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.
Related Posts with Thumbnails