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.
Viewing the 'Groceries' Category
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.
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.
Not much really to report for Week 12 – spent $6.80 on grocery. Week 13 we were away for 10 days visiting DH’s parents interstate (12-hour drive away).
March 2018 highlights:
Total expense for March was $4,239.86
Groceries - $248.82 in total for the month, under because we weren’t home for over a week.
Water & Gas – Both add up to $322.02
Transportation Exp – Fuel, train fare and car repairs was a bit because of getting to re-gas the car air-conditioner, all up it was $452.74
Alcohol – Went out to stock up on alcohol and end up spending $153.15
Health Insurance – Half of March’s expense went to pre-paying the health insurance. $2,121.99, this included paying for the month of March’s health insurance.
HOLIDAY SPENDING – Overall, it was a fairly frugal holiday $479.09 in total. Fuel cost us $204.28 and the food and other expenses were $249.81. We bought groceries few times and cooked for everyone a couple of times. We also went out for dinner once to celebrate our nephew’s 22nd birthday. On the way home we opted to stop over night at about half-way point and camp for the night, the campsite cost us $25. The March portion for this holiday expense was $306.57 (I decided to divide the expenses to 2 months when the actual spending was done).
2018 Goal review:
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). – Still motoring along
*Save $4K for Holiday money. – We spent some this month obviously
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.
*Read 70 books. – I did a lot of reading this month.
10. Y is for Yesterday - Sue Grafton (4 Mar)
11. The Mark of a Millionaire - Dexter Yager & Ron Ball (5 Mar)
12. The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah (8 Mar)
13. The Confession - John Grisham (9 Mar)
14. Making Time, Making Money - Rita Davenport (11 Mar)
15. The Laws of Lifetime Growth - Dan Sullivan & Catherine Nomura (12 Mar)
16. China Rich Girlfriend - Kevin Kwan (15 Mar)
17. The Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas Taleb (17 Mar)
18. Sigmund Freud's Mission - Erich Fromm (18 Mar)
19. Unf*ck Your Finances - Melissa Browne (20 Mar)
20. Stock Market Strategies that Works in Australia - Matthew Brooks & Paul Nojin (21 Mar)
21. Red Sparrow - Jason Matthews (23 Mar)
22. The Day She Can't Forget - Meg Carter (24 Mar) – Audio**
23. The Travelling Companion - Ian Rankin (24 Mar)
24. 1984 - George Orwell (26 Mar)
25. On the Happy Life - Seneca (27 Mar)
26. Finance: Budgeting: Save Money, Invest for Retirement and get Debt Free - Andrew W. Welch (28 Mar)
27. Deal Breaker - Harlan Coben (29 Mar)
** I borrowed an audiobook from the library. This was good to listen to while doing some cleaning and packing. I eventually finished it while we travelled interstate. In the past I’ve tried audiobooks and found that I couldn’t follow it unless I’m also looking at the words, but this book was really good, the story was easy to follow.
*Learn Spanish. – Still doing about 15 to 20 minutes a day.
*Workout 3/4 times a week. – I didn’t do any while away but did a lot of walking and playing with the dog outdoors, like at the park and at the beach.
*Try new recipes every other week. – Only did one in March
*Blogging once per week. – I missed last week, I didn’t bring my laptop and so I left my personal finance spreadsheet at home.
*Continue Garden/Landscaping.¬ – We did a little bit of stuff before we went away.
*Wake-up early (before 7am) – I have been very good even on our holidays when I didn’t have my alarm clock on I was still waking up around 6am.
*Continue Decluttering. – We done a lot of shredding of old papers. DH has been downloading online statements and scanning the ones that he couldn’t get online. So the paper statements that we don’t need any more we shredded, I would say almost couple thousand pages. Our filing cabinet that was full to the brim is now less than half full.
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.
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.
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.
Total spending for February was $1,750.36
I have been busy in the last 2 weeks, my brother and his family came and stayed with us and the next day after they left, I got sick, the baby gave me a parting gift. We ended up spending a bit more on food this month. Also took them to eat out for my brother’s partner’s birthday. Some notable expenses for the month:
Grocery - $346.68, we are really over for the month.
Household Goods etc – We went to Ikea and got a bunch of stuff so for the month we spent $233.44
Entertainment – all up it was very high $262.70
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). –still out top priority and working on it.
*Save $4K for Holiday money. – didn’t spend any
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. – not needed yet
*Read 70 books.
I’ve been busy so I didn’t have much time to read.
6 The Racketeer - John Grisham (1 Feb)
7 Mindset - Dr Carol S. Dweck (6 Feb)
8 Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party - Alexander McCall Smith (7 Feb)
9 The Simple Path to Wealth - JL Collins (12 Feb)
*Learn Spanish. – everyday
*Workout 3/4 times a week. – still trying to do better
*Try new recipes every other week. –yes and it was not too bad
*Blogging once per week. – missed it last week
*Continue Garden/Landscaping. – we did a bit.
*Wake-up early (before 7am) – I have been great at this so far this year.
*Continue Decluttering. – we did a lot when we were cleaning before our guests came.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Grocery - for the week $74.21
Household - we did some work around the house. Changed our water filters that cost $56.98.
Bought few bags of topping soil for the back lawn, it was just under $25.
Train fare – DH topped up his pass $50 worth.
Gas – Gas for the house was $84.60 for the last 2 months.
Quiet week we are having.
Not much spending yet which is good.
Grocery - $36.10
Internet - $65
Gas for the Car - $36.26
Movies - We went out and watch a movie for $26. DH bought the tickets on-line for only $13, that was $9 savings per ticket.
Health Insurance - $163.23
This is just a quick rundown on what happened in Dec 2017. I will be posting the overall 2017 numbers next anyway.
Total expense for the month was $3,453.49.
Groceries - $310.88 (this does not include Christmas food spending)
New mobile phone - $210
Garden – spend a little bit of money for the garden $43.13
Car Registration – the biggest cost for the month - $800.80
Eating out - $162.30 was on the high side.
Reading – I took time off from reading this month. I think I’m going to increase my goal next year to 70 books for the year.
63 The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye - David Lagercrantz (2 Dec)
64 The Paradox of Choice Why Less is More - Barry Schwartz (4 Dec)
Decluttering – I’ve been doing a bit more decluttering again. I throw away a lot of old magazines and bunch of books I will never read again.
Grocery – Week 1 – $30.70; Week 2 - $41.51; Week 3 - $105.94 – TOTAL=$178.15 so far this month
Utilities – Water bill for the quarter is $247.62, and the electric bill for the quarter is $17.10 in credit.
Car Registration – We paid the annual car registration and that was for $800.80
Netflix – We decided to put on Netflix again, it was a surprise that we actually got the first month for free.
I didn’t bother posting a blog last week much happened, the only thing exciting we did was go to the musical Aladdin. I got the tickets as a belated birthday present from a couple of friends. The tickets were $130 each so it was very nice of them. The only spending we did was $1 for a coffee in the nearby 7eleven before we went in.
Total spending for the month of November 2017 was $2,112.01
Grocery – We were spot on budget in our grocery spending this month, $301.82.
The only significant spending this month was for our trip to Tasmania, the weekend camping and the $400 donation. If it weren’t for these things we would have been way under 2 grand this month. A very good month for us I say, now onto December, the holiday season. We aren’t planning anything big just simple quiet Christmas.
57 Origin - Dan Brown (3 Nov)
58 4 3 2 1 - Paul Auster (14 Nov)
59 Antifragile - Nassim Nicholas Taleb (19 Nov)
60 Alexander Hamilton - Ron Chernow (26 Nov)
61 A Guide to the Good Life - William B. Irvine (27 Nov)
62 Introducing the Ancient Greeks - Edith Hall (29 Nov)
We went camping on the weekend, the weather was just absolutely beautiful on the weekend (right now it raining but still pleasant temperature wise). We took our little doggie and she was so much better this time around, she is getting used to sleeping in the tent. She just love being outside but the only downside is she had to be in her leash all the time but I think she got used to that as well.
Camping Spending – Campsite fee was $25, we got gas for the car $29.23, and got some food for $26.65. Total was $80.88
Grocery – Was all up $137.09. Stocked up on some meat, in particular chicken breast and pork belly, they were cheap at the moment. Also $28 of that was for 3kg honey we got near the campsite. We got a kilo of honey from there last time and we really liked it.
Gardening/Landscaping – We are again doing some work outside in the garden. We got few bags of pre-mixed concrete/cement to put between the rocks that border some of our garden beds. I’m hoping by doing this it will stop the weeds growing between the rocks which are pain to pull out and because of our dog we can’t just weed killer to get rid of them, I never really liked using them to start with anyway. The cement mixed are $6.50 a bag I think we will need get some more before get it done.
Grocery – So far this month we spent $40.86
Gas Bill - $94.47 for the latest bi-monthly bill
TASMANIA TRIP – As I mentioned in my last post we made changes to our holiday plan again. We were going to go away for a week but the weather over there were still chilly that we just decided to go for 2 nights/3 days. I’m still trying to recover from this cough that I got and it keeps coming back when the weather is cold. So we’ve already have come back home. DH didn’t bother changing his holiday taken off from work so it has been good having him home. The weather is supposed to be really good this weekend so we might go camping somewhere near home, just for a night. The costs run down of our trip - FLIGHTS that we bought last month was for $436.00. ACCOMODATION was free because we stayed at my brother’s future father in-laws house. My brother place is only a 1 bedroom cabin. We did however bought a $46 bottle of wine as a thank you gift for letting us stay at their place. TRANSPORTATION cost was for $45 taxi ride to the airport, my brother couldn’t drop us off he had to go to work. FOOD and OTHER cost us $217.20, we visited a small town where the oldest bridge in Australia was built by the convicts and a winery nearby, basically we drunk a lot and ate a lot. TOTAL at the end was $744.20.
TAX – I forgot to talk about our tax refund we got last week. All up it was almost break-even. I got $657.73 refund while DH had to pay $83.10 and then we had to pay accountant fee for $550 so in the end we only got $24.63.
DONATION – We donated $400 the other day.
$100 EFTPOS Card – Apparently when we change our health insurance after 60 days or something they give you $100 EFTPOS card. I’m thinking of using this for Christmas.
Horse Racing – The other day was a public holiday here because of spring horse racing. We and a couple of friends decided to have lunch at a pub and watched the race there. We had a bet amongst ourselves. I won the $20 pot. Lunch and grog was $74.00
This was a big month. Total for the month $3189.60.
Some of the reasons why this was an above average month:
Birthdays & Anniversary – We tend to go out a bit in October to celebrate our anniversary and DH’s birthday, so entertainment expenses tend to be higher on this month.
GIFTS – This was extra high this month. Last weekend I took 3 of my friends out for brunch as birthday presents. And I got some clothes and toys for my new niece to take with us when we go visit. Total under this category was $315.47
CLOTHES – When we went out to get baby clothes we also bought some clothes for us. I replaced a couple of jeans that I have thrown out both had broken zippers and bought a black skinny jeans and I also got a leather jacket, something I’ve been thinking of getting. For DH we got him a bunch of underwear and a business shirt. End up spending $197.99, we only got about $60 left in our yearly budget for clothing, it should be doable. Good news though is I cleaned out our wardrobe again and thrown out/ give away 2 more bags of clothing this month. We are getting there with decluttering.
PLANE Tickets – We finally bought our tickets for our travels to Tasmania to visit my brother’s new baby. That was for $436. (There is yet another change of plans which I will blog about next time).
CAR SERVICE & REPAIRS – Yesterday DH had to take the car again for service. Last week while cleaning the car DH noticed that one of the back doors wouldn’t lock and also few months ago there is a part in the booth that broke which needed replacement. Since these things need done and our car is actually due for service in few weeks he just got the whole thing done. So on top of that tyre that needed replacement earlier this month in total we spent $766.70 on the car repairs and services this month. Yikes!
Some highlights for the month on top of the above expenses:
GROCERY – End of the month total is $280.19, under by almost $20 *happy dance*. This week end grocery shopping was $44.95.
ELECTRIC BILL – The last quarter bill was $156.24, the biggest for the year. Next bill should be a lot lower since the days are getting longer and we should be getting sun shining on our solar panels.
INTERNET - Good thing about this month was our internet was free!
BOOKS - I challenged myself to read one book a day for 5 days at the start of the month. I did pretty well; although I must be honest and say that I kind of cheated since the first two books I already started a bit last month. Still I was pretty happy about it. Then the week after when I was sick I couldn’t read a thing. It would have been a good time to do some reading since I was in bed for most of it but I just couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading.
47 Making Money Made Simple - Noel Whittaker (2 Oct)
48 The 4-Hour Work Week - Timothy Ferris (3 Oct)
49 Cannery Row - John Steinbeck (4 Oct)
50 Seneca - Letters from a Stoic - Translated by Robin Campbell (5 Oct)
51 The Art of Free Travel (A Frugal Family Adventure) - Patrick Jones & Meg Ulman (6 Oct)
52 Ego is the Enemy - Ryan Holiday (16 Oct)
53 The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (22 Oct)
54 Nietzsche: A Complete Introduction - Dr Roy Jackson (25 Oct)
55 How to Become a Stoic - Massimo Pigliucci (29 Oct)
56 Stoicism and the Art of Happiness - Donald Robertson (31 Oct)
I forgot to note that I made it to my goal of reading 50 books this year. Sweet! I'm still gonna keep going and see how many I'll end up reading by the end of the year. I'm almost half way through reading the new Dan Brown book 'Origin' right now.
Grocery – for the week $123.36, we went to the market for some meat.
Brunch – Had brunch with some friends it was my treat as a birthday gift for 3 friends. Everyone enjoyed it and I didn’t have to go shopping for useless stuff. I paid $140.80 for everything.
Short and sweet for today, nothing much is happening here.
I was sick all week last week and still at the tail of this annoying cold. So in the last month I’ve had a head cold and was better for about a week then last week was even worst cold (I got it from DH) and it has taken a while to recover from it, almost 3 boxes of tissues later I can finally think again. The last couple of days has been a lot better but still have been coughing but hopefully it won’t come back again.
Groceries – First week spent $60.91 and on the weekend we spent $50.97, so we are doing well so far this month.
Zoo – Last Sunday (before I got sick, although I was starting to feel awful then) we took a friend for lunch and then to one of the zoo here in Melbourne, she is from overseas and only here for couple of months. We spent all up $115.12, we used our annual zoo passes but we paid for our friend.
Flat Tyre – Last Friday night DH was about to get pizza for dinner when he notice the car felt funny when he drive it out of the driveway, luckily he noticed it right away as was able to get back in the garage. Friday night pizza got cancelled. DH changed the flat into the spare the next morning and then took it to the nearest tyre place. Luckily the one that got a nail on it was one of the old tyres at the back that would have needed replacing soon. On March (was on my March 28th 2017 blog) when we got the car serviced they replaced the 2 front tyres and suggested that the back ones will be done in the next service. DH asked them about the other back tyre and they feel like it could last a bit longer still. So the one tyre replacement was $110.
Roadside Assistance – On the topic of our car, last night DH just paid our annual roadside service assistance it was for $99.75
Groupon – On Sunday even though I still wasn’t fine we went out for dinner for couple of hours, it was good to be out of the house though. We booked this thing a month or so ago so we didn’t want to cancel it. We had tapas and it was okay it was lacking something though it was a bit bland for my taste. Luckily, we got Groupon because if I had to pay full price it would have been very disappointing. $45 for dinner and drinks and also paid $10.08 for parking (8 cents for card processing, and there was no cash option).
I think that's all I got for now.
Overall expense for September was $1,665.60. That was not a bad month I was expecting it to a lot worse than that so I’m really happy about it.
Groceries – This was really the only thing that was bad but it was mainly that spending we made on the last two days of the month for the party on the 30th. The total on grocery spending for the month was $370.82, so we were over by $70.82, the biggest so far this year.
BBQ – We had people over for the barbeque. We watched the AFL grand final after our bbq lunch. We had 6 people over, we had a little bet ($1 per person), DH and I lost so we are $2 poorer, lol. Went overboard with food and because we have been eating out a bit the last few days we are still have some leftovers. After the game we played ‘Cards against Humanity’ that was fun and everyone stayed to have some leftovers for dinner.
Anniversary – The next day was our anniversary. We had lunch at Nobu and afterwards we went to the city library, DH wanted me to get a library card there. I only tend to go to the city few times a year these days but they have a bigger collections of books and especially e-books than our local library so I’m looking forward to be able to access that at least. I borrowed some books then we walked back to the casino where Nobu is and where we parked our car. We had time to kill before we need to go to the movies so we decided to play the Roulette, we played for about half an hour and in the end we walked away with $30 more than we started. At the movies, even though our movie tickets were free we still end up spending $18.10 on popcorn and drinks.
Overall Anniversary Spending:
Lunch - $104.55
Parking - $6.00
We shared coffee while gambling - $4.90
Snacks at the movies - $18.10
(minus) Winnings - $30.00
TOTAL = $103.55
Probably one of the cheapest anniversary celebrations we’ve had in recent years.
DH B’day – Last night we went out for dinner for DH’s birthday, it cost us $52.
41 The Pearl - John Steinbeck (4 Sep)
42 The Moon is Down - John Steinbeck (13 Sep)
43 Thinking Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman (15 Sep)
44 The Daily Stoic - Ryan Holiday & Stephen Hanselman (20 Sep)
45 The Fault in Our Stars - John Green (22 Sep)
46 The Obstacle is the Way - Ryan Holiday (25 Sep)
My other goals have kind of got neglected in Sept, I will try to do better in Oct. I did however eliminated more clothes from my wardrobe, I'll need to go through DH too soon then will need to take them to the Salvos. Workout has been slow getting back to my routine since I was sick.
Grocery – Total for the week was $99.10, spent a total of $45.56 on meat. We would have enough food for the rest of the month except we have people coming over on Saturday for the grand final Australian Football game at our house. We decided to have a barbeque and we will be having sausages, hotdogs, hamburgers and maybe some lamb and chicken. We only got less than $20 in the grocery budget left for the month so that will not be enough. I think I will need around $50 for the party. We got plenty of alcohol and I’ve asked people to BYO softdrinks if they want any since I’m still on my ‘no buying softdrink’ this year goal. Anyway, lets hope I can keep thinks around $50. I do have two $30 gift cards that I got given last Christmas maybe I’ll use one of those and I’m thinking of keeping the other for Christmas.
Movie Voucher – Speaking of Christmas gift, DH just found a $100 movie voucher that his parents gave us last Christmas. It was emailed to DH and he found it on the weekend when he finally decided to clean his email. I really need to remember this stuff because DH is hopeless at remembering this sort of stuff. He printed it out and I got it up on the fridge. The movie voucher is expiring this December so we really need to use it soon. We can probably go twice maybe even 3 times to use it up. This Sunday is our 11th year anniversary so we might go to the movies and dinner to celebrate.
Internet Disconnection – As mentioned in my last post we changed Internet provider. DH tried out the old connection and found out that they haven’t disconnected it yet, when they were meant to on the day DH called them. DH called them again on Monday to remind them to disconnect it. DH was again told that he will need to pay $45 disconnection fee (don’t even know why the disconnection fee is now $45 when last week it was $165 – lol- bunch of comedians, they are). Luckily, last week when DH finally got to talked to someone at the end they talked on those instant chat thing and DH actually took screen shoots of their conversations. So they tried again to make DH pay for disconnection fee and it still didn’t work.
Grocery (the Good) – Spent $31.92 this week.
Eating Out (the Bad) – We spent a bit on eating out and getting some soup. We went to a restaurant that is near our place it has been there for years but it is only now that we finally decided to try it out. We had lunch there on Saturday. It’s a nice place and food was really good and prices were very reasonable as well, will definitely be going there again. We also decided to go to the park on Sunday for a picnic lunch; we didn’t bring any food from home we got take away instead. And to top it off DH has not been feeling well so we got some soup. All up the eating out and buying food we spent $73.20.
Free Dinner – Not only did DH got few free lunches last week and the other week, he also got free dinner and drinks on Friday night. His whole team got invited out for dinner to celebrate a job they did two months ago. He and others did had to spend few hours for that weekend two months ago to do some work for it, DH only had to do his part at home, so yeah well deserved for them.
Internet – Few months ago and then another last month we got mails from our (now previous) internet provider letting us know that by early November they will be disconnecting our internet and home phone services unless we switch into their NBN service. NBN is the National Broadband Network, which is essentially fibre optic cable rolled out across the country. Originally it was proposed to roll out fibre right up into each home, but this was later changed to just use whatever connection already exists at the home for the final part. In our case since we had Telstra cable installed in our house by the previous owner, that is what we are getting. This is similar to what is used for cable TV in the US, and in fact can also be used for cable TV here. The NBN is a government owned company which provides the infrastructure, and then you go to a retailer to buy the actual services. That way all retailers use the same infrastructure and have to compete on price, customer service, and quality of service provided (some retailers don’t provide sufficient bandwidth so get major slowdowns during peak periods). The company we signed up for seems to be quite cheap and also doesn’t seem to have the slowdown problems.
When DH signed up, he found a promotional code that got him the first month free, and they double our data allowance for the first 6 months! Also there is no lock-in contract, whereas some of the bigger providers lock you into a 2 year contract. The price will be $65 per month the same as our previous internet cost but since we don’t have to have the home phone anymore it will be saving us $15 per month. It will be less than the unlimited data we have been using for the last year but a lot more than what we used to have prior to that which was 120GB, now it will be 500GB but for the next 6 months it will be 1000GB.
When DH called the previous provider, Optus which we have been with since 2001, they tried to make him pay a $160 early termination fee as they told him he was on a 2 year contract. This was rubbish for 2 reasons: 1. they told him last year when he changed plans that he wouldn’t be put on a contract; 2. they’re the ones telling us we need to change service or we’ll be disconnected. DH spoke to a different person and they have now agreed to not charge the disconnection fee.
My brother’s girlfriend had a little girl yesterday, I’m an aunty again. We will be visiting them in Tasmania in November.
Onto financial matters –
Groceries – All up it amounted to $72.45 just a tad under budget for the week. $18 of it were on cleaning and laundry products, I tend to only get these once or twice a year.
Free Lunch (Is there such a thing?) – DH has been attending workshop at work and they have been providing lunch. Last week he had 4 of them and he got another 3 and a half days of it this week.
Property Rates – We got a new bill statement for the 2017-18 and it is increasing to $1913.89 – last year it was $1873.70 – we will be paying it monthly ($191.34) for the next 10 months.
Been sick and not been in the mood for cooking this week.
The weather here have been wet, so not much to do but read and watch the Australian stock market go up and down. Here are some of our personal finance highlight for the week.
Groceries – Total spend for the week was $83.91, a little bit over than our weekly budget for this month but will pull it back next weekend.
Water Bill – Great news we got $100 government rebate off our current water bill. I’m not sure what this rebate is about (most likely to do with the desalination plant), anyway whatever it is for I will gladly take it! Normally, this 3rd quarter bill is a lot more than usual because of some annual fees that we have to pay but the government decided to give us a break. So the bill amount was going to be $292.31 but now it is reduced down to $192.31. Unfortunately though this bill came with new rate prices that we will have to pay next bill. It doesn’t look too bad, in line with inflation rate I guess.
Gas Bill – Also got the gas bill due this month and that is for $101.72. I think this might be the first time ever since we stopped using gas for heating that we have a bill that is over $100. I don’t think our actual usage have change it is most likely increases in rate prices.
Health Insurance – We decided to change health insurance to one that is known as “Member’s Own”. On the 1st of April our health insurance went up again and DH and I have been thinking that it is time to evaluate our current health cover. DH have been looking into it for few months now and have finally decided to drop the EXTRAS (i.e. dental, optical and some hospital covers), so for now we will just have the Basic Cover and we will just cash flow the usual dental and optical visits. We weren’t even in the comprehensive cover we were under intermediate. The optical is just mainly for me anyway, last time DH got his eyes check which was earlier this year he still got 20/20 visions apparently plus normal eye checks are covered by Medicare anyway. The only thing we seems to get out of it is free cheap prescription glasses, and the fancier ones we have to pay extra even though we spend so much extra already for the so called “EXTRAS”. Anyway, after some calculations we might be able to save around $500-$700 per year. Our monthly payments will go down to $163.23 from $280.78. Before 1st of April it was $262.75, there was $18 per month increase, which is about $216 for a year enough for one dental check-up and clean visit. So we believe it is worth trying it out at least for the next year or so.
DH got notice that he will be getting a pay raise, it is only for 2.5% so just in line with CPI. He has given up getting a pay raise this year so I guess this was unexpected. Not much really but every bit helps.
Grocery - This week we spent $74.02. One more week left for the month and we’ve only spent $185, which left us $115. I have plan to stock up some things this coming weekend.
Fitness Tracker – Someone at DH work gave him 2 brand new fitness trackers. The guy bought that it for himself and his wife but it never showed up so he decided to cancel it and bought it somewhere else and now long after he got his money refunded they showed up in the mail. It seems like everyone at his team already have them except for DH so he offered it to him for a beer or something small of value just to cover the credit card fee that he incured for international purchased. DH was happy to do it. He bought him some chocolates since he loves them, not even $5 worth. And next time they go out for drinks DH will shout him a beer or two.
Our Saturday was filled with shopping which means spending money.
Grocery Shopping – This weekend we spend a total of $48.86 on our weekly food shopping. Spent $9.17 on meat, another whole chicken they are still on sale at Aldi and some pork with bones great for making soup which I kind of have a craving for at the moment. The weather was beautiful on Sunday so we actually barbequed the chicken. I butterfly the chicken and I made some peri-peri sauce to marinate it. It was yum and had enough for Monday lunch and dinner.
Manchester and Clothes Shopping – I wanted to get another quilt cover of our king size donna. For this sort of stuff I go to this store about 15 minutes away from our house. Not many people know or really care to shop at this place so I love shopping here. It is a shop were big shops, like Target and other department stores (Myer, Big W, etc.) dump their old stocks or when factories get too much in stock and the department stores don’t want them then they sale it at this store. A lot of the products are of good quality and heavily discounted. Most people tend to snob this place but I love it.
I got the quilt cover for $39.99, the initial price for it at the original store was $150. It’s good quality and has two patterns/designs that are reversible.
While there we found that they were having sales on suits. They originally have them for sale at $79.99 (at other department stores these would have been sold for around $200+) but had them further discounted down to $49.99. Just could not passed up on those. DH mainly wear suits for work so they get used a lot. We then took it to seamstress to get the pants shorten, and that was $12.
Also got a couple of other clothing items while there, we haven’t bought anything for 3 months. All up we spent $132 at the shop. I budgeted $720 for clothing this year we’ve spent $445 so far.
Lunch out – We had Vietnamese for $26 for couple of dishes. We just wanted try out this new restaurant, it was okay but probably won’t be back.
Wine – Bought some more wine, 13 bottles all up for $89.30 (just under $6.90 a bottle). That should last us for the rest of the year. I think we roughly spend around $150 to $200 a year on alcohol so this is about par to what we always been spending in previous years.
New Library Card – My old library card (in our local library) was issued about 15 years ago and I haven’t used it for probably 7-8 years? So basically the new fancy computer systems they have these days don’t recoginsed it. Last weekend when DH went to the library and shown the librarian his old card they kind of laugh at him because none of them recognised it. The guy that was serving him showed it to the other people there because they were really fascinated by it. Anyway, I don’t know how much I will used the library because I already got so many books to read as it is. I will probably mainly borrow non-fiction books because most of my books are fictions.
*Currently listening to Trouble is a Friend by Lenka, she’s an Australian singer and song writer.
Grocery – We bought mainly staples, fruits and vegetables this weekend. All up it totaled $61.45. We actually end up buying a couple of whole chickens because they were really cheap at Aldi, it was only $3 a kilo, for two chickens we paid $9.76. We also got a big block of cheese (1kg) for $6.
Weekend – We occupied the rest of the weekend mostly reading, listening to music (mainly myself) and podcasts. DH is currently obsessed with podcasts, personal finance in particular. Since we paid off the house and most of our money is now put into investments/savings he has really taken interests. It is more fun than paying off debt. It has now become a new hobby for him, he is reading a lot of personal finance books too. He even went to the library on Sunday afternoon to borrow PF books, it really is amazing.
New Headphone – DH bought a new headphone on ebay for $25.30. His current one is broken from listening to too much podcasts, he is currently using an old crappy one in the main time.
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