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Archive for March, 2015

March 2015

March 31st, 2015 at 10:27 pm

Mortgage = $1218

Living Expenses = $1527.82 (Not too bad)

Other = $802.41 (A bit too much here)

About $220 of this was for Mitre Saw compound ($148), sledge hammer and some MDF material. About $180 for gardening materials – soil, manure, seedlings, plants (both indoor and outdoor), a big bottle of weed killer, weed mat cover and small gardening tools. The other $170 was for quilt, quilt cover and comforter. We also spent about $35 on office supplies, mainly on a box of suspension files. The rest was for batteries for smoke alarms, brushes, etc. (too many rubbish to mention) and DH got a new fishing rod.

Total = $3,548.23


Veggie Garden

The red cabbage and cauliflower are doing well so far. Some goes with the lemongrass and Vietnamese mint. But the coriander is not looking too good. DH scattered some coriander seeds in the garden the other day maybe that will be better than the seedlings we planted. Today I saw 4 of the snow peas already poking through and I'm pretty sure there are a couple of the kales as well. Just been spraying the seeds we planted in the egg cartons on the weekend, I don't know how well they will go, time will tell.

Low Spend Weekend

March 29th, 2015 at 10:13 pm

I did not go anywhere on the weekend. The only time we spent money was Saturday night when DH went out to get pizza, Pepsi and milk. All up it cost $21.75.
We spend all weekend working outside again. We are trying to get things done outside while the weather is still warm. We planted some more vegetables. We planted some cauliflowers and also decided to plant some seedlings; I do not know how well they will go some of them might be a bit old.

Most of our weekend was spent paving a little area in the backyard for the big rubbish bin that we have. We have some paver just laying around so it was good to make use of them and it tidy up the backyard. It took a while to level the area but we got there.

Saturday night we spent watching more Breaking Bad and that's when we decided to get Pizza for dinner and open a bottle of wine. Sunday A.M. we spent finishing the paving and in the afternoon to until 10pm we spent watching the final of world cup cricket. Australia won against the Kiwis. Yay!

Potential Loan

Friday night DH called his parents. His mum asked if they could borrow $3K if they need it. Long story short, they got money it's just it might be hard for them to get it out in short notice. They are getting their house painted (outside) but it could happen next week or it could happen in 3-4 months. If it happens in 3 months they won't need to borrow but if it happens sooner they will be short in cash because their money in term-deposit at the moment. Normally they have more cash than they need but because they just bought a new car this month they have dried up the savings account. We are more than happy to help them out, they have helped us a lot in the past when DH was unemployed. So the money that I was thinking of putting into the mortgage (extra) we will just keep for this. This is the extra pay that DH will receive this month. I will still put the tax refund money into the mortgage. If they do end up needing the money we will encourage them not to pay it back. We both just want to give it to them. We have offered to give them some money in the past to pay back some of the money that they have given us but they always refused. So this will be good time to pay them back.

Netflix is here

March 26th, 2015 at 11:31 pm

It started on Monday. I can't wait to check it out.

These streaming services has just really come to Australia this year. There are 2 that has been advertising a lot in the last couple of months, Presto and Stan. Last week we signed up for a 30-day free trial with Stan and have been watching Breaking Bad, we are half-way through Season 2. Once this expires we will try Netflix, they also have the 30 day free trail.

Stuff that we did on the weekend

March 24th, 2015 at 12:17 am

Tree Stump
We finally got the tree stump and roots out. It has taken us over 2 weeks working on it a bit every day. It is a very heavy bugger so we just left it in the front yard. We are not sure what to do with it, we talked about making a feature out of it or just put it in the rubbish. I think we might have our annual green rubbish collection in May, I'm pretty sure it was in May that they collected it last year. I won’t be surprise if we get the notification for in next month. If we throw it out DH will have to cut it smaller they will not accept it at this size, too heavy. DH should be able to use the chain saw on it now.

Garden Bed
Most of soil that we dug out we used to build a couple of raised garden beds. We just added some chicken manure and mushroom compost. So far I have planted snow peas and kale from seeds in our usual veggie garden patch. In the new garden beds I got some seedling for it, so far I planted lemon grass, coriander and cabbage.

We will be building couple more garden beds, just need to clean more of the bricks. It takes a bit of effort to do I'm not in a hurry so just doing a bit every day.

Grocery Shopping
We did some food shopping this weekend. We went to the market to stock up the freezer. Then we went to Aldi to get the usual food items we need for the week. And then lastly, we went to another store to mainly get toilet rolls and other things that we couldn't get at Aldi.

At the shopping centre car park, we ended up waiting for this lady to get out so we could get her car park space. When she finished putting her shopping in the car I offered to put her trolley away, just to hurry things along it was easier for both of us (and I gave her a dollar to swap for the dollar she had in the trolley). She could get out quicker while DH could get in to the space while I put the trolley away. Anyway, she left her receipt in the trolley and there was a discount of $10 off for the store we were about to go and there were other discounts for their liquor store as well. I didn’t even knew that they do those discounts in this store but I think you have to spend over $200 to get those, which obviously she did. I knew about the liquor store discount but hose normally involves buying 1 and you get another 1 free type of discount. So the $15 plus shopping only cost us $5 or so. It paid for the toilet rolls. I find that a lot of people tend to just leave their shopping receipts in the trolley and I tend to just pick them up and put them in the bin. I will be checking them a closer from now on.

I spoke too soon

March 17th, 2015 at 02:56 am

There is a reason why I don't like talking/writing about things until they actually happens. I don't like jinxing myself. Last post, I wrote about getting our tax refund soon, well good news is that it is coming very soon; we just got the papers to sign. The bad news is it is a lot less than I anticipated. I based my estimated amount from the past which has been very consistent until now. It looks like we will only get around $1,200 after accountant fee. It seems that we had to pay a bit on Capital Gains Tax. It is good that we are making a bit on our trading to now have to pay CGT but it sucks that we are not getting much back.


So we will mostly like be about 1 grand short to getting $20K mortgage by my birthday next month. I was really looking forward to get to that amount. It would have been a good time to celebrate it. In the scheme of things it is really not that big deal but I have become very obsess about it. It has been few months now since we put any extra payment into the mortgage and I just want my fix. It can be addictive paying down debt, or maybe it is just me being weird. And I get very excited (high) when it reaches a significant amount. Right now I feel like just taking some money out of that savings to get there. I don't think DH would be too keen though. Patience is never my best quality.


Health Insurance-
Just got notice for an increase in our health insurance, it happens every year and it always starts 1st of April. It is an April fool's joke that the insurance company plays on everyone. This time it is going up $12.20 per month (about 5%). It will now be $236.84 per month. I'm just glad it is not as bad as last year, that one was a stinker of a joke.


Special K-
One of the positive things about DH catching the train to/from work is he gets a lot of free samples at the train stations. One of the best one he got last year was Chapsticks, he ended up getting 5. I am still using them until now. Yesterday he came home with a box of Special K Biscuit Moments – blueberry flavour. It is very nice but my goodness it is so sweet, it is like eating sugar cubes. So not for me, not that we ever buy those stuff anyway.

Weekend

March 15th, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Yard Work -
We spent most of our weekend doing yard work. I was hoping to do some planting but instead we spent most of it digging out a tree stump that is in the front yard that is pushing the brick wall fence. We end up destroying a row of a brick edging in front of it, we had to it is the only way to get to it. I'm not too worry about destroying it because we need to re-do the yard anyway. It has needed it for years. We had drought here for a long time that destroyed a lot of our plants. Because we were in water restriction for a long time we didn't bother doing too much with it. Our water restriction these days is a bit more relax and we can actually water our plants now. And I have been buying more drought tolerant plants from garage sales in the last 2 years. It will take us months to do it but I'm hoping we can get it done by next summer. First thing is to get this massive tree stump out. It's been over a year since we cut it and have been poisoning it few times but it is taking forever to die and now the next door neighbour is complaining about it so that's first priority at the moment.

With all this bricks and soil around I decided that I will make garden beds out of them, I just want to experiment with it. If it turns out good then maybe I'll make a permanent feature of it in the backyard.

Saturday Night –
We went out with some friends for a 9 course meal with wine at a Thai restaurant. A friend that organise the get together bought a voucher so it was only $39 per couple. But parking in the area was highway robbery and it didn't help that our meal went on for 3 hours. It took 1 hour for the first dish to come out, so DH had to go out in the rain to put more money in the meter, ended up spending $12. It is a terrible area there is not many options for parking so the council just take advantage of it. We are not going to that part of town anytime soon. We all joked about maybe the restaurant has a deal with the council to get people to spend more on parking. Oh well, it was still great catch up. One friend I haven't seen since last year.

Sunday -
We went grocery shopping, didn't really get much (don't need much); grapes, onions, milk, eggs, potato, chicken and 10 kil0 bag of rice. We still got plenty of rice but they were selling for half price, thinking about it now I probably should have got 2 bags.

Coffee & "Business Meeting"-
While at the shops we stopped by at one of our favourite café, it is in the same shopping centre. Lately, we have been coming to this café once or twice a month. We like to come here and have a "business meeting". Business meeting for us is talking about our finances especially our stocks/stock market/investments. When it comes to our trading/investing we are both very involve with it. We both like to see what each other thinks about a certain stock, should we be buying, selling or just holding, etc.. We have also been discussing a lot about our mortgage and other financial stuff. This time we talked about getting our mortgage down to $20K next month. It is kind of the thing that I want to get /celebrate for my birthday next month. And we think we should be able to do it if we can get our 2013-14 tax refund (I'm 90% sure we will get it by then), that would probably be around $2000-$2500 after accountant fee. We calculated that we will need $5,500 to get to $20K. So the rest we can get from the 'extra pay' next month. It's not really an extra pay, it just happens that DH will get paid 3 times next month instead of only twice (forth-nightly pay deal thing). So if we use that 'extra' pay next month we should be able to do it without derailing out other goal too much. The other goal is to hoard cash in the bank (around $20,000) just in case DH's job contract might not get renewed in June. We got around $13 at the moment.

Stock-
We mainly talked about one of our stock that is doing a Share Purchase Plan (SPP) at the moment (due 24th of March). We talked about whether we should participate in it and where are we going to get the money from? Luckily, we have sold some stocks this year and we actually have enough to fully participate in the SPP. The SPP price is about $2 at the current price. The plan is to get the maximum amount and then sell half of it as soon as possible to luck some profit and then keep the other half long-term. This is one of our best performing stock so I am happy to add more of it in our portfolio.

We both really enjoy our meeting in this café, great atmosphere for it. The coffee is great and they have nice assortment of cakes to go with it. The servings are large so we normally just share a large coffee and slice of cake (DH decided to get NY cheesecake this time). All up it was $13.90. DH offered to pay for all of it out of his allowance since he was the one that really wanted the cake because I was still full from lunch but when it got to our table I still ate a bit of it so I said that we will split it. I actually have a lot of allowance saved up than him. Apart from weekends I really don't have chance to spend it before when I was working part-time it use to get spend a lot on coffee and snacks. I've actually now accumulated $500 but I have big plan to spend a big chunk of it for my birthday next month.

Oh my, this is a long post.

Long weekend, new beddings and gardening

March 10th, 2015 at 09:26 pm

Monday was public holiday here. We spent most it doing some needed work around the house. It was good to tick off some of the items on the 'to do' list.

Saturday we talked about going to the movies to watch The Hobbit and then going out for dinner, I have been wanting to watch it since it came out here on Boxing Day but something else keeps coming up. Since then we have seen a couple of movies with other people none of them was into watching The Hobbit. Unfortunately, when we checked the session time it wasn't on anymore. I actually checked it the week before and it was still scheduled that weekend so they might have just taken it off. So we had to go with Plan B instead. We decided to borrow Season 4 of Game of Thrones and got some Chinese and opened a bottle of wine instead. It was a lot cheaper than going to the movies and eating out at a restaurant. So in between doing work around the house we watch Game of Thrones, 10 episodes for only $10 rental.

We also went out to do some shopping. We decided to get a new quilt and cover. The new queen size bed is a lot thicker than the old one so we decided to get a king size quilt and cover. I've always wanted to get a bigger size bedding to solve the problem of us fighting over it in the colder months. One of us always end up hogging the whole thing, I don't think we would have that problem this winter. Got a pretty good prize for it, just over $150 for an Australian wool & made quilt, quilt cover and 2 pillow cases.

I just harvested the last tomatoes and the basil is now starting to flower so it is also nearing the end. We got so much basil don't normally get these much but this year has been great. I made some pesto last night and had it with some pasta. I'm trying to use it so we can start planting some winter crops.

Recap

March 1st, 2015 at 10:05 pm

January

January is normally the most expensive month for us because our annual car insurance and home and content insurance is due. This year it was 1,288.45 in total. We had to change car insurer because the old one went up too much. We also almost change the home and content too but when we called them they said that they have been sending clients the wrong quotes and reduced ours to a more reasonable amount (by over $100). Dodgy bugger! I have a feeling they would have never changed it if we didn’t call them. And for some reason this year they sent the quotes really late, we only had a week to pay for it, normally in the past they would sent it over a month earlier. I wonder how many people they screwed over.

January spending looked like this:

Mortgage - $1,218

Living Expenses (including the above insurance expenses) - $2,495.29

DH did a certification study (including materials and online exam) - $332.52

Other - $288.48 (Office supplies, camping items, plants, exercise tubes, 1 year fishing licenses for both of us and other small household items).

TOTAL = $4,334.29

February

Normally February is one of the lower spending month.

Mortgage - $1,218

Living Expenses - $1,128.02

We bought a New Mattress - $287.99 (got this online and was very surprise at the price because we been looking around in the shops and the cheapest we could find for the same kind was $800).

We went away for a weekend of camping and fishing - $65.80 (this included the fee for the camping site, food and bait for fishing – such an inexpensive weekend away and we caught a fish).

Other - $169.85
The 'other' expenses includes getting a laminator, 3 sets of cooking pots, garden supplies – pot plants and soil, and eco clothes washer from Aldi. The washer was about half the price than getting it at a camping store. DH and I has been talking about going away camping for few weeks, the washer would come handy.

TOTAL = $2,869.66