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Home > Archive: January, 2009

Archive for January, 2009

random tidbits... and yes, I do like clothes, thankyou.

January 31st, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Just some random tidbit updates:

- DF says he doesn't want to bother with the pest inspection now. Like I mentioned previously, it's a high set house on steel posts, and you can SEE underneath that there is nothing going on in terms of bugs/pests/termites. Personally I also think it will be a waste of time and money getting it done. I am going to find ut if we HAVE to get it done, but if we don't I think I will leave it.

- Tomorrow I am picking up my little brother and sister from school again, then having coffee with some friends. I am ONLY having a coffee! I am going to work REALLY hard on the takeaway/beverages issue this month!

- My friend just rang me to tell me that a store we sometimes go to is having a closing down sale, and all these shoes that I am particularly fond of the style, are $10 a pair. HMMM! If I do pick up a pair, that will leave me with approx $47 for the rest of the week in Fun Money.

- I pulled out all my clothes (except for the three baskets in the laundry) and sorted them into piles of 'wear sometimes' and 'wear all the time'. The 'sometimes' pile is on the left:

yes I realise it's utterly ridiculous. Factor in the three loads of washing that I haven't done and I am starting to realise I don't ever have to buy clothes, ever. EVER.

- I packed several more boxes today (clothes, art & craft) and yesterday I packed all our dvd's, cd's and xbox games. And now DF is complaining that the box is too damn heavy! (I suppose it is... it's a 1m high square box...I can barely PUSH it accross the tiles)

- DF started clearing his 'crap' cupboard, then got distracted and started playing texas hold em on facebook. *sigh* Well I ain't packing his stuff!

- I am making a time to see the house again, this time with a ladder so DF can look in the roof. I am starting to calm down from my stressout the other day.

- I have two garbage bags full of clothes for charity, and a stack of old books too. I was going to attempt to sell them but I honestly don't think I will make any money from any of it. And I can't be bothered. Still burnt from my last ebay experience.

- I am starting to get motivated to work on my fitness again. I have had, what, a three week break? I have probably undone everything I worked so hard on. Grrr.

- Now I'm off to have an early dinner (it's 4.30pm here). DF is having tandoori chicken and I am having sweet potato & pea patty burgers - with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, beetroot and cucumber, and yoghurt and sweet chilli sauce. YUM!

January Totals

January 31st, 2009 at 02:25 pm

Job 1: $985
Job 2: $1357.85
Other: $120.00
From Savings: $676.88
Total: $3139.73

Rent: $793.34 ($158.67 p/w)
Groceries: $218.29 ($43.66 p/w)
Petrol: $113.26 ($22.65)
Phone & Internet: $39.23 ($7.85)
Mobile Phone: $64.88 ($12.98)
Loan Payments: $185.00 ($37.00)
Skincare: $29.95
Misc: $24.10
Health/Grooming: $61.10
Gifts: $40.00
Bank Fees: $9.78
Alcohol: $7
Takeaway Beverages: $153.82
Takeaway Food/Dining Out: $263.54
Magazines/Books: $5.95
Clothes/Shoes: $158.85
Makeup: $33.90
Entertainment: $241.00
Staff Lotto: $10.00
House/Appliance: $79.96
HOUSE STUFF: $750.00

Total: $3282.95

Difference: $143.22(-)

I know I transferred money into my account from my loan, but I can't remember how much! Also I made a bit more money on eBay but can't remember exactly how much either. I would say I just broke even this month, even though it says differently above. No savings, bummer. But I guess we are focusing all our energy on the new house so it's kind of expected until we get back to normality.

Hmmm, what can I say? I think I did well on books/magazines. I bought one book at the start of the month, and no magazines at all.

Mobile Phone is high because of a $15 charge to replace the sim when I lost it. Frown Not my new phone though! Thank god! I took an older, crappier one to the festival.

I am really proud of groceries and petrol expenses! LESS than my budgetted amounts! (I budgetted $50-$70 for groceries p/w and $25-$30 p/w for petrol).

Takeaway Beverages/Dining Out and Clothes: BLAH! Obviously I am going to be working REALLY hard on that this month. Entertainment costs were high, but I went to a festival. So really they won't be high in the months to come because we won't be DOING ANYTHING. At all.

Over all it was 'just a month', nothing special about it really, in terms of finance.

credit card rewards/stressouts

January 30th, 2009 at 01:25 pm

I just redeemed my points for a $50 voucher. I am going to try and close the account over the next month, seeing as we now have our free ones with our new bank.
Also I just recieved my $20 voucher from www.valuedopinions.com
I have about $5 of credit in my account with them as well, for next time. They seem to send out surveys in waves. I will get a ton of them (ok, like 5 of them) and my balance will be at something like $19 (minimum you can cash out is $20). Then I will have to wait a month before getting another one so I can cash out.

Anyway, I'm not complaining. Technically it's free money!

Also, checked my emails and I have a $25 voucher to spend at Wallacec Bishop Jewellers before Feb 14th. AND they are having a sale! Last time I spent a voucher there I got a butterfly necklace pendant and a chain, so this time I can just get another pendant. The good thing about these jewellers is when they have sales, they actually HAVE SALES. I won't have to spend any more than my $25 voucher there, either.

To undo all of my good work, I bought a dress yesterday for $49.95. I had tried it on 3 times in the past two weeks - so I can't say it was an impulse purcahse. I am planning on wearing it to DF's sisters engagement.
Hmmm. Anyway that's probably going to be the LAST piece of clothing I buy for a very long while.

My plan for the next few weeks is to sock away enough money for the end of month credit card bill. It's at $900 and it's only in the first week of the cycle! $500 of it was for the solicitors fees, but DF has already given me his half. I think between that and the $1000 deposit to the real estate, it has really eaten up all our spare money. I am not sure if we are allowed to transfer any money from our savings for the house deposit - that would make it a hell of a lot easier.
See we had saved and budgetted enough to pay for lawyers fees and all that, but that's in our deposit (which is in our savings accounts). And while finance is still in limbo - I am not sure if I am meant to be taking any money out or not. So technically $1500 that was meant to come out of our savings has come out of our OWN money instead, leaving us both a bit short. (so that's $750 of the $900 CC balance - whew! I can breathe now!) Plus I am about to organise a pest inspection for next week too. That will probably be another hundred or so.

Realisically, the purchase price is $320k. Our deposit, of 5%, is $16k. And we have about $18.5k in our savings. PLUS, on the date of settlement, we will be getting $14k for the First Home Owners Grant. I'm not relying on that, obviously, for anything except the solicitors fees, which will be between $500-$1000. (Actual amount between $1000-$1500, but we've already paid $500).
On top of that, we've already paid a $1k deposit to the real estate, so really we owe $319k. Am I confusing you yet? I'm confusing myself!
All I'm trying to work out is... I don't know...!
I guess I am trying to work out if it's alright to withdraw $750 from my deposit to pay for solicitors fees and real estate deposit. Not to mention we should be withdrawing $5k midweek for our finance deposit. I am sure THAT is ok to do.

But really, I don't NEED to withdraw anything, because the CC is not due until MARCH. (unfortunately, it will be due about four days before settlement - another reason not to rely on the home owners grant, not that I would do that anyway. The grant is for home stuff, not a credit card bill! even if the credit card bill is mostly for home stuff...)
I am just one of those weird people that like to see the money there for something, so I can calm down.

Still don't know about finance. They give us credit cards before we even find out if we have GOT the loan! Weird.

This week is going to be a big week for us. Well. I am freaking out over all the things we have to do:

-organise a pest inspection (we've been slack - initially we weren't going to do it as there isn't that much chance of termites seeing as it is a high set home that is over 30 years old - termites dont like dry wood. Anyway but then DF started talking about doing a pest inspection, so now we are looking into it).
-organise a time with the real estate for the pest inspection and so we can get a ladder and look in the roof.
-transfer $2500 each out of our savings accounts.
-organise getting a check for $5k for deposit on Friday.
-get a $75 voucher for Df's sister for their engagement party
-figure out something to cook for their engagement party!
-pack some boxes
-baby proof the house for when my brother and his family stay
-organise the spare rooms so they can sleep there.
-plus then there's the money issue. like gamecock blogging about having all this money sitting there and not being able to use it! I feel the same way. AND haveing guests over is going to stretch it a bit.


LOL. I just checked my bank account and realised I had forgotten that I had put $600 away already for the CC. God I'm an idiot sometimes...

sorry about the long winded rambling post.

so many credit cards...!

January 29th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Well, I went and got my blood test! I didn't eat from 6pm Wednesday night til 3pm Thursday afternoon and was STARVED. (couldn't eat breakfast as I woke up too late, then when I got to work realised my 8 hours had started... grrr!)
I haven't exercised for about two weeks and I feel FAT and BLOATED beyond belief. It's amazing the good feelings you get from exercise, and I really notice it when I'm NOT doing any form of physical activity. I just feel much better when I do atleast a couple of sessions on my bike a week, and I feel like an athlete when I do six or seven days a week plus swimming. (an athlete that's lazy and on their holidays, exercising for 'fun', but an athlete nonetheless).

Today DF finished work early so I met him at the bank and we went in to do income vrification and get our new credit cards with our home loan bank.

We got American Express cards (!!!)

I don't know if it's different in America, but in Australia to get Amex you need to earn over a certain amount to get them, and they're sort of a 'status symbol' for a lot of people (not us though). Likewise, if you work in customer service, you probably have a bit of disdain for people who pay for things with Amex; in my experience they've always been rude and self important, and they pull out their Amex cards with a big show of 'oh HERE it is, everyone look, here's my credit card.'.

Anyway, so I won't be pulling that out any time soon.

We also got Mastercard ones, and they are giving us Debit Mastercards as well. WHY do we have so many cards???
They're all free, so I don't really care. I mean, I do CARE, but hey, it's free, why not have them? I'm not going to rack up debt on them, if that's what anyone is wondering. I don't do that sort of thing. He said we could have the debit mastercards if we wanted, or we didn't have to if we thought we wouldn't use them. I said I would rather have them incase we needed them where we didn't want to use a credit card, and we'll just keep them at home for the time being. They all come on one statement, so I'm not wasting paper either. :-)

But that's THREE cards! Plus we will have normal ATM cards. PLUS my Virgin/Ignite CC, my ANZ CC, my other bank ATM card, plus DF's Virgin/Ignite CC, his ATM card...


Anyway, I had a thought yesterday as well. Isn't it STRANGE that a bank will give you credit cards, when you're actually just applying for a home loan, before they even find out if your finance for a home loan is approved? It's like, you're borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars from them, and they want to get a bit more in edgeways so they give a bajillion credit cards as well. Eh. They're not going to be making a CENT from the credit cards off me!

personal spending, health post

January 28th, 2009 at 12:00 am

I have decided to have a practice go at only spending my personal allowance each week, to see how hard it's going to be in a months time.
So far this week I have spent $91.04, which is around $30 more than I will have to spend. $33.90 of that was for my foundation, which is a one-in-six-month expense. It was originally $48 though, I had a gift card with $14.10 left on it. Looking back on the rest of the expenses, I already know that $25.60 is for food/snacks while out which were TOTALLY avoidable and unneccesary, I was just being slack.
So in normal circumstances I would have spent $31.54, which is only half of my budgetted allowance.
Next week I am going to try harder. I want to get it down pat BEFORE we start with this huge mortgage payoff thing!

Today I finished work early (3.30pm instead of 5ish) so I came home and hung out washing/folded washing, dishes, packed a box of books.

Lately I have been so tired, I don't know WHAT is going on. I should really stop procrastinating and get this second blood test done. (I have already pushed it forward to Wednesday...)
Tomorrow I will see if I can go 8 hours without eating at work, and if by the time I am finished I haven't eaten anything, I will do it then.

The doctor told me I have mild neutropenia. I have no idea what it is, other than something to do with low white blood cell count, and I'm not game enough to look it up on the internet - the last time I did that I freaked myself out unneccesarily.
It showed up on my last blood test, and I remember my previous doctor saying something about low WBC counts. If it shows up on this next one, then we'll know for sure.

Anywho, wish me luck on my 8 hour fast at work tomorrow. Me thinks I'm going to fail!

grr damn ebay buyers

January 27th, 2009 at 06:06 pm

Ok, so it's probably not their fault. But I just don't like the way they dealt with the situation.
I sold some skincare product on ebay. Cost including shipping was $33. They paid by paypal, and I sent the item the following day. A week later I get a message through ebay telling me they havent recieved it yet, had I sent it, and did i send it as a parcel. I said yes I sent it on XX/XX/XX, in a bubble wrap padded package. I got a message saying 'you should have sent it as a parcel. i paid $5 for postage. oh well it will be returned to you and i will get a refund through paypal'

First of all, I LOST money on postage, the bag cost $1 and postage cost $4.20. Secondly I told them how I sent it. Why did they ask me AGAIN.

Anyway. I sent an email saying to please be patient, I am sure it will arrive. After two days I heard nothing, so I sent another email saying that I would replace the item if they had not recieved it (I have one at home for my own use that I hadn't yet opened). STILL I heard nothing, so I sent another email saying that because I hadn't heard anything, I was going to go ahead and assume they had recieved it.
THEN the next day I got an email from paypal saying that person had opened a dispute and the money had been deducted from my paypal account!

again, WTF!?

What is WITH some people? Are they complete idiots?

Anyway, so I sent a message through paypal saying that I had already offered to replace the item and I was just waiting for their response, and what in the hell did they WANT from me? (actually, I didn't say that, I just said 'What exactly do you want?')


And the most annoying thing is this stupid rule of not being able to leave negative feedback for buyers now. ARGH.

All over a bottle of toner for $33.

family rant

January 27th, 2009 at 02:08 pm

First of all thanks for all the comments on my previous entry. Smile It helped me feel a bit better. I dare say it was a stupid thing to stress about, but I talked to DF about it again last night and he agreed with all the things I had to say. I also researched a little on the net and found out the two other stones you should use for an engagement ring are sapphires and rubies. I like the idea of a ruby so I think we've decided on that.
Also, last year a dear cousin of mine passed away whose name was Ruby. She was only 13. So it has a little bit of meaning as well.

I have decided I want to use up a majority of our food before we move. I realise it will probably be an expensive week in the grocery department when we restock, but it makes moving a bit easier because then you don't have to worry about things going hot or spilling etc.

Last night I used the last of our risotto rice, the last of our frozen peas and nearly all of the frozen vegetable bag I found in the freezer. I told DF that they would probably be very boring dinners for a month, but he was ok with it. (as long as he doesn't have to make anything, I think he's fine).

In other news, my brother, his GF and my little nephew will be staying for FOUR days instead of 2 now, because apparently they are not 'welcome' at my parents house. Which is not only pathetic, but childish too. (this is my parents I am talking about). I don't want to go into details because like I said, it's completely childish, but the long story short of it is, my parents went to visit my mums parents at christmas, and my brother lives nearby. He came for Christmas Day lunch but did not bring my nephew or his GF (they were at the GF's parents). My parents took this as some type of lame insult and now are offended at the fact that my brother and his family want to stay in teir spare room for two nights.
They haev had this trip planned for about 6 months, are DRIVING about 2000 kilometers (they live two states away). They can't exactly post-pone their trip until everything has been smoothed over. And the thing is with our parents - if you want anything to be smoothed over, YOU have to do the apologising, even if it's not your fault. I just think it is absolutely PATHETIC. It's such an immature way of dealing with problems. It's as if they're being sulking teenagers, not grown adults in their 50's.

Anyway, back to my point. I do love my brother dearly, and of course he is welcome in my house anytime, but not only is he lazy and eats a lot, he's loud and sometimes forgets to shower. (yes i know, ick.) However he HAS been better since being with his lovely new GF, and since they had a son together.

I'm also a little worried about the COST. When I stayed with them, they took me out to dinner and paid. Am I meant to do that with them? I am just one person, they are 2.5 people. EEEK! So in that respect, it means I am confined to the kitchen every night if I want to save money (which is no different than any other night - except my brother can be a bit of a snob about meals...).

Eeek. Anyway. I am trying not to stress. I am also going to try and work into our meals some things that need to be used up. My plan for our dinners when they are staying will be:

Tandoori Chicken Burgers (will get free bread rolls from work, use up some tandoori paste, a vege burger for me, and I will make wedges as a side dish and filler) Buy: Chicken, Salad Items

Spaghetti Bolognaise (will use up any leftover vegetables, tinned tomatoes, will have pasta in the pantry) Buy: Mince, Parmesan

Curry with rice (will use up one of the many curry pastes in the fridge, rice in pantry, use up leftover veges) Buy: Meat, Coconut Milk

Tacos (use up beans and veges, tinned tomatoes) Buy: Sour Cream, Avo, Taco Shells.

am i being a weird freaky non-girly person?

January 26th, 2009 at 08:01 pm

First of all, is it weird to want to go halves with DF on an engagement ring?

It is for me, after all.

And we're joining our finances. So technically we'll be going halves anyway. Isn't it better to just do it together from the get-go? I mean, I *DO* all the finances. I am going to find out how much it cost, and where he gets it from.

Also, secondly, I have some issues with the amount of money it will cost.

DF casually asked his best friend, who is engaged to DF's sister, how much their ring cost him. (I have no idea how you can casually ask this, but he managed to).


I don't know, is it just me or is that a lot? I mean, I am AWARE that LOTS of people pay thousands and thousands for engagement rings, but to be honest, we are ordinary folk.

I just... I don't know. I feel WEIRD expecting something like that. I would feel so STRESSED wearing something that cost that amount.

I said to DF (before I knew how much DF's sisters cost) that I'd be fine with whatever, as long as it was made to last, a couple of hundred dollars max, and I DON'T WANT A DIAMOND.

Even after finding out how much the other ring cost, I am still ok with the amount that I already said - but then I get pangs of doubt. Is it just because I'm trying to keep up with the Jones's? I realise I'm only stressing out now because I found out how much someone elses was. But I'm not stressing out in the normal way. I'm not saying 'I want you to spend $3k on my ring'. I'm now stressing out because I am thinking that's what is expected, and it ANNOYS me!

Is this weird?

Are we MEANT to spend that much? I just don't get it. It's really not important to me. I just want a nice plain ring with a ruby or something. It doesn't have to be all jazzed up. It doesn't have to have ten million stones on it or any fancy design. It can be one of those antique ones, too. It doesn't have to be 'made' for me.

Am I supposed to be more fussy than this?

I am having a severe i-don't-think-i'm-being-girly-enough attack. and i realise also that it's stupid. but it's still happening!!!

free spa!

January 26th, 2009 at 01:45 pm

We have a (very generous) friend of DF's that has been running his own spa installation and repair business for many years now. He makes awesome money (think, $8k a week in profit) but blows it all on a party lifestyle with his GF. The GF recently found out she is pregnant, and I think they have started to cut back in areas.
At the Australia Day BBQ yesterday our friend, M, mentioned as a housewarming gift he would give us a spa. GIVE us a spa. A 'several person spa'.
M has about 5 secondhand ones that need repairs. The previous owners were all rich, hardly ever used them, and when something broke that needed fixing, they just told him to install a better, bigger one. He said all we'd have to do is pay for anything that costs for repairs, which is usually tubing or fixings. He would install it for us and service it when we needed.
WOOHOO! Although, I am not an idiot. I realise we will have to pay for chlorine and other things to upkeep it. But it's a small price to pay when you think about the fact that I sometimes PAY to use spas at hotels with friends. So technically it will be saving me money...

Anyway. I'm not going to get too excited about it. (well...)
It could take awhile. And I'll have to work it into the budget. Smile

Oh and on another note, for our housewarming party, he has already volunteered to bring his portable spa (fits about 10-12 people) that he rents out to people. How exciting.

Happy Australia Day!

January 26th, 2009 at 01:30 am

Today (26th) is Australia Day! So I am wishing happy Australia Day to all my fellow aussie bloggers out there...

Being a public holiday I had the day off, so we watched Battlestar Galactica last night and went to bed late, slept in until 7am (OMG! late!). I drove DF to a river where all his friends were having a BBQ and doing the Triple J Hottest 100 Countdown.
I went to the doctor for a follow up of my blood test that I got a few months ago (been a bit slack on the follow up!). My cholesterol is down from 4.9 to 4.2, in a year! Awesome news. My iron is all good, my red blood cells are good. My white blood cells are STILL down. Last time I went they were as well. She has ordered another test for white blood cells and blood clotting.
Also this is the FIRST doctor that has said to me, after suggesting the 'cervical cancer vaccine', and me saying I understand all about it but DON'T WANT IT, she is the first to ever say to me that I probably don't need it. (!!!) This is a really big deal for me.

Anyway, after the doctors I went to the shops and bought some new black ballet flats ($9) and some foundation, as I was down to the bottom of the bottle ($48). Then I went and joined DF and his friends at the river side until we got to the end of the count down at around 6pm. The 2nd song was Electric Feel by MGMT and the number one top song for 2008 was Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon.

Whew. Well a big day of not doing a great deal. Back to work tomorrow!

our new budget!

January 25th, 2009 at 04:26 pm

I am just tinkering with our new budget. I don't know if I have missed a number or something... it doesn't seem right to have that much money 'left' for savings and extra mortgage payments. Does anyone see anything that I might be missing? Or is it just that I under-estimated our abilities? All amounts are calculated weekly.

Me: $611
DF: $803

Total: $1414

Mortgage: $443
Groceries: $120
Petrol: $40
Loan Payment: $37
Mobile Phone: $11.50
Personal DF: $80.30
Personal Me: $61.10
Bills: $145 *

Total: $937.90

*cost per year divided by 52 and saved per week for the following: rates, car rego x2, car insurance, gas, phone & internet, racq, electricity, car repairs, home & contents insurance.

Income: $1414
Less expenses: $937.90
Left Over: $476.10 (savings)

EF: $300
Mortgage: $175
Change Jar: $1.10

(for the first few months I really want to concentrate on having a solid EF. I am thinking $4000 for our first goal. Once we reach that amount we will talk about flipping the amounts and adding $250 a week into the mortgage, $150 into the EF and the $76.10 will divide up into our smaller savings accounts for household items on the want list. We are also going to talk about setting up a 'home repairs' account too - for the time being the EF will double as that. Final EF goal is three months of expenses: $12200. Neither of us have EVER been without work for that long - actually we have never been without work, so we think we will be pretty safe. My job is stable and guaranteed, and DF's trade is in demand.)

I am hoping I added everything up right. Does it all seem right with you guys?

Oh, and to answer the ever-recurring question before it is asked: NO we don't have, and will never get, cable! Smile

best friends...

January 25th, 2009 at 01:30 am

I just wanted to share a picture of the dogs we have been looking after on and off.

This is my mums dog:

This is DF's dad's dog:

And this is mum's dog, DF's dad's dog, and DF's sisters (our flatmate's) dog who we also looked after for a while:

Not really a financial post, but I thought I would share and hope you think they are as gorgeous as we do!

new accounts structure :S

January 23rd, 2009 at 02:22 am

DF and I have been talking about how we're going to structure our accounts once the house sale is final. We both agree it would be a good idea to keep track of how much each of us pay off the mortgage. I'll just keep track of that on a spreadsheet, it will be interesting to see. I might even start printing it out to be motivating and stick it on the fridge.

These are my ideas for account structure:

Mortgage Account: we will make extra regular payments and these won't be withdrawn.

Offset Account: This will be our large savings account and EF. We won't take money out unless we get less work hours per week, something breaks etc or for planned (and saved for!) renovations. The point of this account is so we don't redraw from our mortgage, but it still saves us on interest. I may also, down the track, deposit amounts into this account that I've spent on the credit card and then withdraw when paying the CC. But only with complete control over the CC expenditures!

DF/My Personal Accounts: We discussed having personal accounts that we can access with ATM cards - where each week an amount is deposited automatically into this account. It will be our 'fun' money that we can use for whatever we please and not feel guilty about. Starting amount will be probably $50 for me and $100 for DF, and we will see how that goes. May have to adjust it up or down depending on how we feel.

Mini Savings Accounts: I might set up a couple of these to save for smaller items we agree on buying (so far: a new fridge, chest freezer, air con). It's pointless having these accounts, I know, when we can just add an extra amount into the offset acocunt each week - but it just seems more organised knowing the amount IS THERE and is being saved for, and is for a purpose. It's more peace of mind than anything else, and if it's only small amounts I guess the interest amounts are hardly anything anyway.

Main Account: Where all our wages will be deposited, and where all deposits to other accounts will come from. The mortgage interest payments will also come from here, so I expect to always have a minimum amount in here to maintain.

Credit Card: Will be used to purchase all or most of the groceries, petrol and houeshold expenses. Then I expect to transfer amounts spent from the main account into the offset account (if I'm organised) and then on due date back to the credit card. If not, then the money will sit in the main account. DF suggested keeping ALL reciepts (i am proud! he's doing well and is learning) so that if we spend money on the CC for say, a video game, then that person will know at the end of the month they have to transfer that amount from their personal account.

I like being organised, but what does everyone else think? having limits and set purposes for accounts really helps me keep calm for some reason (you would think it's the opposite!), much more calm than say, having a main account, a mortgage and a credit card. That just SCARES me.

Anyway. Because I'm such an organisational FREAK, I have even made a chart:

what do I call BF now?

January 21st, 2009 at 09:56 pm

Just some updates while everything is in limbo with the house due to finance.
Keep your fingers crossed for us!

I am keeping fingers, toes, arms, legs etc crossed for Gamecock Smile hoping it all goes well for you, honey!

One of my biggest issues now is what do I call BF on my blog now? I am so used to typing BF that I really don't know what to type instead!

I have told ONE PERSON about our engagement. O.N.E P.E.R.S.O.N!
We both want to keep it quiet until after BF's sisters engagement. And we're both a bit undecided about when we'll be telling people.

I'd prefer it to be a complete surprise. No putting it on facebook until AFTER the invitations have been recieved. (yes, that's the way a lot of our friends break the news - any news).

Initially we thought of having an engagement/housewarming party. But then I mentioned inviting my boss and some work colleagues, family, friends etc, and then I think BF realised the sheer magnitude of people that would be attending.

The house is big, but I don't know if it is that big.

Which would mean that we would be having a housewarming party, probably in April, and an engagement party.

And then BF and I were talking about how you can't expect people to come to a housewarming party AND an engagement party (a fair amount will bring gifts). So that would mean the engagement party gets pushed back for a few MORE months.

And then I was thinking, HEY that's not fair! We've attended and given gifts to a lot of engagement parties, and housewarming parties, of the same couples. So why CANT we have two parties? Just because they're a few months apart?
The main thing is the company anyway - we are not so concerned with the gifts. If people don't want to give gifts then they won't.


So this ONE PERSON I have told is something of a best friend. She was so excited she made me get up (in the middle of the coffee shop) so she could hug me. She's already bought me a small housewarming gift (a crystal - i think it is amethyst?) and has already got about ten plans for other things she is going to buy us, to which I've already told her to SAVE her money. She really is gorgeous and sweet. She doesn't understand how I can't be telling every single person I know. It is hard sometimes, but I much prefer it to be a complete and utter surprise to everyone once they get the invitations. I am just impatient over HOW LONG I am going to have to wait.

vegetarian shepherds pie?

January 21st, 2009 at 11:50 am

I know this is a bit of a change in posting as all my recent ones have been about houses, but I wanted to share this recipe with anyone that wants it because it turned out *delicious*. I kind of made it up as I went along because I was making enchiladas and found out I only had 2 tortilla wraps in the fridge instead of 4 like I thought.

2 tortilla wraps
1 can kidney beans
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tblsp olive oil
700ml tomato passata
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp each of turmeric, paprika & ceyenne pepper
1 medium sweet potato, diced and steamed
1 cup grated cheese

Heat oil in a frypan and gently fry onion & garlic. Add all spices and stir. Add the kidney beans and carrots and fry for 3 minutes. Add the passata and bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Layer a third of the bean mix, a tortilla, another third of the mix, a tortilla, and the remaining bean mix.
Arrange the sweet potato on top and sprinkle with the cheese, and bake at 200*c for 20 minutes covered with foil. After 20 minutes take the foil off and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes and then serve with a green salad.

The recipe serves probably 4 or 5.

Anyway it's probably a bit unusual but it turned out really yummy. I guess it is a bit like a vegetarian shepherds pie... but not...

insurance and talking with the owner

January 20th, 2009 at 02:34 pm

On Monday after getting home from the Gold Coast we went straight to the bank to withdraw $1000 for the goodwill deposit, ($500 each) and then went to the bank to give our loan manager the copy of the contract and set up cover note insurance. I didn't really have a clue what all that was about, but now our house is insured for $160k. Our monthly cost is $43.19.

So yay! Another thing to budget. We also had a meeting at our new place last night with the owner, P, and BF's dad, G.

G and P are both builders, and we immediately felt very at ease with P. Also, he only lives up the road from where we will be living! I somehow doubt we are going to have any problems with the house or land. Straight away we could both see that P was a very genuine person and G said that he knew exactly what he was talking about, and that with a lot of things to do with moving and re-building our house, he went above and beyond what he had to do to ensure the structure and safety of the house.

P also said there is some more work he is going to do on the property before settlement - mainly landscaping down the bottom of the property. I was very impressed with that. It is not often you come accross someone who is willing to put in work AFTER they know the sale is good to go.

I am SO glad that it all went fine.

We just saved ourselves approx $500 by getting G to look over the property instead of a Pest and Building Inspector. (you do not have to be qualified to do PBI's - you just need a building license which G has, and insurance - G has also been working in the industry a lot longer than some PBI's. I know I do and so does BF, have complete faith in G. More faith than any PBI we've come accross.)

Also seeing as Town N is an older town we will only have to do standard searches. There is no posisble way a highway is going to go through our property (especially when there is a heritage protected park behind us). So we have just saved another $250.

If finance all goes well we will be withdrawing $5000 on Feb 6th and paying the initial deposit.

Sorry to bore you all with this stuff. I know it's not that exciting.

weekend and pictures of house

January 19th, 2009 at 03:08 pm

Well as I mentioned in my previous post, it was our last 'big weekend'. Here is the total damage:

Tickets: $281.50
Accomodation: $305
Dining Out/Takeaway: $150
Drink Tickets: $116
Petrol: $10
Activities: $175
Trinket-Memorabilia: $17.00

Total: $1054.50


Anyway, here are some promised pics of our new house, from the real estates website. Please excuse the previous occupiers furniture!

The view from our balcony. Our property backs onto a heritage park and creek, so there will never be another house behind us.

Main bedroom. Two of the four bedrooms have the squared-bookshelf feature in the walls. I love it! The entire house, except for the bathroom and toilet, have hardwood floors under the carpets and vinyl.

Front of the house. BF and his dad are going to put roller-doors where you can see the car parked, and then later on they will enclose that area so it is a double lockup garage.

The loungeroom. My favourite at the moment because it looks SO old. Again, when we move in it will have sanded hardwood floors and we will paint the walls white.

Back view of the house. I'm not so hot on the colour (who paints a house baby blue???) but it is freshly painted so neither of us mind leaving it for a while, until we build up funds. Then we'll probably paint it white.

And that's all the pictures I have now. I will post better ones later, probably after we have done all the work so we can post before and after pictures.

BF proposed!

January 19th, 2009 at 12:06 am

Well this weekend was our last 'big' weekend for a while. We went to the Gold Coast for the weekend (any aussies here will know where/what that place is). Stayed two nights in a nice hotel. Went to an Indian restaurant for dinner on the saturday night and on Sunday went to the Big Day Out (see here: www.bigdayout.com)
Saw lots of bands. Highlights were Sneaky Sound System, Hot Chip, Neil Young, Prodigy, The Grates... too many to name really, everyone was great.
As the title says, BF proposed. He said he hadn't planned it but it felt right at the time and he felt an overwhelming urge to ask me to marry him, what with beginning to tell everyone about our house purchase etc.
I said yes of course.
So for the first few hours of our engagement I had a glowstick ring Smile We will pick something out later.
Our housewarming will also be our engagement party and we're not telling anyone (except family) until the invitations are sent out, which will probably be mid-April.
We both don't want to get married for a few more years, but being engaged is a further commitment at this time and will advance our relationship to a new level.

Anyway. I had to TELL someone, as I haven't told anyone yet. I am bursting with excitement.
So you SavingAdvice bloggers are the first to know about our engagement plans (!!)

It's very exciting to be buying a house and becoming engaged in the same year.

We also don't want to tell anyone yet because BF's sister and her BF (my BF's best friend) are having their engagement party in February. They had a very intense first 6 months of their relationship (her ex is a friend of BF's and her fiance - so there was a lot of ill-feelings at the start) and they also lost their first baby. I don't think it would be fair to steal the lime-light from them, so that is why we will wait to tell other people. We want them to have their day.

house update: BF's come a long way!

January 16th, 2009 at 02:00 am

so it looks as if everything will go smoothly, financially.
the loan manager that is looking after us told me 'i'm a very organised young lady and that i should be proud of myself'. Big Grin

The amount we are borrowing is $304 000. Approximate interest payments per week will be around $443. (of course, we'll be living on bare minimums for awhile and creating a buffer, putting everything extra onto the mortgage for the first few months) We get a discount for home and contents insurance so i want to look into that.

The nerd in me can't wait to find out about all our bills so i can do our budget. The ones in mind are: gas, electricity, rates, insurance, phone & internet, mobiles, car insurance, car rego, racq, club membership. Anything else? I can't think of any more.

BF has been talking to friends and I keep hearing the word 'budget' in the conversations (!!!). Of course, we knew before we bought the house that our lifestyle would have a major make-over, but I am very impressed with him.

Oh, and he's is 100% on board for an emergency fund! Of course, I have one (which is currently being drained) but only since I have been on this website. I suggested it to him and his eyes lit up and he was like 'YES! YES YES YES!'. He evn mentioned it to his mum. He's agreed to an initial target on one months expenses (seeing as our jobs are stable) and once we have things settled we will focus on three months, with the ultimate target of having 6 months expenses covered, earning interest in a savings account or saving interest in our mortgage with the option of drawing it out. He's actually EXCITED about an emergency fund. I'm excited that he's excited.

Our plans once the keys are handed over are:

-painting the lounge room (white)
-ripping up the floorcoverings
-sanding and sealing the floors (whole house)
-install rolling garage doors
-install extra piping to the drain from the roof (the outpour is down a slope and we are a little concerned of the longterm problem of erosion)

other than that we are happy to move in and live as is for quite a while. We are looking at:
- the cost of the paint
- the cost of the floor sealant/stain
- the cost of the piping

and that's it. I can paint. BF is a flooring installer/finisher by trade, and the piping, well, that's just common sense. The garage doors are given to us by BF's dad as he has two spare at his house we can have. They'll install them one afternoon.

Oh I'm so excited!

On another note, I realised that this is the first time BF and I have put 'de facto' on our marital status on an official form (the loan application), other than the census. Usually it's 'single' because of the tax implications. Big Grin

holy heck... we just bought a house...

January 15th, 2009 at 01:58 am

After looking at a place several times, in different stages fo the day, week and weekend, and having BF's dad (a builder) look over the entire house - we decided we felt confident to put in an offer on a house.

(4 bedroom house in the Town N I mentioned on a previous entry)

I organised a solicitor early this week (one recommended by a friend)

I called the real estate this morning, said we would like to make an offer. The guy put the details in the contract over the phone and I asked him to fax it to my solicitor. We made an appointment to sign it later in the day. Our initial offer was $312k. The asking price was $325k.

We signed all the documents at 5pm at the real estates office, went again to have a look at the property and on our way home got a call from the agent.
There had been another offer (pfft) He said to be ahead we woul need to offer over $320k. I was driving so BF called him back and said that we would like to offer $319k. The real estate agent said that the owner was willing to give it to us for $322500. BF told the real estate that our finance was only approved up to $320k and that we couldn't offer any more than that. (which is a lie - we are approved up to $350k with the deposit we have currently).The real estate agent called us back and said that at $320k, the offer had been accepted.

The thing is, we KNOW that it's 99% likely that there was NO other offer - however, $320 is $5k under the asking price, and was the bottom of our budget for a house. We will have approx $9000 left over after settlement, plus whatever it is that we earn up to then and can save.

I've come to terms with the fact that we could have gotten it for less, and the real estate played us - its expected - but i have to think about it like this: if i were in the sellers shoes, i would want whats fair too. I think knocking 5k off the price is fair.

I've specified 21 days for finance, and 45 days for full settlement.

On the way home after finding out our offer was accepted, we got a call from our bank manager. I had been in a few hours previously to tell her what was going on, and I suggested she base her calculations on $320k. She told us she had just put our pre approval through and that had also been succesful. So now all thats left is initialling the changed amount on the contracts, faxing it to our solicitors, taking it to the bank, organising a pest inspection, getting the conveyancing out of the way...

I have not eaten all day and it's 8pm, so we're about to go and watch tv and eat some soup. I feel about ten years older and like I could sleep for a three days straight. I can't believe how nervous and stressed and frantic I have been these past couple of days.

my first funeral

January 13th, 2009 at 02:10 pm

Today I am going to my first funeral. I successfully avoided both of my dads parents funerals (I know that sounds terrible - but I wanted to remember them the way they were when I had last seen them and not in a box. I couldn't bear it. I was also two states away and my dad said he understood.).
It is a friend, E's, mother. She passed away last week from cancer. I have only met her mother a handful of times, and never had I met her before her cancer. That being said, she was the most loving and cheerful person, always happy for everyone and never letting it get her down.
She has been bedridden for the past four months and hasn't been able to leave the house for 6 months. She was expected to not live past november 2009. She was a fighter til the end, and I know it sounds like a cliche but she really was. I remember talking to her at her daughters (our friend) wedding in September 2007. She was ill then, but you could see she was so happy to see her daughter finally marrying her longterm partner.
It has been especially hard for E. She is now 7 months pregnant and I can only imagine what she must be going through right now.

best deal EVER

January 12th, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I feel like I just got the best bargain ever! Hmmm... maybe bargain isn't the right word.... let's say 'deal'. Deal is a good word. I got the best DEAL ever.

What happened was:
I have been comparing three loans, which are virtually the same but with different banks. They are package deals. You pay an annual fee (one is $350, another is $375 and the last is $395) for an assortment of things, namely a reduced interest rate, no monthly fees, an offset account, a savings account, an everyday account, a credit card with rewards, certain percentages off home insurance, car insurance, financial advising etc etc etc. Anyway, there is a ton of stuff that comes with these packages.
Anywho, two banks have no setup fee, and these are the ones that are $350 and $375 pa. The third bank, at $395 a year, said they charge a $600 setup fee. Unfortunately, this is the bank that we LIKE (as much as you can like a bank). I must have been made bold by the fact I had just gotten off the phone from my boss's wife (who works for the $375 per year bank). She is always trying to drill into me to bargain for everything. So, feeling brave, I called the bank we are interested in and spoke to the lady who is managing our loan. I explained that they are the only one out of the three we are considering that has a setup fee, and could there be something that she could do about this? She told me that because it was a package, we didn't get a setup fee - only the normal loans got setup fees, but that she would see about waiving the first annual fee.
I was a bit stunned and nearly fell over myself. I'd gotten something I hadn't even asked for! How great is that?

Anyway. So really, it's not a great 'deal' seeing as we'll be paying thousands of dollars in interest... but atleast we are paying nearly $400 less!

I'd like to think of myself as a hard-bargain-driver... but really I think it was just dumb luck and a really nice loan manager.

more house ramblings

January 12th, 2009 at 12:05 am

Well I decided to call the first real estate agent (see previous post). I thought that was fair really - he DID give me the address first. I have organised a time to see the house again and another one which is close to the first house. The second one is bright blue, and is about $22k dearer on the listing price. Interesting information I found out though - there was an offer on the house we are interested in, but it was rejected. It is only $325k, so I am wondering what they offered? Now I am getting all nervous about offering $315k. But hey, we are prepared to pay just a little less than the listing price, in light of the age of the kitchen and bathroom (they're a bit outdated - still usable though). I think that is a fair first offer. What does everyone else think? Should I be offering more? (I mean this in relative terms to whatever property prices are in your area)
I would post pictures from the real estate site but I can't figure out how, even though I've done it before. Having a bit of a blonde day.

Also looked at a property near our current rental place. I am so confused as to what we should be considering.

These are the two options we've narrowed down:
Option 1 consists of houses in (and around) a town where we both went to high school. I'll call this town N. It has a bit of a reputation for having rednecks and deadbeats living in it, and it is a town that has been established for decades. Some people turn their noses up at the mention of it. The thing is that there are LOTS of rich people living in the town also, as well as lots of families, young and old. It's a generally relaxed town with a bit of an alternative/farmer streak. It has a produce market, a lot of opshops (our favourites, too) and pretty much everything. Property prices have always been steady in this town. There are several primary and high schools situated around it as well. The house that we like (N has many houses like this to offer) is 4brm, 1bath, 1toilet, large lounge, smaller dining, high set with a built in room downstairs plus laundry, room for two cars underneath as well as four spaces in the drive. It's on a 1107m2 block. This house was built in the 70s, then moved and modernised about 10 years ago to its current location. It has hardwood floors, two decks etc. We can expect to reasonably see the value increase to about $370k-$400k in five years. There has been talk of the main street in town N being revamped, but it's 'in the works'. The revamp would involve millions of dollars, so it has the potential to up our house value. Town N is about 20-25 minutes drive from my work, and about 15 minutes drive from BF's base work. This would mean more petrol per week.

Option 2
is where our parents live, I'll call it suburb P. It is central to the main CBD (as is town N, but suburb P is closer). Houses typically are around $400-$600k in this area. Good Houses. As in, the house we are buying in Town N, would be considered a Very Good House if it was done up a little more (which we are capable of doing). Suburb P is also 5 minutes from the beach. These factors make the land valuable, therefore the houses we would be looking at in our price range would be a bit crap, smaller, and in need of work. They are also smaller lots, typically 550m2 blocks. So basically half of what we would get if we bought in Town N. Suburb P is known for young, single mothers, surfers, some retirees, older families, and lots of rentals. Suburb P, though, is where BF's work is based. He could WALK to his dads house (where they leave from in the morning). It is also about 10 minutes drive from my work. Another thing is, with work, the property we could buy and fix up a bit more, would most likely be worth $400-$425k in five years time, or more. Suburb P is near an airport which is being expanded, (but doesnt get the noise) and has also had some major roadworks done in and around the suburb. These factors also make it possible to up the value of the property.

So there it is.
Our choices.
Town N has the real possibility of not only being a really great investment, but maybe actually being the town we decide to stay and raise kids in. So we have this thought of 'oh... if prices don't go up in 5 years and we can't re-sell... will it really matter? what if we just stay there? we like the house, we like the town...?'
Suburb P is nice because it's close to the beach. It's a suburb, so it's only got a local supermarket, some shops, a couple of restaurants etc. It's closer to work, it's closer to our parents (isn't always a good thing though!). It also has the possibility of being a good investment. But I can't guarantee that we will be happy to stay in the house we purchase there, for longer than five years. Maybe seven. But then there's the possibility that we could buy a better house there, in five years, because we chose to stick it out for the first five. We would much rather live in Suburb P, in a house from Town N, in the future, with children. Always the way, isn't it!?
But then again, with Town N, we just don't know if it will be the next town that is going to skyrocket. Places all over our area have a habit of doing that. If it did that, then our options would multiply in five years time.

Gosh. So confusing. I'm so tired already!

help! what do i do?!

January 10th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

I need some advice on something.

I made some calls last week regarding properties to look at. I called one guy about a property, who was really nice and helpful and also gave me four additional properties to look at in the same area.

Yesterday when we went to some open houses, we drove past one of the other properties the guy gave us, and there was an open house for this one, but with another real estate agent. The inspection was from 11-11.30, and we arrived at 11.28. We thought we may as well try to have a quick look if the agent was willing.
He was really nice and let us look around for about 15 minutes, talked to us and got our details, and mentioned that the owners were willing to take money off for some kitchen renovations.

We really like the property and are 100% sure we want to put an offer in ($10k less than asking price at this moment).

My dilemma is, which real estate agent do I call to make an offer to?

The first one, who was friendly and nice on the phone, who gave us this address addionally.

Or the second man, who stayed 15 minutes after the inspection was meant to be over, gave us more info on the house.

At the moment I am leaning towards calling the guy who was actually there. Only because, had we not known about that house, we would have still been on that road, and would have driven past and probably stopped to look in it anyway, as there was a sign out the front.

Or should I mention to both of them, the input that each real estate agent had?
Are they supposed to share the commission in a scenario like this?

am i wrong to feel angry?

January 10th, 2009 at 08:41 pm

We went out to dinner last night for a friends birthday - also an excuse for some of the group to come together, which has become something of a rarity these days, what with everyone busy with work, sick parents, babies etc.
The restaurant was alright- I wouldn't go there again, though. They didn't have a single vegetarian main meal and there were 3 vegetarians out of 10 at our table. It was French, I don't know if that has anything to do with it.
But that's not the point of the story.
After dinner we went to a bar, where we sat and talked for about three hours until they were closing. As we were leaving, BF got into an involved coversation with a friend, L (who used to be his closest friend but they have since drifted apart for other reasons), and I came into the conversation at the end. Apparently the friend (who is also my friend) said to BF that he got angry a few weeks ago when BF and him were on the phone talking about music festivals and concerts and snow trips, because BF told L that he wouldn't be doing anything this year, because we were buying a house. L said that just because we were buying a house doesn't mean we can't do anything, and that we should not segregate ourselves from the group. He said that it was a bit selfish, and that he had been there previously (being tight with money) and that now he was not as much, and he didn't want us to 'go that way'.
BF got annoyed but didn't say anything about it to L, only that going to music festivals and snow trips didn't rule out the occasional dinner out and lots of barbecues at people's houses. BF also mentioned to L that there were lots of people in our group having life changing things happen in their life this year, and there's no doubt that EVERYONE is going to stop doing a lot of things. L still wasn't listening, but we all left and went home. I hardly ever see BF moody or upset - usually everything is like water off a ducks back with him, but last night he was both. We had a bit of a talk about it, and I pointed out that L has gone from NOT spending money, to spending lots of money lately (he has had a bit of a personality change since breaking up with his GF - who is BF's sister - my flatmate). We, on the other hand, are going from spending money to not spending money. It's a little different, in my view. L has had to live tightly (by his own choice) and now thinks he is 'free' to buy and do what he wants. Whereas we have been able to do do that, yes, and now are realising that it's not something that sets you free (buying lots of stuff). I guess that the less things we buy that we don't need we start to realise how much we really don't miss them - L has decided to go without for so many years until he had his big breakup, and then all of a sudden he is all into buying and spending etc.

Am I right to feel angry about this? I guess I was just angry at the way he made BF feel - especially since they are supposed to be best mates. I think L is realising that he is the only one who doesn't have any huge decisions and life-changing events happening this year - he is probably scared that everyone is going to retreat into their lives (as you do when you're getting older) and he will have no one to play with. I just think it sucks that because of his own personal reasons he is trying to bring BF down. Why would you ENCOURAGE someone to spend unnecesary amounts of money in their first year of having a mortgage? I just don't GET it.

And another point is, we are NOT retreating/disappearing/segregating ourselves. We're excited that we'll have our own house that we can paint/do the floors/garden etc so then we can have barbecues and have people over. The place that we are thinking of moving is actually CLOSER to where L lives. I am just at a loss as to how he honestly thinks we are shutting ourselves off. A music concert is hardly the end of the world, and to tell you the truth we don't actually SEE anyone during it anyway because we all go off and do our own things. Their snowtrip to America last year, most agreed, was the last one for a few years anyway - this was before we had made definate plans to buy property.

work, houses, exercise

January 7th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I took Tuesday off so I could spend some time with BF before our 'holidays' ended (I only spent a handful of days with him over our holidays because he was helping a mate build a shed). So this afternoon I am working at Job # 1, after I finish at Job # 2. I also have to call some people about looking at houses. BF got excited last night and printed out a whole heap of brochures for different places. I am glad he is motivated about this - sometimes he gets home from work and is so tired he just wants to sit down and relax, but even know he was dead tired today he stayed up until about 11pm looking.
We looked at a house yesterday but it wasn't what we were looking for. One down, two million to go!

Yesterday was my first NSD of the year!

My earnings will get back to normal now - I only have one planned day off in the future few months.

Exercise Totals this week:
Sunday - 80 min
Monday - 30 min + swimming
Tuesday - nil
Wednesday - 20 minutes
Thursday - ?
I am aiming for 30 minutes today and tomorrow, or more if achievable. It's just so darn hot at the moment. About 37 degrees (C)

Well, it's time to leave for work so I better go. Take care.

housebuying, estimations & notes

January 6th, 2009 at 01:20 pm

Based on our max. amount we want to borrow ($350k) which is probably not how much we will eventually borrow, so these are generous amounts.

$3200 +
$4000 +
$10500 +
$4000 +
= $35700

$17500 + (5% deposit)
$7200 + (Mortgage Insurance)
$1200 + (Conveyancing & Legal Fees)
$600 + (Setup Fee)
$622 + (Transfer Fee)
$0 + (Stamp Duty is free for us)
= $27122

Excess: $8578

In the end we have much more than we though we would have.
Some notes:
The first home owners grant is given to everyone who applies, on their first purchase of a house. You can both be earning $100k a year and still get the FHOG. The reason it is doubled until June is because of the economical crisis, it was Rudd's way of trying to get people to buy homes. In our case it works out well because we were already planning on buying a home.

BF's mum has given us $4000 for some work BF did at her home. The majority of work is worth much MORE than $4000 (floor sanding and sealing, carpentry work, labour), but initially BF was doing it for free, as you do for your mum! BF's mum offered it as a help incase we needed it in the final stages of buying a home.

Please don't attack me for not getting married, anymore. I don't want to get married right now. Neither of us want to. Why is that such a big fucking deal to some people? Just because some people think it's a good idea, doesn't mean EVERYONE has to go and get married. Some people seem to think I'm a complete moron. I do REALISE what happens in this big bad adult world. I do THINK about the risks. I appreciate the CONCERN, (the honest concern - where people will mention it and then let it go) but not the JUDGEMENT and CRITICISM.

I have wanted my own home since I was about 14 and started working. BF has wanted a house since he was about 18. This was all years before we were together. When we had been together for a year and a half we touched the subject a few times, and we have steadily grown from there. For those of you who seem to think I don't want to buy a house, I don't really know where you're getting these ideas from. Has there been an entry where I have expressed regret in the way my life is turning out? Have I mentioned I think this is all a big mistake? Hmmm. I don't think so. You know WHY I haven't written entries about those issues? Because I don't think those things. The only reason I am addressing this now is because I want to make it perfectly clear that I know what I'm doing. Just incase ANYONE was wondering.

I'm not writing this because I have some deep psychological issues. I'm just writing this to address previous comments (some deleted) and any future comments.

our bank visit...

January 5th, 2009 at 07:33 pm

...went great! it completely cleared up the reservations I had about the max $15k extra payments, and I found out that this bank DOES offer split loans between variable and fixed - which i couldn't find on the website (I think I was looking in the wrong place). I am going to talk to my boss's wife (bank branch manager of another bank) to see if she thinks her bank can do better, and I will probably talk to BF's friend N as well (he is a loan validator at yet another bank). So we have plenty of advice from all ends, from people who DO want the best for us regardless of their professional interests.

We found out that we are only $4k away from a 5% deposit on $350 000 - which will bring our Mortgage Insurance down to around $7k or a bit over

(I thought some members here might be happy to hear that! savings: around $4000) Wink

BF talked to his mum after we left the bank, and she has put 4k into BF's bank account today, so it can be counted as 'savings', just in case we need it. So that's it! We just need to concentrate on saving even more, just so we can have a buffer. The pressure has eased in terms of having a specific number - we now have that number. Anything else is a bonus that we can use for renovations.

So in the next week or so we will decide if we will go with Westpac or BOQ, and basically this means we are now 100% able to put all our effort into LOOKING FOR OUR HOUSE!

I think we are both really excited. YAY.

I can't believe this is really happening.

wish us luck!

January 5th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

BF and I are going into the bank today to see about pre-approval. It is ONE of the banks I am interested in. The other may turn out to be much better - and it is the bank my boss's wife is manager of as well. I just want to cover all my bases - and I don't want people to think I am going with that bank because my boss's wife works there. She has given me a lot of help over the past few months which I am greatful for, but she has already said regardless of which bank we go with it's not important, the main thing is that we get guidance and if she can help, she will. Which I think is very generous.

The scheduled time is 9.30 am - so in three hours. How exciting. We are moving slowly ahead.

sold 4 out of 5 items on ebay

January 4th, 2009 at 11:08 am

All of the skincare products I listed on eBay have sold! I made $109 for four items. Not sure how much profit though - I will have to work it out. I would say I probably only made a couple of dollars profit, which is fine with me. I am only interested in getting the money BACK, which has been achieved. (cost of four items initially was about $93).
I will just be putting the money in my Bills account for the CC.

Fingers crossed the DVD sells as well. I have it listed for less than most other sellers do. Again, I am not interested in making a profit.

Yesterday I went shopping for groceries and spent about $87 for the week for BF and I. I am hoping we don't eat out at all, and I am going to try really hard to have leftovers for BF's lunch as well so he doesnt end up buying lunch.

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