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Saturday, 7 January 2017

Goals Update: December 2016

So my last two updates were pretty messy, so I think I'll switch to monthly. I've been tracking my expenses monthly for a couple of years now so this will be a lot tidier and more comfortable than trying to break it up into weird fortnightly chunks.

So, goals. Even though I started this to keep me accountable (at least to myself) on my 6-month money goal, I want to keep an update of the New Years goals as well.

Do physical fun stuff 4x a week

This is going to be a little trickier than originally planned. The weather is appallingly hot, and I've switched to refereeing at roller derby, so we have a lot of theory training mixed in with skate training. And theory does not equal physical fun stuff. My body aches in a good way from working out, but the last physical sporty fun thing I did was go to a skate park on Sunday. So, fail.

Create something each month

I started writing a D&D short 'campaign'. Since I've never done this before I decided to aim for something that won't last more than a night - because if it's a terrible campaign, who wants to drag it out. Plus I expect I'll have a lot of learnings from the first one to apply, and I'd probably end up tossing half of my material. So I started to pull something together, wrote an opening scene, roughly mapped out in my head 3 encounters and a side quest. Then I realised that children are woefully underpowered and I had a lot of trouble trying to work out how to build an encounter that had any level of challenge but wouldn't KO the kidlets.

Maybe I should read the rules first! Hopefully I can get this finished by the end of January. Not sure when it will get played, but I'll be happy to have it written.

Apply for one freelance task a week

Not done. At all. Fail. I'm thinking of locking this in as a Saturday morning job. That's when I normally review my finances and start to wish I had a higher income, so hopefully I can turn that "I wish I had more money" reaction into applying for contracts.

And now, the money!

Oh boy oh boy. My spending goals for life is to keep my expenses under 40k. Based on a few other bloggers I've read, this is pretty high, but I've noticed when they report their costs theirs don't include costs for 2 properties. And most of them live in dirt cheap parts of America ($250 a month grocery budget for a family of 3? What the heck!) so all things considered I think I might be doing okay. I struggle to find frugal Australians to compare with.

Anyway, here we go

December Totals


Salary $4,142.21
Sidegigs $0
Home $600
Investment Property $614.85
Dividends $218.39
Total $5,575.45


This is a little higher than usual because my employer does an annual payment instead of leave loading. I've only worked for them for a few months, so I don't actually know why they do this, first I heard of it was when the bonus money appeared in my account. I guess it's to encourage people to actually take leave, rather than hoarding it for a few extra dollars. Happy people are productive people.

Side gigs

It was Christmas!


I bought home entirely in my name, but my partner lives here. He pays half of all the bills, plus $150 a week in rent. Pretty sweet deal.

Investment Property

Finally finished paying off my renovations, so this should go up next month.


These pay quarterly, and one of my bonds has been redeemed, so this number will go down in the future.


Spent Budgeted
Home $1,275 $1,250
Investment Property #1 $692 $1,250
Personal Bills $200 $142
Groceries $245 $200
Pets $8 $25
Derby $8 $108
Travel $259 $108
Other $543 $250
Total $3,229.01 $3,333.33


$806.10 of that is the interest on the mortgage. I don't count principal repayments on the mortgage, because that's not an expense, that counts towards my net worth. I consider it a saving. I also pay $250 to my mother (she helped with the deposit) and this month had gas and electricity bills, plus I replaced some of my light globes with LEDs. 7 watts versus 60 watts means I can run 8 lights for the cost of one, it's a no brainer!

Investment Property #1

No bills this month! Just the mortgage. A couple of points to put this figure in perspective - because I'm really lazy I don't count the expenses that are paid out of the rent before I see it, I just factor them in when I calculate the income (e.g. the rent is $299p/week. but my income is closer to $200 averaged over a year). As with my home I don't count principal payments on the mortgage.

Personal Bills

This is my phone bill and health insurance. It's normally $140 a month, but I switched plans mid-November this month and had to pay the difference in this billing cycle.


Still undecided about whether this budget should be $200 or $250. This is only my portion of it, so I assume my partner is paying about the same amount. We don't compare it though, because to him Chocolate and Ice-cream are important, so he buys them. They aren't important to me so I don't buy them. Doesn't mean I don't enjoy them though ;) We also disagree about what is a sufficient amount of meat in a meal - e.g. I stretched two sausages over three meals by using them in stuffed baked potatoes and an omelet while he was on holidays. I'm not sure I'll get away with that while he is here.


I only just created the category. Previously I shoved the pet costs haphazardly under Groceries or Other, depending on the day. I arbitrarily grabbed the $25p/month budget out of the air, after working out I spend about 50c per meal on my cat. Then I remembered the I own a budgie and three chickens so this number will probably have to change.


I bought whistles, essential ref tool. The monthly budget for this is a bit weird at $108.33, but that's because the annual budget is $1,300. Derby is only on for seven months a year, plus three months of bonus optional off-season training. So the numbers in this category will probably fluctate wildly month to month. As long as the annual total stays in the ballpark I'm happy


Again, this is a $1,300 a year budget, not really a monthly. I didn't go anywhere in December, but I finally balanced the books on my Tassie trip with my partner back in October.


The everything else column! I keep trying to figure out if there is anything in this that deserves it's own category, but nothing yet. It generally includes snacks bought for game days, gifts, bike gear, video games, etc etc. This month was over from the start because I dropped $250 on a financial adviser. I still would have been over budget by $42.50, I spent $108 at the dentist for a checkup, and another $120 on gifts. It's December, so a pricey month is to be expected.


Woo! Pretty chuffed with being under this month, especially after completely blowing out the other column in the budget. I got away with it because there were no bills for my Investment Property this month, so I only paid the mortgage. Let's see how this goes moving forward.

Savings Goal

High Interest: $5,018.69 (Done, Woo! knocked this one out first because it was easier, psychological wins)
Offset Balance: $4900.68
Credit Cards: $854.47

Total: $6,992.39
Remaining: $13,007.31 ($2,167 p/month)

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