20 Jan 2020

Blue skies fresh air!

I'll never take blue skies and fresh air for granted again. In the last 4-5 days the smoke has cleared and the air pollution has gone down to normal levels as the fires move further away. We can finally open our windows again and we've started walking three days ago. I took this photo on our walk yesterday.

I've missed seeing this everyday SO much in the last few months! And I've missed being able to see the views around town and out to the mountains. Views I've just taken for granted everyday of my life. Fresh air and blue skies are #1on my gratitude list at the moment.

I had a good week at work last week, getting lots done before most of the staff come back to work today and the busy time starts. I've gone back to doing my flylady routines at home and cleaned out all the bathroom cupboards over the week. I tossed a lot of old makeup, lotions, electric razors and just rubbish that collects over the years. I have plenty of soap, shampoo, make-up & skin care to use up once I sorted it all so that will save me money this year using up all the half empties.

I started a temperature blanket this year, a different colour for each 2 degrees. Heres my progress so far.

And because I was enjoying it I started another small blanket in bright colours for myself. Just in single crotchet. I love bright colours.

One of the nice things about walking again is that thats when DH and I get time to chat and catch up. Mostly we've been talking about retirement, what we need to do before then, and how we will spend our time. Sometimes one of us will say 'when we're retired..." it feels more real now somehow, not so far away. We've both worked out our retirement dates, our holidays and our long service leave. We're really looking forward to it.

Now - its off to work for both of us - one day closer!

12 Jan 2020

A good week all round!

Its feels like its been a big week here. Since I last posted I've been busy sewing for our local wildlife rescue group, joey pouches, batwraps and hanging joey bags. The bushfires have been so devastating and it feels good to be able to help out the rescuers who are going out in the heat & smoke to feed and rescue animals.

 In the last few days the group has exploded to the point where its become overwhelming and everything is on pause while they stocktake. I can tell you there are days when I have cried reading the posts from people all over the world wanting to help and reporting on whats happening here. It really does help people to keep hopeful to see how much the world cares about our wildlife, as well as our people.

Locally things are improving. In the last three days the birds have returned, chattering away in the early morning in our front garden. Last night the flock of white galahs that lives in the park opposite flew over screeching- it was wonderful! - they haven't been around for about 6 weeks due to the smoke. I can actually hear them outside now. We have also been able to open our windows again since Thursday - OMG - how I have missed being able to open windows! And we can see blue skies again.

Last night the temperature dropped and I finally got a decent nights sleep. We've had temps of 40C recently and between the heat and the smoke I think all of Australia is sleep deprived! With the smoke reducing, the birds returning and some sleep - it feels like a very good week!

I went back to work this week and I was asked for the second time to return to my second job - the one I really enjoy. So I am going back one afternoon a week starting in March. The money will go off the mortgage and honestly, its the best part of my working week so it will help me cope with the day job stress.

 The other  exciting news is that we have reached our five year retirement funds goal - current balance is $507,628!

1 Jan 2020

December Progress Report - Annual totals.- 2020 Goals

Well its New Years Day and here are the numbers for the month and also for the year.

In 2019  we both earned less than in 2018 so I'm really pleased with how we've done.

Our goal for the year was to reach a balance of $100,000. We didn't quite make it because I've had to save the money that would have been extra payments to replace our heating/air conditioning, but we are close!
  • current balance $101,991
  • down from $104,192
  • total decrease $2,201
Retirement Savings
Our retirement savings have exceeded all expectations! We have almost reached our FIVE year goal of $500,000 - and its only the end of year TWO! - A lot of that gain is down to the sharemarket doing well.
  • me $157,700
  • DH $341,226
  • total $498,926
  • total increase $7,459 
Annual Progress Totals

  • 2019 start : $134,483
  • 2019 end :  $101,991
  • 2019 total mortgage reduction: $32,492
Retirement Savings
  • 2019 start me: $109,221 - end: $157,700 - increase $48,479 (44.4%)
  • 2019 start DH: $267,200 - end: $341,226 - increase $74,026 (27.7%)
  • 2019 total start: $376,421- end: $498,926 - total increase $123,505 (32.8%)
Goals for 2020
In 2020 we will be adjusting to a lower income again as I am now just working one job. Its the third year in my five year plan to retire - we're almost at the half way mark which is both exciting and scary! To reach these goals will require a tighter budget so I'll be tracking our daily spending more closely. Also I should find out this year if I will be keeping my job or being made redundant which will impact on our plans.

Finances  *edited to note goals later changed due to covid impacts
  • Mortgage: $67,200
  • Retirement Savings; $500,000
  • Emergency Fund: $2,000
  • Redraw: $10,000

  • replace roof insulation
  • paint bedrooms x 2, bathroom, toilet, laundry, hall
  • clean out garden beds & mulch
  • new air conditioning family room
  • repair retaining walls
Theres no point doing all this prep for retirement if I'm not healthy enough to enjoy it so health is my #1 focus for 2020.
  • goal weight 75kgs
  • lower cholesterol
  • regular exercise

2019 has been a year of starting to step back from being very career focused - its a big change for me as its always been a huge part of my identity. 2020 is about starting to build a bigger, better, life outside of work.
  • increase sewing for charity
  • more quilting
  • more reading including 1001 books list and group
  • start attending non-work related workshops/events * on hold due to covid