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Archive for April, 2011

4th monthly financial summery for 2011

April 30th, 2011 at 02:06 pm

As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to a calendar months so here are the figures for my last period.

Itís time to start again on reviewing my monthly daily living allowance.

These are the categories for this challenge.
Items === Approx Budget===Spent
Eating out===$35.00=====$73.45
Groceries===$135.50 ==== $230.61
Non-Food===$17.00
Clothes ====$35.00======$8.45
Grooming===$15.00
Gas======$25.00=======$29.60
Pets====== $50.00=== ==$82.56
HH items===$42.50=====$158.98
Fares== ====$9.00 =====$20.00
Entrainments= $12.00
Garden =====$10.00====$28.56
Gifts & Donations =$35.00
Medical =====$15.00======$44.50
Diabetes Expenses====$50===$43.47
Misc ======$9.00
Personal Allowance =$85.00 ====$51.04
Note only one amount is no spend

Budgeted for this period $580 spent $811.27
No Spending days over the 28 days = 11 days in total.

Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies.

Eating out including meals out with family and friends, we all go Dutch.

As for medical this is the extra out of pockets amounts that came up this month, bought a Medicine and vitamins tablets.

As for my medical visits out of pocket expensive if they are related to Diabetes then I will class them as Diabetes Expenses will come under this new category.

Diabetes Expenses Ė Books $43.47
A most will be one off items or once per year expenses. But I need to track these items on my small budget and pension. Each time I pay for some thing in this category I will need to cut something in other categories.

My credit cards are still paid in full each month.

I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills. This month bills were around $1125 so no balance this month. These funds do cover all my fixed bills for the year if I can stick to this schedule as I have done for the past ten years or so. This budget will be tight but just doable. On my budget excel modelling chart I can pay the full amount this year.

My food went up this month because I am stockpiling items that I will use over the winter months hopefully my food amounts will start to get back to a normal range but may be a little higher as I need to change to some more expensive range in a few things like bread is now $5.00 per loaf instead of $1.49 per loaf, and I need to buy more nuts and seeds as well special grains.

As for food out, I dined out a 7 times this month costing between $4 & $18 a time most were around the $10 mark as I can no longer eat at fast food outlets. That $9.00 meals at casino is looking the healthiest and best deal in the city for now.

Another large category is for the household section that was a once off purchase of Gerni (water pressure machine) costing $149.00. This was a need as with all the wet weather we are having slimy paths and steps are becoming an issue.

If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now. Still need to work on a few categories as you can see but over all I had a good month.

No Savings for this month over by $ 251.27 on budget for amount. This equals the cost of the Gerni and extra I laid out in food stuff this month in stockpiling both for my own and pets.

Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.

My Diabetes Class & Another Breakfast Out

April 29th, 2011 at 01:42 am

I left early this morning for my diabetes class as I have to go two hours early to get there on time. When I got there I was 45 minutes early so I had breakfast again, this time a vegetarian one. it consist of grilled mushrooms & baked beans both in ramekins with a poached egg and lettuce & tomato as a garnish with buttered multi grain toast on the side. I had water this time to drink. Cost $9.95 all up. After at the class I had a cup of coffee and later an orange drink on the way home and I was full and didnít have anything else until around 3pm.

At the class we learnt about what food to eat and how to space them out. It was very interesting to see the charts and be given booklets to take home with us. I am planning to copy and laminated some these charts for my personal use as reference and reminder to stay focus on this diet as itís for life. I know I can do it.

Learning to choose meals out will be my main problem as I have a number of outing in the near future to attend. I will write about my choices from these menus as I attend.

I am watching the Royal Wedding on TV now!

Itís 5 years today that this blog started

April 28th, 2011 at 02:08 am

Today is the anniversary of this blog; I started here with a question and under $1000 in the bank. I have come a long way since then. Still all my bills are paid on time and still living in my own home

Internet & Phone Bill Review

April 21st, 2011 at 01:27 pm


Late last year I changed to a cheaper plan with the same company that I was with.

Previously I was on a plan that allowed 7G internet and all free phone calls but I had to pay for any international calls if any. I donít have very many so I donít need international calls as I have only made 2 calls in 30 years. Both ship to shore internationals ones, now they are expensive. This new plan is for seniors and the lowest you can go at 5G internet and free local & national calls but all mobile calls are now changed. I have only a limit number of mobiles to ring and I use texting on my own mobile only with limited calls out for emergency or when lost someone in a crowd and I need to find them. I save around $40 per month on this plan and with adding in mobile calls saving still about $36. I donít need any extra Gig on the internet as not using half of what I am paying for now. Itís a go back to dial up plan so if I watch my usage of mobiles calls and never go over my limit in the internet I will have around a fixed amount to pay each month. This is how I always worked my budget even if I am paying more than others I just donít like bills that I just canít pay because someone else has used up your limit for the month. On the five occasions that I went over on my limit some else used it on me and once at the beginning of the month too, I was not happy with that.

Our dollar Aus $1.07 to US $ at moment.

Strategy Ė Review your bills about every six months to see that you are still saving money with your changes that you made since renewed or changed bill companies. Change your habits if you canít change the company.

Water & Sewage Bill

April 19th, 2011 at 09:40 pm

I just paid my water & sewage bill this morning, I know that I do get senior subsidy but when I looked at this bill, my water consumption was only 17 kilolitres for the quarter costing $16.89 and sewage and everything else around a $100 total bill that I paid was $111.19 for the quarter.

Our water & sewage access changes are $156.03 plus my $36.89 in water consumption changes then less my senior discount rate of $81.73 so comes out at $111.19 bill. For every kilolitre that I donít use I save only $2.17 then get a senior water subsidy $20.00 off the total. So 17 kilolitres cost $16.89 for three months the balance of the bill was access fees. They are putting up these fees at alarming rate too! The only control on this bill is the water consumption. The city average per household is 360 to 400 kilolitres per quarter and most household are without any subsidies. The lowest I got my water consumption down to was 9 kilolitres per quarter when we were using bath water to keep our plants alive and at level 7 with dams level around 16%. This quarter I used some extra water to blast the slime off the steps and paths here. Will see what next quarter comes in at!

Breakfast out & bulk shopping

April 14th, 2011 at 01:53 pm

Went to the first of free diabetes classes, I found it interesting and learnt some things about what is diabetes. The next class is on food so I will be looking forward to that one.

While I was in the area I went too for this class has the top breakfast restaurant in Brisbane so I dropped in for a coffee and had a mini breakfast as I had to start out very early to get to that area on time so had my breakfast 3 hours earlier. This cost $12.65 and when coming back to the city I had a Asian Chicken & Rice Noodle Salad $4.00 with a drink that I had in my bag.

I have been bulk shopping this month so buying ahead to save money down the track. I donít like having to go shopping for things that I can get cheaper buying else where. By timing my shopping to go with where I shop and whether I have the car with me. So far I have bought $67.82 worth of cat food. For myself I bought yoghurt mix $8.48, coffee bulk $13.30 = $21.78

As I have been changing my diet to more friendly foods for diabetes so the cost of this month is a little high but it will work out over time.

Busy trip to the city this week

April 8th, 2011 at 01:58 pm

I had two medical appointments on Thursday, one for Chiropractor and podiatrist. Both cost out of pocket expenses but I need them to keep going. My chiropractor annual fee was due so $540.00, I do get $232.80 back in refunds from Health Care Fund over the course of the year. I save money by paying this way as we canít get bank interest of 10% here and that money is sitting in the bank anyway! As for the podiatrist fee it will cost about $2.50 in the end for this visit and the next 3 visits then I will start paying full price again its part of Diabetes refunds that I been getting. I have about 6 visit per year. The Chiro. is 12 visits per year.

While I was out I had a few bills to pay that I received just the day before, as I like to pay my bills in person, that requires me to have a trip to the city for some. I like to do them as soon as possible as all have late fees if I miss the deadline date. I do have a few B-pay ones but these are rare. So my rates were dues for this quarter $260.50, and my credit card that I put my eye specialist bill on so paid that in full too! Then bought another book on Diabetes this one on general information so it was must. As it alright having things in your computer that you have downloaded to read but not printed out to read offline which would be the case if I need the information now and no computer.

I did buy lunch to as I needed food so I bought poached chicken and egg noodles. $8.90

I some shopping for DF-M too! Some muscle cream and a new pair of slippers. As for exercise that day I thought that I had done enough I left home at 9am and got back around 2.30pm.

All up I outlaid around $1080 for the day, itís not luck that I can find this kind of money but my budget is set out for that kind of spending. Stress free budgeting and spending.

Strategy - Donít spend your forward bill money on trivia; itís been put aside for a purpose and keep you stress free.

3rd monthly financial summery for 2011

April 5th, 2011 at 02:18 pm

As I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to a calendar months so here are the figures for my last period.

Itís time to start again on reviewing my monthly daily living allowance.

These are the categories for this challenge.
Items === Approx Budget===Spent
Eating out===$35.00=====$53.20
Groceries===$135.50 ==== $133.84
Non-Food===$17.00=====$8.39
Clothes ====$35.00======$4.40
Grooming===$15.00======$22.90
Gas======$25.00=======$23.18
Pets====== $50.00=== ==$67.20
HH items===$42.50=====$54.05
Fares== ====$9.00
Entrainments= $12.00
Garden =====$10.00
Gifts & Donations =$35.00
Medical =====$15.00======$11.20
Diabetes Expenses====$50===$218.86
Misc ======$9.00
Personal Allowance =$85.00 ====$58.06
Note: only one amount it's no spend

Budgeted for this period $580 spent $655.78

No Spending days over the 28 days = 9 days in total.

Personal allowance covers confectionery, lotto, books, stamps, craft & hobby supplies.
Eating out including meals out with family and friends, we all go Dutch.

As for medical this is the extra out of pockets amounts that came up this month this I had a visits to a GP Doctor bulk billed Medicare (FREE), and bought a Monthly Medication.

As for my medical visits out of pocket expensive if they are related to Diabetes then I will class them as Diabetes Expenses will come under this new category. So the $120 eye specialist cost is included here. All the little things that I need to do for this charge over. Like update the books on the my new diet as some are 15 years old and 7 years since I last bought any on this subject and a lot has charged in that time. Joining a Diabetes Australia fee $15.00, all these little extras outside Food as I am on no medication.

Diabetes Expenses Ė Books $83.86, DAQ fee $15.00, Eye specialist $120 = $218.86
A most will be one off items or once per year expenses. But I need to track these items on my small budget and pension. Each time I pay for some thing in this category I will need to cut something in other categories. I read somewhere that it cost over $4000 per year for non medication diabetes and over $9000 per year for insulin dependent, some of this is pick up with medical refunds and the government discounts for health card users. I think this article was written for Australian but then I have read so much in the last 3 weeks itís becoming a overload.

My credit cards are still paid in full each month.

I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $650 per period month to cover all my bills. This month bills were around $230 and the balance goes into the bill account to cover the next large lot of large bills. These funds do cover all my fixed bills for the year if I can stick to this schedule as I have done for the past ten years or so. This budget will be tight but just doable. On my budget excel modelling chart I can pay the full amount this year by doing this.

If any changes to my spending habits will need to come out of my daily living allowance categories of my budget as my bill categories are very tight now. Still need to work on a few categories as you can see but over all I had a good month. No Savings for this month over $ 75.78 on budget for amount.

Strategy: - Track your daily spending down to the cent by writing it down daily.

Chickpea and Spinach Recipes

April 3rd, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I have been trying a few new recipes out using chickpeas/ garbanzo beans. The first one I made up as I went along because I forgot to download the second recipe that I wished to try.

It turned into an Indian style curry that was eatable and quite nice to eat. As for the second recipe I will give it ago soon. It's a Spanish tapas recipe that I got from a blog I was reading, they had the ingredients but not the method which I found in another recipe of the same name. I was looking for a chickpea side dish so both recipes may work.

Spicy Chickpea & Spinach - Indian style
1 x 400g can of chickpea, drained or 3/4 cups of cooked chickpeas.
6 - 8 cubes of frozen spinach or 8 -10 (250g) leaves of spinach, cooked and drained
1 teaspoon Olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 - 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Heat a saucepan put in olive oil cook the cumin seed for a few seconds add the turmeric and curry powder add stock, chickpeas, spinach, stir. Bring to the boil and simmer until stock absorbed it's cooked.
Serves 3 as side dish

espinaca con garbanzos (spinach and garbanzo beans)

You can use dried chickpeas and cooked as normal. You need about 3/4 cups of cooked chickpeas.

1 x 400g can of chickpea, drained or 3/4 cups of cooked chickpeas.
8-10 (250g) leaves of spinach, cooked and drained or 8 cubes of frozen spinach
Olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
Fresh garlic, crushed
1/8 teaspoon each of dried thyme, oregano, rosemary
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
dried red pepper flakes to taste
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
some cubed white bread (to bind the sauce) about a half slice
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
pinch of salt
splash of water to make the consistency right.

Wash the spinach, drain well, and tear into pieces.
Place in a microwave dish, cover and on high about 4 minutes or less. (Depending on your wattage of your microwave) or simmer 10 minutes in a pot of water on the stove. Drain and chop finely.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet and then saute the bread and garlic until they are golden on all sides. Transfer the bread and garlic to the mortar or mini processer.
Add salt and vinegar and mash to a paste.

Add remaining oil to the skillet and heat.
Quickly saute spinach, then add the paprika, chickpeas, the bread and garlic mixture, thyme, oregano, rosemary , cumin, chilli pepper.
Cook a minute, add a little water if mixture seems too dry.
Let sit 10 minutes to blend flavours, and then serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 3 -4