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January 5th, 2012 at 04:38 am

I'm a bit late to the New Year party. I've just been so lazy. We've had a bit of heatwave here at the start of the year and I just couldn't bothered doing anything. All we managed to do on those few days was stay in side the airconditioned room and watch a lot of movies. I'm just thankful that we decided to get the air conditioner during winter.

It has cooled down a bit in the last two days. I created my 2012 spreadsheet yesterday, it is now all set up and ready to go. I had to do a bit of fiddling because I change from using Open office last year to the new Microsoft Office. I'm now happy with it and it will not take much effort to update it every now and then.

We've decide to up our living expenses this year to $21K from $20K last year. We were over $1,715 last year which is the worse we have done since I've started blogging and keeping records. The main problem was medical and entertainment. I think we should be able to keep it at $21K this year. I think I need to get back to making small monthly goals again. I think it will help a lot.

Our tyre is now fix, free of charge. I gave my brother 1 of our restaurant voucher as a thank you gift. He also organised for us to get 2 of our worn out tyres to get replace this Saturday. He thinks we should really get it replace soon and that right now this place he sent us to go is having a sale. It will cost $238 for 2 new tyres. This will come out of the Car Fund, I'm glad I decided to put a bit extra in there last month.

Mortgage and budget

November 22nd, 2011 at 01:00 am

After calculating our weekend spending yesterday, I decided to put another $500 into the mortgage. I think I was feeling abit guilty about all those spending eventhough most it was necessary.

I still need to put in another $1,780 to achieve Goal #5 this year. And another $2,500 or so to get us to $150K mortgage. Then I will be happy to start next year with only $150K mortgage. I then hope to get our mortgage to under $120K by the end of next year. It is a bit ambitious but it is something to aim at.

We still need $2000 to get our Car Fund to $15K, I don't think we will be able to get there by the end of the year but it should get fully funded by end of March 2012, when DH gets paid twice that month.

I've almost finalise next year's budget. I hope we can do better next year. After accounting for our car registration next month we are officially over our budget this year. I'm anticipating we will be over by around $800-$1000. The medical expenses and entertainment did it. I'm making adjustments for next year.

End of winter!

August 31st, 2011 at 07:36 am

It's our last day of winter today. And I'm exicted about the warmer weather.

Last night I bought some coupon from groupon and ourdeal. Deals are around 50-60% off. I'm trying to used these site to cut down on our spending on restaurants. We go out at least once a month and spend on average $60-$70. Cost of food is a lot more expensive here than that in Europe or in the US. These daily deal sites are big in the US but it is only just starting to become very popular here in Australia. I love them and will have to tell myself to not get too crazy.

End of the month numbers:
-Only put in an extra $1500 into the mortgage, I was aiming for $2000.
-I did however put in $500 into holiday fund, just in case we will need it on our trip.
-Overall spending this month was fairly good.

We should be able to put more money into the mortgage next month (but then again that's what I said last month!). The tax money should get into our account by then.

April 2011

May 5th, 2011 at 03:30 am

Wow it has been a month since I last posted. I read probably about 50% of the blogs but just didn't have much time to blog. I don't know why but most times I don't have much to say. ANd if I thought of something it is always when I am doing something else.

Anyway, last month was a big month. I celebrated my birthday with hubby and then we went away during easter break to visit family. Spent a bit cash giving to nephews and nieces. It was also a big month in terms of income, it was a double income month. We put 5000 into the car fund, that is now fully funded for the year. Also managed to pay 3000 into the mortgage principal. And a little bit extra into the other saving funds. I wish every month would be like. ALthough, DH should be getting a pay rise in the next month or two. He doesn't know how much it will be yet.

We went over by $36 in our April budget. It was because I didn't budget enough for the utilities, it is not too bad.

I'm hoping to achieve Goal 1 through 4 by the end of next month. That would just then leave Goal number 5 to focus on for the rest of the year.

A bit to update

April 6th, 2011 at 03:35 am

I do have a bit to update but I will keep it short.

March was an okay month could have been better but we still spending a bit on the renovation. We have also been helping my Aunty on her chemotherapy expenses, and it will continue this month also. She needs all the help she could get. We managed to put $3500 into various saving funds. A lot of it went to the household fund which is quickly deflating. I had to (well I guess it was more like I WANTed it) buy a new laptop. My old one broke last month. The household fund is really been hit. The 10 thousand budget to renovate two bathrooms and main bedroom was too low. Anyway, it's all done now. I will just have to wait a bit longer to do the other bathroom.

We are going away for Easter to visit relatives interstate. I put away $300 into the holiday fund, it should be plenty since our flight is already paid for and we won't need to pay for accomodation. We will probably mainly spend money on the little kiddies, since we deliberately didn't send them christmas presents.

This month will be very good in terms of income, it's double pay month! But we will also need to pay the solar panels this month, which will really put an end to the household fund.

Speaking of solar panels, we have had them up for 2 weeks now and we have put a bit of power back into the grid. I think we will get 60-68 cents per kilowatt.

Stock market:
I love this time of the year because it's dividend time. One of my stock got taken over and all the shares have been bought out. I really liked that share but I had to say goodbye to it. I received my pay out last week. I didn't include it as an income eventhough I doubled my money because I want to just put it back into the investment fund money. I will probably get 2 different stocks in the near future.

Feb Update and Solar Panels

March 3rd, 2011 at 02:31 am

February numbers were pretty good, overall we were under by $12. We only went over budget on gifts (by over $70)and groceries by over $27. If we didn't get the Costco membership we would have been under. I'm reasonable happy with our spending so far this year. Although the renovation expenses is a bit higher than I anticipated it to be but at the same time we are saving few thousand dollar by doing most things. Eventhough it is taking longer but we are happy with it.

This month's spending should be reasonably lower again.

On another news, we decided to get solar panels. Our federal government have had this solar panel scheme here for a while now and they are winding it down next month. We have been talking and researching about it for about a year now, debating whether we should do it. Since the start of this year we pretty much have been talking about it almost daily because yet again the electric company have decided to increase their rates. Also the prices on solar panels have become very competitive in the last few months. So we thought to just do it now. This is probably not the best time to do it now with all the renovation expenses and all. We have enough in the household fund for it but this would mean that we have to hold off on renovating the main bath room for few months or so. The main bathroom probably won't get done until the end of the year or even early next year, it is not such a big deal especially when we get the ensuite done.

Overall the cost for 6 solar panels including installation will be $7857 but the government is putting in $5360 so it will only cost us $2497. DH calculated that it would take us 4 years to break-even and sooner if the electric price keep going up. The solar panels itself has 20 yrs warranty and other parts for 10yrs. I just hope we made the right decision.

January 2011 and $2500 spent on renovation

February 3rd, 2011 at 03:59 am

As usual January is the most expensive month for us. The annual Car and Home insurance are due in Jan. That's more than $1000 right there. But since we stuck to our spending plan we were underbudget by almost $200. Everything was under budget but the home phone.

This month's spending plan will be about 60% to that of last month. It normally less than that for this month but we need to send DH's cousin an engagement gift. We are not going because it is interstate (in Queensland where all the weather is at the moment), and we are not really expected to go so we will just send something. Also an old high school friend, who now also lives in Queensland, is coming down next weekend and we already plan to go out next Saturday. I offered to pay for her meal already because it is her birthday next month and she sent me a gift just before christmas last year so I think I owe her one. I will be taking her somewhere a bit upmarket so I anticipate to spend around $120 for our meal.

We spent more than $2,500 yesterday for our bathroom/bedroom renovation. We got the window brick in, got the shower screen and shower base delivered, we also got the skylight and attic ventilation installed. It is a bit of money to spend but I am glad that we got these things done. We are moving along nicely.

2011 Goals and 20K Challenge

January 5th, 2011 at 04:04 am

We only got 5 goals this year and they are mainly continuation to last year.

Goal 1: Save $10,000 into the Household Fund (2 bathrooms renovation).
Action Plan: To be fully funded by April, ~$2,500 per month.

Goal 2: Save $1,700 into the Christmas/Anniversary Fund.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by May.

Goal 3: Add $5,000 into the Car Fund.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by December 2011.

Goal 4: Add $3,000 into the Holiday Fund.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by December 2011.

Goal 5: Prepay $20,000 into the Mortgage by the end of the year.
Action Plan: Put any extra money towards this goal.
Everything is pretty much straight forward. We are planning to throw anything extra into the mortgage this year. Any bonus, interest received, dividends, etc. will be paid into it.

$3000 into the holiday fund is a lot for this year and we are not really looking to go on holiday this year, except for visiting family interstate. Visiting family interstate doesn't normally cost for more than few hundred dollars. But we are planning to go overseas (somewhere in Asia) late next year, that will cost a bit so if we can save for some of it this year it will not be as tight next year. I always look at our Holiday Fund as our reward for hard work. I am hoping that by the time we take this holiday to Asia we would have paid an extra $50,000 into the mortgage. Won't that be sweet.

We are going back to 20K challenge this year, 19K was just way too tight. I've omitted the item donation. We decided to sponsor a child again this year, we used to do this years ago and unfortunately had to stop when DH was unemployed. Now is the time to start it again, we will try it for a year. I guess I don't want to classified it as living expenses esp since we can get tax refund for it. I will still budget for it but it will not be included in the 20K challenge.

I have made the necessary adjustments and I hope that things will not change too much this year.

20K Challenge:

Grocery - $2,800.00
Utilities - $2,200.00
Rates - $1,350.00
Home Phone - $300.00
Mobile - $250.00
Internet - $550.00
Fuel & Fare - $2,400.00
Car Registration - $630.00
Car Insurance - $502.00
Home Insurance - $525.00
Health Insurance - $2,520.00
Entertainment - $2,000.00
Gifts - $800.00
Personal/Medical - $700.00
Clothing - $300.00
Allowances - $1,820.00
Miscellanous - $353.00

TOTAL = $20,000.00

I hope we do better this year than last year.
I hope everyone here in SA achieve their goals this year.
We can all do it guys!