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WEEK 35

September 4th, 2018 at 09:41 pm

We had a fairly reasonable weekend.

GROCERY - $56.44, $15 was spent on 1 kilo ground coffee (it was on sale, 50% off) and we also spent $10 worth of mixed nuts and fruits and a bag of pepitas (this should last at least a month). This is what we normally have for in our breakfast. DH makes our breakfast, he would soak rolled oats with homemade kefir, in it he would also put frozen berries and the mixed nuts & fruits. He would normally make enough for 2 to 3 meals. In the morning we would normally add slices of banana and whatever else fruit we have, normally strawberries, avocados, and whatever is in season.

BIRTHDAY – we went out for lunch on Saturday for a friends 40th, spent $90. I bought her gift last month.


That’s it.

August 2018

September 2nd, 2018 at 11:21 pm

Total for the month was $1,247.36. Not too bad and it was mainly because we did not have utility bill due (this is going to be different story in Sept) and there was no property rate again in August (but it is starting again in Sept, for 10 months and we just receive the statement, it is going up a bit). Some highlights on our spending:

GROCERY = Total for the month was $246.99, under $250 so I’m happy. I think we will try to keep our grocery spending at this level, so around $45-50 per week.

TRAIN FARE = Big one this month $245.04. DH bought a 4 week pass on the last day of Aug. DH decided to take a break from taking the early train in September so he and I can do our workouts in the morning together. So he won’t be getting discount (well… he is still get a bit for buying bulk rather than the daily pass) on his train fare in September but it is now all paid for the next 4 weeks.

ENTERTAINMENT = this was not too bad actually $175.18

ALLOWANCE = but this was not so good…$165.39. DH had to go to a lot of farewell lunches at work.

GIFTS = we had few gifts to buy for $213.00




~~~2018 GOALS~~~


Financials-

*Put as much money we possibly can into Investments (at least $45K).
Back in early to mid-July DH signed up to salary sacrificed more into his Superannuation (retirement) fund, which means he has been getting less take home pay but it should save around $3K a year in tax. So, we got less money to put into this goal but this should still get fully funded in around 2-3 months’ time.

*Save $4K for Holiday money.
N/A this month but we are thinking of going somewhere in November.

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


Other –

*Read 70 books. – For the month of August I challenged myself to finish 1 book a day and I actually managed to do it.

101. What Lies Between Us - Nayomi Munaweera (1 Aug)
102. Witness to a Trial: A short Story Prequel to The Whistler - John Grisham (2 Aug)
103. The Other Side of Happiness - Brock Bastian (3 Aug)
104. How you Learn is How you Live - David A. Kolb & Kay Paterson (4 Aug) - Audio
105. The Power of a Half Hour - Tommy Barnett (5 Aug) - Audio
106. The Whistler - John Grisham (6 Aug)
107. The Five Levels of Attachment (Toltec Wisdom for the Modern World) - don Miguel Ruiz Jr. (7 Aug)
108. Free Yourself from Debt - Paul Clitheroe (8 Aug)
109. Last Seen Alive - Claire Douglas (9 Aug) - Audio
110. The Breakfast Club for 40 Somethings - Vanessa Stoykov (9 Aug)
111. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho (10 Aug)
112. Frugal Isn't Cheap - Clare K. Levison, CPA (11 Aug)
113. Life in the Refrigerator Door - Alice Kuipers (12 Aug)
114. Hangman - Jack Heath (13 Aug)
115. Living Thin - Antonia Magee (14 Aug)
116. Happiness - Matthieu Ricard (15 Aug) - Audio
117. Broke Millennial - Erin Lowry (16 Aug)
118. Chaos to Calm - Shannah Kennedy & Lyndall Mitchell (17 Aug) - Audio
119. The Money Motivator - Paul Hannah (18 Aug) - Audio
120. The Mood Elevator - Larry Senn (19 Aug) - Audio
121. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (20 Aug)
122. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... and it's all small stuff - Richard Carlson Ph.D. (21 Aug)
123. Hyper-Capitalism - Larry Gonick & Tim Kasser (22 Aug) - (Graphic book)
124. The Star Principle - Richard Koch (22 Aug) - Audio
125. The Money Motivator - Paul Hannah (23 Aug) - Audio
126. Civil Disobedience - Henry David Thoreau (24 Aug)
127. Skin in the Game - Nassim Nicholas Taleb (25 Aug)
128. Enchiridion - Epictetus (26 Aug)
129. Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka (27 Aug)
130. The Duel - Anton Chekhov (28 Aug)
131. Get to the Point - Joel Schwartzberg (29 Aug) - Audio
132. The Little Book of Big Happiness - Bernadette Fisers (30 Aug) - Audio
133. 12 Rules for Life: an antidote to chaos - Jordan B. Peterson (31 Aug)



*Learn Spanish.
Still been doing 15 on Doulingo and have been watching some YouTube videos in the last couple of weeks. I will focus more on this in September maybe spend 3-4 hours per day instead of just 20 mins.

*Workout 3/4 times a week.
DH and I are going to do a bit more extensive work out in September. It was okay this month but really nothing to write home about.

*Try new recipes every other week.
I tried a couple, one was a disaster.

*Blogging once per week.
Yes

*Continue Garden/Landscaping.
Did do anything but we got to harvest some Swiss chard, snow peas and coriander from our dismal winter vegetable garden.

*Wake-up early (before 7am)
Yes

*Continue Decluttering.
Didn’t do anything this month but I will do some spring cleaning soon.

WEEK 34

August 28th, 2018 at 04:30 pm



The weather was very nice so we went to the park on the weekend.

Grocery - $54.56

Fuel - $57.76

Gifts - $103.00 (for 2 birthdays next weekend)

Short and sweet since I will be posting the end of the month summary in a couple of days.

WEEK 33

August 21st, 2018 at 09:31 pm



Grocery - $64.98, we got a bit of meat on the weekend. We are at $192 spending for the month and I am hoping to keep this under $240-50 this month. I think it is doable.

Lunch Out - $22, the weather was terrible on the weekend and I really wanted some Pho soup.

Garden – $31.00, we got some soil for this native plant that I want to re-pot to a bigger pot also got a couple solar lights for the garden.

Gifts – $110, we had to get a couple of gifts for a friend’s new baby and mother in-law’s birthday.


WEEK 32

August 15th, 2018 at 12:12 am



Grocery - $32.45, we only needed some stuff.


Second-hand Store – We checked out this store near this Aldi we went to on the week (not our normal Aldi), they were selling CD’s for $1 and I found a little Spanish/English dictionary for $2 and another book. We end up spending $14 there.

It was a quiet weekend.

WEEK 31

August 6th, 2018 at 07:50 pm



Grocery - an even $95.00. This is what happens when I don’t put a limit on spending, end up spending twice as much than necessary. About $40 was spent on some unusual stuff, things that we rarely get. The main thing was the sashimi grade salmon, tuna and king fish. We made some of them into sushi and the rest just ate it as sashimi.


Train Fare - $50


Eating out - we went to the shopping centre to mainly get out if the house. Had lunch and had our monthly ‘meeting’ while having coffee and cheese cake. Total $34.95.

WEEK 30

July 29th, 2018 at 06:51 pm



Grocery = $42.75. DH did the grocery shopping, I had a headache. I just have to give him a detailed shopping list and a budget. He did very well. He got everything that was in the list, even the extras ‘if there was any money left’.

Items he got:
- 4 litres Milk
- 1 doz Eggs
- 1 loaf of Bread
- 2 Frozen Slow Cooked Beef Pie
- 1 bag of Rolled Oats
- 1 bottle Passata
- 1 whole Chicken
- 2 Frozen Salmon Fillets
- 1 big Beef Rump (almost a kilo??)
- 1.5 kilo of Potatoes
- 1 Red Onion
- 2 Toothbrushes
- 1 bag of assorted Vegetables (for $2) – 8 tomatoes, 2 cucumber, 1 eggplant, 10 baby okra, 1 brussels sprout, 2 pickled onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 potato, a small piece of ginger, 2 sweet potatoes and 1 capsicum.

WEEK 29

July 24th, 2018 at 02:15 pm



Grocery = $68.62 – got 20 kilo of rice for $33.00
$43.58 left in this month’s grocery budget.

Items we got:
- 20 kilo sack of Rice – this normally last around 25 weeks.
- 3 litres Milk
- 1 doz Eggs
- 1.8 kilo of Pork Shoulder (it was $5.95 per kilo, on sale)
- 500g of Butter
- 200g of Bacon
- A bottle of Passata
- 105g can of Salmon
- 500g of Spiral Pasta
- 50g of Recipe Base
- 400g Turkish Bread
- Dried Noodles
- 500g Zucchini
- 8 Bananas
- ¼ Japanese Pumpkin

Gas for BBQ – DH got a new tank of gas for our bbq that was $23.90

AFL (Australian Football League) – our game was again on cable TV so we thought we couldn’t watch it live again. We didn’t go out to the pub again instead we found out that we can watch it online for as little as $5 per week (cancel anytime) and it had 2 weeks for free. So we signed up for a week, cheaper than a pint of beer at the pub. For the whole season the fee is $99, maybe we will sign up next year.

WEEK 28

July 16th, 2018 at 04:43 pm

Grocery = $32.55, under budget.

Items we got:
- 3 litres Milk
- 2 doz Eggs
- 2 litres White Vinegar (mainly use for cleaning)
- Frozen Puff Pastry
- 1 Whole Chicken
- 1 bottle of Passata
- 1 can of Whole Tomatoes
- 1 can of Cannellini
- 500g of Spaghetti Pasta
- 1 pack of Custard Biscuit
- 1 box of Tissue
- 1 bottle of Tomato Sauce
- 1 Loaf of Bread
- 1 Fillet of Fish
- 1 tube of Toothpaste
- 1 Sweet Potato
- 4 Mandarins
- 3 Onions
- 1 Garlic
- 1 bag of Carrots (on sale for $1)
- ¼ Pumpkin
- 2 Tomatoes



Annual Hard Rubbish Collection – This week our council is picking up rubbish that they don’t normally collect weekly. So we spent few hours Saturday afternoon going through some stuff in the garage that we’ve keep in there for storage. We ended up taking a car boot full of stuff to charity shop and some we put at the front. We throw out an old lawn mower, a chair that has been gather dust, some old appliances that no longer work, some kitchen stuff (old pot, chopping boards, etc) and the big fish tank that leaked last year that DH couldn’t fixed. Slowly but surely we are decluttering, I try to throw few items out every single day.

Date – It feels like it has been forever since we went out on a proper date. And as some kind of reward with our hard work on Saturday we went out for lunch on Sunday and made a nice outing for the whole Sunday afternoon. It was expensive but no regrets, we sent just under $200. Another reason for going out was to be able to watch our team football game play on tv. The game was only shown on cable tv, which we don’t have. So we went to a Texan smoked bbq restaurant where they show sports games. DH work very closed to this place so he has been here last year for work lunch and has mentioned about taking me to this place one day. We spent the first half of the game there and then we moved on to the gaming room in the casino (this whole place is in a casino complex) where they have a sport bar where we drunk some beers and watched the second half of the game. We lost Frown. Then we played the roulette (also lost), spent a bit of time there making sure DH is not over the limit to drive, then we went home. We had so much food for lunch that we decided not to have a proper dinner, just a bit of soup.



GAS for the Car - DH filled up, $40.70. We haven't been driving so haven't had to fill up for the last 6-7 weeks.

WEEK 27

July 9th, 2018 at 06:04 pm


Grocery = $35.25, right on target.

Items we got:
- 4 litres Milk
- 1 doz Eggs
- 2 bags of Rolled Oats
- 600ml Cream
- 500g Frozen Raspberries
- 1 can of Sliced Pineapple
- 105g can of Pink Salmon
- 95g can of Tuna
- Loaf of Bread
- 1 Continental Cucumber
- 9 Bananas
- 600g Pork Leg Chop
- 2 Fish (Leather Jackets)
- 2 bags a assorted vegetables - it had 8 Brussel Sprouts, 3 different coloured Capsicums, a baby eggplant, broccoli and 5 tomatoes

This is probably my first time buying brussel sprouts, we’ve had those couple times before in restaurants and hated it. But on the weekend I thought I should give it another try. I cut them in half and roasted them with a lot of butter. It was actually yummy.

I also roasted some of the tomatoes and capsicums, while I had the Brussel sprouts on and made soup out of it, nice to have soup on these cold winter days. I know there’s a heat wave in the US at the moment but believe me the weather we had here on the weekend was horrible also, very strong wind. Apart from going grocery shopping we didn’t go anywhere. We stayed in bed for most of it with our electric blanket, reading our books and watching Netflix, I’m obsess with those FBI files and real detective shows at the moment.

WEEK 26

June 30th, 2018 at 01:25 am

I've decided to post this earlier than usual, but it is already 6pm on Saturday 30th of June here. I want to move on to my end of the month post in couple of days.

Grocery = $33.00 even, which is around $25 US dollars.

What we got (I’ve decided to include the prices for this week – Aust dollars of course):
- 3 litres Milk ($2.99)
- 1 Whole Chicken ($5.25) – noticed that I have been buying this for few weeks now because Aldi have reduced the price down to $3 a kilo.
- 1 doz Eggs ($2.79)
- 1 kg Plain Flour ($0.75)
- a loaf of Bread ($0.99)
- a bag of Rolled Oats ($1.19)
- 7 Bananas ($2.34)
- 250g of Strawberries ($1.99)
- 3 Carrots ($0.76)
- A handful of Mixed Salad Leaves ($0.67)
- 1 Red Capsicum ($0.90)
- 1 packet of Custard Biscuit ($0.69)
- 4kg of Laundry Powder ($3.69)
- 24 rolls of 3ply Toilet Tissue ($8.00)

Apart from chickens we haven’t really been buying much meat this month. We have been slowly getting through what we have in the freezer. We don’t really eat that much meat these days so we still have a good amount of meat in the freezer.
DH and I just been discussing this challenge, we both agree to continue in July. The same deal $180 grocery budget for the month. We will actually have more money to spend per week than this month because July only got 4 Saturday whereas June had 5 ($45 p/w instead of $36 p/w). But I am anticipating that we will need to buy another sack of rice (20kg) in July. Last time it cost $31 that was back in Feb, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the prices have gone up for few dollars. So, for the next couple of weeks I’m going to continue spending only $35 per week and then on the 3rd week of July get the sack of rice.

Cons about this challenge:
- Must plan, can’t just go to the shop without a list (I already do this about 90% of the time so it was not such a hassle for me).
- No room for snacks, expensive items and impulse buying.
- Can’t indulge – have to buy no-name brand and no-frills items to stretch the money (although this really did not bother us since we already do this anyway for most of the things we buy)
- Can’t take advantage of bulk sales because if you do that’s all you are able to get and will have to eat a lot of it for the week (this was probably the hardest thing to do for me).

Pros about this challenge:
- Well saving money is on the top of the list.
- Healthier because we are not eating snacks and process food (although we were not big on these stuff to start with). We mostly bought items that are considered ‘ingredients’.
- It cuts down on the waste and I love it. Probably not buying bulked items helped on cutting waste. And have made me used up items we already have that needs to be eaten now.
- It made me more creative in cooking and motived me to try out new things.
- It cut down on the shopping time because our shopping list was considerably shorter.


Door Stopper - replaced one for $1.50

Lunch - DH forgot his lunch yesterday of roast pork and vegetables in the fridge. He was really looking forward to it too. But sometimes these things happens. He end up getting a co-worker to buy him a burger and chips since he was too busy to go get one himself. I guess that's why he forgot his lunch he got too many things in his mind, they got few major project going on and so he is just too busy. Anyway, the burger and chips were $15.