Home > Archive: February, 2013

Archive for February, 2013

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

February 28th, 2013 at 11:13 pm

I wrote about this in these blogs

Text is Starting over with budgeting and saving again! and Link is
Starting over with budgeting and saving again!

Text is Review of my spending plan for Bills! and Link is
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
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.

Answers on utility and health insurance costs

February 25th, 2013 at 10:19 am

I will try to answer these questions to my understanding of them.

Do ĎOur governments have ultimate control of utility and health insurance costs?í

Answer to this question NO to ultimate control and YES to some say in control of utility and health insurance costs?

We have three levels of government here. The Federal, State and Local councils as Federal government has input into these utility and health in some way by owing or rebates. They do have some say and can veto price rises but do allow some price rises once per year April for health and July for power. If there no request for higher price rise then does rise by level with the CPI which is around 3%. Of late each group is asking for higher price rises so governments have make the call as they do put money into these areas with rebates and owing the grids and power stations etc. Itís the same with water too!

Power grid in some States that they let the power stations rundown that money had to be found so Federal Government step in but has to be paid back.

The state governmentís own the power stations and grids but the suppliers buy it off the governments sell it to us. Once it was all own by the state governments but sold it off now they fix the lines if broken with all these weather events and bush fires itís costing a fortune. So 50% of the price rise is government inter-structure costs and they set the prices so each power retailers can work out pricing for next year. At first they wanted to up to 500% within five years.

Electric here costs slightly over .09 kWh, what is the rate there?

As for our tariffs we pay much more than you do. Most likely a different system, these prices are off the last bill and not the new ones which come due in July 2013.

Service to property charge (No days) 88 days @ 28.91c , anytime power 26.71c per kWh, off peck rate 22c per kWh (hot water power use to run it), solar power rebate 44c per kWh which is credit off bill.

On top of this I get a pension rebate from state government around $50.51 each quarter. Plus a 9% discount if I pay my bill before the due date. With interest rates at below 3.5% for the best online ones it better to pay before every time.

My usage and costs paid after all discount and rebates for last year

Bill for Dec $52.18 - Days 88 - Anytime 506 kWh - Off peak 9 kWh - Solar rebate 125 kWh
Bill for Sep $84.78 Ė Days 86 - Anytime 551 kWh - Off peak 95 kWh - Solar rebate 59 kWh
Bill for Jun $68.17 - Days 92 - Anytime 635 kWh - Off peak 16 kWh - Solar rebate 92 kWh
Bill for Dec $71.14 - Days 90 - Anytime 672 kWh - Off peak 5 kWh - Solar rebate 102 kWh

So if I allow around $30 per quarter I should have money left over for surprises.

Only in winter or wet weather do my solar panels cost charges hot water higher and power lower. I do only have one kWh x 6 panels unit and 2 panels x 400L hot water unit.

ĎIs your chiro not included under the other health cover?í

Health Chiro costs is covered by health insurance but only to $232.80 per year. I paid annual fee for 12 visits at pensioner rates get 10% off the single fee charged for doing so but only can claim single rebate after each visit. Now you canít get that interest from any bank for 10% so as I budget for it so I pay in advance. Only down side would be if I had to stop going then I would need to pay a cancelation fee.

My idea is to s-t-r-e-t-c-h my money so by paying early where I can to get rebates and discount or not incurring fines for paying late then I am saving on the overall costs in the end.

Itís better off in your pocket than theirs.

Cost of living going up again

February 24th, 2013 at 09:10 am

Got a letter in the mail last week to say that my health cover has gone up by $210 for 2013 to be added to next yearís bill this is due this December. Then this week we were told that our electricity bills will be going up by 21% per year around $253 on $1205 bill. I am lucky that I put in solar panels and solar hot water a few years ago now! I donít think my bill will that high but high enough that I will add 21% to my annual total as I have allowed about $100 to $140 per quarter I will allow about extra $30 per quarter so thatís extra $330 added to my budget from July on when these price rises take place. This is on top of my insurance price rise of around $400 last month. Next will be my chiro next one to go up thatís next month price rise.

Weather is bad here again; our ground is soaked from the Januaryís rain depression so it wonít take much to start flooding here.
More rain, flooding, high seas and 100km winds in NSW this weekend and we waiting for another rain depression for our area with about 300mm worth of rain.

Free Spending Spree Day

February 16th, 2013 at 09:38 am

Do you get bored with saving money all the time and feel you need to break the mould sometimes. Well I do as have been on this quest for more years than I can remember now!

When I was a pre-teen my pocket money was two shillings per week, (24 pennies) now days thatís amount would be 20 cents. Value today I have no idea about $2.00. My way of thinking was if an item cost more than 1/11 or 23 pennies, I couldnít afford it. When I got my first pay from my first job things got a little better, after paid my board and fares I had about 10 shillings ($1.00) per week to spend. Wages were about 1 pound and 18 shillings ($3.80) in those early months, this was 1960.

I am retired now and on age pension but my thought patterns are the same almost. Today I save money then I can go do what I like for one day every so often, given certain amount to spend and place to spend to go spend that money or some of it!

Sometimes itís a school fete or op shop or trash or craft market often times it may be shopping centre if in need of some new clothes or appliance. I do set amount that I can spend on these days, most times I never go over it. I never have many of these days about four per year. I had about three last year; one while I was in Sydney and I bought some kitchen items and had the goods posted home.

I call these days ĎFree Spending Spree Daysí and was shopping in Aldi on one of these days last Christmas said to another customer that I was free to buy what I would like today if I wanted too! Would I like to buy her children, both were in the shopping cart? I just smiled and wished her a Merry Christmas and walked on I think she was having a bad day. I only spent about $100 that day as I was buying Christmas gifts too!

First Monthly Financial Summery for 2013

February 11th, 2013 at 09:12 am

Itís time that I posted, this Financial Summery for 2013.

I have updated my Excel so here are the figures for past month.

This for period of 28 days each as I looks like I missed one somewhere. 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 every near the end of next 28 day cycle.

Reviewing my monthly daily living allowance

This is my first review for last monthís budget.
These are the categories for this challenge.

Items === Approx. Budget===Spent

Eating out===$35=====$35.20
Groceries===$125=== =$50.67
Clothes ====$35
HH items===$40=======$203
Fares== ====$15 ====$10
Entrainments== $15
Garden =====$15========$9.00
Gifts & Donations ==$35
Medical & Diabetes Expenses ===$70====$44.14
Misc ======$10
Personal Allowance =$90 ===$72.26

Note only one amount is a No Spend

Budgeted for this period $550 spent $ 426.27 under by $123.73

No Spending Days 14 of 28 days

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 & Diabetes Expenses - this is the extra out of pockets amounts that came up over this period just on medicine that is not covered be refund claims.

My credit cards are still paid in full each month, it was $240

The high cost in the Household was for an electrician to fix my solar hot water element. $203

I do keep my bill money separated from this summery. This year I will be budgeting around $750 per period month to cover all my bills and bills for this period it came to $1313.47 part of this was Car major service$ 254.00

My grocery bill came in under budget for this period.
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. I was very tight in some areas of this daily living allowance over this period but I did work out in the end.

Still need to work on a Grocery category and personal allowance as I got to stop spending money on books, I think this is my biggest downfall most of my personal spending is spent on books as half of it was spent on books.

How am I going with my finances in 2013, up and down once I get over paying all my major bills for this half year, I have about little over $1000 for next month then itís back to saving for next few month until I need to pay these annual bills again.

Strategy - Do remember what you have stored before you go and buy more of the same.

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

All paid

February 7th, 2013 at 09:18 am

Manage to get to the city early enough to get all my bill paying done before my first appointment today.

Paid the insurances and my credit cards off in full yet again, lucky there was enough money in my account to pay them. Thatís withdrawal of $ 2700 today alone.

Had lunch in city of grill fish and salad, the salad wasnít as nice as it could have been Avocado and Chicken Salad so next time will stick to a Greek Salad and the Grilled Fish $7.95 plus a Frozen Chilled Fanta $1.00 and Ice cream cone 50c all up the food $9.45.

As the Chiro is paid for this time but will need to outlay next 12 visits with the next visit somewhere around $600 I should think. But do get rebates of $19.40 for each one not much but it helps. My podiatrist cost $38.50 after rebate today.

In all it was expensive day.

Paying Insurances and other bills

February 6th, 2013 at 08:21 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.

Text is Starting over with budgeting and saving again! and Link is
Starting over with budgeting and saving again!

Text is Review of my spending plan for Bills! and Link is
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 08:10 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!