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The Last 2 weeks

October 18th, 2017 at 01:12 am

I was sick all week last week and still at the tail of this annoying cold. So in the last month I’ve had a head cold and was better for about a week then last week was even worst cold (I got it from DH) and it has taken a while to recover from it, almost 3 boxes of tissues later I can finally think again. The last couple of days has been a lot better but still have been coughing but hopefully it won’t come back again.

Groceries – First week spent $60.91 and on the weekend we spent $50.97, so we are doing well so far this month.

Zoo – Last Sunday (before I got sick, although I was starting to feel awful then) we took a friend for lunch and then to one of the zoo here in Melbourne, she is from overseas and only here for couple of months. We spent all up $115.12, we used our annual zoo passes but we paid for our friend.

Flat Tyre – Last Friday night DH was about to get pizza for dinner when he notice the car felt funny when he drive it out of the driveway, luckily he noticed it right away as was able to get back in the garage. Friday night pizza got cancelled. DH changed the flat into the spare the next morning and then took it to the nearest tyre place. Luckily the one that got a nail on it was one of the old tyres at the back that would have needed replacing soon. On March (was on my March 28th 2017 blog) when we got the car serviced they replaced the 2 front tyres and suggested that the back ones will be done in the next service. DH asked them about the other back tyre and they feel like it could last a bit longer still. So the one tyre replacement was $110.

Roadside Assistance – On the topic of our car, last night DH just paid our annual roadside service assistance it was for $99.75

Groupon – On Sunday even though I still wasn’t fine we went out for dinner for couple of hours, it was good to be out of the house though. We booked this thing a month or so ago so we didn’t want to cancel it. We had tapas and it was okay it was lacking something though it was a bit bland for my taste. Luckily, we got Groupon because if I had to pay full price it would have been very disappointing. $45 for dinner and drinks and also paid $10.08 for parking (8 cents for card processing, and there was no cash option).

I think that's all I got for now.

Changes in our Internet Provider

September 20th, 2017 at 08:46 am

Grocery (the Good) – Spent $31.92 this week.

Eating Out (the Bad) – We spent a bit on eating out and getting some soup. We went to a restaurant that is near our place it has been there for years but it is only now that we finally decided to try it out. We had lunch there on Saturday. It’s a nice place and food was really good and prices were very reasonable as well, will definitely be going there again. We also decided to go to the park on Sunday for a picnic lunch; we didn’t bring any food from home we got take away instead. And to top it off DH has not been feeling well so we got some soup. All up the eating out and buying food we spent $73.20.

Free Dinner – Not only did DH got few free lunches last week and the other week, he also got free dinner and drinks on Friday night. His whole team got invited out for dinner to celebrate a job they did two months ago. He and others did had to spend few hours for that weekend two months ago to do some work for it, DH only had to do his part at home, so yeah well deserved for them.

Internet – Few months ago and then another last month we got mails from our (now previous) internet provider letting us know that by early November they will be disconnecting our internet and home phone services unless we switch into their NBN service. NBN is the National Broadband Network, which is essentially fibre optic cable rolled out across the country. Originally it was proposed to roll out fibre right up into each home, but this was later changed to just use whatever connection already exists at the home for the final part. In our case since we had Telstra cable installed in our house by the previous owner, that is what we are getting. This is similar to what is used for cable TV in the US, and in fact can also be used for cable TV here. The NBN is a government owned company which provides the infrastructure, and then you go to a retailer to buy the actual services. That way all retailers use the same infrastructure and have to compete on price, customer service, and quality of service provided (some retailers don’t provide sufficient bandwidth so get major slowdowns during peak periods). The company we signed up for seems to be quite cheap and also doesn’t seem to have the slowdown problems.

When DH signed up, he found a promotional code that got him the first month free, and they double our data allowance for the first 6 months! Also there is no lock-in contract, whereas some of the bigger providers lock you into a 2 year contract. The price will be $65 per month the same as our previous internet cost but since we don’t have to have the home phone anymore it will be saving us $15 per month. It will be less than the unlimited data we have been using for the last year but a lot more than what we used to have prior to that which was 120GB, now it will be 500GB but for the next 6 months it will be 1000GB.

When DH called the previous provider, Optus which we have been with since 2001, they tried to make him pay a $160 early termination fee as they told him he was on a 2 year contract. This was rubbish for 2 reasons: 1. they told him last year when he changed plans that he wouldn’t be put on a contract; 2. they’re the ones telling us we need to change service or we’ll be disconnected. DH spoke to a different person and they have now agreed to not charge the disconnection fee.

Bills and Changing Health Insurance

September 5th, 2017 at 10:33 pm

The weather here have been wet, so not much to do but read and watch the Australian stock market go up and down. Here are some of our personal finance highlight for the week.


Groceries – Total spend for the week was $83.91, a little bit over than our weekly budget for this month but will pull it back next weekend.


Water Bill – Great news we got $100 government rebate off our current water bill. I’m not sure what this rebate is about (most likely to do with the desalination plant), anyway whatever it is for I will gladly take it! Normally, this 3rd quarter bill is a lot more than usual because of some annual fees that we have to pay but the government decided to give us a break. So the bill amount was going to be $292.31 but now it is reduced down to $192.31. Unfortunately though this bill came with new rate prices that we will have to pay next bill. It doesn’t look too bad, in line with inflation rate I guess.


Gas Bill – Also got the gas bill due this month and that is for $101.72. I think this might be the first time ever since we stopped using gas for heating that we have a bill that is over $100. I don’t think our actual usage have change it is most likely increases in rate prices.


Health Insurance – We decided to change health insurance to one that is known as “Member’s Own”. On the 1st of April our health insurance went up again and DH and I have been thinking that it is time to evaluate our current health cover. DH have been looking into it for few months now and have finally decided to drop the EXTRAS (i.e. dental, optical and some hospital covers), so for now we will just have the Basic Cover and we will just cash flow the usual dental and optical visits. We weren’t even in the comprehensive cover we were under intermediate. The optical is just mainly for me anyway, last time DH got his eyes check which was earlier this year he still got 20/20 visions apparently plus normal eye checks are covered by Medicare anyway. The only thing we seems to get out of it is free cheap prescription glasses, and the fancier ones we have to pay extra even though we spend so much extra already for the so called “EXTRAS”. Anyway, after some calculations we might be able to save around $500-$700 per year. Our monthly payments will go down to $163.23 from $280.78. Before 1st of April it was $262.75, there was $18 per month increase, which is about $216 for a year enough for one dental check-up and clean visit. So we believe it is worth trying it out at least for the next year or so.

August 2017

August 31st, 2017 at 09:57 am

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.

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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.

Quilt Cover and Clothes Shopping

August 15th, 2017 at 05:48 am

Our Saturday was filled with shopping which means spending money.


Grocery Shopping – This weekend we spend a total of $48.86 on our weekly food shopping. Spent $9.17 on meat, another whole chicken they are still on sale at Aldi and some pork with bones great for making soup which I kind of have a craving for at the moment. The weather was beautiful on Sunday so we actually barbequed the chicken. I butterfly the chicken and I made some peri-peri sauce to marinate it. It was yum and had enough for Monday lunch and dinner.


Manchester and Clothes Shopping – I wanted to get another quilt cover of our king size donna. For this sort of stuff I go to this store about 15 minutes away from our house. Not many people know or really care to shop at this place so I love shopping here. It is a shop were big shops, like Target and other department stores (Myer, Big W, etc.) dump their old stocks or when factories get too much in stock and the department stores don’t want them then they sale it at this store. A lot of the products are of good quality and heavily discounted. Most people tend to snob this place but I love it.


I got the quilt cover for $39.99, the initial price for it at the original store was $150. It’s good quality and has two patterns/designs that are reversible.


While there we found that they were having sales on suits. They originally have them for sale at $79.99 (at other department stores these would have been sold for around $200+) but had them further discounted down to $49.99. Just could not passed up on those. DH mainly wear suits for work so they get used a lot. We then took it to seamstress to get the pants shorten, and that was $12.


Also got a couple of other clothing items while there, we haven’t bought anything for 3 months. All up we spent $132 at the shop. I budgeted $720 for clothing this year we’ve spent $445 so far.


Lunch out – We had Vietnamese for $26 for couple of dishes. We just wanted try out this new restaurant, it was okay but probably won’t be back.


Wine – Bought some more wine, 13 bottles all up for $89.30 (just under $6.90 a bottle). That should last us for the rest of the year. I think we roughly spend around $150 to $200 a year on alcohol so this is about par to what we always been spending in previous years.


New Library Card – My old library card (in our local library) was issued about 15 years ago and I haven’t used it for probably 7-8 years? So basically the new fancy computer systems they have these days don’t recoginsed it. Last weekend when DH went to the library and shown the librarian his old card they kind of laugh at him because none of them recognised it. The guy that was serving him showed it to the other people there because they were really fascinated by it. Anyway, I don’t know how much I will used the library because I already got so many books to read as it is. I will probably mainly borrow non-fiction books because most of my books are fictions.


*Currently listening to Trouble is a Friend by Lenka, she’s an Australian singer and song writer.

APRIL 2017 Highlight

May 3rd, 2017 at 03:03 am

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.

More shoes shopping

March 20th, 2017 at 09:44 am

Grocery – We spent $61.94 on food this weekend. We only got $16 left in the budget for the rest of the month so we most likely won’t be able to stay on budget this month. We will try not to go over too much. We have been under budget in the last 2 months so there a little bit of a wiggle room, about $20.

House Repair - Fixed our bedroom door that wasn’t closing properly, the hinges was coming loose – easily fixed.

Mum - We went to my mum’s place for lunch on Sunday. She had an eye surgery on Friday for cataract so we thought we visit her to see how she was going. DH was actually the one that picked her up after her surgery. The hospital was near the city so DH drove to work on Friday, parking cost was $16. He left work an hour early to pick her up and the parking at the hospital was $10.20. DH also went to the pharmacy to get her prescription meds which he paid for just under $17.

Shopping – After lunch we left our dog at my mum to go shopping. My mum actually used to own this dog, long story short we feel in-love with her and kind of stole her. Spent an hour shopping for DH’s running shoes ($110), also got myself a wallet (my current one is all scuffed up) it was 40% off for $35, and we got a cup of latte to share for $4.70.

That’s pretty much our spending for the weekend. Tomorrow DH is taking the car for service including getting new tyres and I think maybe also getting the air con looked at. I have a feeling it is going to cost a bit.

Last 2 weeks

March 15th, 2017 at 06:56 am

Camping – We went camping last weekend, finally! DH was very happy about. The weather was just perfect for camping. We took the dog for the first time camping, she did well but didn’t get much nap so she was very tired when we got home. The cost for the site was $25 and we got food for $22.70, so less than $50 for a weekend away. Pretty good. The area where we went to is known for mineral spring water most people that go here go to mineral spas. And since it is only about an hour away from Melbourne it is very popular place. The camping site actually have a pump set up so people would just go there to get fresh mineral spring water. You have to go on a short hike to get there but it is pretty easy walk and along the way there were wild blackberries everywhere which were very sweet.

Hot air balloon- We got woken up Sunday morning by a hot air balloon being set up only about 100 metres away from our camp. Some people were not happy about it because it was pretty loud but really it was already 7am so it wasn’t really that early. I thought it was really cool seeing it up close and it only lasted about 15 minutes and they were off. But someone woman got very upset about it.

Groceries – Last weekend on the way home we stopped by at Aldi and spent $86.95. This weekend we spent $135.11. A bit more than I was hoping to spend but I found porterhouse steaks at 40% off, so I ended up getting 2 trays for just over $20. Just have to grab them when they are that cheap because they never seemed to be on sale when I actually want to get some. I also bought a 20kilo bag of rice which should last for months.

Fish Tank – The filter in the fish tank died and also it started leaking. DH bought a new filter for $44.82 and he also got a tube of silicone to fix the tank.

Other Expenses – I bought some clothes $33. DH got train ticket and filled up the car. Also the water bill for just under $230.

New running shoes and some cooking

February 21st, 2017 at 03:26 am

Groceries - We did our usual Saturday morning shopping for food. Spent $82.33, it would have been about $20 less but I found a Porterhouse steaks that was 50% off (normal price was $32 a kilo) and also got some pork chops that were 20% off (can’t remember the original price). Total for the month so far is $269.42 (budget $300), so just over $30 for the rest of the month. It’s tight but I think we can do it. I’ve done a rough meal plan for this week which should help. Also the pantry is still really full we still got a lot of stuff in there to get through. I think we will just need milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables next shopping trip.

Other Spending – I bought myself a new running shoes, it was on sale for $90. I’m overdue for a new one. DH will also need a new one soon too. His is actually worse than mine but we couldn’t find one that he likes at the shop that we went to and we didn’t have time to shop around.

Cooking – I did a bit of cooking on Sunday. I made spring rolls and meatballs to put in the freezer. Also made butter chicken in the slow cooker, which feed us for 4 meals. And I used up some frozen banana that I had to make a banana cake.

Decluttering – I went through our pots and pans and decided to throw out 2 old pans and 1 wok. I’ve also been going through a box full of papers/notes that I wanted to type out or scan, it will take me a while to get through the box but at least it is good to get it started since I’ve wanted to do this for years now.

Passports – We need to re-new our passports, it expired last year. We are thinking of going overseas this winter so we need to get new ones soon. I don’t know how much they are now these days it has been ten years since we got the last one.

Annual bills and the Mortgage

January 18th, 2017 at 03:53 am

We just paid the Home and Car Insurance for the year all up it was $1325.09. I have always liked how we pay these couple of big expenses at the start of the year, good to get it out of the way.

This waking up at 5am on weekdays is hard getting used to. We did it 3 out of 5 last week and so far this week 1 out of 3. We got woken up by the doggy at 2am this morning and DH had problem getting back to sleep so we decided to sleep in until 7. I actually feel more tired today that I slept in. I tend to have more energy when I get up at 5 and I end up getting so much more work done. Work in progress, hopefully another month and it will get a lot easier.

DH got paid yesterday, he put another $2K into the mortgage and 2 weeks ago he paid $1200. We are currently now just under $3K. 3 more weeks it will be all gone!

March 2015

April 1st, 2015 at 05:27 am

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.

Plumbing Drama

March 6th, 2014 at 02:25 am

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.

New phone and started cleaning the study

July 3rd, 2013 at 05:37 am

We got woken up early this morning by a delivery man. DH got his new mobile phone. They will now take the money off his account, I think he used PayPal. I budgeted $300 for mobile phones this month because I thought this new phone would cost $250 but apparently I missed heard DH and it is actually only for $150. Not bad. I'm happy about that. It came with a lot of extras, including a spare battery pack.

I've now started preparing the ceiling in the study for painting. Had to scrapped off the old paint that started peeling off. There are few areas that had to be fixed but the worst is around the light bulb. I'm also fixing a wall where a paint got ripped off because of picture hook that came off. This will keep me busy for a while. I'm not in a hurry, I want to do a good job, so I'm taking my time.

Busy and Spendy Saturday

January 6th, 2013 at 01:58 am

We woke up 2 hours earlier than normal for a Saturday yesterday.

By 7:30 we were lining up at the pathology office to get my blood drawn. I had to get tested for my allergies. I should get the result in a few days time, so another doctors appointment for me, yay. Between DH and I we have had about half a dozen doctors visits in the last month.

The pathology only took 10 minutes as we were the 3rd person in line. It was my first time ever getting a blood test, and wasn't too bad. A lot better than going to the dentist!

Speaking of which, we went to the dentist a couple of hours later. I'm a glutton for punishment! Our dentist is in the city, we were lucky we were able to find free parking. Normally it would have cost about 5-10 dollars for a couple of hours parking. The dentist was happy and no need for fillings or further treatment. Just cleaning for myself but DH also had two x-rays taken as it was due. I will be getting mind next visit. My dentist visit cost $142.60, but it was 100% covered by our health insurance so I didn't have to pay anything. DH cost $211.60, the health insurance covered $187.45 so we had to pay $24.15. The extra was for the x-rays.

So far the morning was good, we hardly spent any money but then we went a bit crazy. As we were walking back to our car we saw a sale for 50% off on some shoes. DH badly needed walking/casual shoes as he goes through them so quickly. We decided to buy two pair an the price tag showed $70 each, so 50% off made it $70 for the two pair. However when we went to pay, they came out to be $12.50 each, so $25 for the two pair. Since DH goes through shoes so quickly, and these were so cheap we decided to stock up and bought another 3 pair for $62.40. All up we spent $87.40 for 5 pairs of shoes. I really don't know how DH ruins his shoes so quickly, it's different causes so it's not one issue. It doesn't matter whether we get him the $200 shoes they last as long as the $50-$100 ones. Our clothing budget this month was suppose to be only $30 so we are again now over. Why do I buy clothing in bulk? Because DH and I actually hates clothes shopping, so when we see something worth getting we buy multiples. Especially DH he hates trying things on. Anyway, I hope these will last at least 2 years.

Afterwards, DH took me to a new Mexican restaurant that he tried last month. It was really good. Spent $24.30 for 3 tacos, burrito and a drink.

On the way home, we went to Aldi to get some groceries and stopped at a discount warehouse store for more groceries, including cleaning products.

Then we went to the video store to return a couple of DVD's and then we borrowed another 6 weekly for $7.95. We tend to borrow DVD's this time of the year when there are hardly anything on tv and it's a getting to do indoor when it is very hot outside.

Today we are just relaxing and I hope to go for a run tonight when the weather will be cooler. I decided not to go for a run yesterday, I was really tired after all that stuff that we did yesterday.

DECEMBER 2013

January 2nd, 2013 at 12:46 am

Grocery - $280.24 (under $80.24)
Utilities - $166.5 (under $133.50)
Rates - $141.54 (under $0.46)
Home Phone - $21.11 (under $48.89)
Mobile - $10.00 (under $10.00)
Internet - $55.00 (even)
Fuel & Fare - $177.72 (under $22.28)
Car Registration - $696.50 (even)
Health Insurance -$249.21 (under $0.79)
Entertainment -$359.7 (over $214.70)*wow this is what happens when I dont keep an eye on our budget. We have been going out so much in the last 3 weeks.
Gifts -$47.60 (under $32.40)
Personal/Medical - $48.45 (under $11.55)
DH Allowance -$100.00 (even)
DW Allowance - $75.00 (even)
Miscellaneous - $21.64 (under $8.36)
*Clothing - $260.91 (over $260.91) Did not budget for this at all this month, but we ended up buying DH 3 suits and 3 business shirts.

TOTAL = $2,656.12 (over $287.62)


The good news is that even though we have gone over by a lot this month we are still under for the year. I will post our whole 2012 spending next.


We had 7 NSD for this month.
Put another $1000 into the holiday fund.
Went a bit over in the chirstmas fund by $82 so I put in extra in that.

In the mail yesterday

December 18th, 2012 at 02:39 am

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 17th, 2012 at 04:22 am

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 wont 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 17th, 2012 at 02:19 am

Yesterday mid-morning DH went to the doctor to get his blood test done. He didnt 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, its full of fresh and some pickled vegetables with some peanuts on top for only $9. And DH cant 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 wasnt expecting much but decided to check it out anyway. Weve 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 didnt 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 shouldnt 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 11:27 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.

First Aid course

December 13th, 2012 at 02:19 am

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 11th, 2012 at 02:55 am

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.

Lunch Date

November 14th, 2012 at 05:54 am

DH forgot his lunch in the fridge this morning, silly boy. He called me around 10 this morning to let me know and to ask if we could used a restaurant voucher we got 2 months ago. The voucher is lunch for two to the value of $45, we bought it for just $19. I was happy to come along, it was a beautiful day today so it was nice to go out for lunch in the city. I got cajun chicken salad with a bottle of coke and DH got wagyu burger with salad, fries and bottle of lemon and lime drink. Not bad value when normally the burger with salad and fries is worth $19 itself.

It was a really nice unplanned day out.

New Laptop

August 30th, 2012 at 03:51 am

DH just got a new laptop. He found a good deal for only $279 (down from $449). He also used a $50 gift card he got from his sister last Christmas towards the purchase so it ended to be $229 out of his pocket. This purchase will come out of the household fund.

The old laptop still works (it is about 8 years old) we will give it to my mum. It will be good enough for her.

Hot water

August 20th, 2012 at 03:35 am

Just had a nice hot shower and it was great, no more sponge bath. We got our hot water unit fixed early this morning. The gas fitter/plumber came at 7 am this morning and he was done an hour later. All up we paid $1400, the labour was $270.

DH and I spent about 5 hours yesterday shopping for the unit and before that DH spent the day and night before researching and calculating (lol) about it. In the end we decided to go for the same the hot water storage and the same brand (Aquamax) as the old one but a newer model (the old one doesnt exist anymore, according to the plumber they got rid of them 10 years ago). We also opted for the stainless steel panel instead of the vitreous enamel. The stainless steel has double the warranty for 10 years, although the rest of the parts have only got 1 year warranty but that is standard. Price wise there wasnt that much about $150. Everyone we talked to says they are better. It was easier to transport it, with the vitreous enamel it had to standing up so the anode thingy wouldnt get damage.

Initially we were leaning towards the getting the continuous flow system because they are more energy efficient than the storage ones. The first sales lady we talked to said she has one at her new home and its heaven she just punch in the temperature on the controller and can have different temp in the shower to that in the kitchen. The one that we were looking at would have cost $1500. Then we found out that labour would cost at least $900, maybe more. It would not have been just an easy swap because we have an old house the pipes would need to be replace because they require different size and in some cases the gas meter will need to be replace too. Also we would have had to get an electrician to get an outlet for the electric ignitor, so if there is no power you wont get any hot water. There were other also other issues that other people have told us about. DH calculated that it would only save us $70 per year, not enough really.

We managed to find a plumber through a sales person in one of the hardware store that we went to. He was highly recommended by him. After DH spoke to him we knew we didnt need to bother ringing around. He was very helpful and helped us decide to just get the same storage system. We knew his price was reasonable since another sales person that we spoke to (from a different whitegoods store) told us that his mother got one replaced recently and got quotes from plumbers ranging from $230 (could not do it for a while) to $500 and that we should expect around $300 for labour.

So after driving around for 5 hours we decided to get the unit late yesterday so that the plumber can install it early this morning. The darn thing ruined our weekend but at least it is now fix and hopefully we would not have to deal with it for many years to come.

Hot water tank is busted

August 18th, 2012 at 03:21 am

I had a shower this morning and it was freaking cold. Yikes! DH had to go out in the freezing cold to see if he could fix it. Not good, the pilot light is off and he couldn't light it up anymore. It might be time to get it replaced, it is about 15 years old, we have had it fixed/replaced a part about 6-7 years ago and some area have corroded and it's leaking. We both think that it might be better to just get a new system. I think last time we got the termostat replaced, it cost almost $400 for both parts and labour. I just had a quick google for a new one and we can get the cheapest one for just over $1000 fully installed. I think the one that we might want to get will be around $1500-$2000, it will be so much more efficient than our current one. The household fund will have to take a hit this month.

Clothes shopping

August 13th, 2012 at 08:34 am

Blow the budget yesterdayYikes! In the end we spent almost $300 on clothes. We went out yesterday to see if we could find the empanada maker, no luck. I actually talked to my mum this morning and she said she will get her friend to get her one overseas instead. She wont be able to get it until November though.

Anyway back to the crazy clothes shopping, we decide since we were going to be out near the factory outlets centre that we would stop by and see if we could find DH new jeans. Couple of his jeans have now got holes, Ive fixed the holes but he wont be able to wear them out, just at home jeans now. He only got 3 left, one is a tiny bit tight and the other one is fading fast. He wears jeans on Monday and Friday to work (their casual day) so he does wear them a lot and on the weekends too. I think it was two months ago we went shopping for one but could not find one we liked at reasonable price so went away with nothing then. For some reason the sales this time around was so much better, so we end up going a bit crazy. Basically we have now used up our entire clothing budget for the year.

We got:
From Adidas 3 pairs of running socks for DH and 1 pair knee high socks for me, Ive always wanted one. They were only $5 a pair. I like this brand because I know from past purchase they last at least 10 years whereas the cheaper one only last a couple. Since the cheaper ones would have cost around this price it was definitely good value for money. We also got a cap each.

I also found a shoe shop that sale mainly sport shoes like hiking, climbing, etc. I finally found a really good hiking shoes, got it for only $35, it was initially worth $100+ was reduced to $70 and then they had 50% off that price.

Was not planning to get one now but I found a dress that I thought was nice. I hate shopping for dresses; it is not something that I would look for unless I really have to. I saw it on the mannequin and decided to try it on, it fit really well so I got it. A friend of mine is getting married early next year so I already got a dress for it. I got it for $49, it actually said $59 on it but the lady gave it to me for $49 I dont know why. In the same store I also found a coat that will go well with the dress for only $39. Both of these items would have cost well over $100 each retail.

Then we finally got around to looking at jeans, we went to Levi Strauss store, luckily they were having 30% off on everything. DH got one for just over $60 and I found one for myself too. My one was definitely not necessary but I got it for a nice price for $34.

We also stopped at Gap and found another jean for DH for only $19, not as nice as the Levis but for $19 its good enough. And I also found him a shirt for also $19.

So yeah it was a long day shopping. No more clothing shopping for us until next year.

Carbon Tax

July 11th, 2012 at 03:41 am

As of the start of this month the government is now charging carbon tax to those company that emit carbon. Inevitably it will be passed on to us consumers. The other day we just received a letter from our Electric and Gas Company letting us know that prices will go up again this time it is due to the new carbon tax. It will go up on average around $8 a week, over $5 for electricity and around $3 for gas. The government when campaigning about this new tax promised that it will only increase living expense by about $9 per week and that a lot will be compensated by decreasing income tax and will be giving cash to low income and family with children. For DH and me it means we get nothing. I think the estimated $9 p/week was a big joke when electricity and gas alone accounts for $8 already. Again I am so glad that we got the solar panels last year.

Electricity and Gas Bill

June 27th, 2012 at 06:10 am

I just got both of them and both are due on the 10th of July.

Gas = $103.88 for 2 months
Electricity = $74.61 for 3 months

First time we owe the electric company some money this year. We are in the middle of winter so we used more energy than we produced from our solar panels. But because we got a cheque from them for $86.97 during summer we are still ahead. Also our gas bill is almost 50% less compare to that of last winters bill. We use the electric heater more than the gas heater now. I think we are saving roughly $200-$230 per quarter. So I think another year and we should be able to break-even from the cost of the solar panels.

Saturday

June 9th, 2012 at 09:36 am

Today we got up very late. I got breakfast in bed Smile, nothing special just oats and coffee but it was still nice to stay in the nice warm bed.

Even though it was a very gloomy and it showered on and off all day we decided to go for a run. We went to a park about 25 mins away. We decided to go to this park which is a bit further than the one we been going to because I wanted to go shopping near there afterwards. We run around the man-made lake for almost an hour, we were pretty lucky because it stopped raining just before and didnt start again very lightly, just 5 mins before we finished.

After our run we drove to a market 2 blocks away and had lunch at our favourite Spanish restaurant, we both had a plate of paella each and shared a cup of chilli hot chocolate, it was so good.

Spent $6.50 at the market for fruits and vegetables, we got some bananas, capsicum, bok choy and potatoes. We then went to a store across the road to get a ladle, meat tenderiser and a sifter. I love this store they have everything you need for the kitchen, they actually cater for restaurants (I think they get discounts for buying bulk) but the general public can also come in.

Then just another block away is an Aldi, we only spend $16.61 on grocery and DH got a pipe drain cleaner hose for only $6.99. Just in time because he will need to clean the bathroom drain tomorrow. We wont need to go to the hardware store to get one.

The last stop was to a fabric/ household item type store. I wanted to go there because they are having some sale, this was the main reason why I wanted to go to this place. I wanted to get a window blind for the small window in the toilet. Unfortunately, the one that I wanted (which is the same to what we already got in the other rooms) is not on sale. I will wait because they usually have a sale every couple of months. The trip however wasnt a waste because I found a good sale on flannelette sheets set. We got a set earlier this year, both DH and I really like it so we wanted to get another set. Was not planning to get it today thought but it was on sale. Also got more knitting yarn, I need another one to finish DHs scarf that I started last month, he wanted a longer one and got another big yarn that should be good to make into a throw rug/blanket. The knitting stuff will come out of my allowance money, my little hobby.

Property rate tax

May 31st, 2012 at 12:35 am

Just paid the property rate for this quarter, $337.
That's it for the month, I can now finalise May. And the will come up with the June budget. Next month should less expensive than this month.


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