17 Jan 2019

Heatwave!

We are in the middle of a heatwave downunder at the moment. I hate to think what our electricity bill is going to be! Yesterdays temperature was predicted to be 41C (106F) but it 'only' went up to 39C. However today and tomorrow its expected to be 42C (107) here.

Our poor air conditioner is really getting a workout. We usually don't put it on until the temperature reaches 27C inside (80F). Well I slept on the lounge last night as its just too hot in the bedroom and when I woke up at 3.30am the temperature inside was already at 28 and outside its 25C and rapidly rising. I've got the windows open and there's a slight breeze which is helping.

Fortunately for me my workplace has good air conditioning so its comfortable to work in during the day. And we don't even live in the hottest areas on the map, we are just off the purple colour on the map in the link above where temperatures are getting up to 49.5C (121F). We are going to look into getting ceiling fans in the rooms before next winter and we've started looking at solar power suppliers. Energy costs in Australia are amongst the most expensive in the world and heating and cooling are one of our biggest expenses so at least solar would reduce those costs over the long term.

The other thing we need to be aware of in the summer heat is snakes. My workplace has brown snakes in several areas and each summer we have a signpost of a cartoon snake the goes up to remind us to be careful. One of the areas snakes have been seen is the area just outside the entrance to my office block. A big brown was caught there last year, about 1.3meters. We also had a big brown snake in the next door neighbours garden last year. I am very careful when walking out to the car each day as our garden is a real mess, would be plenty of good hiding places there and we need to clean it up. But working in the garden at this time of year would be pretty silly so we'll have to wait till the temperature goes down a bit. Snakes are very fast in the heat.

Oh well, its about 4.30 here now, inside temp is now down to 26C and the outside temp is 25.5C. I'm so tired from not sleeping and apologies for rambling lol!

On the finance side I'm waiting for a big payment from my second job which will go straight off the mortgage.

11 Jan 2019

New Budgets & Mortgage payments

Yesterday we received our first pay with DH's reduced wages. So his income has dropped $200/week or $800 a month which is quite a lot. My income has gone down $250/week since I've reduced my second job hours. I have gone back to using YNAB and done up a new budget for the year, looking for where we can make some savings.

DD & I have banned ourselves from going to the shopping centre just one block away as we overspend there. Instead we have been doing the shopping online & collecting it each week and we're spending less. I'm sure I can reduce our grocery spending further in coming months.

To reach our goal of paying $35,000 off the mortgage we will need to pay $673 per week plus approx. $100/week interest = $773/week. So my goal is $800 per week. I will pay all of my second job income off the mortgage which is $800-$1000 per month.

So today, after paying some bills and doing the grocery shopping I transferred an extra $350 off the mortgage, taking the balance to $133,521

I can't wait till I see that number go under $100,000 some time in 2019!

9 Jan 2019

2019 Goals & decluttering progress.

In 2019 our income will go down with DH doing less hours and me doing less at my second job. I also want to focus more on my health this year and on life outside of work and we need to spend some time and money on work around the house.

2019 Goals

Mortgage: reduce mortgage balance by $35,000
Emergency Fund: $2000
Superannuation: $420,000

Weight: 70kgs
Exercise: 4 days a week
1001 books list: 12 books

Declutter house
Clean out & replant garden beds front & back of house
Replace insulation in the roof
Paint inside house
Retaining walls front garden
Retaining walls back garden
Finish fencing
Paving under pergola
Ceiling fans in bedrooms and family room

We've been working really hard the last two weeks on decluttering the house and I'd estimate we've got rid of 30 - 40% of what we own. Thats why I haven't been online much at all. We were ruthless in getting rid of things and I didn't let emotional attachments get in the way this time. So much stuff that we have accumulated over 30 years living here, raising a family, is now gone. I want to just keep things that we need now, to only have things in the house that we use or that make me smile. It feels very freeing to have less.

I have spent more than I planned to this month though. We got rid of a lot of old linen and towels as they were pretty worn out. It would be over 10 years since I've bought any. So I bought three sheet sets and four new towels each after cleaning out the linen cupboards. The cupboards have gone from overflowing out the doors to neatly folded linen on just two shelves.

In the kitchen we cleaned out our pantry/storeroom and all the kitchen cupboards. I gave away appliances, dishes and pans that I don't use much and tossed out a lot of things we had stored but rarely use like old jars, storage containers, kids school projects, certificates, art, toys etc. The kitchen now has one corner cupboard that is completely empty and in the storeroom/pantry the only thing on the floor is the freezer and the esky. Before this we could hardly get into the storeroom because of the mess! After the cleanout I bought some new kitchen items to replace some of our old things so I spend a bit there but again, its years since we spent anything.

In DS's room we had also tended to just dump things in there since he moved out. So we decluttering in there as well and got rid of old computers, bookcases, papers from school,  more of mums things, clothes and belongings that had been mums. There are still some boxes of books stored there but the room is now clean and useable as a guest room.

I also am almost finished decluttering and organising my sewing room, which I am so pleased with! I have several projects on the go now and am looking forward to spending more time sewing, crotcheting and quilting this year and am back working on some charity projects.

So from today I'm just going back to my flylady routines to deal with the last of the excess 'stuff' and keep the house clean. When I went back to work last year I just got slammed with work and didn't do any of my hobbies last year - that is not going to happen again and having the house decluttered will really help me find some time for myself.

I'm back at my second job tomorrow. I've started back on my low carb diet with intermittent fasting and walking again and the weight is coming off. So far 2019 is going well!


1 Jan 2019

December Progress Report

I set huge goals last year, especially the mortgage goal. I'm pleased to say we reached most of them and had a total mortgage reduction of $40,425 in 2018! Essentially we have paid almost one full income off the mortgage this year. Our 2018 goals totals are listed here:  2018 Goals progress page

Mortgage

This month we finally got the redraw paid off completely.
  • $134,483  down from $135,345
  • $0 down from $5,643
  • total mortgage reduction $6,505
Retirement Savings 

Our superannuation balance is down this month again due to the stock market drops.
  • mine $109,221 
  • DH $267,200
  • total savings $376,421
  • total decrease $7,839
Groceries
  •  $50 CC  points
  •  $18.38 savings
  •  $68.38  total savings
Health

My weight went up another kg. I've finished the year up 2.9kgs from where I started. I did really well up until mid year when work stress just really set me back healthwise. I know what works for me and I'm working on getting back to it. We started walking a few days a week again since we've been on holidays. My health is my #1goal for 2019.

Work

Right now I'm not thinking about work! Its been a helluva year to be honest. I earned $11,215 (before tax) in my second job, which I really love doing, but it will be less this year as I'm getting tired. Work is just stressful and this year will be worse than last as we face more cuts. 

Home

I have really done a LOT of decluttering last week - 2 vans of stuff to the dump and one vanload of stuff to the op shop. My decluttering efforts slowed down in 2018 but I'm working pretty much full time on it so I can try and have the bulk of it done before I go back to work, then I can just try and keep on top of it through the year ahead. 

The yard and garden - well there is a very long list of jobs to be done lets just say that!

Overall its been a good month and financially I am really pleased with how we've done this year. I'm excited about 2019 and will post my goals for the year tomorrow. 
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