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.
Viewing the 'Expenses/Spending' Category
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 winter’s 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.
Today we got up very late. I got breakfast in bed , 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 didn’t 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 won’t 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 wasn’t 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 DH’s 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.
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.
Again, I've been busy renovating. It is taking a while, I've been doing it by myself in the last two days. DH had to go to work, he can only do a bit after work because firstly he is already tired and we are not allowed to use power tools after 8pm.
I decided to make a built in shelf into the wall so that is also taking a bit of my time, it is a bit fiddly to make.
Spending today was only for DH train pass $20 and yesterday was $14.05 at the hardware store. Tomorrow should be a NSD which would make it 10 for the month. I can pretty much finalise this month, the only spending left is for property tax due on the 31st.
When we got home late Saturday afternoon we found the light bulb in fish tank flickering like crazy and all the fish was so stress out.
DH got a new light bulb yesterday, normally it would have been $22.95 but he had some credit from the aquarium store due to selling them some of the baby fish few months ago. In the end it only cost him $9.95.
Received the gas bill for $91.95 and AMEX over $750 (a lot of it is all the dining out that we been doing, oh my...). Both are due middle of the month.
3rd time go at typing this, I don't know what is going on. I've decided to now use Notepad and will just cut and paste.
Just a quick update on what I've been doing in the last few day. Been a bit busy.
Tuesday night DH went to ALdi to get some groceries.
He spent $19.55 which left us with $7 in the grocery budget for the month. Will get sausages for lunch, should just have enough. Also bought a small mother's day gift for DH's mum. Will still have to think of something else to get for her. I'm running out of ideas.
Wednesday was our public holiday. Spent the morning helping mum buy a car. In the afternoon we stayed home to watch the footy game. We got pizza for dinner.
Thursday DH put in another $50 into his train pass, we are now over our transport budget.
Friday we decided to put another $1000 into the mortgage, apart from this it could have been a NSD.
Saturday we finally went to the dentist, our health insurance covered for it this time except for the $8 for a special toothpaste for DH. Also $12 for the day parking. After the dentist we decided to stay in the city, we thought may as well make good use of our parking. It was such a nice day to just hang out. There were a lot of street performance that kept us entertain. We stayed for lunch and coffee in the afternoon. We decided to use our allowances for this expenses. It was such a lovely day, was not planned especially the spending but worth it. Loved sitting by the riverside with coffee just people watching and listening to this couple basking/singing. Afterwards, on our way home we decided to stopped by the factory outlet place. Ended up spending $154 for 3 tops for me (I wanted more winter tops) and 2 t-shirts for DH and 1 business shirt for him.
Ralph Lauren was having 70% storewide, we got DH's business shirt from there and one of my top. DH should have enough work shirts now. I actually only really budgeted $50 for clothing this month, this is one of those things that I could never budget well.
Most months we don't buy clothing. But looking at our yearly budget we still got $300 in the clothing budget. This purchases now push as over by almost $100 for the month. The month ends tomorrow so it is not too bad.
Yesterday I paid the gas bill $97.64.
I also put in $500 into the mortgage yesterday.
Today I deposited $400 into my trading account.
DH received our statement for our voip phone bill for the month and we used $1.60.
We just received this quarter's electric bill and its fantastic! This is what it looked like:
Solar bonus and rebate = $93.63CR (this is the amount the electric company paid us for the energy that we put back into the grid)
Peak usage charge = $53.86
Off-peak usage charge = $37.01
Off-peak Service charge = $15.30
Supply Charge = $66.19
GST = $17.24
Other rebate = $8.04 CR (we get this discount because we have our gas in the same company)
TOTAL AMOUNT DUE = $87.93
I had a looked at the last 2 years bills and we average at $197 per quarter.
So we've saved over $100 in this quarter and this is in the middle of our winter bill and we have slowly been using more of the electric appliances than the gas ones. DH and I are hoping that the summer bill will be even better.
The last bill was $147, that was when we got the solar panels installed half way through it.
At this stage, we still got about 5 years to break-even.
After the asbestos removalist left yesterday I decided to go to the city to meet up with DH for lunch. We try to have a lunch date at least once a month. For some reason after last month's lunch date we walked passed Taco Bill and decided then that this month's lunch date we will go there. I actually haven't been there for about 10 years, so I was keen to see what it is like these days and DH always wants nachos. Well it was terrible, it cost us over $27 for 2 tacos with a bit of mexican rice, a plate of nacho and 2 small drinks. It tasted awful. For that amount of money I could have made it so much better. Now I remember why I stopped going there, never again. We were so disappointed that we decided to go somewhere else for dessert and coffee.
For coffee and dessert we went to a nice but a bit more expensive French patisserie. Their macaroons are to die for, it is so yummy. We spent $20.15 there for 2 lattes, 2 macaroons and a cake. I decided to pay for it out of my allowance. It is the first time I spent any money out of my allowance this month. I really don't have anything I want to spend my money on this month. I think I want to save my money to get an ipod later this year...maybe. I been wanting 1 for a while now but it one of those things that I can live without.
It was a very tiring day, DH and I spent the whole day shopping. Spending (and making) money can be tiring. Got some really nice bargain today though. We bought:
An engagement gift for next week for $29 (down from $70)
Slazenger sunglasses for DH, good for when he plays tennis or go running - only $15 down from $100, 85% off!
I also got 2 sunglasses, I only really was planning to get 1 but it was such a good price that I decided to get 2 coz I couldn't decided which one to get and plus it was within my budget. I budgeted $200 for a new sunglasses. I ended up paying just over $203 for a Gucci and an Oroton brand. I'm normally not that into brand names but these were good and most importantly actually fit my face. Besides the only other ones that I liked and fitted my face was already around $170-$199. Also the Oroton one is prescriptibles, it will be nice to wear sunglasses without having to have contact lenses on, which I hate wearing.
We also stopped by at Aldi, the tomatoes and mushrooms were really cheap today. Only spent $21.22 on groceries today. We should have enough food for the rest of the month.
Well that was our Saturday, now I'm beat and all I want now is to eat dinner and watch tv all night.
Been spending a lot lately for home repairs/improvements. It is all planned and necessary, our house is getting pretty old afterall. It's all coming out of the Household fund. We have spent few thousands already and now the household fund has been deflated to a very low level.
I'm thinking that we really need to put another few thousand dollars in the household fund this year to finish what we want done. Luckily, we got these extra income that have come up this month so I'm think after we achieve all our goals for this year we will put whatever we can in the household fund.
It is such a juggling act.
Yesterday got very hot, and was just not a weather for slaving in the kitchen. I thought about getting takeaway food but neither one of us was game to go out in the heat. So since for 2 days in a row, DH has been asking me about what we are going to do with the leftover turkish (flat) bread, that was of course a hint that he wants me to make a dip to go with it. So last night I made tsatsiki dip (I used sour cream because I didn't have any yoghurt), great way to use the cucumber I picked from the garden the other day. And I just pan fried the turkish bread with olive oil to go with the dip. That made DH very happy, he could eat a truck load of those. We then filled up with some of the leftover minestrone soup. And for dessert (we rarely have dessert) was chocolate bavarian icecream cake. We ate that while watching a game of cricket. So yeah managed to have another NSD yesterday, and I think today should be one too. Tomorrow will be a different story though, we got over $1K of bills to pay in the next 2 days alone.
Great news is I haven't bought coffee since the beggining of the month, I think I used to averaged about 2/3 times a week last year, this is really helping with NSDs. Also as a result I haven't spent any of my allowance money this month yet.
While I was cleaning the wardrobe last week I was taking note of what we will need this year and the only thing that I could see is getting DH new work pants in few months time. He sure have enough business shirt, really I think he could wear one a day for a month without having to wash them. We don't really need much, especially since we got some new clothes from xmas. Maybe when winter comes I might want (not need) a new coat. And I also been wanting to get a new comfy work shoes.
14 Jan - 11:30am
Since before christmas DH has been doing research on our home and content insurance. He finally decided on one and we got the papers for it yesterday. He decided to go with the same company as our car insurance. They give us a 10% discount and some further discount because we decided to pay it yearly instead of monthly. Another reason for the saving is we got rid of a pesonal item, now that we have reasonable savings we can cover it. That personal item was costing a lot to insure, but its not really worth that much. So we will just "self insure" that item. Isn't it funny how the least you can afford it (insurance that is) the more you need it, just in case.
Anyway, the new insurance will take affect on the 15th of this month and DH will cancel the other one on the 16th. The new payment will be $488.50 for the year. In comparison, last year we paid $1,017.96 in total. Almost $530 p/a savings! It's a good idea to look at your insurance policy every couple years. You never know.
The weather is a bit cooler today. Last night's dinner was osso bucco on a bed of mash potato with a side of peas and gremotala. I bought those osso bucco 2 weeks ago from the market, it was really good. I love the market, they have a lot of stuff that you just can't get from the supermarket. The herbs i used(thyme, oregano and parsley) were all from the garden.
Oh I also finished cleaning the wardrobe last night.
8 Jan - 12:30pm
Our mortgage interest payment went through last night and it was for just over $936. A lot less than I expected it to be! Woo hoo!! This is a great moment for us, it's one of those milestone moment. In comparison, this time last year we paid $1,352 in interest. That's over $400 difference, which is almost 2 months worth of groceries for us.
Last night's curry was pretty good, I really like how the eggplant taste in the curry. DH also made a loaf of bread, which he took for lunch with a can of tuna. He has been craving for homemade bread for a while now and finally decided to make some last night.
My latest home project/to-do at the moment is cleaning and decluttering the walk in wardrobe in the master bedroom. I spent about half an hour on it yesterday and should be able to finish it later today. It doesn't really need much work, I just want to get those clothes that we haven't used all year out of there. Also I've put away most of the winter clothes into to the spare bedroom closet. We won't need them for another 3 months.
6 Jan - 11am
Most our major expenses are due at the beginning of the month. For the first week of this month we already spent $2,000 in total mainly because of the mortgage. Yesterday we also paid the Gas and Electricity bill and the credit card bill. Also did a big grocery shopping, and put some credit into my mobile phone. The rest was for little expenses like coffee, take away and bus pass. Oh and also my account was direct debited for my managed funds.
Today was a NSD, had 2 NSD so far for this month.
Well today I got up early and straight away clean the bedroom and put a load of washing in the washing machine, before I had my breakfast.
Yesterday was our end of financial year, so today I wanted to tidy up our finances. I called to get an online account for my managed fund, that took 5mins of waiting. I should get my access info in few days time. Also called my Super (retirement) fund to get access to my online account. I got log out because I forgot my password. That took about another 10mins of waiting. My account went down a bit. Can't wait for this market to turn around.
I'm in the process of calculationg our net worth for the end of the quarter. Had to get the end of yesterday's prices for our shares. I doesn't look good. So far it is not looking good at all. It is not finalise yet, I got to wait for my managed fund and also DH's retirement account. I have to wait for him to check it out.
Even though the numbers are not looking very good, I'm very satisfied at the work I've done today. I really got to keep on top of all these financial accounts we got. Calculating our Net worth every quarter sure keeps me motivated to check our accounts. I just got to get DH to keep up with his accounts too.
On another topic, last week's expenses was not too bad. We had 3 NSD which made it 11 NSD for the month (that's $55.00 towards the Laptop Fund - see My Pages).
The biggest expense was for textbooks, $200 worth. Home phone was also paid and I got train ticket.
I will put up my $20K Challenge later today.
Well it's Sunday 7pm here, so it is very safe to say that today is a NSD, This add up to 3 NSD for the week. Yesterday was a very spendy day. First we went out for a birthday lunch and then we went shopping for some items for the house that has been in our to do lists/ to get lists for a long time now. We were not as busy this weekend so we actually got some house work/repair done. We also got two pairs of work shoes for DH, he definitely needs new ones now. We decided to get two because they were really cheap. The store that we got them for was having a massive sales. The last thing we got yesterday was some groceries. We got some eggs, milk bread, vegies and oranges. All up it costs $9.75. Other expenses that we spend this week was for insurance, fuel, and $100 to my managed funds.
Last week was really busy again. The other night I finally got some down time and was able to try to check my blog, but for some reason I couldn't log on.
We managed to have 3 NSDs last week, I guess being busy can help cut on spending. We mainly spent money on Fuel, a month worth of Bus pass for me, Internet, my Health Insurance, some Clothing for DH and we also went out for dinner. We also spent money on Groceries, I stopped by at Aldi for milk but decided to stock up instead for the rest of the month. There is 0.65 cents left in the grocery budget, and probably still need to get some more milk for next week. Prices have definitely gone up here, even at Aldi's. The tuna that we used to get for 75 cents are now 89 cents. The can of whole tomatoes used to be 45cents have now gone up, lucky the can of diced tomatoes are still 45cents but I think they will go up soon too. So I stock up on those.
Did a lot of cleaning in the garden on the weekend. I pulled out the pumpkin, and while I was trying to pull it out I found 1 massive pumpkin hiding in the bush. It was a great suprise and already made some pumpkin soup and freshly made pasta with pumpkin. Still have plenty left over. My snowpeas are growing nicely and should be able to start harvesting in the next couple of weeks. The broccoli is starting to have flowerette (is that what's called?).
Anyway that was my week.
Last week we had 1 NSD (yesterday was also a NSD and hoping today will be a NSD as well). As per usual we paid the mortgage on the beginning of the month. The 2nd quarter property rate/tax was also due last week. Also did a big grocery shopping last week,spent more than 2/3 of the month's grocery budget. So not much money left for the rest of the month but we did get a lot of items that should last until next week.
Other payments made was for CC repayments and water bill.
We got couple of major expenses coming up this month. The most costly will be the tuition and textbooks. We have enough put away for 1 subject but if I decide to do two subject(not sure yet), then we have to fund this first this month and might cut down on funding the household and holiday fund this month.
Another potential expense this month is to get the car service, it's couple months over due.
We are also looking at doing some house repairs, but this is most likely be done next month just don't have time for it this month.
Today DH got paid and we finally able to find out his new monthly salary. It is $60 more than I anticipated, which is fine by me! This will most likely change again in two months time because of the new tax cut that the government is giving us, I think it should take affect in July. It should be another $15-20 a week extra to his salary. We also found out that his company is contributing almost $600 per month to his superannuation (retirement) fund. So that's over $7000 to his retirement per year.
It's the middle of the month and we only got $32 left in the grocery budget. So it is going to be tough trying to get through the month without going over. Hopefully we can get by without going over by much. We only need to get few essential items; we are running out of milk and don't have anymore eggs. We will be going shopping for these items tomorrow and will probably also get some fruits and vegies and maybe some chicken. Hope to only spend $15-20 this week. Oh boy this is going to be tough. With the prices going up so much it is getting a lot harder to stay under budget. Unfortunately, we don't have much competition with our supermarkets The big store pretty much can put up the prices as much as they want. Luckily, Aldi is around but I think we need more competition.
We are also already over our fuel budget but this was intentional. DH has been driving to work instead of taking public transport. So we are putting the money for his fare ticket to the fuel money. We are just testing this at the moment, hopefully it won't be costing us too much more (even better hopefully it might even cost us less). Also he gets home a lot earlier this way.
a NSD, but I had to get a Mother's day card today. So, it saw a very low spend day today.
I will be paying my last dental bill tomorrow, it's not too bad $200.10 worth.
Property rate (tax) bill came today. It is actually due early next month, I thought it would have been due this month. This actually works out great for us since we got extra expenses to pay this month.
That's all for today folks!
Here's our April actual numbers:
Overall, we did really well but we over spent on groceries this month. This was mainly due to stocking up on some essentials. Also, entertainment was way over than where it should be and I've got to cut down on my snack consumption.
We are ahead by about $300 or 1.3% as you can see on this graph.
We are going pretty well at the moment but there are some areas that we need to improve. So for May we will try to cut down on entertainment and my allowance budget.
Yesterday we got our home phone bill, they charge us an extra $20 for what we think is for a late fee. DH will ring them and try to dispute it. We don't know what really happened maybe it's our fault, if it is then we will pay it.
Also, our intenet bill is really confusing, and we think they have over charged us by about $15. By the way both our home phone and internet is own by the same company. Recently the look of their statement has change and it's really confusing how they calculate it now.
Hopefully, we won't have to pay the extra $20.
A lot has been happening here, financially, for the last week. This could be a long post, unless I get tired.
Firstly, we finally got our car converted from "petrol" to "LPG (gas)". It cost $2400 but it was only $400 out of pocket because we will be able to get a $2,000 rebate back from the federal government (which should take 2 weeks to get processed). We should be able to save around 40-60% on our fuel bill from now on. It was interesting to see the difference in prices. Last week before the conversion we filled up the car (although there was still some in the tank) and it cost us $72 whereas the cost to fill up the LPG tank for the first time was only $40, a saving of $32 (44% saving). DH thinks the saving should pay off the conversion in about 5-6 months time. We are planning to keep the car for another 7-10 years. I was thinking to keep budgeting the same amount for fuel per month and will just save up any saving towards the car fund (for repairs, rego, car insurance and for our next "new to us" car).
On another financial news, I counted my coins in my piggy banks and there are $135 that I can add to our xmas fund. In total we have $655. Already spent over $200, already bought turkey and bought about half of the gifts already. Only need to get some seafood (can't do that until the day or two before xmas)and already thought of what to get for the other gifts just needs to get them. Most of the gifts for the inlaws I just got online they live interstate so it was easier and cheaper.
It was spendy yesterday, I bought a lot of clothes, it was planned and did get a lot for my money. Spent $114.89 for 3 tops (work clothes), 2 jackets (work clothes), 1 top and bottom summer pj, and 5 pairs of sport socks.
Well thats it for me for now. Hopefully we will be able to stay under budget for xmas, I will update my total after christmas.
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