Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm back!

So I have a job!

New company, similar job, higher wage (which is good).

My savings has taken a hit which was painful.

The new job is ok, the company has a similar corporate structure that I had issues with at my last company, I can already see a similar employee pattern ie open bitching about managers and staff complaining about other staff, just some overall negative vibes that were craftily hidden during my interviews.

I've decided however my attitude is going to be to keep quiet, sit pretty and keep saving for the next 18months - 2years.

The UK will be my end goal!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Current Situation

I got a bonus pay this week at work.

When I saw the amount of money in my account I instantly thought "Great I can finally buy a DSLR" after half a second though I realised I can actually put everything straight onto my credit card and pay a whole hunk of it off!

So without further ado I present to you all....

My Current Situation
Credit Card Debt $992.85
Centrelink Debt $517
Travel Savings $1004.97

Do you see that! My credit card debt is in the 3 digits! Now I can focus on paying a smaller steady amount off my credit card without being stung to hard by interest rates, everything seems a bit more do-able right now.

Since I made the lump sum payment onto my credit card I've been looking back on my purchases and what I've used this credit for and I've been unable to account for anything substantial to show for it. My brother who's horribly in debt has things like a big TV, laptop and a new couch, instead my purchases have been trivial entertainment based things like Going to the movies 1 day before pay day and paying it on credit and then saying "I'll pay it tomorrow when I get paid" except I never did.

I'm not saying my brothers debt is somehow better then my debt I just wish I had something to show for it all instead of a statement showing "$4.80 to Starbucks".

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm still here

So I haven't forgotten about the blog (or my financial goals) I've just had a lot of things going on in the past few weeks.

To cut a long story short I've handed my notice at my work, combining my current savings and my holiday pay payout I figured that I have enough to survive for 3 months while looking for work.

I have 2week left of my notice period and until I figure out a few more things this blog is going to take a back burner.

Thanks guys.

See you soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What I'm doing good

So I would just like to draw your attention to the sidebar on the right, the one labeled "current situation".

You see it? Well next to Travel Savings it has $801.97!

You don't know what this means?

Well, what it means is for 2 months or 8 weeks or 4 pay periods I have saved $200 each pay time AND I haven't touched it.

I've had this particular savings account for 7 months, for the first 5months of its life I was always dipping into it.

Go Me.

That $800 equals 1 visa application and 2 weeks accommodation in a hostel.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pay Day and What I've been doing wrong

It was pay day today, the last fortnight I haven't had any unpaid sick days or leave so I received my full amount of pay this fortnight. Yay! Unfortunately like before most of it is going towards bills.

What I've spent today
$100 centrelink
$172.56 Mobile Phone
$565 rent
$200 into savings
$29.40 Train fare

This weekend I was at a party and I was talking to a friend about saving, spending and budgeting (yeah I know real livewire I am, don't worry she's into Personal Finance anyway). revealed how much difficulty I'm having sticking to my budget and the smaller issue Im facing with receiving bills from my "before budget time" that I hadn't accounted for in my new budget. Anyway as I was talking about everything I realised I've been putting to much pressure on myself to be "perfect", I expected I'd be able to instantly manage my finances without any issue anymore because now I'm paying attention to them.

It sounds really juvenile now that I think about it but I can see there's a lot more to managing your personal finances then keeping a budget and reading a few blogs and online articles. Which is why I've decided this month I need to alleviate the pressure off my budget and simply track my spending to get a deeper understanding of where my money is going, yes I'm still going to work around a framework of a budget, I just wont freak out when I'm over an allotted category and decide to blow it all because I wasn't perfect.

Stats so Far
Travel Savings $801.97
Credit Card Debt $2155.10
Centrelink Debt $617

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September Goals

Just a quick post for tonight, I'm watching the footy as I type this and it's a really good game (Go the Pies!). Anyway.....

My Goals for September
- Earn $300 extra snowflake income
- Pay $400 off my credit card this month
- Save $500 for London this month
- Read 2 books
- Go to the gym twice a week
- All Bills paid up to date

Have a good weekend everyone

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Finances are a mess

Ok so my finances are a complete mess. Yes, I know we already knew this, I mean thats why this blog is here so I can track my progress and savings, but I don't know It's hard to explain it's like I always knew my finances were bad but I just choose to ignore it and now it's in writing and I'm looking into everything, its just so real.

Today I got my Mobile bill for the month $266.51!!!!! I'm on a contract which is only supposed to be $79 a month including $400 worth of calls and txts, 1gb of internet and insurance. I'm stuck on this contract until May this year. I opened up the bill completely shocked, but really the bill has been looking like this for a while so I don't know why it took me until today to be shocked but I digress. After looking over the bill I found $13.59 a month going to "Vodafone Live".

Vodafone Live is my mobile providers entertainment service, they have things like TV Shows, Movies and games, I have an iPhone and and the iPhone can not access Vodafone Live. I have absolutely no idea why I am being charged for this service I don't use.

I looked at the rest of the bill and everything extra is excess usage charges for the internet I had absolutely no idea I was using that much internet or COULD use that much internet on my phone. However the more I look back and think the more I see how those "just a quick check of facebook during break", google maps, looking up a recipe when Im downstairs cooking, showing a friend funny picture when out can really add up.

I called my provide today to discuss the Vodafone Live charge and they're systems are down and I was told to call back in 24hrs.

To top everything off I've had a terrible few weeks at work and exceeded my "entertainment" budget but ALOT with alcohol purchases to handle my terrible week at work, and when I was looking at my credit card balance to figure out how much I owed I was looking at the Available Funds Column not the Account Balance Column, so my actual credit card debt is $2155.10.

I feel like crawling into a ball and crying, or getting drunk.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Snowflake Challenge

So the lovely No More Spending is holding a Snowflake challenge for september and I have decided to join her and Serendipity at Serendipity's Guide to Saving in the challenge.

The whole point of snowflaking is to generate extra income that you can put towards your debt or savings.

I plan to Snowflake $300 this month by selling a whole lot of DVD's, Books and unworn clothes on ebay.

Head to No More Spending's blog to join in on the challenge and for further reading on the challenge!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Gift fund

Today at work I faced a spending dilemma I hadn't thought about budgeting for, Gifts. My office has a birthday club and whenever there is a staff birthday or celebration we all chip in $2 for a gift and bring in something for morning tea.

When the email went around calling for money I did some quick calculations, we have 40 people on our floor, that means I spend close to $80 a year on birthday items for the office and this isn't including the baby showers, wedding showers, citizenship parties and promotion parties that we also have.

I then thought about Christmases and birthdays for my friends and family. I am by law a lazy person and I'll tend to forget birthdays and celebrations so when I turn up for a party sans presents my friends aren't upset, it's OK they don't get me anything either and I prefer it that way. I'm terrible at gift shopping and no matter how much I know a person I will always spend hours agonising over what to get only to walk out with a beauty pack with a free loofah from Myers.

However Christmas is a time you can't get away with forgetting and I like to try and give my family something even if it's only small. Only including my inner family I will have 12 people to buy items for this year. If I set aside about $30 each person that's $360 I will need to spend. Call me tight but I wish I was back at an age where it was acceptable to give macaroni glued on cards as gifts.

How much do you guys set aside for Gifts every year?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekend damage

So I failed miserably with my budget this weekend.

Friday I ended up buying my lunch, then we got some not so good news at work so my co-workers and I decided to go out for drinks. Several beers later and a taxi ride home I'd spent $58.40!!!

Saturday wasn't to much better, I went straight to JB HiFi and spent $68.97 on DVDs and then for dinner $33.50 at the local pizza place.

It's not all bad, I woke up this morning with buyers remorse and made myself get back on the horse. I did a menu plan for the week and took out $50 cash and bought all my food for the week. Today I've made two lots of soups for work lunches so I won't need to buy any food for work this week.

I've entered all my spending in my budget and it sobering to see so many columns in my budget in negative territory. I'm upset that I let one thing get me down and I instantly decided to blow my budget but I am happy that I've got back on the horse. I'm not going to give up anymore when things get to hard.

Total Damage this weekend
Friday $58.40 - want
Saturday $102.47 - want
Sunday - $50 - Need

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Budget

Today is Pay day! Yahoo! Money, money, money!

... oh wait bills to pay, credit card debt and 2 days of unpaid sick leave. Time to tighten the belt and implement the budget, or not. I was terrible today with my food, I slept in and didn't get time to make breakfast so I got Macca's on the way to work, $7.70 down the drain, because it was pay day I thought I'd treat myself to lunch $11.50 gone.

So I'm going to be a bit crass here and mention my wage in my blog but I feel it's the only way I'm going to be able to keep an accurate track of my finances.

Last fortnight I earned $1138.78 net Tax.

This is where I plan my money to go over the next fortnight:

Rent - $282.50
Home Phone and Internet $50
Mobile Phone - $69
Groceries - $100
Going Out/restaurants/eating out $40
Home Bills, ie gas electricity $50
Gym $40
Transport - $58.80

Credit Card - $100
Centrelink debt - $100

London - $200
"Buffer Fund" - $48.48

Please note this budget isn't a set in stone budget rather my "spending guide". Because I've been so unorganised in my personal finances I'm fairly certain this budget is going to chop and change as bills roll in that I haven't accounted for in a "fortnightly budget".

Tonight as I sat down and entered all my budget details into YNAB I really started to freak out and felt completely hopeless.

This is the first time I've had a chance to solidly look at my finances and understand where my money is going and what I estimate I'll spend my money on. I'm really expecting for the first few months as I get used to budgeting my "budgeted" and "balance" columns to be in the red. I just hope after a few months I'll start to have things in control.

Spending for Today
$29.40 - Weekly Train ticket - Need
$7.70 - McDonald's Breakfast - Want
$11.50 - Lunch - Want

Debt as of Today
Credit Card - $1692.66
Centrelink - $817

Savings Account

Sunday, August 22, 2010


For privacy reasons I've changed the account on this blog to a generic name to match the name of my blog.

Silly me didn't realise people who know my personal blog may come across this blog as well. It's not that I really mind discussing money things with my friends I just would rather limit a chance of family and co-workers recognising me and facing awkward questions in the future.

Weekend round up.

I had an ok weekend this week in turns of spending. After voting on saturday morning I had a walk around the local shopping area, didn't spend a thing.

Saturday night was a friends birthday dinner, I only ended up spending $60 for the whole night out, which included a taxi there and home (it was raining and I was wearing high heels).

Today I went grocery shopping, I spent $101 which was a big shock however my housemate was driving today so I was able to do a big stock up of pantry items for the next month. I don't drive so when I grocery shop I usually buy the least amount possible because I hate dragging heavy bags home.

Tonight my housemates and I are doing a "family dinner". They're something that my houesmates and I came up with for a bit of a bonding exercies and to stop eating so much take out. We will all chip in money and cook a meal together or seprately for each other. It's my turn to cook and I'm making Jamie Olivers Roast Chicken with lemon and thyme roast potatoes and a Lemon Meringue Pie, the kitchen smells awesome!

The new budget starts this wednesday (pay day) and I'm looking forward to starting it and to the week ahead.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"I need it"

Like most people I have this inner devil that comes out to play whenever I am shopping, real or online.

It starts with a throaty whisper "Wow" then I'll look everything over, then comes "I need
it" "It's unique" "They're amazing". In the space of 5 minutes I can go from Miss Frugal Fashionista to swiping my card at the register and walking out with that new shopping bag swinging from my arm.

I get a rush for about 30seconds, my heart beats faster but 30 seconds later the devil is gone and common sense kicks in.

Do I really need another pair of black high heeled ankle boots? Don't you have enough quirky necklaces that break after two wears?

Last week when I started to lay out my saving goals and end plan I created a spreadsheet for 3 months of expenses in London. There are headings for rent, food, entertainment etc with the amounts broken down in smaller amounts for example for the rent column there are 10 columns of $199 and every time I save $199 I will highlight this in the spreadsheet. So I have a visual goal of where my savings is heading.

Tonight I had my credit card out, ready to purchase a gorgeous pair of shoes then I had a flash of the spreadsheet and realised those shoes are equal to one weeks rent in London. I put my credit card back in my wallet.

Yes I'm very proud of myself.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Free stuff

Work celebrations tonight.

I took good advantage of the free food and booze.

Time to stock up on Berocca and water.

Holding these events on a work night is such a woeful idea.

At least i got a whole lot of free food.

Paying off your credit cards

Is it better to spend a quick hard slog of time and focus on paying everything off your credit cards in the shortest amount of time possible without putting any money aside for savings or rainy days? Or is it better to gradually pay off your credit cards while establishing a savings account and a rainy days account?

I've read a fair amount of personal finance blogs and money articles that advocate both ways. Personally I'm leaning towards option 1, however I worry if by doing this I'm leaving myself open for trouble in the future Say for example if an unforseen expense comes up like a doctors visit or a higher then expected phone bill which leads me to then have to use my credit card to get through.

Hmm... I think now I'm leaning to option 2 instead.

What do you do?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

1 week till payday

So it's one week till payday and my bank balance is depressing.

Last weekend was like a spending fiasco of sick, doctors, medication then shopping to make myself feel better.

It's lucky that my $1400 tax return came in on Tuesday, I transferred $1000 straight onto my credit card and I've kept the other $400 for the phone, internet, gas, mobile phone bills that are all due this week.

I've also been off sick 4 days this past week and 2 will be unpaid sick leave because I didn't have enough sick leave saved up thanks to the amount of colds I've been getting this winter. So even though i'm getting paid next week it will be substantially lower than what I'm used to so my budget is going to be pretty tight over the next 3 weeks.

I think over the next 3 weeks I need to implement a spending on entertainment freeze. I have friends birthday on saturday night that I really can't cancel on. I know she's just planning drinks so I could just go for one then come home, or drink water.

What do you do in social situations when you can't afford to spend up like everyone else is?

I caved.

So I purchased a license to You Need A Budget.

I'm looking at it as my investment in my future finances. I also purchased the iPhone App which was on sale for only $1.19 here in Australia that way I can keep track when I'm out on the road as well.

Now to obsessively use this puppy so I get my moneys worth!


Along my travels of the countless other Personal Finance blogs out there I've found mention of this personal budgeting program You Need A Budget.

I went to the website and have downloaded the 7 day trial version and I absolutely love it, it's easy to understood, highly detailed and organised plus the site has come great tutorials.

The only issue is the free copy only last for 7 days then you need to buy the license. Which is $59.95 USD which equals $66.65 AUD.

I really like the program but I'm not sure how much of a good idea it is to spend this much money when I'm supposed to be saving money?

I guess I could potentially think of it as spending for my budget?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First Post

This is going to be yet another PF Blog in the blogosphere, nothing new or profound however I need something to keep me accountable while I save to move overseas in the next 18months - 2yrs.

I'm a 23yr old female in a steady full time job, I have never travelled and I'm guilty of living paycheck to paycheck for my entire working life. I wan't to change this and utilize my ancestory visa to the UK before I'm to old. The plan is to spend the next 2years gaining control of my finances and saving enough money to live and work overseas.

Current Situation
- Travel Savings = $401.97
- Credit Card Debt = $2339.73
- Centrelink Debt = $816

Goals for the next 12 months
- Travel Savings = $7200
- Credit Card Debt = $0
- Centrelink Debt = $0

Here we go.
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