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.
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.
*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.
*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.
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.
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.
On the weekend we were starting to have the same problem with our sewage pipes as couple of months ago. The plumber did warn me when he unblocked the pipes that the problem might be bigger than blockage. He wouldn’t know though unless he put a camera in there (he didn’t have one with him and it would cost more) but when he was unblocking it he said it didn’t feel right. He thinks it might be a problem at the intersection where our pipes meet the main pipes. DH was going to try to call either the council and/or the water company to find out where that intersection might be located in our property. The plumber tried to look for it but he couldn’t find one, and when he asked me about it I had no I idea there is such a thing. Apparently, there should have been a pipe or a vent that sticks out from the ground, and that sometimes they can collapse and cause blockage. We have lived here for almost 20 years I’ve never seen one, neither has DH. So both DH and I were anticipating that if this is cracked/collapsed pipes then it will cost thousands. Few days later it was getting worst.
Yesterday DH called the water company instead of the plumber, he was fully expecting for them to say ‘to call the plumber’ but they were actually very helpful and came over an hour after the call, he actually got here before DH (DH left work early so he could be home for it). I explained to him what happened and what the plumber has said to me. He mentioned that some houses especially houses built at certain time, which ours falls under, might not have the vent pipe. And he also said that plumbers are only allowed to go a certain distance, so maybe he couldn’t go too far with his machine. This guy got so much better machines, it only took him less than 10 minutes and he had a camera, we got to see what was inside our pipes, it looked really squeaky clean and he also pointed out the intersection, according to him it looks good. Hopefully that is the end of it and we won’t have to deal with it for another 10 years.
He was really helpful and just before he left he suggested that next time it happens to call them first instead of the plumber; it won’t cost us for them to come to assess the problem instead of the other way around. Next time we will for sure. I’m just thankful it only cost us $250 for the plumber and we didn’t need to do any digging up and replacing pipes. We were so relieved.
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 . 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.
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.
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.
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==
*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.
*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)
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.
It’s cold so nothing much is happening out there
*Wake-up early (before 7am)
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.
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.