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Quite Weekend

May 4th, 2015 at 02:22 pm

We had a relatively quiet weekend. Our car was making some weird noises so we didn't wantto drive it too much. We just went grocery shopping and dropped off some stuff to the Salvo, which was just a crossed the street of the Aldi that we went to. Spending for the weekend was less than $100.

DH already booked the car for service on Wednesday. Its next service is not until next month but since it is making that noise and we are going camping this weekend we need to get it check before driving it 3-4 hours drive to the country.

DH spent some of his weekend applying for jobs. The rest of the weekend I spent tinkering in the garden, DH helped a bit too. He loves being outside, it was great to see him a lot more relaxed on the weekend. He was a bit stressed out again on Wed and Thurs night, he keep wondering whether he has done the right thing quitting. I assured him that he did and that we will be alright. From what he has been telling me about his work I am 100% sure that he is doing the right thing. So far this year DH counted 15 people that has left (that's about 1 a week). He has seen 3 people this year that cried because of work issues.

The other developer is now also considering of leaving earlier than end of June, she doesn't want to take on DH's job. She knows how much ha was to do and deal with, not only dealing with the customer that they support but also dealing with the boss (DB). She's also thinking of travelling in mid-June. Not sure if she will actually do it but she has told few people about already.

DH got a couple of lead today about some work so hopefully something will pan out soon.

Solar Panels

April 10th, 2015 at 03:35 am

Back in Mar 2011 I blogged about our solar panels. We got it installed that month and at that time DH calculated that it would take us about 4 years to breakeven. Well, it is now 4 years later. Oh by the way our first electricity bill for the year came last month it was for $23.13 CREDIT. The previous bill in Dec was for only $8.89 (debit) so we were not required to pay so they just carried it forward to this new bill. So the current balance is $14.24 credit. We will not get this in cash because we have opted for any credit to just carry if forward to the next bill.

I did some calculation of our electric bills:

In 2010 (the year before the Solar panel) we spent $763.49 on our electricity.
*Dec 2010 there was an increase in rates.

2011 it was $653.77.
*Dec 2011 there was an increase in rates. Mar 2011 we got the Solar Panels installed.

2012 it was our best year and we actually got $249.44 CREDIT.

2013 electricity only cost us $87.56 debit.

2014 was $452.71.
This was a lot higher than previous years mainly because we had my brother with us for 6 months that year. *Dec 2014 there was another increase in rates.

So assuming that without the solar panels we would have paid around $800 per year (accounting for the rate increases and my brother staying with us) it would have amounted to $3,200 in 4 years. Instead we only paid $944.60, so a saving of $2,255.40.

The Solar Panels cost were:
Cost Including Installation $7,857.00
(minus) Government Rebate $5,360.00
Out of Pocket $2,497.00
Payment to the Electric Company (for connection) $215.78
TOTAL = $2,712.78

So, that is still $457.38 in the negative. But I also had to calculate our gas bill because we now only use electricity for heating in winter instead of gas.

Gas Expenses:

2010 was $757.57 - the year before solar panels

2011 was $675.01
*Jan 2011 there was an increase in rates

2012 was $579.55
*There were 2 rates increases in Feb and Jul

2013 was $408.89
*Again another rate increase in Jan 2013

2014 was $463.34
*Another rate increase in Jan but it decrease in Jul 2014 because of the removal of the carbon tax.
Note also that my brother stayed with us for 6 months.

Again an average of $800 per year would have been a reasonable gas bill for us. So that would have been $3,200 for the 4 years but instead we only paid $2,126.79 (we normally use gas for cooking and hot water), a saving of $1,073.21. Overall this takes us to $615.83 in the positive. So yeah we are now break-even, it probably really happened mid last year. Obviously, the government rebate helped a lot in breaking even a lot sooner.

Update

February 27th, 2015 at 10:55 am

Time to get back to blogging, hi everyone! Life been busy lately but I still try to keep up with our finances.

The last time I blogged my brother was still living with us. He moved out late September. It doesn’t feel like anything has changed really, he was never really here that much and when he was here he was really quiet and just keeps to himself in his room talking to his gf/ friends.

Last year we budgeted to only spend $21,500 on our 'living expenses'. I decided on this amount and that start of the year before my brother moved in with us for 6 months. In the end we over spent to the total of $22,850.We were over by $1,350 but my brother actually gave us $200 a month to cover for his utilities and food, a total of $1,200. So in total we were really only $150 over.

The main focus for us last year was paying as much as we can on our mortgage. We paid off just over $40,900. The current balance is just under $28,000, this includes another couple thousand dollars that we have paid off since the start of the year. We will have to decide in July if we want to just pay it off. It will depend on DH's job. His current jobs will most likely finish end of June unless his employment gets extended again or if he kind find another job. He is now looking been applying for a new job but IT jobs is a bit slow at the moment though, it will take him awhile but we are hoping he can find one before June.

I have been very busy with our stock market trading/investing stuff. Our goal for a while now was to pay off the house and have $100k worth of investments by the time DH turns 40 (DH turns 40 in Oct this year). The house is not quite paid off yet but we have hit the $100K mark in our equity investments. I guess the step is to get it to the $200K mark. I'm hoping we could get there by my 40th, which is just over 2 years from now. This might be a bit ambitious but I think once the mortgage is gone we can throw more money on it and if the market continue to go up then anything is possible, but of course it could go the other way too.

That's it for now. I should be able to finalise Feb spending tomorrow.

Apr to June Spending and some Update

July 1st, 2014 at 06:51 am

How did we go in the 2nd quarter of 2014?



DH went to his interview Friday, it went fine. He had to change in the car though. Also on Friday, everyone in his team at work got to sign their new employment contract. As of today, they are now fixed full-time employees for the next 12 months.

On the weekend we hit the half-way mark of our workout program. We went crazy and rewarded ourselves by buying a PVR and 3D Blu-ray combo. For years now the in-laws have been telling us that we should get one. Every time we went out to see how much they were we always thought they were too pricey. But with technologies these days if you just wait long enough you should be able to afford it. Plus because it June 30 is our end of the financial year, every stores have their massive sales. We got one for $318.40 (down from $466). The first time the in-laws suggested that we should get one they were around $800+. Even at the price we bought it at we were still not too sure about it. We went to 4 stores until we decided to go for it.


Weekend and Interview

June 25th, 2014 at 04:37 am

A bit late on the weekend update. We just did the usual things - grocery shopping and eat out. We went to our favourite Vietnamese restaurant, it never disappoint. We also bought couple of pairs of weighted gloves, this should increase the intensity of our workout.

DH will be going on an interview from one of those jobs that he applied for couple of weeks ago. Initially he thought of declining it because it is in the other side of the city, probably over an hour away so it might not be worth it missing work for it. It is for a university, unfortunately it is not in the closer campus. The money will be a bit less than what he is getting now but it will be permanent full-time position. He thought it over and decide that he should go even just to get some practice on doing interviews again. He would just go to work really early and then take few hours off then go back in the afternoon.

This job sounds like a perfect fit for DH but the travel is a big issue. He might see if they allow working from home for couple times a week that would really help.

Okay news but still not 100% confirmed

June 13th, 2014 at 01:31 am

So DH found out yesterday what rate he will be on. He is probably one of the lucky one, it will not be as bad as he thought it would be. His current contract will end at the end of this month and then it will be change to the new rate, so there will be couple of thousand or so worst off but we just have to think of it that at least his employment will continue for another 9 months before that. Also he will be getting paid when he takes holidays and will also be paid for sick leave. If he accounts for all that it is not that far off to what he gets paid for now.

According to his boss most people got 10-15% pay cut and DH's boss probably got the biggest cut of them all.

DH agreed to the new rate. Our biggest goal at the moment is to pay off this darn mortgage. These extra months will be enough to get us to the end of our mortgage. DH can then decide what he wants to do afterwards.

It will just now need to be sign off by someone even higher up. Unfortunately she is away until Monday. According to DH he heard rumours that she has taken time off because of some "incident". Some weird stuff has been going on there since these new bunch of management came along, which she is the leader of. When she got hired (very questionable the way she got hired, she was auditing the place now she is a CIO or something) she brought her "friends" along, now one of this so called friend is on extended stress leave because they are not getting along. Crazy stuff.

Email

June 12th, 2014 at 05:29 am

I just got an email from DH.




He is getting annoyed but at least he still got his sense of humour.

He at least found out from others this morning who had their interview with the boss late yesterday afternoon that all contracts will finish by the end of the month, not good.


As you can tell I am getting as impatience about it so I feel sorry for DH and his co-workers but most of them have found out about it now. He will probably find out in an hour or so, definitely before the end of work day. It's now 3:30pm here.

No news yet & making some pasta

June 11th, 2014 at 01:51 pm

DH was meant to talk to his boss about his employment early in the morning today but his boss was given the run around by his boss and was not given the go ahead until late in the afternoon. Apparently, DH's boss was told that he has to talk to everyone's agencies (probably 3 or 4 of them) first before he can talk to the employees about what's going to happen. This thing is a mess and it doesn't help that the upper management doesn't seem to give a damn about the employees. There are apparently 2 tester that have been told that they will only be needed for only 2 months. The 2 months is so they can hand it over and trained up the new people that will only be paid $60K a year. They want to do things cheap and expect everyone to just agree with it. It will be interesting to see if those 2 tester will actually stay, very doubtful there will be any extra pay to make them to stay for it. Anyway, hopefully DH will finally find out tomorrow.

Today I made this for lunch.


This was my first time making carbonara sauce without cream. I topped it with parsley and chives from the garden.

Changes and putting things on hold

June 10th, 2014 at 04:27 am

Mortgage payment went through earlier last week. It was $1218, $232.58 for interest and $985.42 for the principal. I still can't put any extra into it this month.

DH's job is still really iffy at the moment. Everyone that is in his team is waiting to see if they will still have a job. They already know that their contracts will not be renewed. They are getting rid of contract workers, so they are proposing to offer people a fixed 1 year full time job. Some people's contract is finishing the end of this month but they still haven't found out what the new rate for this fixed full time deal will be. It will be for sure lower than what they get now. And the worse thing about this deal is they will not get a redundancy pay out at the end of the term, so it will be worst than a full time job rate. The money has to be slightly higher than full time rate for it to be worth considering. It is doubtful that it will be. DH's boss, who is in the same boat as DH and who's contract is finishing the end of the month, has been going back and forth negotiating with the his new boss (who is implementing all these changes) for 3 months now. He doesn't really care if people are going to stay or go.

They are looking at replacing the current system that everyone is working on, so the new management doesn't care too much for the contract workers, they have been treated like they are not part of the company now. Their problem though is they haven't really found a new system (that will be off the shelf) to replace the current system, this system by the way deals with 2 billion dollar payments so it's not child play but these new bosses doesn't seems to get it. Fair dinkum, one thinks that there should be no different if you were dealing with 2 million. lol
So, basically they still need all the people that is left (which is now less than half to what it used to be 2 years ago). DH who is the team leader has been covering a lot of the work that those people that have left used to do. Not only he has to do his job but he now has to do the Business Analyst job, data management and even do a bit of testing work and also if there are any questions/problems from the customer he has to deal with it.

DH's contract doesn't end until end of Sept but he will get the same deal as the people that end this month. Although there could be a chance that the company will just push forward everyone else's contract to end this month and offer this new rate to everyone at the same date. Either way DH will be moving on sooner or later. There is obviously no future for him or the other employees in this company, they are not offering anyone at all to work on the eventual new system. At the moment, DH will consider staying if the rate is at least reasonable until he will get a new job, if it is too low, he will most likely just quit and spend more of his time looking for a new job instead.

We have been through this before so we are not panicking. DH quit his previous job without any lined up but was hired right away in this current job. And he has been through long term unemployment before, we survived that we will survive this too. At least this time we are prepared. This is why I'm always putting paying the mortgage off and savings first in our goals every year. All that hard work is for this time. Don't get me wrong, it would have been great if this were to happen next year when the mortgage is paid off. So for now that extra payment to the mortgage is at halt but I'm very determine to still pay it off by October next year (DH's 40th).

Oh, this weekend was a long-weekend for us (Queen's birthday), DH spent most of Saturday applying for jobs. And he is also studying to get some certificate that he believes he needs to apply for more jobs.

Today

May 31st, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Went grocery shopping, spent just over $80 I think, I haven't added it yet. We are really spending a bit more on groceries these days, it's because of extra person (my brother staying with us) and because we are spending more on fruits and vegetables. My brother doesn't really eat every meal with us, probably only 5-6 meals in a week. He doesn't eat breakfast or lunch here during week days and at least 2 nights a week he gets dinner somewhere else (at mum's on Wednesday and at his footy club on Thursday).

Also finished 2 weeks of our workout program today, 2 weeks down, 10 to go. I'm now down about 1 inch around my waist. It's going fast but I know it will not be as easy to get rid of the last couple or so. I probably only really need to get rid of another 2 or so inches around.

Tonight, I got another allergic reaction, this time I think it's because of the squid ink. I can't believe that's another one to add in the list of things that I'm allergic to. It really sucks.

Weekend

May 19th, 2014 at 06:23 am

Weekend was a lot of fun. Bought a lot of fruits and vegetables for our smoothies. Also bought a squat rack for DH at a garage sales for only $100. He included a bench and couple 20kg weights for only $10. Also got a heavy duty ratchets and strap for only $10, they were selling the set for $15 (they are normally around $50+ new) but got them down.

Parts of the squat rack (the long side bits) wouldn't quiet fit in the car but luckily we only live a block away. DH had to carry them home.

We went out for dinner with couple of friends Saturday night it was really good but a bit pricey. We went all out it will be our last big dinner out for the next 3 months. DH and I will be starting the Tapout program today, it will be going for 90 days and we want to do it right, which means eating right. I'm looking forward to it but at the same time I'm a bit scared.

The last 2 weekends

April 29th, 2014 at 03:27 am

It has been a very expensive 2 weeks. We have had two long-weekends in the row which equated to a very social and very expensive weekends. First the Easter weekend, which was a 4 days weekend, and my birthday at the same time. Then the weekend after was a 3 days weekend, we celebrated what we call ANZAC day, which probably similar to Veteran day in the US.

So on those 6 days we went out for dinners twice one of which was a very expensive birthday dinner. Two lunches out one was when we went to the country for a day trip. Also had a couple of take-away. Went to bar couple of times. And had a high tea at some fancy hotel (this one was at least half price deal). We had fun so no regrets but a little bit lighter in the pockets though.