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Week 30 – Broken Dishwasher

July 30th, 2019 at 06:53 pm



Grocery = ($91.78) our grocery was higher than what I wanted it to be, it was because we bought things that was on sale, eg chicken that was 75% off. Just couldn’t say no to it. DH also decided to get a big bag of coffee beans even though we have a lot of instant coffee, to be fair it is so much nicer. Luckily, we are still just under our monthly budget but I still need to claw back those high grocery bills last month and the month before. Maybe we will do better in August. The pantry and freezer are fairly full now.

Dishwasher = so now the dishwasher is not working. So we are currently doing dishes by hand. We looked at couple of stores on the weekend and also saw that Aldi have them on sale at the moment. So far we are leaning towards the Aldi brand, the price is unbeatable. Currently the so called brand-named appliances have been pretty disappointing. The Aldi is $300 with 3-years warranty. It might be worth taking a “risk” on it.

Garden = DH and I made 2 benches for our potted orchids and also half-way to making a bench for sitting. We already had materials (mainly cut-offs) at hand so no new cost so far.

Week 6

February 12th, 2019 at 02:26 am



Grocery - $116.99 spent on the weekend, hmmm… we are spending a bit lately. We will have to cut back in the next couple of weeks.

New Driver’s Licence – I had to renew my licence, it’s for 10 years and it cost $276.70

2018 Summary of Spending

January 8th, 2019 at 04:55 pm



TOTAL = $30,651.89. This not too bad I like our spending to be at $30K per year but the camper trailer and other purchases made in December really what push it over. Overall, I’m fairly happy with it. It included 3 holidays and some purchases. It also included bills that we pre-paid which should benefit us in 2019.

Quick summary:
Household Expenses - $12,576.93
Transportation - $4,201.30
Entertainment - $2,086.28 (for 2019 I’m hoping to cut down on our takeaway food purchases)
Personal/Medical - $3,821.41
Other Expenses - $1,878.57
Holiday Expenses - $4,754.63
Xmas/Anniversary& Birthdays - $1,332.77 (we end up spending a bit more for Christmas than I was hoping).

Now let’s see what 2019 brings…

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 2

January 15th, 2018 at 06:12 pm


Grocery - for the week $74.21

Household - we did some work around the house. Changed our water filters that cost $56.98.
Bought few bags of topping soil for the back lawn, it was just under $25.

Train fare – DH topped up his pass $50 worth.

Gas – Gas for the house was $84.60 for the last 2 months.

Quiet week we are having.

Week 1

January 10th, 2018 at 01:48 am

Not much spending yet which is good.

So far:

Grocery - $36.10

Internet - $65

Gas for the Car - $36.26

Movies - We went out and watch a movie for $26. DH bought the tickets on-line for only $13, that was $9 savings per ticket.

Health Insurance - $163.23

Christmas 2017

December 29th, 2017 at 08:16 pm


Christmas Spending – We had a very low key Christmas, I used the $30 gift card and $100 EFTPOS card to buy groceries for Christmas celebration. It was more than enough I think in the end there was still few dollars left. So it was perfect. For few days after Christmas day we’ve been eating the leftovers, and we finally finish the last bit of the glazed ham for lunch today. As for gifts we mainly sent gift cards (online) and cash to our relatives. All up $820.05 spent on Christmas this year.

Credit Card Rewards – Last month DH signed up for a credit card to get a cashback reward of $300 (spending $1000). DH used it to pay our annual car registration ($800.80) and the recent water bill ($247.62). The other day they already credited the $300 into the account. They have also taken out $59 for the annual card fee. And I think paying off those bills with the credit card accrued less than 2% fee. So really we are getting around $220 cash reward.

Tassie Holiday – We already spent some of that cash reward. The other night we bought 2 returned airfares to Tasmania. The airline was having a nice Boxing Day sale. All up it only cost us $156, the last time it cost us $436, so it was a very nice saving. We won’t be going until early May; they weren’t any sales fare before that. I was thinking of making this as my birthday celebration since it will only be two weeks after my actual birthday. We are finally going to Cradle Mountain this time and then I can use that gift card I got from my brother from my last birthday.

New Mobile Phone – I got a new mobile phone, it won’t actually get here for another month but DH ordered one for me the other night. Before buying that phone we hardly spent money on our phones this year. We budgeted $360 for the year but we’ve only spent $120 so we decide to get me a new phone because my current phone is old and I can’t upgrade anything or put on any apps any it, there is just no room. The new phone cost $210 it is probably the only excessive spending this year really, well maybe apart from my 40th birthday celebration. No regrets though.


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.

Changes in our Internet Provider

September 20th, 2017 at 01:46 am

Grocery (the Good) – Spent $31.92 this week.

Eating Out (the Bad) – We spent a bit on eating out and getting some soup. We went to a restaurant that is near our place it has been there for years but it is only now that we finally decided to try it out. We had lunch there on Saturday. It’s a nice place and food was really good and prices were very reasonable as well, will definitely be going there again. We also decided to go to the park on Sunday for a picnic lunch; we didn’t bring any food from home we got take away instead. And to top it off DH has not been feeling well so we got some soup. All up the eating out and buying food we spent $73.20.

Free Dinner – Not only did DH got few free lunches last week and the other week, he also got free dinner and drinks on Friday night. His whole team got invited out for dinner to celebrate a job they did two months ago. He and others did had to spend few hours for that weekend two months ago to do some work for it, DH only had to do his part at home, so yeah well deserved for them.

Internet – Few months ago and then another last month we got mails from our (now previous) internet provider letting us know that by early November they will be disconnecting our internet and home phone services unless we switch into their NBN service. NBN is the National Broadband Network, which is essentially fibre optic cable rolled out across the country. Originally it was proposed to roll out fibre right up into each home, but this was later changed to just use whatever connection already exists at the home for the final part. In our case since we had Telstra cable installed in our house by the previous owner, that is what we are getting. This is similar to what is used for cable TV in the US, and in fact can also be used for cable TV here. The NBN is a government owned company which provides the infrastructure, and then you go to a retailer to buy the actual services. That way all retailers use the same infrastructure and have to compete on price, customer service, and quality of service provided (some retailers don’t provide sufficient bandwidth so get major slowdowns during peak periods). The company we signed up for seems to be quite cheap and also doesn’t seem to have the slowdown problems.

When DH signed up, he found a promotional code that got him the first month free, and they double our data allowance for the first 6 months! Also there is no lock-in contract, whereas some of the bigger providers lock you into a 2 year contract. The price will be $65 per month the same as our previous internet cost but since we don’t have to have the home phone anymore it will be saving us $15 per month. It will be less than the unlimited data we have been using for the last year but a lot more than what we used to have prior to that which was 120GB, now it will be 500GB but for the next 6 months it will be 1000GB.

When DH called the previous provider, Optus which we have been with since 2001, they tried to make him pay a $160 early termination fee as they told him he was on a 2 year contract. This was rubbish for 2 reasons: 1. they told him last year when he changed plans that he wouldn’t be put on a contract; 2. they’re the ones telling us we need to change service or we’ll be disconnected. DH spoke to a different person and they have now agreed to not charge the disconnection fee.

Bills and Changing Health Insurance

September 5th, 2017 at 03:33 pm

The weather here have been wet, so not much to do but read and watch the Australian stock market go up and down. Here are some of our personal finance highlight for the week.


Groceries – Total spend for the week was $83.91, a little bit over than our weekly budget for this month but will pull it back next weekend.


Water Bill – Great news we got $100 government rebate off our current water bill. I’m not sure what this rebate is about (most likely to do with the desalination plant), anyway whatever it is for I will gladly take it! Normally, this 3rd quarter bill is a lot more than usual because of some annual fees that we have to pay but the government decided to give us a break. So the bill amount was going to be $292.31 but now it is reduced down to $192.31. Unfortunately though this bill came with new rate prices that we will have to pay next bill. It doesn’t look too bad, in line with inflation rate I guess.


Gas Bill – Also got the gas bill due this month and that is for $101.72. I think this might be the first time ever since we stopped using gas for heating that we have a bill that is over $100. I don’t think our actual usage have change it is most likely increases in rate prices.


Health Insurance – We decided to change health insurance to one that is known as “Member’s Own”. On the 1st of April our health insurance went up again and DH and I have been thinking that it is time to evaluate our current health cover. DH have been looking into it for few months now and have finally decided to drop the EXTRAS (i.e. dental, optical and some hospital covers), so for now we will just have the Basic Cover and we will just cash flow the usual dental and optical visits. We weren’t even in the comprehensive cover we were under intermediate. The optical is just mainly for me anyway, last time DH got his eyes check which was earlier this year he still got 20/20 visions apparently plus normal eye checks are covered by Medicare anyway. The only thing we seems to get out of it is free cheap prescription glasses, and the fancier ones we have to pay extra even though we spend so much extra already for the so called “EXTRAS”. Anyway, after some calculations we might be able to save around $500-$700 per year. Our monthly payments will go down to $163.23 from $280.78. Before 1st of April it was $262.75, there was $18 per month increase, which is about $216 for a year enough for one dental check-up and clean visit. So we believe it is worth trying it out at least for the next year or so.

August 2017

August 31st, 2017 at 02:57 am

Overall spending for this month was $1,668.72. Four months in a row that we spent less than $2K per month which is great. I think September is going to be expensive though we will have a big water bill, there will be some annual fees attach to the next bill and property rates will again be due. This month we didn’t have any utilities due as well which helped the low spend month. Father’s day and some birthdays are on next month and there are already some invites to go out. Anyway, some individual items below:

Grocery – It was under budget and on the weekend we got some big items like a 20 kilo sack of rice and 1.5 kilo of Milo. We spent a total of $285.30 on grocery, almost $15 under budget.

Birthdays – My mother in-law and my mum’s birthday was on this month so we spent some money on gifts. Also I used up some of my allowance money; I’ve hardly spent any of that money this year. I took my mum and 5 of her friends for lunch on her birthday yesterday. We went for buffet lunch, 5 of them were seniors so we got good discounts for them. It was really good place especially for the price I was very impressed normally I’m not too keen on those type of places but I would definitely go back there again. It was for only $130.30 for 7 people.

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Books/Reading – I mentioned in one of my recent post that I don’t think I will be borrowing much books from the library but it seems like I’m actually wrong, I’ve actually borrowed few and some magazines as well.
33 The Back Road - Rachel Abbott (5 Aug)
34 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain (10 Aug)
35 The Taste of Fear - Jeremy Bates (13 Aug)
36 Six Frames of Thinking about Information - Edward de Bono (14 Aug)
37 Money Master the Game (7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom) - Tony Robbins (24 Aug)
38 Rich People Problems - Kevin Kwan (26 Aug)
39 Surrender - Helen Hardy (29 Aug)
40 Calico Joe - John Grisham (31 Aug)

Workout – I need to do better than 3 days a week.