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WEEK 32

August 15th, 2018 at 12:12 am



Grocery - $32.45, we only needed some stuff.


Second-hand Store – We checked out this store near this Aldi we went to on the week (not our normal Aldi), they were selling CD’s for $1 and I found a little Spanish/English dictionary for $2 and another book. We end up spending $14 there.

It was a quiet weekend.

WEEK 31

August 6th, 2018 at 07:50 pm



Grocery - an even $95.00. This is what happens when I don’t put a limit on spending, end up spending twice as much than necessary. About $40 was spent on some unusual stuff, things that we rarely get. The main thing was the sashimi grade salmon, tuna and king fish. We made some of them into sushi and the rest just ate it as sashimi.


Train Fare - $50


Eating out - we went to the shopping centre to mainly get out if the house. Had lunch and had our monthly ‘meeting’ while having coffee and cheese cake. Total $34.95.

WEEK 30

July 29th, 2018 at 06:51 pm



Grocery = $42.75. DH did the grocery shopping, I had a headache. I just have to give him a detailed shopping list and a budget. He did very well. He got everything that was in the list, even the extras ‘if there was any money left’.

Items he got:
- 4 litres Milk
- 1 doz Eggs
- 1 loaf of Bread
- 2 Frozen Slow Cooked Beef Pie
- 1 bag of Rolled Oats
- 1 bottle Passata
- 1 whole Chicken
- 2 Frozen Salmon Fillets
- 1 big Beef Rump (almost a kilo??)
- 1.5 kilo of Potatoes
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Toothbrushes
- 1 bag of assorted Vegetables (for $2) – 8 tomatoes, 2 cucumber, 1 eggplant, 10 baby okra, 1 brussels sprout, 2 pickled onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 potato, a small piece of ginger, 2 sweet potatoes and 1 capsicum.

WEEK 29

July 24th, 2018 at 02:15 pm



Grocery = $68.62 – got 20 kilo of rice for $33.00
$43.58 left in this month’s grocery budget.

Items we got:
- 20 kilo sack of Rice – this normally last around 25 weeks.
- 3 litres Milk
- 1 doz Eggs
- 1.8 kilo of Pork Shoulder (it was $5.95 per kilo, on sale)
- 500g of Butter
- 200g of Bacon
- A bottle of Passata
- 105g can of Salmon
- 500g of Spiral Pasta
- 50g of Recipe Base
- 400g Turkish Bread
- Dried Noodles
- 500g Zucchini
- 8 Bananas
- ¼ Japanese Pumpkin

Gas for BBQ – DH got a new tank of gas for our bbq that was $23.90

AFL (Australian Football League) – our game was again on cable TV so we thought we couldn’t watch it live again. We didn’t go out to the pub again instead we found out that we can watch it online for as little as $5 per week (cancel anytime) and it had 2 weeks for free. So we signed up for a week, cheaper than a pint of beer at the pub. For the whole season the fee is $99, maybe we will sign up next year.

WEEK 28

July 16th, 2018 at 04:43 pm

Grocery = $32.55, under budget.

Items we got:
- 3 litres Milk
- 2 doz Eggs
- 2 litres White Vinegar (mainly use for cleaning)
- Frozen Puff Pastry
- 1 Whole Chicken
- 1 bottle of Passata
- 1 can of Whole Tomatoes
- 1 can of Cannellini
- 500g of Spaghetti Pasta
- 1 pack of Custard Biscuit
- 1 box of Tissue
- 1 bottle of Tomato Sauce
- 1 Loaf of Bread
- 1 Fillet of Fish
- 1 tube of Toothpaste
- 1 Sweet Potato
- 4 Mandarins
- 3 Onions
- 1 Garlic
- 1 bag of Carrots (on sale for $1)
- ¼ Pumpkin
- 2 Tomatoes



Annual Hard Rubbish Collection – This week our council is picking up rubbish that they don’t normally collect weekly. So we spent few hours Saturday afternoon going through some stuff in the garage that we’ve keep in there for storage. We ended up taking a car boot full of stuff to charity shop and some we put at the front. We throw out an old lawn mower, a chair that has been gather dust, some old appliances that no longer work, some kitchen stuff (old pot, chopping boards, etc) and the big fish tank that leaked last year that DH couldn’t fixed. Slowly but surely we are decluttering, I try to throw few items out every single day.

Date – It feels like it has been forever since we went out on a proper date. And as some kind of reward with our hard work on Saturday we went out for lunch on Sunday and made a nice outing for the whole Sunday afternoon. It was expensive but no regrets, we sent just under $200. Another reason for going out was to be able to watch our team football game play on tv. The game was only shown on cable tv, which we don’t have. So we went to a Texan smoked bbq restaurant where they show sports games. DH work very closed to this place so he has been here last year for work lunch and has mentioned about taking me to this place one day. We spent the first half of the game there and then we moved on to the gaming room in the casino (this whole place is in a casino complex) where they have a sport bar where we drunk some beers and watched the second half of the game. We lost Frown. Then we played the roulette (also lost), spent a bit of time there making sure DH is not over the limit to drive, then we went home. We had so much food for lunch that we decided not to have a proper dinner, just a bit of soup.



GAS for the Car - DH filled up, $40.70. We haven't been driving so haven't had to fill up for the last 6-7 weeks.

WEEK 27

July 9th, 2018 at 06:04 pm


Grocery = $35.25, right on target.

Items we got:
- 4 litres Milk
- 1 doz Eggs
- 2 bags of Rolled Oats
- 600ml Cream
- 500g Frozen Raspberries
- 1 can of Sliced Pineapple
- 105g can of Pink Salmon
- 95g can of Tuna
- Loaf of Bread
- 1 Continental Cucumber
- 9 Bananas
- 600g Pork Leg Chop
- 2 Fish (Leather Jackets)
- 2 bags a assorted vegetables - it had 8 Brussel Sprouts, 3 different coloured Capsicums, a baby eggplant, broccoli and 5 tomatoes

This is probably my first time buying brussel sprouts, we’ve had those couple times before in restaurants and hated it. But on the weekend I thought I should give it another try. I cut them in half and roasted them with a lot of butter. It was actually yummy.

I also roasted some of the tomatoes and capsicums, while I had the Brussel sprouts on and made soup out of it, nice to have soup on these cold winter days. I know there’s a heat wave in the US at the moment but believe me the weather we had here on the weekend was horrible also, very strong wind. Apart from going grocery shopping we didn’t go anywhere. We stayed in bed for most of it with our electric blanket, reading our books and watching Netflix, I’m obsess with those FBI files and real detective shows at the moment.

WEEK 26

June 30th, 2018 at 01:25 am

I've decided to post this earlier than usual, but it is already 6pm on Saturday 30th of June here. I want to move on to my end of the month post in couple of days.

Grocery = $33.00 even, which is around $25 US dollars.

What we got (I’ve decided to include the prices for this week – Aust dollars of course):
- 3 litres Milk ($2.99)
- 1 Whole Chicken ($5.25) – noticed that I have been buying this for few weeks now because Aldi have reduced the price down to $3 a kilo.
- 1 doz Eggs ($2.79)
- 1 kg Plain Flour ($0.75)
- a loaf of Bread ($0.99)
- a bag of Rolled Oats ($1.19)
- 7 Bananas ($2.34)
- 250g of Strawberries ($1.99)
- 3 Carrots ($0.76)
- A handful of Mixed Salad Leaves ($0.67)
- 1 Red Capsicum ($0.90)
- 1 packet of Custard Biscuit ($0.69)
- 4kg of Laundry Powder ($3.69)
- 24 rolls of 3ply Toilet Tissue ($8.00)

Apart from chickens we haven’t really been buying much meat this month. We have been slowly getting through what we have in the freezer. We don’t really eat that much meat these days so we still have a good amount of meat in the freezer.
DH and I just been discussing this challenge, we both agree to continue in July. The same deal $180 grocery budget for the month. We will actually have more money to spend per week than this month because July only got 4 Saturday whereas June had 5 ($45 p/w instead of $36 p/w). But I am anticipating that we will need to buy another sack of rice (20kg) in July. Last time it cost $31 that was back in Feb, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the prices have gone up for few dollars. So, for the next couple of weeks I’m going to continue spending only $35 per week and then on the 3rd week of July get the sack of rice.

Cons about this challenge:
- Must plan, can’t just go to the shop without a list (I already do this about 90% of the time so it was not such a hassle for me).
- No room for snacks, expensive items and impulse buying.
- Can’t indulge – have to buy no-name brand and no-frills items to stretch the money (although this really did not bother us since we already do this anyway for most of the things we buy)
- Can’t take advantage of bulk sales because if you do that’s all you are able to get and will have to eat a lot of it for the week (this was probably the hardest thing to do for me).

Pros about this challenge:
- Well saving money is on the top of the list.
- Healthier because we are not eating snacks and process food (although we were not big on these stuff to start with). We mostly bought items that are considered ‘ingredients’.
- It cuts down on the waste and I love it. Probably not buying bulked items helped on cutting waste. And have made me used up items we already have that needs to be eaten now.
- It made me more creative in cooking and motived me to try out new things.
- It cut down on the shopping time because our shopping list was considerably shorter.


Door Stopper - replaced one for $1.50

Lunch - DH forgot his lunch yesterday of roast pork and vegetables in the fridge. He was really looking forward to it too. But sometimes these things happens. He end up getting a co-worker to buy him a burger and chips since he was too busy to go get one himself. I guess that's why he forgot his lunch he got too many things in his mind, they got few major project going on and so he is just too busy. Anyway, the burger and chips were $15.

WEEK 25

June 27th, 2018 at 02:50 am



Grocery = $30.96. We did well.

What we got:
- 5 litres Milk
- 1 Whole Chicken
- 2 doz Eggs
- 1 box of Corn Flour
- 1 bottle of Passata
- 4 Hamburger Rolls
- 0.12kg of Mixed Nuts and Dried Fruit
- 1 Avocado
- 2 small Lettuce (was on sale - $1.50)
- 1 bag (10) Tomatoes (was on sale $1.50) – A couple were bruised and had to be thrown out but it was still a very good deal.
- 1.5kg of Potatoes – This was only $1 because it was on sale
- 2 Brown Onions
- 0.265kg Broccoli
- 0.045kg Ginger
- Deli Ham

New Shoes – DH’s work shoes are on its last legs, so went shopping on the weekend. There were some good sales happening because it is our end of financial year at the end of the month. There was also ‘buy the second pair for half price’ – so I end up getting a pair of boots. For both we paid $84.92.

Lunch Out – While out shopping we went out for lunch ($20.60) and also got coffee and cheese cake ($13.95) after buying the shoes.

WEEK 24

June 17th, 2018 at 08:47 pm


Grocery = $41.55. Over $5 than what I wanted to spend but I got a bit this week.
What we got:
- 5 litres Milk
- 1 Whole Chicken
- 1 can Whole Tomato
- 500g Penne Pasta
- 1 box of Tissues
- 1 pack of Biscuit ( I like to have 1 or 2 with my afternoon coffee)
- 1 pack of 6 Burger Buns
- 0.48kg of Beef (2 x Porterhouse cut)
- ½ Cauliflower
- 1 can of Coconut Cream
- small container of grated Parmesan Cheese
- 0.9kg of Potatoes
- 0.68kg of Sweet Potatoes (these are so cheap at the moment so I got more)
- 0.44kg Pumpkin
- 5 Carrots (0.7kg)
- 7 Bananas
- A handful of Mixed Salads
- 3 Green Capsicums (0.4kg)
- 2 Tomatoes (these are not in season so they are expensive are terrible at the moment)
- 1 Red Onion
- 1 Pink Himalayan Salt Grinder (was on sale and running out soon)
- 3 small bags of Spices (I got Garam Masala, Oregano and Cinnamon Sticks – they were on sale, 3 for $2.50)
The last two items were what took us over the budget, they were not on the list but I have run out of garam masala and cinnamon sticks and almost running out of dried oregano. I should also note that I had cucumber and avocado on the list but didn’t get them. Cucumbers are crazy expensive at the moment and the avocado looked awful, both were not worth getting.

Water Bill – $207.07 for the quarter, this is about average amount for us at the moment.

Electric Bill – Our new charges for the quarter was $58.43 but since we accumulated $94.72 credit in the last bill so now we are left with $36.29 credit. I guess cutting down spent watching TV help cut down our electric bill further.

Exercise Leg Bands – Mine broke 2 weeks ago, DH got some online for $13 for 6 in the pack (different resistance).

WEEK 23

June 12th, 2018 at 03:07 am


Grocery = $35.30
What we got:
- 4 litres Milk
- 500g Frozen Blueberries
- 1 Whole Chicken
- 1 kg of SR Flour
- 375ml of Cream Cleanser (cleaning cream)
- 1 big Turkish Pide/Bread
- 1 Loaf of Bread
- 2 doz of Eggs
- 3 Onions
- 1 Bulb of Garlic
- 0.125kg of Ginger
- 0.87kg of Pumpkin
- 2 Pears
- 1.08kg of Sweet Potatoes
- 0.16kg of Spinach
- 1 big Eggplant
- 1 litre of Soy Sauce - this was the only thing that I didn't have in the list but I had some money leftover and we will soon be running out.

Doggie Poo Bag – DH order another batch of doggie poo bag, they are compostable made from corn, $84. It should last us a year and a half.

WEEK 22

June 4th, 2018 at 09:35 pm

Grocery = $36.60
I was actually hoping to only spend $35 and it would have been but Aldi forgot to put the right price for the corned beef (beef silverside) that we got. It was supposed to be $7.14 because of it was on sale from $8.92 ($1.78 difference). This happened because I left DH to pay of the grocery while I went to the grocer shop few doors down. DH just didn’t look at the receipt after. Unfortunately, I only realised the wrong charge when we were already home and it was not worth going back. Oh well life happens and now I get to blog about it.

We at least got everything that was in my shopping list. So this is what we got:
- About 1 kg of Corned Beef – this was the only thing that was not on the list but because it was ‘on sale’ was the only reason we got it. It will not go to waste at least.
- 1 kg block of Cheese
- 3 litres of Milk
- 1 whole Chicken
- 500g of Frozen mixed berries
- 1 Avocado
- 250g Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 small bottle of Mustard – so last week while cleaning the fridge I accidently dropped the mustard bottle, it was still half full.
- 2 Apples
- 1 bunch of Asparagus
- 1 Pomegranate
- 200g Mushrooms

Netflix – We decided to put on Netflix again.

May 2018

June 1st, 2018 at 10:28 pm



Total Spending for May 2018 was $2,685.64

Grocery – $281.53

Household goods/ Repairs/Garden total = $327.17. $250 was for the plumber.

Gifts – was a biggie because of mother’s day and a friend’s birthday, it was $214.06

Utilities – Only got to pay Gas for $91.51

Holiday – So most of the month’s expense was because of the holiday which was $1,154.23


= 2018 GOALS =
Financials-
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). - we are around half way mark.

*Save $4K for Holiday money. – So far this year we have spent $1,746 that means we got $2,254 in our holiday spending plan for the year

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

Other –
*Read 70 100 books.
48. The Day Trader - Stephen Frey (3 May)
49. Bluebird's Egg and Other Stories - Margaret Atwood (4 May) - Audio
50. Every Single Secret - Emily Carpenter (8 May)
51. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari (11 May)
52. The Road Less Travelled - M. Scott Peck (14 May)
53. Into the Water - Paula Hawkins (15 May) - Audio
54. Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood (17 May)
55. The Happiest Refugee - Anh Do (17 May) - Audio
56. The Drunken Botanist - Amy Stewart (18 May) - it took 3 months to read this, I just like picking it up once in a while esp when I'm drinking.
57. 10 Key Steps to Wealth - Paul Clitheroe (18 May) - Audio (very short book)
58. The Break - Marian Keyes (21 May)
59. Lost Temple - Tom Harper (22 May) - Audio
60. Savings and Investment - Paul Clitheroe (23 May) - Audio (short book)
61. The Woman in the Window - A. J. Finn (24 May)
62. My Name is Lucy Barton - Elizabeth Strout (24 May) - Audio
63. How to be Debt-Free - Paul Clitheroe (25 May) - Audio (short book)
64. Work Smarter: Live Better - Cyril Peupion (27 May)
65. Most Dangerous Place - James Grippando (28 May) - Audio
66. Turtle All the Way Down - John Green (29 May)
67. The 10 Pillars of Wealth - Alex Becker (29 May) - Audio
68. 7 Money Rules for Life - Mary Hunt (30 May)

*Learn Spanish.
I missed one day when we went away to Tasmania, I just totally forgot. After 100+ consecutive days, I’m now back to having 20+ consecutive days again.

*Workout 3/4 times a week.
Since we got back from our holiday I have been working out 6 days a week, just having Sundays off. I’m hoping to continue doing this for 100 days in a row.

*Try new recipes every other week.
I tried one new rice dish.

*Blogging once per week.
Done

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Put up new clothesline

*Wake-up early (before 7am)
Still getting up early and I have been reading first thing in the morning.

*Continue Decluttering.
DH has been doing most of the decluttering this month, he has been listening to the minimalist podcast and every night has been going through more of our paperwork in the office room. He has done a lot of shredding. A week ago I went through our clothes to get rid of some summer clothes that we won’t need next summer. We are just doing a bit at a time.

There you go another month down.

Challenge Time

May 29th, 2018 at 06:52 pm



In the last couple of days I have been cleaning and re-organising the fridge and the pantry. And now I got items that need to be consumed as soon as possible put to the side, I didn’t want to put them back in the pantry and just forget about them again. As of today, we have spent $1,439.21 on groceries this year (5 months), an average of $287.85 per month (under our budget of $300 per month). It is just under $9.60 per day which is $4.80 per person per day. I’ve decided and DH agreed to lower our grocery money next month to $3 per day per person, which will be $180. I think it will be fun and it will help use up some of these food that are nearing expiry.

WEEK 21

May 29th, 2018 at 01:31 am


Grocery – $97.40, we did a big shop but we are still under for the month.

Dog Food – Bought a 10 kilo bag of dog food and that was $64.

New Clothesline – DH calls it wind and solar powered clothes dryer, what a nerd! So we bought one and spent few hours installing it, that was $56.90

Allowance Money – We went to the Salvation Army and bought some books and CDs. All up we spent a whopping $38.70. I found 2 John Grisham newer books (2016 and 2017 copyrights) I have not read these yet. I think DH end up getting about a dozen CDs. And on top of those Grisham books I also bought another 3. I used up cash I got from last year’s birthday present and then the rest we took off from our allowance money. We hardly been spending our allocated ‘allowance money’ in the last couple of years. This year I allocated $800 for both of us for it and so far we’ve only spent under $150. DH has been really good at saying no to most of the eating out and drinking out invites with co-workers. The thing is that his company actually provide them with snacks and beer every Friday night so he does not feel left out. There are also the occasional lunches and dinners that the company organises and sometimes he gets taken out by suppliers for ‘meeting’.
So he is very selective to when he say yes to these invites and there are plenty at least one to two times a week. Last week for example he said yes to beer after work on Thursday because it was with his old boss that he doesn’t get to converse much anymore, due to restructuring in the company. That 1 beer by the way cost him $10, so yeah it get pretty pricey very quickly if he goes to every single one of them and most of the time they involve getting food. Sometimes he feels bad that he says no but then he also doesn’t want to drink too much during workdays, he wants to come home on time and get an early night sleep for the next day. So it is not just about the money.

WEEK 20

May 21st, 2018 at 11:02 pm



Grocery – $44.10
Plumber – Was less than anticipated, paid $250.
Friend’s Birthday – Gift was $100
Fuel - $32.80

Not much else to report really.

WEEK 19

May 15th, 2018 at 09:17 pm


Back to our normal life.

Grocery – we did a big shop which end up totalling to $112.74

Mother’s Day – Spent $114 on gifts

Plumbing Issues – We got a blocked sewage pipe, the plumber should be coming to unblock it tomorrow. I’m anticipating it will cost around $300.

WEEK 18

May 8th, 2018 at 10:28 pm


We went on a holiday for 6 days/5 nights, just got home yesterday. When we got home we went and got some food that should last us until the end of the week when we can then do a big shop.

Grocery - $27.29

HOLIDAY – We flew to Hobart Tasmania. We decided to rent a tiny campervan; it was an interesting experience – a lot of fun. The first two nights we stayed in Hobart at a campsite near my brother’s place that was right next to a river. We ate at their place on our first night and breakfast as well. On the second night we went out to a restaurant DH paid for it, it was pricey almost $200 worth. We visited a famous museum called MONA and an old brewery. On the 3rd day we drove to Launceston, about 2 hours north from Hobart, we stayed their overnight and then drove up to the mountain, another 2 hours away, called Cradle Mountain. We did a nice 2-hour walk around Dove Lake it was beautiful even when it was raining on and off throughout our walk. We had a massive feast after our walk I used a voucher that my brother gave me for my birthday last year. We ate so much we didn’t need to eat dinner that night. That night we stayed just at the bottom of the mountains, about an hour away. We got a great view of the (rocky) mountains and when it got dark so many pademelons came out to feed at the campsite. The next day we went back to Launceston and explore the place a little bit, we end up going to a gorge, then we drove back to Hobart for our last night. Again stayed at the same campsite and had out last dinner at my brother’s place.

The cost (we used up money we got from a CC promotion last year for the airfares so that is not included here):
Accommodations - $100 ($20 per night)
Transportations - $500.82
Food - $428.51
Other - $124.9
TOTAL = $1,154.23

APRIL 2018 (WEEK 17)

May 2nd, 2018 at 05:15 am

This would have been a low spend month but because we pre-paid internet for a year it total to $2,568.13. Half of this was because of the internet, holiday expenses and my birthday celebration.

Internet – was big total for the month was $845.

Holiday – ended at $285.20. Some of this included money we spent on our Easter Holiday and some for another holiday we are going very soon.

Groceries – We only got few things this weekend because we didn’t need much and it only cost us $9.95. The total for the month was $296.20

Birthday Celebration – I had another birthday get together, with friends this time. We had lunch and then we went to an Escape Room and then had coffee afterwards. It was fun and it cost us $127.00. Overall, my birthday cost me $242.50, this includes that dinner I went with DH.

Eating Out – We did not cook at all the whole weekend. We went a bit crazy. On top of the lunch above we went out to another restaurant for Sunday lunch as well and we got takeaway food Saturday night, thankfully we had leftover and we ate that Sunday night. All the eating out, not including above amount was $61.90.

Fuel – got some $37.20


Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K).
More savings in April than in March - *happy dance*

*Save $4K for Holiday money.
Have spent some of this money at the start of the month and will continues to spend more money in May for our next holiday.

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.
We should be able to start saving more for this in the second half of the year.


Other –

*Read 70 books.
28. Beyond Good and Evil - Frederick Nietzsche (3 Apr) - Read w/ Audio**
29. Money to Burn - James Grippando (5 Apr) - Audio
30. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (7 Apr)
31. On the Shortness of Life - Seneca (8 Apr)
32. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (10 Apr)
34. A is for Alibi - Sue Grafton (11 Apr) - Audio
35. Freakonomics - Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner (12 Apr)
36. The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right - Atul Gawande (13 Apr)
37. Siddhartha -Hermann Hesse (15 Apr)
38. Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan (17 Apr)
39. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (18 Apr) - Audio
40. You Need a Budget - Jesse Mecham (19 Apr)
41. Philosophy for Beginners - Max Charlesworth (20 Apr)
42. B is for Burglar - Sue Grafton (22 Apr) - Audio
43. The Pardon - James Grippando (23 Apr) - Audio
44. War and Gold - Kwasi Kwarteng (24 Apr)
45. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver (26 Apr)
46. The Teeth of the Tiger - Tom Clancy (27 Apr) – Audio
47. C is for Corpse - Sue Grafton (30 Apr) – Audio

I’m more than half way to my goal! It’s amazing how cutting about 4 hours of television a day adds up. These days there’s not much worth watching unless you are into reality shows. I used to watch those cooking and renovation contest but they are not about cooking or renovations anymore, it’s always just about people fighting which I’m so over it.

As you can see I listened to a bit of audiobooks this month, they are all crime and mystery books except for the first one which I read along while listening to the audio. I already got a copy of ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ in my kindle and I borrowed the audio version from the library online. I do a lot of my listening to the audiobooks while I'm walking the dog, while cleaning and in the last several days while I was doing some painting.

Since I’m more than halfway to my goal already and I’ve increased my reading time while not really reading because of audiobooks I decided to increase the amounts of books I aim to read to 100 books this year.


*Learn Spanish.
Still going and I’m at 104 days streak at the moment.

*Workout 3/4 times a week.
Doing very poorly here, I’m still doing some but mainly just stretching and walking the dog, I need to do harder exercises when we get back from our holiday. This is becoming a bad pattern, me constantly waiting for something to happen before I get my act together. I need to break it.

*Try new recipes every other week.
I tried few and one of them was the Aloo Gobi that I got inspired by toilet-paper-tracker.

*Blogging once per week.
Check

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
As I mentioned in my previous blog entry DH built a screen wall outside to screen off the clothes line and I painted it.

*Wake-up early (before 7am)
Check

*Continue Decluttering.
DH has been putting our music from CDs to digital so we can listen to them whenever and wherever on our phones and the CDs themselves have been stored away into a plastic tub in the garage. It took him over a month copying them.

WEEK 16

April 24th, 2018 at 12:23 am


This was an expensive week, there were few things we had to spend money on and last week was my birthday so we went out for dinner, it was low key celebration.

Groceries – spent a total of $76.70

Birthday Dinner – We went to a nice Italian restaurant that we haven’t been to for over 2 years, one of our favourite. We spent $115.50, I ate way too much that I skipped breakfast and lunch the next day. They were big servings we are not used with those these days normally, most restaurants hardly have anything on the plate. I received few more gift cards.

Clothes & Bed Sheets – We had to throw away most of our thermal under garment so bought new ones because winter is coming. That was $48.95. While there we found a nice Flannelette Bed Sheets sets for $29.99. I love those for winter.

New Convection Oven – We had to get a new one because the other one died half-way to using it - that was only $45.

Paint – DH built a screen wall outside, it will help to hide the clothes line. Most of the materials he used were reclaimed wood except for a couple posts. It will need painting, bought some for $53.70. It will have a lot of left overs that I can used in the future.

Internet – Just like our health insurance we have an option of free paying. We can pay a year in advance and get 2 months for free, a saving of $130. DH paid $780 for the year.

Car rental Deposit – We are visiting my brother and family again. We decided we will need transportation so we can visit other towns. Last night DH paid the deposit of $107.08.

I think that’s it for now.

WEEK 15

April 16th, 2018 at 12:47 am



The weather was terrible on the weekend so we didn’t do much.

Groceries – spent a total of $79.71

Lunch out – On Sat we caught up with a friend for lunch we had Paella and beers, spent $37.50.

Garden Supplies – Got some supplies, $40.70.


WEEK 14

April 9th, 2018 at 04:36 pm



Groceries – We bought some groceries when we got home ($76.86) and the on the weekend we got some more stuff and spent $52.98, in total $129.84

Zoo – We went to the zoo again on the weekend, we are trying to take advantage of still warm weather and our annual pass is expiring in less than 2 weeks. We spent $8 at the bakery for some snacks and $2 for parking.

Dog tablets – Bought some fleas and heartworm, etc. tablets online for $68.90.

Transportation expenses – we got gas for the car $32.82. I’m glad the gas prices are getting cheaper again, and I’m glad gas prices are cheaper in our state than in NSW (Sydney). When we were there they were selling around 10-20 cents per litre more than here at home. DH again put $50 to his train pass.


MARCH 2018 (WEEK 12 & 13)

April 3rd, 2018 at 09:23 pm

Not much really to report for Week 12 – spent $6.80 on grocery. Week 13 we were away for 10 days visiting DH’s parents interstate (12-hour drive away).

March 2018 highlights:

Total expense for March was $4,239.86

Groceries - $248.82 in total for the month, under because we weren’t home for over a week.

Water & Gas – Both add up to $322.02

Transportation Exp – Fuel, train fare and car repairs was a bit because of getting to re-gas the car air-conditioner, all up it was $452.74

Alcohol – Went out to stock up on alcohol and end up spending $153.15

Health Insurance – Half of March’s expense went to pre-paying the health insurance. $2,121.99, this included paying for the month of March’s health insurance.

HOLIDAY SPENDING – Overall, it was a fairly frugal holiday $479.09 in total. Fuel cost us $204.28 and the food and other expenses were $249.81. We bought groceries few times and cooked for everyone a couple of times. We also went out for dinner once to celebrate our nephew’s 22nd birthday. On the way home we opted to stop over night at about half-way point and camp for the night, the campsite cost us $25. The March portion for this holiday expense was $306.57 (I decided to divide the expenses to 2 months when the actual spending was done).

2018 Goal review:
Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). – Still motoring along

*Save $4K for Holiday money. – We spent some this month obviously

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.


Other –

*Read 70 books. – I did a lot of reading this month.

10. Y is for Yesterday - Sue Grafton (4 Mar)
11. The Mark of a Millionaire - Dexter Yager & Ron Ball (5 Mar)
12. The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah (8 Mar)
13. The Confession - John Grisham (9 Mar)
14. Making Time, Making Money - Rita Davenport (11 Mar)
15. The Laws of Lifetime Growth - Dan Sullivan & Catherine Nomura (12 Mar)
16. China Rich Girlfriend - Kevin Kwan (15 Mar)
17. The Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas Taleb (17 Mar)
18. Sigmund Freud's Mission - Erich Fromm (18 Mar)
19. Unf*ck Your Finances - Melissa Browne (20 Mar)
20. Stock Market Strategies that Works in Australia - Matthew Brooks & Paul Nojin (21 Mar)
21. Red Sparrow - Jason Matthews (23 Mar)
22. The Day She Can't Forget - Meg Carter (24 Mar) – Audio**
23. The Travelling Companion - Ian Rankin (24 Mar)
24. 1984 - George Orwell (26 Mar)
25. On the Happy Life - Seneca (27 Mar)
26. Finance: Budgeting: Save Money, Invest for Retirement and get Debt Free - Andrew W. Welch (28 Mar)
27. Deal Breaker - Harlan Coben (29 Mar)

** I borrowed an audiobook from the library. This was good to listen to while doing some cleaning and packing. I eventually finished it while we travelled interstate. In the past I’ve tried audiobooks and found that I couldn’t follow it unless I’m also looking at the words, but this book was really good, the story was easy to follow.



*Learn Spanish. – Still doing about 15 to 20 minutes a day.

*Workout 3/4 times a week. – I didn’t do any while away but did a lot of walking and playing with the dog outdoors, like at the park and at the beach.

*Try new recipes every other week. – Only did one in March

*Blogging once per week. – I missed last week, I didn’t bring my laptop and so I left my personal finance spreadsheet at home.

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.¬ – We did a little bit of stuff before we went away.

*Wake-up early (before 7am) – I have been very good even on our holidays when I didn’t have my alarm clock on I was still waking up around 6am.

*Continue Decluttering. – We done a lot of shredding of old papers. DH has been downloading online statements and scanning the ones that he couldn’t get online. So the paper statements that we don’t need any more we shredded, I would say almost couple thousand pages. Our filing cabinet that was full to the brim is now less than half full.

WEEK 11

March 18th, 2018 at 03:19 pm


Had to spend a bit of money this week…

Groceries – we don’t need much this week, spent $36.35

Car – DH took the car to get the air conditioning re-gassed, unfortunately the filter need to also be replaced because it was blocked. All up it cost $200.20

Private Health Insurance – This one is a biggie. We got an email asking us if we wanted to prepay our health insurance for a year. Prepaying would mean we can pay using the current price instead of the new rate that will increase starting next month. It will increase by around 7-8%, I believe, which is $11.80 increase per month. It cost $1,958.76 with a total saving of $141.84. It doesn’t seem much but it still a saving. This is another example of where having savings helps you save money by taking advantage (opportunity costs) of these types of opportunities.

Electric Bill – (yet another example of taking advantage of an opportunity cost), by having a solar panels we now have so much lower electric bill. Although it cost us some money (over $2K) to get it installed it has now paid dividend. Last bill was $17.10 CREDIT and this current bill was $77.62 CREDIT, I love summer! Anyway we now have a total credit of $94.72 that will hopefully offset some, if not most of next bill. It is a paradox whereby only the “rich” can afford to buy cheap (not that I’m saying I’m rich or anything like that!) but every bit helps.

Portable Speaker – Using a gift card (another one we got as a gift for Christmas) DH bought one of those portable speaker. DH wanted to get one to mainly use in the car for when he wants to listen to podcasts and music. It sounds so much better than just using the phone speaker or our 18 year old car’s speaker and no need for cable with Bluetooth connection. We went to the store looking to buy one he looked at online but he saw another one, the same brand, which was just a little bit better in terms of hours play. He looked it up online store for this store to see how much they were selling it for; online it was $20 less so he asked the lady at the counter if could get it for the price online, it was no problem. It saved him the hassled of buying it online. So he paid $59, which leaves us with $41 left in the gift card.

WEEK 10

March 12th, 2018 at 06:32 pm


We had a 3-day week-end here. We mainly just relaxed, did a couple of hours of tinkering outside in the garden and we went to the zoo for few hours on Sunday. We were going to do a good clean out of the garage but I think we are going to try and do that next month instead, after Easter holidays. We were going to hire a skip bin, they are around $250-$300 (the one we normally hire, they drop off the empty bin, we fill it up and they pick it up) but I think we are going to try and take the rubbish to the tip ourselves and hire a trailer instead, they are around $30-50 to hire for 4 hours (depending on size) and the tip pay is around $60-80 per trailer load. We probably got about 2 to 3 trailer load. Most of the rubbish is broken bricks, soils and building materials which would require extra pay if we hire that skip bin.

We did a little bit of spending this weekend.

Groceries – was $113.47. We stocked up on some dental products; toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrushes and floss. Also got some snack for a trip we are going on later this month.

Clothes – There was a sale and I kind of did some new underwear so spent $33.92

Gifts – Got a gift for $25.97

Zoo – Zoo spending was minimal since we already got the annual passes which are expiring next month. Only spent on $2 parking and $5 on a pricey latte, DH and I shared even though the large was very small.

Netflix – Cancelled Netflix again since I probably won’t be watching it much for the next month or so. I will probably put it on again in June; a lot of new shows/seasons will be release then.

WEEK 9

March 5th, 2018 at 08:47 pm


The spending have slowed down – could only be a good thing.

Grocery – was a tad high went to the butcher place where I been going to once a month for the last 4 months. Total for the week was $92.20

Train Pass – DH topped up his train pass, he put in $50. DH has been doing so well this year I think he has saved around $100 already by getting to work early. He has been taking advantage of Early Bird Train Travel. Here your journey is free if you get to your destination before 7.15am. He has done this except on 2 occasions.

Garden – Bought some bags sands for paving worth $31.16

Salvo – we took some stuff to the Salvation Army, while there I bought 3 books worth $6.75 (funny I got rid of 4 books but gain 3 back). This money came out from my birthday money from last year I still got over $50 left I haven’t spent. I barely spent my allocated allowance money these days, I’ll probably buy a new laptop next year.

Feb 2018 (Week 7 & 8)

March 1st, 2018 at 11:34 pm

Total spending for February was $1,750.36

I have been busy in the last 2 weeks, my brother and his family came and stayed with us and the next day after they left, I got sick, the baby gave me a parting gift. We ended up spending a bit more on food this month. Also took them to eat out for my brother’s partner’s birthday. Some notable expenses for the month:

Grocery - $346.68, we are really over for the month.

Household Goods etc – We went to Ikea and got a bunch of stuff so for the month we spent $233.44

Entertainment – all up it was very high $262.70

*******/////////*******/////////********

Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). –still out top priority and working on it.
*Save $4K for Holiday money. – didn’t spend any
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. – not needed yet


Other –

*Read 70 books.

I’ve been busy so I didn’t have much time to read.
6 The Racketeer - John Grisham (1 Feb)
7 Mindset - Dr Carol S. Dweck (6 Feb)
8 Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party - Alexander McCall Smith (7 Feb)
9 The Simple Path to Wealth - JL Collins (12 Feb)


*Learn Spanish. – everyday


*Workout 3/4 times a week. – still trying to do better


*Try new recipes every other week. –yes and it was not too bad


*Blogging once per week. – missed it last week


*Continue Garden/Landscaping. – we did a bit.


*Wake-up early (before 7am) – I have been great at this so far this year.


*Continue Decluttering. – we did a lot when we were cleaning before our guests came.

WEEK 6 – A little bit spendy

February 13th, 2018 at 02:26 pm


Spending for the weekend was just over $300, whenever it is above $300 I tend to consider it to be high. We went a bit crazy on buying some stuff for the garden.

Grocery - $90.36, this could have been lower but Valentine’s Day this weekend so I got some fancy cut of meat.

Beauty products – don’t buy these often but I spent $21.95

Eat-out – We were out and about for most of the weekend so we eat out couple of times, all up $27.10

Garden Items – Got bunch of stuff including those pebbles that I wanted to get for the rock garden, the 15kg bags were actually $11.95 so I got 2 bags which was more than enough. I think I mentioned in my previous blog that I was going to get 1.5kg, well there are hardly any rocks in 1.5kg bag. The 15 kg was way cheaper. Then since we were at the nursery we end up getting bunch of other stuff that was not necessary but I wanted and I actually had in my list of things to get there. After all of that we end up spending $128.63. That place is a dangerous place for me.

Clothing – Was not planning to go clothes shopping but we were near this store that we got gift cards for. The gift cards we got from Christmas. They were having 40% off on some items that was already discounted so we had a look and end up getting 3 things. One was an ultra-light puffer jacket for DH, they are great for when we go travelling and I got 2 things, 1 The North Face a long sleeved shirt and another thick zipped up shirt. I’ve recently got rid of 2 hoodie shirts so these are replacements. We used up one of the $100 gift card and we still got another left but we didn’t know what else to get.

WEEK 5

February 5th, 2018 at 04:41 pm


Spending for the week:

Grocery – We spent a bit this weekend, got a 20 kg bag of rice at the Asian grocer that was for $31. Also bought some fish $10 worth and the rest was for normal weekly shopping. All up it was $112 even.

Fuel – DH got some fuel for the car and mower, $20.70.

Other – Got a pack of 3 lightbulbs for $11.90 and Domino’s pizza on Friday night for $5.

Gardening – The weather on the weekend was beautiful so we spent some of our time outside tinkering in the garden. On Sunday afternoon, I created a little rock garden with different variety of succulents and some small cactus plants, it turnout really well. This little area in the garden is about 1.5 by 1.5 meters in size, it get full sun so nothing much grows there or you have to water it a lot. We already have some garden rocks and white pebbles lying around (I actually thought we might to spend some money to get rid of them) so I didn’t have to spend any money to make the garden. Although, I think I will need to add more pebbles maybe 2 to 3 bags. For the last 2 years or so I have been collecting succulents, I picked some during our walks and some I’ve bought at garage sales for couple dollars. So this was a fairly inexpensive little project. I think the pebbles are around $8 for 1.5kg bag, I’m hoping 2 to 3 bags will be enough.

WEEK 4

January 29th, 2018 at 04:07 pm

We had a 3-day weekend here for Australia day public holiday. We didn’t do anything because the weather was very hot again. We just had staycation and relax and watch some more cricket games. It was great to just stay home, we actually got invited to go to the beach near my friends place to celebrate Australia day but it is over an hour drive and would just been too tiring. DH has been getting up early and working long hours so he really needed the weekend to catch up on sleep. The heat doesn’t help though; the other night the temperature didn’t get below 27degree Celsius thankfully it rained last night and the temperature has cold down considerably today.

Staying home was not only good for DH to get rest but was also good for the wallet. We only went out to get groceries and got a takeout for end of the week thing that we have been doing for a while now.

Grocery – Spent $61.12

Takeout – was $14

We are doing well this month compare to 12 months ago. I will look into end of the month numbers tomorrow.

WEEK 3

January 21st, 2018 at 10:17 pm


Grocery - $94.55 got some meat.

Annual Insurance Bills – Paid the both the car insurance ($770.77) and house and content insurance ($656.75) for the year. Total of $1,427.52 together it’s an increase of $102.43 to that of last year’s amounts.

Takeaway – ($23.00) we got some take out when the weather was 40 degrees Celsius, way too hot to cook.

Doggie Shampoo and Treats - $20.39

This week we did some work around the house and I did some reading and watched a lot of cricket games. We live a very simple life, and that’s just the way I like it.


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