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March 2019

April 3rd, 2019 at 02:34 am


March total = $2,779.75

Groceries - $276.35 (under)
Utilities - $330.49
Internet – DH prepaid our internet again for $780.
Car repair and service - $382.26
Entertainment - $136.89 (under but just)
Clothes - $114.45, DH bought new running shoes and I bought some clothes.

Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $40K).
We are 25% done, so we are tracking well so far.

*Save $3K for Holiday money.
N/A

*Save $5K for "The Challenge"
March NSDs were 10 days, so $30 into the challenge. Nothing more this month. Total so far for this challenge is $394.00

Other –

*Read 200 books.

22. Your Brain at Work - David Rock (1 Mar)
23. Crazy House - James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet (3 Mar) - Audio
24. Everyone Can Write - Howard Gelman (5 Mar)
25. Tripwire - Lee Child (8 Mar) - Audio
26. The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat - Oliver Sacks (10 Mar)
27. Healing with Iodine - Dr. Mark Sircus (13 Mar)
28. The Flower Girls - Alice Clark-Platts (13 Mar) - Audio
29. Peak Performance - Brad Stulberg & Steve Magness (17 Mar)
30. Handwiring Happiness - Rick Hanson (17 Mar) - Audio
31. Top Dog - Jens Lapidus (19 Mar) - Audio
32. Now You See Her - Heidi Perks (23 Mar)
34. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (27 Mar)
35. Homo Deus - Yuval Noah Harari (29 Mar)
36. The Break - Katherena Vermette (30 Mar) - Audio
37. Long Lost - Harlan Coben (31 Mar)

*Continue Learning Spanish.
Yes

* Wake-up early workout and or meditate 5 times a week.
Yes!

*Blogging once per week.
Yes

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Some

*Continue Decluttering.
Very little

*Learn to Draw
Need to do some.

January 2019

February 4th, 2019 at 05:43 am



Total for the month was $2,289.32.

Groceries = total for the month was $254.63
Entertainment = $145.99, just under my pre-determined monthly allowable spending. I decided to turn-off Netflix for Feb, and might also do the same in March. I don’t have much time to watch Netflix at the moment. I’m sure I’ll put it back on again soon.
These two items are under my monthly budget. And I was supposed to put get a reward by putting some money into the Challenge but since it is only the start of the year I want to give myself some buffer for those months that we end up overspending.

Insurance = Total was $1,106.79 for both car and home.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OOOOOOO~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $40K).
January was a 3-pay month so even thought we had a bit of bills (in particular the insurances) we managed to put some in the Investment category.

*Save $3K for Holiday money.
N/A
*Save $5K for "The Challenge"
For this month, I’ve decided to put $100 of our tax refund into this challenge. After everything was said and done we got $494.90 return. Some of this left over will most likely go towards getting DH a new phone.
Another $30 is deposited (this reminds me I still need to open a Bank account for this), figuratively speaking, for having 10 NSDs for January.

Other –

*Read 200 books.
1. Stockholm Delete - Jens Lapidus (2 Jan) - Audio
2. Killing Kate - Alex Lake (7 Jan)
3. Kiss Me Kill Me - J.S. Carol (10 Jan) - Audio
4. I Invited her In - Adele Parks (14 Jan)
5. Nomad - James Swallow (18 Jan) - Audio
6. How to Have a Beautiful Mind - Edward De Bono (21 Jan) - Audio
7. Mindshift - Barbara Oakley, PhD (22 Jan)
8. The First 20 Hours (How to Learn Anything) - Josh Kaufman - (26 Jan)
9. Fluent Forever - Gabriel Wyner (26 Jan) - Audio
10. Tribes - Seth Godin (29 Jan) - Audio
11. Million Dollar Habits - Brian Tracy (31 Jan)

*Learn Spanish.
Yes – except yesterday Doulingo told me that I missed a day (2nd of Feb), so back to day 1 I go 

* Wake-up early workout and or meditate 5 times a week.
Too hot to be doing hard core workout but we have been doing more walks with the dog very early in the mornings and at night. And I’ve been doing few mini-workouts throughout the day.

*Blogging once per week.
I missed 1 I think???

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
The vegetable garden is very productive at the moment despite the extreme heat. I spend a bit of time watering.

*Continue Decluttering.
No decluttering in Jan, need to do some again soon.

*Learn to Draw
Haven’t had time yet, been spending time doing an online course instead.

2019 Goals

January 10th, 2019 at 03:01 am



I’m pretty much sticking to last year’s goals with only slight difference and added a couple of things that might be fun to do.

Financials-

*Add $40K into Investments.
I’m lowering it this year since we’ve increased contribution to DH superannuation (retirement fund).

*Stick to $3K budget for Holiday.

* Keep saving money for that “Challenge”


Other –

*Read 200 books.
I read 180 in 2018, I want to see if I can make it to 200 this year. So far, I haven’t done much reading but I’m starting to get into my routine again.

*Continue learning Spanish.

* Wake-up early workout and or meditate 5 times a week.
Let’s see if I can do better at this in 2019.

*Blogging once per week.
Good habit for me to have.

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.

*Continue Decluttering.

*Learn to draw.


Also other thing that I really want to work on is menu planning and having a shopping list that is based on that menu plan. First that I want to do this week or so is to go through our pantry and freezer to take stock of what we got at hand. It is good time right now for us to eat out from the pantry and freezer.

NOVEMBER 2018

December 4th, 2018 at 12:06 am

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!

Holiday away and Camper Trailer

November 13th, 2018 at 12:35 am


We went away for 2 weeks, total spend was $708.63.

Accommodation = $105.00 for 3 nights camping
Transportation = Fuel cost $303.10
Food = $300.53


October (portion) = $439.14
November (portion) = $269.49

It was a great holiday just relaxed and watched the sunset (a lot).

On our 3rd day there, as we were driving from the market, just a block from the in-laws house at this parking area by the lake there was a sign for sale next to this camper trailer. A guy and his family were there, they had the tailer set up. We thought that looks interesting and we wondered how much it would be. We didn't bother stopping by because we wanted to get home (i.e. to the in-laws place) for lunch. Anyway, we talked about it during lunch and decided that we should go back and check it out. At this stage we didn’t think we would get it, we thought it would cost around $5k but we were interested to see what it was like. We were surprise that the price was for only $2,650 and that we would like it. We umm and ahh and slept on it. The next day they lowered the price on Gumtree (this is probably like Craig’s List in the US). We felt that they just want to get rid of it because they already got a replacement, an upgrade, they bought a caravan. So they don’t have room anymore in the garage for it.

We message them to ask to look at it again and if they are willing to accept $2300. They agreed. We made sure we could tow it in our car; it was all good so we bought it. It has a nice little kitchen, we can hook it up to power and there are a lot of space. It is a good solid trailer and can be taken off road if we want it to.

We decided to put this under holiday spending. So far this year we have spent $2,454.63 on holidays, I budgeted $4,000 for the year so we are way under, with a leftover of $1,545.37. We don’t have plans to go anywhere until next year.

Change to our Challenge?
We are going to still go ahead with our saving challenge. We will most likely keep this camper trailer for 5 years and then maybe upgrade? That's what tends to happen.

OCTOBER 2018

November 9th, 2018 at 06:43 am



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

Decluttering

July 5th, 2018 at 12:56 am

Rob62521 asked me about whether reading books about decluttering and minimalist has helped. This was my answer. And I decided to make a blog post about it just for keeping a record.

Yeah the books has been great in helping us see how ridiculous some of the reasons we have for keeping stuff around. I don't think we will be really become a minimalist but we want to live a simpler life. We are not really hoarders to start with (I think?) but we are trying to learn new habits that will hopefully help us be more organise and have a clutter free house. Getting rid of the excess stuff will definitely help and to be more selective in what we allow into the house hopefully will minimise stuff accumulating to start with.


----------------



This is where my focus at the moment. Financially almost everything what we are doing is set automatically. So I guess, I needed a new hobby and this is one of them -simplifying my life.

This is a total turn around to what I was think we should do just over a year or so ago. AT one stage I was seriously thinking of turning one of our spare room into a walk-in closet. I even took measurements, drawn up a plan and made a list of things to get to build shelves and what not. I think I spent another 2 months thinking about it and try to convinced DH that we should do it. After a while, for some reason I decided that it was going to be too much work (& DH wasn't too keen on doing all that work) and I guess my interest in my grand plan waned and I decided that instead of spending my time constantly organising stuff that I should just get rid of them. Now my aim is to only have enough clothing that would fit in our tall boy and a small hanging area (about a metre long). We are almost there probably another 10 to 15% to go. We got rid of a lot already. We got 2 tall boys at the moment and one of them is almost empty, once that is not needed it will be gone. Right now I am happier with this option.

2018

January 3rd, 2018 at 07:06 am


Here are my goals for this year. I’m finding it hard to have many financial goals these days. When I first started blogging 11 years ago I think 95% of my goals were financials. Everything is just automatic for us now. We don’t really need to do much just keep an eye on our spending to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand.

Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K).
*Save $4K for Holiday money.
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Future Remodel.


Other –

*Read 70 books.
*Learn Spanish.
*Workout 3/4 times a week.
*Try new recipes every other week.
*Blogging once per week.
*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
*Wake-up early (before 7am)
*Continue Decluttering.

Goals 2017

January 11th, 2017 at 04:10 am

My goals this year are:

Financials-
*Pay off Mortgage
*$30K into Equities
*Save $5K for Holiday money
*Save $5K for future House Repairs/Remodel

Other -
*Read 50 books - one of my goal last year, I'm hoping to actually achieve it this year.
*Workout 4 times a year (I meant a week, lol). I have been doing this for the last 3 months now, I'm hoping to keep going.
*Continue the 'no buying soft drinks' rule this year.
*Get back to blogging, at least once per week.
*Re-do landscaping in both front and back yard.
*Use floss and piksters everyday
*Wake-up before 7am. I have been trying to get up around 5am this week. This one is going to be hard one to achieve.
*Continue getting rid of "Stuff". Aim for this year is to get rid of around 10% of our stuff.
*Organise my emails.

April 2015

May 3rd, 2015 at 12:46 am

Living Expenses- $1,932.34
Mortgage Repayments = $6,818.00
(Interest = $112.17)
(Principal = $1105.83)
(Extra Repayment =$5,600.00)
Other Expenses = $1,220.48 - big chunk of this was for my Samsung Note. Also spent a bit on house repairs, gardening, new BBQ and Rubber mats.

I don't know how I feel about that big extra repayment to the mortgage that we paid last month now, maybe we shouldn't have done since DH quit his job (but we didn't that was going to happen - not so soon) it would have been good to have more liquid cash in hand, but at the same time because of that repayment we will most likely be paying less than $100 of interest every month from now on.

Changes in our Goals this year:

The biggest one is that we will most likely NOT be able to pay off the mortgage this year, unless of course DH find another job fairly quickly. We could however cash in some investments to pay it off but really we want to keep cash or assets we can easily cash in if we need to. Also all extra repayments we have made to the mortgage is in what they call "Redraw Account" that technically we can redraw if we want to. But we will not be doing that unless something catastrophic were to happen. The other reason that I'm not as bothered by it is that our interest rate here (which I guess is similar in the US) is at it's all time low. So putting off pre-paying it for now is not so bad and even if we don't ever make any extra payment the whole thing will be paid off in less than 20 months. Unfortunately here in Australia we done get any tax incentives in delaying paying our mortgage off that's why all this time I have been very determined to pay it off as soon as possible. Anyway, at this time our plan is just being delayed, definitely not abandoned.

It goes without saying that another change we will have to do while DH is not working is to stay within our budget as much as possible and even try to tighten it. We can definitely save some money in some categories, especially under transportation cost - DH won't need to buy train pass.