30 Jul 2020

Passed the half way mark on the mortgage!

I'm excited today - we passed the halfway mark on the mortgage, just one month late. Its now under $83,999! Woohoo!!

That means we've paid over $84,000 + interest off our mortgage since we started our five year plan two & a half years ago. Finally there is less in front of us than behind us - we are on the home straight now and I think it will go down faster as our interest payments get less and less.




via GIPHY

29 Jul 2020

Early morning birdsong

Like a lot of people at the moment, I'm finding the constant news cycle, and the negativity on social media to be pretty draining. I stopped watching the news apart from once in the morning a few weeks ago and I limit my time on social media. I can't escape the 'news' at work as that is what most of my clients are worried about.

I've always been an early morning person. So now I am using that time better by doing some exercise inside and catching up on chores or reading. When it warms up we walk in the morning - I'm looking forward to being able to get back to that soon.

Today I went outside to sit and listen to the birds and watch the sun come up. I took this little video from my front verandah so you can hear the early morning birdsong just before sunrise- its a much better start to the day than listening to the news. Turn the volume up.





Ilona over at Life After Money has been posting some lovely walks and talks over the last few weeks which I'm enjoying - thats been my little escape to the country. I think we need to do whatever helps us keep our peace of mind at the moment.

What are you doing that helps you to keep stress manageable?

26 Jul 2020

Saturday shopping- Sunday relaxing

Yesterday was chilly here with a big frost to start the day off and some rain late in the day. A good day to be inside.  I usually pick up our shopping early on Saturday mornings, the shops are quieter and its all done and put away early in the day. When I did this weeks order online I decided to stock up as I had my $150 voucher to use and I also want to restock my pantry a bit, but as I put the order through I found out the voucher can only be used in person - so that mucked up my budget for the week.

This week I did well with the half price specials. I love Twining's tea but I won't pay $11 for 80 teabags so when they are half price I stock up. I bought six boxes which should do me until the next time they are on sale. Peanut butter was half price - $2.85 and roast beef lunch meat was 2 for $5. Those were my best buys for the week.


Its one week now since the school holidays finished and our town had thousands of visitors for the fortnight. So far there are no new cases in our town but the person I work with in my second job had to be tested again - fortunately results were clear. I've made the decision that I will continue to work from home for my second job after that, as I had been going to resume face to face work this week which is when I found out she'd been tested. I can work online using zoom so will continue with that.

Well its early Sunday morning here and its raining, which sounds lovely on the roof!. I am about to catch up with a friend in the US so long as the weather doesn't interfere with the internet. Then I'm going to have a cosy afternoon of crotchet in front of the TV.


23 Jul 2020

One day at a time...

Over the weekend I started working on a new quilt top. I initially wasn't too keen on the colours and was going to donate it but its really grown on me as I've worked on it so I think it will find a home here once its done. Its no particular pattern, I just make it up as I go along. It was good to do a bit of sewing again,  I miss it and its a good distraction from all thats going on in the world right now.

Heres a pic of the fabrics I'm using. It was a set of fat quarters from my stash.



In other crafty news my crotchet rug is growing nicely. Mostly I'm using up leftover wool. However my temperature blanket is behind by about a month, so I need to get back to that this weekend and do some catching up.




On the work front I've been back in the office for a few hours this week, next week I'll go a few more days and work up from there. I'm finding it all a bit stressful to be honest. I'd be much happier just continuing to work from home but I guess we'll see what the next few weeks bring with Australias covid cases on the rise.

 Is anyone else finding their concentration is not so great? I think I'm just mentally a bit weary of it all. Right now I'm just focusing on 'one day at a time' as best I can, not thinking too far ahead. I'm grateful we are safe and well & have all kept our jobs, we are more fortunate than many at the moment.

DH had some good news yesterday!  Along with increased work hours he received a long overdue pay rise so that will be helpful. We've had a few additional expenses this month and the car has more repairs booked. This reduced how much extra I could pay on the mortgage this month but if all goes to plan I will hit that half way mark next week.




16 Jul 2020

A quick update

Its been an interesting week. I must admit my concentration and focus is not the greatest after three months working from home, I find I'm quite easily distracted  and my concentration is not as good as usual, so I think it will take me a bit to adjust to being back at work. My boss has said to come back gradually which is good. I'll go in for a few hours on Monday to start with.

Financially we've had a few wins. I got paid $150 grocery voucher to do a 45 minute survey yesterday so that was a win. Grocery prices are still up so this is a big help. I'm just accepting that its costing more at the moment with the pandemic and its not worth stressing over.

DH will be going back to full time work next month. Even though he has enjoyed being part-time, it was never his choice to reduce his hours. So him having a full time income again will be good and help us reach our goals a bit easier.

In the meantime I'm trying to keep warm, we've had some really cold, frosty mornings here this week, focusing on one day at a time, and avoiding too much news.

Stay safe XX


8 Jul 2020

Back to work!!

Well yesterdays plans were quickly derailed as my workplace has now announced we are to be back at work after next week. In a complete turnaround from the 'you must work from home' instructions for the last four months, including being told this again last Friday, they announced it with no warning at all.

So the day was spent trying to get my head around it and in team discussions about how will all be managed. Our area has not had any cases for weeks now so I know realistically that the risk is low. However our town has been filled with tourists over the last week which is a worry along with the fact that Melbourne cases are rising rapidly and the borders were been closed between NSW & Victoria yesterday. It is school holidays here so thousands of people had 24 hours to get back across borders, those coming back from Victoria to NSW could have been exposed so I guess the next 2-3 weeks will determine how we fare in NSW.

I'm not happy about it and I probably could get a medical certificate but on the other hand I do not want to be seen as being difficult. At this stage my plan is to return but not do any face to face work and I'll see how it pans out. If I think its too risky I'll take leave.

On a positive note its a lovely sunny day here and its also payday. Knowing I only have one week left at home I want to get a bit more cooking for the freezer done and a bit more decluttering.


6 Jul 2020

Monday, Monday...

I'm going to try an post more often. I feel I'm slipping into a bit of a 'rut' of just keeping busy to distract myself but not really getting anything much done, so I'm hoping if I blog more I'll get a bit more motivation in these strange 'covid' times.

Last Friday DH had to put the car in for repairs. I'd budgeted $350 but apparently it needed more repairs than DH expected as the final bill came to just over $1000!  So I raided the emergency fund to cover it.

I think I need a bigger emergency fund. Or I might just keep more in the offset account for a while until this pandemic situation is more settled.

Each Sunday we try and prep something for the freezer. Yesterday DD cooked up a huge batch of bolognaise sauce and then made two large trays of lasagna and 16 individual serves of meat sauce. I love the way the house smells when cooking lasagna & it tasted great.

My plans for today in between work, is to catch up on my crotchet, my temperature blanket is quite behind, and to do some decluttering in the pantry.

2 Jul 2020

June Progress Report - The Half-way mark!

Well I've reached the half-way mark of my five year goal to retire. It feels good to see that we are close to being on track with our mortgage payoff and doing better than expected with our retirement savings goal. I'm not sure how this will all end up but I'm just continuing with my original date for the time being and focusing on reducing that mortgage asap. 

The last few weeks I've not been doing much, just 'escaping' by watching TV and taking a break from all thats going on in the world - some days it just feels a bit surreal so I had some time out and feel better for it.

So here's our progress for the last month:

Mortgage
  • current balance $86,657
  • down from: $90,966
  • total reduction $4,340
Our half way goal for the mortgage was $83,999 - so we are a little behind, but will catch up with my tax return soon. My second job did not pay me on time this month so that is a significant amount not paid on the mortgage yet.

Savings
  • DH: $321,106
  • me:  $156,209
  • total: $477,315
  • total increase $12,386
Now that the new financial year has started ( July 1st) I have recommenced my salary sacrifice payments to my retirement fund. Our savings are heading in the right direction again which is good.

Work
I am still working from home for July. I'm finding it much less stressful and feel like I'm more productive as people can't just drop in for a chat. Yet again our restructure /possible redundancies has been delayed until next year. I think covid has changed the options around work for me and my manager has told me part time work/working from home more could all be on the table in the future. But as this restructure has been going on for years now I'll just keep plodding along with my five year goals.

Home
I really did not do much at home last month, no painting, no decluttering of the sewing room- just a lot of slacking off!! hopefully this month I do better.

Health
I am sleeping so well! 7- 8 hours a night - instead of 5-6 when I in the office & really busy. No change in my weight and not a lot of exercise, I tend to hibernate in winter and I need to get moving this month.

Other
We have no covid cases here fortunately but panic buying has returned after cases in Melbourne (thousands of miles away!) toilet paper, flour, rice, pasta, paper towel, tissues are all limited again as everyone has started panic buying in case it spreads outside Victoria. We're still only going out when its essential and DH is back in his office. 

My plans for July are mainly getting my taxes done and pottering about the house, working on a few sewing projects.