12 Aug 2018

Using up the stockpile!

 We've been eating down our stockpile for a few months now and spending much less on groceries as a result. My stockpile has saved us a lot over the years. I buy items when they are on special, often half price and its a part of our working pantry. I built a big pantry storeroom when we built this house years ago. I had visions of shelves stacked with preserves and a nice big food storage. We used to have our own fruit trees and a vegetable garden but that has gone by the wayside in last 5-10 years.

I've kept my pantry full and costs down through smart grocery shopping  over the years, knowing when items come on special and stocking up enough to last till next time. I refuse to pay full price when I can get things way cheaper just with a little planning ahead.  I use a different coloured sticker for each calendar year and every item that went in the pantry got a sticker. That made it easy to rotate foods. But I realised earlier this year that its time to cut way back so we've already eaten through a fair bit of what we had.

I took these photos this morning of what is left of our stockpile. I've made a list so I can focus on meal planning around using up whats left before we go on holidays. And I'm going blog my meals so I can keep myself focused.

 There is also some food still left in the freezer and what is in the fridge.  This is going my big challenge for the next five weeks - to see how I can use up these foods. I'm not someone who likes to cook much or menu plan and I need to just suck it up and do it anyway as it will help us save money.

The plan is to get the freezer and pantry as empty as possible before we go on holidays then when we get back I can clean out and declutter the rest of the pantry/storeroom and then plan what we need to stock up on and how much is reasonable for us to keep now.

So I'm going to create a new page for this challenge and get myself out of this funk I've been in for the last week. I kicked it off with having a box of pumpkin soup from the pantry for breakfast this morning. Its snowing out of town here and really cold after a beautiful sunny 18C day yesterday - a good day to menu plan!

7 Aug 2018

Just Keep Swimming...

We've started going through our expenses to see where we can cut back. Today I put our Audible membership on hold for 3 months, then I'll cancel it. I am not renewing my professional membership and got a cheaper quote for my insurance.  We will also cancel Austar which has been our entertainment budget as we don't go out - but we can live without it.

Audible $28/month
Austar $90/month
Professional Membership $57/month
Professional Insurance -$12/month

Total savings: $187/month

I was a part of a class action against the banks. For those outside Australia we are currently having a Royal Commission into banking here some practices have been a bit dodgy. Well I told I get a refund of $61 today so thats a bit extra off the mortgage.

I'm really struggling at work at the moment, just super stressful and I'm just so tired all the time.  But I need to shut up and show up and keep paying down this mortgage...


1 Aug 2018

July Progress Report

July was very cold here, broke weather records with our coldest day in 27 years! Heres how we're tracking:

  • $143,985  down from $146,991 
  • redraw $18,825 up from $16,955 
  • $1,136 total mortgage reduction
I decided to just pay out the credit card completely and paid it from the redraw. We used to use it for our general expenses and then pay it off each month so we've never paid interest on it. So our redraw balance has gone up but now the plan is to get it down to $0 asap.

Retirement Savings
  • mine - $106,660
  • DH -   $278,391
  • total -  $385,051
  • total increase - $12,662
This month we reached our 2018 goal of $380,000 in retirement savings. The stock market is doing well so our retirement funds are doing well. 

  • $30 cc points
  • $22.34 savings
  • $50 gift card
  • $92.34 total savings

oh dear...  I only walked twice this month, I ate too much carby/sugary junk and got back in the daily cappacino habit ( made at home)  and my weight went up again - 1.1kgs/ 2.4lbs. I had my eyes tested and they had improved so no need for glasses expenses. I also had another trip to the dentist for a filling.


DH had his work hours reduced this month.  His income will stay the same until the end of the year and then it will drop by just over $500/week. While we are fortunate he didn't get laid off as others did, this will have a big impact on our plans. 

I had a chance to get organised and caught up at my day job. I billed $1420 for my extra job this month.


I got back to decluttering and did the bookcase and some of the lounge room. I ended my book listings on fishpond and donated the remaining books to the op shop. I sorted all my towels and am making bathmats out of the ones that are getting thin.

30 Jul 2018

Getting rid of more 'stuff'.

I've had a busy weekend here, sorting and decluttering. In our lounge room one wall is a floor to ceiling bookcase and its a spot where we tend to just put bits and pieces, empty pockets and anything we can't think of a place for. It ends up just getting stacked with other 'stuff' and has looked pretty rubbishy for a long time now.

Well this weekend I completely cleaned it out! ... and what a difference it makes!
I filled four small bags of rubbish, one box of books to be donated. I tossed out years of professional journals that I never read.

The books that were left to be sold on fishpond I decided to donate. I started selling books there several years ago when I first decided to declutter. In total I have sold 110 books and made $1,135.33 from those sales. That money was paid straight in to the mortgage. There was about 25 books left to sell and I just thought its time to donate them and be done with it.

I've always been a book lover and when I was younger could never imagine getting rid of books but downsizing takes priority now and I still have plenty left. I tend to buy audiobooks and kindle books now as it saves space and they are less expensive.

Now the shelves are all clean and tidy with two shelves completely empty. I cleaned up the area in front of the bookcase as it was also just junked up with boxes and bits and pieces. It feels good to walk out and see the area nice and clean!

28 Jul 2018

Good news!

Well the good news is that DH still has a job!  His job will be part-time and he will be paid out for the days lost. So his actual income will stay the same for a few months while that payout happens. It really the best option we could hope for in the current workplace environment. Someone else was laid off yesterday so we're just glad he's still got a job.

So in looking at our finances my first goal now is to pay down the redraw to $0 and then cancel it. Then we'll get back to our mortgage payoff goal.

This weekend I'm finishing up our tax paperwork so I can submit it next week. Our tax return will go a long way to reducing the redraw.

Its a relief to know whats happening and now we can get on with redoing the budget.

In other good news I checked our superannuation fund and we have reached our goal for for 2018 - $380,000 in retirement funds!   and theres still five months of the year left.  Thats two goals for the year achieved and three more to go (mortgage $100,000, redraw $0 & weight 70kgs).

Time to go - I'm heading outside to try and watch the lunar eclipse.

27 Jul 2018

Another mortgage milestone ... & job changes

I've just transferred extra money off the mortgage for this month and that has taken us to a new milestone - the end of Year 13 on the mortgage amoratisation table.  Our new mortgage balance is now $144,285.

and in other news...

DH has been called to a meeting today to discuss his job. There are two possible outcomes - 1 is that he is made part-time, we had been advised they were considering this earlier in the year and 2 is that he gets laid off - two people have lost their jobs last week.

Without going in to all the details I'll just say that there has been a deliberate downgrading of his position in order to say it is no needed. His job has effectively been changed from management to clerical and its been a very frustrating few years watching this happen. Prior to this 'management' he really enjoyed his work and colleagues. They've gradually got rid of almost all the senior staff that used to work there with the same process so its not a very happy or rewarding workplace anymore. It's the same as what is happening in my workplace - slash and burn and get rid of all the more experienced staff.

Anyway,  it certainly puts a bloody great spanner in my five year retirement plan whichever way it goes. But at least by the end of the day we'll know exactly what our new financial situation will be so we can make some changes. It might just be that DH becomes 'semi-retired' overnight -then I can put him to work around the house!

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