29 Dec 2018

Decluttering Progress - Out with the old!.

During these holidays my main goal is to get a lot of decluttering done. We just have too much stuff that we've accumulated over the last 35 years that we no longer need.

I come from a family who kept everything, 'waste not, want not' was almost a family motto. My grandad was a second hand dealer and my mum was a hoarder in the years that she became ill with Alzheimers. She grew up during WWII and  keeping 'stuff' just in case was part of life for many of her generation. When she died I inherited all her 'stuff' along with lots of family history memorabilia. I did sort through and dispose of a lot at the time, but quite a bit of it was still here - up until yesterday.

Over the last week I've been through all of our clothes, wardrobes and drawers and our bedroom is now completely decluttered. The last two days I've spent in the spare room decluttering my sons things and more of mums stuff that I had stored there. 

The room was filled to the doorway when I started with the floor and bed piled high with boxes and bags and wardrobe full with stuff stacked on top. After two full days working on the room it's now useable as a guest room. 

DD and I had an enjoyable time looking through lots of their childhood things, notes, artwork, school awards - a lot of good memories of school days - we laughed a lot and then tossed 99.9% of it out. We texted DS pictures of some of my mums things to see what he would like to keep and he chose a few items, as did DD.   

There are no grandkids to pass things on to and at this point it looks unlikely there ever will be with both my kids in their 30's and no partners on the scene. I would love to have grandchildren but have accepted that it just may not happen for me. So DD, DS and I were able to make decisions together about some of the family memorabilia - which really helped with feeling a bit guilty I wasn't keeping everything.  This was much better than me storing things for years that no one wants and would just be tossed out once I died. 

So yesterday, (in this awful heatwave we're having) DH filled his van up and made a trip to the dump and this morning I'm about to fill it up again and make a trip to the op shop - all with stuff decluttered from the spare room. Now I can leave the door open and see a nice clean room with a freshly made bed which the cat has claimed - she's always been curious about what was behind that closed door!

I still have a LOT more decluttering to do, I've started on the linen cupboard and the sewing room is coming up next. It will be so much easier to keep the house clean with less in it.

While I've been decluttering I've been watching some you tubes videos and I came across this interesting one which is where some researchers documented the contents of middle class US homes. It reminded me of an essay I did back in uni for sociology on the meaning of items we keep and how women are the keepers of family history.

27 Dec 2018

Redraw is paid off!!

One of my goals this year was to get the redraw paid off completely. Throughout the year the balance has gone up as high as #20,000 as we've dipped into it for various expenses.

I've been so close to getting it down to $0 I really wanted it done before the end of the year. So this morning I spent some time working out how I could raid a few other accounts and not buy any groceries for a bit to find the money I needed to pay it off.

I've just transferred the money and my redraw is now officially paid off completely - balance $0.  Yay!! It feels so good to have it gone and to reach that goal.

In the New Year I'll contact the bank about cancelling the redraw for good. In the meantime I'm working out the budget and our goals for 2019 and doing heaps of decluttering - but thats another post...

25 Dec 2018

Merry Christmas!

Well its Christmas morning here. We'll have a traditional Christmas dinner with the family later today.

I feel like we got our 'Christmas Mojo" back this year- it sort of went missing for quite a few years when mum had dementia and after she passed away, we didn't even decorate the last few years. But this year was great, new tree, new decorations and some new traditions started.

Merry Christmas!

22 Dec 2018

Holiday Time!

I'm finally on holidays for Christmas and really looking forward to the break! The last few days I've been catching up on sleep with afternoon naps and I certainly feel better for it, nice not to be thinking about work.

I've been throwing every spare cent off the redraw as well as our holiday pay and its now down to $2964. I have one last payday before the end of the year and I am also waiting on a big payment from my second job which will see the redraw finally down to $0. DH just got his last full pay before it goes down to a part time amount.

Our tenants gave notice and are moving out this week. We have new tenants moving in straight away so there will be no vacancy at all.

I've been working on a new budget for 2019 and planning the work around the house that needs doing -I can't wait to see the mortgage numbers come down next year! 

So I'm planning on getting some more decluttering done this week and spending some time with family over Christmas.

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.

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 $139,962
  • $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
  • $50 CC points
  • $46.12 savings
  • $96.12 total savings 
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

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

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.