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2nd Monthly Financial Summery for 2015

March 25th, 2015 at 03:31 pm

2nd Monthly Financial Summery for 2015
Here is my second period summery for February .

I have updated my Excel finally so here are the figures for last few months I have been quite busy here.

This for period of 28 days each as I work on 28 day cycles, my dates may be out to calendar months so here are the figures that will bring it up to date as its very near the end of next 28 day cycle.

Reviewing my monthly daily living allowance

Review for February budget.
These are the categories for this challenge.

Items === Approx. Budget===Spent

Eating out===$35=====$29.20
Groceries===$125=== =$45.36
Non-Food===$15
Clothes ====$35
Grooming===$20 =====$24.00
Gas======$20=======$13.15
HH items===$40======$6.60
Fares== ====$15 ======$20.00
Entrainments== $15
Garden =====$15
Gifts & Donations ==$35
Medical & Diabetes Expenses ===$70====$42.70
Misc ======$10
Personal Allowance =$90 ===$63.45

Note only one amount is a No Spend

No Spending Days 16 of 28 days

Budgeted for this period $550 spent $224.46 under by $347.41 on general spending.
This saving went into some of my huge bills over this period.
Personal allowance covers health drinks, lotto, books, stamps, craft and hobby supplies.

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

My credit cards are still paid in full each month; it was $825 this period.

Grocery allotment $125 for each period it was under by $79.64 this period.

Strategy - Try to buy brand name groceries on special when you can at 40% off or better.

Living Lean on a Pension

January 27th, 2015 at 12:58 am

2015 will be Living Lean year as I can and being on age pension. My goal and challenge is Living Lean on a Pension.

I have no other extra income other than my pension, so I have to be as crafty as possible to make it my dollars s-t-r-e-t- c -h further than before.

I do have a little amount put aside for rainy day. Which I use when I need to and pay this rainy day account back out of my saving I can find in my frugal living challenge and any saving I can make on getting low bills which of late are increasing instead.

I will try cut back on my food, entertainment areas and personal allowance. I do better with challenges by focusing on certain areas than trying to do it over all challenge in all areas at once.

I will try to reduce my spending on what spend in the supermarket and on treats in personal allowance areas to start with.

I still wish to go on holidays this year, that about 4 months way. I will try to keep expenses down to minimum as I will be staying most nights with family.

Supermarket Spend Challenge - Try to spend less than half over the next 15 weeks.

Normal amount allowed = $472.00 - Target $230 over 15 weeks starting on Friday when my next monthly period starts. Note all my budgeting periods are 28 days in length.

Personal allowance and entertainment will try cut by 30% for now and go lower if I can do so.
.
So my motto will stand for another year or two.

It's real hard to come up with $1000 but it's easy to find 1000 ways to save a dollar or two!
So let's go and find those 1000 ways to save a dollar challenge and see what's amount is at the end of 12 months.

Cost of living is going up here.

August 5th, 2013 at 01:11 am

With each bill rising, some by $36.67 per month, I think I will need to add an extra amount on to annual bill money and find saving elsewhere. That can only be from my daily living allowance area. By how much I will have to wait and see but it s over $700 for the year so far!

My last water bill was $148.25 but my water usage per was $4.80 for the quarter or 17 KL of water, not a lot by any standard, on this bill you have sewage charges too! Power has gone up by 22% on the last year. I have some solar panels so my cost are less than the norm but it will go up somewhat too! The list goes on so I will budget for around $1000 extra and put aside any extra for next year s hikes.

Today I had a senior coffee for free and penny pitcher Carmel Sundae for $1.20 at full price these would have cost about $6.40 for both, I ended up paying only $1.20 for the Sundae.

Medical Expenses and more tests

March 15th, 2013 at 01:43 am

I did pay my annual Chiro bill the other day and it was the same as last year $540.00 for 12 visits. The normal pensioner/ student price per visit is $50.00 so I'm saving $5.00 per visit now as I get a refund $19.40 from health fund whether I pay $50 or $45.00 per visit. Thatís a saving of $60 per year or 10% off which no bank interest can match anywhere. So save money by paying early.

I had my heart value check again this year had to pay for specialist visit, ECG and Echo test. Total came to $337.00 of which Medicare (GOV) refund came to $252.90 and out of pocket cost $84.50. As there was no change in heart value and the doctor thinks I could have been born with this defect or have had it for a very long time. So I will need to budget for these tests each year to see if there is any change. So same time next year appointments have been made. More tests in a few weeks for something my mother died from. It's a test that I don't like having. Plus I have to see my eye specialist this year too! So more money to the medical sector is in the pipeline.

It's lucky that I can afford to do these tests but then I will pay kept myself healthy as I possibly can. Some pensioners here can't afford do them and are playing the price in pain and stress and years of waiting for free tests and operations.

Strategy - Ask about any discounts and donít worry if you forgot to ask about it, worse they can say is NO if you go back and ask.

Final Review of my spending plan for six months of Bills!

February 28th, 2013 at 03:13 pm

I wrote about this in these blogs

Starting over with budgeting and saving again!

Review of my spending plan for Bills!

Hereís a list of some things that was planned and how I went after the six months has pasted.

Only two things that I planned within this six month period are now held over until March -August period.
My chiro is not due until mid - March and fares for my trip to Adelaide $400 are still not booked yet!

Trips - Sydney wedding and visit to my sister later next year but fare need to be paid in this period. (both are interstate.) Estimate $2000

Estimate $1600 Sydney trip cost was $920 saved $680 here on estimate

Out of pocket dental that canít be put off. Estimate $2000 - Dental - $1915
saved $85 here on estimate

Car service that is well overdue so approx. $500
Paid $189 for car service card but still need pay for parts for major service? Had my car service done and tyre fixed $254 = total cost $443 so saved $57 here on estimate.

House & Car Insurance due (these were the ones that I was worried about) Estimate $2700
Both insurances came in $2145 saved $555 here on estimate

Rates and water bills, power, medical fund annual fee, phone & internet fees, car rego. Approx. $5500
- Totals $4305 saved $1195 here on estimate

Over all I did estimated for around about $12,300 with my Age Pension over this time frame under $10,000 so where did I end up with my over estimates and removing air fare to Adelaide from the list.

September to February Bills
Item ====Estimate =====Cost ====Saved

Wedding - $1600 =====$920 ==== $680
Dental --- $2000 =======$1915====$85
Car service ---$500 =====$443=====$57
Insurances---$2700=====$2145====$555
General bills $5500======$4305 ===$1195
Totals ====$12300=====$9728====$2572

All bills are paid in full with credit on Credit Cards.

Daily Living expenses outside these bills came to $2547 for this period which had to come from savings.

To think I will need to do this all again at the end of the year but less the dentist bill this time.
Planned expenses for next six month estimates is a work progress.

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

Strategy - Review your bills every six months 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.

Strategy - Put in writing what you are worried about and see the figures then work out an action plan.

Paying Insurances and other bills

February 6th, 2013 at 12:21 am

Finally I can pay my insurance bills that I was worried about! I spoke about them in these posts.
Tomorrow I will going to the city, can pay up all these and no long worry about them then start saving again after I pay the last two next month.

Starting over with budgeting and saving again!

Review of my spending plan for Bills!

One quote that I set my upper limit at was $650 higher than the final bill. Some households can't just afford to pay insurance on their houses, and after the last flood last week, it may only get higher again next year.

Well my house and contents insurance bill came in $349 above last year about 29% rise. I do have a very low risk of ever flooding here as I am the same height as the hospital helicopter port which is about six stories high on top of the hospital.

My car insurance which is due only 2 weeks earlier has a rise $43 about 9% up on last year. Value has gone down through. But as I get discount by having them all with one company and a senior discount on top this, so I will stay with insurance for another year and review again next year.

As for other bills I will paying my dental bill that I put on my credit card last month and advance payment on the IP bill as I need to make sure that all my bills are paid before the 14 February as I may not be available to pay any after that date and tomorrow is my last day in the city before then. All I need to do now is make sure there is enough money in the bank to pay all these.

I will do a final review of this Bill Challenge in another post. Then will set a new challenge for the balance of the year.

Everything has to go on hold from February 14 as I will not know what I will be doing for a few weeks even I may not be able to come online either. Nothing to worry about either just civil duty service work that I am not too old to do!

Two House Repairs within 24 Hours

February 1st, 2013 at 12:10 am

Both have a water theme, leaking water to be correct. One was just a simple tap washer that I was able to get my neighbour to fix, I do have a lot of taps washers here so I donít have go out and buy some to do the job, as getting someone to do the job more of a problem. Hot water shower was dripping like mad when I came home yesterday.

The day before I had another drip but this one was a major one, water dripping from a power socket, on a weatherproof switch not good, I turn the switch off to see where the water was coming from and found coming out of the one of the socket for the power plug in part from my solar hot water unit this is the power that pumps the water to the roof for the solar panels the unit and itís not 3 years old yet. I phone my Home Assist people to order an electrician to look at it. With the flooding it will be up to week before they may come out. I was told. Within two hours the electrical company was on the phone and they would have someone out that afternoon, the young guy arrived he looked a teenager to me mostly likely in his early twenty.

He never seen as much water either so we checked the tank and when he pulled on a cord from the switch water came running out of the tank element area it was rusted in so had to be replaced a long with the power switch unit. So it costed 2 hours labour $176 and parts $100 less my senior discount of $88 for one hour labour. Total came to $188.00 all up. Thatís why I rang Home Assist so I could get my discount for how long this service will last I donít know as our state government is cutting cost in all areas.

As had good and friendly service all round so I paid the bill next day. For bad service they would have had to wait full 14 days before I paid it!

Had to get an electrician in!

October 10th, 2012 at 01:44 am

Last time I used my washing machine the power point wouldnít work as it stopped in the middle of a cycle. As my washing machine is 1985 vintage I thought that I would need a new one, I do have that money invested so was just about to start looking for new one! Then I decided that I should put the washing machine on power lead to another power point to check if it was still working and it was. So no need for a new one just yet!

I phone my Home Assist Service for pensioners which will pay part of the bill for you thatĎs $88 off bill. Today he came to check my power points in the laundry and fix a light there too! I had the light fittings so only needed to pay for the new power points he had replaced two, I donít like iffy things if thereís a problem its gets fixed with too many house fires with faulty electrical around the place. The total cost of out of pocket expensive was only $36.50.

He also set my mind a rest on the power spikes that I get from time to time. Itís my solar hot water power unit starting up it only goes for a few minutes and not all day at 3500 kWh I will have to learn to live with that.

Strategy - If it can be fixed then repair it, but use the less than half rule on replacement costs rule.

Refund arrived

June 10th, 2012 at 12:58 am

As I have posted before I have bought a blood glucose meter, which was normally priced $59.99 but was on special for $39.99 at the time. This included a refund voucher that was applied for and I now received that refund for $40.00. So this item came out FREE but for the ongoing costs of test strips and lancets. The test strips are normally around $15.90 for 100 here but you can get them for $1.20 for 100 on a pension discounts scheme. As for the lancets there isnít any discount but you need to shop around for the cheapest price ranging from $32.95 to $17.95 at discount chemists. So I will need to do some leg work when I need to buy my next box of lancets.

I am still monitoring my blood glucose levels and still on diet controlled.

It pays to be alert!

April 21st, 2012 at 01:05 am

A medical bill came for my friend for $176.00 but the way our age pension system works I wondered about it! After a lot thinking about how to pay this bill and which way to go about it, I went to one of the offices and just asked about age pension discount on it. With just one phone call from the office staff and age pension number no bill all done. Saving $176.00 and a lot of running around on my part as I was the one that would have need to pay if it had to be done that way.

City Trip and Boxing Day Sales

December 28th, 2011 at 01:35 am

I had a few things to do today, pay one of my credit cards off now in credit. Buy the groupís lotto ticket for Mega Jackpot on Saturday and I got this job for 2012. It would be nice to win something!

I walked past the departments stores and all retail stores with their Boxing Sales on and everything at 20 -70% off their regular price that may be the case with leftover Christmas lines that I do not need anytime in the next ten years. As for clothes I just donít need any, only a pair of Black flat court shoes with decent soles on them still canít find any in my size. I did see two styles that were right again not in my size so I walked on to the bank.

So what did venture into the shopping centre yield today something that I would have brought at my local shopping today paper for the TV weekly shows it a lot cheaper and you get more Free to Air channels in it than the Sunday paper. Cost $1.10.

I saw that our transport fares are going up again on Sunday so will be stay with my Go Card thatís for sure as paper ticket one way trip is now $2.00 cheaper to have a Go Card for the same trip. My normal fare will be going up 11 cents I think I can live with that one.

I had lunch with my Ex work colleagues today, we have been meeting up since we all were made redundant over 13 years ago, all of this group are retired.

We had lunch at the casino our $9.00 memberís meal deal of main meal, cake or fruit salad and coffee. I had Fish with Salad, piece of vanilla slice and coffee. No main meal for me tonight.

I spent only $4.00 playing the pokies as I like to play a little each time so to keep my membership card active.

So how much did I spend today, Boxing Day Sales Zero and Lunch Paper and pokies grand total of $14.10 and paid my Credit Card off.

Quotes on the Digital Antenna

December 3rd, 2011 at 12:36 am

I did a Phone around here for my Christmas present to myself that Digital Television Antenna I have been putting off for year or two now! I least I can afford it and I will need to get one soon. I rang up three installers and got one quote by phone and another company came out to do the quote. The third company I am still waiting for a call back but they the dearest one if past dealings with them it will be expensive. The quotes were very much within $10 of each other when I add in amplifier on the phone quote. I need this as I get no signals with antennas I got now, if I have any breeze as I am below the buildings around me. Some are three stories high.

And the phone quote is for only 4 points only. This will allow moving the TV around without worrying NO signals on some Channels. If I donít have amplifier I can have only one point and drop outs. I own three TV and plan one into other rooms if I need too! These are the bedrooms that have no TVs if I was ill then I would need one.

$840 with amplifier with 5 points cost of on 3 points so 2 points, splitter free and discount on amplifier. Saving discounts are around $470.

They will be the mostly likely will get the job as itís the one that my son had to do his.

Australia is going all digital TV over the next two years some areas are already 100%. By 31 December 2013 there will be no Analog TV signals are phrased out altogether. Our area will be complete by June 2013.

Strategy - Ask about any discounts and donít worry if you forgot to ask about it, worse they can say is NO if you go back and ask.

Nursing Home Fire & Another trip to the city this week!

November 18th, 2011 at 01:38 am

I had appointments with my chiropractor and podiatrist yesterday. Both appointments went well!

I bought 2 sushi rolls and took my own drinks to the city. With Diabetic 2, I need make sure that I do drink when I am thirsty and as I donít like paying over $3.00 a bottle for water or a soft drink. Coffee ends up costing arm and leg when you need to buy unnecessary snack to go with it at $3.50 to $4.50. I can buy 6x popper drinks @$2.20 in supermarkets if I remember to take one or two with me when I go out. I found a cute little food bag that fits two of these in plus a small brick if I need one!

I find time to top up my Go Card (local public transport pass) as we do get our fares cheaper if you use these cards. As a pensioner I only have to use it twice in the same day and all other trips that day are free! I normal put $20.00 on it when I top up this card.

I did remember to bank some change that I had counted the other day.

On the computer front I am learning to use the ribbon in the window picture gallery this will be a long task as I did delete around 13500 photos out my download out of 24500 photos and all filed under the same title. I did remember to empty my recycle bin that how I know many there were!

We had a very bad Nursing home fire in Sydney today. Four residents were killed and another 31 are in number hospitals over 100 residents lived there.

Nursing Home Fire

Hearing test & handbags

November 10th, 2011 at 03:32 am

I had my hearing test today and they fixed the problem that I had with my hearing aids, I got them a two years ago or so now! They just didnít fit properly it was the part that you put in your ear piece on both ears that were two small as my opening is much larger than normal so with these attachments they now fit and donít fall off when wearing them. Change is part of the annual fee of $55 including batteries as age pensioner I get vouchers for the hearing aids but do have paid extra when I do buy new hearing aids, this time there is no extra changes so will stay with the old ones.

While I was out I bought coffee & raisin toast $3.50 at a food outer on the way back down to the city to catch my bus home. Whilst in this area I went to a handbag store that I had bought handbags before at and found the right style that I liked for a general all-purpose bag. I also found one that I liked but the wrong colour so I bought the black one instead. So 2 handbags $35.00 which is not bad in price as I find the handles go first no matter how much you pay for it. Still would like to have that red handbag too! Itís only $15.00 so if itís still there on Monday I may get it too!

I try to buy only black handbags so their go with my black shoes that I wear.

I gave the musician in the tunnel $2.00 as I liked his music he was playing.

So all up I spent $40.50 today.

Spending is the norm for now!

October 27th, 2011 at 02:42 am

Getting things for my new computer and buying Christmas presents will be the norm around here for a while. This week I have bought 3 computer books, two for Windows 7 and one for MS Office 2010 these along with online Help and asking around should keep me going for now! Also I picked up USB Travel Hub, 8G USB sticks and extra DVD-R blanks plus a Mouse for a Laptop.

Until I learn to use this computer much better I will be on the slow side.

As my son has just got a new computer too! I have been buying a few odds & end for him as well.

So far I have spent a bit of money in getting it right without needing to go to IT tech for help.
Books were full price $107.65
But the other items were on special of 50% off or less = Totalling $178.00
So another $285.00 spent hoping this will be the last unless my printer doesnít work but it should do so. Some items I got Senior discount off so every 5% off helps.

All this is coming out my emergency fund and I have been told I am not spending enough money by my financial adviser as I saved too much money since I lasted saw him. I knew I could save but not that good; it was so much that finding ways to stretching that dollar must be working. A lot of that is bill money and saving fund that I stretch it more than six times in the last year.

Itís real hard to come up with $1000 but itís easy to find 1000 ways to save a dollar or two!

This has been my motto from the beginning and still is; now I can choose better items than the cheapest ones around because of it.

What an expensive week!

October 24th, 2011 at 02:31 am

With one thing and another I knew I was in for an expensive week but not that expensive.

All my large bills were due soon so I paid the Car Registration, Rates, and Water Utilities totalling $985.

Then getting a new mobile, accessories, prepaid card and then a new laptop and accessories totalling $1319
Then one of the cats had to go back to the vet for a check because a fur and food was compacted around a tooth so I found out later costing $45 with return visit & senior discount.

So far I have spent $2349 without dining out with family and normal cost of living. I am only two week in this month budget. Itís lucky that I budgeted for my bills each pension, and have a large emergency fund of $5000. So I will be saving to return cost of the new mobile and laptop so $1300 needs put back into emergency fund.

Now for a new washing machine this should be the next problem area as its 27 years old so I will be buying a new one when it gives up working.

Senior moment!

August 17th, 2011 at 02:14 pm

I did take the Cat for his after operation check and then asked why I didnít get my senior card discount like I did on the first visit, I do know that I forgot to show it again but found out that they should have put it on his file so that discount would be automatic come off next time. So I asked the vet and was told to come back on Tuesday which I did and got $23.00 off the total. In the end all up I paid $575.40 for one tooth removed and cleaning of the mouth. He is fine now and reclaiming my bed if he can.



His quilt cover

Strategy - Ask about any discounts and donít worry if you forgot to ask about it, worse they can say is NO so just ask.

Cat Dental Problems

August 2nd, 2011 at 03:22 pm

One of my cats doesnít like being touched by anyone or picked up since he was born 14 Ĺ years ago, so itís a nightmare if he is sick to take him to the Vetís. He was sitting next to me the other night and I noticed that one of his teeth looked black around the gums and his gums were a ghostly white. It looked like an abscess to me by next morning but he is eating and drinking normally.

In the end I rang the vet clinic for appointment and got the only on left for that day so I took him to the vet. After a lot of fuss I got him into his cat carrier and screaming all the way, luck I was only going to the nearest clinic with all fuss he made but by the time we got there the abscess was gone but he had an infected mouth and two top teeth that are gotten and have to come out. He had an injection as I canít give him anything myself. The injection will last 2 weeks and cost around $75.00, he look better all ready for it. Next week he will go back to have his teeth removed and the vet will check his kidneys first with a blood test. If anything wrong then there no operation on his teeth. Not looking forward to that vet bill.

So first vet visit cost $129.40 including a Senior Card %. All up. In my budget I have $500 in a float for vet bills so will use this for now and pay any extra out of my saving on my grocery bill this month. I didnít spend any money on anything else since last Friday.

Cat Dental Problems - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Trip one to the city

July 28th, 2011 at 01:46 pm

As itís that time of the month again to meet up with my ex work friend for lunch and Medical appointments, planning my bill paying and shopping for these two day of the month. As I said my last post that I needed to start using my credit card for next $1000+ purchases and bills. I spend very little so need to plan this very carefully. I started out with paying all the bills that I had to pay first none could paid via credit card so they came out of my debit card as I donít carry these large amounts around with me. The council rates, water bills and credit card payments were paid up for this period to date. On the spending side I bought book of stamps for my wallet so that I donít need to go shopping for just a stamp and spend extra money when thatís all I need. I got a 50% off key ring for $5.00 that will make it easy to find extra set of house keys that I have here. Had a cup of coffee at the Coffee Shop, Senior Discount offer medium size cup for the $3.65 instead of $4.80. This is all done before I meet up with my friends for lunch.

We are now eating at the cheap venue for members $9.00 for main meal, fruit salad and coffee I had lamb shank and roasted vegetables. Had a play on a 1c slot machine and won $30.00 so came out winning for the day that is rare as I only play with $3.00 per day just to keep my member card active. As it was Wednesday the Farmers Markets were on and I bought bag of broccoli and 4 avocadoes for $4.50 and a newspaper then went home.

Money wise
Bills total $809.00, Lunch Food $12.65, F&V $4.50, misc items $12.10 = $850.35
Gambling outlay $3.00 won $30.00 so $27.00 I came out spending $823.35 for the day.

Senior % saving $1.15

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

Mother Day & Car Problems

May 11th, 2011 at 02:44 am

It was Mother Day last Sunday, I went to have dinner with my family at their local Hotel Bistro I didnít mind driving up to their place as I donít spent that much time with them. I got a beautiful leather coin wallet and cookbook on Diabetes that I said I would like to get some day. What I had to eat this time, Chicken Breast & Prawns in a Mustard Sauce with Mashed Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes and water to drink. I got a Senior Card discount off the meal too!

On driving out my car hit a bump and I wondered why! I could fine a cause so I drove up on the freeway to their place went to the Hotel in they car so only had to drive home again on the freeway at 80km all the way home. The car drove as normal so I thought only to have that bump again as I drove into the garage. I had a good look this time and found tat my front tyre was almost flat. As the car just came from a service just a few months before it had to be a nail.

Next morning I rang our car club which I am a member and they charged the tyre and said I will need to get it fixed ASAP. Tomorrow will do fine as I was planning a driving the car then.

After doing what I had planned to do by driving my friend to the bus so she could go on a bus trip with Italian speaking friends. I had two recommendation for a place near sonís place so I drove up there to get the tyre fix as I am looking for a cheaper place to get my car service in the near further.

The tyre cost $25 to fix which is a good price and that price was on they price for that job. As for the next car service which is a big one I will be going there too I think! I was quoted around $1500 at the car dealership which has a car service department as well! Without all that overhead I was quoted around $650 for the same job. Thatís an awful lot of money and I have just six month left on parts replacement warranty which I donít think I will use. As the timing belt is due to the age of the car has to be replaced this time. My style of driving requires me to have things fix on timing scale not on mileage.

Strategy - Try to drink water with your meals when you are dinning out and if you on a special diet try to stick to it as best you can.

Strategy - Donít believe all the sale talk, do your own leg work.

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!

Two trips to the city

March 31st, 2011 at 02:58 am

I had to go to the Eye specialist one day for tests to make sure that my eyes werenít affected from the diabetic so far. My cataracts are stable for now and no problems from the diabetic so $190 later I am all clear for next two years so long I see my optician annually which I do as I am allowed one almost free pair glasses annually and I have 4 pair in use. While out I found another GI Diet Handbook that I didnít have so I bought it for $22.95 and I seen it else where for $38.99 and they had the one I was looking for $38.99 also but didnít buy it.

Second day was my lunch date with ex-co-workers. I had to pay a few bills and get a refund on that Eye Specialist Bill so Medicare paid $70.00 so out of pocket was $120.00 as I knew I would be it was expensive last time I went. Paid my credit bill in full $50.00 and my power bill $74.00 and bought the book on GI Diet on Diabetes that I was looking at the day before for $35.00 and the latest version 2011 too! Online ones were published 2007 for $35.00 + postage. So I am ahead on that one.

Lunch menu this time was expensive as the casino had put there prices up by $10.00 and no member discount but did get a senior card discount 10% so $27.00 for lunch just to expensive for my liking and the food menu has changed to a more Asian foods and it wasnít hot for that matter. So we said at that price and menu change we move on to a different restaurant next time. Some of them donít like the other restaurant but we will go there until we find somewhere else to go. I canít afford to pay that price every month it was bad enough at $20.00 but now that I have to be real picky about the food I eat with my diabetes.

Saving on books RRP $38.99 each
$38.99 -$ 22.95 = $16.04
$38.99 -$35.00 = $3.99 or online $ 6.50 p&p
Saving $20.03 on books that I needed by shopping around.

A day out with friends

October 19th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Yesterday I went out with a friend and her Asian student to the local sport club. I had to pay my annual membership again. All of two dollars but it does have a lot of discounts that you can get too!

First up we had lunch as it was pension day, with a special menu for pensioners @ $6.90

Roasted Beef or Pork with Vegetables
Fried Fish, Chips and Salad
Spaghetti Bolognese
All served with a Steam Ginger Bread Pudding and Custard

I had Roasted Pork & Vegetables and dessert

If you werenít a pensioner you paid $10.90 + $5.90 for the dessert but you do have more choices.
So I saved $9.90 with senior %.

Afterwards we went to coffee shop there and had coffee and muffin or raisin toast for $5.50 instead of $7.50 with our membership cards, it looks like with a member card you can pick up a lot of deals but it can be expensive if you are not careful as they have poker machines there.

$2 membership, $5.00 pokers, $12.40 food, I spent in total $19.40 and saved $11.90 by having the right cards.

All these come out of daily living part of my budget. So along we donít do this to often my budget will still work.

Water Leaks

September 30th, 2010 at 01:48 am

Donít you love water leaking somewhere at least I could pinpoint where this time. About nine months ago just before Christmas, I had my street redone while they were doing it the workmen cut the water pipe to my house and had to fix it. A few weeks ago now I found water leaking on my footpath so much that when I put my finger into the grass the water was up to my palm deep I rang the local water utilities and finely they came out to fix it up the new join had given way. After that was fixed a few days later I found I had rusty water leaking in my laundry down the wall. I had a hole in one of my pipes; a plumber came to fix it up yesterday this cost around $90 after a pensioner discount through a pensioner group I had joined. This is not bad after all the water leaks over 20 years I only had to pay for 2 repairs all the others were on the street side of the fence.

Four major water pipe bursts on street side and two minor pipes on my side costing me under $150 to repair over the past 10 years. If I have to replace the old pipes, this will cost around $1000 they are over sixty years old so I know that at some point they will need to be done. I will now budget for them and have this money ready for if or when that happens. All is working well at the moment so I am not in any hurry for it to be done now!

Our water bills are still going up whether we use to much water or not as the power to be are charging like a Bull in a China Shop, we now have to pay for all infrastructure of new dams and recycled water plants and Desalination Plant that doesnít work after 2 years yet!

Update desalination plant

Update on my Solar Hot Water

July 27th, 2010 at 02:20 am

Itís up and running just waiting for my rebate to come back. So after waiting 110 days for a team to come an install it for me! Why so long, a lot of red tape as someone (Federal & State Governments) didnít do they job right the first time around, no safety checks were done that everyone was working on installing solar hot water and ceiling batts had the right certificates to do the jobs. Four young workmen died in the ceilings here installing ceiling batts which is the other option you could have had done. I had ceiling batts so went with the solar hot water option.

I will not know if I will save any money for another three months as it was installed two days the last meter read. I am working on that I will save about 4 kWh on Hot water and third off my power coming down from 16 kWh & 4 kWh per day to around 9 kWh per day for both. Prices are rising for our power here in leaps & bounds, another price rise started on 1st July for electricity and water is going up too! I am still using around same amounts but the bills are still going up. I have budgeted for extra $200 but mine may stay around the same because of solar panels & solar hot water installed. I do sell back to the grid but now I will use most of this to run the solar hot water pump.

I do have a slit system where the 400L water tank is on the ground and the panels are on the roof the only drawback is they had to put the panels on west side of the house and my solar panels are on the east side of house. Ideally they should be facing north but I never had the room to put either there. But I do get between 10 to 14 hours sun per day 365 days of the year. Itís good to live in the Sunshine State.

Solar Hot Water Update

February 15th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Sometime this week if the weather holds here, I will have the Solar Hot Water System installed. Its raining at the moment here.

As I reported before that it was rebate of $1600 as part the Gov stimulus package and our state government has got a deal going with buying in bulk for the State that picks up balance of the tab. True cost of Solar Hot Water is closer to $3800 than I thought but my cost for it $505 less a $50 voucher by local council.

Some people will find that they will be out of pocket a lot more if they need a lot more extra copper piping than allowed in the quote and same with the electrical work that is to be done.

I will write a full summary up when I get time.

Last lunch outing for the year

December 30th, 2009 at 02:54 am

Today was my monthly lunch with friends; we went the casino again but to a different restaurant this time. They have charged the rules there. Early on you could get a meal for $10.00 with Coffee and Cake with about 10 different meals to choose from with table service, now it has charged a great deal, it self service in that you get your own tray, cutlery and napkin tell the chef which meal you are having then you move on to get a cake if you are having that then to cashier.

Most of us a have members cards but different colours so if you white one which by the way most do have that one then you are classed a non-member and need to paid $14.00 for same thing as before but the menu for this meal now is a pick of two dishes only, all other meals are $9.00 or $12.00 and extra for coffee & cake of $6.90. Personally I was not happy with the meal today but our lot the majority wins!

So next month we may go back and see what the other restaurant has in store for us. They may be changing the rule there too!

So I had Chicken Kiev but I have seen the same piece of heart shaped chicken in the supermarket deli as Chicken Schnitzel pieces for about $2.50 each. I had to pay $14.00 less my Senior 5% off for it with small salad and chips along cake & coffee. It was better the two beef rissoles I would think!

A lesson on shopping center vouchers!

December 11th, 2009 at 02:28 pm

If you read in an earlier post I said that I still have a $100 worth of vouchers that I need to spend by the end of the year at one shopping center.

Well I did manage to get my son to take me there, but by the time I got to his place because he was coming off night shift and needed to sleep first, I got to his place around 2.30pm after getting caught up in Friday afternoon traffic with all the semi trailers (18 wheeler trucks) some doubles coming to the warehouses or depots near his house.

We changed cars and head off to the shopping center which he works at too! This is about 20 minutes from his house as he hadnt had any breakfast let alone lunch we first stop in Lunch hall, just leaving me one hour to shop. So the first shop that used the vouchers as not all stores did. I bought there.

Restocked my underwear & nightwear as I was 20% ahead with my vouchers in the first I think I did pretty well, 2 night gowns, 4 bras that fit, 10 pairs of pants all for $82.69. Now you know me, I like a bargain and yes they were all on special at 25% off for bras and nightwear and 50% off pants.

I end up with $15 worth of voucher left so as I was going out for dinner with son & DIL, I end up giving them the vouchers as part of my share of our meal plus the extra cash to make up the different. We had a Chinese Banquet for 4 but as only there were 3 of us, I got to take home any leftovers now I can see a least 3 meals this weekend will be Chinese leftovers, Chicken & Corn Soup, Fried Rice, Sour & Sweet Pork plus mixture of the chicken dishes. Its not everyday that I have Chinese banquets but I do like them. Normally my son would the leftovers for his next days meals but they are not working this weekend and have a party to go to Saturday.

As for using these kinds of vouchers again, I would not buy them again when you take in the gas and the time to get there. It wasnt worth gas to go back and spend that extra $15 worth of vouchers when the others go there 5 days a week.

As for saving on the day

$20 off the cost vouchers (paid $80 for them)
Underwear & nightwear save $34.50 of RRP
Paid $30 for the meal but took home $30 worth of meals
Snack 2.45 with coffee save $2.45 on free coffee (Senior%)

All up spent $115.14 for the day
Value RRP $152.09 plus $20 off vouchers & leftover food to take into account.

Climate Smart Meter & Solar Panels

December 5th, 2009 at 08:02 pm

About 12 months ago I got a Climate Smart Meter Power checker installed here, one of our state government deals to reduce power usage here. Its a device that checks how much power you are using that minute and it cost. I needed do a battery change a few months back so the pricing got changed by accident and now is out by a few cents for each watt. Not that I am worried that much as the power cost has gone up since then and its in the pipeline that its to go up a lot more over next few years something like 25% more.

My hot water is not on this tariff but still shows on the climate smart power meter, when this is on 49c less any phantom power and then if you put anything else then its more. I am averaging around 12.6c most of the time. Lowest before charging batteries was about 1.6c but now is about 2.35c at night with no hot water on and just phantom power for things that needs to be still on and with no fridges or freezer on.

A few months ago I got six solar panels installed here, another government grants to the tune of $8000 plus our state government working on bulk order deal that in the end costing to low income earners a few hundred dollars to have installed this offer is now over. After nearly two months our energy supplier finely came and installed the new meter so that I can get rebates on any extra solar power that is sent to the grid because I wasnt using it. Daytime power is now mostly solar powered and I even sending some back to the grid.

Its now 14 days since that meter box was changed. I have use 83kW of grid power and generated 56kW of solar power and sent to the grid 16kW on top of what I have used. I am averaging 1/3 solar and 2/3 grid kW use per day. I have been monitoring it for 78 days now, so I can see a pattern forming of using 8 to 9 kW on grid power and generating between 4 -5.9 kW of solar power per day..

Last summer I was using 16.27kW per day with very mild use of an Air Con at times when temps got over 34C inside the house.

So in all it will cut my bill down to a bearable price and ever more if I get solar hot water installed next year as my name is down for another grant for that one too! I would never be able to afford it if I had to pay full price. So I have done my little bit for Climate Change in this household but I will be on the look out to do more in the future.

Update
Costing of all is well over $9500 in the end I am out of pocket only $355 including the Climate Smart Meter which I got a refund of the cost from the local council.

Still to come is the Solar Hot Water worth over $2500 out of cost I am told will be with senior discount around $100 out of pocket. Which checking my inbox just a while ago I am just now waiting for the grant approval then it will just need to wait my turn for installing.

With all these schemes will, its hope save on building extra coal power stations in the near future. We do have the sunshine here as I am getting over 13 hours per day with my solar panels now!


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