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Archive for December, 2012

Happy New Year!

December 31st, 2012 at 03:09 pm

We celebrated our NYE last night by having a picnic dinner with some friends around 6:30pm and then when it got darker around 9pm we came all came to my place to watch a movie and celebrate the new year.

I've copied and paste my side bar here because I will be deleting it later and putting my 2013 goals tonight. Don't have time right now we are about to go for a run and will be having lunch at my mum's. I tried to log on here earlier after everyone left but it would not let me in.

======================
2012 GOALS: Achieved all goals and exceeded some of them Smile

Goal 1: Get mortgage down to $120K (Bal. Dec 2011 = $149K)
Action Plan: Must put in $2,500 per month.
TTD: $29,309.15 (Sep 16)
Mortgage Bal: $119,690.85
DONE!!!!!

Goal 2: Put $5000 into the Holiday Fund.
Action Plan: Will put $500 until Oct.
TTD: $5,000 (Oct 31) DONE!!!

Goal 3: Save $2000 into the Xmas/Anniversary Fund.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by Dec.
TTD: $2,000 (Nov 30) DONE!!!

Goal 4: Add $7000 into the Household Fund for new windows, etc.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by Dec.
TTD: $7,000 (Nov 9) DONE!!!

Goal 5: Add $3000 into the EF - this will get us to a very tight 6 months living expenses.
Action Plan: Put any extra money towards this goal.
DONE (31 Mar)

Outing

December 29th, 2012 at 06:17 pm

Our social calendar have been very full lately. Just a typical summer and holiday time. Yesterday we travelled just over an hour to the other side of the city to visit a friend. She bought a house over there earlier this year and we finally made it to her place. We had lunch there, hamburger and a bit of sweets.

Afterwards, DH and I went into the city to watch Samsara, they finally released it here in Australia. It is on limited release so we had to watch it on a small cinema. I've never been to this place before, I really liked it only seats about 35 people. Great movie.

Then we had dinner and few drinks at the casino afterwards, we parked there because it is free, well not really since we lost. Oh well, we go there 2-3 times a year not too bad and we had fun. We did get home until after midnight.

Today we are going grocery shopping for tomorrow night's (NYE) picnic with some friends. I'm planning to make quinoa salad, I'm following Jamie Oliver's recipe, I got his 15 minute cookbook for christmas.
I'm planning to make something from the cookbook once a week, I will try anyway.

I'm halfway to putting away the christmas tree. Hopefully this afternoon I will still have energy to go for a run.

Getting ready for the new year

December 28th, 2012 at 03:09 am

I've spent a bit of time this afternoon setting up my 2013 personal finance excel. I pretty much just copied the 2012 set up. I have worked out our master plan for the whole year. It has the monthly budget from Jan to Dec and also the estimated income (based on the 2012 numbers). It pretty much tells me where every cent should go every month. It is also set up to ensure our financial goals next year will be achieve by having an action plan.

Today I came up with another goal (non-financial) to be able to run around the track that we normally run at twice by the end of next year. I came up with it while running. Right now it take me about 40-45mins to go around it (once). I can't even imagine running around it twice yet. Half of the time I spend my time walking instead of running/jogging. I think if I can do it non-stop I can get my time down to around 30mins.

Mortgage and happenings here

December 26th, 2012 at 04:54 pm

Christmas day I decided to gift our mortgage holder bank $500.

Current balance = $111,799.98 (we should get this under $110K next month)


Our christmas was really good, nice and quiet just the way I like it. Still trying to get through the ham, we managed to finish the turkey last night.

Christmas eve we almost called the ambulance because I had a really bad reaction to some prawns. It was the worst I felt, so now I can't eat it at all anymore. I will be making an appointment to see my doctor and to get a referral to see a specialist.

Boxing day (26th of Dec) we decided not to bother going shopping (at the start of the month I was planning to go), we got so much stuff that we needed and wanted before christmas that we really don't need/want anything right now. Boxing day was almost a NSD until I saw and ad on tv about airfare sales. We decided to go get 2 returned tickets for mid-Jun, it will be a long weekend for us, Queen's birthday public holiday. We will be visiting DH's family again.

Today, Dh went back to work Frown. I'm at home watching the cricket game. Few days ago, while getting cash out of the ATM DH found out that he got paid in advance again. The same thing that happened last year when they paid him just before christmas. The pay was for 3 weeks worth, he will most likely get paid again next Friday for 1 week's worth but in this case only 2 days becuase of the holidays. I've decided to put this pay in the January book, I don't want to deal with shortage/negative month again like last time. January is the worst month for it because of couple of annual bill that we have to pay. It's not really a big deal I just hated seeing the negative amount at the end of the month, then have to rectify it in February.

Visitor and free lunch

December 19th, 2012 at 08:04 pm

Last night BIL came over for dinner. He is in town for work, only here for 2 days and will be flying back home this afternoon. I made roast chicken and cooked some spring rolls I made the other to have while we waited for the chicken to cook. He came with a nice bottle of Shiraz to have for dinner.

As he was leaving DH gave him $100 to give to his kids for christmas, there are 4 of them so $25 each. We saw them just over a month ago and had given them some money then, so we weren't planning to give them anything until next time we see them. Just not keen on sending cash over the mail. But since he was over it was easier to just give it to him.

DH called earlier happy that he got free lunch (burrito) from a new Mexican restaurant. They were giving free burritos today and giving $1 to charity, they are trying to break some record. He decided to get a can of pepsi to go with his burrito, even better it was only $1. DH actually took leftover roast chicken this morning, he will have to bring it back. He can't have it tomorrow because he will be going out with his co-workers for their christmas lunch, it's their last day tomorrow before the christmas break.

Just got a phone call and apparently my new glasses are ready, they said it won't be ready until after christmas so I wasn't expecting it until then. I don't have time to pick it up until Saturday, we will go to ALdi while we are there.

Looking forward

December 18th, 2012 at 05:07 pm

Next year I am looking forward to:
1. Seeing the mortgage go under $100K – we are getting very close, it could be a nice birthday present for me in April.
2. Hitting the 1/2 a million (this sounds better than $500K) mark in net worth. We are currently around $470K. As long as the stock market and real estate is stable next year then we should hit this mark.
3. Going on holiday with family, it will be nice family reunion, most of them I haven’t seen for almost 20 years.
4. Having $70K+ in shares and managed funds, currently at $59K. This is dependent on the stock market doing well.
5. Also hitting the $120K+ in our retirement accounts, again I am relying for the stock market to be at least stable. Just contribution alone should get us very close to the $120K mark.

In the mail yesterday

December 17th, 2012 at 06:39 pm

1. Christmas card from my auntie and family. First one for the year, not many really send christmas card via the mail anymore, except for this auntie, without fail she send us one every year. The only other one that might send us one via mail is my MIL. Everyone else sends texts/facebook/etc.

2. DH's margin loan statement for the month of November. Total market value has gone up so does the total amount owing because he bought more shares last month in this account. They took $26.10 for interest in November. Normally DH pre-pay interest at the end of financial year (June for us here)to get some tax benefit. Sometimes he buys some shares throughout the year and has to pay interest on it every month throughout the year.

3. A letter from our accountant saying that they have now been acquired by a new company. There shouldn't really be any changes, some of the personnel have been retain. I just hope the fees are not going up too much.

4. A dividend statement from one of DH's stock for $119.94. Their dividend reinvestment plan is currently suspended so he will get cash instead directly deposited into his account that is connected to his margin loan account. This will help pay for interest.

5. Electric bill - normally this would have been due some time next month but we this time around we have a credit balance of $47.75 (thanks to the sun!).

6. Almost forgot the big one, Credit card statement, this included the car registration and a bit of christmas spending and the other usual spending of fuel, eating out, mobile phone... All up it's for $1,185.89, not due until next month 7th of Jan.

Contact Lenses Rebate

December 16th, 2012 at 08:22 pm

DH printed out the contact lenses receipt that we bought online the other day. He took it to our health insurance company during his lunch break today, it is only few blocks away from his work, could have taken the tram and he would have got there in few minutes if he wanted but he opted to go for a stroll instead.

He called me afterwards and told me that they handed him $64.60 in cash, not bad.
Cost including shipping = $99.40
Health insurance rebate = $64.60
Out of pocket cost = $34.80

We used the credit card to buy them so really won’t be paying for it until next statement.

60 pair of contact lenses (about 8-10 months’ worth of use) = $34.80
3 brand new eye glasses = $13.65
Total = $48.45 for the year

Interesting info we got from the girl that helped us the other at the optometrist, she said that DH can actually get sunglasses and claim it in our health insurance too. He might look into it next year.

Loosen the purse

December 16th, 2012 at 06:19 pm

Yesterday mid-morning DH went to the doctor to get his blood test done. He didn’t get home until around midday, when he could finally have his breakfast. For late lunch I decided to take him out (as a reward) to one of our favourite Vietnamese/Asian restaurant. DH loves their massive bowl of Beef Laksa for only $8.90. I love to get the rice vermicelli with spring rolls and grilled pork, it’s full of fresh and some pickled vegetables with some peanuts on top for only $9. And DH can’t go there without having his favourite Avocado smoothie (“mock tail”). Only $21.90 for everything, it was my treat so it came out of my allowance money.

On the way home I decided to check out a place I saw on TV to get some picture frames. I got 7 different sizes for only $16, I was very happy with that. Nearby was another store with an advertisement outside their store for suits for sale from $59.00. I wasn’t expecting much but decided to check it out anyway. We’ve had plans to get DH another suit next year (I was hoping to get a reasonable price overseas), so for only $59 why not check it out but at this stage I was fully expecting shitty ones. I was not expecting for most of them to be made in 100% fine Australian wool! Most of them didn’t fit DH but we managed to find few that were in his size and fits really nicely on him, he tried 4 of them and decided to get 3 (2 were 100% wool and 1 is 97% wool and 3% polyester). We are very happy to get 3 for 1 that I was fully expecting to get next year for around the same price. As long as DH keeps his weight/size (we are both pretty good at having consistent weight) we shouldn’t need to get him another suit for another 5 years. It's funny how things work out, have been thinking a lot about this and the oppotunity just came up. Last night we were discussing whether we should take this spending out of the sunny day saving, there is a case for it, we only really thought about it because we are now over budget for clothing. Since we are under our overall budget this year it's not really an issue. I think I will decrease our clothing budget next year by $100 and will put in more in the transportation expense because train tickets are agiain going up next month.

In the same store I found my favourite brand of bra for only $6, they are normally around $20-30. And DH got just under $38 worth of knickknacks to give away to his co-workers for Christmas. He has 11 people in mind so average of $3.45 per person. I got to gift wrap them today; each will have a box of shortbread biscuits in Christmas shapes, a sachet of moccona frappe latte, a bar of chocolate and couple of lollies, just a nice little package to have for an afternoon tea. And I will have some leftovers for me Smile

Went to the optometrist again today

December 15th, 2012 at 03:27 am

This morning I ordered my contact lenses online. I decided to get a box (30 for each eye) of the same brand that I'm currently using and also another 30 per box of the new brand that the optometrist prescribed. I really don't know why she prescribed a different one to what I'm currently using. Anyway, my current ones were on special sale, only $20 per box and the other was $24.70 per box. There is only slight difference in diameter and the curve base of it. I'm hoping that this new one might be easier to put on and take off, I don't really anticipate any difference. The postage is $10 plus gst so buying the extra 2 boxes at the same time was cheaper per box. This should last me 8-10 months. All up it was $99.40 but I might be able to get some of it back from our health insurance.

Then we went to the shopping centre to get new glasses, they have a deal to get two for the price of one. The cheapest one for this deal were $149, when they scan through my health insurance card they ended up to be $0. I skipped on all the extra fancy stuff this time around. I wasn't really keen on getting them as the one that I really like was only $30, but since they didn't cost anything I decided to just get them (I can have different style for different occassion). At this stage I still kept going back to the $30 one, which I'm sure made the lady think that I might be insane. Anyway, I decided to also get her to put it through, at this stage I thought I will have to pay full price on the $30 one but it turned out for all 3 glasses I was only $13.65 out of pocket. Not a bad deal. The funny thing is I can actually go back next month and get more glasses for free. Not that I would. If I did that then they would definitely think I am crazy!

After getting my glasses we went to Aldi and to another supermarket in the same shopping centre. We many done christmas shopping, we now have turkey, ham and other stuff that we are planning to have for christmas. I mainly just need to get seafood and fresh produce on Christmas eve.

Optometrist

December 13th, 2012 at 05:59 pm

I got up early today to get my eyes checked. I'm running out of contact lenses, I thought I might need new prescription for them but apparently eventhough my glasses have slightly changed (yet again), my contact lenses are alright. Unfortunately I couldn't buy them from them they have to get them ordered or I can get them online for cheaper, the buy showed me how to order them online. I also didn't bother getting a new glasses today, I will probably go back on the weekend to order them I was in a hurry and I want to go there with DH so I can get his opinion.

I could actually get away with my current glasses. I wasn't really due for new glasses for another year but since we are doing really well with our budget this year, it might be good to get them now before the year end and before our health insurance reset for the new year.

First Aid course

December 12th, 2012 at 06:19 pm

Both DH and I have been looking to do this for years now. ALmost got to do it couple of years ago but it never happened, the friend who was supposed to organise it kept cancelling. Last night while going through online deals (similar to groupon) I came across a deal for a whole day first aid course for only $49 (normally $150). We both got one, so even for two it only cost us $98. Great deal and they have 4 location to select, one of which is only about 10-15 minutes away from us. We got until mid next year to enrol for one of the scheduled time. Very happy about this deal.

Payday

December 10th, 2012 at 06:55 pm

Payday was on Friday, it was a day less worth of pay because of a public holiday.

Paid the car registration for another year. It just keep going up every year. Almost $700 now, I remember paying only half of that when I first started driving.

Last night I decided to put another $1000 into the mortgage. I really want to put more but maybe by the end of the year just incase something else comes up.

Nothing else much happening here, just waiting for christmas to come. We will have 5 day weekend because DH won't need to go to work on the 24th and 26this boxing day here, which is a public holiday.

December 2012 Mortgage Payment

December 6th, 2012 at 03:41 pm

Regular monthly mortgage payment:
Paid = $1218.00
Interest =$558.20
Principal = $659.80
Current Balance = $113,299.98 (I haven't posted this here for a while).

Great day

December 4th, 2012 at 05:39 pm

Waking up to the nice fresh smell of pine tree is amazing. This is the first time ever that I am 100% happy with our christmas tree. Not the most frugal way to get a tree but I was happy to pay for it because the proceed went to the scouts.

Today I found out that the reserve bank have decreased the interest rate again late yesterday afternoon. Good news for us mortgage holders.

Also today in the garden, I just picked a handful of cherry tomatoes, first time this summer. I think in two weeks time I will have more to come. Also there are more strawberries to pick soon.

Weekend

December 3rd, 2012 at 08:32 pm

I was meant to blog about our weekend yesterday. It was a very spendy weekend but most of it was for christmas and also got my brother a gift for his birthday this weekend.

For the first time ever we got a fresh christmas tree, we decided last year that we would get a fresh christmas tree this year, just to try it. I was expecting to get it for around $100 but found one by accident while driving to the factory outlet for only $45. We checked it out on the way home, they look so much better than the fake ones. The roof rack came in handy, it save us on delivery cost.

I spent last night decorating it, we also discovered that DH might be a bit allergic to it but as long as he doesn't go too close to it he is alright. I love the smell of it. I think we need to get more decorations though, just a bit extra.

I also spent time yesterday gift wrapping the gifts that we got on the weekend. I run out of ribbons, so I will need to also get some more of those. We are about 90% done with christmas shopping, not including food.

DECEMBER 2012 SPENDING PLAN

December 2nd, 2012 at 04:20 pm

Last one for 2012!

Grocery - $200.00
Utilities - $250.00
Rates - $142.00
Home Phone - $70.00
Mobile - $30.00
Internet - $55.00
Fuel & Fare - $200.00
Car Registration - $696.50 (This is annual fee, got the bill a week ago and it is due on the 15th of Dec. At the start of the year I budgeted $660 for this unfortunately it has gone up a lot more)
Health Insurance -$250.00
Entertainment -$145.00
Gifts -$80.00
Personal/Medical - $60.00
DH Allowance -$100.00
DW Allowance - $75.00
Miscellaneous - $30.00

TOTAL = $2,368.50