<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: March, 2014
 

Archive for March, 2014

Change my mind

March 31st, 2014 at 11:00 pm

We got $320 left in March I was going to put it towards goal#2 but I instead put it towards goal#3 and have already spent it.

I found a great deal online for a place that we will go for our Anniversary. Our anniversary is not for another 6 months but this deal was really good it is to a place called Lake's Entrance. We love this place, it's about 3-3 1/2 hours away. We been there few times and even stayed there overnight as one of the places that we went to on our honeymoon (that was the last time we went there so it will be 8 yrs by the time we go back) . And DH was apparently conceived there (hahaha!). This resort that we will be going to was the one I really wanted to stay at on our honeymoon but since we were struggling then we just couldn't afford it. $200 a night was just too much for us then especially for just an overnight stay. The place was fairly new then. The deal I got is $299 for 3-nights (but will have surcharge of $60 for Saturday night stay) including breakfasts everyday, some credits on restaurant meals, drinks and massages. It also had other offers which I can't quite remember it all at the moment, I think one was a free tour to a blueberry farm nearby and some cooking class voucher. So there are a lot to do and I'm very much looking forward to it.

We will be going the weekend after our actual anniversary because it falls during school holidays I rather not go then, we will probably still go out somewhere on the actual night but it will be something small. I always make sure we do something special for our anniversary that's why it is in my financial goals. DH's birthday is just 2 days after our anniversary so it is even more reason to celebrate for us.

I normally try to limit the spending around $500 (definitely no more than $600) because I like to leave $1,500 to go towards Christmas spending.

My budget for this will look like this:
Accommodation - $299
surcharge - $60 I think this is payable later.
Transport - $30-50 This might include tolls if we want to get there quicker.
Food - $100 -$150 We will bring some food and drinks with us, unfortunately there is no kitchen so we will be limited on what we can bring. We will have at least one nice ("fancy") dinner out.

Anything more than this will have to come out of our allowances.


*No news about how much the car repair will amount to yet. DH will be home soon though, I'll find out then. I'm really hoping it is not too much. The no phone call from them kinds of a good news. They said that if it is small job they can do it today but if it is big we will have to book it some other time. If it is big and costly they would have called us by now.

Weekend grocery shopping and weird car noises

March 30th, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Weekend was spent grocery shopping. We are a bit over with grocery shopping this month. A lot of this spending will be use in April so grocery expenses in April should be cheaper (it should be and it will because I will have to make sure of it). Also bought some new smoke alarms and led light bulbs. We didn't do much this weekend apart from going shopping we went for a run.

The weather this weekend was great and would have been nice to go somewhere for a day trip but our car is making some weird noise so just make short trips. DH thinks it might have something to do with the power steering. He looked it up online and the repair could cost from as cheap as $15 to $2,800. I just hope it won't cost as much as $2,800 that would be more than half what the car is worth at the moment. I'm not going to worry about it until we really know what is wrong. He will drop it off to the mechanics tomorrow.

The week so far

March 26th, 2014 at 07:27 pm

On Monday we got our electric bill, so much better than the water bill drama http://shiela.savingadvice.com/2014/03/05/plumbing-drama_107579/ this one was at least $54.07 in credit because of our solar panels. I'm enjoying it for now it will not be the same next time because the days are getting shorter as we are heading towards winter plus my brother moving with us will sure adds a little towards the electric usage.

Speaking of my brother, he already gave me $200 for the months expenses. He wanted to give me more but I think $200 should be enough. I don't know what to do with this money at the money. I think with a bit of work and a bit of sacrifice we might be able to stay within our yearly budget without being too much over because of my brother. So for now I'm not adding this money to my excel spreadsheet. I will probably change my mine later, will see.

Our private health insurance is going up by a massive amount next month (as they do this time every year), it will be going up from around $273 to almost $350. Yikes! yikes! I hate it!!! So I got DH to go into their office on Tuesday during his lunch break to see what other options we got. If we drop some items that we don't really need at the moment we could get it down to $240 (this is around middle the road option) We have not sign up on it yet, DH wants to look at other health insurance company that might be even more reasonable.

On the mortgage news, DH got paid yesterday so we paid another $5K into the mortgage. A bit more this time because of the tax refund that we got, as I mentioned in my previous post. We are now under $60K Smile

I actually wanted to put a little bit more but DH bought some shares (Entitlement Offer of one of his shares), not a bad deal so it was hard to passed up. He spent $837.50 on it.

We still got just over $500 left-over for the month (we use zero-based budgeting) whatever is left I will put under goal#2 household fund, there is only $1,000 left to achieve that goal for the year.

Some Update

March 20th, 2014 at 07:27 pm

Received 2 cheques yesterday in the mail, one for DH and one for me, it's from our accountant. It was for last financial year tax refund (it always takes months, in the past is used to take us years to get it together). All up it add up to just over $2,500,they deducted the accountant fee of $440. Most of it will go towards the mortgage. DH will hopefully get some time today to deposit his I will have to wait until some time next week to go to the bank.

On another news my brother (much younger and only sibling) will be moving with us this weekend, he has already move in some boxes and will be coming today to drop off more stuff. He asked if he could stay with us for about 6 months. He is in the process of buying a house. He has been living with 2 other friends for years now and I guess they are now at that stage were they are looking for their own house. One is also going to buy a house and the other is moving back to his parents house to try to save money to also someday buy a house. Their lease was finishing so they didn't want to sign another year long lease. My brother already got enough for a deposit but his problem is he just started a new job at the start of the year (he got headhunted, better job than the other so he couldn't refuse) so he will have to wait 6 months to be illegible to get a loan. Financially he is pretty good, he doesn't have any debt, just like me he doesn't own a CC. He can probably work more on his savings which he is working hard on. He is now actually been living as if he has a mortgage. I've told him that he can pay us $200 a month, that should be enough to cover utilities and food.

Last week we got our garage roof fix, it cost us $1,100. I've been hoping to get this done for years now. I'm glad that is off the list Smile

On the weekend we went away to an island (called Philip Island), only about 2 hrs from our house. We stayed there for 3 days/2 nights. All up we spend just around $350, I still have to get DH to check how much exactly we spend on tolls. We were good with food expenses because we cooked most of our meals and we got free buffet breakfast. The accommodation was only $239 using groupon. We did a lot of hiking and saw a lot of wild animals along the way. This Island is known for little penguins and seals. It also had a lake called "Swan lake" full of swans. lol Normally DH wouldn't get paid for days he takes off because he is a contact worker but this time he was owed a day so he was able to take the Monday off in lieu because he did few hours work at home on New Years day.

Mortgage

March 6th, 2014 at 09:04 pm

Arggh. I forgot to copy my post and it got eaten. I hate when that happen!

Was taking about our mortgage which got paid earlier this week.

$1218 normal monthly payment
$257.79 was interest
$960.21 to principal

Can't wait to see the principal hit $1K. This month (or should I say last month) was shorter so more went to the principal. According to my excel spreadsheet we should hit that $1K mark in June, if not definitely July. I prefer this principal to interest ratio a lot better than when it was reversed.


Note: Forgot to mention that I've updated my side bar with my goals for this year.

Plumbing Drama

March 5th, 2014 at 06:25 pm

Yesterday we got our water bill for the last quarter. DH almost fainted when he saw it, it was almost $100 more than the previous bill. It shouldn't be that much, we have never gone over the low rate limit. About 20-30% of it got charge on the high rate. It couldn't possibly because we used so much more this time around it had to be more sinister. Sure enough DH remember that he saw a puddle of water in the side of the house that we barely go to over a week ago. He dismissed it because he thought it was just rain water. Also about a month ago we noticed water running along the gutter which starts from just in front of our property, we noticed every time we drive out and see birds bathing in it when we were in a heatwave. We also dismissed it and thought it had to do with the water company/ local council digging in front of our property and all along our street and other neighbouring streets (there has been a lot of "maintenance work" around), it happened just after they did that, so we just assumed.

I was hoping it wasn't in our property but no luck. DH called the plumber we used to installed our hot water tank last night and luckily he was able to do it this morning. I like him, he has been the best plumber I've found, I've dealt with some not so good one in the past. Luckily the pin hole that was causing the leak was just outside the house, it would have been a nightmare if it was under the house. He had to replace part of the copper pipe. In the end it cost $290, what a relief I was bracing myself last night for around $1K+ cost.

After he finished I asked him he does roofing too our roofing in the garage needs capping, it was never done right by the previous owner that built it. He spent a bit of time measuring it and will call DH for a quote tomorrow. This has been in the to do list for years now it would be great to get it done.

Reviving my blog

March 3rd, 2014 at 08:51 pm

Yikes! It has been a while. I don't really know what happened. I guess everything is pretty much on automatic that there is not much I can talk about on a daily basis. Basically I got bored posting same all boring stuff. And I was getting sick a lot during our winter here that really ruined my motivation. And then the warm weather came along we got pretty busy enjoying life.

But despite not blogging we are still doing pretty good with our finances, being frugal is really ingrained in us now. We were only $45.45 over our 2013 budget, we did an awesome job with that. This year I've increased our budget by $500 to $21,500. The biggest issue is our health insurance it will be increasing quite a bit starting next month. DH is already looking into changing it, I'm sure there will be a cheaper one.

All our financial goals were achieved last year. In particular goal #1 of paying off extra $30K we ended up paying $31,700. But the other goals I've set myself weren't that good especially health one, being sick for most of winter really ruined me. But I am been doing so much better in the last 4 months. I've lost 2kgs and now at my ideal weight. I still suck at running but I'm doing it and can actual run the track in 30mins.

Our mortgage balance at the moment is just above $62,000 (it was around $91K last time I blogged). Our long-term goal was to pay this off on DH's 40th birthday which is in 19 months away (and to also have $100K in equities) but I think we could pay it off by end of this year if we cash up our managed funds and then just concentrate on investing in shares next year. At the moment we have around $80K+ in shares including the managed funds which is around $20K.

The only issue we really have in achieving this goal/s is DH's job, his current contract is finishing in September and he doesn't know yet if it is going to be renewed. Last year a lot of his co-workers left because their contact weren't renewed. We are hoping that it will get renewed even just for 6 months. The employment market here doesn't look good at the moment, hopefully it will improve by then.

So, basically things are just going along nicely here. I will post my 2014 goals next time, which is very similar to last year.