20 Nov 2018

Finally got the tax back!

This morning when I logged into the bank I was pleasantly surprised to see our tax return money sitting in the account. I decided to fill all my YNAB categories first and then I transferred the rest off the redraw. 

The new redraw balance is  $7,693.

 We're on track to pay it off completely before the end of the year so long as we stick to a tight budget. Then it's full steam ahead on paying off the rest of the mortgage asap.  I am really looking forward to 2019!

15 Nov 2018

Organising the Finances

October / November is our most expensive month. Our annual car registration, car insurance, home & contents insurance, ambulance cover, professional registration, professional indemnity insurance, accountants fees have all been paid plus some repairs on the car - all up around $4000.

So theres been nothing extra paid off debt this payday.

I've gone back to using YNAB so I've been busy setting that up and planning our budget for next year. I am planning on building a one month buffer in the offset account and then anything over that will go to debt reduction.

I've also opened up an online account at another bank for our 'emergency fund' in preparation for closing the redraw when its paid out.

So I am waiting for the tax refund to go into my account, hopefully in the next week so I can get back to mortgage reduction.

Other than that I'm just busy with work and really looking forward to having a break over Christmas.

4 Nov 2018

Thanks & a garden update


I had a very nice surprise this week when I received this beautiful bouquet of flowers along with a lovely thank you card. It is so lovely when people take the time to say thanks - I was truly surprised and appreciative. So I've been enjoying these lovely flowers all week.



Now we've had some really hot weather here this week along with a few very windy thunderstorms. So I've been making sure my new pot plants were watered & protected with some good results.

We love perino tomatos and they are very expensive - a luxury really at $2.50 - $4.00 a small punnet. Well my garden plan is to replace as much bought food as I can with home grown food so I cut some tomatos in half and planted then in the punnets they came in - we'll see how they go.




My compost bins arrived!  Here we are putting them together. They are on a stand so that they can be tumbled. They cost $179 at Bunnings.  I wanted something easy to use, where I wouldn't have to do a lot of digging and protected from animals. Now I just need to start filling them with scraps.





My lemon tree is covered in flowers just two weeks after repotting & feeding it!  I love the fragrance of the flowers as I go in and out the door during the day.




...  my Thai Basil burst into flower overnight...




The pot of mint has just gone gangbusters! This is it after I have cut it back and been picking leaves off it to make mint tea almost every day this week. I just tear 4-5 leaves up in the bottom of a cup, add hot water and let it sit for a while -tastes just beautiful!  ....  now I want to grow even more herbs that I can make herbal tea from...





Each morning we've either walked or I've pruned bushes in the (overgrown) garden. Its so nice to be walking again and it does help me keep more upbeat during the day. I'll end with a pic of  yesterdays sunrise...




"The love of gardening is a seed that once sown, never dies" - Gertrude Jekyll

1 Nov 2018

September/October Progress Report

Time for an update on the finances for the last two months. We spent a month away on holidays (was wonderful!) and DH is now working part time. Heres the numbers:

Mortgage
  • $135,595 down from $142,369
  • $15,551  redraw down from $17,789
  • total mortgage reduction $6,774
Retirement Savings
The market is down lately so our balance is lower, however its a good time to be adding funds so I have been putting $100/week into super after tax.
  • mine $108,226  
  • $274,000 
  • total $382,226
  • total decrease  $10,885
Groceries
  • $80 CC points
  • $61.01 savings
  • $141.01 savings
Health
Unfortunately I am back at the weight I was at the start of the year. I've slipped back into bad habits and its showing on the scales. So I have to get back on track fast. I've started walking again most mornings which has been lovely. I am very tired from work even though I've only been back a few weeks so not a whole lot of energy for other things that need doing.
to do:  mammogram & wisdom tooth X-Ray

Work
Well...  I came back to find several more of our team have left. We now have four people doing the job that 12 used to do.The workload is ridiculous however my manager has been great. There is extra pressure to take on a ridiculous workload - there is already tension as I have refused to do more than I am currently doing. My extra job has now been reduced to about half the hours, while I'll miss the work and the income, it will be nice to work less.

Home
I've started work on cleaning up the gardens - its going to take quite a while as I do about a half hour most days and our yard is big, the garden a real mess. My compost bins arrived and I've planted some herbs in pots. Inside its just more gradual decluttering and tidying when I have the time.


23 Oct 2018

Starting the garden

My plan for the garden is just to do a bit each weekend and I'm starting with potted herbs. Buying fresh herbs at $3-$4 a bunch really adds up so this week we potted up some herbs.

Coriander


Mint.




Thai Basil.




I also bought a lime tree.




... and repotted my lemon tree, which was looking a bit sad.



Yesterday was my first day back at work and I ended up working almost 1.5 hours late dealing with a bit of a crisis. DH had more meetings at his job and his hours are now increased slightly - but still part time. We both came home feeling a bit flat and worn out. I really hope we can stick to our retirement timeline - we'll give it our best shot!

20 Oct 2018

Making soup.

I've been busy cooking soup the last few days and my freezer is starting to fill up again. I now have 46 individual serves of soup in the freezer.  I really love soup and often eat it for breakfast or lunch. Its also one of the most healthy and cheap meals you can have. My favourite way of cooking soup is in the crockpot and adding any veggies that need using up.  So, what soups did I make?

Roasted Tomato - This was from Chrissy Teagans recipe book and each serve ended up costing me about 60 cents.

Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup - I make this a lot, just a good stock, a couple of cups of red lentils, carrots, potato, capsicum, a couple of tins of beans, celery and herbs. Makes a lovely thick soup.

Pumpkin & Veggie Soup - I used all the pkts of frozen veggies in the freezer (broccoli, cauliflower, stir fry mixed veggies, carrots) added some onion, celery, half a small kent pumpkin and chicken stock. Blended it up and it tastes so good!

Chicken Bone Broth - I always have this on hand in case I get sick. With my gut problems this is what I eat if I get a flare up and can't tolerate foods. Bone broth is really healing for an inflamed gut. I use chicken legs, celery leaves/stalks, carrots, oregano, salt pepper & onion. ( I also make a beef one sometimes). I cook it in the crockpot for about 12 hours, then strain. I do brown the bones with a little olive oil and the onion before cooking and add the pan juices to the pot.

(I forgot to take photos of all my soup cooking unfortunately!)

We usually buy a bunch of celery every 1 -2 weeks and I chop the top of the celery off with all the leaves, put it in a ziplock bag and freeze it. I always add these bags to my broth and sometimes to my soups-really adds a nice salty flavour - ( I rarely use salt in cooking due to kidney problems)

So, all in all a good few days cooking and it means I've got good food ready to eat when I am too tired to cook after work.  I still haven't got the muffins done yet so might do that tomorrow.

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