Happy New Year everyone!
This is very late because we had guests for almost 2 weeks and it has taken me a while to get back on my routine.
Total for Dec was $4,394.98
Grocery - it was by a lot, $448.14, extra 3 adults and a toddler can cost a bit.
Household goods – we bought a portable air conditioner, bed and bed frame for a total of $1,243.97.
Christmas Expense for December - $524.84
Car Registration – We renewed our annual car registration for $816.50. We looked at paying it quarterly but it would actually cost more.
Entertainment – We went out with our guest a few times, $268.59.
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). -DONE
*Save $4K for Holiday money. – Didn’t spend any this month
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. – Spent $188.50, mainly fixing the main bathroom for our guest.
*Read 70 books. – didn’t have time to really read.
176 Breakfast with Einstein - Chad Orzel (2 Dec) - Audio
177 Saga Land - Karl Gislason & Richard Fidler (11 Dec) - Audio
178 The Spider and the Fly - Claudia Rowe (18 Dec) - Audio
179 The One Who Got Away - Caroline Overington (19 Dec) - Audio
180 The Fox - Frederick Forsyth (20 Dec) - Audio
*Learn Spanish. – still at it everyday
*Workout 3/4 times a week. – what is workout? Lol. Massive fail!!!
*Try new recipes every other week. - I’ve tried a bit of fermentation and I think a new recipe in the bbq.
*Blogging once per week. - failed
*Continue Garden/Landscaping. – yes still tiring out the front lawn, almost done. The back garden has been neglected and is not cover with pumpkin so we will have to wait until they are gone before we can finish the concreting bit.
*Wake-up early (before 7am) – yes but I finding myself slipping a bit. At one stage I was waking up around 6 am or just before but lately I’ve been getting up at 6:40am
*Continue Decluttering. – did it with the Christmas items.
Viewing the 'Weekly Summary' Category
Grocery = $89.13 did a bit of shopping when we got home and then we did a big shop on the weekend. We got a little bit more stuff than usual since our fridge was really empty. I’m happy that vegetables are cheaper now that the weather is warming up. I particularly got a good deal on tomatoes; it was over a kilo for only $2. I know we can’t finish it all before it goes off so yesterday I made tomato chutney (for the first time), used up about half of the tomatoes.
Christmas Shopping = Started getting some stuff for Christmas, $206.56 worth. Couple of weeks ago my brother called me to asked if they could come at our place for Christmas, before that I was thinking of not really doing much for Christmas but now we got guest so I will have to do more shopping. I don’t mind I get to see my little niece again. Apparently she is running now.
Some people requested photos of our new (to us) camper trailer. Hope this works. I haven’t posted a photo here for years.
This camp site has great view of the lake and the sunset
There's so much room in this tent.
I don't have any photo of the little kitchen next time we go camping I'll make sure to get one and post it.
EDIT: DH actually had a photo of the kitchen.
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.
Grocery – $97.40, we did a big shop but we are still under for the month.
Dog Food – Bought a 10 kilo bag of dog food and that was $64.
New Clothesline – DH calls it wind and solar powered clothes dryer, what a nerd! So we bought one and spent few hours installing it, that was $56.90
Allowance Money – We went to the Salvation Army and bought some books and CDs. All up we spent a whopping $38.70. I found 2 John Grisham newer books (2016 and 2017 copyrights) I have not read these yet. I think DH end up getting about a dozen CDs. And on top of those Grisham books I also bought another 3. I used up cash I got from last year’s birthday present and then the rest we took off from our allowance money. We hardly been spending our allocated ‘allowance money’ in the last couple of years. This year I allocated $800 for both of us for it and so far we’ve only spent under $150. DH has been really good at saying no to most of the eating out and drinking out invites with co-workers. The thing is that his company actually provide them with snacks and beer every Friday night so he does not feel left out. There are also the occasional lunches and dinners that the company organises and sometimes he gets taken out by suppliers for ‘meeting’.
So he is very selective to when he say yes to these invites and there are plenty at least one to two times a week. Last week for example he said yes to beer after work on Thursday because it was with his old boss that he doesn’t get to converse much anymore, due to restructuring in the company. That 1 beer by the way cost him $10, so yeah it get pretty pricey very quickly if he goes to every single one of them and most of the time they involve getting food. Sometimes he feels bad that he says no but then he also doesn’t want to drink too much during workdays, he wants to come home on time and get an early night sleep for the next day. So it is not just about the money.
This would have been a low spend month but because we pre-paid internet for a year it total to $2,568.13. Half of this was because of the internet, holiday expenses and my birthday celebration.
Internet – was big total for the month was $845.
Holiday – ended at $285.20. Some of this included money we spent on our Easter Holiday and some for another holiday we are going very soon.
Groceries – We only got few things this weekend because we didn’t need much and it only cost us $9.95. The total for the month was $296.20
Birthday Celebration – I had another birthday get together, with friends this time. We had lunch and then we went to an Escape Room and then had coffee afterwards. It was fun and it cost us $127.00. Overall, my birthday cost me $242.50, this includes that dinner I went with DH.
Eating Out – We did not cook at all the whole weekend. We went a bit crazy. On top of the lunch above we went out to another restaurant for Sunday lunch as well and we got takeaway food Saturday night, thankfully we had leftover and we ate that Sunday night. All the eating out, not including above amount was $61.90.
Fuel – got some $37.20
*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K).
More savings in April than in March - *happy dance*
*Save $4K for Holiday money.
Have spent some of this money at the start of the month and will continues to spend more money in May for our next holiday.
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.
We should be able to start saving more for this in the second half of the year.
*Read 70 books.
28. Beyond Good and Evil - Frederick Nietzsche (3 Apr) - Read w/ Audio**
29. Money to Burn - James Grippando (5 Apr) - Audio
30. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (7 Apr)
31. On the Shortness of Life - Seneca (8 Apr)
32. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (10 Apr)
34. A is for Alibi - Sue Grafton (11 Apr) - Audio
35. Freakonomics - Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner (12 Apr)
36. The Checklist Manifesto: How to get things right - Atul Gawande (13 Apr)
37. Siddhartha -Hermann Hesse (15 Apr)
38. Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan (17 Apr)
39. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood (18 Apr) - Audio
40. You Need a Budget - Jesse Mecham (19 Apr)
41. Philosophy for Beginners - Max Charlesworth (20 Apr)
42. B is for Burglar - Sue Grafton (22 Apr) - Audio
43. The Pardon - James Grippando (23 Apr) - Audio
44. War and Gold - Kwasi Kwarteng (24 Apr)
45. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver (26 Apr)
46. The Teeth of the Tiger - Tom Clancy (27 Apr) – Audio
47. C is for Corpse - Sue Grafton (30 Apr) – Audio
I’m more than half way to my goal! It’s amazing how cutting about 4 hours of television a day adds up. These days there’s not much worth watching unless you are into reality shows. I used to watch those cooking and renovation contest but they are not about cooking or renovations anymore, it’s always just about people fighting which I’m so over it.
As you can see I listened to a bit of audiobooks this month, they are all crime and mystery books except for the first one which I read along while listening to the audio. I already got a copy of ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ in my kindle and I borrowed the audio version from the library online. I do a lot of my listening to the audiobooks while I'm walking the dog, while cleaning and in the last several days while I was doing some painting.
Since I’m more than halfway to my goal already and I’ve increased my reading time while not really reading because of audiobooks I decided to increase the amounts of books I aim to read to 100 books this year.
Still going and I’m at 104 days streak at the moment.
*Workout 3/4 times a week.
Doing very poorly here, I’m still doing some but mainly just stretching and walking the dog, I need to do harder exercises when we get back from our holiday. This is becoming a bad pattern, me constantly waiting for something to happen before I get my act together. I need to break it.
*Try new recipes every other week.
I tried few and one of them was the Aloo Gobi that I got inspired by toilet-paper-tracker.
*Blogging once per week.
As I mentioned in my previous blog entry DH built a screen wall outside to screen off the clothes line and I painted it.
*Wake-up early (before 7am)
DH has been putting our music from CDs to digital so we can listen to them whenever and wherever on our phones and the CDs themselves have been stored away into a plastic tub in the garage. It took him over a month copying them.
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.
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.
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 – 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 - $106.72
Transportation – Fuel -$40.50 and Train Pass - $137.76
DH had 2 lunches out – Total $35.00
Internet and Home Phone - $80.00
Tolls – Finally got the total amount for the tolls we used last month –$ 42.87
Not much happened this week really. The only thing worth reporting is we took a booth full of stuff to the Salvations Army. It was to get rid of more excess stuff.
Only spent money on grocery ($100.65), Gas ($84.74), Health Insurance ($280.78) and other spending were for $59.50 (we got invited to a friend’s place and bought some stuff for it).Grocery was a bit higher but we bought more meat.