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I have been reading back over some old threads and the one I am into at the moment is "Taking control of our own budget...." On this particular page, Mimi does a analogy of a certain take away chain boasting a meal deal for $4.95 and putting that into context that for her family that would come in at under $15 and what she can buy with that money.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with DS this past week. He had nearly $30 in his account last Friday and by Monday it was gone. When I had a bit of a look at his spending he was buying take away so we discussed what he could have bought with that money and how it could have benefited him more than buying the take away meals. I know kids will be kids and it is a bit of joy to have some take away but he is a very active child so eating empty calorie meals means that within 15 minutes he is hungry again or he has to spend up to $20 (yep he did this) on a meal just to "fill" him.

I spoke to him about how this fortnight I have $11 left from the budget and what I could spend that on, the decisions about should I purchase a chicken and some luncheon meat for lunches as we run out of ham or should I spend it on ham? What else could I spend this money on and should I save it for the next fortnight and we just eat what we have on hand.

I will keep on reading through this thread of Mimi's as there has been some wonderful stuff discussed on it, plus it has given me more motivation to keep on pushing through.


Mona (SA) - 18 Mar 2017

If your house is anything like mine, you have those few "hot spots", that never seem to get organised. Be it the drawer full of papers or your craft room, the toy cupboard or your bedroom. My hot spots have been multiplying since I have been struggling with pain and a few other family problems. So tonight after kicking my foot three times on a box in my bedroom I am on a mission to start tackling my hot spots. They are as follows (but I know there are more)

  1. My whole bedroom sadly, not just one drawer or the wardrobe but the whole room.
  2. The filing cupboard
  3. The back store cupboards
  4. The Linen cupboard
  5. The shed

Well that is not the way I saw having my house but life has just been somewhat chaotic and this is how it is and instead of berating myself I am going to start working on fixing it.

So begin tonight I threw out two bags of rubbish from my bedroom and took nine pieces of clothing out of my wardrobe for donating to the op-shop my friend manages. Tomorrow my son and his wife are visiting me in the morning and having lunch. My son is going to dig up a stump for me and get into a vine with the chain saw. When they leave I am putting on a DVD in my computer and spending two hours in my room. There is more clothing to get rid of and enough sorting to do to keep me busy for a millennium or two. After my room I am beginning the back store cupboard because I am sick of things falling out and getting me on my head whenever I open a door.

God Bless


Karebear (Planet Earth) - 15 Mar 2017

Well, I'm pleased to say that my 'cunning plan' is going quite well.

In the 4 weeks since I last updated, I have:

  • Saved the $738 needed for bills and they have been paid early...

  • Saved $100/$800 for my Melbourne trip...still $700 to go

  • Increased Mojo Account by $100...yay

I still need to take direct debits off the credit card and over to the debit card.

Today, I sent a text to another company saying that I was available to do extra work. Hoping I will hear from them in the next couple of days, I really want that diary to fill up!

To keep myself motivated, I have listed the !@#$% credit card debt counting down in increments of $100, ie;



$5,300 and so on and so forth

I've done the same for the Touch This & Die credit card too, as well as my home loan (HL in increments of $1,000)

It's a nice to cross out the larger number! I'm under the next $100 on both the !@#$% and TT&D cards, and under the next $1,000 on the home loan (only just under, but it still counts!)

Had some lovely rain overnight. My little garden is looking great again. Looking forward to lovely fresh produce very soon.

My goal for the next 4 weeks is:

  • Save $700 for Melbourne

  • Increase Mojo Account by $100

  • Hit the !@#$% credit card. All rounding will go to this card.

See you next month :o)


Ok, so into the third month we head. Another review done again. Those that have read along on my budget postings previously will note that I do my budget up for two years in advance and review it each pay but do a big review each month.

So this past month it was obvious that I had missed out a category on my budget and that was for Triathlons. My son is very keen on them, and generally does very well. So after coming back from State Trials for all schools, he had a new goal in mind. Any goal with triathlon and him means a lot of cash is going to be needed to be spent during the year, which means that my savings will be depleted along with it.

So as at march my expenses categories come in at:

  • Mortgage PPR
  • Mortgage IP1
  • Insurance PPR
  • Insurance IP1
  • Insurance IP2
  • Insurance IP3
  • Insurance - Ute (sons vehicle that I drive)
  • Insurance - Landcruiser
  • Private Health
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Back to school
  • School Fees DD
  • School Fees DS
  • Swimming
  • Triathlon
  • Rates PPR
  • Rates IP1
  • Rates IP2
  • Rates IP3
  • House Maintenance
  • Food
  • Fuel
  • Vehicle Registration/Maintenance
  • Mobile Phones/Home Phones/Internet
  • Medical
  • Credit Card (Yep still here! Put on hold paying down this debt quickly until the $5k is saved up for pending need of vehicle)
  • Credit Card 2 (On a restricted payment plan as this is part of the IP2 and IP3 issues)
  • Clothing/Haircuts/Birthdays

I have a category for Savings and an allocated amount to be funnelled to it until I reach the $5k end of May.

So far this year I have managed to pay Rates for PPR in full and received the discount of just over $100 for paying before due date, I have not received this discount in at least 3 years. I have just as at today paid the rates in full for IP2 and received the just over $50 discount for paying before due date. I have managed to pay both of these by working out the yearly rates amount dividing it by monthly amounts and BPaying this amount straight to the relevant Council. When I receive the bill over half of it has already been paid and I have taken the money from my savings to pay it out before the discount date. I then adjust the spreadsheet to ensure on the relevant pays that the money is paid back into savings and then I am back onto BPAYing again. By the time I get to the end of the year doing this in 2018 I will be ahead and will not need to dip into savings as I would have put enough money aside. So this is my most proudest moment yet.

So far I have managed to save $2702/$5000, that was worked out less the extra $508 I just chipped into the rates for IP1. So by the start of April I am anticipating the savings to have grown to $3811/$5000 if my spreadsheet calculations are correct. This month is a 3 pay period and I have the same amount deposited for my IP Mortgage Repayments which gives me a forced savings of $510 twice a year which is great for my savings goal this year of reaching $5k.

I have had to increase the money going into the Clothing/Haircuts/Birthdays category to allow enough to pay for an 18th Birthday Party, no credit being applied for that just hard cash.

DS also has a grade 12 camp I had forgotten about so this has now been popped into the budget.

I have pups due in the next 3 weeks so that will mean immunisation time again for both my dogs, plus the micro chipping and immunisations for the pups before they go to their forever homes, again this money will come from the savings and then paid back with the money made from the pups. Last year I only had 2 pups but our girl is huge so there will be definitely more than 2. After I paid for the micro chipping and vaccinations I ended up with enough funds to pay the rates on our PPR. This time it will be used to set up an account specifically for the dogs and with another bank. I need to ensure that money is put to good use, so by having an account set up specifically for the dogs, it will make future litters a lot more manageable when I do not have to dip into savings to get vaccinations and micro chipping done.

March budget did see a reduction in the amount allocated for Groceries, I did a bulk purchase in February so I have taken away $100 a fortnight from the three pay periods to pay back savings for these grocery purchases.

Yesterday I did a bulk purchase on cat crunchies, kitty litter and dry crunchies for the big dog which came in at $105. So $60 has been taken from this fortnight and the other $45 from next fortnight to pay back money borrowed for this bulk purchase. Today I will purchase for the two pups dry crunchies but that will come from the $100 left for this fortnights budget.

So far this year I have managed to save school fees for DD and pay in full by the due date. DS is on a payment plan with the school but it will be paid in full before he finishes year 12 this year. Swimming term fees have been paid in full before term begins. I am now in the process of saving for next term and again will be paid before term starts. I have paid registration of both vehicles in full (last year they were put on credit card). Two lots of rates paid in full before due date. One lot of water rates paid in full before due date (and in cash not on credit this time). Renegotiated all insurances. Have sold one of the IPs now just waiting for Bank to allow release of the property (as it sold for well under half of what I paid for it), can't wait until I no longer have to pay rates or insurances on this property.

Overall I am pretty impressed with my careful planning how much I have achieved this year. Now this weekend I need to get all those items I have available for sale listed on the buy sell swap fb sites, move them out of the house and put the money aside in the spare change jar for all the little things that pop up for school events and fundraisers.


Muirin (Far, Far Away) - 19 Feb 2017

This is Me. All of Me. Me in a Red Dress. Me at 110kgs. Me on my son's Wedding Day, in October 2015.

I do not want to be this version of Me anymore. I have been a Bigger Me. I have been heavier than 143kgs. That's when I stopped weighing myself. That was a Me in Denial.

But, one day, I changed my mind. I turned that Me into an 80kg Me. I felt better. I moved better. I thought better. I ate better. I was better.

But then, something happened. I stopped thinking about Me. I began thinking that I wasn't worth My attention. My depression sank in and gained ground. I was losing myself. I did lose myself. Somewhere along the line, I lost ME. I knew I wasn't worth it. I wasn't worth the effort, the price, the energy, the space. The person who was ME was gone. Instead, I had this shell that looked like me, talked like me, but wasn't me.

I thought I'd be looking better than this at my son's wedding. I was trying to lose weight for the wedding, but I sabotaged myself at every turn on the way. Look at me. Do I look happy? I don't think I was. Actually, I know I wasn't. I was not happy in my body. I was not happy in my mind.

I can't change what has been. But I can influence what is coming.

I have changed my mind again. But, this time, it's for ME. Not for anyone else. Not for the doctors. Not for my family. Not for my friends. Not for society, for whatever ideal that society deems is right for me.

It's for ME. It's MY TIME. I am going to be a selfish person because it's all about ME.


Finally, a new thread for the new year. Been either too tired or too busy to get to it but here I am!

New Years Eve was entertaining. Poor DH had to work 530pm to midnight so I took Ddad and both girls across the road to our neighbours who had invited us. Table tennis table was in garage for the kids but the adults had lots of fun playing too. I rediscovered my teenage skills but sadly was not able to beat anybody. Managed to have conversations with a few people I did not know and was surprised to find a family I have known since kindy. Spent some time sitting by myself but I was content to stop and be quiet. Girls seemed ok so we ended up staying for the midnight countdown.

But the next day I paid for my fun. Sore, tired, cranky. Got up 630am with less than 5 hours sleep, but when I went to shower, instead I crawled back into bed and slept until 1130am. Finally got moving and faced the job of packing up Christmas tree and decorations but I just wanted to go back to bed. Cranky all day.

Monday 2nd woke up feeling a bit more positive. Cleaned kitchen bench, we all went to shopping centre for errands and lunch in the food court. Last day of holidays for DH and I. Didn't get much else done that day but was definitely feeling physically better.

Tuesday I returned to work but as expected, there wasn't much invoicing work for me. I had both girls and a friend out on the ice so I kept checking on them and took a break, and started with computer and printer issues but I was still struggling to fill my minimum 3 hours. Ended up photocopying for the bookkeeper which I didn't mind. Next week I'll be back to normal.

Today is Wednesday and I ducked out early for shopping and then had to dash back to collect DD12 who hadn't even brushed her teeth to go to dentist for scale and clean before orthodontist tomorrow. DD finally got some good appraisal for her clean teeth which was good as orthodontist is always saying her dental hygiene is not up to scratch.

I have 2 extra girls from next door overnight as their parents are at a wedding. I spent the afternoon picking up off playroom floor, wiping bird poop off window sill, tv unit and a board that sits on the floor for DD12 to practice tap dance. Which she doesn't. But the bird sits in front of the large ex bathroom mirror we hung on the wall, and sings to his prospective partner from his reflection. But the mess! I managed to vacuum and mop and wipe what I needed to. Had planned to get girls to help but DD12 managed to sprain her ankle yesterday and DD9 is getting increasingly defiant and difficult and they fought over the broom so I sent them to their bedrooms for quiet time and got on with the job by myself. Finally got it done, 4 mattresses moved in, bedding done. Took all 4 girls back next door for a swim then back home to get dinner going. Really tired but not cranky.

Well, as usual, lots more done in between but not going to go on and on. Already too tired to think and still trying to get girls to quieten down.



Ok, so today marks the first pay to come into my account for 2017. I was all set with my new 2017 Budget which was set up Barefoot Investor Style. However, as per usual IP Income can be sporadic and came in less than what was set out in the budget due to a repair to the house that had to be done in December. It was only $90 less but it still through my budget out.

So with this what I learnt was that I don't think setting up the budget Barefoot Style (i.e. allocating set percentages to set buckets) will overly work for me. I have it set out so that 60% of my income goes towards Blow which is every day expenses, this has helped me look at how much I am spending on items like food and assisted in reducing this expense. Then the next is 10% to Splurge, it is supposed to be put towards things you enjoy, however I had reduced this to 5% because I want to throw the other 5% to the Credit Card at the moment, so the 5% really just covers up coming expenses like kids swimming and music. Then you have 20% to Fire Extinguisher which is taking down your debt, currently I have upped this to 35% of my income so I can knock down the CC, plus I need to put so much towards the IP as the rental income doesn't cover it, once the CC is paid then it is used to build the 3 month Emergency Fund. Then finally you have 10% to Smile, which is supposed to go towards things like holidays, however, I will be putting my toward the Emergency Fund first. I then have a separate section for the IP income and have it allocated out for each month.

I have found that it will probably work ok as long as I don't have any decrease changes to income or rent. I am only one part of my income into January and I am already not liking my new budget set up. I liked the simplistic nature of my budget last year. So as soon as my pay goes in on Wednesday I might look at changing it back, I will just use the Barefoot style to guide myself so that I can keep on track with the percentages, but it has just complicated my budget too much.

When I head back to work next week I will be able to jump straight back onto the payroll system and change out my fortnightly allocations just like I had done previously. All the buckets were doing my head in.

It is good to trial new ideas and see how it is going to work for you. However if it over complicates the system then it is just not worth doing and something needs to change. I am always open to new ideas, and will try it but this was just not a good idea to add extra stress to a relatively stress free budget I had in 2016.


So to continue on from previously.... huge huge year.

At the start of this year I was pretending we were moving and cleaning out the house of junk to try declutter a lot and then it all went sideways and backways...

In March we found out we were having another baby, which meant we actually did have to move house LOL. We secured a house thankfully with lots more space.

I got rid of a lot lot lot of stuff and yet we have managed to fill this house to over flowing... opps

So I am still working hard to clean out the house, reduce what we have and what we acquire and at the same time finish my Cert 3/4 in Personal training, a diploma in business and a diploma in nutrition as well as raising not only my 3 older children but caring for my beautiful 8 week old baby girl who suffers horrible horrible reflux from multiple food sensitives.

Exercise is featuring heavily in my life too at the moment, trying to get my fitness and endurance back post baby. It is an awesome way to get focused on everything big that needs doing around the house and in reorgansing my life.

Over the next week I will be clearing out an outdoor toilet room to be made into a space to lock my cats when they are annoying me LOL I will put a screen door on it and put in branches and climbing stuff for them to play on. Much better than having to try and get them to go away when we are eating, my kitten is terrible for trying to steal food off your plate.

While all the junk in there, from the previous tenant, is being put in the trailer I will also collect up a lot of old building supplies lying around we don't need (rotted old wood, broken roof tiles etc) and get rid of that too :) Which will clear a space for building the dogs run as well.

We have a space, quiet large, down the side of the house that once cleaned out and the gate repaired to make it secure will be a safe area for me to put the dog when the kids have friends over or while we eat etc

Then once both of those are done I can look at getting my chicken run set up and some chookys as well.

I also have several boxes I still need to cull and unpack, books to sort through, painting to get done, blah blah blah LOL

Now focusing on getting all the old junk we just dont want both of ours and that came with the house. Upgrading what we do use to make sure it is practical and long lasting.

It is amazing how much of a relief it is to get rid of it all too.

Working through it all is great but also need to get some organsation happening and set up the house in a more practical way.

I am desperate to get my kids some storage in their bedrooms, I have choosen their furniture I just need to save for it and make trips to ikea :) I really want their rooms set up nice and neat for them and to make it easier for them to work on as at the moment everything they own is crammed into 2 flexitubs and a box each. Bub has taken over my drawers for her things which is annoying as well lol.

But right now I am off with DD11 to sit and sort through some baby clothes we have been given/collected. We have been given so many hand me downs I need to cull a little lol.


I am not going to make any apologies or feel guilty for my job as a stay at home wife. This is the way we have chosen to live for various reasons and it works for us. There is no right or wrong way to live your life, whatever way works for you is the right way.

Whether you work in a paying job or work in a non paying job, what you do is important and no less of a job than anyone else. We have a choice how we live our own lives and if it makes us happy, that is all that matters.

So now that is out of the way, why am I writing about this? Because I can and also because I want to brag about my contribution to our financial situation.

My husband is the bread winner in our house and has been since our son was born. He now works away for three weeks and then is home for three weeks. I do teach Tai Chi and have for over 10 years, but don't earn much from it, I also sell our excess honey and eggs.

Like lots of people, over the years our income has been up and down for various reasons but even when I was working, my job was the finances, and more so now.

This job of taking care of the finances isn't just about paying the bills on time, and I don't do it because my husband can't. My husband is good with money but I am a bit better and I have in intense interest in it. You could call it a hobby or an obsession or just a deep seated need to make our money work the best for us.

It is my job firstly to do the budget, to squeeze the life out of it and when things change, do it again. From the budget come all the other things that need to be done.

Making sure I make the most of our grocery budget while keeping us healthy. If that means I have to sign up for the Woolies reward card to get groceries on special even though I end up with emails from them all the time, then I sign up.

If it means cooking from scratch even though I am not a fan of cooking (though I am a fan of eating which keeps me motivated) then that is what I do. I cook the best and most efficient way I can and my next thing is to learn to use the cheap solar cooker I bought but have been too scared to use.

I became the power police, making sure if something wasn't being used, it was off at the wall. I make sure we have the best phone deal and insurance, and the tires on the car are kept pumped up to the right pressure to help fuel efficiency.

I make sure our Superannuation is going along properly, or the best we can afford, and that my husband keeps on top of any work entitlements.

The filing cabinet is organised to within an inch of its life and I can lay my hand on anything that needs to be found.

All the other things I do can also come under the finances category as they are helping us to spend less or spend better.

Keeping chooks for eggs, bees for honey, having an orchard and garden, and even on a small scale these things contribute to the finances.

A big part of my job as a SAHW is research and education to improve our finances. It is important. How do you know how finances work, any new changes to law, how to invest, how Superannuation figures into the big picture, unless you go and find out.

I have enrolled in free online courses, signed up for free newsletters that talk about investing, mortgages and Superannuation, read finance books, talk to people either in real life at the family and friends lunch or online on forums and facebook. Doing all these things keeps finances in the front of my mind, because it is important.

My husband has always believed that what I do is important, it took me a long time to catch up, and he really loves me at tax time, I have it all organized, and our accountant likes me too.

I make sure the money stretches, to make sure we have money for the bills and to have lunch at the pub every now again. I make a little extra money from selling my skills as a Tai Chi teacher, and from selling eggs and honey. I need to make sure we are going to have enough for retirement and maybe for some investing, and I need to keep up to date with the latest information.

My job is Finance Officer really. It encompasses all the other jobs, if I don't do one of those jobs our finances will suffer. Driving instructor, meal planner, grocery buyer, gardener, caretaker of chooks and bees, cleaner, time manager, negotiator of deals.

This is what I do.


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