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Thursday, 2 March 2017

Goals Update: February 2017

Spending the money, a lot of money. Based on my past budgets the start of the year is always super expensive as I pay all my annual bills and deal with the Christmas hangover and eating expensive food because it's too hot to think straight, but this month has been ridiculous.

At least I got a decent tick on the non-financial goals.

Do physical fun stuff 4x a week

The derby season is picking up and I was cleared by the surgeon and the physio to hit people! I am super stoked. I'm still not allowed to play for another three months, but I can start training contact drills, as long as I listen to my body and build up slowly.

I also got out on the slack line a couple of times, and have picked up Yoga again. I use an app called Down Dog that I cannot recommend enough. The ability to adjust time, difficulty and type of practice (restorative, strength or mixed) is amazing, the instructor is really easy to follow and the flow of the practice is simply beautiful. I find myself feeling super relaxed and stretched after a 20 minute session and strength workouts are just the right amount of struggle.

My only complaint this month is I didn't make it rock climbing. It's been close to three months now and I'm really really missing it. My partner and I have been taking turns being sick and he's been travelling for work. We we're really really hoping to get out tonight but it's been 35degrees plus (95 Fahrenheit) for a few days in a row so I'm not keen on climbing in a big tin shed. Fingers crossed to getting out again soon.

Grade: A-

Create something each month

Ummm, I completely forgot about this goal! Oops. I did go on a hectic cleaning spree of my house. I'm taking out another mortgage against this house to use as a deposit on my next investment property so I needed it to look good in case we had an in house valuation. I also took photos of the bathroom and photo-shopped them to see how a renovation might look! Fun, but not really creating anything.

I did write seven articles for this blog, and I have 14 drafts containing half baked ideas, so I'm going to grade myself quite well for this month.

Grade: B

Apply for one freelance task a week

This is getting super frustrating. I am applying for tasks and getting no response. I'm getting invitations to interview for tasks out of the blue and getting no response. When I started on UpWork I was getting about 1 in 10 success rate applying for positions, now it just feels like the site it packed full of flakey people who don't follow through on the tasks they advertise.

Success for me meeting the 'apply' goal, absolute failure of actually seeing any work out of it.

Grade: B+

And now, the money!

Here we go

February Totals


Investment Property$1097.30


I put through a tax variation which lowered the amount that my employer takes out of each payslip. It means I'll get a smaller tax return at the end of the year, but it also means that money is in my account working towards my goals. The government doesn't pay interest on the extra money it takes from you and that's totally not okay.

Side gigs

I had an old high school friend contact me out of the blue and ask me to be involved in a focus group. $100 cash in hand to spend 90 minutes having strong feelings and getting a free feed. Massive win!


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

This month my tenants appear to have been charged at the old rate, despite the rental agreement being due for an upgrade on the 19th. I need to keep a close eye on my property manager, which I am not pleased with.


No cash dividends this month. Anything that's automatically reinvested is counted in the next section.

Investment performance

DepositDividendsAnnual Return
Disclaimer: I'm definitely calculating my returns in a weird way. Current Value divided by Amount Invested equals overall return. The number is then adjusted to be annual. It means if I dump in a huge sum of money my return appears to go down. This means the return quoted here is a conservative number and I'm okay with that.


SpentBudgetedAnnual Average
Investment Property #1$1569.20$1,250$1696.46
Personal Bills$140.60$142$96.38


Bills again!

Investment Property #1

Urgh, body corporate fees. They're roughly $3,000 a year, paid every four months. They used to be closer to $5,000 a year when the body corporate was embroiled in a legal battle with the (crappy lazy) on-site managers. Since the new on-site managers have taken over the fees have been steadily dropping, woohoo! Still another expensive month though.

Personal Bills

This is my phone bill and health insurance, it should never change.
The average is low because I upgraded my health insurance to include hospital cover in January. So the average is reflecting the old, lower cover and will steadily come up across the year.


So, I took out a Coles Credit Card, spend $110 online, got free shipping on the order and 22,000 FlyBuys points, that I can convert back for $55. Nice. I bought items with no expiry date that I would have bought anyway like rice, long-life milk, tomato sauce, toothpaste. Boring stuff that I don't need to buy again for a while now.  Oh, and they sent me a voucher for $100 off my next shop. By the time I'm done I will have spent $100, and received ~$250 worth of goods. Winning!

Apart from that the costs have been staying pretty low because I've had a bumper crop of zuchinnis from the back yard and I've been eating them in everything. This week my lunches were zuchinni slice, zuchinni soup and zuchinni pasta.... I'm not sick of it yet!


Hey Big Spender! I thought I blew the budget last month but this is out of the water! I found an online deal for kitty litter that was half what I usually pay. But it was a minimum $49 spend for free shipping so I bought ninety litres of kitty litter! I have one cat, I suspect this will last a while.

I'm starting to feel that I have set this budget far too low. I spent $25 on a months worth of cat food, and next month I'll need to buy another bag of chicken feed. I'm strongly considering rebalancing the budget to take some money from another category and move it into here.


Paid dues this month and I bought a flight to Queensland for $40 and rewards points. I am stoked because one of my goals this year is to get my derby travel for as close to free as possible. This flight would have cost $210 on super special, and it's the best flight of the day. I'm starting to feel that I've overestimated how much I need to put into the derby category. Although I need new wheels, so that cost will be coming through soon.


No travel, no spend. Easy peasy :) Any travel for derby is counted in the derby category.


We broke another coffee glass so I had to buy some new ones, and our friends unloaded a bunch of spices on us so I finally caved in a bought a couple of storage baskets ($17). I honestly don't know how I coped without those baskets. The spice shelf is above my head, so it's so much easier to pull the basket down and find what I want. No more hunting, no more worrying about knocking something on the ground.

I also had to replace my earphones. I only had one functioning earbud for about 9months and they finally gave up on me. I found them on eBay for $25 while they were selling in store for $75. Massive win for 5 minutes effort!

We had a couple of 43degree days in a row and really didn't want to cook so we went out for dinner ($31). Plus I went to the dentist and got another filling ($61). Should be fine for a couple of years now.

There was a $99 annual fee for one of my credit cards. Jump over to my post about travel hacking to see why this isn't actually a bad thing.

All in all I was going to be okay with what I spent in the category until the last day of the month when someone stole the lights off my bike. Yepp, those lights I bought exactly 40 days ago when I replaced my stolen bike were also stolen. I had barely used them because it's summer and sunset isn't until 8pm. After 2 years of hassle free bike communiting I have had over $1,000 worth of gear stolen in the last six months. Not thrilled, I spent another $100 to replace these lights. I'm also going to sew a bonus pouch into my bike bag specifically for holding my lights because apparently I can't leave them on my bike in broad daylight.

Savings Goal

High Interest: $4,664.67
Offset Balance: $5,589.84
Owing on Credit Cards: $1,518.89
Total: $8,735.62

Increase from last month: $933.03
Amount remaining: $11,264.38 (approx $2,800 a month)

As a whole I'm pretty unhappy with my progress here. My spending just feels completely out of control. I can make excuses at myself about my bike theft, or the annual fee on my credit card being worth more than it cost but... it's just demoralising to see my spending so far over all the time.

I'm going to set myself a specific short and (possibly) hard goal for next month to just keep the 'Other' column under budget. It's Mad March in Adelaide which means events coming out of your ears, but barring another catastrophe I should be able to do it, watch this space. If I can keep my budget in check (under $3,300 a month) I should be able to scrape through this goal on my current earnings. Otherwise I need to make more money (I really need to make more money)

Check out the history of this goal:

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