Planner – almost done!

Four hours, lots of screeding through paperwork, pencil shavings, bits of eraser and two beers later – it’s *almost* done.

I have to say almost, because there’s some things I don’t know the cost of (ie car registration), or when the bills are due (ie building insurance), but a few phone calls in daylight hours should fix that up pretty quickly. It’s looking a bit scary, because we have some pretty huge outgoings (ie multiple mortgages and associated costs), and some tidy amounts coming in to cover those costs (ie multiple rents). While we’re not rolling in it, we appear to be breaking even (touch wood!) – and we really need to be BECAUSE:

We brought a new car today.

I have been needing one for a while (he prefers bikes, so all the car dealings are mine by default!), the one we have needs a lot of work done to it, and it’s really not worth it, so I’ve slowly been coming around to the idea of a new one (sure – it’s only taken him TWO YEARS to talk me around!). This one will be fine for my daughter to drive around town while she’s learning; it’s a older (10 years used to be nothing on a car – remember?!?!) type, and very sturdy, so it should see her fit for a year. Then once she has her open licence, she can trade it in on a newer one. And once ours is paid off, we can either upgrade, get a newer 4WD, or another house (that would be his option!). It was while we were doing all the financial jiggery pokery that we realised that both of our finances are a bit all over the place (while I’d worked out that mine needed consolidating a while back, he needed to see the picture for himself), hence the financial planner.

The idea now is that both of our wages will be going into new individual personal bank accounts. Each of us will keep a ‘slush fund’ – as small as possible, but allowing a dinner/movie treat once a fortnight or month – and the rest will go into a joint bill paying account. The planner allows us to allocate funds on a fortnightly basis, as each bill is calculated monthly and yearly, and then divided between pays – so instead of having to come up with ‘X amount’ in a given pay to cover a particular bill, all of the bills are calculated together, thereby ‘sharing the load’ across the entire year. Hopefully we’ll get as many bills electronically as possible, and be able to direct debit them. It will mean that I will need to get over my phobia of looking at bank accounts (for fear of what I might see – usually it means I have been bad, and the outcome will be bad. And it’s usually correct.), and take a more responsible attitude towards book keeping.

Associated with this bill paying account will be our savings account. Any excess money that we can put into the account over and above the minimum bill paying requirement will be syphoned off into the savings account. Having all of these accounts with the same bank as our mortgages will make transferring money easy enough. The mortgage account will remain a stand alone account for the time being, as an offset account wouldn’t be of any benefit to us at this time. Rents go in to this account, mortgage payments come out, and associated costs (such as insurance, pest control, body corporate fees, rates and utilities) either come out before the rent gets to us, or from the balance of the account.

So, within the one bank, we will have:

  1. The mortgage account: rent in, mortgage payments and associated costs out;
  2. Two individual accounts: pay in, bill money out, slush fund accumulated;
  3. One joint bill paying account: bill money in, excess money in, bill payments out, savings out; and
  4. One savings account: excess money transferred from bill paying account.

The goal/aim/challenge is to pay off the car as quickly as possible, then to replicate the success to finance the deposit on a new property. I haven’t got figures yet, so I haven’t got a time frame, other than ‘as fast as possible’. By setting up the accounts like this, it means that we both need to be more responsible for where/how we’re spending our money (no more ‘whim’ purchases from eBay for this black duck – the bucket won’t be quite so bottomless anymore!), and we’ll have to save for special things again, which will make us more concious of where it’s going. It’ll be interesting to see how much money I will end up having to myself a fortnight… I stopped looking at where it was going years ago – and I don’t think he ever did! It’s quite a challenge, and I’m looking forward to it. Lets see how these figures end up…

 

Remember those old recipe card boxes you used to see everywhere?

but noone actually used them?

I think I want one. Somehow the idea of flicking through cards seems easier than through books (plus it will save my books from being ruined!) or scrolling up and down a screen… I’ve seen the cards in the shops, I’ll just have to get a pack and find a box for them. Can’t be *too* difficult, surely??

Delicious crockpot stuffed chicken breasts

It’s 0330, and I’m blogging 🙂

And also a bit peckish! THIS looks absolutely a) wonderful, b) delicious and c) simple, I’m going to try it 🙂

(once I’ve finished trying to get rid of stuff out of the pantry and freezer of course! Still working our way through it, it’s actually harder than I thought, mainly due to there being SO much food in there – and we still haven’t eaten those tacos *sigh*… had to pick up fruit and  eggs and greens – and cannot find my powdered soy milk for love nor money. I’m going to have to go into town for it!)

The best laid plans…

often go astray. Or something like that.

Tonight ended up being a leftover/rummage/fend for yourself, based on the fact that He has to work tonight, so I am not inspired to make tacos for only 2.

The bank accounts will need to stay as they are for another 12 months… while it would be simpler consolidating them, it will also be very time consuming and very frustrating (I *hate* dealing with banks!) for very little gain, so I’ve decided to leave them for now.

As for the investment account, I’ve discovered I can open it for much less than I thought – $500 with a monthly payment of $100, as opposed to a stand alone $2000 investment. I think if we take the lesser option, it won’t eat such a hole into the funds in the first instance, and the payments can just be skimmed off the savings account without much notice (at this stage – biting my tongue here, as I know the powers that be are wont to do strange things at times!). I’ll look into that tomorrow if I get a chance.

The other thing I need to do is check up on the house insurance – the summer months in the tropics have a tendency to throw nasty storms and/or cyclones at us, and I have a sneaking suspicion that there is one property that isn’t properly covered… ie. I found the paperwork I thought I’d sent 6 months ago… My laziness may just cost us a lot of money, and I need to sort it out as soon as possible. And LEARN!

For goodness sake!!

Things gone from the pantry…

Last night we had an entrée of garlic/pesto bread, made from the pita breads I’d brought to make mini pizzas, fresh garlic (from the markets yesterday), fresh basil from the garden (one of the few things that will actually grow for me up here!), and red capsicum. It was supposed to have the pine nuts in it too, but the love of my life forgot, and by the time I realised it was too late. Oh well, guess they’ll have to go into something else!

Tonight is taco night – another thing I brought ages ago but never used. The mince is from the freezer and although I did buy a lettuce yesterday, I still have a tomato in the fridge. Not supposed to eat cheese anymore (dammitall), so there’s none of that, unfortunately. May or may not have a can of beans to beef out the mince – but with the amount of food I’ve eaten over the weekend, I don’t think we’ll need it 🙂

I will have to check again tonight to see what we can eat for the next two days now… Perhaps that French lentil soup?

An idea – refining the multiple bank accounts!

I am going to rummage around and see how many bank accounts I have that are operational, that I don’t use anymore – or that can be rolled over into another account. I know I have more than most people seem to, and that’s mainly due to convenience at the time. And that time for most of these accounts will truly have passed! Some of the bank accounts have links to my daughters accounts, so they’ll have to stay open until I hand her control (shudder!), which is when I no longer have to pay her school fees…

I would like to open up an investment account for me and the he, separate from the emergency/bills/holiday/spendings accounts that we have operating, so that we have access to it if necessary, but so that it’s out of sight, out of mind and longer term. Term deposits won’t work for us, so this is an obvious option for us. I promise I’ll get to a financial advisor next year!