Total Spending for May 2018 was $2,685.64
Grocery – $281.53
Household goods/ Repairs/Garden total = $327.17. $250 was for the plumber.
Gifts – was a biggie because of mother’s day and a friend’s birthday, it was $214.06
Utilities – Only got to pay Gas for $91.51
Holiday – So most of the month’s expense was because of the holiday which was $1,154.23
= 2018 GOALS =
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). - we are around half way mark.
*Save $4K for Holiday money. – So far this year we have spent $1,746 that means we got $2,254 in our holiday spending plan for the year
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. – We will put money under this once Goal #1 above is done.
*Read 70 100 books.
48. The Day Trader - Stephen Frey (3 May)
49. Bluebird's Egg and Other Stories - Margaret Atwood (4 May) - Audio
50. Every Single Secret - Emily Carpenter (8 May)
51. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari (11 May)
52. The Road Less Travelled - M. Scott Peck (14 May)
53. Into the Water - Paula Hawkins (15 May) - Audio
54. Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood (17 May)
55. The Happiest Refugee - Anh Do (17 May) - Audio
56. The Drunken Botanist - Amy Stewart (18 May) - it took 3 months to read this, I just like picking it up once in a while esp when I'm drinking.
57. 10 Key Steps to Wealth - Paul Clitheroe (18 May) - Audio (very short book)
58. The Break - Marian Keyes (21 May)
59. Lost Temple - Tom Harper (22 May) - Audio
60. Savings and Investment - Paul Clitheroe (23 May) - Audio (short book)
61. The Woman in the Window - A. J. Finn (24 May)
62. My Name is Lucy Barton - Elizabeth Strout (24 May) - Audio
63. How to be Debt-Free - Paul Clitheroe (25 May) - Audio (short book)
64. Work Smarter: Live Better - Cyril Peupion (27 May)
65. Most Dangerous Place - James Grippando (28 May) - Audio
66. Turtle All the Way Down - John Green (29 May)
67. The 10 Pillars of Wealth - Alex Becker (29 May) - Audio
68. 7 Money Rules for Life - Mary Hunt (30 May)
I missed one day when we went away to Tasmania, I just totally forgot. After 100+ consecutive days, I’m now back to having 20+ consecutive days again.
*Workout 3/4 times a week.
Since we got back from our holiday I have been working out 6 days a week, just having Sundays off. I’m hoping to continue doing this for 100 days in a row.
*Try new recipes every other week.
I tried one new rice dish.
*Blogging once per week.
Put up new clothesline
*Wake-up early (before 7am)
Still getting up early and I have been reading first thing in the morning.
DH has been doing most of the decluttering this month, he has been listening to the minimalist podcast and every night has been going through more of our paperwork in the office room. He has done a lot of shredding. A week ago I went through our clothes to get rid of some summer clothes that we won’t need next summer. We are just doing a bit at a time.
There you go another month down.
Viewing the 'Books' Category
Grocery – $97.40, we did a big shop but we are still under for the month.
Dog Food – Bought a 10 kilo bag of dog food and that was $64.
New Clothesline – DH calls it wind and solar powered clothes dryer, what a nerd! So we bought one and spent few hours installing it, that was $56.90
Allowance Money – We went to the Salvation Army and bought some books and CDs. All up we spent a whopping $38.70. I found 2 John Grisham newer books (2016 and 2017 copyrights) I have not read these yet. I think DH end up getting about a dozen CDs. And on top of those Grisham books I also bought another 3. I used up cash I got from last year’s birthday present and then the rest we took off from our allowance money. We hardly been spending our allocated ‘allowance money’ in the last couple of years. This year I allocated $800 for both of us for it and so far we’ve only spent under $150. DH has been really good at saying no to most of the eating out and drinking out invites with co-workers. The thing is that his company actually provide them with snacks and beer every Friday night so he does not feel left out. There are also the occasional lunches and dinners that the company organises and sometimes he gets taken out by suppliers for ‘meeting’.
So he is very selective to when he say yes to these invites and there are plenty at least one to two times a week. Last week for example he said yes to beer after work on Thursday because it was with his old boss that he doesn’t get to converse much anymore, due to restructuring in the company. That 1 beer by the way cost him $10, so yeah it get pretty pricey very quickly if he goes to every single one of them and most of the time they involve getting food. Sometimes he feels bad that he says no but then he also doesn’t want to drink too much during workdays, he wants to come home on time and get an early night sleep for the next day. So it is not just about the money.
This would have been a low spend month but because we pre-paid internet for a year it total to $2,568.13. Half of this was because of the internet, holiday expenses and my birthday celebration.
Internet – was big total for the month was $845.
Holiday – ended at $285.20. Some of this included money we spent on our Easter Holiday and some for another holiday we are going very soon.
Groceries – We only got few things this weekend because we didn’t need much and it only cost us $9.95. The total for the month was $296.20
Birthday Celebration – I had another birthday get together, with friends this time. We had lunch and then we went to an Escape Room and then had coffee afterwards. It was fun and it cost us $127.00. Overall, my birthday cost me $242.50, this includes that dinner I went with DH.
Eating Out – We did not cook at all the whole weekend. We went a bit crazy. On top of the lunch above we went out to another restaurant for Sunday lunch as well and we got takeaway food Saturday night, thankfully we had leftover and we ate that Sunday night. All the eating out, not including above amount was $61.90.
Fuel – got some $37.20
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K).
More savings in April than in March - *happy dance*
*Save $4K for Holiday money.
Have spent some of this money at the start of the month and will continues to spend more money in May for our next holiday.
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.
We should be able to start saving more for this in the second half of the year.
*Read 70 books.
28. Beyond Good and Evil - Frederick Nietzsche (3 Apr) - Read w/ Audio**
29. Money to Burn - James Grippando (5 Apr) - Audio
30. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (7 Apr)
31. On the Shortness of Life - Seneca (8 Apr)
32. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (10 Apr)
34. A is for Alibi - Sue Grafton (11 Apr) - Audio
35. Freakonomics - Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner (12 Apr)
36. The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right - Atul Gawande (13 Apr)
37. Siddhartha -Hermann Hesse (15 Apr)
38. Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan (17 Apr)
39. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (18 Apr) - Audio
40. You Need a Budget - Jesse Mecham (19 Apr)
41. Philosophy for Beginners - Max Charlesworth (20 Apr)
42. B is for Burglar - Sue Grafton (22 Apr) - Audio
43. The Pardon - James Grippando (23 Apr) - Audio
44. War and Gold - Kwasi Kwarteng (24 Apr)
45. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver (26 Apr)
46. The Teeth of the Tiger - Tom Clancy (27 Apr) – Audio
47. C is for Corpse - Sue Grafton (30 Apr) – Audio
I’m more than half way to my goal! It’s amazing how cutting about 4 hours of television a day adds up. These days there’s not much worth watching unless you are into reality shows. I used to watch those cooking and renovation contest but they are not about cooking or renovations anymore, it’s always just about people fighting which I’m so over it.
As you can see I listened to a bit of audiobooks this month, they are all crime and mystery books except for the first one which I read along while listening to the audio. I already got a copy of ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ in my kindle and I borrowed the audio version from the library online. I do a lot of my listening to the audiobooks while I'm walking the dog, while cleaning and in the last several days while I was doing some painting.
Since I’m more than halfway to my goal already and I’ve increased my reading time while not really reading because of audiobooks I decided to increase the amounts of books I aim to read to 100 books this year.
Still going and I’m at 104 days streak at the moment.
*Workout 3/4 times a week.
Doing very poorly here, I’m still doing some but mainly just stretching and walking the dog, I need to do harder exercises when we get back from our holiday. This is becoming a bad pattern, me constantly waiting for something to happen before I get my act together. I need to break it.
*Try new recipes every other week.
I tried few and one of them was the Aloo Gobi that I got inspired by toilet-paper-tracker.
*Blogging once per week.
As I mentioned in my previous blog entry DH built a screen wall outside to screen off the clothes line and I painted it.
*Wake-up early (before 7am)
DH has been putting our music from CDs to digital so we can listen to them whenever and wherever on our phones and the CDs themselves have been stored away into a plastic tub in the garage. It took him over a month copying them.
Not much really to report for Week 12 – spent $6.80 on grocery. Week 13 we were away for 10 days visiting DH’s parents interstate (12-hour drive away).
March 2018 highlights:
Total expense for March was $4,239.86
Groceries - $248.82 in total for the month, under because we weren’t home for over a week.
Water & Gas – Both add up to $322.02
Transportation Exp – Fuel, train fare and car repairs was a bit because of getting to re-gas the car air-conditioner, all up it was $452.74
Alcohol – Went out to stock up on alcohol and end up spending $153.15
Health Insurance – Half of March’s expense went to pre-paying the health insurance. $2,121.99, this included paying for the month of March’s health insurance.
HOLIDAY SPENDING – Overall, it was a fairly frugal holiday $479.09 in total. Fuel cost us $204.28 and the food and other expenses were $249.81. We bought groceries few times and cooked for everyone a couple of times. We also went out for dinner once to celebrate our nephew’s 22nd birthday. On the way home we opted to stop over night at about half-way point and camp for the night, the campsite cost us $25. The March portion for this holiday expense was $306.57 (I decided to divide the expenses to 2 months when the actual spending was done).
2018 Goal review:
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). – Still motoring along
*Save $4K for Holiday money. – We spent some this month obviously
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.
*Read 70 books. – I did a lot of reading this month.
10. Y is for Yesterday - Sue Grafton (4 Mar)
11. The Mark of a Millionaire - Dexter Yager & Ron Ball (5 Mar)
12. The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah (8 Mar)
13. The Confession - John Grisham (9 Mar)
14. Making Time, Making Money - Rita Davenport (11 Mar)
15. The Laws of Lifetime Growth - Dan Sullivan & Catherine Nomura (12 Mar)
16. China Rich Girlfriend - Kevin Kwan (15 Mar)
17. The Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas Taleb (17 Mar)
18. Sigmund Freud's Mission - Erich Fromm (18 Mar)
19. Unf*ck Your Finances - Melissa Browne (20 Mar)
20. Stock Market Strategies that Works in Australia - Matthew Brooks & Paul Nojin (21 Mar)
21. Red Sparrow - Jason Matthews (23 Mar)
22. The Day She Can't Forget - Meg Carter (24 Mar) – Audio**
23. The Travelling Companion - Ian Rankin (24 Mar)
24. 1984 - George Orwell (26 Mar)
25. On the Happy Life - Seneca (27 Mar)
26. Finance: Budgeting: Save Money, Invest for Retirement and get Debt Free - Andrew W. Welch (28 Mar)
27. Deal Breaker - Harlan Coben (29 Mar)
** I borrowed an audiobook from the library. This was good to listen to while doing some cleaning and packing. I eventually finished it while we travelled interstate. In the past I’ve tried audiobooks and found that I couldn’t follow it unless I’m also looking at the words, but this book was really good, the story was easy to follow.
*Learn Spanish. – Still doing about 15 to 20 minutes a day.
*Workout 3/4 times a week. – I didn’t do any while away but did a lot of walking and playing with the dog outdoors, like at the park and at the beach.
*Try new recipes every other week. – Only did one in March
*Blogging once per week. – I missed last week, I didn’t bring my laptop and so I left my personal finance spreadsheet at home.
*Continue Garden/Landscaping.¬ – We did a little bit of stuff before we went away.
*Wake-up early (before 7am) – I have been very good even on our holidays when I didn’t have my alarm clock on I was still waking up around 6am.
*Continue Decluttering. – We done a lot of shredding of old papers. DH has been downloading online statements and scanning the ones that he couldn’t get online. So the paper statements that we don’t need any more we shredded, I would say almost couple thousand pages. Our filing cabinet that was full to the brim is now less than half full.
Total spending for February was $1,750.36
I have been busy in the last 2 weeks, my brother and his family came and stayed with us and the next day after they left, I got sick, the baby gave me a parting gift. We ended up spending a bit more on food this month. Also took them to eat out for my brother’s partner’s birthday. Some notable expenses for the month:
Grocery - $346.68, we are really over for the month.
Household Goods etc – We went to Ikea and got a bunch of stuff so for the month we spent $233.44
Entertainment – all up it was very high $262.70
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). –still out top priority and working on it.
*Save $4K for Holiday money. – didn’t spend any
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. – not needed yet
*Read 70 books.
I’ve been busy so I didn’t have much time to read.
6 The Racketeer - John Grisham (1 Feb)
7 Mindset - Dr Carol S. Dweck (6 Feb)
8 Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party - Alexander McCall Smith (7 Feb)
9 The Simple Path to Wealth - JL Collins (12 Feb)
*Learn Spanish. – everyday
*Workout 3/4 times a week. – still trying to do better
*Try new recipes every other week. –yes and it was not too bad
*Blogging once per week. – missed it last week
*Continue Garden/Landscaping. – we did a bit.
*Wake-up early (before 7am) – I have been great at this so far this year.
*Continue Decluttering. – we did a lot when we were cleaning before our guests came.
Total spending for January $ 2,687.99, more than $1,400 of this was for the 2 insurance bills. The lowest we’ve had for a long time in January. Under 3 grand spending in January needs to be celebrated.
Entertainment Spending - To celebrate a low spend month in January we went out for dinner last night. We went to a local Vietnamese restaurant and spent $21 for dinner. It was a really cheap celebration and it was generous serving too we both couldn’t even finish both our meals so we didn’t bother getting entrée or deserts and the tea is free so no need to get drinks either. This was our first restaurant dinner for the year but we got some takeaway meals throughout the month. Overall entertainment spending for the month was $99, which includes the movie tickets.
Grocery for the month – only $265.98, our lowest for a long time, over a year at least
New Mobile Phone – received my new mobile phone that DH ordered for me over Christmas. I’m put on the Doulingo App on it and have been able to learn some Spanish words even when I’ve been out an about. The actual phone got paid last month (Dec 2017) but I did have to get a case for it and also had top up this month so under mobile phone spending was $52.
Other – apart from usual, normally fixed amount items, we haven’t spent crazy amount in January. We only spent just over $130 for the garden and miscellaneous household items such as replacement for our water filter.
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). – Doing very well so far and it helped that DH got paid 3 times this month.
*Save $4K for Holiday money. – not needed yet
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. – I’m thinking of maybe opening a new bank account for this.
*Read 70 books.
1 Outwitting the Devil - Napoleon Hill (6 Jan)
2 The One Thing - Gary Keller with Jay Papasan (13 Jan)
3 Rich Habits - Thomas C. Corley (15 Jan)
4 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (25 Jan)
5 Irrational Exuberance - Robert J. Shiller (28 Jan)
*Learn Spanish. – I have been doing this every day for about 15 minutes
*Workout 3/4 times a week. – I was doing well but I didn’t do much last week when the weather was ridiculously hot.
*Try new recipes every other week. – I did one (it was okay, DH liked it but I didn’t) and I’ll try another one maybe on the weekend
*Blogging once per week. – Yes so far
*Continue Garden/Landscaping. – We have been doing some on the weekend when the weather is nice.
*Wake-up early (before 7am) – I have been really good, it helps that DH has been getting up really early so by the time he leaves home at 6:30 I already been having my coffee.
*Continue Decluttering. – Still happening, slowly but surely.
This is just a quick rundown on what happened in Dec 2017. I will be posting the overall 2017 numbers next anyway.
Total expense for the month was $3,453.49.
Groceries - $310.88 (this does not include Christmas food spending)
New mobile phone - $210
Garden – spend a little bit of money for the garden $43.13
Car Registration – the biggest cost for the month - $800.80
Eating out - $162.30 was on the high side.
Reading – I took time off from reading this month. I think I’m going to increase my goal next year to 70 books for the year.
63 The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye - David Lagercrantz (2 Dec)
64 The Paradox of Choice Why Less is More - Barry Schwartz (4 Dec)
Decluttering – I’ve been doing a bit more decluttering again. I throw away a lot of old magazines and bunch of books I will never read again.
I didn’t bother posting a blog last week much happened, the only thing exciting we did was go to the musical Aladdin. I got the tickets as a belated birthday present from a couple of friends. The tickets were $130 each so it was very nice of them. The only spending we did was $1 for a coffee in the nearby 7eleven before we went in.
Total spending for the month of November 2017 was $2,112.01
Grocery – We were spot on budget in our grocery spending this month, $301.82.
The only significant spending this month was for our trip to Tasmania, the weekend camping and the $400 donation. If it weren’t for these things we would have been way under 2 grand this month. A very good month for us I say, now onto December, the holiday season. We aren’t planning anything big just simple quiet Christmas.
57 Origin - Dan Brown (3 Nov)
58 4 3 2 1 - Paul Auster (14 Nov)
59 Antifragile - Nassim Nicholas Taleb (19 Nov)
60 Alexander Hamilton - Ron Chernow (26 Nov)
61 A Guide to the Good Life - William B. Irvine (27 Nov)
62 Introducing the Ancient Greeks - Edith Hall (29 Nov)
This was a big month. Total for the month $3189.60.
Some of the reasons why this was an above average month:
Birthdays & Anniversary – We tend to go out a bit in October to celebrate our anniversary and DH’s birthday, so entertainment expenses tend to be higher on this month.
GIFTS – This was extra high this month. Last weekend I took 3 of my friends out for brunch as birthday presents. And I got some clothes and toys for my new niece to take with us when we go visit. Total under this category was $315.47
CLOTHES – When we went out to get baby clothes we also bought some clothes for us. I replaced a couple of jeans that I have thrown out both had broken zippers and bought a black skinny jeans and I also got a leather jacket, something I’ve been thinking of getting. For DH we got him a bunch of underwear and a business shirt. End up spending $197.99, we only got about $60 left in our yearly budget for clothing, it should be doable. Good news though is I cleaned out our wardrobe again and thrown out/ give away 2 more bags of clothing this month. We are getting there with decluttering.
PLANE Tickets – We finally bought our tickets for our travels to Tasmania to visit my brother’s new baby. That was for $436. (There is yet another change of plans which I will blog about next time).
CAR SERVICE & REPAIRS – Yesterday DH had to take the car again for service. Last week while cleaning the car DH noticed that one of the back doors wouldn’t lock and also few months ago there is a part in the booth that broke which needed replacement. Since these things need done and our car is actually due for service in few weeks he just got the whole thing done. So on top of that tyre that needed replacement earlier this month in total we spent $766.70 on the car repairs and services this month. Yikes!
Some highlights for the month on top of the above expenses:
GROCERY – End of the month total is $280.19, under by almost $20 *happy dance*. This week end grocery shopping was $44.95.
ELECTRIC BILL – The last quarter bill was $156.24, the biggest for the year. Next bill should be a lot lower since the days are getting longer and we should be getting sun shining on our solar panels.
INTERNET - Good thing about this month was our internet was free!
BOOKS - I challenged myself to read one book a day for 5 days at the start of the month. I did pretty well; although I must be honest and say that I kind of cheated since the first two books I already started a bit last month. Still I was pretty happy about it. Then the week after when I was sick I couldn’t read a thing. It would have been a good time to do some reading since I was in bed for most of it but I just couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading.
47 Making Money Made Simple - Noel Whittaker (2 Oct)
48 The 4-Hour Work Week - Timothy Ferris (3 Oct)
49 Cannery Row - John Steinbeck (4 Oct)
50 Seneca - Letters from a Stoic - Translated by Robin Campbell (5 Oct)
51 The Art of Free Travel (A Frugal Family Adventure) - Patrick Jones & Meg Ulman (6 Oct)
52 Ego is the Enemy - Ryan Holiday (16 Oct)
53 The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (22 Oct)
54 Nietzsche: A Complete Introduction - Dr Roy Jackson (25 Oct)
55 How to Become a Stoic - Massimo Pigliucci (29 Oct)
56 Stoicism and the Art of Happiness - Donald Robertson (31 Oct)
I forgot to note that I made it to my goal of reading 50 books this year. Sweet! I'm still gonna keep going and see how many I'll end up reading by the end of the year. I'm almost half way through reading the new Dan Brown book 'Origin' right now.
Overall expense for September was $1,665.60. That was not a bad month I was expecting it to a lot worse than that so I’m really happy about it.
Groceries – This was really the only thing that was bad but it was mainly that spending we made on the last two days of the month for the party on the 30th. The total on grocery spending for the month was $370.82, so we were over by $70.82, the biggest so far this year.
BBQ – We had people over for the barbeque. We watched the AFL grand final after our bbq lunch. We had 6 people over, we had a little bet ($1 per person), DH and I lost so we are $2 poorer, lol. Went overboard with food and because we have been eating out a bit the last few days we are still have some leftovers. After the game we played ‘Cards against Humanity’ that was fun and everyone stayed to have some leftovers for dinner.
Anniversary – The next day was our anniversary. We had lunch at Nobu and afterwards we went to the city library, DH wanted me to get a library card there. I only tend to go to the city few times a year these days but they have a bigger collections of books and especially e-books than our local library so I’m looking forward to be able to access that at least. I borrowed some books then we walked back to the casino where Nobu is and where we parked our car. We had time to kill before we need to go to the movies so we decided to play the Roulette, we played for about half an hour and in the end we walked away with $30 more than we started. At the movies, even though our movie tickets were free we still end up spending $18.10 on popcorn and drinks.
Overall Anniversary Spending:
Lunch - $104.55
Parking - $6.00
We shared coffee while gambling - $4.90
Snacks at the movies - $18.10
(minus) Winnings - $30.00
TOTAL = $103.55
Probably one of the cheapest anniversary celebrations we’ve had in recent years.
DH B’day – Last night we went out for dinner for DH’s birthday, it cost us $52.
41 The Pearl - John Steinbeck (4 Sep)
42 The Moon is Down - John Steinbeck (13 Sep)
43 Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman (15 Sep)
44 The Daily Stoic - Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman (20 Sep)
45 The Fault in Our Stars - John Green (22 Sep)
46 The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday (25 Sep)
My other goals have kind of got neglected in Sept, I will try to do better in Oct. I did however eliminated more clothes from my wardrobe, I'll need to go through DH too soon then will need to take them to the Salvos. Workout has been slow getting back to my routine since I was sick.
Overall spending for this month was $1,668.72. Four months in a row that we spent less than $2K per month which is great. I think September is going to be expensive though we will have a big water bill, there will be some annual fees attach to the next bill and property rates will again be due. This month we didn’t have any utilities due as well which helped the low spend month. Father’s day and some birthdays are on next month and there are already some invites to go out. Anyway, some individual items below:
Grocery – It was under budget and on the weekend we got some big items like a 20 kilo sack of rice and 1.5 kilo of Milo. We spent a total of $285.30 on grocery, almost $15 under budget.
Birthdays – My mother in-law and my mum’s birthday was on this month so we spent some money on gifts. Also I used up some of my allowance money; I’ve hardly spent any of that money this year. I took my mum and 5 of her friends for lunch on her birthday yesterday. We went for buffet lunch, 5 of them were seniors so we got good discounts for them. It was really good place especially for the price I was very impressed normally I’m not too keen on those type of places but I would definitely go back there again. It was for only $130.30 for 7 people.
Books/Reading – I mentioned in one of my recent post that I don’t think I will be borrowing much books from the library but it seems like I’m actually wrong, I’ve actually borrowed few and some magazines as well.
33 The Back Road - Rachel Abbott (5 Aug)
34 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain (10 Aug)
35 The Taste of Fear - Jeremy Bates (13 Aug)
36 Six Frames of Thinking about Information - Edward de Bono (14 Aug)
37 Money Master the Game (7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom) - Tony Robbins (24 Aug)
38 Rich People Problems - Kevin Kwan (26 Aug)
39 Surrender - Helen Hardy (29 Aug)
40 Calico Joe - John Grisham (31 Aug)
Workout – I need to do better than 3 days a week.
July was a very good low spend month.
Total spending was $1,336.31
Groceries – Total for grocery bill this month was $293.33. We actually came under. DH did great doing the shopping on the weekend. He stuck to the list and came under $40.
We still have some odd items in the freezer that I’m trying to use up before stocking up on meat again. The other night I found a whole fish which we had to go with some leftovers and then last night I cooked a couple of gourmet sausages for dinner. There has been a lot of leftover bread that get shoved in the fridge before they go off, we have accumulated a bit of those, that DH on the weekend used some of them to make bread and butter pudding with frozen blueberries and chopped up dried dates. Another thing we tend to end up collecting in the freezer are odd ends of cheeses, last week I made macaroni and cheese out of those, I think I ended up using 5 different kinds of cheese. DH really liked it and we didn’t die from it so bonus!
So I probably won’t do a big shop for another 2 weeks. We tend to always start the month with big shopping trip but I think we can hold it off this month. We always then end up with a tight budget towards the end of the month; I want to try to delay that this month. Grocery is probably really the only item in the budget that I try to be as strict as possible (I guess entertainment/going out to eat is another category that I make sure to be tight as well) because it has a great possibility of getting out of hand if I don’t watch it closely. Most of the other categories in our budget are mostly just happen automatically these days.
Main reasons for the low spend month:
Property Rates – We pay for property rates (tax) every month for ten months in a year, July and August are the month we don’t have to pay.
No Restaurant – This wasn’t planned at all but I’m glad, BUT we did spend a lot on takeaway food and this has been the trend in the last 3 months. So we need to rein this in from now on.
Household Items – We only spend $80 in under this category this month, the electric blanket, new trolley and some LED light bulbs.
Decluttering – Did very well this month with the help of our annual rubbish collection.
Workout – I have been bad. The cold weather is kicking my butt and I’m struggling, just don’t have much motivation to do anything physical. Also my ankle has been sore last week (this is probably because I haven’t been working out regularly), it’s nothing too dramatic really but it was still bothering me so I had to make sure to give it a rest. I was able to do a couple sessions of Abs workout last week, 30 mins all up, that was it. Today was the first time I was able to do a full workout for over a week.
Reading – One book a week, although that Thomas Jefferson book took me 3 months to read.
28 Sycamore Row - John Grisham (6 Jul)
29 Soulless, The Girl in the Box - Robert J. Crane (11 Jul)
30 Thomas Jefferson, The Art of Power - Jon Meacham (16 Jul)
31 Scaredy Cat - Mark Billingham (22 Jul)
32 Early Retirement Extreme - Jacob Lund Fisker (31 Jul)
That’s it for July 2017.
* Currently listening to Fleet Foxes, new discovery of mine… I know I’m like a decade or so late, I tend to be slow to these kinds of things. I’m trying to experience new things.
* So on that note – Song of the week for me is “Ragged Wood” by Fleet Foxes.
I have not blog for the last couple of weeks because really I have just been really boring, nothing much has been happening here lately which is good financially. It’s the middle of our winter and I just don’t want to do much, I basically just been hibernating.
Total Spending for the month was $1,959.74
Groceries – for the month was $303.88 just a tad over so that was very successful month even though we had a couple of get together at our place for that month.
Utilities – Only the water bill was due and that was for $211.22.
Dentist – Both DH and I went to the dentist in June and in both occasion it was all covered by our private health insurance.
New Glasses – I also went and got a new pair of glasses. It was also covered by our health insurance. I just the one that have no frills in them because I only really need to get one as a spare and since it’s for free (well kind of, not really free if you consider how much we pay on our private health insurance).
Safety deposit box – We got one for the last couple of years now and the annual fee was due couple of weeks ago and it was for $288.
Dog tablets – got a year worth of tables for the doggie and the was $84.72
Passport Photo – for both of us that was $33.90.
Lunch Date – as a reward for finishing stage 2 of my workout, I went to the city to have a lunch date with DH, we had burgers, chips and beers – lunch special for $15. So $34 all up since we share a cup of coffee afterwards. It was the same day as I had my dentist appointment and when I got the new glasses since they were in the same building.
The rest were spent on the usual items.
Books – It was not a good month for reading actual books. I spend too much time listening to the personal finance podcasts instead and also have been trying to learn basic Spanish.
26 The Art of War - Sun Tzu (1 Jun)
27 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens (14 Jun)
Total spending was $1,744.98, it’s always very good when it is under 2 grand. Although for the first time this year we went over our grocery budget of $300, end up spending $316.43. It would have been under but we saw chicken breasts on sale and got over 2 kilos of it. Nothing major really happened last month that why spending was relatively low. Everything was fairly normal except for the gifts category because of Mother’s day. Only thing that we got that would be under sundry category would be the garment streamer for $49 our old one died. They are a lot cheaper and better quality these days and cheaper than always get clothes dry cleaned.
Books - Still doing a bit of reading.
22. Glimpse of Death - Leslie Wolfe (7 May)
23. Untouched, The Girl in the Box - Robert J. Crane (15 May)
24. A Time to Kill - John Grisham (29 May)- I thought I've read this before but I don't think I have because I can't remember the story at all. It must be the only early of his books that I've missed.
25. The Richest Man in Babylon - George S. Clason (31 May)- This one was definite a re-read, I try to it once a year.
Also doing really well in all of my goals I have even been waking up around quarter to 7 in the morning although, I probably need to clean my email in box again. I’m very happy with decluttering this month we got rid of a bit of stuff.
Overall spending in April was $4609.95 – big month
Grocery – $239.57 way under budget mainly because we were away for about 40% of the month
Health Insurance – This year our Health Insurance went up from $262.75 to $280.78 per month ($18.03 extra p/m). Hate it but can’t do much about, DH already check other provider this is still the most reasonable for us for now.
Books read this month -
16 The Watson Girl - Leslie Wolfe (8 Apr)
17 A Long Way Home - Saroo Brierley (10 Apr)
18 Dawn Girl - Leslie Wolfe (14 Apr) – I read the second book first for some reason I didn’t know but I think it’s necessary to read the first. I’m currently reading the 3rd, it just came out on kindle 2 weeks ago.
19 Silent Child - Sarah Den (19 Apr)
20 The Broker - John Grisham (23 Apr)
21 Alone, The Girl in the Box - Robert J. Crane (30 Apr)
Workout – it got interrupted because of our holiday but I did a lot of walking and also ran once on the beach which took me 3 days for my legs to recover. I’ve at least started Stage 2 of my workout this week.
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.
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.
FEBRUARY NUMBERS –
Mortgage was $918.79.
Other Expenses totalled $1,338.76, I love Feb it’s normally a very low expense month. There was no utilities bill due this month.
Books – Not as many as Jan but I started another 3 books around the same time last month - don’t know why I did that. Also in the last week or so we decided to try out Foxtel (cable), so instead of reading I’ve been catching up on GOT, The Walking Dead, Wentworth and so many other shows that only on Foxtel. We only got the free trial for 2 weeks, ending this Friday so I’m trying to watch it as much as I can humanly do.
Kill Switch - Steven Lee (4 Feb)
The Whisper of Stars -Nick Jones (8 Feb)
The Devil's Secret - T.G. Stevens (10 Feb)
Someone to Love - Jude Deveraux (15 Feb)
Avoidables - Rachel Medhurst (18 Feb)
*Workout 4 times a week – did alright on this. I’ve finished the program that I was following and I’ve now again started it, another 4 months of it.
*Continue the 'no buying soft drinks' rule this year. Still haven’t bought any.
*Get back to blogging, at least once per week. Done
*Re-do landscaping in both front and back yard. Still working on it, this will be a year-long projects.
*Use floss and piksters everyday. Have not failed yet
*Wake-up before 7am. I’m failing at this miserably.
*Continue getting rid of "Stuff". Still doing well I got another big bag of stuff I need to take to goodwill. I’ve also shredded a lot of papers.
*Organise my emails. I still need to do this and worst thing is that in the last few months I’ve been getting a bit of spams.
In the last week – I was not feeling too good on Thursday and Friday so I mainly watched the cricket game and Netflix. Saturday we went to the beach an hour away, spending for the day was $54.74 for fuel (first time filling up this year) and $12.50 for lunch, fish and chips. Sunday got some grocery for $16.90.
End of the month numbers - Total expenses was $3,148.99, it was big month mainly because of the annual insurance bills for the home and car. Spent another $6,418 for mortgage repayment, interest for the month was only $32.44. Technically, we are now mortgage free. DH transferred the money to Citibank CC (ready credit), that is where our monthly mortgage payments gets taken out, it will most likely get taken on Friday. Then it will be celebration time. So this month we can start on other financial goals, I cannot wait.
Non-financial goals so far:
*Read 50 books – Books I read this month:
Inferno - Dan Brown (6 Jan) – I started this last month
Between You and Me - Lisa Hall (7 Jan)
Noble Beginnings: A Jack Noble Thriller - L.T. Ryan (11 Jan)
Malevolent - Jana De Leon (16 Jan)
Over You - Christine Kersey (20 Jan)
I Spy, I saw her die - Ian C. P. Irvine (25 Jan)
Taken by Love - Melissa Foster (31 Jan)
*Workout 4 times a year – did well until last week, I only did two last week, I wasn’t feel to good last week the hot weather was getting to me. I’m trying to catch up this week, will try to get back on schedule.
*Continue the 'no buying soft drinks' rule this year. Still doing well on this, luckily DH doesn’t really care for them so it make it a lot easier.
*Get back to blogging, at least once per week. Check
*Re-do landscaping in both front and back yard. Still working on it, this will be a year-long projects.
*Use floss and piksters everyday. Check
*Wake-up before 7am. I have been trying to get up around 5am this week. Still working on this, again I was doing well until last week when I wasn’t feeling too good.
*Continue getting rid of "Stuff". Aim for this year is to get rid of around 10% of our stuff. I got rid of about 15-20% of my clothes in my drawers and just started on DH’s drawers today.
*Organise my emails. I need to get started on this soon