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Quite Weekend

May 4th, 2015 at 07:22 am

We had a relatively quiet weekend. Our car was making some weird noises so we didn't wantto drive it too much. We just went grocery shopping and dropped off some stuff to the Salvo, which was just a crossed the street of the Aldi that we went to. Spending for the weekend was less than $100.

DH already booked the car for service on Wednesday. Its next service is not until next month but since it is making that noise and we are going camping this weekend we need to get it check before driving it 3-4 hours drive to the country.

DH spent some of his weekend applying for jobs. The rest of the weekend I spent tinkering in the garden, DH helped a bit too. He loves being outside, it was great to see him a lot more relaxed on the weekend. He was a bit stressed out again on Wed and Thurs night, he keep wondering whether he has done the right thing quitting. I assured him that he did and that we will be alright. From what he has been telling me about his work I am 100% sure that he is doing the right thing. So far this year DH counted 15 people that has left (that's about 1 a week). He has seen 3 people this year that cried because of work issues.

The other developer is now also considering of leaving earlier than end of June, she doesn't want to take on DH's job. She knows how much ha was to do and deal with, not only dealing with the customer that they support but also dealing with the boss (DB). She's also thinking of travelling in mid-June. Not sure if she will actually do it but she has told few people about already.

DH got a couple of lead today about some work so hopefully something will pan out soon.

Solar Panels

April 9th, 2015 at 08:35 pm

Back in Mar 2011 I blogged about our solar panels. We got it installed that month and at that time DH calculated that it would take us about 4 years to breakeven. Well, it is now 4 years later. Oh by the way our first electricity bill for the year came last month it was for $23.13 CREDIT. The previous bill in Dec was for only $8.89 (debit) so we were not required to pay so they just carried it forward to this new bill. So the current balance is $14.24 credit. We will not get this in cash because we have opted for any credit to just carry if forward to the next bill.

I did some calculation of our electric bills:

In 2010 (the year before the Solar panel) we spent $763.49 on our electricity.
*Dec 2010 there was an increase in rates.

2011 it was $653.77.
*Dec 2011 there was an increase in rates. Mar 2011 we got the Solar Panels installed.

2012 it was our best year and we actually got $249.44 CREDIT.

2013 electricity only cost us $87.56 debit.

2014 was $452.71.
This was a lot higher than previous years mainly because we had my brother with us for 6 months that year. *Dec 2014 there was another increase in rates.

So assuming that without the solar panels we would have paid around $800 per year (accounting for the rate increases and my brother staying with us) it would have amounted to $3,200 in 4 years. Instead we only paid $944.60, so a saving of $2,255.40.

The Solar Panels cost were:
Cost Including Installation $7,857.00
(minus) Government Rebate $5,360.00
Out of Pocket $2,497.00
Payment to the Electric Company (for connection) $215.78
TOTAL = $2,712.78

So, that is still $457.38 in the negative. But I also had to calculate our gas bill because we now only use electricity for heating in winter instead of gas.

Gas Expenses:

2010 was $757.57 - the year before solar panels

2011 was $675.01
*Jan 2011 there was an increase in rates

2012 was $579.55
*There were 2 rates increases in Feb and Jul

2013 was $408.89
*Again another rate increase in Jan 2013

2014 was $463.34
*Another rate increase in Jan but it decrease in Jul 2014 because of the removal of the carbon tax.
Note also that my brother stayed with us for 6 months.

Again an average of $800 per year would have been a reasonable gas bill for us. So that would have been $3,200 for the 4 years but instead we only paid $2,126.79 (we normally use gas for cooking and hot water), a saving of $1,073.21. Overall this takes us to $615.83 in the positive. So yeah we are now break-even, it probably really happened mid last year. Obviously, the government rebate helped a lot in breaking even a lot sooner.

Update

February 27th, 2015 at 02:55 am

Time to get back to blogging, hi everyone! Life been busy lately but I still try to keep up with our finances.

The last time I blogged my brother was still living with us. He moved out late September. It doesn’t feel like anything has changed really, he was never really here that much and when he was here he was really quiet and just keeps to himself in his room talking to his gf/ friends.

Last year we budgeted to only spend $21,500 on our 'living expenses'. I decided on this amount and that start of the year before my brother moved in with us for 6 months. In the end we over spent to the total of $22,850.We were over by $1,350 but my brother actually gave us $200 a month to cover for his utilities and food, a total of $1,200. So in total we were really only $150 over.

The main focus for us last year was paying as much as we can on our mortgage. We paid off just over $40,900. The current balance is just under $28,000, this includes another couple thousand dollars that we have paid off since the start of the year. We will have to decide in July if we want to just pay it off. It will depend on DH's job. His current jobs will most likely finish end of June unless his employment gets extended again or if he kind find another job. He is now looking been applying for a new job but IT jobs is a bit slow at the moment though, it will take him awhile but we are hoping he can find one before June.

I have been very busy with our stock market trading/investing stuff. Our goal for a while now was to pay off the house and have $100k worth of investments by the time DH turns 40 (DH turns 40 in Oct this year). The house is not quite paid off yet but we have hit the $100K mark in our equity investments. I guess the step is to get it to the $200K mark. I'm hoping we could get there by my 40th, which is just over 2 years from now. This might be a bit ambitious but I think once the mortgage is gone we can throw more money on it and if the market continue to go up then anything is possible, but of course it could go the other way too.

That's it for now. I should be able to finalise Feb spending tomorrow.

Apr to June Spending and some Update

June 30th, 2014 at 11:51 pm

How did we go in the 2nd quarter of 2014?



DH went to his interview Friday, it went fine. He had to change in the car though. Also on Friday, everyone in his team at work got to sign their new employment contract. As of today, they are now fixed full-time employees for the next 12 months.

On the weekend we hit the half-way mark of our workout program. We went crazy and rewarded ourselves by buying a PVR and 3D Blu-ray combo. For years now the in-laws have been telling us that we should get one. Every time we went out to see how much they were we always thought they were too pricey. But with technologies these days if you just wait long enough you should be able to afford it. Plus because it June 30 is our end of the financial year, every stores have their massive sales. We got one for $318.40 (down from $466). The first time the in-laws suggested that we should get one they were around $800+. Even at the price we bought it at we were still not too sure about it. We went to 4 stores until we decided to go for it.


Weekend and Interview

June 24th, 2014 at 09:37 pm

A bit late on the weekend update. We just did the usual things - grocery shopping and eat out. We went to our favourite Vietnamese restaurant, it never disappoint. We also bought couple of pairs of weighted gloves, this should increase the intensity of our workout.

DH will be going on an interview from one of those jobs that he applied for couple of weeks ago. Initially he thought of declining it because it is in the other side of the city, probably over an hour away so it might not be worth it missing work for it. It is for a university, unfortunately it is not in the closer campus. The money will be a bit less than what he is getting now but it will be permanent full-time position. He thought it over and decide that he should go even just to get some practice on doing interviews again. He would just go to work really early and then take few hours off then go back in the afternoon.

This job sounds like a perfect fit for DH but the travel is a big issue. He might see if they allow working from home for couple times a week that would really help.

Okay news but still not 100% confirmed

June 12th, 2014 at 06:31 pm

So DH found out yesterday what rate he will be on. He is probably one of the lucky one, it will not be as bad as he thought it would be. His current contract will end at the end of this month and then it will be change to the new rate, so there will be couple of thousand or so worst off but we just have to think of it that at least his employment will continue for another 9 months before that. Also he will be getting paid when he takes holidays and will also be paid for sick leave. If he accounts for all that it is not that far off to what he gets paid for now.

According to his boss most people got 10-15% pay cut and DH's boss probably got the biggest cut of them all.

DH agreed to the new rate. Our biggest goal at the moment is to pay off this darn mortgage. These extra months will be enough to get us to the end of our mortgage. DH can then decide what he wants to do afterwards.

It will just now need to be sign off by someone even higher up. Unfortunately she is away until Monday. According to DH he heard rumours that she has taken time off because of some "incident". Some weird stuff has been going on there since these new bunch of management came along, which she is the leader of. When she got hired (very questionable the way she got hired, she was auditing the place now she is a CIO or something) she brought her "friends" along, now one of this so called friend is on extended stress leave because they are not getting along. Crazy stuff.

Email

June 11th, 2014 at 10:29 pm

I just got an email from DH.




He is getting annoyed but at least he still got his sense of humour.

He at least found out from others this morning who had their interview with the boss late yesterday afternoon that all contracts will finish by the end of the month, not good.


As you can tell I am getting as impatience about it so I feel sorry for DH and his co-workers but most of them have found out about it now. He will probably find out in an hour or so, definitely before the end of work day. It's now 3:30pm here.

No news yet & making some pasta

June 11th, 2014 at 06:51 am

DH was meant to talk to his boss about his employment early in the morning today but his boss was given the run around by his boss and was not given the go ahead until late in the afternoon. Apparently, DH's boss was told that he has to talk to everyone's agencies (probably 3 or 4 of them) first before he can talk to the employees about what's going to happen. This thing is a mess and it doesn't help that the upper management doesn't seem to give a damn about the employees. There are apparently 2 tester that have been told that they will only be needed for only 2 months. The 2 months is so they can hand it over and trained up the new people that will only be paid $60K a year. They want to do things cheap and expect everyone to just agree with it. It will be interesting to see if those 2 tester will actually stay, very doubtful there will be any extra pay to make them to stay for it. Anyway, hopefully DH will finally find out tomorrow.

Today I made this for lunch.


This was my first time making carbonara sauce without cream. I topped it with parsley and chives from the garden.

Changes and putting things on hold

June 9th, 2014 at 09:27 pm

Mortgage payment went through earlier last week. It was $1218, $232.58 for interest and $985.42 for the principal. I still can't put any extra into it this month.

DH's job is still really iffy at the moment. Everyone that is in his team is waiting to see if they will still have a job. They already know that their contracts will not be renewed. They are getting rid of contract workers, so they are proposing to offer people a fixed 1 year full time job. Some people's contract is finishing the end of this month but they still haven't found out what the new rate for this fixed full time deal will be. It will be for sure lower than what they get now. And the worse thing about this deal is they will not get a redundancy pay out at the end of the term, so it will be worst than a full time job rate. The money has to be slightly higher than full time rate for it to be worth considering. It is doubtful that it will be. DH's boss, who is in the same boat as DH and who's contract is finishing the end of the month, has been going back and forth negotiating with the his new boss (who is implementing all these changes) for 3 months now. He doesn't really care if people are going to stay or go.

They are looking at replacing the current system that everyone is working on, so the new management doesn't care too much for the contract workers, they have been treated like they are not part of the company now. Their problem though is they haven't really found a new system (that will be off the shelf) to replace the current system, this system by the way deals with 2 billion dollar payments so it's not child play but these new bosses doesn't seems to get it. Fair dinkum, one thinks that there should be no different if you were dealing with 2 million. lol
So, basically they still need all the people that is left (which is now less than half to what it used to be 2 years ago). DH who is the team leader has been covering a lot of the work that those people that have left used to do. Not only he has to do his job but he now has to do the Business Analyst job, data management and even do a bit of testing work and also if there are any questions/problems from the customer he has to deal with it.

DH's contract doesn't end until end of Sept but he will get the same deal as the people that end this month. Although there could be a chance that the company will just push forward everyone else's contract to end this month and offer this new rate to everyone at the same date. Either way DH will be moving on sooner or later. There is obviously no future for him or the other employees in this company, they are not offering anyone at all to work on the eventual new system. At the moment, DH will consider staying if the rate is at least reasonable until he will get a new job, if it is too low, he will most likely just quit and spend more of his time looking for a new job instead.

We have been through this before so we are not panicking. DH quit his previous job without any lined up but was hired right away in this current job. And he has been through long term unemployment before, we survived that we will survive this too. At least this time we are prepared. This is why I'm always putting paying the mortgage off and savings first in our goals every year. All that hard work is for this time. Don't get me wrong, it would have been great if this were to happen next year when the mortgage is paid off. So for now that extra payment to the mortgage is at halt but I'm very determine to still pay it off by October next year (DH's 40th).

Oh, this weekend was a long-weekend for us (Queen's birthday), DH spent most of Saturday applying for jobs. And he is also studying to get some certificate that he believes he needs to apply for more jobs.

Today

May 31st, 2014 at 05:58 am

Went grocery shopping, spent just over $80 I think, I haven't added it yet. We are really spending a bit more on groceries these days, it's because of extra person (my brother staying with us) and because we are spending more on fruits and vegetables. My brother doesn't really eat every meal with us, probably only 5-6 meals in a week. He doesn't eat breakfast or lunch here during week days and at least 2 nights a week he gets dinner somewhere else (at mum's on Wednesday and at his footy club on Thursday).

Also finished 2 weeks of our workout program today, 2 weeks down, 10 to go. I'm now down about 1 inch around my waist. It's going fast but I know it will not be as easy to get rid of the last couple or so. I probably only really need to get rid of another 2 or so inches around.

Tonight, I got another allergic reaction, this time I think it's because of the squid ink. I can't believe that's another one to add in the list of things that I'm allergic to. It really sucks.

Weekend

May 18th, 2014 at 11:23 pm

Weekend was a lot of fun. Bought a lot of fruits and vegetables for our smoothies. Also bought a squat rack for DH at a garage sales for only $100. He included a bench and couple 20kg weights for only $10. Also got a heavy duty ratchets and strap for only $10, they were selling the set for $15 (they are normally around $50+ new) but got them down.

Parts of the squat rack (the long side bits) wouldn't quiet fit in the car but luckily we only live a block away. DH had to carry them home.

We went out for dinner with couple of friends Saturday night it was really good but a bit pricey. We went all out it will be our last big dinner out for the next 3 months. DH and I will be starting the Tapout program today, it will be going for 90 days and we want to do it right, which means eating right. I'm looking forward to it but at the same time I'm a bit scared.

The last 2 weekends

April 28th, 2014 at 08:27 pm

It has been a very expensive 2 weeks. We have had two long-weekends in the row which equated to a very social and very expensive weekends. First the Easter weekend, which was a 4 days weekend, and my birthday at the same time. Then the weekend after was a 3 days weekend, we celebrated what we call ANZAC day, which probably similar to Veteran day in the US.

So on those 6 days we went out for dinners twice one of which was a very expensive birthday dinner. Two lunches out one was when we went to the country for a day trip. Also had a couple of take-away. Went to bar couple of times. And had a high tea at some fancy hotel (this one was at least half price deal). We had fun so no regrets but a little bit lighter in the pockets though.

Mushrooms

April 15th, 2014 at 08:39 pm

Last week we had 4 NSDs in a row only spent $10 for a pizza we had while watching our footy team on tv (we won, yippee!).

Weekend is always the time we spent a bit of money. We went grocery shopping and I bought winter pjs, I really needed a new one now that it is getting colder here (had to throw out couple old pjs that were no good anymore). Luckily they were on sale so also decided to get DH a pair, all up for both it only cost $23.80.

Saturday night we went out to a Korean BBQ with bunch of friends, lots of fun. I got a groupon voucher for all 8 of us and it only cost $26 each for a 7 course meal with drinks each. Not bad. My friends decided that it was close enough to consider it as a celebration of my birthday. They got me a mushroom kit and I also got $80 worth of movie voucher. I've never grown mushrooms before so it should be interesting. It has been few days now since I set it up and all I see is dirt.

On Sunday, DH and I spent most of the day doing yard work. Also went to the garden store to get some soil and seeds for winter crops.

Been meaning to blog about this. I made this garden bench, my summer project, took me over a month to make it. Most materials are scraps that we already at in hand from previous renovation work we've done around here. I think I probably only spent $20 on it.

The week so far

March 26th, 2014 at 07:27 pm

On Monday we got our electric bill, so much better than the water bill drama http://shiela.savingadvice.com/2014/03/05/plumbing-drama_107579/ this one was at least $54.07 in credit because of our solar panels. I'm enjoying it for now it will not be the same next time because the days are getting shorter as we are heading towards winter plus my brother moving with us will sure adds a little towards the electric usage.

Speaking of my brother, he already gave me $200 for the months expenses. He wanted to give me more but I think $200 should be enough. I don't know what to do with this money at the money. I think with a bit of work and a bit of sacrifice we might be able to stay within our yearly budget without being too much over because of my brother. So for now I'm not adding this money to my excel spreadsheet. I will probably change my mine later, will see.

Our private health insurance is going up by a massive amount next month (as they do this time every year), it will be going up from around $273 to almost $350. Yikes! yikes! I hate it!!! So I got DH to go into their office on Tuesday during his lunch break to see what other options we got. If we drop some items that we don't really need at the moment we could get it down to $240 (this is around middle the road option) We have not sign up on it yet, DH wants to look at other health insurance company that might be even more reasonable.

On the mortgage news, DH got paid yesterday so we paid another $5K into the mortgage. A bit more this time because of the tax refund that we got, as I mentioned in my previous post. We are now under $60K Smile

I actually wanted to put a little bit more but DH bought some shares (Entitlement Offer of one of his shares), not a bad deal so it was hard to passed up. He spent $837.50 on it.

We still got just over $500 left-over for the month (we use zero-based budgeting) whatever is left I will put under goal#2 household fund, there is only $1,000 left to achieve that goal for the year.

Some Update

March 20th, 2014 at 07:27 pm

Received 2 cheques yesterday in the mail, one for DH and one for me, it's from our accountant. It was for last financial year tax refund (it always takes months, in the past is used to take us years to get it together). All up it add up to just over $2,500,they deducted the accountant fee of $440. Most of it will go towards the mortgage. DH will hopefully get some time today to deposit his I will have to wait until some time next week to go to the bank.

On another news my brother (much younger and only sibling) will be moving with us this weekend, he has already move in some boxes and will be coming today to drop off more stuff. He asked if he could stay with us for about 6 months. He is in the process of buying a house. He has been living with 2 other friends for years now and I guess they are now at that stage were they are looking for their own house. One is also going to buy a house and the other is moving back to his parents house to try to save money to also someday buy a house. Their lease was finishing so they didn't want to sign another year long lease. My brother already got enough for a deposit but his problem is he just started a new job at the start of the year (he got headhunted, better job than the other so he couldn't refuse) so he will have to wait 6 months to be illegible to get a loan. Financially he is pretty good, he doesn't have any debt, just like me he doesn't own a CC. He can probably work more on his savings which he is working hard on. He is now actually been living as if he has a mortgage. I've told him that he can pay us $200 a month, that should be enough to cover utilities and food.

Last week we got our garage roof fix, it cost us $1,100. I've been hoping to get this done for years now. I'm glad that is off the list Smile

On the weekend we went away to an island (called Philip Island), only about 2 hrs from our house. We stayed there for 3 days/2 nights. All up we spend just around $350, I still have to get DH to check how much exactly we spend on tolls. We were good with food expenses because we cooked most of our meals and we got free buffet breakfast. The accommodation was only $239 using groupon. We did a lot of hiking and saw a lot of wild animals along the way. This Island is known for little penguins and seals. It also had a lake called "Swan lake" full of swans. lol Normally DH wouldn't get paid for days he takes off because he is a contact worker but this time he was owed a day so he was able to take the Monday off in lieu because he did few hours work at home on New Years day.

Reviving my blog

March 3rd, 2014 at 08:51 pm

Yikes! It has been a while. I don't really know what happened. I guess everything is pretty much on automatic that there is not much I can talk about on a daily basis. Basically I got bored posting same all boring stuff. And I was getting sick a lot during our winter here that really ruined my motivation. And then the warm weather came along we got pretty busy enjoying life.

But despite not blogging we are still doing pretty good with our finances, being frugal is really ingrained in us now. We were only $45.45 over our 2013 budget, we did an awesome job with that. This year I've increased our budget by $500 to $21,500. The biggest issue is our health insurance it will be increasing quite a bit starting next month. DH is already looking into changing it, I'm sure there will be a cheaper one.

All our financial goals were achieved last year. In particular goal #1 of paying off extra $30K we ended up paying $31,700. But the other goals I've set myself weren't that good especially health one, being sick for most of winter really ruined me. But I am been doing so much better in the last 4 months. I've lost 2kgs and now at my ideal weight. I still suck at running but I'm doing it and can actual run the track in 30mins.

Our mortgage balance at the moment is just above $62,000 (it was around $91K last time I blogged). Our long-term goal was to pay this off on DH's 40th birthday which is in 19 months away (and to also have $100K in equities) but I think we could pay it off by end of this year if we cash up our managed funds and then just concentrate on investing in shares next year. At the moment we have around $80K+ in shares including the managed funds which is around $20K.

The only issue we really have in achieving this goal/s is DH's job, his current contract is finishing in September and he doesn't know yet if it is going to be renewed. Last year a lot of his co-workers left because their contact weren't renewed. We are hoping that it will get renewed even just for 6 months. The employment market here doesn't look good at the moment, hopefully it will improve by then.

So, basically things are just going along nicely here. I will post my 2014 goals next time, which is very similar to last year.


Quiet week

June 25th, 2013 at 08:11 pm

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

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

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

Time for an update

June 11th, 2013 at 09:07 pm

The main things that happened to us financially these last few months:
- Our net worth hit the $500K mark.
- Our mortgage is now under the $100K mark.

I don't really know where the time went. We have been away a bit and just haven't had the energy to blog, which is not good financially. Luckily, we haven't gone too crazy and we got some more money come in than expected. I have been keeping up with my financial recording just not blogging.

We got back from our overseas holiday late Feb (it was a great holiday; we had a nice family reunion). We packed in a lot in a short time. There was a lot of flying and driving around. Unfortunately, 3 days after we got home DH's grandmother passed away. We again flew away to interstate for the funeral. We were there for few days. I don't really know what happen to March, it really took me a whole month to recover from our trips. Financially it was good (it was a two pay month for DH) we got to put $3,000 extra into the mortgage and a bit more into our other goals for this year (see side bar).

April was again busy, I had my birthday celebration and a close friend's wedding (there was a lot of going out including hen’s night, etc.). Our entertainment budget got a workout, we spent ¼ of our whole year entertainment budget in that month. Yikes! Income was lower than usual, DH’s pay was wrong again. I didn’t put anything extra into the mortgage that month but put $1550 into Goal#3.

May was a normal month, we went a bit over on groceries and gifts for mother’s day. There was a bit more income because of April pay mistake. Put $3500 extra into the mortgage and $1K into the household fund.

So far this month we haven’t spent that much. We went away again on the weekend (we had a 3-day weekend here –the Queen’s birthday public holiday). Tomorrow would have been DH’s grandmother’s 93rd birthday. We bought the plane tickets back in December for this month long-weekend to see her, unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. DH’s parent was at least happy to have us again over and we did go to the cemetery to pay our respect. Only spent $163 for the trip, the tickets were paid back in December. We got some extra money this month because of tax refund and DH’s parents gave us $500, they got some inheritance money.

DH just ordered a new phone it will be around $160, hopefully it will be a good one. DH ordered it last week just before he got the cash gift from his parents, good timing I say.

It's official

January 12th, 2013 at 03:46 pm

Just got back from the doctor to get my alergy test results. It's been confirmed that I am not allergic to most foods (eggs, peanuts, kiwi, etc) and pine trees (which means can again have fresh christmas tree next year, yeah!) BUT I am highly allergic to prawns, shrimps and crabs (and ohh moderately allergic to lobsters). WHY? One of my favourite food in the world and I'm now allergic to it. Just cruel!

Lastnight, DH and I went to a greek restaurant, we had a voucher for a 4 course set menu, it included garlic prawns. I was drooling at it while DH had it all.

Anyway, I'm having a pity party. We are off to go for a run now, I don't know how it will go we are both a bit injured/sore.

Visitor and free lunch

December 19th, 2012 at 08:04 pm

Last night BIL came over for dinner. He is in town for work, only here for 2 days and will be flying back home this afternoon. I made roast chicken and cooked some spring rolls I made the other to have while we waited for the chicken to cook. He came with a nice bottle of Shiraz to have for dinner.

As he was leaving DH gave him $100 to give to his kids for christmas, there are 4 of them so $25 each. We saw them just over a month ago and had given them some money then, so we weren't planning to give them anything until next time we see them. Just not keen on sending cash over the mail. But since he was over it was easier to just give it to him.

DH called earlier happy that he got free lunch (burrito) from a new Mexican restaurant. They were giving free burritos today and giving $1 to charity, they are trying to break some record. He decided to get a can of pepsi to go with his burrito, even better it was only $1. DH actually took leftover roast chicken this morning, he will have to bring it back. He can't have it tomorrow because he will be going out with his co-workers for their christmas lunch, it's their last day tomorrow before the christmas break.

Just got a phone call and apparently my new glasses are ready, they said it won't be ready until after christmas so I wasn't expecting it until then. I don't have time to pick it up until Saturday, we will go to ALdi while we are there.

Contact Lenses Rebate

December 16th, 2012 at 08:22 pm

DH printed out the contact lenses receipt that we bought online the other day. He took it to our health insurance company during his lunch break today, it is only few blocks away from his work, could have taken the tram and he would have got there in few minutes if he wanted but he opted to go for a stroll instead.

He called me afterwards and told me that they handed him $64.60 in cash, not bad.
Cost including shipping = $99.40
Health insurance rebate = $64.60
Out of pocket cost = $34.80

We used the credit card to buy them so really won’t be paying for it until next statement.

60 pair of contact lenses (about 8-10 months’ worth of use) = $34.80
3 brand new eye glasses = $13.65
Total = $48.45 for the year

Interesting info we got from the girl that helped us the other at the optometrist, she said that DH can actually get sunglasses and claim it in our health insurance too. He might look into it next year.

"European Labour Only" Wardrobe

September 17th, 2012 at 06:28 am

I’ve been really busy. Yesterday we went to my mum’s place to fix her bathroom door, it wasn’t closing properly. Today I’m painting an old wardrobe, I decided to sand it and paint it white. It will go in the guestroom where the other furniture in it is all white. I have not spent money on it so far but I will need to buy a new one handle that is missing an important part. It will probably cost around $6-7, a bit expensive but I have to get the same as the old ones.

Interesting thing I found in one of the drawer of the wardrobe, it has been stamped with some info about where it was made and then it says “European Labour Only”. A quick google and I found some interesting thing I’ve never knew about. Apparently, stamped like these were common from 1900 to 50’s (actually it was compulsory by law to state if a furniture was made by Chinese labour). Crazy to think things like that happened in the past.

http://www.chia.chinesemuseum.com.au/biogs/CH00016b.htm

Hmmm…maybe I shouldn’t have painted it, I didn’t realise it could be really old. I assumed it could have been 1980’s, not 1950’s or even earlier. We got it years ago (just after we moved to this house 11 years ago) from a garage sale. We can’t remember how much for now, would have been less than $50, we couldn’t afford to buy much stuff then. One of the legs had a split and it had one broken handle.

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DH will be signing his new contract soon. The company have now sent a purchase order (I know I laughed when I heard this) to his agency. Good news is that his and the others in his team will be signing for 2 years from date of the current one expires (they had previously thought it might be from June 30, end of financial year). Unfortunately, some people in other teams have only got renewed for 3 months and some have been given 2- months’ notice. So we are very thankful.


16 Sept: 10,393 steps

Approved

September 11th, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I just got an email from DH telling me that his contract renewal has been approved, for another 2 years. That’s a relief to know. Now we can continue with our plans/goals. To celebrate, I am going to put $2,000 into the mortgage right now. DH deposited his cheque on Monday so this is where part of it is going. I will get mine done on Friday, I got a bit busy here at home to go.

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Steptember Update

10 Sept: 10,038 steps
11 Sept: 10,272 steps

Spring Cleaning

September 6th, 2012 at 06:23 pm

6 Sept: 10,133 steps

I am making sure not to fail at least in the first week of this challenge. I’m finding that I am getting a lot of spring cleaning done because of this challenge. Yesterday I was moving a lot of stuff around the house. I tidied up and move furniture around in one of the spare bedroom. I’m trying to turn this room into crafts/storage room.

Yesterday was NSD.

We are waiting at the moment for our tax refund it should come this month. Also still waiting for DH’s contract renewal, apparently the papers are now with the ‘final’ guy to look through it. Hopefully they will be finalising it next week. DH’s contract ends next week.

Forgot to budget

September 4th, 2012 at 12:14 am

When I was doing our September budget the other day I had a feeling that I was forgetting something. When I got home from lunch today there it was in the mail this quarter’s water bill, I totally forgot to put it in the budget this month. Oops… it is due September 21. It’s a big one too. Normally, our water bill is around $150-$160 per quarter but this one includes an annual waterways & drainage charge and annual parks charge worth about $87 (total bill $240.10). I think I might have miscounted the months and thought that it’s due next month. Oh well, over the budget already and it is only the start of the month.

Lunch was great. We had dumplings and honey chicken with rice. Then afterwards we went to a Japanese bakery for some sweet goodies and got a cup of coffee to share. All up it cost just over $25. DH was feeling rich and offered to take this out of his allowance money. He is feeling rich today because he won $51 yesterday. He got the jackpot in the footy tipping at work, it could have been more but he had to share it with another person. They both picked all the winning teams on the weekend (9/9), lucky too because that was the last week for the season. He paid $20 at the start of the season, so actual winning is really only $31.

Hot water

August 19th, 2012 at 08:35 pm

Just had a nice hot shower and it was great, no more sponge bath. We got our hot water unit fixed early this morning. The gas fitter/plumber came at 7 am this morning and he was done an hour later. All up we paid $1400, the labour was $270.

DH and I spent about 5 hours yesterday shopping for the unit and before that DH spent the day and night before researching and calculating (lol) about it. In the end we decided to go for the same the hot water storage and the same brand (Aquamax) as the old one but a newer model (the old one doesn’t exist anymore, according to the plumber they got rid of them 10 years ago). We also opted for the stainless steel panel instead of the vitreous enamel. The stainless steel has double the warranty for 10 years, although the rest of the parts have only got 1 year warranty but that is standard. Price wise there wasn’t that much about $150. Everyone we talked to says they are better. It was easier to transport it, with the vitreous enamel it had to standing up so the anode thingy wouldn’t get damage.

Initially we were leaning towards the getting the continuous flow system because they are more energy efficient than the storage ones. The first sales lady we talked to said she has one at her new home and its heaven she just punch in the temperature on the controller and can have different temp in the shower to that in the kitchen. The one that we were looking at would have cost $1500. Then we found out that labour would cost at least $900, maybe more. It would not have been just an easy swap because we have an old house the pipes would need to be replace because they require different size and in some cases the gas meter will need to be replace too. Also we would have had to get an electrician to get an outlet for the electric ignitor, so if there is no power you won’t get any hot water. There were other also other issues that other people have told us about. DH calculated that it would only save us $70 per year, not enough really.

We managed to find a plumber through a sales person in one of the hardware store that we went to. He was highly recommended by him. After DH spoke to him we knew we didn’t need to bother ringing around. He was very helpful and helped us decide to just get the same storage system. We knew his price was reasonable since another sales person that we spoke to (from a different whitegoods store) told us that his mother got one replaced recently and got quotes from plumbers ranging from $230 (could not do it for a while) to $500 and that we should expect around $300 for labour.

So after driving around for 5 hours we decided to get the unit late yesterday so that the plumber can install it early this morning. The darn thing ruined our weekend but at least it is now fix and hopefully we would not have to deal with it for many years to come.

Good sign

August 15th, 2012 at 05:35 am

Yesterday’s spending:
Groceries - $8.95
Train Pass - $50

DH came home pretty happy tonight. The company finally signed the contracts (only 6 weeks due) of his workmates. And they are now working on DH’s contract and others whose contract is expiring mid next month. The contract will be for 2 years. We are trying not to celebrate too early but this is a very good sign for DH.

Today was a NSD Smile

I got my laptop back

May 27th, 2012 at 06:37 pm

DH managed to fix it last nigh, it took him almost two days to figure it out. First thing I did was to gather my receipts that we collected on the weekend and then updated my spreadsheet.

I'm planning to do a little bit of plastering today. DH will need to go back to the hardware store tonight to get something else, the hardware store is near the train station where he park the car so it is convenient.

Quick Update

May 22nd, 2012 at 07:01 pm

I got a lot to do today. My legs are 100% better so I can actually move around now.

Things I need to do today:
I need to finish my ironing - I started last night, got tired so I went to bed. It’s half-way done.
Need to vacuum the house.
Put up the towel rail in the bathroom.

Spending:
21/5 = NSD
22/5 = DH got a haircut. This was not in the budget for this month but he needed it and he had some free time yesterday afternoon to do it, which is rare for him. He also bought some vitamins that have run out.
23/5 = Today the home phone is due.

Okay better get started on those to do list.

Price is down because of competition and painting.

May 20th, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Even though I wasn’t feeling well I decided that we really got to paint the bedroom ceiling now before the ceiling fan get installed later this week. I think it would be more of a pain to paint it after the ceiling fan is in. When we got home after our run/lunch I spent about half an hour preparing the room while DH did the mowing. I had to put the plastic drop sheets all around the walls, floor and furniture. It didn’t take long to paint; I used the paint brush around the side while DH used the paint roller. It only needed a coat, we are just refreshing it really. We were finish by 6pm, including cleaning up.

We bought the plastic drop sheets earlier yesterday, I was surprise to find out the price is so much cheaper now. I buy them all the time and they were always $1.50 each but yesterday it was for only 0.98 cents (it is not a sale price either), that’s 30% less than what it used to be. Since a new hardware store opened up down the road last year prices in this old hardware store has been a lot more competitive. I guess they have to lower prices because they have a policy that if you find an item cheaper somewhere else they will match it with % discount (I think it used to be 10%).

Another expense yesterday that was totally avoidable was the Thai takeaway. I was craving it and just did want to have hamburger for 3 nights in a row. And I just got lazy to cook anything else after doing the painting. I opted to pay half of it out of my allowance money, serves me right.


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