Monthly Archives: August 2012

Hello. This post may contain nuts.


Peanuts, suprisingly… contains peanuts…

I love the disclaimer most Personal Finance bloggers have on their websites.

It usually goes something like this:

The information contained within this blog from all writers is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining professional financial advice. Please thoroughly research everything you read here and seek professional representation before acting on any information you may have found in this blog.

With of course different wording and permutations, dependent on the blogger’s style. But you get the gist.

It’s our peoples version of the “May contain nuts” disclaimer. 😛

So here’s my nut…

Well one of them. (ewwwwww! minds out of the gutter people!)

One of the ways I know has helped me in terms of budgeting, and not being caught with my pants down (really I’m not trying to insert all these crotch references into this post, it’s just happening), is putting aside $50 every pay check, for those quarterly bills. Since I’m renting I don’t have to pay for gas or water, only electricity. So $50 every two weeks is more than enough.

From a quick calculation, that gives me every quarter about $300 – $350 dollars. My electricity bill has never hit over the $300 mark. The most I’ve ever had to pay was $260. Now you can choose to roll over that money, or splurge it on something. I always tend to splurge on a nice bottle of wine.

Having that fund for those large quarterly bills have been a godsend. My budget really only leaves me with about $110 dollars for incidentals, after I take out rent, debt repayments, grocery and more regular bills (phone and internet). So if I had to squeeze an extra $150 from somewhere every 3 months (for the worst case scenario) I’d go absolutely guano.

Now you if you have other large quarterly (other utilities), half-yearly (I don’t know of anything that does half-yearly invoicing but you never know), or yearly (car registration) you could increase the amount of money you contribute to this fund every week, even $5 a week would give you $260 to use for your car registration. That might not cover it, but at least you won’t be looking for the the full amount, in an already tight budget.

Now some people could suggest that you put all this money within your emergency fund, combine the funds. More funds = More interest. If that works for you, I’m more than down with that (wow, listen to me get all “street”. Word). But I’ve put my emergency fund into an account that gives me an extra 5% interest rate on months I don’t do any withdrawals, so I am loathe to withdraw from it unless it really truly is an emergency.

And since I know those bills will eventually come, I really don’t consider it an emergency. Which is why I have a second account (which has a relatively high interest rate, but doesn’t penalise for withdrawals, but doesn’t give that extra 5% rate either) just for those bills.

How do you manage those large quarterly/yearly bills? Do you just take the hit on your finances when they come in? Or have you got some other fandangled method of making sure you’re not surprised?

Hello, budget. Revisit. Rework. Recalculate. Recognise. Real Eyes. Realise. Real Lies.


Nothing like a little bit of alliteration to start off a post. 🙂

Note the last 3 come from some pic I saw on the net, which you may think has nothing to do with a budget post, but in fact it kinda does.

I haven’t really done any meaningful work on my budget in quite a while. And this blog started as a Personal Finance blog. *shame*

So revisiting  my budget was a bit of an eye-opener. I realised that I had made a few optimistic assumptions ( or what you would call “lies”) on a few key budgetary figures, but to balance that out, I also made a few rather pessimistic calculations. So I recalculated and reworked a few items, adjusted for interest rates, and BAM!

I got this.

See that massive dip 2 paychecks ago? That was cause I didn’t factor in interest and a few charges I had sneakily placed on a couple of the cards. So rather than being well and above clearing my debt by 50% by now as I had predicted, I’m still a tad below, currently having paid off 51.14% of my available debt.

At my current rate of payments, factoring a rough estimate of $3500 worth of interest that will be applied to my current debts, I will be done at the end of March 2013.

Now for the good news.

I started doing calculations of what life what will be like afterdebt (dear god! FREEEEEEEDDDDDDDDOOOMMMMMM!!!!!).

Even with an increase of my grocery budget and increasing the money I set aside for bills, I am still using only 45% of my salary on what us Personal Finance bloggers call “needs”. Well, technically 41% since I included in my “after-debt” budget $80 for “incidentals” and we all know what that means… damn straight. Hookers. I mean coffee! Coffee! 😛

Still, that leaves me with $1,100 to play with.

If I keep up the budget I’ve drawn up after debt, which honestly is not at all restrictive (I have almost $400 to do with as I please! [and yes that includes the $80 for hookers. Damnit I mean coffee! Why do I keep doing that?] compared to the measly $110 I have to contend with now), AND if I maintain my current salary, AND if I don’t stupidly fall in love with a girl and waste all my money again AND nothing else terrible happens to me, then the following is a pretty reasonable scenario.

So the time line goes like this :

28 March 2013 (hopefully) – Out of Debt

18 July 2013 – Trading Account hits $1,500. Start online trading. Reduce contributions to 3 x brokerage fee.

15 August 2013 – Have 3 months worth of expenses saved in an Emergency Fund. Reduce contributions to 5% of salary.

26 September 2013 – Savings (not part of Emergency Fund) hit the $5,000 mark. Time to do research on purchasing a car.

19 December 2013 – Savings hit the $10,000 mark – purchase car (or motorbike)

2014 – open up a FHSA (First Home Savers Account) and restart Savings Account after car purchase.

2017 – Emergency Fund now holds 6 months worth of expenses.

2029 – FHSA account hits legislated cap for contributions With interest, FHSA account now holds in excess of $160,000.

And this combined with savings, superannuation and a slow and steady build up of investments, should provide me with enough money to live on for the rest of my life.

That is unless the universe wants to kick me in the balls and make the Zombie Apocalypse happen.

Which it will.

Then I’ll just settling for eating your brains.

Braaaaaaiiiinnnnnnnnsssssss.

 

Hello. So, at last we meet for the first time for the last time.


Image

LOL. I bet she does.

I’m just going to slink back here, and pretend that I’ve been posting regularly, cause I got no excuse.

The past few weeks, I’ve really been off my game. Hell, the past few months. I’ve barely had the energy to shove food into my mouth for dinner, before crashing into bed.

Vera has been standing in the corner, on her stand, gathering dust, her strings twang mournfully every time I brush up against her.

The PS3 and the television could be completely kaput as far as I know. They haven’t been turned on for months.

As for the PC, forget about composing WordPress posts, even games that require any sort of hectic mouse clicking have fallen to the wayside. All the PC has been doing is been streaming my favourite tv series and movies, as I fall asleep within the first ten minutes of them.

But.

On Monday, I did my very first sketch, in god knows how long.

And it was

absolutely

terrible.

🙂

But in a good way. I know that doesn’t make any sense. The only thing I can compare it to is when you’ve been sick and haven’t been able to go for a run for ages. And then in those early few days of getting better, you make the attempt of jogging and can only go a block before collapsing in a heap. It’s like that. You know it was a god-awful attempt, but you also know that with stupidly stubborn perseverance you’ll eventually get back what you had.

On Tuesday, I tackled my budget in a meaningful way, again for the first time in months (which will be the topic of my next post, actually). And despite only three hours sleep, I went to the gym after work, and once again this was the first time in months. After that I even had the energy to cook a very (okay I put way too much salt in there) healthy meal, and then do a second sketch. The second, while still nowhere near as good as I know I can do, is leaps and bounds better than the first. It actually looks human this time. 😛

And today, I’ve dusted off the ol’ WordPress account and managed to write this entry (twice! WordPress ate the first attempt).

So, dependant on this surge of energy, you may expect to see regular posts creeping up once again.

I’m not promising anything though, I’m not looking for anything serious at the moment, ya know. Let’s keep it casual. Be cool man. Be cool.

*grin*