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Archive for April, 2017

NSW HOLIDAY (EASTER and 40th BIRTHDAY)

April 26th, 2017 at 01:00 am

We are back from our 11 days holiday to New South Wales (NSW). We decided to drive all day to get there on Good Friday, the trip took over 12 hours we left home at 4am, got stuck a bit in traffic trying to get for one side of Sydney to the other side and then from Sydney all the way the DH’s parents, even with tollways there were still a bit of traffic. We spent Easter weekend at my in-laws, they live about an hour or so north of Sydney. DH’s sister and her husband and toddler daughter also came up from Canberra to spend Easter weekend at there place. On Easter Saturday, we got invited to have lunch at DH’s brother’s place. We gave the kids (4 of them) Easter eggs and cash gifts since we haven’t seen them since Aug last year. So it was part of Christmas gift as well. Also the oldest just turned 21 late last month so we gave him $100. In total, we end up spending $253 on gifts. Easter Sunday, SIL and her husband celebrated their 1st year anniversary they went to the winery for the day while MIL looked after the little girl. We just relax a bit and helped FIL cut a tree down that has been causing issues with their plumbing, he is in mid 70’s and has hurt himself recently so DH did most of the heavy work, while FIL and I just helped cleaned it up. Luckily unlike our palm tree this tree was a lot easier to cut down it only took us less than 2 hours to get the job done. We also did some painting for him, we didn’t finish it but it at least got it started for him.

On Easter Monday we went to Sydney to celebrate my birthday, we spent two days there and stayed overnight at a fancy hotel with a great view of the Sydney Opera House from the bed. We bought a yearly pass to the Taronga Zoo, which we went on both days, it wasn’t too much out of the way to travel. We went there early before we checked in to our hotel and then we stopped there again on the way back to DH’s parents place. The zoo passes we will be able to use in our state zoos too (we got 3 here in Victoria). On the first day at the zoo we saw a baby pygmy hippopotamus (about 2 months old) and on the second day we saw a couple red pandas. And of course we saw other animals but those were my favourites at this zoo. We had a nice dinner at near Sydney Opera House and also has a great view of the Sydney Bridge and then walked back to our hotel to have cocktails at the bar there. All up my birthday celebration costs $664 including parking which was $67 for those 2 days. The zoo annual pass were $192 for both of us.

DH also got me a new kindle which I was not expecting at all since the Sydney trip was supposed to be the birthday present. On this trip I ended up finishing 3 books and have started on a couple. The long drives helped. We drove probably almost 3000 kilometres.

We went back to DH’s parents place for couple of nights and then we went camping father north of there to a place called Nelson’s Bay for couple of nights. $46 per night. This is a beautiful area - our camp site was only about 200 metres walk to the beach. In our camp sites there were a lot of wild rabbits and possums and birds of course. The possums were very friendly that DH actually ended up hand feeding a couple of them bananas. DH’s parents came by to have lunch with at our camp site on the first day, which was great to get them out of the house. On the way back to the in-laws we checked out other scenic sites, at one place we were lucky to see dolphins swimming there at least 20 of them.

We then spend another night at the in-laws and then on the 23rd we left to drive home. We stopped by at a small town called Gundagai, which is just over half way between in-laws place and our home. We camp over night by the river that cost us $25 for the camping site, fairly cheap. And then we got home and picked up our doggy from my mum’s place mid-afternoon on the 24thof Apr.

Overall cost for the Holiday/birthday:
Gas - $236.81
Food and Drinks - $416.19 (Grocery $148.84, Snacks 56.30, Restaurant/Takeaway $169.55 and Alcohol $41.50)
Souvenirs - $10.25 (Just fridge magnets)
Overall Birthday Cost – $664.00

I found that NSW is slightly more expensive that here in Melbourne. Gas for the car was around 10 cents more expensive and food is about the same. Even their zoo pass was more expensive, luckily DH thought about going online and buying it from Melbourne zoo instead, it would have cost us almost $80 more because not only it was dearer they also required and an extra $20 per ticket for first time buyers there.

The only expenses I haven’t accounted for yet are for the tolls we used to get across Sydney. I will be in the next CC bill or I think they might email at the end of the month.

Away

April 15th, 2017 at 04:53 am

We are away at the moment and I got limited internet connection. I will finalise holiday spending when we get home.

Last weekend we didn't really do much, grocery shopping was under $50 (can't remember exact amount).

Found really cheap work shoes for DH so we could pass up on that, one is for suit and the other boat shoes that he can wear with jeans for Friday casual days. Total $30.

After shopping we splurged and got some Vietnamese, $26.50. I used my allowance money, I hardly use my allowance money these days the only thing I use it for is on books and I haven't spend much.

First week of April

April 7th, 2017 at 04:02 am

On Sat 1st of April we went to a winery about 1 ½ hours away. I got a gift voucher for this place last year for my birthday and it was about to expire later this month. We went there with 4 other friends and in the end we only had to spend $10 extra.

Grocery – On Sunday we got groceries, total $80.68

Palm Tree Removal - Also on Sunday afternoon we got a knock on the door, it was a guy asking us if we want to remove our palm tree at the front. This is actually one of things that we have in our ‘to do lists’ for the outside landscaping (or should I say re-landscaping). This palm tree (almost 20 years old) has now grown too big and it is now touching some of the wires above. They were in the area trying to get some business; there were an army of them. To start with we weren’t very sure about it they seemed a bit dodgy but since they won’t really need to go inside the house and I kind of like that DH is home while we are getting it done so we said why not. Plus the price was really good, we thought removing this would have cost around $1,500 to $2,000, we eventually agreed on $800 but in the end we decided to give them $850. This tree was about 7 metres tall and about 1+ metre in diameter so it was hard work and the chainsaws kept getting clogged up which they had to stopped few times to cleaned it. They also grind the stumped and got rid of the rubbish, a truck load of it. I think we got a bargain.

Electric Bill – DH paid electricity bill for the 1st quarter of the year, $26.49.

Car (more car expenses) – Couple of weeks ago when DH took the car for service they end up turning off the radio which needed a code to turn it on again. So on Thursday DH had to take it to the Ford service mechanics to get the code, which cost $40. While there he decided to get the other (spare) key fixed that was not working properly and to also get the ABS looked at. In the end everything costs $370.

Lunch Date – Today we had our first lunch date for the year. This was kind of a reward for finishing Stage 1 of my workout. We went to some fancy restaurant. It was good but I expected more than good for the price so I doubt we will be going there again. Also, I had my first coke this year. I found the duck confit a bit too salty and wanted something to wash it down so I asked DH to get me a glass of coke while I went to the bathroom. I wished I just stuck to water and I wished DH asked how much it was before getting, it didn’t taste like it used to be and the worst part is it cost $6 for the 330ml glass of coke. Oh yeah I forgot, lunch cost $86.

March numbers

April 5th, 2017 at 09:55 pm

We spent a total of $3,046.63 for the month of March. The biggest expense was the car repair. And utilities this month was higher than average, had to pay for gas and water bill. DH train tickets were $207.76 higher than normal but that’s because in Feb he didn’t spend any. The grocery bill was right on budget $299.72.

And oh… first month of NO MORTGAGE REPAYMENT!!! This reminds me we still haven’t heard from the bank, no paper work. I guess DH will need to ring them up? We really don’t how all this work.

Books -
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (22 Mar)
Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson - Thomas Jefferson (26 Mar) (Not what I expected, don’t think I really understood most of it but some stuff, the once that made sense to me, was very interesting)
Blindsided - Jay Giles (30 Mar)

Workout – Still at it although some weeks I end up doing only 3 days but then I make up for it the next by doing 5days.

'no buying soft drinks' – Still haven’t had any this year. This rule is supposed to be only not buying it at the supermarket hence I won’t keep any at home, there was supposed to be an exception to this rule like buying it at a restaurant to go with dinner is alright. I haven’t been tempted yet which is good.

Blogging once a week– I'm still going even though I suck at it.

7am wake-up – technically I have been waking up at this time but sometimes I stay in bed to read or look social media for half an hour or so before actually get out of bed. :P

Decluttering – I’ve got rid of about 10 pairs of shoes/slippers, also a couple handbags and a wallet. Been scanning a lot of paper work and have shredded them. Also been keeping up with my email inbox.

Gardening/Landscaping – Still doing it but not enough, once the weather is a bit cooler we should be able to do a bit more work on it.