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no spend year

No Spend Year Week 6 Update

Here we are creeping up towards the middle of February and whilst things may be calming down for us financially health wise we had some turmoil this week. I started the week with a tooth extraction that had a couple of things go wrong. Ouch is all I will say ha ha. I did end up spending some money on pain relief for the couple of days following that after I got to the point of being kept awake all night by it. Our daughter also unfortunately had a health battle this week against a kind of mystery virus. The poor girl was running a fever like crazy and was up vomiting through the night for a couple of nights. We are both feeling better now and ready to get on with life 🙂

We had a win this week when we managed to replace our lawnmower. I sourced a secondhand one from marketplace for only $70! We had to run up to the tip to dispose of our old lawnmower and noticed that a tip shop had opened up, we were able to get a fuel can for our new to us lawnmower for only $5 so we are so happy. It is heaven to mow the lawns now, it almost doesn’t even feel like a chore! The total cost was also right in budget and we could cash flow the entire purchase including the fuel with the money in our sinking fund.

We are finishing up week two of trying Hello fresh at the moment and we are still loving it. The cost is making it a little bit difficult to stay in our grocery budget but we are managing for the most part. It is forcing us to not purchase junk food and that is a wonderful thing!

So what did we spend?

$3.75 over on our grocery budget. This is an improvement since starting Hello Fresh but I plan to keep working on this until it is zero.

$14.95 on my prescription for pain medication after my tooth extraction. I tried to forego this, I really did by the second day it was clear something had gone wrong when my face was too swollen to even open my mouth.

$24.95 Was spent on a dinosaur book and a dinosaur blanket to comfort my daughter during the worst of her fever, she is all about dinosaurs at the moment and those small gifts brought a smile to her face at a time when she couldn’t even hold down water. It was worth every cent in my eyes when my heart was breaking from my inability to make her healthy again.

$3.00 was spent again on our daughter for a new pair of swimmers. I included this as a fail because I did promise to thrift her clothes for the year, I can not however bring myself to thrift underwear or swimwear so I purchased these new. They were on the clearance rack and an honest bargain.

As we have talked about last week and over on You Tube we will stop including the cars in the no spend year figures as we had exempt them back at the start of the year.

  • This week $46.15
  • This month $83.55
  • This year $219.05

Even with some comfort spending around health issues we are determined to end this month having spent less than we did in January.

Go ahead and give us some encouragement by following our story this year, here or on Instagram where I post pretty much daily, or over on you tube where we share video updates of our finances along with frugal recipes we have tried this year.

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Finance

Finance Update 8th February 2020

We had a pretty good run this pay cycle overall. We did cash flow a couple of things that overall stopped us from hitting our debt as hard as we would have liked. Our emergency fund got a tiny boost over the standard payment this time to finally bring it into the triple digits! woo hoo! Overall after so much drama every week this year it seems things have finally settled down for us. It was actually nice to have a pay day where we were not scrambling around trying desperately to pay for some urgent thing or another.

A couple of small setbacks this week were mostly health related with our daughter getting quite sick for a few days and I had some trouble after a tooth extraction. These cost us a little over budget but nothing that impacted the bottom line too much.

We really only had two bars on the debt side change this time, that being Gem visa got an awesome $499 injection, taking our total owing to only $182!! If nothing goes wrong for us this should be gone before the end of the month!

Amex and society one are stagnant at the moment, but hopefully not for very long.

The big bad wolf had interest added this week so unfortunately our balance went up to $26,477. We are so excited for the day that our minimum payments cover the interest with no balance gains. It will be a day to celebrate!

As usual our emergency fund got the $20 injection plus a small boost to take the account up to $100. I was so keen to get it back into the triple digits. Now we just need to work towards four digits.

Overall we are slightly better off than last cycle and that is always a win, no matter how small the step all that matters is that it is in the right direction. We ended last pay cycle on -$38,436 net position. We are ending this one on -$35,859. We are $2577 better off than two weeks ago! That is an incredible number and only made possible by the bonus we received in that time. Things seemed to have stopped getting in our way for the moment and we can not wait to kick some debt butt!

You can watch our latest finance update here

Or join the freedom family on this years debt busting journey, we share our updates on You Tube and I post pretty much daily on Instagram sharing all sorts of things about our journey. We would love to see you there.

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no spend year

No Spend Year Week 5 Update

January is in the bag already and I cant believe how fast this year is rolling along. Week 5 is finished and overall it really was a quiet week. Our first week with Hello Fresh is complete and I have to say we are loving it! Overall our grocery budget is a little bigger than it was before, however we are not running to the supermarket for extra bits and pieces so it actually is costing us about the same as it was beforehand. The meals so far have been fantastic, and that is awesome, I get a little nervous about quality of vegetarian meals sometimes but these have been great, not once have we felt like we are sitting in the corner with a bland salad!

This week also brings some further decisions toward replacing our poor dead lawnmower. We borrowed a petrol mower from a friend and we are in lllooovvveee. Whilst we don’t exactly live on acres of land we do have what I consider to be quite a large block, and that makes mowing with the push mower a mammoth task. The petrol one had the job done in under an hour and was so so so much easier to use! It also looks much much nicer when finished. We think we will try to source a secondhand one, we have at the moment $80 in our sinking fund for buying things we want, so I will keep adding to that and comparing second hand mowers until we find a perfect match!

So what did we spend?

I splurged $27.40 at the grocery store that was not budgeted for. It is Alex’s birthday week and although we agreed not to get presents for each other I felt really guilty on the day that I had nothing to give him. I made a trip to the shop for some of his favorite treats and we curled up on the couch as a family and watched a couple of his favorite movies. It really was a lot cheaper than many of our past birthdays, but still a fail in the case of a no spend year.

$10 of extra diesel went into my car this week as a top up. We needed to drive a little more than normal and unfortunately I was going to run out of fuel. I just put enough to get me to where I really had to go for the week and no more.

We are doing two separate tallies this week, one with our car repair bill and one without. We are becoming more of the mindset that we should not have included our cars in the no spend year figures as it was something we intentionally did, and deliberately sourced and organized finances for. We may stop including the cars next week.

  • This week $37.40
  • This month $37.40
  • This year $8972.90
  • No cars $172.90

We are do determined to make this month cheaper than January and we are on track to do that!

Go ahead and give us some encouragement by following our story this year, here or on Instagram where I post pretty much daily, or over on you tube where we share video updates of our finances along with frugal recipes we have tried this year.

Categories
Recipes

DIY General Cleaner

As I recently promised I would be making a household/ general cleaner for our no spend year challenge. This one is so simple, absolutely anybody can do this regardless of your DIY skill level. There are only four ingredients and just some basic kitchen tools are required. Just about anything can be cleaned with this one, and if you add some Bi-Carb Soda to your scourer there is not much that this stuff won’t tackle!

Let’s jump straight into the recipe for this one.

  • 3 Lemons
  • 1.5 Cups
  • White Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 20 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • Glass Bottle With Lid
  • Funnel
  • Strainer
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Knife
  • Chopping Board
  • Measuring Jug
  • Spray Bottle

You can watch me make this recipe here.

  1. Roughly cut lemons and place in the glass bottle.
  2. Add vinegar.
  3. Leave to ferment for 3 weeks.
  4. Strain into a bowl
  5. Add water and Tea Tree Oil
  6. Funnel into spray bottle

That is it! it is so easy! There are so many benefits to making your own cleaners too. I am always excited to be able to remove another chemical from my home. This also reduces the amount of plastic packaging we are bringing into our lives and that makes this one a win-win!

Go ahead and give us some encouragement by following our story this year, here or on Instagram where I post pretty much daily, or over on you tube where we share video updates of our finances along with frugal recipes we have tried this year.

Categories
goals

February Goals

We have upped our goals a little this month, January was all about focusing on one big goal that affected the whole family. This month we are getting a bit more personal with some individual achievements we will be working on.

We are both focusing on increasing our daily steps for the month. Alex has aimed for 10k everyday. While he frequently hits this goal at the moment, he rarely hits it on weekends, so that is the main area of challenge for him. I have chosen to aim for 11k steps daily, This is about a 10% increase on my normal and I feel it will be challenging to do it every single day of the month, I also feel it is achievable.

For more individualized goals, Alex has chosen to keep the focus on physical health and is aiming to lose 3kg this month! I will be cheering him on the whole way. I have chosen more of a mental goal and that is to read two finance related books this month. This may not sound like lots, I do find it difficult to carve out reading time as the mother of a toddler. I believe I managed a total of four books last year, so two in one month will be challenging for me.

After fighting hard to smash our goal last month and succeeding, we are starting this month on a high, and are determined to complete our goals every month for the whole year.

Go ahead and give us some encouragement by following our story this year, here or on Instagram where I post pretty much daily, or over on you tube where we share video updates of our finances along with frugal recipes we have tried this year.

Categories
goals

January Goal Update

At a great financial and sanity cost to ourselves I am so happy to report

Awesome start to the year! I am ready for the challenge of going 12 for 12 in 2020!

Categories
no spend year

No Spend Year Week 4 Update

I GOT MY CAR BACK!!! After months of problems and weeks of sourcing finance from multiple places, followed by having to wait even longer for parts and an available spot at the dealership, it had finally happened.

I try not to think about how long these repairs will take us to pay off, to truly just enjoy having a working car and a clean slate to start our debt journey from. No chasing our tails with trying to make minimum payments on things whilst trying to save for repairs. All that is left now is to have my teeth finished.

This week had also brought the decision to trial Hello Fresh. It is a subscription based dinner meal kit delivery service. Whilst we very clearly understand this is not the cheapest way to eat, we have some health goals also this year that we feel this might really help us to achieve. We also believe that by cutting out pre-packaged food while I grocery shop we can still stay within our budget. I will keep adding my thoughts on this service as we progress through our trial.

A great surprise for us this week was a completely unexpected bonus, we were stoked to have this come through and after a bit of bad luck this month it seemed like we were really due for a win. If you would like to you can check out what we did with our bonus.

So What did we spend?

We went $10 over our grocery budget this week. This really was my fault as it was our first week with Hello Fresh and that was a bit of a spontaneous choice, not budgeted for last pay cycle. Groceries were not supposed to count towards no spend figures, I will count this however as It was both over budget and avoidable.

I spent $3 on a set of paintbrushes for our daughter’s art and craft box so she would stop using her dads good brushes (that are of course, much more expensive.)

Including the repairs to my car at $6800 and we are up for what is hopefully the most expensive week of the entire year. I almost feel that car repairs should not be included because they were actually necessary, So I have tallied the numbers with and without cars to see the difference it made. So our totals are now:

  • This Week $8913.00
  • This Month $8935.50
  • This Year $8935.50

A grand total of that is $8880.00 on car repairs leaving $135.50 as money spent this year. If every month were like January we would still spend $1626 this year, so we will strive to make February better and cheaper!

Go ahead and give us some encouragement by following our story this year, here or on Instagram where I post pretty much daily, or over on you tube where we share video updates of our finances along with frugal recipes we have tried this year.

Categories
Finance

First Bonus Of The Decade!

It was completely unexpected and out of the blue but this week we received a bonus!! (I may have actually done a little happy dance when we found out.)

We decided to be quite responsible for a change and actually put this bonus to good use. Honestly. Typically we would each take a portion for spending money then we would go out for a meal and also buy some things off of our wish lists. Maybe do something good like service a car, and congratulate ourselves for doing something worthwhile with the money. NOT THIS TIME! We are so happy with ourselves, and it is with immense pride I can say here that we put our bonus on debt. Every. Last. Cent. Nothing was squirreled away for our own purchases, we did not even consider going out to eat or anything really. The money came in and it was straight away divided up onto our debts using the snowball method.

I am beyond thrilled to share our updated board here. To have been able to knock out our debt to our own sinking funds, and to have paid in full the amount owing to my parents-in-law is such an amazing feeling. We also took about 25% of gem visa.

All of that in one day!

If you want to see me knocking out the bars on my board you can do so here. I thank everybody who takes the time to support us this year.

I am so happy that in just one week we have knocked out over $4000 in debt. That is some serious debt butt kicking, and we are incredibly motivated to keep the (snow)ball rolling all year!

Join the freedom family on this years debt busting journey, we share our updates on You Tube and I post pretty much daily on Instagram sharing all sorts of things about our journey. We would love to see you there.

Categories
Finance

Finance Update 23rd Jan 2020

This pay cycle was both good to us and bad to us. My devil car finally got booked in to be repaired, unfortunately the car dealership will not accept amex, so we had to make a mad scramble to come up with the $6800 elsewhere. Well that is not entirely true, as we did get finance for $5000 so we had to scrounge up $1800 on a moments notice. It hurt a bit and we had to borrow money from a couple of our sinking funds to do it, but we did it.

We are feeling the pinch after several financial setbacks already this year, and our emergency fund, whilst still getting a $20 boost every 2 weeks is definitely feeling very dry.

We owe our sinking funds $850 up from $290 last pay cycle.

Link’s vet bill is parked at $580.

ZIP PAY IS PAID IN FULL!!!!!!

Gem visa has not budged at $1376 the interest free period will expire in June.

OUR PHONES ARE PAID IN FULL!!!!!

Amex is down $700 to land us with $4300 owing.

Society One is sitting still currently maxed out at $5000.

The big bad wolf is down to $26397. I expect this to go up a little next pay cycle after interest had been charged for the month.

Overall our position is a painful one right now. We ended last pay cycle on -$30,799 and are ending this one on -$38,436. Sadly $7,637 further into debt. These car repairs have been crippling to us this year and my dental bills have not been helping the situation.

We are so motivated to start kicking some debt butt, as soon as things stop getting in our way and let us build up some buffers, we will be at it aggressively.

Join the freedom family on this years debt busting journey, we share our updates on You Tube and I post pretty much daily on Instagram sharing all sorts of things about our journey. We would love to see you there.

Categories
no spend year

No spend Year Week 3 Update

Another week had rolled around us and another interesting one it had been. The most important thing to report is we have successfully secured the finance for the car repairs and dental work I need. We are officially $10,000 further in debt and hopefully this gives us a clean slate to work from. The good news is my car is booked in this week and in only three days I should be back on the road again!

At least I made some cash selling things!

Unfortunately this week also brought the sad death of our lawnmower. She was only 18 months old but some were just not destined to live a long life. We have some decisions to make regarding replacing her, if we will choose electric or petrol, new or used and I will report what impact that has on our finances in a future update.

A big sting this week for us was our phones. We thought we had done the right thing by changing from our post paid service to a pre paid service saving ourselves $55 a month. Our handsets were on a 3 year payment plan with the same company but once we transferred our numbers away from them they will not honor our payment plan any longer and are demanding the full account to be paid upfront. $1850 is quite a sting for us and we cannot really handle that at the moment since our emergency funds are depleted. We will see what options they are willing to offer us and hopefully we can come to a compromise on this one.

I had my next step dentist appointment this week, I feel like I’m in that chair almost every week at the moment, and this expense will not be added to our no spend tally as we agreed medical costs are exempt. It is however another account looming over us requiring immediate payment. The big appointment for the surgical removal of my really bad tooth will be coming up soon and no one is looking forward to that! (I have agreed to stay awake during the procedure despite them needing to remove some of my jaw bone just to save money!)

So what did we spend?!?!?!

We took a trip to a local animal sanctuary, we have an existing annual pass so entry was free, although we purchased 2 bags of feed for our daughter to feed the animals. It was worth every cent. Total cost $6.00

We had to purchase some super glue to fix a light fitting in our study, the cost was $2.00

Lastly we had a little bit of a personal fail on the weekend and treated ourselves to a serve of hot chips at a cost of $4.00 Our totals are now:

  • This Week $12.00
  • This Month $2122.50
  • This Year $2122.50

Go ahead and give us some encouragement by following our story this year, here or on Instagram you tube or Facebook.