Saturday, May 12, 2018

how to create a budget

There are lots of online tools to help you create a budget ASIC has a good one, or I created one in good ol' excel, edit it to suit you, I have taken and added extra bits over the time. If it doesn't work for you, you won't use it so make sure it makes sense to you. Save a copy and edit it as much as you like.

To get my yearly figures I logged onto each utility provider online and added up the last 12 months worth of bills. Or you can log onto your online banking and use the search function to find how much you paid in a certain date range. Then I divide by our pay cycle hubby gets paid fortnightly so I pay 26 times a year and I try and round up to the nearest $10 amount. Not possible at the moment but once this personal loan is knocked down I can.

When I first entered all our bills, I was shocked I knew it was tight but I didn't realise we were going backwards every month. It was hard to see but after I knew I started researching the best quotes around and ringing current providers to see what they could offer me. I ended up saving $400 a month, we are still behind but it's helped heaps!

Then I rang all over due bills and organised payment plans with each and kept in touch letting them know if one fortnight was going to be less. It's still a struggle, hubby's pay varies due to shift work even though some weeks we don't even make the minimum repayments I can still see the light at the end of the tunnel.

For people just starting I highly recommend The Barefoot Investor  his book has been invaluable, back in 2007 when I first picked it up and the revised current edition is even better.

Knowledge is power, you need to know your figures!



Sunday, April 29, 2018

April 2018 Monthly Report & Net Worth- Saved $4,502.82! NW -$473,633* 37 Months till FIRE

FIRE Goals Update-woo hoo first ever update! 

While I didn’t buy everything I wanted too and had to move it to May goals and I didn’t pay off more debt or save more money. I’m still mostly happy with how April went

House $1,477.01/$100,000 January 2020

Personal Loan $514.14/$33,126 May 2019

State Debt $150/$1500 May 2019

Wholesale $54.90/$15,000 for first wholesale order January 2019

April Monthly Report Wins & Fails

MONEY WIN- My income bought flea treatment for the dogs & cats and cat food ($304.51) you can read about how I saved OVER $1,000 a year on pet supplies here and car registration for six months ($560)

MONEY WIN $ A OOPSIE- April was my 32nd birthday! Had a woolies cake and went to the local club with a play centre for dinner. Didn’t pay attention to my spendings think I overspent, but took my leftover dinner home and it lasted three more meals!
Won $30 on a scratchie, got $50 in a card, got a bottle of wine from a client that has won awards and fancy stuff, I don’t drink but hubby said it’s a lovely bottle of wine. Ash bought me a hair dryer and a hello kitty hair brush 😍 lol

MONEY WIN- I was gifted two dog clippers value at $180 and I'll save $1200 a year by grooming my two dogs at home. I mean they wont look as flash as my groomer doing them but what is the saying? It's only two weeks between a bad and a good haircut or something along those lines?

MONEY FAIL BUT FAMILY WIN- went to target spent $60 on a new hoodie for me for winter all my hoodies are hand me downs and don’t fit well and aren’t warn, socks for home and school for Ash since he only had two pairs of school socks since he outgrew all his other socks for the past six months iv just been rewashing the same two pairs! We found $6 house socks we call them they are SO cosy we found them in the ladies section but they had a smaller size that fits ash 

TWINSIES! Lol Lucy wants a puppy pair!



Breakfast cost $37.50 but we hardly ever go to cafes anymore it was really nice to spend time out together and ash loved his scrambled eggs! I had salmon and poached eggs super yum!


MONEY WIN- I am getting a new TM5 thermomix! Here are the details on my blog and to see if you are eligible to get one too! $2,089 value-check

MONEY FAIL- Can't find my Anita Bell books had to spend $23.40 on ebay buying replacements

MONEY FAIL- Hubby's income is still not covering our expenses due to overdue bills. We just need to get rates, electricity and water under control but new bills are going to be arriving for May quarter- dreading those! Paying bills fortnightly is really helping get our budget under control.

MONEY FAIL- Anzac Day hubby had a bit to drink said he would cook dinner I said I was happy to splurge on some Maccas but he said it was ok then we drove STRAIGHT PAST Maccas to home and he said let's just get pizza! Ash got so excited so I couldn't mention anything else, ended up $47.04 due to public holiday surcharge BUT I did get a free voucher for a pizza because I paid extra for the 20 minute guarantee...but still a BIG FAT (REALLY YUMMY) FAIL haha



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Blogging about my FIRE journey really helps me keep track of my expenses and keeping me aware of what I'm spending my money on.

My goal for another job doing night work hasn't panned out just yet, the promising lead said they needed me for the 2-5 hours I work in the morning at my first job 😭but she said if my first job doesn't work out to let them know as she is very keen to have me on board. So still on the hunt for night work to bump up our income. A petrol station 20 minutes away needs someone a few days a week midnight to 8am so put in an application for them- keep your fingers, toes and eyes crossed for me!


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Electricity account is driving me nuts went through everything with the electricity company and they can't understand why our bills are so high for two adults and one child. I only use the washing machine and dishwasher every third or so day for one load each when I do bedsheets and towels that's extra but only once a month or so and I try and use them on off peak times. We don't have a spa or a pool that would be chewing electricity, we hardly use the air con. They suggested getting an electrician in to check our appliances then if it is the meter that is faulty they will pay to fix it. So now I need to squeeze in the funds for an electrician. yikes!

HOUSE FAIL- Our garage and patio flooded! All the money we paid in renovations did jack 💩we had a sudden down pour and with in twenty minutes the patio area was flooded and was coming in the garage luckily most of our stuff isn't on the floor, I managed to get the bloody pump to start working and hubby took the lid off the big drain by the back door it still took a few hours to drain the water away and insurance doesn't cover water damage, hopefully it hasn't caused any damage. Hubby is going to put drainage going under the house so it doesn't get caught in that one spot trying to drain away with a pump that sometimes won't kick in.


It's our very own swimming pool! woooo! Ash was so excited!


Net Worth

**Disclaimer- No idea if I'm doing this net worth thing right. Let me know in the comments if I need to do something different

Working out net worth seems you add in your super I'm not really sure of the point of adding in money I can't touch for another 29 years and in regards to the house just because what I owe is less then what it's valued at doesn't mean that is the figure I'm going to get; agent fees and taxes come out of that, maybe budget $50k it's probably less but I'd rather budget more and be pleasantly surprised then budget less and get caught out.

Reading the Mr MM forums seem to be half and half about adding your house in your net worth. I'll be adding my house as eventually we want to sell and move. But the valuation fluctuates with the interest rates and the market so while I do want to see the figure I also want to go off what my debt is vs my credit and gradually get them even.
When you are figuring out your net worth I suppose it depends on your individual circumstances if the house you are in is going to be the house you will continue to live in or if you are going to sell up and move or become nomads and travel the world.
And good luck trying to get hubby to part with his jet ski or Ash with his quad bike and we both need our cars for work so minus the cars as well leaves

Assets
  • Cash in bank $54.90
  • Super $92,416 (combined) **can't touch it for another 29 years- not sure why I'm adding it
  • Home Value $600,000 **bank reckons my house is worth this although this could fluctuate depending on market and interest rates, I'm seeing a market downturn since we got it valued, like my neighbours have been trying to sell for four months and they have reduced a ridiculous amount and still nothing, hopefully when we are FIRE and ready to sell the market has improved AND The Barefoot Investor says interest rates are going to rise *WOO HOO-FRICKIN FANTASTIC- sarcasm* so again don't think I'll put too much stock in this figure but still nice to see
  • Cars & Boys Toys $47,000 **can't sell anything, you know boys and their toys etc maybe a old boat we don't use anymore 

=$737,120

Liabilities
  • Home Loan $440,616.74
  • Personal Loan $33,126

=$473,742.74

Net Worth $263,377.36

FIRE today staying in house

DEBT $473,687.84
CREDIT $54.90

Net Worth -$473,632.94




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Stacking our debts against our credits is a bit scary I don't think I like this one. Kind of wishing I didn't do this calculation now oh well. Onwards and upwards to May!

Monday, April 23, 2018

How I saved over $1,000 a YEAR on pet supplies! WARNING- SCAM!

$1,033.82 to be exact!

UPDATE: 10/05/2018 SCAM ALERT for Dogfood.com.au click here. Terrible customer service and my cat food order still hasn't arrived, they wont answer phone calls or return my emails. turns out if you google dogfood.com.au + scam alot of posts come up- bummer! But luckily Pet Circle to the rescue! Just got off the phone to my bank and they'll investigate and I should get my money back

This has been on my To-Do List for maybe 18 months or longer and last night I finally sat down and did it!

I looked up all the online pet shops (26 if you want to know) and Ebay suppliers, alot of the online pet stores also have ebay shops for cheaper, I need to research the four pet supplies I buy, small dog comfortis, medium dog comfortis, revolution for cats, advance cat biscuits 20kg bags and the store needed free delivery, one place wanted to charge me $31.93 to deliver while the majority of others was free delivery.



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This is what my cats do

I did mine old school in a note pad, no fancy spreadsheet to show you although I'll put my top three in a spreadsheet to keep an eye on when I need to re-order.

 So I just had shop name on vertical axis and what I needed & shipping along horizontal axis then wrote down all the figures from each shop, took about an hour of time.

The most annoying thing was going into shops and realising they didn't stock things I needed so they were scratched off my list and the shops that were so expensive I doubt they would price match.

Also sign up for newsletters they often have a welcome discount and try the abandon cart trick to see if that brings prices down.




The most expensive online shop turned out to be Pet Stock with the items ranging from $91-$109 and My Pet Warehouse at $145 for the cat food.

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My top five cheapest stores, two didn't have free shipping so they were out. Leaving my top three.

The cheapest prices I found was Budget Pets BUT keep an eye as the price does vary day to day in the 12 hours it took me from research to posting this blog post and hearing back from the other competitor prices raised by $72.24! And they didn't stock the cat food I wanted, but I then went to ebay and with a code I found Petbarn Ebay had green comfortis for $57.46, Products_worldwide had orange comfortis for $56.29 and budgetpetproducts (yep the same one listed above!) had revolution for $51.29 the next cheapest for revolution was Pet Circle for the cat food these prices range from $51-$112.19

I then emailed two of the three asking for price matching and providing costs of cheaper products but even if the companies reply they don't want to price match I can order from all three as they all have the free shipping.

The price difference from the most expensive to the cheapest items for the frequency I buy them works out to be almost a thousand dollars in my pocket each year! Not bad for an hour of my time.


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Friday, April 20, 2018

My problem with the FIRE movement

I read alot of FI blogs about how the goal is to quit working and I don't know if I'm doing to wrong but that sounds like hell on earth to me. My mind needs to be occupied, I don't think I'll ever stop working as a pet minder I love it too much being able to work when I want and not commute every day or get up early (unless a dog vomits or urgently needs to go potty NOW and we do the mad dash through the house at 5 in the morning)...the not so fun side of pet minding BUT every job, heck I suppose everything in life has a downside no matter how small. We just have to decide if the good outweighs the bad each time.

I think without a doubt I'm more attracted to the FI than the RE part of FIRE.

Humans by nature love a goal, something to work towards and once the goal is achieved we become lost we have an idea of what FI will be and it turns out its not what we imagined. Humans need structure and routine, it gives us purpose, working for someone else we get so used to doing the same thing each day, wearing the same thing each day, x is due at x am we know what to expect for the most part of our working day, sure, curveballs are thrown up sometimes and most importantly we are social creatures we crave interaction from others.

Do people who reach FIRE just stop working one day or is it a gradual wind down of work and easing into retirement?

Being self employed is lonely, there are so many blogs, organisations and podcasts on connecting with others while you are self employed, being self employed you don't really have a structure for your day given to you on a silver platter you need to figure it out for yourself. If you want to lounge around in your pjs and only eating tim-tams for lunch then there is no one else to tell you not to shut up voice in my head I'm 30 years old I can do what I want! Oh no I'm out of tim tams. So in this regard I think I am uniquely positioned to give a different perspective of a FI journey, or maybe I'm just being cocky? Probably. I didn't realise it at the time but I had the FI just without the money part working for me. Don't get me wrong my dreams are probably going to be different from my reality and its not all going to be roses but I'm forever an optimist and I'll give it a good crack.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Starting Point-Zero to FIRE April 2018

Expected FIRE date April 2021 (3 years/ 1,095 days)

Our starting point is zero, well it's worse than zero thanks to overspending and missing payment dates. But the first step to improving your situation is putting it all out on the table and now with me bringing in an extra $1400 a month that will help alot.

Our yearly expenses equal $47,000 at this time April 2018

After spending a few months haggling on our utilities I have saved us $400 odd a month so now Utilities and groceries are $660/fortnight, well once I get back on top of all the utilities. I've listed all overdue amounts and am putting a little extra on each one then once the lowest utility is caught up I can focus that extra amount on to the second one and rinse and repeat till all caught up, will take quite a few months of hubby doing extra overtime before we have any breathing room. It is beyond tight atm!

House $441,102.75 starting point. Goal is to get home loan down to $340,000 January 2020

Personal Loan $32,956. Goal is to have it paid out May 2019

State Debt $1,500. Goal is to have it paid out May 2019

Save $0/$15,000 for first wholesale order. Goal is for January 2019

Once PL and SD are paid our yearly expenses will be $35,000

The kennels we would like to buy would more than cover our living expenses and even give us a profit add to that my amazing exisiting clientele I'm not sure how much profit. I'm so excited to get back to pet minding!

My goal with my job is to save for the first wholesale shipment in 10 months or less if I only have the one job but fingers crossed I get nights soon! And then focus on paying the personal loan off as it is $741/month but $500 is being eaten up in interest so by this rate the loan will be paid off in 6 years BIG FAT NOPE RIGHT THERE. I want to be FIRE in three years or less. (excluding our new mortgage)

And our end profit also depends on how much we can sell our current home for to fund the next purchase since 12 months our value has dropped $100,000. So if we sold now we wouldn't have anything left after tax and agent fees. I'm hoping in the next three years it improves!

Eventually the FI goal is to have no mortgage which would bring our expenses to $16,000 A YEAR. Oh dear lord someone bring me the smelling salts, I feel faint!

Next on my hit list is groceries I spend $6,000 a year on feeding our family whyyyy can't we just live on air?

-Mel










Monday, April 16, 2018

How to get a FREE thermomix worth $2,000!

I bought a thermomix TM31 in 2014 and with the safety recall this year, even though I'm using the new seals they recommend they are sending me a new TM5. I was so cranky I bought my TM31 a month before the new one was released I felt ripped off for a year or so lol i am such a brat.

So for anyone who has bought a thermomix you can find the new details here my email had changed since I first purchased so I just rang the number and within five minutes I was sorted! Seriously the custard is as good as my nanna makes- its worth the $2k alone.... I LOVE the custard!

When it arrives I'll have to have a play with it see if I can make anything more than custard.

What are your go to recipes for the thermomix?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Our reason to FIRE & FIRE goals

PSA I am not a blogger I am more of a word vomiter, I go on long rants and change direction ten times but i'm trying to work on that I enjoy the numbers but mostly I want this to be about the journey, the win, the warts, the setbacks and all. One day when I hopefully reach FIRE I want to be able to go back to the very start and see how far I have come rather then it be a blurry memory.

Our reason to FIRE

The main reason I really started to want to be FIRE was I had a cancer scare last year, I'll expand in a later post but to be confronted with what might happen if I wasn't here and realising I didn't want to leave a mess for my husband and son to sort out was one of the pushes to get on the FIRE train.

I started my own pet minding business and I built it to almost six figures and then I had it pretty much taken away from me really stung and I don't want to be put in that position again, again I'll expand at a later date. With what happened I realised what hurt more than loosing all of my income was my lack of direction and focus. I had no drive and nothing to do I was lost and I was going insane. I'm determined to get that back.

Our FIRE goals

Expected Goal Date April 2021

To expand into wholesale, pay off our personal loan and state debt, to pay $100,000 off home loan. Save renovation money to get the house looking nice enough to sell. I would love to buy a boarding kennels maybe somewhere near the beach and be able to go on a holiday when we feel like it maybe once or twice a year and experience the world, i'm a home-body I like my little cocoon.

Keen to try shares and investing a little. I'd like to be able to help my parents and in-laws with their retirement so they don't have to worry. I want to keep fostering animals and rescuing battery cage hens and enjoy my succulent gardening. No big giant goals and dreams. I'm sure I'm pretty boring but this is what makes me happy. I'm not quite sure if this is the FIRE way I don't really have a good idea of the numbers and figures but for now this is a good enough start.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and if you are on your FI journey.

I am NOT a personal finance professional, and this blog doesn’t constitute professional advice. This is just my personal journey and I'm just hoping I don't stuff it up. Feel free to follow me down the rabbit hole. We have cookies!

how to create a budget

There are lots of online tools to help you create a budget ASIC has a good one, or I created one in good ol' excel, edit it to suit yo...