Intentional Spending – August

August should, in theory be a quiet month. My jaw surgery is tomorrow (eek!) and I will be staying at my parents for a couple of weeks. I think most of my expenses this month will be train tickets to get to the surgeon for check ups.

August Spending

  • Train ticket for surgeon appointment number 1 – $6.00
  • Train ticket for surgeon appointment number 2 – $6.00
  • Rates Payment – $1432.00
  • Body Corporate bill – $350.00 (I’m not sure if this is actually coming but I haven’t paid one in a while so I’m anticipating it’s arrival)
  • Father’s Day gift – $50.00
  • Nephew’s birthday present – $50.00
  • Beautiful You course repayment – $396.00
  • Dinner out as a last hurrah – $150.00

This is my list of additional purchases.

  • Black loafers/shoes for work – up to $150
  • A new water bottle that tallies how many bottles have been drunk, is BPA free and made of glass – $50
  • Single serve bowls that can be microwaved x 4 – up to $50
  • iPod – $219 (new item)
  • Doorbell – purchased last month by fiance

I haven’t added anything new to the additional purchases list. I think I will probably get the iPod this month but I’ll see how I feel in terms of getting out of the house and driving. Although I don’t have it as part of my intentional spending list, I think my grocery bill will decrease significantly as I’ll be buying mostly fruit and veggies to blend into smoothies.

Budget Spend – $2440.00
Additional Spend – $469.00

Intentional Spending – July Wrap Up

Wow, I did really bad at calculating all my expenses this month. I’m so over and I knew it around the 20th July which was 6 days after pay day.

Here’s how I fared in July’s Intentional Spending.

  • Lunch at the Sofitel for a friend’s birthday – $110.00
    Lunch ended up being $116.00. And delicious.
  • Xrays etc for surgery – $850.00
    Xrays and moulds were taken – $850.00
  • Dinner with friends – $100.00
    My fiance paid for this dinner.
  • Train/Uber for Barossa Dirt – $30.00
    We used the train both ways – $6.00
  • Drinks for when my best friend is back in town from overseas – $50.00
    Drinks turned into lunch first so I paid for that – $62.10
  • Train/Uber for fiance’s mid year social for work – $50.00
    Got the train to and from the event – $6.00

Here’s how I overspent

  • Dinner after Barossa Dirt – $82.00
  • Forgot about my water bill – $232.00
  • Going away drinks for a colleague. Not once, but twice. And I paid for the first rounds. I have to stop doing that because I’m always driving so never get shouted drinks – $42.00
  • Forgot about the coaching course I signed up for. Whilst I had the deposit money saved, I forgot about the monthly payments – $396.00
  • Impromptu dinner out with girlfriends. One decided on a last minute visit from Perth so of course that meant dinner and drinks – $25.00
  • New headlights as both my mine blew within a couple weeks of each other – $19.00
  • New Pj’s – $24.00
  • Internet Extender (so the wifi actually reaches my old bedroom whilst I’m staying at my parents place – $49.95
  • New jacket – $39.00
  • Online Diploma (I like studying for fun) – $49.00

I spent an extra $957.95.  Whilst it is a lot, I’ve included the water bill in there. Part of my savings strategy is to put away money for these types of bills but if I can, I like to just pay them out of my everyday account because then the money I’ve put in the savings can be moved to an actual savings account. The course is something I’m going to have to be really mindful of because it is almost $400.00 extra a month that I knew about but didn’t really realise it if you get me. I know I can do it – it may mean tweaking how much I’m putting away for stuff for a few months.

I also bought an item that wasn’t on my list nor was it on my clothing list but an item I realised I wanted whilst reading Natalie’s Intentional Spending post and that is a leather jacket.  Initially I wanted a real leather jacket and was happy to spend up to $300.00 but wasn’t happy with anything I’d found. I was in Target one day wandering and found a faux leather jacket that I quite liked. It had silver hardware which was good as I don’t like the gold and whilst it had zip details it didn’t go overboard. Plus it was on sale for $39.00 so I decided to buy it. I’m really happy with the purchase because it was pretty much exactly how I envisioned what I wanted except it’s not actual leather.

I didn’t purchase anything under the Additional Purchases however my fiance did end up buying a doorbell. I’m fairly sure it’s haunted as it makes a weird barking/electronic noise in the middle of the night but it’s a doorbell that I did not have to pay for so it’s now crossed off the list.

Budget Spend- $1130.00
Actual Spend- $1040.10
Extra Spend – $957.95

How To: Plan For Bills

For some reason I still get surprised by bills that arrive in the mail. I’ve lived out of home for over 4 years now and yet I’m never prepared when my water bill comes, or when the rates arrive or anything else. It’s never an issue of not having money, it’s more that I want to be more prepared for these things.

So this is what I’m going to do.

  • Print out 2 calendars with all the months and dates on them.
  • Write down all payments that happen on a certain day of the month in each month on both calendars
  • Go through the last year of bank statements and write down when bills were paid (I generally pay all my bills within a couple of days of receiving them).
  • Write them down on the one of the calendars and Ta Da! I have a list I can work off for the upcoming year.
  • Write down on the unused calendar at the start of the month when bills can be expected.
  • Stick it up somewhere and cross them off as they start arriving and noting what day they are paid/due.
  • Add any new bills to the calendar.

The good thing is that once this is done, it’s done. I don’t have to do it again until the following year and it’ll be a much easier process as I’ll only have to refer to the previous calendar. It’s also a good method because you don’t have to rely on a calendar year or a financial year. You can start and end at any month. I’m planning for my current calendar to be from September 2017 to August 2018.

I hope this helps to minimise the surprise of bills arriving. Lucky for me it’s never been an issue to pay bills but I’d just like to be more aware of when they’ll arrive.

Intentional Spending Wrap Up – June

My Intentional Spending month didn’t exactly go to plan and to tell the truth, nothing I do seems to but hey, we just have to go with the flow and make it work!

I did find it hard, especially the first week. And this is just what happens with me – I deny myself something and I get really anxious and fidgety and I just have to buy something. And I did. You can find out a bit more about that after my wrap up of what I did and didn’t achieve.

  • 2 birthday presents – $20 for the first and $50 for the second as it’s a 30th.
    I spent $17.90 for the first present and $55 for the second. Technically I haven’t spent the $55 yet as the lunch booking was made for after this pay month ends so it will go into next months. I also forgot to include paying for my share so this will go up to $110.
  • Dinner and drinks out for the first mentioned birthday – $100
    We decided to go for high tea instead which set me back $40.
  • Half of my eye brow appointment that I already have booked in – $300
    I knew this was around $600 but it’s actually $640 and I had to pay it upfront. Whoops
  • An outdoor dog bed as the bed now is riddled with bugs and has been destroyed – up to $100
    The bed I found at Bunnings was $59.95 but I had a $20 gift voucher (I lie, it was my fiance’s GV which I made him use for the dog bed) so in total it cost me $39.95.
  • Dinner, drinks and parking before a concert – $100
    Dinner and drinks was $70 and parking was $11
  • Nibbles and food for my birthday – Up to $300
    Irrelevant now as my fiance paid for the food. Yay!

There were a few extra purchases that I hadn’t thought of when I wrote the initial post. I spent $88.90 on tickets to see Peter Andre and CDB (I’m not even embarrassed) and I had signed up for a wine delivery in January that I had to pay which was $285. I also bought some new bras from Kmart which cost me $20 for 4 but I really did need new ones. These are the purchases that helped in the first week. They weren’t planned expenses but they weren’t impulse purchases either. I just didn’t have the foresight when I wrote the initial post to include these.

I also had a few medical expenses that again I didn’t know about until the month had already started. I was reminded that my skin check was due and I was contacted by my doctor to see her because my test results came back slightly elevated. The skin check set me back $80 in which I got back $21 and the doctor set me back $82 in which I got back $37.50.

I also signed up to the Beautiful You Coaching course and paid my deposit but as I already had that money saved, I haven’t included it as an extra expense. I didn’t find anything in my Additional Spending List but I do hope to find a water bottle soon – mine is getting a little manky.

Budgeted Spend –  $970.00
Actual Spend – $818.85
Extra Spend – $393.90

Total Spend – $1212.75

I’m actually not that disappointed with total. It’s not too bad. I spent a lot less on some things and a lot more on others so it me it almost worked out.

Intentional Spending

I feel like I’ve been spending so much money lately that I thought it was time to reign that back in. I want to be more purposeful with my spending, to anticipate and plan my purchases instead of reacting to wants and things on sale. This has partly been inspired by my road to minimalism. I’m also going to start keeping track of my purchases again because I find it interesting to see exactly what my ‘I don’t know where all my money has gone’ money is being spent on.

So these are my intentional purchases for this month.

  • 2 birthday presents – $20 for the first and $50 for the second as it’s a 30th.
  • Dinner and drinks out for the first mentioned birthday – $100
  • Half of my eye brow appointment that I already have booked in – $320
  • An outdoor dog bed as the bed now is riddled with bugs and has been destroyed – up to $100
  • Dinner, drinks and parking before a concert – $100
  • Nibbles and food for my birthday – up to $200

I’ve also added a list of additional purchases. They’re purchases that don’t need to be made in a certain month – they’re more for when I’m looking for something but can’t really find exactly what I’m after so I want to keep an eye out for them.

This is my list of additional purchases.

  • Black loafers/shoes for work – up to $150
  • A new water bottle that tallies how many bottles have been drunk, is BPA free and made of glass – $50
  • Single serve bowls that can be microwaved x 4 – up to $50

All those purchases add up to pretty much all my spending money for the month so I’ll need to re-jig groceries as my fiance and I tend to eat expensive even at home. Or, he can pay for it all which to me is a much better system. It’ll also mean no impromptu dinners out, unless fiance is paying and no ‘just cuz’ purchases. To tell the truth even my ‘just cuz’ purchases get forgotten about. I have magazines that I’ve purchased every month this year that I still haven’t read. I have new books that I haven’t even started, I have new nail polishes even though I don’t really paint my nails anymore so it seems that I’m just spending money for the sake of it rather than because I really needed it or thought deeply about it.

I’m hoping that this will help me really think about what I’m purchasing and why I’m purchasing something. Do I really need it or do I simply want it?

My Proudest Financial Moment

One of my proudest moments of my financial history was the day that my partner and I, at 26, bought a house.

At times it was incredibly tough – we both worked casually so our incomes varied each week and we were both studying at university. But there were things that made it easier- living at home and not paying board as neither set of parents would accept any money from us.

Some would attribute our ability to save $30,000 in 10 months only to the fact that we lived at home and truthfully a large part of our savings plan was that.  So whilst that made it financially easier, it didn’t mean it was socially and emotionally easy.

Saving itself wasn’t difficult but making that choice to not do something so you could save extra money was. I can’t tell you how many after work drinks, birthdays, dinners out and just general catch ups I missed out on because I made the choice to save that money instead of spending it. My partner and I rarely went out during this time, opting instead to cook and do a movie night. I felt socially isolated as none of my friends had similar financial goals but looking back I’m so glad I made those choices – I don’t remember what I did last week so I imagine what happened on those nights out would be long gone from my memory.

I won’t say living at home didn’t have its perks – my grandmother lived with my family for the year before I moved out so there was always food cooking, the house work was split pretty evenly between myself and my parents yet I still had a place to call my own when I needed it. But I did miss out on experiences relating to living on your own or even learning to navigate housemates.

There are also a number of connotations that come with living at home that you need to put up with – that you’re lazy, you sponge off your parents, you have no independence etc and hey, I’m sure for some people it’s true. For me, I didn’t feel this way. I knew I pulled my weight around the house, I contributed to expenses where I could without my mama yelling at me and I was able to do as I pleased, quite frankly I was probably a lot more independent than some people who lived on their own but it was difficult reconciling what I felt about myself and what I felt others felt about me.

I hated that friends would go on about how lucky we both were to still be living at home because we had no responsibilities. I hated that they would guilt trip me when the majority had the opportunity to live at home too. But they chose to move out early and rent. It would frustrate me to no end when these same people would bemoan that they’d never be able to afford a house deposit but chose to rent in a very expensive suburb in a house much too large for what they require. If they really wanted to, they could have moved and easily saved themselves at least $600 a month so all I can think is that at that point in their lives, a deposit was a “future me” goal and something to complain about and not a priority.

But each to their own. I used to feel a slight twinge of shame about how I didn’t struggle to come up with a deposit and truthfully sometimes I still do feel a bit guilty about it but now I mostly own it. My partner and I made the choice that was right for us in order to reach a long term goal. In the end we were able to achieve it quickly and relatively easily by being ok not having the same things as those around us.

My fiance and I have separate finances. We’ve been together since we were 16 and bought and moved into our first home at 26 – it just made sense to keep doing what we were doing. Our mortgage is the only joint account we have which we both contribute to but we don’t have anything else together.

When it comes up in conversation people are always so surprised, as if having separate accounts means we’re less serious about our relationship than others are. It’s something we briefly discussed and we both decided that we like having our own independent accounts.

I think it creates an environment where neither of us feels that we have to explain or justify a purchase that we simply want. It ensures trust and it promotes responsibility in our lives.

When others ask me if I care what my partner spends his money on, I usually don’t. And the reason I don’t is because it’s not my concern. As long as he (and I) are paying off our mortgage and bills and contributing to savings, I don’t care what he does with his extra money. Because it’s just that – his. Just like my left over money is mine. This doesn’t mean that we won’t help the other out if necessary but it does mean that if he wants to spend $400 on a new gaming console he can, just like I’m free to spend $300 on books if that’s what I want to do.

We also don’t necessarily share what we spend our money on. If I purchase a big ticket item, I don’t feel the need to say “hey, buddy, I spent $1200 on an online course today.’ If it comes up in conversation I’ll mention it but I don’t feel the need to disclose it. And neither does he. There’s also no hiding purchases in the boot of the car. There’s no pretending that this top is old when it’s obviously brand new. There’s no justifying a $200 lunch out.  If we want to share we share, if we don’t, we won’t. We figure if the other was interested they’ll ask about it.

Doing it this way also ensures that we are both able to manage finances. It means that if something were to happen to one of us, the other would still be able to manage daily tasks, like paying bills. It surprises me how many people in my life have one partner do everything and the other has no idea about any of it. This scares me so much and is part of the reason I like having my own finances. It scares me that people leave themselves vulnerable to a situation that could be prevented.

Finances are a tricky thing to navigate though and there is no one step fits all. Whether you keep your finances separate or together is your choice. My only advise is that you are at least aware of how you do look financially and have an understanding of your daily expenses.

Whats your view on sharing finances?