend since it is a 3-day weekend (itís the Queenís birthday holiday on Monday). We thought about maybe going to a place called Lakes Entrance (about 3 hours away from our place), we havenít been there since our honeymoon visit. I thought about maybe going there for an overnight stay (Sunday night) then coming home Monday afternoon. Unfortunately, with all the rain we have been having the whole area is flooded. Some town has been evacuated and a lot of the roads are closed. So I think we will just stay home and we will make it a footy weekend, i.e. we will be watching footy all weekend. It will be a stay-cation instead.

Extra Mortgage Payment

June 6th, 2012 at 06:49 pm

I decided to put $500 into the mortgage today. Current balance is $132,056.15.

Good news for our mortgage is that the interest rate should go down further this month. The reserve bank reduced the official rates another 25 basis points, which makes our rate now down to 3.5%. If our bank fully reduces our mortgage rate down another quarter per cent then we might be able to save another $20-25 per month off the interest.

And yesterday was the first NSD for the month, finally!

Yesterday

June 5th, 2012 at 06:43 pm

It was not a No spend day either. DH decided to get milk at Aldi last night (we will be running out of it today). He used most of it on Sunday making yogurt. He thought of getting it last night just in case he will be coming home very late tonight. Since he was near his favourite petrol station he decided to fill up the car too. So that was all of yesterdayís spending.

Also yesterday I finally finish the renovation, well my part anyway. DH will have to move the cistern so we can paint behind it. We could just leave it as it is but I know it will annoy me knowing that it wasnít done. He will do it on the weekend.

Last night our home phone and internet was off for about 6 hours. I suspect it was because of the storm. I didn't even know about it until my mum tried to call me at home. Luckily our mobile phone is with a different provider and that was working.

First NSD for the month

June 4th, 2012 at 06:06 pm

Yep, yesterday was NSD.

It has finally stopped raining this morning. It has been non-stop raining for two days. Last night it took DH over 2 hours to get home (it normally only takes about 30-40mins). The train signal was not working something to do with flooding in the subway. So he had to walk in the rain to the other train station, his umbrella was useless because the wind was just blowing it away. He came in soaking wet and freezing cold. Straight into the shower he went and then afterwards I feed him the steaming hot Pho soup. He was so glad to be having that soup with a lot of ginger and extra chillies (which he loves).

Edit: Oops yesterday was not a NSD. I totally forgot about the mortgage! My bad. lol Oh well, I hope today will be a NSD.

Mortgage June 2012

June 4th, 2012 at 05:52 am

Our normal monthly mortgage payment hit today.

Monthly Payment = $1,218
Interest = $730.47
Principal = $487.53

Current Balance = $132,556.15

BBQ and Risotto

June 3rd, 2012 at 06:44 pm

Only spending yesterday was $7.80 for coal that we need for our barbeque. We had skewer pork bbq for lunch; it was really good I marinated it the night before. DH really liked it and he keeps telling me that we should really make it again. The weather was not the best for bbq, it was cold and raining (it is winter after all), but we managed.

In the afternoon I made chicken stock that I used to make chicken and mushroom risotto. I think it was the best risotto Iíve ever made. I used oyster mushroom instead of the boring button mushroom, it has more flavour. I got them from the Asian shop, a lot cheaper, and they have more variety of mushrooms than at the supermarket. I also used few different cheeses (that I got from the market) when cooking it. Then I sprinkled it with parmesan cheese at the end. I got some leftover for lunchÖ Iím looking forward to that Smile

Tonight I will use up the leftover stock I might make some soup maybe Vietnamese Pho I got some Vietnamese mint. And Iím thinking of making some noodles, to use up the leftover mushroom (they have a very short use by date).

Dinner Date

June 2nd, 2012 at 06:09 pm

Last night DH took me out for dinner. He was really determined that we go out he even picked out the restaurant, Iím normally the one that plan this stuff. He has wanted to take me to this Mexican restaurant that he has been to before (over 10 years ago). Well I think theyíve change management since then and while the food was nice I think it was too pricey for what we got.

DH feels bad that Iíve been doing the renovation by myself all week and thatís why he wanted to take me out. He wanted to use his allowance money for but I insist that we have enough in the entertainment money for it.

Speak of renovation, we only got a bit of tiling to do, hopefully we will get it done today, and then just painting. It has been really slow waiting for the plaster to dry. It needs to dry before I can sand it properly, sanding it while wet just clogs up the sandpaper. It should really be done by tomorrow.

Grocery Shopping Today

June 1st, 2012 at 11:05 pm

I said I was planning to only spend $70 on groceries today, well was I wrong. All up it ended up to be $107. Spent $21.29 at the Asian shop, $9.36 at Woolworths (we didn't bother going to Aldi, it's out of the way and we didn't need to get much stuff from there) and the rest was spent at the market. Decided to get about a month's worth of meat, all up we spent almost $54. It was cheaper to get 2kilos worth of stuff than just a kilo that's why we got more than I was planning. I didn't mind, I prefer we only go to the market once a month instead of twice because of the crazy parking. We also got $18 worth of cheeses (got 5 different types of cheese) and salami at the deli.

So we only got $113 left in the budget for the month (about $28-30 p/week). I think it is doable.

Hungry Jack's

June 1st, 2012 at 10:20 pm

DH got coupons for Hungry Jack's (also known as Burger King in the US), he came home last night with two whopper burgers and two small fries. It only cost him $4 for the lot, normally just one whopper burger is around $4.25(?). So he was really keen to get them for dinner, the problem however is that you are only allowed one coupon per visit so ended up going to two places. He got one from the one near the train station where he leaves the car and he then drove up to the one near our place (it's couple minutes out of the way). I guess DH really want to have them for dinner, I didn't mind, I didn't have to cook.

JUNE Budget 2012

June 1st, 2012 at 02:23 am

Hereís what we are aiming for this month.

Grocery - $220
Utilities - $180
Home Phone - $25
Mobile - $20
Internet - $50
Fuel & Fare - $220
Health Insurance -$250
Entertainment -$150
Gifts -$50
Personal/Medical - $60
Clothing - $40
DH Allowance -$100
DW Allowance - $60
Miscellaneous - $35

TOTAL = $1,460