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DECEMBER 2018

January 7th, 2019 at 06:12 pm



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.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~000~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

------------2018 Goals---------

Financials-

*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.


Other –

*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.

NOVEMBER 2018

December 3rd, 2018 at 04:06 pm

Total for the month of November is $2,490.82.

We mainly spent it on:

Grocery = we were under budget, spent $236.29. I’ve decided to put $20 in the challenge because we are under this month.

Household Expenses = $500.87, it was mainly for the Skip Hire.

Transport Related = $290.96, DH hasn't been taking the early train and this also includes fuel and the registration for the camper trailer.

Entertainment total = $184.93

Gifts = was high this month because of my cousin’s wedding, that was $300 for the month.

Holiday (November portion) = $269.49

Christmas = $253.51, started getting stuff for Christmas. This year and for the past few years I budgeted $1,200 for our birthdays, anniversary and Christmas, we didn’t spend much for our birthdays and anniversary this year so we got a bit of money still in this category. We still got over $800 in it available for the rest of the year. I don’t intent to spend this much for Christmas though, hoping to only spend half.

**CHALLENGE** we had 10 NSDs in November so $30 to the Challenge Fund plus the $20 from the being under in grocery, so $50 for the month. I still need to set up an actual bank account for this. For now it is just written down in my spreadsheet.



Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K). === DONE!!!===

*Save $4K for Holiday money. = We have now spent $4,754.63 under this category because of the camper trailer.

*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel. = We will most likely end up spending around $1K under this category this year, not too bad.


Other –

*Read 70 books.
160. The Scandal - Fredrik Backman (3 Nov)
161. The Travelling Cat Chronicles - Hiro Arikawa (9 Nov)
162. Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty (10 Nov) - Audio
163. Zealot - Reza Aslan (13 Nov)
164. Started Early, Took my Dog - Kate Atkinson (14 Nov) - Audio
165. Smiling Mind - James Tutton & Jane Martino (15 Nov) - Audio
166. The Rosie Project - Graeme Simsion (17Nov) - Audio
167. #NOW: The Suprising Truth About the Power of Now - Dr. Max McKeown (17 Nov) - Audio
168. The Brain that Changes Itself - Norman Doidge, MD (18 Nov) - Audio
169. The Hidden Life of Trees - Peter Wohlleben (20 Nov) - Audio
170. Aristotle's Way - Edith Hall (21 Nov)
171. Revenge - Andrew Holmes & James Patterson (22 Nov) - Audio
172. The Lion Tamer who Lost - Louise Beech (25 Nov)
173. The Brain's Way of Healing - Norman Doidge (27 Nov) - Audio
174. The Science of Getting Rich - Wallace D. Wattles (28 Nov) - Audio
175. Dark Emu - Bruce Pascoe (30 Nov) - Audio

In the last couple of weeks I’ve spent a lot of time in the garden, didn’t have as much time actually reading but I been loving listening to audiobooks while gardening.



*Learn Spanish. = Still going everyday

*Workout 3/4 times a week. = failed but I been doing so much physical work in the garden that I been going to bed dog tired.

*Try new recipes every other week.
Made lemon tart and tomato chutney for the first time.

*Blogging once per week. = I missed one when we were away

*Continue Garden/Landscaping. = We did a lot and still going.

*Wake-up early (before 7am) = yes

*Continue Decluttering. = YES!

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.

WEEK 45

November 13th, 2018 at 03:18 pm

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.



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

APRIL 2018 (WEEK 17)

May 2nd, 2018 at 05:15 am

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


Financials-

*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.


Other –

*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.


*Learn Spanish.
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.
Check

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
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)
Check

*Continue Decluttering.
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.

New running shoes and some cooking

February 20th, 2017 at 07:26 pm

Groceries - We did our usual Saturday morning shopping for food. Spent $82.33, it would have been about $20 less but I found a Porterhouse steaks that was 50% off (normal price was $32 a kilo) and also got some pork chops that were 20% off (can’t remember the original price). Total for the month so far is $269.42 (budget $300), so just over $30 for the rest of the month. It’s tight but I think we can do it. I’ve done a rough meal plan for this week which should help. Also the pantry is still really full we still got a lot of stuff in there to get through. I think we will just need milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables next shopping trip.

Other Spending – I bought myself a new running shoes, it was on sale for $90. I’m overdue for a new one. DH will also need a new one soon too. His is actually worse than mine but we couldn’t find one that he likes at the shop that we went to and we didn’t have time to shop around.

Cooking – I did a bit of cooking on Sunday. I made spring rolls and meatballs to put in the freezer. Also made butter chicken in the slow cooker, which feed us for 4 meals. And I used up some frozen banana that I had to make a banana cake.

Decluttering – I went through our pots and pans and decided to throw out 2 old pans and 1 wok. I’ve also been going through a box full of papers/notes that I wanted to type out or scan, it will take me a while to get through the box but at least it is good to get it started since I’ve wanted to do this for years now.

Passports – We need to re-new our passports, it expired last year. We are thinking of going overseas this winter so we need to get new ones soon. I don’t know how much they are now these days it has been ten years since we got the last one.

Pay and weekend expenses

July 15th, 2014 at 08:34 pm

I know it's halfway through the week already, I'm a bit late.

Yesterday DH got his pay for last month (last one from his old agency), 3 weeks worth. A lot more than expected, which is good since last week's pay was less than I expected.

Did do much on the weekend but grocery shopping and got a cast iron French pan from Aldi, it was only for $25 and it's great. The grocery only came to $55.52, probably the lowest amount for the year.

The menu for this week was:
Sat - Pizza, we made it and got some leftover dough in the freezer. Probably cost around $8 to make.
Sun - Meatloaf and roasted vegetables (est. cost $6)
Mon - Butter chicken with Rice (around $10)
Tue - Spaghetti Bolognese (pretty cheap probably less than $5)
Wed - Today I'm planning to have grilled salmons with salad (probably est. cost of around $9)
Thu - Leftover - planning to have leftovers we still have some of those chilli con carne in the freezer.
Fri - Ratatouille with Tuna and Egg Salad and Quinoa (maybe $6-7 worth).

Our car is due for service, it will most likely need a new exhaust pipe or something. A bit of it feel off last month. Hopefully it won't cost to much.

things we did and weekly menu

July 8th, 2014 at 09:26 pm

Paid the normal monthly mortgage repayment on Friday. The usual $1218, $219.89 went to the interest and $998.11 to the principal (so close to $1K)

Saturday we went to an antique market (1hr away), a short day trip. We bought some stuff, one of the random stuff I got was Life magazines from the 1947 and 1948, interesting read. I love the old advertisements in it too. DH got an old shaving razor, he collects them.

On the way home we stopped by this small town where they had a small farmer's market. Got $13.30 dollars worth of vegetables, fresh from the market near by.

In the late afternoon we went to Aldi and other stores to do more grocery shopping. All up we spent a total of $63.30.

I'm working hard on trying to get our grocery budget back to a reasonable state. So back to doing a weekly menu. Most of the time I just have a rough idea of what I'm going to make for the week, and we normally do alright to stay close to the budget until this few months. Making a weekly menu and just grocery shopping based on that should help cut down on grocery expenses. And I'm even going further by estimating the cost of each meal (I think I need a hobby lol). This was the menu for this week:

Sat: Paella - this costs roughly $6.40
Sun (lunch): Pumpkin and Lentil Stew - costs roughly $1.10
Sun (dinner): Chicken Drumettes marinated in homemade Nando's style sauce - costs around $4.00
Mon: Chilli Con Carne - costs roughly $11.20 (made a lot, put some in the freezer). The red wine cost a bit but we got to enjoy the rest of it with the meal.
Tue: Pasta carbonara sauce - ~$2.00
Wed: Beef ribs (currently cooking in the slow cooker) - cost roughly $6.00
Thu: We will have leftovers tomorrow. My brother won't be eating with us. We will most likely have ribs leftover.
Fri: Spanish Omelette - around $2.00? Potatoes are in season right now, very cheap.

Okay, I'm gonna have to work on next week's menu.

Weekend

June 16th, 2014 at 11:49 pm

I lost my entry Frown. I don't even know how it happened??? Oh well. This will be a shorter version.


On Saturday we went to the market we used to go all the time until it got too crowded, everyone found out about this place I guess. It is only about 5 mins away from our house so it is very convenient but the parking is a nightmare. It was worst this time around, it is just getting more crowded, that reminded me the reason why we haven't been to this place for over a year.

But I did get some good deal, like the 3 kilos of bean for only $2 and the roasting beef (over 1 kilo size) for only $9.

Made Sunday roast out of it, we had enough for lunch and dinner and still had enough leftover for lunch the next day.


Saturday night we went out to the city and had Chinese, I was good and didn't have too much rice. I really tried to have a low carb weekend and really didn't have any on Sunday. I got to say it is working. The love handles are shrinking. But today I am really craving it so I made this:

Ricotta pancakes with fruit salad. Oh needed that.


The dinner out was a celebration on finishing the Phase 1 of our workout. We went a bit crazy and ended up at the casino. We ended up at the sports bar there and also did some gambling, and of course lost some money. It was good to watch a bit of the world cup at the sports bar, the atmosphere was great. We watch the first half of Colombia v Greece game. The Colombian fans were very cheerful, especially when they got a goal very early on. I can't believe we stayed out until after 3 am. I felt terrible the next day but it was so much fun.

Fitness and Diet

June 11th, 2014 at 06:54 pm

Almost a month into our workouts (Tapout) and we are still going strong. The best thing I could have done this winter. Last winter I couldn't shake off a cold and I was really lethargic and never got anything done I even quit blogging for months. This winter I got a lot more energy and in so much better mood and have not got a cold (knock on wood), the same goes with DH. My brother got a cold few weeks ago and I was surprise that I didn't get it. I really believe it to do with eating a lot more fruits and vegetables and exercising more.

Last night we did Muay Thai workout for the first time and afterwards I made this.


Grilled pork, qinuoa with apple, beetroot and walnut salad.

Then been having smoothies to fill me up.


The photo made it look quite big but I actually been very good with eating smaller portions. And I've also been good at cutting down on carbs, I try not to have too much of it especially at night. Also on Sunday out rest day of working out I have decided to make it no carb day. And today since we will be doing Yoga not as intense (but I actually find this exercise the hardest - I have no balance what so ever) I will try to make it low carb day.

No news yet & making some pasta

June 11th, 2014 at 06:51 am

DH was meant to talk to his boss about his employment early in the morning today but his boss was given the run around by his boss and was not given the go ahead until late in the afternoon. Apparently, DH's boss was told that he has to talk to everyone's agencies (probably 3 or 4 of them) first before he can talk to the employees about what's going to happen. This thing is a mess and it doesn't help that the upper management doesn't seem to give a damn about the employees. There are apparently 2 tester that have been told that they will only be needed for only 2 months. The 2 months is so they can hand it over and trained up the new people that will only be paid $60K a year. They want to do things cheap and expect everyone to just agree with it. It will be interesting to see if those 2 tester will actually stay, very doubtful there will be any extra pay to make them to stay for it. Anyway, hopefully DH will finally find out tomorrow.

Today I made this for lunch.


This was my first time making carbonara sauce without cream. I topped it with parsley and chives from the garden.