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Reviewing 2017 Personal Finance and other Goals

January 2nd, 2018 at 10:59 am

Overall spending for 2017 was $36,679.59, the $7,336.79 of it was to pay off the mortgage. So $29,342.80 of it was for everything else. As long as we can keep it $30K or less per year is ideal for us. $35K per year will be the target if we go overseas for a holiday.

There were only really a few of things that we went over budget. The worse one was Car Repairs and Services that was over by $1,304.90, the budget was for only $700 for the year and that have been fine most years. Unfortunately, there were few things that we had to get fix and replaced in 2017. DH’s train fare was another item that went over budget by $262.84 but the good news though is that fuel cost for the year for our car was under by $394.15, so they kind of cancelled each other out. Another biggie that I’m not particularly happy about is we way over in the Takeaway by $349.35 but this was then again offset by under spending in Restaurant category by $487.98. But still getting too much takeaway was bad.

The rest of our spending’s were fairly spot on to what we budgeted for. I will still need to tweak few things around for 2018 though. I probably should increase Car repairs and services since our car is really old now. Also need to decrease Private Health Insurance but increase Medical since we are now paying for dental and optical with cash without rebates.


My goals for 2018 were:


*Pay off Mortgage – DONE!

*$30K into Equities/Investments – We did really well this year in putting money into our investments, more than we thought we would be able to.

*Save $5K for Holiday money – We only spent $1,822.66 this year so we will be rolling the balance ($3,177.34) over to 2018. In 2018 I aim to save $4000.

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Remodel – Spent $1,366.50 in 2017 so we will roll over $3,633.50 into 2018. Our goal for 2018 is to save $5,000 again for 2018.

Other -

*Read 50 books – DONE, read 64 books.

*Workout 4 times a week - I did really good at the start of the year but faded in the last couple of months.

*No buying soft drinks – I did excellent here.

*Blogging once per week – I think I did fairly well, only missed few times and that was because I had nothing to write about.

*Garden/Landscaping – We have done some work and will continue in 2018.

*Flossing everyday – Done very well at this and will hopefully continue doing it from here on.

*Wake-up early (before 7am) – Very BAD, probably only done it 30% maybe even less. I need to better in 2018.

*Decluttering – We have done well at this and hopefully will continue to do more in 2018.

*Organise my emails – DONE.

I’m now looking forward to achieve more of my goals in 2018.

New Payslip

July 10th, 2014 at 02:34 am

DH received his new pay yesterday. He will be getting paid fortnightly from now on, which is good. It was for just below $3,000, it is not for a full two weeks only for 9 days but still a bit disappointing compare to what he used to get. We will just have to get used to it I guess. At least he will get paid for holidays now though. I did a bit of calculations last week on what this next year will be like for us financially unfortunately it will actually be $140 less than what I thought he would get net per month. So $1,680 less per year. I will need to re-do my calculations.

On to the good news, DH is still owed about 2 weeks worth of pay for last month. His old agency will be paying that next week.

Apr to June Spending and some Update

July 1st, 2014 at 06:51 am

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.

Household Fund

June 27th, 2013 at 06:51 am

Currently we have just over $7,5000 in it. We started the year with almost $3,500 and have now added $6K into it for the year.

Almost everything that's house related is taken out of this account. For example, the plants that we bought on the weekend is taken out of this account. The most expensive thing that we had to spend on this year was back in January when we had to get a new motor for our window shutter (it broke), taht was for $500 and we also had to hire a skip bin for $240 that month. We also got a chain saw, a lot of plastic containers, and other small items.

Most of this money will be spent on renovation around the house and also to replace furniture that we might need in the future.

I have a list of things that we need and want and they are mainly household stuff that will come out from this fund. First thing in the list at the moment is painting the study, the ceiling really needs it and as for the walls I just want a bit of change. We have most of the materials at hand already, leftover from previous renovation, so I don't think I will need much do this job. I will also need to do this in the living room ceiling (but I will get it done when the weather is warmer).

January 2013 Spending Plan (Budget)

January 3rd, 2013 at 11:54 pm

I almost forgot to post this. We did well last year by posting our monthly budget here. It just helps so much.

We are in a bit of heatwave here at the moment. Today it will most likely hit 40+ celsius. And the wind is picking up which is not good, it's the same condition we experienced during that horrible Black Saturday, 4 years ago. Today is a total fire ban, this includes a ban on using power tools like a grinder.

Because of this heat DH and I haven't been able to go running since New year's day. I'm hoping we will be able to go tomorrow when the weather will be under 30.

August 2012 Spending Plan

August 3rd, 2012 at 08:22 am

Grocery - $240
Home Phone - $25
Mobile - $20
Internet - $50
Fuel & Fare - $200
Health Insurance -$250
Entertainment -$200
Gifts -$150.00
Personal/Medical - $30
Clothing - $40
DH Allowance -$100
DW Allowance - $60
Miscellaneous - $30

TOTAL = $1,395

JUNE Budget 2012

June 1st, 2012 at 09:23 am

Heres what we are aiming for this month.

Grocery - $220
Utilities - $180
Home Phone - $25
Mobile - $20
Internet - $50
Fuel & Fare - $220
Health Insurance -$250
Entertainment -$150
Gifts -$50
Personal/Medical - $60
Clothing - $40
DH Allowance -$100
DW Allowance - $60
Miscellaneous - $35

TOTAL = $1,460


April 20th, 2012 at 01:03 am

I've just been reviewing my budget for this month, I just realise that we don't have any utility bill due. Normally the electricity bill would have been due by now. Thanks to the power of the sun and the work of our solar panels we only owe $2.88 for this quarter. Because it is below $10 they don't require a payment they will just add it on to the next bill. I'm hoping next electric bill will be even better, maybe we can get some credit instead. We lost about 2 weeks worth in the last quarter because the inverter wasn't working properly. It is all sorted now and we have not any problem since then.

Any saving we can get from this should hopefully help with the transport cost this year. Both petrol cost and train cost has gone up a lot this year. Two months ago they increase the public transport ticket by about 10%+ again.'s about time.

April 3rd, 2012 at 05:34 am

Well it's been over a month since I updated my blog. It is about time I update my side bar too.

Firstly, last month we went over our budget by over $68.45 - went over because of entertainment and transport costs. Feb was a lot better we were under by $243.16.

Now for our April budget.

Grocery - $230.00
Utilities - $100.00
Home Phone - $20.00
Mobile Phone - $40.00
Internet - $50.00
Fuel & Fare - $180.00
Health Insurance - $250.00 **
Entertainment - $200.00
Gifts - $150.00
Per/Med - $200.00
DH Allowance - $100.00
My Allowance - $75.00
Misc Items - $25.00

TOTAL = $1,670.00

**Health Insurance went up ~$18 p/m - crazy!

There was two payday in March, so we managed to put in more into the mortgage, it is now under $140K. Also topped up the Emergency Fund to $10K, Goal #5 is now done. I decided to put more money into here because there is some changes that is coming up in DH work and just in case we need it. The $10K is in various saving accounts that are easily accessible. Also managed to put a small amout of money to the household fund and holiday fund, this always makes me happy.

And before I foget to update this again, we put in $89 into the exercise challenge/xmas fund.

NSD: Feb = 10 and Mar = 8.
$180 towards my sunny day savings.

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.

Car Insurance

January 14th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

We got our annual car insurance bill earlier this month and it went up again to $707. It is due very soon. I really wasn't happy about paying that much for it, so I got DH to look at a better deal online last night. He found one for $565, there are some differences in the contract but nothing too extreme, overall really it is very similar. I think the excess is a bit higher but nothing that we can't handle especially now that we got a reasonable car fund. So couple hours work saved us almost $150.


January 6th, 2010 at 04:16 am

This my spending plan for January:

This month we have our Car and House Insurance due.

According to our goals (sidebar) we also need to put away:

- #300 into Xmas/Anniversay Fund
- $300 into Holiday Fund
- and I'm hoping to be able to set aside $1,000 into the Household Fund.

Savings Overhaul

April 5th, 2008 at 10:04 am

I've made a decision to change the way I am going to go about the way I save for our funds. Rather than only spreading the minimum amount to each funds each month, I've decided to do a snowball effect instead. I will only be putting $500 in the Saving each month until each item is fully funded. This is how it is going to look like. Hopefully we can follow it and maybe even achieve our targets earlier.

With this new strategy, I hope to save a further $7,000 for the remaining of this year. The $10K (see sidebar) might just be a bit too much but with extra effort and with some extra income we could get there. We will see, and I will just leave that goal there for now.

The remaining amount to fully fund each item is listed on top of the table. I estimated that we have about $2,300 left each month to distribute towards the funds/savings. We should be getting some extra money this month (the rebate I already received and DH should be getting a bit extra this month too). If I'm diligent in getting my tax return done in early July, I should get the refund in Aug. I estimate it to be around $1,000.

I want to fund the House Fund sooner that the others because we will be needing some of it sooner than later. As for the Holiday Fund, we got enough to spend for our weekend getaway this month. It should only cost us couple hundred dollars. We are also planning a long weekend away in Aug, which should only cost few hundred dollars. I think we have enough money in the funds to accommodate for these expenses. After all these, we wont be able to get away until Oct and the destination will most likely be somewhere overseas. As for the Tuition, I am not in a hurry to fully fund this until the end of the year. We wont need 1/3 of it until Nov/Dec.

With this new strategy we will be achieving something almost every month, which makes it more fun.


January 2nd, 2008 at 09:37 am

This is going to be our version of the $20 Challenge.

Our challenge for 2008 is to keep these items in the list under $20K for 2008. As can be seen, we spent over $23K+ on these items in 2007. Conservatively, we probably should budget $22K for these stuff but this is not called a challenge for nothing! I love a challenge, and so we are turning the knob a little bit tighter. I think if we can reduce the grocery, entertainment, gifts and miscellaneous items we should be able to do it. I do anticipate that the entertainment and gifts will be a lot lower this year (wont be spending as much this year for our anniversary).
Im already accounting for an increase in the utility bills (there has been a lot of talk in the media about this already). Property rate has already increase for the last 6 months and will continue for the next 6 months and will most likely increase further after that. Have increase the home phone but will try to not use the mobile phone as much. Our internet usage can be erratic, to be in the safe side I have increase it. Fuel should be lower this year since our gas conversion. Fare will be increasing in the middle of the year as per usual. For insurances, I just hope they wont go up too much but we are already planning to increase our coverage for the health insurance (to include maternity) around the middle of the year. The amount for the Personal/Medical will not include the surgery that was meant for Dec in here (in my 2008 year budget I have put this as a separate item). I have lowered this quiet a bit, there were stuff that we did last year that we shouldnt need this year, eg. I wont need contact lenses I got enough that should last for over a year. The miscellaneous item is really the thing that I hope we can really keep down. Need to be more discipline about not buying useless stuff.
I would really like to save $3K for these items this year. That $3K would really be great contribution to the holiday fund (as a reward).
Things that are not in the ($20K challenge) list but are in the 2008 spending plan are:
Mortgage -$16,200
CC repayments Will be paying minimum and will reassess at the end of the year on whether we want to just pay it off or not - $1,600
Medical (surgery) Expense - ~$1000
Tuitions Depends on how many subject will be doing this year, still undecided (kind of playing it by ear on how busy it is at work) - $3,100 maybe
Text Books Depends on above decision - $420 maybe
Various Funds:
Baby Fund - $50p/m ($600)
Car Fund - $150 p/m ($1,800)
EF - $50 p/m + some from extra income (until fully funded - $3000, only need $1K now) ($600)
Xmas Fund - $70 p/m ($840)
Repair/Furniture Fund - $500 p/m (planning to make some major repairs this year) ($6000)
Holiday Fund - $350 p/m (but if we can achieve our $20K challenge we wont need to put away as much and will put more in the savings) ($4,200)
Various Retirement and Investments - $330 p/m ($4,000)

LONG TERM SAVINGS - $500 p/m + whatever extra left in the months income ($6,000).

I am really excited about 2008 its going to be a great year.

DH Tax refund and EF

December 27th, 2007 at 10:23 am

Just cash in DH 2005 tax refund today, as promised I will put some of it to the EF. But decided to only put $300 (instead of $500 as I initially wanted) and put the $200 towards a medical expense that is schedule for some time in the next two months. I've already set up a Fund for it last month and already got $250, so this would make it $450 (about half way there). I might even put more money in it at the end of this month, depends how much saving we have at the end of this month.


December 13th, 2007 at 01:43 am

I'm still trying to do our 2008 budget. I'm using this year's actual figures to base my 2008 budget, although there will be some extra spending next year. Holiday expense most likely be higher and also thinking of doing some house repairs next year. Dental/Med/Personal expense will defintely be higher also.

Another thing that will be happening next year is some major changes in DH employment situation. There should be a bit more money coming in next year, which I can't wait.

Once I get all my budget done, DH and I will then look at it together to see if he got any other suggestions/input.