Home > Archive: December, 2011

Archive for December, 2011

Changes to 2012 Goals

December 30th, 2011 at 03:16 am

Due getting some unexpected pay this month, I've had to make changes to my goals for next year. And I've now posted it on my sidebar.

2012 GOALS:

Goal 1: Get mortgage down to $120K (Bal. Dec 2011 = $149K)
Action Plan: Must put in $2,500 per month.

Goal 2: Put $5000 into the Holiday Fund.
Action Plan: Will put $500 until Oct.

Goal 3: Save $2000 into the Xmas/Anniversary Fund.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by Dec.

Goal 4: Add $7000 into the Household Fund for new windows, etc.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by Dec.

Goal 5: Add $3000 into the EF - this will get us to a very tight 6 months living expenses.
Action Plan: Put any extra money towards this goal.

It has been a pretty quiet and feels really sloooow week. We had a bit of NSD this week because we couldn't go anywhere. I actually had plans to go shopping on Boxing day sales, I was hoping to get some christmas stuff for next year. I need to get more christmas wrapping paper and decorations and maybe even a new christmas tree.

The only spending this week was phone bill, less than $20, also the locknut key for $40 and yesterday DH bought an air pump thingy to pump the spare tyre and that only cost $20. DH wanted to have one in the car handy, only need to attach it to the cigarette lighter.

Tomorrow I will need to go grocery shopping and maybe have a look if there are any christmas wrapping left.

I need to finalise my Spending Plan for next year and hope to post it this weekend. We are now over $1500 this year, not good but some of the spending could not be helped. I am hoping to do better next year

Crazy Weather and Car Problem

December 29th, 2011 at 01:21 am

We actually managed to have a white christmas here this year, well sort of. We got a massive storm on the afternoon of Christmas day and it there were hail almost the size of golf balls.

But our adventure actually started christmas eve. On that day DH and I did a bit of grocery shopping and then went to my mum's place to drop off the turkey, she decided to cook it at her place instead and I cooked the roast pork at my place. Anyway, on the way home DH and I talked about giving the car a wash that day, it really needed it. We got home around lunch time but decide to wash the car later that day when the sun is not as hot, it was another 30deg+ day. We decided to finally start washing it around 5pm. Half-way through washing DH found a bolt stuck to one of the back tyre (again! this happened to us few years ago, the same spot/tyre too). Again we suspect we got it from the road to/from my mum's place, there are few roadworks pretty much all the way to her place and there are a lot of crap around the road.

DH tried to replaced the tyre with the spare but he found out that the locknut key is totally worn out and will not grip. We could not do anything else that day but call my brother to ask him if he could drive us to mum for christmas lunch, it was not a problem for him since we are on the way for him.

When my brother came over he also had a look at the busted tyre he said it will only need to be patch up, which is good news since I was expecting that we might have to get a new one. My brother work for Bridgestone and know a bit about tyres. He said that if we could get it off then he will pick it up and get it fix for us at his work, which won't be until at least Wednesday since we have a 4 day weekend here for christmas and boxing day holiday (most businesses were closed except for department stores and shopping centres that are open for boxing day sales).

We had to borrow my mum's car to go and visit my friend after lunch. We wanted to just stop by to say hello to my other friend who was also visiting from the country that day. We planned to go there for couple of hours while my mum and brother had a nap, then we were going to come back for dinner at my mum again. Half an hour later when we got to my friends place the rain finally started, heavy storm was forecast and it has been threatning all morning but it never came until that afternoon. Because it has been very humid which is very unusual for us here, we normally just get a dry heat during summer, the rain actually brought with it some hail. It started with just small hail, about the size of corn kernel for about 5 mins and then it stopped for 5 mins and then it started again and now the hail is about the size of ping pong balls. I was freaking out about my mum's car, there was nothing we could do about it but watch it from the balcony, it was park on the street with no protection at all. There were about 20 other cars outside in my friend's neigbourhood. Everyone was having a christmas party some managed to cover their car with car mats.

It came and finished very quickly but did enough to make a bit of damage. My friend's kitchen started leaking and so did a couple of rooms upstairs. I found out the next day that their gutter actually came off from the weight of the ice. There was water everywhere, it got into their cabinets and appliances and on the floor.

I heard someone said that there were more bad weather coming, DH and I decided to leave right away, I wanted to put my mum's car back into her garage. Luckily, it only took us about 10-15mins to get back. When we got to my mum, it has not rain there at all. When I was telling her what happened she thought I was joking. Then 10mins later it started raining and again hail the size of ping pong, now my mum was freaking out coz it was so loud when it hit the tin roof. At this stage I was like I told you so!

Afterwards, we checked her car in the garage and there was only 1 ding that I could see and it wasn't that noticable. We were really lucky coz other people got major damage in thier car and some houses their ceiling caved in because it.

Back to our car, the next day, during Boxing Day we called for our roadside assitance company to see if they could get the locknut out, unfortunately he couldn't. He suggested that if we want he could come back on Wednesday, when car garages will be open, to pump up the tyre so DH can then drive it to get it fix. Other option DH got was to buy a new locknut key, which again we couldn't do until Wednesday. This was the better option, since we still need it if we ever need to get the other tyres out, which is very likely soon.

On Wednesday DH had to go back to work and had to walked to the train station, the closes one from our place is only 10 mins away but it is in a different zone to the one that DH normally catches the train on which cost him almost $5 more per day. The other train station would have taken half an hour walk but only few minutes to drive. Luckily it is very quiet at his work this week and had plenty of time to ring around for the locknut, the first place that DH called was closed until 3 of Jan. The second one was out of stock but they could order it but unfortunately that place is closed for business until 9 of Jan. Finally, the third one actually had the right serial number key in stock and luckily they are only few minutes from my mum's place. My mum went and bought one for us. They cost just under $33 but DH transfered $40 into my mum's bank account, I didn't have any cash with me at all.

After work yesterday, DH got the tyre off and my brother picked it up this afternoon after work, hopefully he will be able to get it fix tomorrow, they will only have half a day business tomorrow if it can't get done we will have to wait until next Tuesday coz again we have another 3 day long weekend. But at least we should be able to do some grocery shopping this Saturday once DH get the spare tyre pump up a bit, it is a bit flat at the moment. Luckily, we don't have a plan to go anywhere this NYE, again the weather is going to be very hot and I have opted to celebrate it at homw this year.

Christmas Carol

December 24th, 2011 at 10:47 am

Last night we went to the rehearsal for the Christmas carol that is on tv right now. We took our picnic rag and had a little picnic while listening to them sing some great christmas songs. It is summer here at the moment and it is around our summer solstice so our day is so much longer. Right now the sun doesn't go down until after 9:30pm, so it was nice to sit at the park, listening to music while watching the city skyline with the sunset in the back ground.

Normally, it cost $50 to get in for the lawn area and the the reserve area can go as high as $140 but for the rehearsal it only cost $7.50 each. The main show gets so full early in the year that is why they have made the rehearsal show available and even that they now get thousand or so people come. And all proceeds from both goes to a charity for kids.

DH really liked it, it was his first time going to a carol. There were a lot of families with little children, they just love it. They had a lot of room to run around.

This is what it looked like when we got there around 5:30pm.

It was quite hot 30deg, everyone was in their shorts and t-shirts. It did cool down a bit once the sun went.

Then when it got darker around 9pm, they put the lights on.


Unexpected Payday

December 24th, 2011 at 09:58 am

Yesterday when DH got home he checked his email and was suprise to find a payslip, informing him that he got pay that day. He wasn't expecting this for another 2 weeks. Apparently, DH will get paid every two weeks now, instead of every 4 weeks. I've pretty much closed this year financially but my goals for next will need to be change.

Today DH put in another $1000 into the mortgage, so now we are under $150K to start the new year. Also with this extra money I can take 2012 goal number 2 off from my previous post because it is now fully funded. Cool, we achieved a goal before actually starting.

I think I'm gonna like getting DH's payday every 2 weeks, a lot less waiting.

2012 Goals

December 22nd, 2011 at 03:54 am

1. Get the mortgage down to $120K.
I will put $2500 a month in here before putting any money into the other goals.

2. Put $2000 into the Car Fund.
This will take us to $15K Car Fund with a bit extra for car service /repair for next year.
Iím hoping our car will last another few years. Now that DH donít drive to work anymore we havenít needed much work on it (knock on wood), apart from fuel of course.

3. Put $5000 into the Holiday Fund.
I donít know if this is enough but it will be close enough to what we will need for our next vacation.

4. Put $1500 into the Xmas/Anniversary Fund.
The same amount as this year, but I am hoping to spend less on our anniversary and more toward Christmas.

5. Put $6000 into the Household Fund.
The main thing we will need next year is a new oven and windows. I donít know if this will be enough.

6. Put $3000 into the EF.
This will be worth a very tight 6 months living expenses.

Itís funny how in the past Iíve always just had the extra mortgage payment as the last goal. It was always whatever is leftover will go towards prepaying a bit to the mortgage but next year mortgage payment will be number one goal everything else will just have to wait.

Electric Bill

December 15th, 2011 at 07:38 am

Never been so excited to get this bill. For those who are not aware we installed solar panels earlier this year. We spent $2500 after government rebate. The best thing about it is that we actually get credit back if we put anything extra into the grid.

Anyway, because we are in the summer season now, we actually managed to put a bit of extra energy back to the grid. So the bill today got a Credit Balance of $86.94 (including a $21.86 balance brought forward from last bill, they couldn't get a proper ready the first time around so they had to estimate).

Its a great feeling getting a bill but they actually owe you money. We are hoping to get enough credit to pay for the winter season when the sun won't be shining as much. I think we can actually get cash if wanted to but I don't think we will bother with it at this time.

We actually got two letters from our electric company today, the other one was a letter letting us know that they will be increasing everyones rate. Yikes. I'm just so glad that we could afford to take advantage of the solar panel rebate. I know a lot of people would have love to get it but couldn't afford it. According to our calculation it will take us around 3 years to get our money back. We've save around $520 so far.

Back to having a very Spendy Weekend

December 12th, 2011 at 05:49 am

But at least I'm pretty much done with Christmas shopping. Only need to get DH's (another)present, we give each other a $30 limit, normally we don't even bother.

I actually got him something when we went to Costco on Saturday but since he was with me, he already know what it is, plus it is more for the house really than for him. I got a 99 pcs titanium coated drill bit set. We go through them quite a bit and they can be costly if you get them individually. Depending on the size they sell for $3-$10 each. I got this one with case for $27. Anyway, I will still wrap it so I can put it under the christmas tree, since it is looking pretty sad at the moment.

Costco was expensive, a lot of the item we got will not going to be use for months. We just wanted to stock up on items we can get from Costco for cheaper price. One item we saw that wasn't in the list but we got 2 bags of was quinoa. Both DH and I love eating it and it is hard to find, I only know 1 other place to get them and it is 20 mins away. Anyway, the price was cheaper than that other place so we got 2 bags of 1.8 kilo each for $10 a bag. This should last us for months.

I'm just glad I got it out of the way now and I won't have to go shopping again until after christmas, well maybe I have to get some milk and fruit and vegs. I gave my mum some money to go towards buying food for christmas. She won't need to get much, maybe just ham and some seafood (mainly prawns). We are keeping it low key. We will have lunch at my mum and then we will probably then go to a friend for dinner, she really wants us to stop by.

Costco was crazy, there was so many people and even going to Aldi was insane we had to park half a block away. I hate going shopping this time of the year.

Tomorrow I will go to the city to get DH his present and then I will meet up with him for lunch. I will be taking the train so I will not need to worry about parking.

Today is at least a NSD Smile

There is a smoke alarm chirping every few minutes, I'm not really sure which one it is. I can't quite reach them with the small ladder, the big ladder is heavy and it is in the garage so basically it will have to wait for DH. It is starting to get really annoying and I feel like getting a stick and smashing it, but with my luck I will probably smash the wrong one!

Rate Cut and down to $150K

December 9th, 2011 at 06:02 am

Yeaaah, our bank cut our mortgage rate late yesterday. This means our rate will go down to 6.61%. Now I'm happy and will stop ranting about it. Smile It will cut about 7-8 months in the term of our loan.

On another financial news, DH got paid today and I put exactly $2,491.33 into the mortgage so I can get our mortgage exactly down to $150K. I just wanted to start the new year in that amount.

This also means that I've achieved all my financial goals this year. Now I need to finalise and post my goals for next year. I might do that next week.

Christmas tree

December 8th, 2011 at 05:25 am

I finally finish putting up the christmas tree, it only took me 3 days (and it is not a big tree), I keep getting distracted. Actually it is more like I can't really be bother with it. I been too busy doing work, I'm really motivated with it at the moment. Anyway, I went for silver and purple colour scheme christmas tree this year.

Financially, I haven't spend much for christmas at all this year. We decided to just give cash to our nephews and nieces, they are in another state so it is easier that way and actually prefer it because they get so much toys and clothes already. ANd the rest would just get gift cards. And I already got my mum something last month. So I will get the gift cards this weekend and send them next week.

I got plans to finally venture out to go shopping this Saturday. I plan to go to Costco, I think our membership expire this month (but I'm not 100% sure) and I don't think we will renew it anytime soon. We haven't been there for few months now and I don't think it is worth renewing it right now. So this weekend in my shopping list is gift cards and another gift for my brother's birthday this weekend.

We will be having lunch at my mum's place for my brother's birthday this Sunday. Also christmas will be held at my mum's because our little convection oven will not be big enough to cook everything we want. Everything is plan and the beauty is I don't have to do much but I will give my mum some money to go towards buying for the food. My mum loves to cook and she is an amazing cook so she loves this plan.

I already have a frozen turkey, I will either give it to mum to cook or I will cook it here, I think it will just fit in the little oven, so maybe I will still do that.

ANd ohh we've had 4 NSD in the row here and today could be the fifth if I can just hold off my pizza craving at the moment. This and with low spending in the last couple of weekend has been really good. Although I'm pretty sure this coming weekend is going to be costly.

2 days later

December 8th, 2011 at 01:07 am

and the 4 big banks (one of which is our bank) still have not decrease their interest rates. Only 2 smaller banks have lower it in full. The government are unhappy but can't do anything about it. All 4 banks makes record breaking profit all the time but apparently if they do decrease it could "break the bank". Major BS of course. If it was the other way around, you can bet they will increase rate within minutes of the RBA announcement.

It might be time to change banks, but the thing is the big banks eventually just takes over/buy out the smaller once. There is very little competition here and that's why they can get away with it. We used to have our mortgage with the smaller institute but couple of years or so ago one of the big bought it out. It's really annoying. This is another reason why I want to get rid of the debt so badly, so we don't have to be slave to the banks.

Tomorrow is DH's payday, and first thing I will do is pay the mortgage. It should be down to $150K by then. Which means all my 2011 goals will be done then

$25-$30 a month saving

December 6th, 2011 at 06:13 am

well I hope so anyway. It will all depends whether our bank actually follow the Aust reserve bank (RBA)and lower our mortgage rate.

Today the RBA lowered the interest rate another 25 basis points. This is now 2 months in a row that they have lowered the rate. This decision is mainly because of all the drama in Europe and also some talk about higher unemployment next year.

If our bank does cut our rate in full it will bring our mortgage rate down to 6.61 percent. I have my fingers crossed that they will follow the RBA. They don't always do it because they can get a bit greedy, typical of banks!

Weekend Spending and Mortgage Payment

December 5th, 2011 at 01:38 am

It was again a low spend weekend, less than $100 again. The only thing we got was groceries and $40 ink for the printer. It was a good deal too, they included the black ink for free (with the 4 colour ink) and then it was for sell for $40 for 2, I'm not sure how much it would have been to only get 1 pack because DH bought it.

On another good news, the mortgage got paid today. The interest was only $865.10, down $85 from last month (although this period only had 30 days), I was hoping for the interest to go under $900 but this is better than expected. Everyone with a mortgage here, including me is hoping that there would be another interest rate cut tomorrow when the Aust reserve bank meet tomorrow. I can only hope.

$352.90 went towards the principal. I still need to put $2,491 to get our mortgage to $150K. This is my main goal for this month. I should be able to put it on Friday when DH gets paid.

Sunday was a NSD, I was too busy doing work on my trading. Since I have been out of work (by choice) for a year now I have really decided that in the next year I will concentrate on working on trading full time. It is both scary and exciting. I've been doing this on and off for 10 years now and to actually do it full time will require hard work (that I hope will pay off in the long run). This is the best time to do this, we are financially comfortable with just DH income right now. Our main goal is still to pay off the mortgage asap, hopefully before DH turn 40. The plan is set and all we have to do is follow it.