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NOVEMBER 2018

December 3rd, 2018 at 04:06 pm

Total for the month of November is $2,490.82.

We mainly spent it on:

Grocery = we were under budget, spent $236.29. I’ve decided to put $20 in the challenge because we are under this month.

Household Expenses = $500.87, it was mainly for the Skip Hire.

Transport Related = $290.96, DH hasn't been taking the early train and this also includes fuel and the registration for the camper trailer.

Entertainment total = $184.93

Gifts = was high this month because of my cousin’s wedding, that was $300 for the month.

Holiday (November portion) = $269.49

Christmas = $253.51, started getting stuff for Christmas. This year and for the past few years I budgeted $1,200 for our birthdays, anniversary and Christmas, we didn’t spend much for our birthdays and anniversary this year so we got a bit of money still in this category. We still got over $800 in it available for the rest of the year. I don’t intent to spend this much for Christmas though, hoping to only spend half.

**CHALLENGE** we had 10 NSDs in November so $30 to the Challenge Fund plus the $20 from the being under in grocery, so $50 for the month. I still need to set up an actual bank account for this. For now it is just written down in my spreadsheet.



Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). === DONE!!!===

*Save $4K for Holiday money. = We have now spent $4,754.63 under this category because of the camper trailer.

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. = We will most likely end up spending around $1K under this category this year, not too bad.


Other –

*Read 70 books.
160. The Scandal - Fredrik Backman (3 Nov)
161. The Travelling Cat Chronicles - Hiro Arikawa (9 Nov)
162. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty (10 Nov) - Audio
163. Zealot - Reza Aslan (13 Nov)
164. Started Early, Took my Dog - Kate Atkinson (14 Nov) - Audio
165. Smiling Mind - James Tutton & Jane Martino (15 Nov) - Audio
166. The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion (17Nov) - Audio
167. #NOW: The Suprising Truth About the Power of Now - Dr. Max McKeown (17 Nov) - Audio
168. The Brain that Changes Itself - Norman Doidge, MD (18 Nov) - Audio
169. The Hidden Life of Trees - Peter Wohlleben (20 Nov) - Audio
170. Aristotle's Way - Edith Hall (21 Nov)
171. Revenge - Andrew Holmes & James Patterson (22 Nov) - Audio
172. The Lion Tamer who Lost - Louise Beech (25 Nov)
173. The Brain's Way of Healing - Norman Doidge (27 Nov) - Audio
174. The Science of Getting Rich - Wallace D. Wattles (28 Nov) - Audio
175. Dark Emu - Bruce Pascoe (30 Nov) - Audio

In the last couple of weeks I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden, didn’t have as much time actually reading but I been loving listening to audiobooks while gardening.



*Learn Spanish. = Still going everyday

*Workout 3/4 times a week. = failed but I been doing so much physical work in the garden that I been going to bed dog tired.

*Try new recipes every other week.
Made lemon tart and tomato chutney for the first time.

*Blogging once per week. = I missed one when we were away

*Continue Garden/Landscaping. = We did a lot and still going.

*Wake-up early (before 7am) = yes

*Continue Decluttering. = YES!

SEPTEMBER 2018

October 2nd, 2018 at 09:39 pm



Total Spending for the month = $1600.05

GROCERY = $277.35, a bit more than I was hoping for but still under $300 so we are still doing very well since September had 5 Saturdays.

WATER & GAS BILL = $393.60

HOUSEHOLD & GARDEN = $215.15

ENTERTAINMENT = $349.59 , high, very high. Celebrated few birthdays and got far too much takeaway food.

GIFTS = $157.75

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2018 GOALS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K).
We are now at $42K, so we should achieve this goal in October.
*Save $4K for Holiday money.
N/A this month
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.
Still not sure what we want to do with the house but I decided that the savings that we have been contributing to the “Car Fund” will now be for this (if we ever need it). We have been putting $200 into a couple managed funds for 10 years now; it has mainly been earmark as “Car Fund”. Last year the account got to just over $40K, we decided to take out $10K (we don’t need $40K to buy a new car, if when we get a new car we will be getting the one around $20-25K). So, that 10K got invest into something else. Anyway, last time I looked it was again almost to $40K mark (although it might have gone down since then, the market has been down in the last few weeks). We will just continue putting $200 a month and see where it can get to.

Other –

*Read 70 books.
I didn’t have as much time to read. I listen to a bit of audio books while doing the grout. Also I finally found a Dave Ramsay book, first time reading his book.
134. One of Us is Lying - Karen Mcmanus (2 Sep)
135. The House - Simon Lelic (6 Sep) - Audio
136. Stuffocation - James Wallman (7 Sep)
137. Minimalist: A Better Life with Less - Anthony Wright (9 Sep)
138. Altruism - Matthieu Ricard (14 Sep) - Audio
139. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank (15 Sep)
140. The Honourable Thief - Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios (17 Sep) - Audio
141. Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood (19 Sep) - Audio
142. The Total Money Makeover - Dave Ramsay (20 Sep)
143. The Awakened Millionaire - Joe Vitale (23 Sep)
144. Don't Wake Up - Liz Lawler (24 Sep) - Audio
145. Econobabble - Richard Deniss (25 Sep)
146. Find Your Why - Simon Sinek (26 Sep)
147. Ash and Bones - Mike Thomas (29 Sep) - Audio


*Learn Spanish.
I put in more time on this in September.

*Workout 3/4 times a week.
I would actually give myself an A here for September, I just need to keep it going in October.

*Try new recipes every other week.
I forgot about this in September. I cooked a lot of stir fry because we got a lot of snow peas and swiss chard right now in the garden.

*Blogging once per week.
Yes.

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Have been doing a bit more work outside.

*Wake-up early (before 7am)
Yes

*Continue Decluttering.
Yes – we have been doing some spring cleaning. I need to drop some more stuff to the charity place.

JULY 2018

July 31st, 2018 at 04:49 pm

Total Spending = $951.07
UNDER 1 GRAND!!! I can’t remember if this has ever happened before.

This was a very low spend month but not very frugal because we went out a lot so Entertainment expense was high and for some reason we were craving a lot of Vietnamese food. We spent $287.29 under the Entertainment category. And then DH had few lunches out because there are a lot of people at his work that are left this month, so Allowance spending for the month was $58.95

GROCERY - $179.17 (under our $180 for the month). DH wants us to continue this challenge but I’m a bit reluctant I don’t even really know why. Although, I think this experiment has been really good for us, eating a lot less meat has been really good not just for monetary reason. Actually eating less overall has been an eye opener. It just shows that we might have been over eating. Cutting down on food spending meant we had to be selective and only buying food that is necessary and has high benefits for us. We never went hungry but sometimes I opted to skip some meals if I thought I don’t need to eat yet. I’ve discovered that it is sometimes okay not to eat until your body tells you so. I have been doing a bit of short-term (intermittent) fasting. I think it has been better for my insides too.

The rest we spent on:
Gas - $103.72
Mobile Phone - $30
Household Goods - $96.34
Fuel - $40.70
Train Fare - $100
Personal/Medical - $31.00
Misc - $23.90

No Property Rates – for this month and next month.



~~~2018 GOALS~~~

Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). – We got to put a bit of money this month because of low spending and 1 extra income. I think another 3 months and we might have this one done.

*Save $4K for Holiday money. – This is probably should have been labelled budget or limit instead of save. N/A this month

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. – The same goes with this one. This is a budget and then anything extra goes under future remodelling of the house. Although, lately we have been thinking that we might just sell up and get something smaller and if that happens soon we might sell the house as is.


Other –

*Read 100 books. ---DONE! I never thought I could read more than 1 book a week but apparently I can read 3 books a week and might even be able to do better. Now that I’m used to it I think it is doable for me do read 4-5 books a week. Mindset!

87. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling (6 Jul) – Audio (I actually really enjoyed this audiobook. I was never able to read this book before. I have actually tried reading this book twice before but just could get into it, the same goes with those Twilight books. I know, I probably should be locked-up for admitting this. Lol)
88. Memory Man - David Baldacci (8 Jul)
89. The Joy of Less - Francine Jay (10 Jul)
90. You Can Do It! - Paul Hanna (12 Jul) - Audio
91. Goodbye, Things - Fumio Sasaki (13 Jul)
92. By the Book - Julia Sonneborn (14 Jul)
93. The Art of Tidying Up - Kim Carruthers (17 Jul)
94. Clutter Busting your Life - Brooks Palmer (19 Jul)
95. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (22 Jul)
96. The Perfect Stranger - Megan Miranda (23 Jul) - Audio
97. The World of Philosophy: Stoics and Epicureans - Daryl Hale (24 Jul) - Audio
98. A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind - Shoukei Matsumoto (25 Jul) - Audio
99. The Secret - Rhonda Byrne (26 Jul)
100. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens (31 Jul) – I finally finished this one. It has taken me months to read it. It’s my own copy so I kept putting it aside for the library books.



*Learn Spanish. – Still going


*Workout 3/4 times a week. – Still trying


*Try new recipes every other week. – ummm I can’t remember, I think this might been a no.
**Actually I just went through my blog and I forgot about the brussels sprouts, that was definitely new to us**

*Blogging once per week. – Yes


*Continue Garden/Landscaping. – Too cold still. Only did some weeding in the veggie garden.


*Wake-up early (before 7am) – Yes


*Continue Decluttering. – Major one in the garage for our annual rubbish collection.

Decluttering

July 4th, 2018 at 05:56 pm

Rob62521 asked me about whether reading books about decluttering and minimalist has helped. This was my answer. And I decided to make a blog post about it just for keeping a record.

Yeah the books has been great in helping us see how ridiculous some of the reasons we have for keeping stuff around. I don't think we will be really become a minimalist but we want to live a simpler life. We are not really hoarders to start with (I think?) but we are trying to learn new habits that will hopefully help us be more organise and have a clutter free house. Getting rid of the excess stuff will definitely help and to be more selective in what we allow into the house hopefully will minimise stuff accumulating to start with.


----------------



This is where my focus at the moment. Financially almost everything what we are doing is set automatically. So I guess, I needed a new hobby and this is one of them -simplifying my life.

This is a total turn around to what I was think we should do just over a year or so ago. AT one stage I was seriously thinking of turning one of our spare room into a walk-in closet. I even took measurements, drawn up a plan and made a list of things to get to build shelves and what not. I think I spent another 2 months thinking about it and try to convinced DH that we should do it. After a while, for some reason I decided that it was going to be too much work (& DH wasn't too keen on doing all that work) and I guess my interest in my grand plan waned and I decided that instead of spending my time constantly organising stuff that I should just get rid of them. Now my aim is to only have enough clothing that would fit in our tall boy and a small hanging area (about a metre long). We are almost there probably another 10 to 15% to go. We got rid of a lot already. We got 2 tall boys at the moment and one of them is almost empty, once that is not needed it will be gone. Right now I am happier with this option.

JUNE 2018

July 3rd, 2018 at 02:13 am


Total spending for June 2018 was $1,319.37. The cheapest month so far this year, this is going to be hard to beat but I’m hoping to be able to do it in July though.

A quick look at some of the numbers:

Groceries – Total for the month was $177.41, under than our $180 budget.

Water Bill – Was $207.07 for the quarter.

Vault Rental – We paid $288 for the year this month.

Entertainment– Netflix, eating out and other items that we consider as entertainment added to $105.19 for the month, this is about average for us.

Clothing – Mainly the shoes = $88.92

Allowance Money – $71.07, DH’s lunch couple of times and books and CDs we got from charity shops.

Doggie Items – $92.99, mainly for the bags.


==ooo00ooo00ooo --2018 GOALS-- ooo00ooo00ooo==

Financials-
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). - We just calculated our net worth we are up $48K since the start of the year. It is always good to see we are heading at the right direction.

*Save $4K for Holiday money. – N/A for this month

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. – We will put money under this once Goal #1 above is done.

Other –
*Read 100 books.
69. The Tattooist of Auschwitz -Heather Morris (1 Jun)
70. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Mark Manson (3 Jun)
71. Lie to Me - J.T. Ellison (4 Jun) - Audio
72. The Barefoot Investor - Scott Pape (5 Jun) - Audio
73. The Power of Having Fun - Dave Crenshaw (6 Jun) - Audio
74. The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu - Joshua Hammer (7 Jun)
75. Debt: The First 5,000 Years - David Graeber (13 Jun)
76. Stories We Tell Ourselves - Sarah Francoise (14 Jun)
77. The 80/20 Principle - Richard Koch (15 Jun) - Audio
78. 29 Seconds - T.M. Logan (16 Jun)
79. Power Up your Mind - Bill Lucas (20 Jun) - Audio
80. Essential: Essays by the Minimalist - Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus (22 Jun)
81. For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway (25 Jun)
82. Work Simply - Carson Tate (27 Jun) - Audio
83. Anatomy of a Scandal - Sarah Vaughan (28 Jun)
84. Eat that Frog! - Brian Tracy (29 Jun) - Audio
85. The Art of Discarding - Nagisa Tatsumi (29 Jun)
86. Minimalism - live a meaningful life - Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus (30 Jun)

*Learn Spanish.
Back up to 58 consecutive days again.

*Workout 3/4 times a week.
This is always a struggle, for some reason I just can get consistent with my workout but I try to do some 4 to 5 days a week but deep down I’m not happy with my effort. I feel like I should be doing more but I hate exercising. Weight wise I don’t have any issues. My weight has been fairly the same my adult life. I eat fairly healthy and I try now to over indulge. The thing that I need to watch out for is make sure my core strength is strong because when I don’t work on it that’s when I get lower back pain.

*Try new recipes every other week.
I did so well in trying out few simple recipes this month.

*Blogging once per week.
Done

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
It’s cold so nothing much is happening out there

*Wake-up early (before 7am)
Check

*Continue Decluttering.
DH borrowed a bunch of books from the library about decluttering and minimalism and I have read some of them as well. These books have been helping us (mostly him since he has a bit more hard times letting some stuff go but I can also see some of my short comings). We are slowly getting rid of stuff for sure, it will take us awhile but I think we are doing it the right way for us.

Reviewing 2017 Personal Finance and other Goals

January 2nd, 2018 at 02:59 am


Overall spending for 2017 was $36,679.59, the $7,336.79 of it was to pay off the mortgage. So $29,342.80 of it was for everything else. As long as we can keep it $30K or less per year is ideal for us. $35K per year will be the target if we go overseas for a holiday.

There were only really a few of things that we went over budget. The worse one was Car Repairs and Services that was over by $1,304.90, the budget was for only $700 for the year and that have been fine most years. Unfortunately, there were few things that we had to get fix and replaced in 2017. DH’s train fare was another item that went over budget by $262.84 but the good news though is that fuel cost for the year for our car was under by $394.15, so they kind of cancelled each other out. Another biggie that I’m not particularly happy about is we way over in the Takeaway by $349.35 but this was then again offset by under spending in Restaurant category by $487.98. But still getting too much takeaway was bad.

The rest of our spending’s were fairly spot on to what we budgeted for. I will still need to tweak few things around for 2018 though. I probably should increase Car repairs and services since our car is really old now. Also need to decrease Private Health Insurance but increase Medical since we are now paying for dental and optical with cash without rebates.

~~~~~OOO000OOO~~~~~

My goals for 2018 were:

Financials-

*Pay off Mortgage – DONE!

*$30K into Equities/Investments – We did really well this year in putting money into our investments, more than we thought we would be able to.

*Save $5K for Holiday money – We only spent $1,822.66 this year so we will be rolling the balance ($3,177.34) over to 2018. In 2018 I aim to save $4000.

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Remodel – Spent $1,366.50 in 2017 so we will roll over $3,633.50 into 2018. Our goal for 2018 is to save $5,000 again for 2018.


Other -

*Read 50 books – DONE, read 64 books.

*Workout 4 times a week - I did really good at the start of the year but faded in the last couple of months.

*No buying soft drinks – I did excellent here.

*Blogging once per week – I think I did fairly well, only missed few times and that was because I had nothing to write about.

*Garden/Landscaping – We have done some work and will continue in 2018.

*Flossing everyday – Done very well at this and will hopefully continue doing it from here on.

*Wake-up early (before 7am) – Very BAD, probably only done it 30% maybe even less. I need to better in 2018.

*Decluttering – We have done well at this and hopefully will continue to do more in 2018.

*Organise my emails – DONE.


I’m now looking forward to achieve more of my goals in 2018.

Dec 2017

January 1st, 2018 at 01:00 am

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.

~~~~~O0O0O0O~~~~~

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.

Spending this week

May 25th, 2017 at 01:53 am

Grocery - $106.72

Transportation – Fuel -$40.50 and Train Pass - $137.76

DH had 2 lunches out – Total $35.00

Internet and Home Phone - $80.00

Tolls – Finally got the total amount for the tolls we used last month –$ 42.87

Not much happened this week really. The only thing worth reporting is we took a booth full of stuff to the Salvations Army. It was to get rid of more excess stuff.

March numbers

April 5th, 2017 at 09:55 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FEB 2017

March 6th, 2017 at 05:25 pm

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.

EOTM - Jan 2017

February 1st, 2017 at 02:23 am

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

Quiet week

June 25th, 2013 at 08:11 pm

Not much is happening here, just waiting for the month to end to finalise our finances.

We've are having a lot of NSDs this month, which obviously good for the finance.

I just fully funded goal #3, I can now tick that off the list.