13 Dec 2018

Rethinking our plans

The last few weeks I've found myself questioning which direction to go in. I had a conversation about possible redundancy (in 18/24 months)with a manager and was told I could be up for consideration - no guarantees though. This is the very opposite of what has been indicated up till now. While I'd welcome it, I guess it just has made me think about a lot of things. It would bring forward my date for finishing work plans by about 2 years.

I had considered starting up a side hustle online - however the truth is that I really don't want to spend my time running a business. And I think I'd rather be putting funds into retirement savings or debt reduction than into a new business venture. So, after much thought and a few sleepless nights I'm axing that idea and just sticking to my original plan of $500,000 in super minimum and a paid off mortgage.

I guess its sticking with the tortoise vs the hare approach. Saving and debt reduction is not overly exciting in the short term. Each week I just transfer money between accounts, each month I add up our progress, and in between I suit up and show up for work.

Its slow and dull but it really is does work.

I remember when we were drowning in debt & family illness and I felt like we would lose everything. Stress was through the roof!  Enter Dave Ramsay, we started following the baby steps and slowly we made progress to the point where our financial lives have completely turned around over the last 8 years.

We've had another big bill last week with the car needing some repairs. I also paid the deposit on our holiday for next year and paid for some professional development.

I'm not sure if we'll meet our goal of $0 redraw by the end of the month -its now at $4,464. But we'll get close to it.

I'm looking forward to 2019 and just staying the course with our original plan for retirement in five years. How we get there might look a little different, but its still the goal!


3 Dec 2018

November Progress Report

Its been a busy month for me at work so haven't had a lot of energy left for blogging or much else. Heres the update for the month.

Mortgage
Our annual mortgage fee of $395 was paid this month and our tax refund and all extra payments were directed towards the redraw.
  • $135,345 down from $135,595
  • $5,643 down from $15,551
  • total mortgage reduction $10,158
Retirement Savings
  • mine $109,233
  • DH $275,027
  • total $384,260
  • total increase $2,034
Groceries
  • $50 CC points
  • $46.12 savings
  • $96.12 total savings 
Health
well, not much walking this month and my weight has jumped up, otherwise all is good- just out of balance as work has been hectic

Work
Busy!  much less work at my second job this month - can't wait for the Christmas break.

Home
My lemon tree is filled with little baby lemons! I haven't done much work outside this month, did get some shrubs trimmed and start my compost bins though so its a small start.

We have out Christmas tree up and a beautiful Christmas wreath. After some years of not celebrating much at all I was determined to get back in the Christmas spirit this year and its been fun to decorate again.

Overall we've done well financially this month. I'm feeling pretty 'blah' about the thought of another four years work and wonder if I should change strategies or do things differently some days. I am thinking of starting a side hustle next year, perhaps ebay or Amazon - not sure. Just need to keep plodding along I guess and not overthink it all.



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.


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