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Week 11

March 18th, 2019 at 06:04 pm



We had beautiful weather on the weekend. We had a picnic and went for long walks.

Grocery = $55.60
Fuel = $41.55
Eating out = $43.70


This didn't work yesterday.

Car Repairs

March 15th, 2019 at 09:20 pm

I wrote this two days ago but couldn't log on.

Good news, it wasn’t as bad as it sounded. They found the fault in the power steering pressure switch so they replaced with a new one. Also the intake pipe needed to be repaired and put in some oil. They also did the usual service since it would have been due next month anyway. All up it cost $382.26, overall not as bad as we expected it to be.

Week 10

March 12th, 2019 at 03:08 pm


We had car problem all weekend and because we had a long weekend DH couldn’t take it to the mechanic until this morning. I’m hoping it won’t cost too much and they can actually fix it.
Because of the car we cancelled our plan to go out on Sunday, we had planned to go to the farmer’s market again and we also had planned to go into the city. Instead me just spend some of our time at our local park, we got to watched a game of cricket.
However, we did chanced the car Saturday night were we had to be at a friend’s house for her daughter’s first birthday.

Grocery – since we didn’t want to drive the car too much we just walked to the store, which is just across the park. We went twice, Sunday and Monday, and took a backpack with us to help carry the groceries. The total of it was $31.65, I guess this is positive thing, and I managed to score some nice sales on meat.

Electricity – I actually tried to blog about this few days ago, it was a total fail. I actually tried to post a picture of our statement. It didn’t work to how I wanted it to come out and I just gave up on it, eventually. We got our statement for the billing period of 4 of Dec 2018 to 3 of Mar 2019 for a total of $93.20 credit. I can’t remember the breakdown of it now, but it was around $45 credit for this bill and it got added to last bill of $48 credit. We did really well considering we used it a great deal around Christmas time.

Coffee grinder – the other day DH ordered a coffee grinder online for $68, including postage. We have wanted to get one for a while now and we’ve also dried a bit of our herbs from the garden that might be good to have one to use for it.

We didn’t do much and I guess we had an in forced staycation on our long weekend. For some reason, I don’t even know how it happened but I ended watching a lot of Youtube. Particularly, the current politics in the US, this is usually not an interest of mind but I do like history of politics though. Anyway, I ended up in a rabbit hole about the current congresswoman from New York and then about the New Green Deal. Oh wow, very interesting. I also, watched a bit about what is currently happening in Canada. The word socialism got mentioned a lot, and it seemed like a lot of university students are really embracing it. This is interesting to me, here in Australia we tend to be few years behind the current trend, I think it used to be a decade behind but now with social media it is a bit quicker.

I also watched some videos about bullet journals, I have never journaled before and I think this might be a good one for me to have. I find that this is more suited to my personality. I always write things down but they tend to just be in a note book or just some random piece of paper. I think this will help me be more organised and have everything in one spot.

That was longer than expected.

WEEK 47

November 27th, 2018 at 09:35 pm


Grocery = $91.25, bought a bit of fish for the freezer, $23 worth. Also we went to some sort of a market on Sunday, it was supposed to be a farmer’s market but there weren’t many farmer’s there at all.
Wedding = Last week a relative of mine got married we gave a $200 cash gift.

Garage sales = high chair for $1, this will be for my little niece when they comes for Christmas. It is still very good the guy just wants to get rid of it because they are selling up. There was also another garage sale on the same street and I got a set of lamps for $15. I want to build a headboard and I think I can used these lamps for it.

Garden = On the way home from the market we saw a sign for horse poo for sale, we end up getting a $7.50 worth. It better value than getting from the store. The best thing I got from the market were seedlings, they were only $1 each. I end up spending $12.

Christmas stuff = Got some more random stuff for Christmas to put under the tree (that’s if we are getting a tree this year???)

Making Sauerkraut = I made sauerkraut, for the first time ever.

Lunch out with friend and her family = On Saturday DH and I had lunch with a friend and her family. For some reason they end up paying for lunch so we picked up the bill for coffees and cakes afterwards, $18.50.

Change Registration Plate for Camper Trailer = DH had to get the registration for the camper trailer transferred to our state. He ended up spending $96. This included some once off fee, it will eventually be $59 per year.

OCTOBER 2018

November 8th, 2018 at 10:43 pm



This is very late but I’ve been away and got sick since the last day of our holiday. We got back Tuesday afternoon and I have just been trying to recover from it.

So Week 43 and 44 was spent away on our holiday, we went and visited relatives interstate. And then somehow end up getting a camper trailer – that was not planned at all. I will do a separate blog about this purchase and about our holiday later.

October Total = $4,706.26

CAMPER TRAILER = this includes the cost of camper trailer for $2,300.

GROCERY = $188.19

UTILITIES = only for electricity bill this month, $126.93. This was our first payable bill for the year.

PROPERTY RATES = $202.90 – for some reason they are now taking the money out of our account on the first of the month instead to the end of the month, so in September we actually didn’t had to pay this.

Household and Garden Items = $177.91

DH Birthday and Anniversary = 311.92

~~~~~~~~ 2018 GOALS~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). Buying the camper trailer made us missed out on achieving this goal in October but it should really happen in November.

*Save $4K for Holiday money. In the month of October we spent $439.14.

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.


Other –

*Read 70 books. I didn’t get to do as much reading while on holiday.

148. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (2 Oct)
149. Unforgivable - Mike Thomas (4 Oct) - Audio
150. The Examined Life - Stephen Grosz (8 Oct)
151. The Other Half of Happiness - Ayisha Malik (9 Oct) - Audio
152. The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena (11 Oct)
153. Unwritten - Jack Delosa (12 Oct) - Audio
154. The $1000 Project - Canna Campbell (15 Oct)
155. The Love that I Have - James Maloney (16 Oct) - Audio
156. 10% Happier - Dan Harris (17 Oct)
157. Anthem - Ayn Rand (18 Oct)
158. The Unquiet Dead - Ausma Zehanat Khan (25 Oct) – Audio
159. The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle (30 Oct)

*Learn Spanish. – yes, daily.

*Workout 3/4 times a week. – did really good before going away but we only did walking the dog while on holiday

*Try new recipes every other week. – Yes, I tried cooking beef brisket for the first time and I fermented some swiss chard before we left. The fermentation turned out well and we been having some for the last few days. I also tried baking bread in the bbq.

*Blogging once per week. - Failed

*Continue Garden/Landscaping. - Yes

*Wake-up early (before 7am) - Yes

*Continue Decluttering. - Yes

Car Service and some Financial Updates

October 16th, 2018 at 08:21 pm


Car Service = Yesterday’s car service was $321.20 - it included the normal service and a change in fan belt.

Increase in Income = DH got an increase but only CPI rate, not surprising really, income here have mainly stagnated in the last few years.

Salary Sacrifice = We’ve decided to increase DH’s Super contribution to hopefully decrease his tax. He is salary sacrificing few hundred dollars per month. Now that the house is paid off this makes a lot of sense for us.

Garden = I’m still getting a lot of swiss chard, I even gave some away to a couple of friends. I’ve been trying out different dishes with it. The other night I made crust less quiche with it. It was very good. A lot of seedlings I planted couple of weekends ago are now coming through. I’m just hoping we get a bit more rain this summer.

SEPTEMBER 2018

October 2nd, 2018 at 09:39 pm



Total Spending for the month = $1600.05

GROCERY = $277.35, a bit more than I was hoping for but still under $300 so we are still doing very well since September had 5 Saturdays.

WATER & GAS BILL = $393.60

HOUSEHOLD & GARDEN = $215.15

ENTERTAINMENT = $349.59 , high, very high. Celebrated few birthdays and got far too much takeaway food.

GIFTS = $157.75

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2018 GOALS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K).
We are now at $42K, so we should achieve this goal in October.
*Save $4K for Holiday money.
N/A this month
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.
Still not sure what we want to do with the house but I decided that the savings that we have been contributing to the “Car Fund” will now be for this (if we ever need it). We have been putting $200 into a couple managed funds for 10 years now; it has mainly been earmark as “Car Fund”. Last year the account got to just over $40K, we decided to take out $10K (we don’t need $40K to buy a new car, if when we get a new car we will be getting the one around $20-25K). So, that 10K got invest into something else. Anyway, last time I looked it was again almost to $40K mark (although it might have gone down since then, the market has been down in the last few weeks). We will just continue putting $200 a month and see where it can get to.

Other –

*Read 70 books.
I didn’t have as much time to read. I listen to a bit of audio books while doing the grout. Also I finally found a Dave Ramsay book, first time reading his book.
134. One of Us is Lying - Karen Mcmanus (2 Sep)
135. The House - Simon Lelic (6 Sep) - Audio
136. Stuffocation - James Wallman (7 Sep)
137. Minimalist: A Better Life with Less - Anthony Wright (9 Sep)
138. Altruism - Matthieu Ricard (14 Sep) - Audio
139. The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank (15 Sep)
140. The Honourable Thief - Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios (17 Sep) - Audio
141. Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood (19 Sep) - Audio
142. The Total Money Makeover - Dave Ramsay (20 Sep)
143. The Awakened Millionaire - Joe Vitale (23 Sep)
144. Don't Wake Up - Liz Lawler (24 Sep) - Audio
145. Econobabble - Richard Deniss (25 Sep)
146. Find Your Why - Simon Sinek (26 Sep)
147. Ash and Bones - Mike Thomas (29 Sep) - Audio


*Learn Spanish.
I put in more time on this in September.

*Workout 3/4 times a week.
I would actually give myself an A here for September, I just need to keep it going in October.

*Try new recipes every other week.
I forgot about this in September. I cooked a lot of stir fry because we got a lot of snow peas and swiss chard right now in the garden.

*Blogging once per week.
Yes.

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Have been doing a bit more work outside.

*Wake-up early (before 7am)
Yes

*Continue Decluttering.
Yes – we have been doing some spring cleaning. I need to drop some more stuff to the charity place.

October 2017

October 31st, 2017 at 10:17 pm

This was a big month. Total for the month $3189.60.

Some of the reasons why this was an above average month:

Birthdays & Anniversary – We tend to go out a bit in October to celebrate our anniversary and DH’s birthday, so entertainment expenses tend to be higher on this month.

GIFTS – This was extra high this month. Last weekend I took 3 of my friends out for brunch as birthday presents. And I got some clothes and toys for my new niece to take with us when we go visit. Total under this category was $315.47

CLOTHES – When we went out to get baby clothes we also bought some clothes for us. I replaced a couple of jeans that I have thrown out both had broken zippers and bought a black skinny jeans and I also got a leather jacket, something I’ve been thinking of getting. For DH we got him a bunch of underwear and a business shirt. End up spending $197.99, we only got about $60 left in our yearly budget for clothing, it should be doable. Good news though is I cleaned out our wardrobe again and thrown out/ give away 2 more bags of clothing this month. We are getting there with decluttering.

PLANE Tickets – We finally bought our tickets for our travels to Tasmania to visit my brother’s new baby. That was for $436. (There is yet another change of plans which I will blog about next time).

CAR SERVICE & REPAIRS – Yesterday DH had to take the car again for service. Last week while cleaning the car DH noticed that one of the back doors wouldn’t lock and also few months ago there is a part in the booth that broke which needed replacement. Since these things need done and our car is actually due for service in few weeks he just got the whole thing done. So on top of that tyre that needed replacement earlier this month in total we spent $766.70 on the car repairs and services this month. Yikes!

Some highlights for the month on top of the above expenses:

GROCERY – End of the month total is $280.19, under by almost $20 *happy dance*. This week end grocery shopping was $44.95.

ELECTRIC BILL – The last quarter bill was $156.24, the biggest for the year. Next bill should be a lot lower since the days are getting longer and we should be getting sun shining on our solar panels.

INTERNET - Good thing about this month was our internet was free!


~~~~~OOO000OOO~~~~~

BOOKS - I challenged myself to read one book a day for 5 days at the start of the month. I did pretty well; although I must be honest and say that I kind of cheated since the first two books I already started a bit last month. Still I was pretty happy about it. Then the week after when I was sick I couldn’t read a thing. It would have been a good time to do some reading since I was in bed for most of it but I just couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading.

47 Making Money Made Simple - Noel Whittaker (2 Oct)
48 The 4-Hour Work Week - Timothy Ferris (3 Oct)
49 Cannery Row - John Steinbeck (4 Oct)
50 Seneca - Letters from a Stoic - Translated by Robin Campbell (5 Oct)
51 The Art of Free Travel (A Frugal Family Adventure) - Patrick Jones & Meg Ulman (6 Oct)
52 Ego is the Enemy - Ryan Holiday (16 Oct)
53 The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (22 Oct)
54 Nietzsche: A Complete Introduction - Dr Roy Jackson (25 Oct)
55 How to Become a Stoic - Massimo Pigliucci (29 Oct)
56 Stoicism and the Art of Happiness - Donald Robertson (31 Oct)

I forgot to note that I made it to my goal of reading 50 books this year. Sweet! I'm still gonna keep going and see how many I'll end up reading by the end of the year. I'm almost half way through reading the new Dan Brown book 'Origin' right now.

The Last 2 weeks

October 17th, 2017 at 06:12 pm

I was sick all week last week and still at the tail of this annoying cold. So in the last month I’ve had a head cold and was better for about a week then last week was even worst cold (I got it from DH) and it has taken a while to recover from it, almost 3 boxes of tissues later I can finally think again. The last couple of days has been a lot better but still have been coughing but hopefully it won’t come back again.

Groceries – First week spent $60.91 and on the weekend we spent $50.97, so we are doing well so far this month.

Zoo – Last Sunday (before I got sick, although I was starting to feel awful then) we took a friend for lunch and then to one of the zoo here in Melbourne, she is from overseas and only here for couple of months. We spent all up $115.12, we used our annual zoo passes but we paid for our friend.

Flat Tyre – Last Friday night DH was about to get pizza for dinner when he notice the car felt funny when he drive it out of the driveway, luckily he noticed it right away as was able to get back in the garage. Friday night pizza got cancelled. DH changed the flat into the spare the next morning and then took it to the nearest tyre place. Luckily the one that got a nail on it was one of the old tyres at the back that would have needed replacing soon. On March (was on my March 28th 2017 blog) when we got the car serviced they replaced the 2 front tyres and suggested that the back ones will be done in the next service. DH asked them about the other back tyre and they feel like it could last a bit longer still. So the one tyre replacement was $110.

Roadside Assistance – On the topic of our car, last night DH just paid our annual roadside service assistance it was for $99.75

Groupon – On Sunday even though I still wasn’t fine we went out for dinner for couple of hours, it was good to be out of the house though. We booked this thing a month or so ago so we didn’t want to cancel it. We had tapas and it was okay it was lacking something though it was a bit bland for my taste. Luckily, we got Groupon because if I had to pay full price it would have been very disappointing. $45 for dinner and drinks and also paid $10.08 for parking (8 cents for card processing, and there was no cash option).

I think that's all I got for now.

First week of April

April 7th, 2017 at 04:02 am

On Sat 1st of April we went to a winery about 1 ½ hours away. I got a gift voucher for this place last year for my birthday and it was about to expire later this month. We went there with 4 other friends and in the end we only had to spend $10 extra.

Grocery – On Sunday we got groceries, total $80.68

Palm Tree Removal - Also on Sunday afternoon we got a knock on the door, it was a guy asking us if we want to remove our palm tree at the front. This is actually one of things that we have in our ‘to do lists’ for the outside landscaping (or should I say re-landscaping). This palm tree (almost 20 years old) has now grown too big and it is now touching some of the wires above. They were in the area trying to get some business; there were an army of them. To start with we weren’t very sure about it they seemed a bit dodgy but since they won’t really need to go inside the house and I kind of like that DH is home while we are getting it done so we said why not. Plus the price was really good, we thought removing this would have cost around $1,500 to $2,000, we eventually agreed on $800 but in the end we decided to give them $850. This tree was about 7 metres tall and about 1+ metre in diameter so it was hard work and the chainsaws kept getting clogged up which they had to stopped few times to cleaned it. They also grind the stumped and got rid of the rubbish, a truck load of it. I think we got a bargain.

Electric Bill – DH paid electricity bill for the 1st quarter of the year, $26.49.

Car (more car expenses) – Couple of weeks ago when DH took the car for service they end up turning off the radio which needed a code to turn it on again. So on Thursday DH had to take it to the Ford service mechanics to get the code, which cost $40. While there he decided to get the other (spare) key fixed that was not working properly and to also get the ABS looked at. In the end everything costs $370.

Lunch Date – Today we had our first lunch date for the year. This was kind of a reward for finishing Stage 1 of my workout. We went to some fancy restaurant. It was good but I expected more than good for the price so I doubt we will be going there again. Also, I had my first coke this year. I found the duck confit a bit too salty and wanted something to wash it down so I asked DH to get me a glass of coke while I went to the bathroom. I wished I just stuck to water and I wished DH asked how much it was before getting, it didn’t taste like it used to be and the worst part is it cost $6 for the 330ml glass of coke. Oh yeah I forgot, lunch cost $86.

Car Service and Repairs

March 28th, 2017 at 01:11 am

Car Service/Repairs – Total cost was a whopping $836! We got 2 new tyres for $198, they suggested that the front tyres can last until the next service. They had to replace the front brake pads that cost $203.50, again the rear one can be done next time. They suggested to just re-gas the A/C, because our car is quite old now it would be better to just re-gas it every year or so it would cost a lot more to repair it. The re-gassing was $110. They had to replace 4 wheel nuts for $88. The rest was then for the all other car services that needed to be done.

Grocery – I got DH to do the grocery shopping again and told him we only got $16 left in the budget this month. He went to Aldi and only spent $15.70. With that he got a whole chicken, 3 litre milk, 4 bananas, 1 punnet of strawberries and 1 dozen eggs. We will probably need to get more milk later this week or we could use the long-life milk we have for emergency, we probably will I'm sure the expiry date on it is probably close.

Scanner App – We have started some of our paper work that we wanted to digitalised. We have an old scanner printer but it a pain to use, it take about 2 mins to just scan a page and then you have take out the SD card to save it into the computer. We thought about getting a new one and we almost did but then DH wanted to think about it some more. Last week DH took our old Electric bill and Gas bill to work to get it scanned, they’ve got great industrial scanner at work it only took him minutes to scan 7 years worth of bills. Now that we don’t get paper bills for these 2 we wanted to get the old scan them and throw them out (I actually shredded them and put it in the compost). We still got hundreds of paper work to scan which will not be possible for DH to take to work. He then looked into Scanner Apps, just using his phone camera he tried it a couple different Apps he preferred the second one he found. After using for a while he decided to buy it for $2.60 (was on sale from $5), worth paying to get rid of the watermark of their company logo. Anyway, it is so much more efficient than our old scanner. DH love using it. He was just sitting in front of the TV while watching a cricket game scanning away. This one it saves it automatically into a PDF and then DH can easily just email it to or save it google drive.

Other Spending – Got more soil for the garden, $11.85. Gas for the car was $42. I also gave my mum $300.

Car Repair and Postponed our camping trip

May 11th, 2015 at 08:00 pm

On Wednesday DH took the car to the shop to get repaired, that cost us $264 but DH will need to take it to get the ABS looked at. The mechanic can't fix the ABS, it will need an electrician of some sort.

Thursday afternoon we decided to cancelled our camping booking because the weather was going to be terrible, we were heading to the Highlands and the weather was going to be snowing, wet and windy. Just unfortunate because the weekend before that the weather would have been perfect. This trip was planned about 2 months ago, when we got a voucher for it. I think we will go in October instead now.

Luckily, we cancelled it because on Friday when DH and I decided to go out shopping (DH was home because he took a holiday on Friday for the camping trip), we noticed a lot of liquid/oil pouring out of the car as we were driving out of the driveway . So instead of going to the shops we just drove it straight to the car repairer. The repair shop is closed to an Asian store so we went there instead and got some stuff (spent $14.15 for a bit of stuff good value for money) and just walked home (less than 30 mins away).

Apparently, when they were replacing something in the car on Wednesday they accidentally bumped something off. It was an easy fix but the car was there for 3 hours. Lucky we found this out while we were near home and not while were camping. DH didn't noticed anything when he drove the car back home Wednesday night so it didn't get trigger until we drove it out that Friday. Now we have a trail of fluid all the way from the garage to the road and maybe even all the way to the repairer place, by the time we got there it ws empty.
Saturday we did our proper grocery shopping, we went to Aldi and got Milo at Woolworths, all up we spent $64.45 on food this week. And then we got something for Mother's day and also got myself a couple of jumpers and a pair of socks. The jumpers and socks only cost me $21. Also got DH new work shoes but we will need to go back and get it replaced.

On Mother's day we went to my mum's place and had a bbq my brother was there as well and we all got a lot of left over to take home.