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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.


*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.

*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.

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

*Blogging once per week.

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.

*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.


*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.
*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.


*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.


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.


*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.


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~


*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


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.


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.


*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:

*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.

Change of Plan - DH just quit his job

April 30th, 2015 at 05:53 am

ARggh I lost my post earlier today Frown I pressed Save as Draft and it disappeared.

DH just gave his 4 weeks notice, after May he will not be working anymore. DH just had enough and I don't blame him and I fully support his decision. I'm actually surprise it took him this long. He almost quit back in Dec and again in Jan.

2 years ago there were new bunch of upper management that got hired and I guess they were told to get rid of people. 2 years ago their team used to have 12 people in it and now there are only 3 left and 1 of them has been taken to do something else (he is complaining about it but there is not much he can do). Being the team leader a lot of the stuff falls on DH. 2 years ago they used to have a Business Analyst, a couple of Data Managers, few testers and few developers (including DH). They used to have a boss that looked after them but he left in October and still haven't been replaced, he didn't get along with his new boss DB (which now DH has to deal with, he is horrible to say the least). The BA and data managers and some of the developers and testers had been let go over a year ago. The 2 testers that were left quit this year (actually 1 got another job and the other decided to retired early instead).

The other developer has already told DH that she will not renew her employment if they get extended after June. That's if they actually get extended, they say they will but 2 months to go and there hasn't been any actions to show it yet. DH had been lied to few times now and he just can't trust them. DH had to step up a lot especially since his old boss left but they wouldn't acknowledge it.

Couple months ago they finally got approval to hire DH old boss position, the one that left in October. DH wasn't really interested in applying for it but at the same time thought may as well since he has been doing this job for months now and also the lady that said she will be living in June said that she would stay if DH gets the job. But ultimately DH just want them to hire someone so he can just concentrate in doing his role that he was hired to do. Anyway, he got interviewed for it and at the end DB said that this the last interview and that he will find out in the next 48 hours. 2 weeks later still nothing and in the meantime DH found out that they actually interviewed 2 more people after that. So on Friday DH asked him if he could talk to him but he said he is busy and would like to discuss it later on that day he will call DH then. Anyway 4:45 that afternoon DH still haven't heard from him. He tends to do this he just ignored things that he doesn't want to deal with, like not answer emails for weeks. DH contacted him to ask if he could talk to him, he said can we do it on Monday but DH really wanted to deal with it then he didn't want another weekend to pass. Lucky he did because DB was actually away on Monday and Tuesday. DH thinks he likes to delay stuff in a hope that people will just forget about it he has done it few times before to DH. In Dec last year DH emailed him something and he didn't respond to it a month later and actually told DH off for not ringing him about it instead. WTF. Apparently, a lot have got caught out with it were they email him stuff that he wanted but never get a respond and down the line they get told off for not ringing him about it. Things that are important to him cannot just be emailed to him they must contact him via phone but the problem is people don't always know what he consider important. He is in a major power trip. Anyway, he told DH that he didn't get the job which is fair enough apparently other applicants had a lot more managerial experience. DH understands and wanted to know when the new person will be starting? Well apparently he will not be hiring anyone he wants to post the job again through a job agency this time. Another WTF. That means it would take at least another 2 months in the meantime DH still has to deal with everything. No thank you! He has been so stress out about work lately and hasn't been sleeping well from constantly thinking about work, he just can't deal with it anymore. So we decided that he should just resign now even without another job to go to. He can have a rest while looking for another job. A quick calculation we should have enough cash in hand to last for the rest of the year. I will look into it more this weekend.

Our goals will have to change this year but hopefully only for short time.

Retail Entitlement Form

January 8th, 2013 at 01:29 am

ARghh! Lost my post!

Yesterday we got an entitlement and acceptance form for one of DHs stock. He is entitled to acquire 4 new shares for every 5 existing shares, at an offer price of 20cents per shares. All up it amounted to $110.20. Ive decided to use the Sunny Day Savings for this.

Ive added another goal for this year to read at least 5 books per month. Right now I am re-reading The Magic of Thinking Big. I have not read this for about 15 years. This was the first self-help book that I read. Someone gave this book to my mum in the early 90s and just sat in the bookshelf for years until one day (I must have been bored) I picked it up. Ive probably read 100 self-help books since then.

Retail Entitlement Offer

January 8th, 2013 at 01:08 am

Yesterday we got an entitlement and acceptance form for one of DH's stock. He is entitled to acquire 4 new shares for every 5 existing shares, at an offer price of 20cents per new shares. All up it amounted to $110.20. I've decided to take this out of the Sunny Day savings.


I've decided to add another goal this year. To read at least 5 books a month. At the moment I am re-reading "The Magic of Thinking Big". I can't remember that last time I read this book, maybe 15 years ago. It is probably the first 'self-help' book that I read. I remember someone gave this to my mum in the early 90's and it just sat in the bookshelf for years, until one day I guess I was bored and picked it up.

A week ago a friend of mine lend me "The Twilight" books. I didn't like the movies (I couldn't finish watching the second one) so I'm going to give the books a try.

2013 Goals

January 2nd, 2013 at 12:06 am

These are our goals for 2013.

Goal 1: Pay extra $30K into the mortgage principal.
Action Plan: Must put in $2,500 extra on average per month.

Goal 2: Save $3000 into the Holiday Fund.
Action Plan: To be done by March (at least $1,000 p/m)

Goal 3: Add $6000 into the Household Fund (There is a long list to do/get).
Action Plan: Will put any extra money to this from Mar to Aug (avg $1000 p/m)

Goal 4: Save $2000 into the Xmas/Anniversary Fund.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by Dec.

Goal 5: Add $2000 into the Car Fund.
Action Plan: Put any extra money towards this goal.


1 Jan - Run for 40 mins (once around the track)
The other day I ran it for 35 mins, my best time so far. I guess yesterday I wasn't feeling 100%, was still recovering from the last run and was also tired from NYE activities, we played badminton at the picnic.

After our run we went straight to my mum's for lunch. Then in the afternoon we went to the local pool. Just a light session to help me recover. Then last night we watch a 3d movie at home. So that's how we spent our new year day.

Looking forward

December 19th, 2012 at 01:07 am

Next year I am looking forward to:
1. Seeing the mortgage go under $100K we are getting very close, it could be a nice birthday present for me in April.
2. Hitting the 1/2 a million (this sounds better than $500K) mark in net worth. We are currently around $470K. As long as the stock market and real estate is stable next year then we should hit this mark.
3. Going on holiday with family, it will be nice family reunion, most of them I havent seen for almost 20 years.
4. Having $70K+ in shares and managed funds, currently at $59K. This is dependent on the stock market doing well.
5. Also hitting the $120K+ in our retirement accounts, again I am relying for the stock market to be at least stable. Just contribution alone should get us very close to the $120K mark.


November 30th, 2012 at 12:13 am

Today is our last day of the month, the property rate will be taken out of the account today. We are done with this month.

Grocery - $272.68 (over $52.68) *We were way under last month on this so we were low on some item this month.*
Utilities - $102.45 (under $97.55)
Rates - $142.00 (under $0.46)
Home Phone - $14.95 (under $55.05)
Mobile - $70.00 (over $20.00)
Internet - $55.00 (even)
Fuel & Fare - $199.84 (under $0.16)
Health Insurance -$249.21 (under $0.79)
Entertainment -$116.70 (over $6.70)
Gifts -$0.00 ($50.00)
Personal/Medical - $85.65 (over $25.65)
DH Allowance -$100.00 (even)
DW Allowance - $75.00 (even)
Miscellaneous - $65.55 (over $35.55)

TOTAL = $1,533.57 (under $63.43)

Had 9 NSDs so $90 into my Sunny day saving fund.
Household fund and Xmas Fund is now fully funded.
Have also put in another $1,650 in to the Holiday Fund Smile .

Thinking about 2013

November 28th, 2012 at 03:44 am

I have been looking at our budget/spending (the 21K challenge) this year and also our potential spending plan for next year. By the end of this month we will have just under $3000 left for the month of December but according to the budget we could live off on $2,400-$2,500, so in the end of this year we will be under budget by around $500-600.

Next year we will most likely try to do the $21K challenge for the year again. The number will change in some categories. I know that utilities, health insurance and transportation costs will be higher than this year.

Also been making plans for a holiday that we will be taking in February next year. We have already booked the flights, my mum is going with us and we are paying for her too. We are budgeting $10K for this trip, by the end of the year we should have 75-80% already of it save so another ~$2K to go for next years budget.

I'm anticipating lower income next year but our goals and budget will be very similar to this year. Wash-rinse-repeat...

Goal #1 is DONE!

September 16th, 2012 at 12:51 am

DH got paid on Friday and he put in another $3,000 into the mortgage. So happy because we are not under the $120K mark in our mortgage and that means Goal #1 is DONE! Its good to get that out of the way, so much earlier than I expected. When I came up with this goal at the start of the year I thought it was going to be really hard to get it knowing that income will be few thousands lower than last year. The interest rate cuts this year helped a bit in achieving this goal easier, unlike last year where interest rate went up few times throughout the year.

Mortgage Current Balance = $119,690.85

I deposited my cheque on Friday as well it probably wont get through to the account until Tuesday. So I went to the city to do it and had a late lunch with DH (just a quick sushi near his work) and then afterwards just did a bit of window shopping in a hope to get ideas for Christmas gifts and was also looking to get a birthday gift for DH but I could find it. I think can only get it online these days. I did get a free vegetable peeler just for watching this guy in one of the department store demonstrating a set of knives for about 5 mins. I needed to take a break from all the walking that Ive done by that stage anyway (I did really well this day with my walking challenge). I then meet up with DH and few of his workmate for drinks. We went to a nice German pub for happy hour they had a really nice refreshing beer. And then after that DH and I went to have dumplings for dinner (less than $15 for dinner and a can of coke, great value). I think the whole day only ended of spending about $50, not bad (DH covered the drinks and I picked up the bill for the dumplings). We both got a bit saved up of our allowance at this stage so we dont mind spending a bit of it, although I still want to save up as much of my allowance for when we go on holiday sometime next year.


12 Sept: 10,414 steps (getting to 10K is getting easier now Smile)

13 Sept: 11,251 steps

14 Sept: 18,087 (the window shopping did it, although my legs that night was so sore I had to get a massage)

15 Sept: 10,256 (took it easy yesterday, my legs needed to recover a bit)

Changes to 2012 Goals

December 30th, 2011 at 03:16 am

Due getting some unexpected pay this month, I've had to make changes to my goals for next year. And I've now posted it on my sidebar.

2012 GOALS:

Goal 1: Get mortgage down to $120K (Bal. Dec 2011 = $149K)
Action Plan: Must put in $2,500 per month.

Goal 2: Put $5000 into the Holiday Fund.
Action Plan: Will put $500 until Oct.

Goal 3: Save $2000 into the Xmas/Anniversary Fund.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by Dec.

Goal 4: Add $7000 into the Household Fund for new windows, etc.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by Dec.

Goal 5: Add $3000 into the EF - this will get us to a very tight 6 months living expenses.
Action Plan: Put any extra money towards this goal.

It has been a pretty quiet and feels really sloooow week. We had a bit of NSD this week because we couldn't go anywhere. I actually had plans to go shopping on Boxing day sales, I was hoping to get some christmas stuff for next year. I need to get more christmas wrapping paper and decorations and maybe even a new christmas tree.

The only spending this week was phone bill, less than $20, also the locknut key for $40 and yesterday DH bought an air pump thingy to pump the spare tyre and that only cost $20. DH wanted to have one in the car handy, only need to attach it to the cigarette lighter.

Tomorrow I will need to go grocery shopping and maybe have a look if there are any christmas wrapping left.

I need to finalise my Spending Plan for next year and hope to post it this weekend. We are now over $1500 this year, not good but some of the spending could not be helped. I am hoping to do better next year

Unexpected Payday

December 24th, 2011 at 09:58 am

Yesterday when DH got home he checked his email and was suprise to find a payslip, informing him that he got pay that day. He wasn't expecting this for another 2 weeks. Apparently, DH will get paid every two weeks now, instead of every 4 weeks. I've pretty much closed this year financially but my goals for next will need to be change.

Today DH put in another $1000 into the mortgage, so now we are under $150K to start the new year. Also with this extra money I can take 2012 goal number 2 off from my previous post because it is now fully funded. Cool, we achieved a goal before actually starting.

I think I'm gonna like getting DH's payday every 2 weeks, a lot less waiting.

2012 Goals

December 22nd, 2011 at 03:54 am

1. Get the mortgage down to $120K.
I will put $2500 a month in here before putting any money into the other goals.

2. Put $2000 into the Car Fund.
This will take us to $15K Car Fund with a bit extra for car service /repair for next year.
Im hoping our car will last another few years. Now that DH dont drive to work anymore we havent needed much work on it (knock on wood), apart from fuel of course.

3. Put $5000 into the Holiday Fund.
I dont know if this is enough but it will be close enough to what we will need for our next vacation.

4. Put $1500 into the Xmas/Anniversary Fund.
The same amount as this year, but I am hoping to spend less on our anniversary and more toward Christmas.

5. Put $6000 into the Household Fund.
The main thing we will need next year is a new oven and windows. I dont know if this will be enough.

6. Put $3000 into the EF.
This will be worth a very tight 6 months living expenses.

Its funny how in the past Ive always just had the extra mortgage payment as the last goal. It was always whatever is leftover will go towards prepaying a bit to the mortgage but next year mortgage payment will be number one goal everything else will just have to wait.

2011 Goals and 20K Challenge

January 5th, 2011 at 04:04 am

We only got 5 goals this year and they are mainly continuation to last year.

Goal 1: Save $10,000 into the Household Fund (2 bathrooms renovation).
Action Plan: To be fully funded by April, ~$2,500 per month.

Goal 2: Save $1,700 into the Christmas/Anniversary Fund.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by May.

Goal 3: Add $5,000 into the Car Fund.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by December 2011.

Goal 4: Add $3,000 into the Holiday Fund.
Action Plan: To be fully funded by December 2011.

Goal 5: Prepay $20,000 into the Mortgage by the end of the year.
Action Plan: Put any extra money towards this goal.
Everything is pretty much straight forward. We are planning to throw anything extra into the mortgage this year. Any bonus, interest received, dividends, etc. will be paid into it.

$3000 into the holiday fund is a lot for this year and we are not really looking to go on holiday this year, except for visiting family interstate. Visiting family interstate doesn't normally cost for more than few hundred dollars. But we are planning to go overseas (somewhere in Asia) late next year, that will cost a bit so if we can save for some of it this year it will not be as tight next year. I always look at our Holiday Fund as our reward for hard work. I am hoping that by the time we take this holiday to Asia we would have paid an extra $50,000 into the mortgage. Won't that be sweet.

We are going back to 20K challenge this year, 19K was just way too tight. I've omitted the item donation. We decided to sponsor a child again this year, we used to do this years ago and unfortunately had to stop when DH was unemployed. Now is the time to start it again, we will try it for a year. I guess I don't want to classified it as living expenses esp since we can get tax refund for it. I will still budget for it but it will not be included in the 20K challenge.

I have made the necessary adjustments and I hope that things will not change too much this year.

20K Challenge:

Grocery - $2,800.00
Utilities - $2,200.00
Rates - $1,350.00
Home Phone - $300.00
Mobile - $250.00
Internet - $550.00
Fuel & Fare - $2,400.00
Car Registration - $630.00
Car Insurance - $502.00
Home Insurance - $525.00
Health Insurance - $2,520.00
Entertainment - $2,000.00
Gifts - $800.00
Personal/Medical - $700.00
Clothing - $300.00
Allowances - $1,820.00
Miscellanous - $353.00

TOTAL = $20,000.00

I hope we do better this year than last year.
I hope everyone here in SA achieve their goals this year.
We can all do it guys!

Feb 2010 Budget and Goals

February 1st, 2010 at 11:58 pm

I'm looking forward to this month, it will be a lot better than last month.

Feb To Do List:
(very similar to last month)

- Put $300 into Xmas Fund
- Put $300 into Holiday Fund
- $1,500 into Household Fund
- Read 2 books
- Go for swim and jogging or hiking.
- Clean/Clear the outside area.

2009 goals review and 2010 goals

January 2nd, 2010 at 11:34 am

These were our 2009 goals:

1.Save $1K p/m into Saving/Invest
TTD = $12,000 (100%) DONE Dec

2.Add $5K into the Household Fund (Jan-May).
TTD = $5,000 (100%)DONE Apr

3.Add $3K into the EF (May-Aug).
TTD = $3,000 (100%)DONE May

4.Add $4K into the Car Fund (Aug-Nov).
TTD = $4,000 (100%)DONE June

5.Put $1K into 2010 Xmas/Ann Fund in Dec.

6.Any extra (up to $1K) put into Holiday Fund (as a reward!).
TTD = $1410

I achieved all but 1 goal in 2009 but it was because I changed my mind about it. I've decided not to fund goal #5. Instead I am moving this goal to 2010. Because we needed to put as much money into our household fund that is why I didn't bother with putting money into the 2010 xmas/anniversary fund.

Anyway this is our 2010 Goals:

Goal 1: Save $1,200 into the Christmas/Anniversary Fund.

Action Plan: This goal will be achieve by saving $300 per month from Jan to April. This money will keep in one of my online saving account until needed.

Goal 2: Save $1,500 into the Holiday Fund.

Action Plan: Will also be adding $300 per month from Jan to May for this goal.

Goal 3: Save $10,000 into the Household Fund (this is mainly to be use for more house renovation).

Action Plan: For the first 5 months of the year we will put any extra money into this goal after goal 1 and 2 has been achieved every month.

Goal 4: Add another $2,000 into Baby Fund.

Action Plan: Put away $500 a month from June to September.

Goal 5: Add another $2,500 into the Car Fund

Action Plan: Put away $500 a month from June to October.

Goal 6: Save or Invest $10,000. This year most of this money will go towards prepaying the mortgage.

Action Plan: We will put any extra money towards this goal from June to December after goal 4 and 5 has been covered.

Other non-financial goals:
• Read at least 20 books.
• Do more stretching and more active activities, such as running, swimming, etc. Do this 2-3 times a week. I will keep track of this in my Wii Fit data.
• Keep caffeine and sugar consumptions low.

That's for my 2010 goals. I will write about our 19K challenge tomorrow

Oct Goals

October 2nd, 2009 at 01:50 am

1. Grocery bill under $200, by sticking to the Menu Plan and by only buying what is in the Grocery List.

2. Entertainment exp no more than $100

3. Living expenses under $1,100

4. Spring Cleaning

5. Blog more often to stay motivated.

June Update

July 7th, 2009 at 05:31 am

This is a bit late, was going to update my sidebar last week but had some computer problem.

Well, we did goal #4 last month and even had $150 extra, which I put in the holiday fund. I want to put at least another $1,000 in the holiday fund before our holiday in few months time.

I don't think I will bother putting in any money into next year's christmas fund until Dec. Once I put in $1K into the holiday fund I will put in as much more into the Household fund. I want to do more house repair this year rather than waiting for next year.

Our $19K challenge is still doing well but the grocery and entertainment budget is still looking very bad. Overall, we are ahead of our challenge. So we are halfway there and so far so good.

Jan Total and Feb Goals

February 1st, 2009 at 06:32 am

I met all my financial goals last month but didn't make a dent on the other stuff. We spent $1,820 out of the $19K challenge. About $1,200 of it was for our annual car and home & content insurance. It was a very good month overall.

I am particularly very happy about our $100 grocery challenge for the month. I guess the most obvious goal for this month is to make sure we keep the grocery expense within our normal grocery budget (which is about $230p/m). BTW we did our first grocery shopping for the month today and spent just over $120. I tried not to get too much meat, just in case we get another blackout. We lost our power the other, luckily it was for just over an hour (unlike some households who didn't have power for 2-3 days in a 40+ deg celcius heat).

Another good thing that happened last month is I managed to put more than double what I expected to put in the Household fund. yea!

And 17 NSD for the month! A record for us.

Anyway, here's my goal for the month of Feb:
* Declutter Spare Bedroom (Started)
* Put junk into boxes in garage
* Do some painting
* $1K into Saving/Invest
* $900 into H/hold fund
* Grocery budget under $240 ($119.56 left)
* 10 NSD for the month

I really hope to be able to get some of these non financial goals done this month.

1 Feb - 5:30pm

2009 Goals

December 21st, 2008 at 09:33 am

Our goals for next year are just a continuation to this year's goals:

1. Save $1,000 p/m into Saving/Investment.
I'm hoping to continue saving a thousand dollars a month, as we have been doing for the last 3 months.

2. Add $5,000 into the Household Fund (from Jan to May).
I want to fund the Household first because that is one that's been drained the other day with the recent repair work.

3. Add $3,000 into the EF (May - Aug).
I'm hoping (& should be able) to add some money into the EF at the end of this month which would increase it to $5,000. Adding another $3K will put us up to almost 5 months worth of living expenses without mortgage. Our ultimate goal is to have 12 months worth ($20K).

4. Add $4,000 into the Car Fund (Aug - Nov).
We will have $2,000 in the Car at the end of this year. I am hoping to put in another $3K next year to this total. The extra $1K next year is for car service/repair.

5. Put $1,000 into 2010 Christmas/Anniversary Fund in Dec.
We should be able to fund next year's Christmas expenses by the end of this month, thanks to DH's tax refund (the check is already coming our way). Our fund this year for xmas was $850, I'm going to make it an even $1K to include for our anniversary celebration.

6. Any extra (up to $1,000) put into Holiday Fund (as a reward!).

I really like funding one item at the time, I guess having some money into each fund already make it easier to do it this way. I've already set up a time line on when I expect to fund each item. It is based on what I expect we would be able to save each month. These savings are only base of our fixed income & income that I know is for sure, any extra will obviously speed up the timeframe (I'm obviously hoping for this to happenSmile).

---what's with these weird characters---

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.

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