11 Jun 2020

Another Mortgage Milestone!

Good news!!

Our new balance is $89,290, which takes us into the 80's and past the Year 21 balance - another mortgage milestone on our amoratisation table

It feels so good to cross out another line on that chart - only nine more to go!  

My new strategy of pay the extra mortgage payment first and then budget with what is left is working really well.  I'm avoiding spending money on anything that isn't essential this year and its paying off. Also as the interest comes down that helps speed up our progress.

My next immediate goal is to reach $84,000 - the half way mark. 




9 Jun 2020

Decluttering plans

Yesterday was a public holiday here. We spent the day doing a general tidy up in the house, getting caught up with the washing and vacuumed all the floors. DH had to do some repairs on the toilet which took a while. I washed some curtains and hung another 'new' pair in the lounge room
Today I'm planning on taking a few loads of clothes and household items to the charity shop which will clear out some more room. Our local op shops open this week. I just hope they have room to take them as I'm sure lots of people have been decluttering while working from home the last few months so I'm sure they'll get lots of donations in the next few weeks.
We've decided to turn DS's old bedroom into a gym area. DS lives away and come home usually only at Christmas time. Over the years, instead of paying gym fees, I have bought a stepper, treadmill and rower which currently sit in lounge & family rooms - and occasionally get turned into temporary clothes drying racks! If they were all in the one room, along with yoga mats & hand weights - then it would tidy up our living spaces and it just means exercising in a different room. We could get a blow up bed for DS to use when he visits. 
So today, after we do the op shop run, we'll be working on decluttering DS's bedroom. There hardly any of his stuff there anymore. Its just become a bit of place to stash bits and pieces. 

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."William Morris




6 Jun 2020

Holidaying at home.

Earlier in the week I made a big pot of split pea soup and froze eight individual serves. I love soup and its been my breakfast each morning this week - its been quite cold here with some light snow about half an hour away so soup for breakfast really hits the spot. 

There were a few good specials at the supermarket this week so I will be doing some more cooking for the freezer this week as well. 

After 10 weeks working from home (12 for DH) we are both taking a week off - we're having a holiday at home and I'm really looking forward to getting some work done around the house.

When we made the decision to change our downsizing plans and stay in this house when we retire, it meant that we will need to do different work on the house than if we were selling. We've been making plans for a big vegetable garden so that we can reduce our food costs when we retire. 

I love gardening and years ago we had beautiful gardens including a veggie garden out the back. But both of us had a few significant injuries that slowed us down a lot and now, after years of neglect,  we just have an overgrown mess to transform. I'm excited to get started! I'll be quite happy to spend my retirement pottering about house & garden all day, and having the time to work in the garden.

Yesterday I made a list of what I'd like to get done before we retire and I've added it as a new page at the top of the blog. We need to update kitchen & bathrooms, get solar power put on and make the yard easier to manage. Theres painting to do and insulation needs to be re-done.  We still have quite a lot to get done to be ready to retire and so this week we'll be getting started on that list. I don't plan on spending huge amounts and we'll DIY as much as we can. 


1 Jun 2020

May Progress Report

May was a good month financially. Tracking our spending in YNAB has really helped me identify the money leaks and plan my spending much better. Working from home has also saved us money, even though the cost of groceries has gone up.


Mortgage
  • current balance:$90,996
  • down from: $95,866
  • total  reduction: $4,870
This month I have put every extra cent I could find off the mortgage in an effort to get closer my 'half-way' goal of $83,999  as soon as possible. I've paid the extra mortgage payments first each payday and then budgeted with whats left. I've also stopped using the credit card. Even though we paid it off each month it just made it too easy to overspend.

Retirement Savings
  • DH:$311,004
  • me: $153,925
  • total:$464,929
  • total increase: $14,617
Our retirement savings are starting to recover as the market goes up. I reached my limit for pre-tax contributions via salary sacrifice this week so I've cancelled those for this financial year.

Work

We're all still working from home for the next month. I'm finding it far less stressful than working in the office even though its starting to get busier. Even though social distancing restrictions are easing here people still have to continue to work from home if they are able to. I'm glad my workplace is going slow on any return to work.

Home

Well my plan to declutter my sewing room last month got swapped for decluttering my wardrobe and bedroom. That is all the work we did on the house last month. I've taken some time off next week and I hope to get a bit more done around the house then. Hoping I can convince DH to do some more painting and do some work in the yard before winter really sets in.

Health

Not much exercise as the rain and cold has reduced the days we've walked. But I have finally got myself back on to the diet that is best for my health. Its very strict but it addresses so many of my health issues and I can feel the improvement in my sleep, my joints, my gut and on the scales. I was on the diet for several years after some serious health problems and its a relief to eating this way again. 

June plans:

Our financial year ends on June 30th so I need to start preparing information for our taxes as I want to submit them early in July. 

Patsy over at The Working Pantry has started a working pantry class on facebook so I am looking forward to learning more to improve my pantry.

... and I need to get back to my sewing machine!