Thursday, March 31, 2011

What should I do with this extra income?

Yesterday I went to the bank and deposited the lost medicare refund cheque I found last week when decluttering. It was for $160.45. I love the extra money BUT I don't know what to do with it. I have 4 ideas but I can't decide so I need some help.

Option 1) Buy new contacts $120 and put the remaining onto my credit card. It would be great to have contacts again, my glasses don't property fit my face and always slide down my nose, also it's a bit of a vanity thing.

Option 2) Put it straight onto the credit card

Option 3) Put it into savings

Option 4) Leave it as a buffer in my account for when any larger bills come through.

The vain shopping loving lady in me wants to go for option 1, but realistically I'm leaning towards either option 2 or 4. What would you guys do?

I've used part of the money last night for dinner and desert with some friends $36.99 and the rest I am doing Option 4 and leaving it in my account for larger bills, I know my electricity bill is due soon and I don't think I've budgeted enough, plus I'm going to need to pay the excess for my insurance claim next month.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I don't play lotto

There's a new TV show in Australia called Winners & Losers and it's about 4 old high school friends who meet up at a 10yr reunion and in an odd set of circumstances they end up buying a lotto ticket and in the power of television they win $10,000,000.

That's not the interesting part for me though, when they're buying the ticket one of the girls refuses to put in protesting that its not worth it and when they win the lotto the others decide to cut her into the win.

I'm the friend who never puts into the lotto ticket, I don't like to gamble and don't see the point of paying the money when the odds are so stacked against you to win but watching this show the other night I had a doubt of maybe I should actually enter or at least go into the office sweeps. But then I google the odds and find it's a 1 in 27,489,577 odds to win the lotto, maybe I'll regret this when my office wins the lotto but right now I'd rather but that ticket money to my credit card debt or a savings account and watch it grow.

What do you guys think? Am I being naive, should I put into the office sweeps? Do you guys play the lotto?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weekly Money Check-Up

It's My Pretty Pennies Weekly Money Check-Up time!

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on my credit card payment.
2. Today I feel in control of my money. I'm definitely loving the cash envelope system instead, It's helping me visualise where my money is going.
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was I took my best friend on a tour around the Queen Vic markets, we didn't spend a thing but it was fun to walk around and see things.
4. I will consider this week a success if I clean my apartment, completely.
5. The last time I had a good nap was maybe when I was a kid, I don't really have naps.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wekeend re-cap

I had a great weekend and I kept within my budget! yay! I spent yesterday sick in bed and as a result of missing my weekend clean my apartment is a mess. I've skipped class tonight and am going to get my place in order.

To do list:



change bed sheets

clean bathroom

clean lounge room

clean kitchen

put away clothes

take garbage out

There's not much point to to this blog, I just need a list to cross off as I clean.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My city hates me

Winter is coming and it's freezing! I can feel a cold coming on so I've bundled myself up at home tonight with hot soup and the least season of friends. My best friend is coming down to visit me tomorrow and I can't afford to be sick this weekend, we have so many plans so I hope this is a passing cold, if this doesn't work I went to the shops today and got the ingredients for chicken noodle soup.

ugh, excuse me I'm off to blow my noise.


I updated my sidebars, I love seeing them fill up! Next fortnight I should be able to break into 3 digits on my credit card! Yahoo!

EDIT: Not going to happen but I am completely lusting after the iPad2 right now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Budget change around

I've had a re-think of my spending process this fortnight and I've decided to trial a cash envelope process for my "non bill" expenses. I'm going to keep cash envelopes of how much money I've allocated to food, entertainment, health and beauty and gift expenses. All my bills will still stay in their usual bank transfers but I'm hoping this new process will help me get more of a handle on my expenses so I can limit the overspending. I went to

I've done a rejig of this fortnights budget as well to factor in my medical bill and also some extra entertainment expenses because my best friend and her boyfriend are coming down for the weekend and I need to do the tourist thing and show them around and that's going to cost me. I've also allocated a gift expenses fund because my work loves birthdays and nearly every week we get called on to "donate" money to presents this past fortnight I've been paying my donations with spare change I had in my drawers and not allocating it to my spending, but it's time to factor this into my expenses.

I would just like to note as well my rent is paid monthly but every fortnight I need to allocate the money out of my budget to make sure I don't spend it!

250 credit card
586.5 rent
100 parents
49 internet
42 gym
40 phone
25 electricity
25 house
60 medical bill
100 savings
120 food
50 entertainment
20 gifts

I was only planning to keep only the food, entertainment and gifts in cash however when I went to the ATM today I failed at maths and withdrew $210 instead of $190 so I'm still tossing up between going to the bank and depositing the money back into my account or just keeping the $20 in a cash envelope for the house fund category.

The one thing I am unsure about is how will I be able to snowball any unspent money from these envelopes? Do I keep the money in a jar and deposit back into my bank account when it gets big enough our do I cary it over to the next fortnights envelope? Has anyone else had any success with the Cash envelope system? Does anyone have any feedback or advice?

Weekly spending

So it's payday today and today's a long post, to break it all up I'll do 2 posts, first post is my weekly spending

Friday 18th March
No spending

Saturday 19th March
-$45 haircut at the local training sailing (it looks awesome, very short)
- $12 Hair dye after cutting my hair I needed to dye the roots
- $7.67 Aldi ( my friend took me to the local aldi to check out the bargains, I didn't get much but I will definitely be back!
- $4.35 mcdonalds ( we got lunch, yeah shameful)
- $12 - we had a some beers at the pub afterwards

Sunday 20th March
- $8 hungry jacks

Monday 21st March
No spend

Tuesday 22nd March
No spend

Wednesday 23rd March
+ $1495.58 - pay
- $250 credit card
- $100 parents load
- $100 savings
- $49 internet
- $31.70 groceries

The end result of my fortnights budget is $2.82 left over which I snowballed straight onto my credit card. last fortnight I was good at paying my bills and staying within my actual fortnightly credit but I was bad at keeping within budget for my budgeted expenses.

I've tried to update my sidebars with the new total for the bills and savings I've paid today but its not working for some reason?

Anyway onto the next post.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Wed 16th of March
- $40.42 - Groceries
- $29 - Pre-paid internet card, unexpected expense however I had to update my Operating System, which was annoying.

Thursday 17th of March
No spending

I'm thinking of taking my money update to weekly instead of daily, I'm to much of a scatter brain to remember to post everyday and it's probably boring for you all to read a daily spending report.

Anyway on to the good stuff, I'm going back home for a week next month and I've been thinking of allowing myself a $100 fun allowance for while I'm back home. I'm going to be catching up with friends and family and people are probably want to get a coffee, or go to the beach and then grab a drink and do other socially things. My mother and I also want to do something together, she's suggested going to this day spa which will cost $65 and you get a 1hr massage, use of a mineral pool as well as lunch at the cafe, it sounds amazing and Mum and I have never done anything like this before. However it would take a huge chunk out of my fun money and I don't think I can justify this right now, maybe I should just suggest we get pedicures instead?

I also was looking in the mirror today and It's come to my attention that I
really need a hair cut. A couple of months ago I had a misguided experiment with home bleaching and the results were disastrous, I dyed my hair back to my natural colour and have been frantically conditioning my hair but my hair is just fried and frizzy and it snaps off whenever I brush it. It's something I haven't budgeted for, or even considered but if I go to a training college I should be able to limit the cost if I go to a training salon.

I wouldn't mind something like these two styles,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weekly Money Check-Up

It's My Pretty Pennies Weekly Money Check-Up time!

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on paying my debts.
2. Today I feel positive towards money.
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was organising my filing! I love feeling organised!
4. I will consider this week a success if I don't take the abuse from customers personal again.
5. My ancestors are Mongrels! I'm part english, irish and spanish.

I had another no spend day today, Yay, although the happiness was a bit overshadowed by another stressful day at work. I love my job and I love what I do but sometimes dealing with customers can get a bit to much, because my job is mainly phone based for some reason people will be much ruder then what they would be in person. I try not to take it personal but with how busy my industry is from all these natural disasters every thing is delayed and people aren't happy about it. There's nothing I can do about the delays, yelling at me, swearing at me, speaking to me like I am a piece of dirt does not speed up the process.

Sorry for the rant I just needed to get this out.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Productive Day/No spend day

I had a productive day today, It's a public holiday here so I used the day off to clean my apartment, do my washing and do some organising. I cleaned up and organised my filing system, I had 2 expanding files that were just full of random documents with no organisation, while I was going through these files I found a $164 medicare refund check that I'd never banked! OMG. This is a definite pro to keeping an organised filing system in the future, I won't ever loose cheques!

I'm really focusing on de-cluttering right now, there's nothing more therapeutic then going through drawers and cupboards and riding yourself of junk you haven't used in years, I've thrown out clothes I haven't worn since high school, broken pieces of jewellery, old magazines and heaps of old birthday cards. I really wan to focus on getting my possessions down to the minimum in preparation for traveling.

Today was a no spend day YAY, mainly because I just stayed at home.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday 13th of March

I went to a free festival in my city today, we had a good time, saw some bands and enjoyed the general festivities. I had a great time, but I'm dreading sharing the spending I did, but anyway here it goes.

- $3.50 a bottle of water (entertainment
- $4.50 a corn on the cob (entertainment)
- $2.80 a slush puppie (entertainment) In my defence it was really hot

From now until next pay day I can not spend any money except for $1173 for my rent, $42 gym fees (which both get debited from my account) and my budgeted $50 for food. This should leave me with $72.91 left over from this fortnights pay which I plan to roll over into next pays budget for bills. From my next pay the complete OH MY GOSH I'M 24 AND I NEED TO TRAVEL SAVING PLAN comes into place.

debt repayment plan

So I posted my last post without actually sharing how I was going to achieve paying off my debt by July, oops.

As per my budget on this post I'm aiming to pay off $500 a month to my credit card and $200 a month to my parents for the loan I took out for the bond on my apartment, with any amount left over out of my budget it will go straight to my credit card. With this payment plan I should be able to have all my debts repaid by the end of July.

Now onto the spending this weekend.

Friday 11th of March
- $25 - work dinner (entertainment)
- $10 - alcohol (entertainment)
I had a preplanned work social outing that night, I wasn't planning to buy alcohol but after a pretty stressful week we all shared a few bottles of wine (and I'm sure the resultant hangover on saturday morning)

Saturday 12th of March
- $6.08 - It was beautiful weather yesterday and my friends had a barbecue, my contribution was the soda (Food)
- $10 - I got a taxi home, I live only a 20minute walk from her place however to get to my place I need to go through a dodgy area, as I was walking home at 10:30pm a car tailed me for a few minutes so I ran across the road and grabbed a passing taxi, the taxi only cost me $6 but I was so grateful he stopped I told the cabby to keep the change (entertainment I guess)

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I've decided to set myself the goal to have all my debts paid off by July 31st.

That's only 4 months away, I can totally do that!

10th March Spending

Thursday 10th of March
- $1.50 - diet coke (entertainment expenses)
- $2 - contribution to work birthday gift (need to figure out where this comes from)
- $38.05 - Groceries (food)

So I didn't need that diet coke but at least I'm getting better then what I used to be! I used to have at least 2 cans of diet coke a day, now I'm down to 2 a week, but I still want to get down to 0 and keep free from chemicals.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An unexpected bill

I received an unexpected bill yesterday, it was $60 for a blood test I had to check my iodine levels, along with a host of other tests. Just so you other non Australian bloggers aren't shocked that I was shocked I was charged for a blood test, Australia has Medicare and things like blood tests are usually "bulk billed" aka covered by the government, which are paid for by our taxes.

Back on topic I was so shocked to receive the invoice because I had never been told that the iodine test wasn't covered under Medicare neither my doctor who prescribed the test, the receptionist at the clinic or the nurse who took my blood advised me this particular test wasn't covered. I'm the least likeliest person to complain or make a fuss but I really want to call the clinic and ask why I was never told about the extra cost.

Does anyone have any advice for contesting medical bills or any undisclosed bills?

Weekly Money Check-Up

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on $50 for a new phone.
2. Today I feel hopeful towards money.
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was I cleaned my kitchen. Don't laugh but as much as I hate cleaning I love the feeling of a clean house afterwards.
4. I will consider this week a success if I..... I don't know right now.
5. My guilty pleasure TV show is Keeping up with the Kardashians. Yeah you're judging me, but I love them!

from My Pretty Pennies Weekly Money Check-Up

Pay Day

Pay day today.

Wednesday 9th March
+ $1675.51 - wage, including overtime pay
- $100 - credit card
- $100 - Parents loan
- $5.20 - lunch which is deducted from my weekly food budget
- $3.70 - Tram ticket, it was raining today and I had to get the tram home (need to figure out where this will be deducted from)
$29 - Prepaid internet top up

I made the most amazing (and cheap) dinner tonight! 3 Chicken thighs, 1 packet of dry soup mix, some powdered vegetable stock in the crock pot fill to a 3rd of the way with hot water then cook on Low for 8 hours.

I came home to the most delicious smell and I swear I'll have about 5 serves from this pot.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Why bulk buying is that frugal if you're single

So one mistake I made when I was first getting into budgeting/frugal living was to bulk buy. I read so many blogs that promoted this method of saving food money that I became super eager and would always look out for bargains, I didn't consider that these blogs were written by mothers and couples, not by single people. For me it was a waste of money to buy a 2kg bag of potatoes for only $3 or the 2 for 1 carton of milk or the 1.7kg bottle of sundried tomatoes because I could never use them before they spoilt. I'd end up with a half full mouldy pile of tomatoes, sour milk and my 1.7kg bottle of sundried tomotaoes? I've only used 1 quarter in 3 months and they're starting to get a funky smell.

I'm not saying bulk buying is bad for single people but I'm saying its not the be all or the end all of frugal living. I buy in bulk my non perishables like flour, sugar, tea, UHT milk, canned goods. I have considered buying beans and brown rice but I don't think I could finish the rice before it spoiled and I'd probably get bored of the bulk beans and push them to the back of the cupboard. For fruit and vegies I go to the prahran markets or Queen vic markets and try to only buy what I need. This for me is living frugally and within my means.

Pleasant surprise!

I just found out today that my work may be sending me to a training conference in my home state in April, exactly around the time I need to be home for the family event! I'm hoping it works out because it means I won't need to pay for flights, or accommodation!

fingers crossed!

This didn't eventuate Sad panda :(

However my Mum ended up paying for the plane tickets for me.

Just getting some shopping urges out of my system

I don't need it. But they're still so pretty. Resisting the shopping urge!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spending ban fail

I've been lazy and undisciplined. I have no excuses. I'm giving myself a huge kick in the bum right now. I have spent money, on only small things but they were wants not needs (coffee, diet cokes). I did record my spending, on my iPhone, except yesterday I dropped my phone down the stairs and now its smashed and it won't start and I've lost all my precious data.

I had to buy a new phone today, I live alone and don't have a home phone so it's important I do at least have some way to get in contact with people. I opted for a cheapie $49 phone I still have 3 months left on my plan so I'm still on the ridiculous $69 plan that I always exceeded. I tried to be smart today when buying the phone, instead of opting for a phone that can check Facebook, twitter and Internet sites I got a basic phone with no internet access. I realised last night that I'm actually addicted to my iPhone and it's concerning, I check my Facebook and twitter several times a day, I google recipes and random things on my phone I regularly exceed my plan and will end up with $200+ phone bills for the most unnecessary things. When I bought my phone and I also purchases insurance on the phone and I am covered for this damage so I can lodge a claim and get a new phone except I don't think its a good idea for me to do. I'm going to wait out the next 3 months of my contract and then go onto a prepaid phone. I'm already having iPhone withdrawals though.

I've been seriously thinking and organising travel plans in my head and with family and this time I'm implementing an actual to honest gosh real spending ban. This is the 6 Month OH MY GOSH I'M 24 AND NEED TO TRAVEL SAVING PLAN"

The plan is this, (I'm paid fortnightly but planned it monthly for convenience)

I'm paid on average $3087.12 a month. I've done a monthly budget including savings, paying bills and daily expenses the budget I've worked on has a $445.$12 left over which I will first pay onto my credit card debt and then when my credit card debt is paid off it will go into my savings account.

parents 200
credit card 500
savings 300
rent 1173
food 200
phone 69
internet 60
electricity 40
play money 50
health 50
house 50
total 2692
monthly wage 2991.16
left over 299.16

Once my all my debts are paid off I should hope in about 3 months. I will then do a new budget that focuses specifically on saving.

The reason I've made this plan 6 months is that I think I'm going to need 3 months to pay off the debt and then 3 months to get some substantial money in my savings which will hopefully train my mind and my thinking for the next 6 months of saving for travel.

I know I have some big purchases coming up that will affect my budget however, they include 1) I have to fly back home in April to see my nieces christening and 2) I am taking french lessons so I will need to pay for 2nd semester in 2 months. I've got this figures in my mind and will be deducting money from my savings for these expenses (but only these expenses)

I am ACTUALLY going to do this.


I miscalculated my monthly pay and gave myself to much money, also thought it would be wise to add a household expenses portion.
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