benecia's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:05 pm

January Update.

Post by benecia » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:54 am

*** Warning Extreme Expenses Ahead ***

January was the month the property settled and I had to pay for removalists, paid a month in advance on the mortgage, so just warning everyone it was an expensive month.

The January Numbers:
Food: 5.26%
Bills: 66.74%
Debt reduction: 44.13%
Removalists: 43.3%
Social 0.93%
Savings 11.20%

Bills included:
Last 3 weeks of board
Solicitor/Lawyer costs
Property Costs
Travel costs
New bed (previous bed was over 20 years old and needed replacing which was an easy decision once storage and moving costs were taken into account, so I got rid of it when I moved out of the old house knowing I would buy a new bed once it could be delivered to the new house).
Rates (property tax) and Utilities on the new property that the old owner had paid in advance.

Food Included:
Travel budget - stocked up food for road trip to minimise food which would need to be purchased (was successful, only had to spend $33 on the road trip In February, but will cover that in the Feb update).
Usual January food.

Food still seems high and I'm not sure why. I know that Feb food amounts will be high because I have bought a mop, bucket, camphor as well as re-stocking the pantry.

Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:05 pm

Mid February Update

Post by benecia » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:23 am

Extreme spending calls for extreme accountability ... It is easy during a transition phase for discipline to become lax as it's easy to write excess off as part of the cost of change so to counter that I just want to give a mid month update on my spending so far this month. There will be a more detailed update at the end of the month.

The February Numbers so far:
Food: 3.96% (Target 2.19%, YTD 4.62%)
Bills: 15.98%
Debt reduction: 0% (will make a payment at the end of this week, planning for it to be at least 49%)
Social 1.26%
Savings Forecast to be 19%

February Bills paid so far:
Locksmith - have changed all of the locks, and had to put a new deadlock on the garage door.
Fuel for the drive down to Sydney
Car Service prior to the trip (out of cycle so not covered by lease)
Trips to IKEA and Bunnings for DIY shelving, matts, shower fittings.
Bus fare (cheaper then driving and there is a bus that is almost door to door with a little bit of walking so covers the fitness goal as well as reduce costs goal).

I'm expecting the following bills:
Possible Water Invoice
Having to buy some sort of lawn mower unless I am going to get a goat or trim the grass with scissors. Aldi have mowers and trimmers in next week's catalogue so will compare that to the second hand options.
Conference related to work
Bus fare
Side fence needs some repairs, the neighbour is getting quotes at the moment so expect that invoice either this month or next.

Good news is that the pantry and cleaning goods/tool restock is almost complete, just need to buy some more beans and beets, as well as the weekly fruit shop.

At some point I am going to have to get an electrician in to look at some of the lights but will wait a little longer to make sure I know what all of the problems are so I only pay one call out fee.

EDIT: Forgot to mention Social spending so far this month has only included the $33 for road trip food and a couple of meals out in Sydney with family when I arrived. There will be an additional social expense in that a welcome to Sydney work lunch is planned in a couple of weeks.

Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:05 pm

February Update

Post by benecia » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:43 am

February has been about getting settled; savings put aside for the move funded a lot of the spending. This set-up fund covered the pre-trip car service, fuel to get to Sydney, locksmith, shelving, clotheshorse, whipper snipper and grass/hedge trimmer

Food spending was high as I had to restock cleaning products and the pantry. I now have enough food so that I could go 3 months without needing to buy any food except for fresh fruit and veggies.

The February Numbers :
Food: 6.71% (Target 2.19%, YTD 6.33%)
Bills: 33.4% (Target 30%, YTD 52.4%)
Debt reduction: 49.88% (Target > 41.27%, YTD 46.97%)
Renovation/Maintenance 7.55% (Target 0%, YTD 7.55%)
Social 1.98% (Target 1%, YTD 2.27%)
Savings 17.16% (By May Target 22%, YTD 14.14%)

February Bills included:
Car Service prior to the trip (out of cycle so not covered by lease)
Trips to IKEA and Bunnings for DIY shelving, matts, shower fittings, indoor clothes line so can air dry when it rains.
Bus fare
Whipper snipper and lawn/hedge trimmer from Aldi
Insurance (monthly for House and Contents)
Road Tolls
Some books
Partial Electricity bill

I have set Annual budget targets for each category, initial calculations set Bills at 39.58% (In 2017 bills were 36.7%) but I have ambitiously set it at 30% to get my savings up to 2017 levels ASAP.

So what steps am I taking to meet this so far?
Take the bus to work instead of driving; this reduces cost of Tolls (will spend some money on tolls, not sure how much yet) and removes need to pay for parking at work. The bus is 30% of the cost of driving to work, so it really was a no brainer.

Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: benecia's journal

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:48 am

That was a fun warning.

I too have realized the massive cost savings of buses vs driving, taxis, or planes.

It takes to settle in and optimize your expenses. Keep it up, you're making progress.

Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:05 pm

March Update

Post by benecia » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:45 pm

The March Numbers :
(as a percentage of after tax income, income this month included some interest as well a refund on packing boxes I returned in addition to my wage)
Food: 5.36% (Target 2.19%, YTD 5.77%)
Bills: 27.17% (Target 30%, YTD 43.64%)
Debt reduction: 43.55% (Target > 41.27%, YTD 45.85%)
Renovation/Maintenance 0% (Target 0%, YTD 2.51%)
Social 3.81% (Target 1.0%, YTD 2.22%)
Savings 17.42% (By May Target 22%, YTD 15.22%)

March Bills included:
Bus fare
Insurance (monthly for House and Contents)
Road Tolls
Some warm clothes (Aldi buy, so very cheap)
Foundation (high SPF and better then sun screen)
New drivers license (had to change it to a NSW license within 3 months of moving)
Hair cut
Skin Cancer appointment (suspicious mole got itchy and sore)

My food spending is still very high, I’m not getting enough sleep which means I’m eating more which has contributed to higher social (ie snacks on the run) and general grocery spending on things like fruit and nuts.

Social spending is extravagant and included books, one restaurant meal, and snacks on the run as well as Easter eggs for Sydney based family for tomorrow.

April goals are:
Food < 3%
Social < 2%
Bills < 25%
Savings > 20%
Debt reduction > 42%

April spending will include some shoes and clothes as well as a couple of books; these have been budgeted for under bills and social spending.
From April I'm going to start putting aside money for travel home as well as for work I need to do around the house (e.g. new fence and gardens in the spring).

Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:05 pm

April Update

Post by benecia » Sat May 12, 2018 2:50 am

April goals were:
Food < 3% - almost
Social < 2% - nope
Bills < 25% - almost
Savings > 20% - yes
Debt reduction > 42% - yes

Food: 3.02% (Annual Target 2.19%, YTD 5.24%)
Bills: 25.96% (Annual Target 30%, YTD 39.2%)
Debt reduction: 42.26% (Annual Target > 41.27%, YTD 44.94%)
Renovation/Maintenance 0% (Annual Target 0%, YTD 1.88%)
Social 4.25% (Annual Target 1.0%, YTD 2.8%)
Savings 21.13% (By May Target 22%, YTD 16.71%)

April spending on bills included adhoc spending on work clothes and garden equipment as well regular spending on insurance, tolls, bus fares, petrol etc. Social included spending on books and birthday presents,

Planned spending for May:
Food < 3%
Social < 2%
Bills < 50%
Savings > 0%
Debt reduction > 42%

Yes, no planned savings this month. Social includes mother’s day and birthday presents for the family. Bills will include insurance, bus fares, the quarterly water and sewerage invoice, yearly vaccination for the dog plus 3 months worth of dog food, car registration, more winter clothes and a woollen underlay as well as putting money aside to travel home. My grandmother is unwell so I am half expecting to have to travel home at short notice. A lot of this expenditure is once off, eg fees to change states that my car is registered in, or once every 10 to 20 years eg good winter clothes and woollen underlays etc. I have budgeted for petrol and tolls however am on track to not have to spend money on petrol or tolls in May.

I’ve moved from the sub tropics to a city less then 100kms from the snow. So I am planning every month to expand my winter arsenal for the next couple of months. Planned expenditure this month is for thermals; woollen underlay blanket, down jacket, plus a snow jacket and hiking socks and clothes for early morning walks. My aunt has knitted me some beanies and scarves.

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