2017 is off to a great start. Despite thinking we had been pretty spendy this month, we managed a savings rate of over 50%! We are pretty happy with that.
We are hoping to achieve a much higher savings rate in 2017, and so far, we are on track.
For those who don’t live in Australia, we went through a bit of a heat wave over the Christmas period. In Brisbane, the heat wave was particularly prevalent over the New Year period, and so, on January 1st, we’d finally had enough.
Our house does not have air conditioning. It is also open plan, with the living spaces upstairs with a stair case leading downstairs that cannot be shut off. As such, we didn’t think installing air conditioning in the house would be very efficient, as you can’t close off the living areas. We will probably install air conditioning once this is a rental, as we won’t have to pay the inefficient electricity bills. But, we had to do something.
Early on New Years Day, Poopsie headed to Bunnings to buy a portable air conditioner. He was obviously not the only one, as he had to go to three different Bunnings to find one. We bought one, and while we haven’t used it excessively, it has been money well spent. I worry a bit about receiving the electricity bill, but the comfort we have gotten from it has been worth it. When we move, we will put it up on Gumtree and hopefully reap some of our cost back.
Another household purchase was replacement blinds for our bedroom. We had been keeping an eye on specials since we moved in, as the blinds let a lot of street light into our room, making it hard for Poopsie to sleep (I sleep like a baby no matter the conditions). Spotlight had a great post-Christmas sale so we bought them, Poopsie installed them and we’ve been sleeping in darkness ever since.
Poopsie will be taking a lot of work trips this year to an outback mining town. He left for one on 28th January and is still there. We decided to purchase him an internet dongle so he is still able to use the internet while he is there. He will be starting his Masters this year (paid for by work), so will definitely need the internet connection to do some study. Also, on arrival in the mining town he purchased a weeks worth of groceries. As they didn’t have an Aldi, where we usually shop, he shopped at Woolworths and was shocked when his bill came in over $100! While this has certainly added to our grocery bill for January, it has also reassured us we’re doing the right thing by shopping at Aldi.
It was my birthday in January, so we went out to eat. Poopsie also made me the best birthday cake ever!
We also had a big bill to pay this month, $1400 big. In November last year, Poopsie was involved in a small bingle. Fortunately there was no damage to our car, but there was some damage to the other car and Poopsie was at fault. We received the bill from the other person’s insurance company. We purposely have a high excess (deductible) on our insurance, after reading Mr Money Mustache’s excellent article on the subject. In a combined 37 years of driving, neither of us have ever been in an accident where we have utilised our insurance. As such, we prefer to keep our premiums low every year, rather than saving a little bit of money one year.
Finally, we have started booking and paying for our upcoming road trip holiday in March. We want to attend the Versailles: Treasures from the Palace exhibition at the National Gallery in Canberra. We will be taking the trip as a road trip, stopping in Newcastle to visit friends, stopping in Sydney to go to Taronga Zoo with my nephew and finally making our way down to Canberra. It will be a great trip and, since we’re staying with friends and reducing our other accommodation costs where we can, a relatively frugal one.
Here’s the rest of our expenses:
|Blog||$12.36||A small charge to keep the blog churning.|
|Gifts||$23.35||A dear friend had a gorgeous baby. I was able to source some homemade gifts from my mother, but this accounts for postage. We also bought some photo frames to give as gifts.|
|Internet||$158.80||A regular Internet charge, plus $30 for Poopsie's new dongle and $50 credit which lasts for one year.|
|Groceries||$705.33||Whoa! We had an additional grocery run due to Poopsie being away for work and our three monthly order of Poopsie's protein powder.|
|Car Costs||$102.56||This was all fuel. Hopefully this becomes our new norm now that we're down to one car.|
|Kids (child support, school fees, etc.)||$1,314.02||Unfortunately next month our child support goes up by almost $400 a month! Ouch!|
|Household||$479.81||A portable air conditioner which has been worth every cent. Also, new blinds for our bedroom.|
|Miscellaneous||$1,877.85||The bulk of this was an insurance payment from Poopsie's bingle. We also paid Poopsie's accountant for completing his tax return. Poopsie purchased a textbook for his upcoming (free) university course.|
|Mortgage Interest||$927.46||This has gone up slightly due to moving some money around and a couple of extra days of interest charged to the January bill.|
|Eating Out||$127.60||My birthday, a work welcome lunch for me and a delicious sushi lunch when we went to the museum.|
|Entertainment||$105.00||Our Hadron Collider tickets and a ticket to Ladies in Black that I attended with my mum last week.|
|Travel||$84.80||Our Versailles: Treasures from the Palace tickets and a top up to our train cards.|
How did you go with your expenses in January? What savings rate are you hoping to achieve this year?