Category Archives: Personal Finance

Hello. Sooooo yadda yadda yadda, it’s 3 years later.


Whoa.

I didn’t even know they saved blogs for that long. And no I haven’t been cheating on you guys, writing on any other blog or dispensing me weirdity on any other sort of medium. I have just been slack 🙂 May the fates forgive me. Bear in mind, I have not written for about 2.5 years, so my use of hyperbole, simile and metaphor could be as bad as…

as..

as..

a really bad thing. *face palm* (get it together man!)

Don’t ask me why I decided to start up writing in this blog again, it just seemed a helluva lot easier than starting a new blog. I’m still going to rant and rave about nothing much at all, at least that much hasn’t changed.

But what has changed in the past few years is my financial position. From the last update I can see that I posted, I was sitting somewhere around the negative $11K mark in overall financial position. As of today, February 20 2015, I am here:

backtobloggin2015

Overall financially, I am now only about $300 in debt. Of course that’s not the figure of my actual debt, which is still sitting around the $7K mark. The graph shows my Total Net Worth, over the last few years I’ve built a small but growing Emergency Fund (roughly about 3 months worth of expenses), started a micro investment fund (less than $5K) and have a few bits and bobs squirreled away for some other upcoming expenses (more about those in another post). The next pay day (due on Thursday 26th of February) will at last see me coming in the positive.

But maybe a little clarification, see that long ass slide from June 2013 to June 2014, well I got hit by unemployment. Don’t ask me why I wasn’t blogging at this time, I think the fact I had a fairly good run of income going, and then yet again lost my job (due to budget cuts in the department) hit me kind of hard. Most of that year was kinda spent in a haze of doubt and self pity. I don’t recall much of it, but I did watch seasons 1-5 of Supernatural more than a few times… all in one sitting… *shame*

So what awaits over the next couple of posts? Well there is a (planned) move in the near future, new city, new job (god please let me get a new job!), new apartment and all the expenses that come with that.

Anyways, I forgot how invigorating and tiring putting down thoughts on paper… err screen, actually is, so I’ll end it here…

For now…

MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

 

Hello, quick update, sorry about not posting blah blah blah


You know the drill. 🙂 Profuse apologies for not posting (sincere) Promises of more consistent posting (Lies!) 😀

Anyhoo. Very quick update, I am now down to TWO/ (2) /DOS /NI /DEU/ DVA credit cards with balance owing on them! And I have calculated that I can be rid of those in about 6 months. It would’ve been 5 months but I went nuts with one of the cards. Heh. *guilty look* This also means that I will be only be paying a maximum of $1200 in interest across both cards (assuming $100 interest is generated per month on the current balances). I had assumed an interest of $2000, so essentially I have $800 to spend for Christmas!

*RANDOM THOUGHT* Hmm. I’ve been using the iPad, more so than the laptop recently (which is why I haven’t been on much SO MANY APPS …O_O), and not having the use of emojis seems to stifle me.. >_< *END RANDOM THOUGHT*

So below is the current state of my Net Worth:

Soooo slooooowwwwww….

As you can see there was a large dip a couple of weeks ago. That was me blowing $2000 on crap. Don’t ask me what sort of crap. Just believe me, it was crap. But fun crap. Okay fine, its apps, vids and buying e-books! Now stop interrogating me biatches!

But! I’ve rejigged my budget and have allowed for the ongoing expense of aforementioned crap into my life (cause while I don’t need it, its soooooo much fun!). Starting with $100 this pay, and $30 every pay moving forwards. I’ve also found a deal which allows me to buy a $30 iTunes card for only $24 😀 So the $100 this week should net me $120 worth of credit! That’s an extra $20 for nothing!

Woohoo!

Alright real life calls. Laters alligators!

Hello, I DID IT!


After months and months (well technically years, but I’ve really only been able to be serious about debt repayments since February 2012) of scrimping, scavenging, tight-assery and cheapskatedness, I’ve managed to pay off 50% of my total available debt.

WOOHOO!

So in summary.

WOOHOO!

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, there are no ninja lemmings in this post or “Blogging – One Year on. Part 1 of 7”


I know, I know.

I declare I’m back and then don’t post a thing for two weeks.

I’d tell you the truth, that I was whisked away by ninja lemming’s to fight in their never-ending war against the evil samurai mole-rats, on the back of a flying unicorn while they serenaded me with various renditions of Kansas’ Carry On My Wayward Son, as they fed me pieces of french toast.

But,

you wouldn’t believe me anyways.

So, instead I’ll just use the following outrageous fabrication and sordid lies.

Deal?

Deal.

As I finished posting the last post. I realised I must be close to my blogging anniversary. And I was. Today, marks the 1st birthday of this blog.

And so I was stuck.

Such an auspicious occasion should be marked with a brilliant post. Something that bounces, bunny-like on the readers cerebral cortex, then does that other thing that bunnies are famous for doing, rhythmically, on your amygdala .

But I’m all out of brilliant, so you’ll all have to settle for narcissistic introspection.

In seven parts.

HA!

Sucks to be you.

Anyways.

Part 1: This started out as a personal finance blog (stop choking on your respective oral fixation objects. I know, it sucks as a personal finance blog, alright?) So after a year of blogging, what have I, Captain Sweatpants, learned about personal finance?

Well for one I am a budget nerd. I don’t particularly like numbers. I’m no math-elete. But when it comes to making spreadsheets, graphs, tables, whatever to help me tracking down my debt, wowsers. My “budget 2.0” spreadsheet currently has 11 different tabs/worksheets and 3 sets of graphs.

It’s fun goddamnit!

And anyone who say’s that they don’t have an awesome time putting into Excel all their expenditure and income and then trying to calculate a workable and realistic budget, then tracking debt repayments and progression, then putting all that data into a graphical format… well, I say those people are just too sane for my liking. 😛

You’re looking at the last pay-cycle, just before the 1st birthday of this blog.

This is one of the graphs I’ve set up that updates every time I input data from the master spreadsheet above.

Two pie graphs showing my progress from the point when I first started a version of this spreadsheet (about a year before I started blogging) to now.
Green = Good
Red = Bad

Number two (hehehehe “number two” *snort giggle guffaw snort*), I can actually trust myself with credit cards now. Oh I’ll never match up to Cheap Tight McSkint (the most frugal man in the world), I like technology too much, I often get lazy and buy dinner instead of making it, and hell, there are times when I just want to buy stuff. But I’ll never get myself into that position again where I was 2 years ago when I was literally drowning in debt. I currently have 3 credit cards in my wallet, 1 has never been used, 1 is my everyday card, and the other is my emergency card. And while some people might think, “if you don’t use that first card why even carry it?” Well it’s kinda like when a smoker carries that one last cigarette. It’s a challenge if you will. I know it’s there, and as long as I never use it. I’m in control. That probably doesn’t make sense to anyone else, but whatever floats right?

And thirdly, well I’m a money grubbing whore. *grin* Nah seriously, the third lesson I’ve learned is that money IS important, but ONLY if you don’t have enough of it. With my current lifestyle and my current salary, and the way I’ve set up my automatic payments, and the way I’ve tailored my budget,  money isn’t really much of a concern. Oh sure, Iwantto upgrade my lifestyle. A nicer apartment, get a car, travel a lot more, buy more suits, better furniture, you know the drill. But I don’tneed to. And there’s something comforting in knowing that.

Stay tuned for part 2, where there will be an inspirational training montage sequence, as the ninja lemming’s whip me into shape for the inevitable battle  with the lord of samurai mole-rats – or if you are unable the beautiful truth of that narrative, the lie I will be telling will be something about what I’ve learnt regarding blogging and crap. I dunno, my lie isn’t that well thought out yet.

Give me a few hours.

Hello post-long distance relationship travel update: All I got was another $1000 in debt and some chafing.


So where have I been the past week?

Well I was attempting to build a physical connection on the long distance relationship.

Eight days of dinners, lunches, outings and mind-blowing sex.

But in the end it was decided that the distance just didn’t make the whole relationship feasible.

Sucky.

So how did the spend for those eight days break down?

– Air fares $600

– Car Hire $220

– Day 1 Dinner & Drinks – $180

– Day 2 All day in the bedroom (boom chicka wah wah)

– Day 3 Pizza & Drinks  – $100

– Day 4 Lunch – $0 (she paid)

– Day 5 All day in the bedroom (boom chicka wah wah)

– Day 6 All day in the bedroom (boom chicka wah wah)

– Day 7 Lunch – $180

– Day 8 Lunch + Ice Cream $0 (she paid)

So a total of $1280 spent on the 7 days. About $120 shy of the $1400 minimum I set, so pretty good. Considering that $1400 target was for 5 days rather than 8.

Lesson learnt?

Well actually 2 lessons were learnt during this whole experience.

#1 If you wanna save money whilst in a long distance relationship, when you meet up, have lots of sex. It’s free and everyone is guaranteed to have a good time 😉

and #2 Don’t do long distance relationships.

I am Jack’s inflamed sense of rejection… (brownie points to those who can name the movie and suggest other awesome break-up flicks… for dudes… none of this whiny chick flick crap)