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September 11th, 2018 at 10:31 am

GROCERY - $70.77, a bit over than what I wanted to spend but just when I thought I’ve finished my shopping, in the last shop I went to I found they were having good sales of chicken breast so I decided to get some. Bought a bit of household items this weekend (dishwashing powder, toothpaste, handwashing soap ,etc).

GIFTS = $47.75, for our niece’s first birthday. We had to send it via post we can’t go to the party this weekend.

CLOTHING = Bought DH couple of new business shirts, they were only $10 each. He got rid of 3 shirts. We are currently doing one in one out with our clothes. I also got a workout jacket to replace one I am about to throw out once the weather gets warmer. That was also $10.

EATING OUT – We went out for Vietnamese food and coffee and cake afterwards, $30.30

GARAGE SALES - $35.50 - mainly got a set of knives. DH and I have discussed of getting one last month, so when we saw it we got it. They still look fairly new. We also got a nice painting, a handmade pottery and some garden pots.

SEEDLINGS – Got some seedling, tomatoes and Thai chillies for $7.60

HOUSE REPAIRS – we went to the hardware store to get some paint for grout. Also got some other stuff I need to make some little fixes around the house. All up it cost $19.87. My current project for the week is to re-grout some areas and then paint all the grout in three areas (3 rooms). We already have some grout but it is hard to match the current grout so we decide to just paint the lot to match and to make it look fresh. So far it is looking so much better but it is a bit fiddly, it will most likely take me a week or so to do the three areas.

Plumbing Issues

July 20th, 2018 at 04:43 am

On the weekend we were starting to have the same problem with our sewage pipes as couple of months ago. The plumber did warn me when he unblocked the pipes that the problem might be bigger than blockage. He wouldn’t know though unless he put a camera in there (he didn’t have one with him and it would cost more) but when he was unblocking it he said it didn’t feel right. He thinks it might be a problem at the intersection where our pipes meet the main pipes. DH was going to try to call either the council and/or the water company to find out where that intersection might be located in our property. The plumber tried to look for it but he couldn’t find one, and when he asked me about it I had no I idea there is such a thing. Apparently, there should have been a pipe or a vent that sticks out from the ground, and that sometimes they can collapse and cause blockage. We have lived here for almost 20 years I’ve never seen one, neither has DH. So both DH and I were anticipating that if this is cracked/collapsed pipes then it will cost thousands. Few days later it was getting worst.

Yesterday DH called the water company instead of the plumber, he was fully expecting for them to say ‘to call the plumber’ but they were actually very helpful and came over an hour after the call, he actually got here before DH (DH left work early so he could be home for it). I explained to him what happened and what the plumber has said to me. He mentioned that some houses especially houses built at certain time, which ours falls under, might not have the vent pipe. And he also said that plumbers are only allowed to go a certain distance, so maybe he couldn’t go too far with his machine. This guy got so much better machines, it only took him less than 10 minutes and he had a camera, we got to see what was inside our pipes, it looked really squeaky clean and he also pointed out the intersection, according to him it looks good. Hopefully that is the end of it and we won’t have to deal with it for another 10 years.

He was really helpful and just before he left he suggested that next time it happens to call them first instead of the plumber; it won’t cost us for them to come to assess the problem instead of the other way around. Next time we will for sure. I’m just thankful it only cost us $250 for the plumber and we didn’t need to do any digging up and replacing pipes. We were so relieved.


May 16th, 2018 at 04:17 am

Back to our normal life.

Grocery – we did a big shop which end up totalling to $112.74

Mother’s Day – Spent $114 on gifts

Plumbing Issues – We got a blocked sewage pipe, the plumber should be coming to unblock it tomorrow. I’m anticipating it will cost around $300.


November 16th, 2017 at 01:18 am

We went camping on the weekend, the weather was just absolutely beautiful on the weekend (right now it raining but still pleasant temperature wise). We took our little doggie and she was so much better this time around, she is getting used to sleeping in the tent. She just love being outside but the only downside is she had to be in her leash all the time but I think she got used to that as well.

Camping Spending – Campsite fee was $25, we got gas for the car $29.23, and got some food for $26.65. Total was $80.88

Grocery – Was all up $137.09. Stocked up on some meat, in particular chicken breast and pork belly, they were cheap at the moment. Also $28 of that was for 3kg honey we got near the campsite. We got a kilo of honey from there last time and we really liked it.

Gardening/Landscaping – We are again doing some work outside in the garden. We got few bags of pre-mixed concrete/cement to put between the rocks that border some of our garden beds. I’m hoping by doing this it will stop the weeds growing between the rocks which are pain to pull out and because of our dog we can’t just weed killer to get rid of them, I never really liked using them to start with anyway. The cement mixed are $6.50 a bag I think we will need get some more before get it done.

The last month

July 6th, 2015 at 08:08 am

It has been a crazy busy last 5 weeks. Back in April DH decided to give 4 weeks notice at work, we'll actually he stayed an extra 3 days because a co-worker requested he stay until he comes back from his holiday. On his last day of that work he got a job interview and did a psychometric test the next day and got the job offer that night. He started the new job less than a week after he finished the previous job.

The new job requires a bit of travel and he is meant to be stationed overseas to be the head of the office over there but last week that has been delayed because a client here in Australia have requested that he stay here for a while. DH really wants to experience living and working overseas that's why he took this job, and it is quite a step up position for him too. Money wise it will be the same as the previous job, depending on the exchange rate it might be a bit better take home pay.

When he took this job we decided to do a list of things that we desperately need to fix/replace around our home before we can move. Unfortunately, I had to do and deal most of it. A week in the job DH was asked to travel for over a week and when he has been home he had to work extra hours and the travel and long hours have taken a toll on his health, he has been battling with this annoying cold for two weeks now.

Anyway, the jury is still out on this new job, there are some positives (in particular experiencing living and working overseas and DH are learning new things) but there are also some negatives and questionable things about the company. DH will just take it one day at the time.

One great thing of him finding a job right away is that last month's income was almost double because he received his last pay from previous job plus annual leave pay. It helped with the expenses of repair in the house, the biggest expense was for replacement of our external sliding door, that was for $2,000 including installation. I think we've spent another $800 on other little repairs we have done in couple of rooms in the house.

We also decided to put in $2,000 into the mortgage out of that extra income last month. After last week's mortgage payment we are now currently under $15k owing on our house.

Plumbing Drama

March 6th, 2014 at 02:25 am

Yesterday we got our water bill for the last quarter. DH almost fainted when he saw it, it was almost $100 more than the previous bill. It shouldn't be that much, we have never gone over the low rate limit. About 20-30% of it got charge on the high rate. It couldn't possibly because we used so much more this time around it had to be more sinister. Sure enough DH remember that he saw a puddle of water in the side of the house that we barely go to over a week ago. He dismissed it because he thought it was just rain water. Also about a month ago we noticed water running along the gutter which starts from just in front of our property, we noticed every time we drive out and see birds bathing in it when we were in a heatwave. We also dismissed it and thought it had to do with the water company/ local council digging in front of our property and all along our street and other neighbouring streets (there has been a lot of "maintenance work" around), it happened just after they did that, so we just assumed.

I was hoping it wasn't in our property but no luck. DH called the plumber we used to installed our hot water tank last night and luckily he was able to do it this morning. I like him, he has been the best plumber I've found, I've dealt with some not so good one in the past. Luckily the pin hole that was causing the leak was just outside the house, it would have been a nightmare if it was under the house. He had to replace part of the copper pipe. In the end it cost $290, what a relief I was bracing myself last night for around $1K+ cost.

After he finished I asked him he does roofing too our roofing in the garage needs capping, it was never done right by the previous owner that built it. He spent a bit of time measuring it and will call DH for a quote tomorrow. This has been in the to do list for years now it would be great to get it done.


July 19th, 2013 at 10:39 am

Today is payday. Happy! happy! joy! joy!

We are having fish and chip tonight.

The weather is terrible and it doesn't look like it will get any better for the rest of the weekend. There's prediction of hail and storm, not looking good for running again this weekend. I'm hoping we can still go for a run.

The door is done, I'm just waiting for it to dry before I can hang it. I also painted another door that's right next to the study door.

Weekend and Study Renovation

July 16th, 2013 at 03:09 am

We almost had 5 days of NSDs last week, from Monday to Friday we didn't spend on anything except for DH putting more money into his train pass for $50.

The weekend is a different story. The weather was terrible all weekend so we missed out on running but now shopping though.

Saturday morning DH got up early to go to Aldi, during the week we saw an ad they had for a sound bar and subwoofer. DH been looking at getting one for over a year now but the one we wanted to get is $250 which I thought was too much. The Aldi one is only $99, so got one to try it, if we don't like it we can always return it. They have 60-days money back, no question ask guarantee. So far we are loving it. He also got mobile accessories for $9.95, it had a pouch for his mobile and car charger. The pouch was a bit small so he had to return it. But he got another one somewhere else later that day for $19.95, it had no pouch but the car charger two USB outlet and few different connections. We can both charge our phone at the same time and other gadget can connect to it too. DH had to get another audio connector for the sound bar, it was only $7.50.

Later that day we went to get a quote to replace the window in the study and another small one at the end of our hallway. It came to around $1500 for both windows and labour. Too much I thought. I think we could find somewhere else for about $1000.

Got a venetian blind for the study window for $78, it was 40% off normally around $120. Lucky I saw the ad for this too.

The rest of the day we went back to Aldi to return the mobile phone accessories and to do some grocery shopping. Spent just over $40.

On Sunday we went to the meat market and spent $32 on meat. Had lunch at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant, $20. Afterward, DH got a haircut for $11. This is the cheapest haircut ever.

DH skyped his mum and asked her if she wanted a new phone for her birthday and the answer was a resounding yes. She was kind of giving hints that she wants a new phone with Bluetooth in it to go with their new car that they just ordered. So DH ordered another phone for her mum, exactly the same one that he got. It's good that they will have the same phone that way if she got any problem with it DH will be able to help her out easy.

Reno update:
Painting is all done except around the window. My project for this week is to replace the door in the study. We have been meaning to replace this for couple of years now, we actually got the new door in the garage for all that time. The door jam is not standard size anymore (old house, nothing is standard) so I will have to trim the door a bit, just a bit fiddly. It will also need to be painted.

New phone and started cleaning the study

July 3rd, 2013 at 05:37 am

We got woken up early this morning by a delivery man. DH got his new mobile phone. They will now take the money off his account, I think he used PayPal. I budgeted $300 for mobile phones this month because I thought this new phone would cost $250 but apparently I missed heard DH and it is actually only for $150. Not bad. I'm happy about that. It came with a lot of extras, including a spare battery pack.

I've now started preparing the ceiling in the study for painting. Had to scrapped off the old paint that started peeling off. There are few areas that had to be fixed but the worst is around the light bulb. I'm also fixing a wall where a paint got ripped off because of picture hook that came off. This will keep me busy for a while. I'm not in a hurry, I want to do a good job, so I'm taking my time.

Household Fund

June 27th, 2013 at 06:51 am

Currently we have just over $7,5000 in it. We started the year with almost $3,500 and have now added $6K into it for the year.

Almost everything that's house related is taken out of this account. For example, the plants that we bought on the weekend is taken out of this account. The most expensive thing that we had to spend on this year was back in January when we had to get a new motor for our window shutter (it broke), taht was for $500 and we also had to hire a skip bin for $240 that month. We also got a chain saw, a lot of plastic containers, and other small items.

Most of this money will be spent on renovation around the house and also to replace furniture that we might need in the future.

I have a list of things that we need and want and they are mainly household stuff that will come out from this fund. First thing in the list at the moment is painting the study, the ceiling really needs it and as for the walls I just want a bit of change. We have most of the materials at hand already, leftover from previous renovation, so I don't think I will need much do this job. I will also need to do this in the living room ceiling (but I will get it done when the weather is warmer).

"European Labour Only" Wardrobe

September 17th, 2012 at 01:28 pm

Ive been really busy. Yesterday we went to my mums place to fix her bathroom door, it wasnt closing properly. Today Im painting an old wardrobe, I decided to sand it and paint it white. It will go in the guestroom where the other furniture in it is all white. I have not spent money on it so far but I will need to buy a new one handle that is missing an important part. It will probably cost around $6-7, a bit expensive but I have to get the same as the old ones.

Interesting thing I found in one of the drawer of the wardrobe, it has been stamped with some info about where it was made and then it says European Labour Only. A quick google and I found some interesting thing Ive never knew about. Apparently, stamped like these were common from 1900 to 50s (actually it was compulsory by law to state if a furniture was made by Chinese labour). Crazy to think things like that happened in the past.

Hmmmmaybe I shouldnt have painted it, I didnt realise it could be really old. I assumed it could have been 1980s, not 1950s or even earlier. We got it years ago (just after we moved to this house 11 years ago) from a garage sale. We cant remember how much for now, would have been less than $50, we couldnt afford to buy much stuff then. One of the legs had a split and it had one broken handle.

DH will be signing his new contract soon. The company have now sent a purchase order (I know I laughed when I heard this) to his agency. Good news is that his and the others in his team will be signing for 2 years from date of the current one expires (they had previously thought it might be from June 30, end of financial year). Unfortunately, some people in other teams have only got renewed for 3 months and some have been given 2- months notice. So we are very thankful.

16 Sept: 10,393 steps

Roof rack and decorating

June 21st, 2012 at 02:49 am

We decided that we will get a roof rack put on our car. Since we converted our car into LPG we lost a bit of space in our boot. We need to pick up a bookshelf that we bought from a charity store on the weekend. So instead of renting a pick-up truck for a cost of around $60 we decided to just get the roof racks done, in the long run it should save us a bit. I think it will get use a bit in the next few months; we already have plans to get doors for our wardrobe and maybe a new tallboy chest. The roof rack that DH wants to get will cost $340 (including installation). The other option would cost $310 but the more expensive one can be used to 90% of other type car, so we could move it to another if need to. Was not planning to get a roof rack until we get a new car, but Im hoping that our current car can last few more years, since we need one now, I think this is the best solution.

I have been doing some redecorating in the last two weeks. I got great deals on some nice framed prints, got 4 for only $60. I got them at a store that sells furniture and decoration used from ex-display homes. Couple of them are perfect to go in our bedroom it will go very well with another couple drawings that I should get next week created by my artist friend. The other two got some scratches on them but should be able to fix them.

The other day I emptied out a cabinet in the family room. This is a built in cabinet that we just put junk in. I found about 100 candles in there, different sizes, some scented, most of them I got as a gift. So I think its about time I start using them. There were also a lot of old light bulbs that we dont use anymore, I will take them to Ikea next time because they have recycle bin for them, also got boxes full of old tapes and another with games. I decided to paint it yesterday because it was looking very shabby. I also decided to trim some of the shelves thinner, so it will be even and will be able to put the ironing board in there. I already put the iron and other ironing items in there already. I dont like putting them in the laundry because it is all the way to the back of the house just too far to lug around since I like to do my ironing in the side of the house where the tv is.


June 13th, 2012 at 01:45 am

We finished the toilet renovation on Sunday. We painted behind the cistern tank in the morning and left it to dry while we went out shopping. I actually found the window blinds on sale we will put it up this weekend.

Taking out the old door.

New door with the new light/fan switch.

New studs (not talking about DH haha)and new plasterboards.

Coming together.

The built in shelf.

I'm not too sure how much it all cost, I'd say around $200-$250. The most expensive cost was getting the electrician to move the light/fan switch to the other side and the window blinds cost just over $40 and we spend less than $50 on materials. Most materials we used we already had, a leftover from the ensuite renovation. Oh I forgot the new toilet cost $95, we got it last year, it was 50% off.


June 6th, 2012 at 01:43 am

It was not a No spend day either. DH decided to get milk at Aldi last night (we will be running out of it today). He used most of it on Sunday making yogurt. He thought of getting it last night just in case he will be coming home very late tonight. Since he was near his favourite petrol station he decided to fill up the car too. So that was all of yesterdays spending.

Also yesterday I finally finish the renovation, well my part anyway. DH will have to move the cistern so we can paint behind it. We could just leave it as it is but I know it will annoy me knowing that it wasnt done. He will do it on the weekend.

Last night our home phone and internet was off for about 6 hours. I suspect it was because of the storm. I didn't even know about it until my mum tried to call me at home. Luckily our mobile phone is with a different provider and that was working.

Dinner Date

June 3rd, 2012 at 01:09 am

Last night DH took me out for dinner. He was really determined that we go out he even picked out the restaurant, Im normally the one that plan this stuff. He has wanted to take me to this Mexican restaurant that he has been to before (over 10 years ago). Well I think theyve change management since then and while the food was nice I think it was too pricey for what we got.

DH feels bad that Ive been doing the renovation by myself all week and thats why he wanted to take me out. He wanted to use his allowance money for but I insist that we have enough in the entertainment money for it.

Speak of renovation, we only got a bit of tiling to do, hopefully we will get it done today, and then just painting. It has been really slow waiting for the plaster to dry. It needs to dry before I can sand it properly, sanding it while wet just clogs up the sandpaper. It should really be done by tomorrow.


May 29th, 2012 at 10:58 am

Again, I've been busy renovating. It is taking a while, I've been doing it by myself in the last two days. DH had to go to work, he can only do a bit after work because firstly he is already tired and we are not allowed to use power tools after 8pm.

I decided to make a built in shelf into the wall so that is also taking a bit of my time, it is a bit fiddly to make.

Spending today was only for DH train pass $20 and yesterday was $14.05 at the hardware store. Tomorrow should be a NSD which would make it 10 for the month. I can pretty much finalise this month, the only spending left is for property tax due on the 31st.

Pizza for dinner

May 27th, 2012 at 11:11 am

Too tired to cook tonight, so we got some pizza. Spent $17.50 for two large size, plenty of left over for lunch for tomorrow.

We finished building the wall today. We had to go to the hardware store to get some more supply that we couldn't get yesterday (I think we spent about $30, I left the receipt in the car). The store yesterday didn't have what we needed. There are still a bit to do, we still need to do plastering, put up the cornice, a bit of tiling and painting. I'm hoping to finish it by next weekend.

Both DH and I are a bit sore today. I actually decided to put some money into the exercise challenge, with all the hammering and sawing that we did today it feel like we have been exercising. (I forgot to mention that I deposited $31 on Friday into the xmas fund/exercise challenge, its 4 weeks worth of exercise).

I accidently hit my thumb when I was trying to hammer a nail and a blood blister developed. I pricked it because I don't like looking at it. It was tiny and it didn't really hurt.

I also forgot to mentioned yesterday that we went to Aldi yesterday for grocery shopping, got more than what we need for this week. We are now about $10 over on our grocery for this month, it's not too bad.

Yesterday, I got another nasty virus in my computer, it happened while I was reading some blog (not SA). DH is fixing it right now, hope to get it back soon. I got few spending to record in my spreadsheet which is in that computer. Luckily, I've backed up about a week ago, so if DH can't get it back it will not be hard to update my spreadsheet.

Pomegranate and building a new wall

May 26th, 2012 at 10:07 am

I bought a couple of pomegranate last Sunday at the fruit shop. It is something that we don't find here that often, so I don't really know what to do with it except eat it as it is. Few days ago I Google it and found a nice recipe that I can use it with. I found a simple recipe for a quinoa and pomegranate salad. I haven't had time to make it until tonight. Tonight was the best time to have it because we were too busy removing the old door in the toilet and building a new wall to close it off. Now that the light switch has been moved next to the new door we can finally do this. We should be able to put up the new plasterboard tomorrow.

Anyway the salad was really good and it took no time to make.


May 25th, 2012 at 02:20 pm

I managed to finish the painting just before we had to go out for dinner at 8pm. It is extremely cold here today so it took forever for the plaster to dry; I resorted to using the hair dryer just to hurry it along a bit.

I left the paint to dry while we were out, left all the windows and door open to get rid of the paint smell. It is now after midnight and we just finish putting the bed back so we can sleep in there again tonight.

Today was payday and have put in another $900 into the mortgage - that makes it $2500 extra for this month. We should have around $1000 left by the end of the month to go towards household and holiday fund. I will probably just go 50/50 to each saving fund.

Alright, Im exhausted I need to go to bed now.

Ceiling Fan

May 25th, 2012 at 04:21 am

We now have a ceiling fan in the bedroom. And the toilet got a new fan and light. All up it took the electrician almost 3 hours. He had to get up in the attic, which is cramp and dusty. He had to provide some of the stuff like light switches and light batten. I thought for sure he would ask for more money than what he quoted. Even though it took him a lot longer to put the fan (its a new kind that he has never seen before), it was a lot fiddlier.

So in the end I gave him $300 cash. Unfortunately there was a bigger hole in the ceiling, which couldnt be covered by the fan so I had to patch it up. Im just waiting for it to dry and then I will paint it. I also had to do the same in the wardrobe area where it had some holes from the old screws from the old light fitting.

Electrical work

May 24th, 2012 at 03:34 am

Im just working on emptying the bedroom to get it ready for the electrician to install the ceiling fan tomorrow. I want to empty it because I dont want dust and worst insulation dust getting on our stuff. The electrician is coming at 9am tomorrow so DH and I have to move the bed before then, he will have to go to work a little bit later tomorrow.

The electrician will also be moving the light switch in the toilet next to the new door and he will be changing the light fitting near the wardrobe. All up he quoted $300 but it could be more, I hope not.

After this all we really need to do in the main bedroom is to put in a proper wardrobe. At the moment we just have an Ikea wardrobe without any doors, thats why I have to move all our clothes in the spare bedroom. I would love to get an inbuilt one, maybe next year.

Price is down because of competition and painting.

May 21st, 2012 at 06:56 am

Even though I wasnt feeling well I decided that we really got to paint the bedroom ceiling now before the ceiling fan get installed later this week. I think it would be more of a pain to paint it after the ceiling fan is in. When we got home after our run/lunch I spent about half an hour preparing the room while DH did the mowing. I had to put the plastic drop sheets all around the walls, floor and furniture. It didnt take long to paint; I used the paint brush around the side while DH used the paint roller. It only needed a coat, we are just refreshing it really. We were finish by 6pm, including cleaning up.

We bought the plastic drop sheets earlier yesterday, I was surprise to find out the price is so much cheaper now. I buy them all the time and they were always $1.50 each but yesterday it was for only 0.98 cents (it is not a sale price either), thats 30% less than what it used to be. Since a new hardware store opened up down the road last year prices in this old hardware store has been a lot more competitive. I guess they have to lower prices because they have a policy that if you find an item cheaper somewhere else they will match it with % discount (I think it used to be 10%).

Another expense yesterday that was totally avoidable was the Thai takeaway. I was craving it and just did want to have hamburger for 3 nights in a row. And I just got lazy to cook anything else after doing the painting. I opted to pay half of it out of my allowance money, serves me right.

Hole and Tax

August 22nd, 2011 at 07:18 am

So now that we got a new airconditioner we need to get rid of the old one. It will require a bit of work, bricking in the hole outside and patching the wall, which will need plastering and painting.

I think this might be something we can do ourselves when DH's arm feel better. I did get someone in today to get a quote and it will cost $760 (excluding painting). The only thing that I'm not confidient with is the brickwork, but this might be a little project to start learning. If we did do this ourself, I think we could do it for less than $100. The only thing we really need is mortar. We got everything else, we got plenty of spare bricks, plasterboard, tools, etc. But of course, it will take us probably a whole weekend to do it.

Another option we got is to just put a small window in the hole and let some light into the dark side of the room. But I'm not sure how it will look and affect the tv since we do like watching the tv in that dark part of the room.

Has any one ever had to get deal with those old airconditioner? What did you do?


Finally received the papers for our tax refund to sign and send to the tax office. This is a refund for 2009-10 financial year. Believe it or not we are actually getting better at this. We are normally always 3 years behind on filling out our tax. And even better we are almost finish with the 2010-11, just waiting on a couple more items.

We will get $1800 after accountant fees. I don't think we will actually get the cash until next month. I'm already thinking of putting $1000 into the mortgage. For the rest I will decide later.


I'm hoping for today to be a NSD Smile


May 31st, 2011 at 02:53 am

DH got paid on Friday but it was missing a full week of pay. He figured it out on Monday that it was the fax machine's fault. He fax his timesheets but 1 of it didn't get sent. So now he has to wait for it until next pay. So my plan last week to put more into the mortgage will have to be postpone, oh well. I will still send some maybe tonight. Was meant to send it on the weekend but I wanted to make sure we found out what happen to DH's pay first. I will have to recalculate tonight how much I can send. Lucky we don't have any big bills to pay in the coming weeks. Oh well, something to blog about.

I've been a bit busy cleaning up. Moving back to our newly renovated bedroom is taking a while. I've decided not to just dump everything back, I'm trying to be selective on what we put back into the bedroom. It's nice and clean at the moment and I would love to keep it this way forever. DH and I are doing well so far.

Costco and Weekend Update

February 7th, 2011 at 06:27 am

Friday night we did go to Costco. In my previous post I stupidly said I was only going to spend $100 (excluding membership fee), well umm that amount ended to almost $180! Yikes. Plus $60 for the annual membership. I spent the left over money in the grocery budget last month towards the membership fee, so I still had to add another $32 out of this month's grocery budget. In the end we only got $28 left for groceries this month. I really don't know how we spent that much, we didn't get anything that we don't need. DH wanted to get some mini Reese's and I even said no to that, no junk food at all in this shopping trip, we hardly buy them really. I will work hard not to go over too much this month but I think this will be impossible. We shouldn't need much anymore, maybe milk and fresh fruits and veg. We should have enough meat for the rest of the month. Being a shorter month should help too.

Items we won't need to get in the next 3-5 months:
-Toilet paper
-Stag Chilli - DH likes to take this to work for lunch when we don't have leftovers.

So I weekend start very expensive and it continued thru Saturday. Spent another $630+ more on materials for the renovation, this included sound insulation for the external walls.

Thankfully, Sunday was a NSD Smile! I'm tired from all the spending.

Costco and Weekend Update

February 7th, 2011 at 06:25 am

Friday night we did go to Costco. In my previous post I stupidly said I was only going to spend $100 (excluding membership fee), well umm that amount ended to almost $180! Yikes. Plus $60 for the annual membership. I spent the left over money in the grocery budget last month towards the membership fee, so I still had to add another $32 out of this month's grocery budget. In the end we only got $28 left for groceries this month. I really don't know how we spent that much, we didn't get anything that we don't need. DH wanted to get some mini Reese's and I even said no to that, no junk food at all in this shopping trip, we hardly buy them really. I will work hard not to go over too much this month but I think this will be impossible. We shouldn't need much anymore, maybe milk and fresh fruits and veg. We should have enough meat for the rest of the month. Being a shorter month should help too.

Items we won't need to get in the next 3-5 months:
-Toilet paper
-Stag Chilli - DH likes to take this to work for lunch when we don't have leftovers.

So I weekend start very expensive and it continued thru Saturday. Spent another $630+ more on materials for the renovation, this included sound insulation for the external walls.

Thankfully, Sunday was a NSD Smile! I'm tired from all the spending.

January 2011 and $2500 spent on renovation

February 3rd, 2011 at 03:59 am

As usual January is the most expensive month for us. The annual Car and Home insurance are due in Jan. That's more than $1000 right there. But since we stuck to our spending plan we were underbudget by almost $200. Everything was under budget but the home phone.

This month's spending plan will be about 60% to that of last month. It normally less than that for this month but we need to send DH's cousin an engagement gift. We are not going because it is interstate (in Queensland where all the weather is at the moment), and we are not really expected to go so we will just send something. Also an old high school friend, who now also lives in Queensland, is coming down next weekend and we already plan to go out next Saturday. I offered to pay for her meal already because it is her birthday next month and she sent me a gift just before christmas last year so I think I owe her one. I will be taking her somewhere a bit upmarket so I anticipate to spend around $120 for our meal.

We spent more than $2,500 yesterday for our bathroom/bedroom renovation. We got the window brick in, got the shower screen and shower base delivered, we also got the skylight and attic ventilation installed. It is a bit of money to spend but I am glad that we got these things done. We are moving along nicely.

Weekend Update

February 1st, 2011 at 01:27 am

Our weekend was really busy and very very hot. We got a heatwave for almost a week now and still more to come.

Saturday we spent all morning driving around shopping. We went for a small grocery shopping to Aldi only spent over $26. We did really well with our grocery budget in January, we still got over $36 leftover. The budget for Jan was $230, so we only used less than $200. I am trying to decide whether to get the annual Costco membership this week, they are having some sales at the moment to celebrate their 2nd year of trading here in Melbourne. The annual fee is $60, so I was thingking of using that $36 and then the rest will come from Feb grocery budget.

We also stop by to the Skylight/Roof ventilation shop to pay for the deposit. Someone will be coming by tomorrow to install them, I can't wait. I am hoping the roof ventilation will help to get rid of the hot air in the roof. The skylight will be install in our new ensuite bathroom.

Saturday afternoon we went to buy some floor tiles, we managed to get them really cheap. Only spent $144 for 8 meter sqaure and it also included a big bag of tile glue. We also score free 2 soap holders and 2 toilet holders. I don't know if we will actually used them yet maybe the soap holder will work. They are worth around $15-$20 each, so not a bad score.

We then went to the hardware store near our place to get some timber to use as studs, we also decided to get supplies that we will need eventually. All up that cost us almost $300, the most expensive thing was the waterproof paint and stuff, that was around $150 but definitely worth doing it now. We also had to get some floor boards to replace one that is rooten and a couple where the old shower drain pipe used to be.

We put up the studs to were the new walls is going to be, we still need to get more timber. Unfortunately we couldn't carry all of what we need in the car. We finished everything we need to do for now by Sunday lunch. We thought about going back to the hardware store to get more supplies but the temperature got too hot to bother doing anymore work. We are just doing a bit at the time, both DH and I are enjoying it. These are skills that we are willing to learn, it comes handy. Couple years ago we did our laundry and my FIL helped us and taught us everything we know now. In the past I used to stress out so much over the cracks in the walls/ceilings. I used to worry that the whole ceiling will collapse on top of us and now it doesn't bother me at all anymore because now I know how to fix it myself.

Some Tax money :)

January 25th, 2011 at 05:51 am

Yesterday I blogged about needing more cash/cash flow in the next month or so to pay for trades people that we will need to hire. I was actually thinking of withdrawing money out of my bankwest account (which is the EF accout) or out or the redraw account. I almost did it too especially after I received our AMEX bill of over $2300, the cost of the new fridge that we got last month is in it now. I was really hoping that I didn't need to, I talked to DH about it we both decided to wait until mid next month the AMEX is due to withdraw the money out. He thinks we might not need to withdraw any money out since he will get paid next Friday. And if still short of cash we then withdraw some from those accounts.

Well today we just happened to received our tax refund (for 2009/10),2 cheques 1 in my name and the other under DH, in total just a bit over $2,900. I called DH right away and not even an hour later we were in the bank near DH's work depositing in the cheques. They say it might take few days for it to clear. I knew that and that is why I was really keen to cash it in right away because tomorrow is public holiday here and will most likely have tradies coming on Thurs/Fri, so I really didn't want to wait until Sat to deposit it into the bank. I can now relax about the cash flow shortage issue. Sometimes things just workout. Smile

After the bank, DH and I decided to have lunch out together again. This was not plan. It was a lot nicer than Taco Bill though. We had Thai where they had their lunch specials for $10.50 a meal including drinks. I had chicken satay and rice with coke and DH had red curry and rice with a glass of red wine. DH will have to bring back his packed lunch home again tonight, which means I don't need to cook dinner tonight. Eventhough it was plan and we now only got about $4 in the entertainment/eating out money, we were glad we went out for lunch today to make up for last week's lunch date.

Weekend Update

January 24th, 2011 at 07:23 am

- NSD on Friday and Sunday, which make it 12 NSD for the month.

- Went grocery shopping on Sat, spent just over $56. Also picked up drycleaning for $31.90.

- Then we went to the Hardware store to get stuff we need for our renovation. Spent over $122. Sat afternoon and Sunday morning DH managed to take down the sliding door and it's frame. We also took out the old shower after, the only way it would fit through. It is weird seeing it laying flat in the garage now. We have taken about half of the wall off. Next weekend we hope to put up more studs to replace where the sliding door used to be, we have decided to move the door to the other side . BTW I hated the sliding door and so glad it is now gone...

- We also went to a skylight store, just to get an idea on what's out there. Now that we decided to brick up the window we will need a skylight. The one the both DH and I like is really good but it's not the cheapest (around the middle range). This window really need replacement, so we decided to just brick it up. By doing so it will solve few of our problems, one is noisy neighbour. And we eventually want to install a water tank in that space which should help the problem with the gutter overflowing too much when there is a really heavy rain.

I really really want to put more money into the mortgage but I have to hold off. Unfortunately most trades people only accept cash, which is fair enough.

The other problem we also have it that no one calls back when they say they would call back and the one that does over-charge a lot. The guy that says he will call back about 2 weeks ago now never did and when we tried to call him his phone is not working anymore. It's weird.

I remember 8 years or so ago we used to have people knocking on our door asking if we need worked done around the house. We did but unfortunately we didn't have the cash then to do it. I wish I had the money then but I am also glad that we didn't go on debt for it.

We will eventually get it done but now I know that it will take a lot longer than that I hope for.

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