What we spent: February 2014

Click here for more info on my monthly spending roundups – your question will probably be answered there.

what we spent feb 2014 nzmuse 

So, some big medical expenses last month!

Financially speaking, it was not the smartest to have my wisdom teeth out right now. But the pain was getting bad, and T being off work meant he could help look after me while I recovered.

Physically speaking, it really wasn’t anywhere near as awful as I’d imagined – details here. And financially, it wasn’t as bad as I’d worried, either – only $1050 for all four out, the rest of it being for the initial checkup, clean and x-rays, plus the meds I had to get afterwards. (White Cross Dental New Lynn, highly recommended!)

I’ve considered applying for health insurance a few times over the years; Southern Cross has a partnership of some sort with many workplaces, including my current and previous employers. But the numbers just don’t make sense. We are pretty healthy – our  issues are generally accidents/emergencies on T’s part (the ER is free; the time off work not so much) and optical for me. Basic health insurance plans in NZ don’t tend to cover optical and dental; those add-ons cost more and aren’t worth it, and none of them ever cover the cost of wisdom teeth extraction.

In other less wise moves, we also went out to a late Valentine’s dinner after the layoff – we’d been putting it off until the week after the day because of work, which turned out to be … interesting timing. But I’m pretty happy with our dining out spending, and totally stoked with our grocery spending (we’ve definitely been spending less since we returned to NZ, thanks to our new eating habits and smaller appetites).

Seeing as T was laid off halfway through the month, his spending is definitely on the high side (that’s more like a full working month allowance…) But there’s no point going on and on about it. It’s always going to be a point of contention, which is the whole reason for a don’t-ask-don’t-tell allowance.

Thinking about the future … I veer between extreme optimism and hopelessness. Right now, it’s definitely skewed towards the latter. I keep thinking we’ll never be able to save for a down payment (previously, there were moments where I was thinking that given the money some of T’s colleagues make in a year, it might actually be within reach in a couple years! So much for that).

I honestly see no way for house prices here to fall unless something is done to stop both investors and nonresidents/citizens buying property, which isn’t going to happen. So I guess we wait until the next recession – and hope we don’t lose our jobs in it.

8 thoughts on “What we spent: February 2014

  1. Love the transperency and hope T (am assuming your partner) finds work soon..

    Let me know if there is anything I can do to help, happy to refer on LinkedIn here from Oz..

  2. I can totally understand having a goal to buy a home. There are so many messages we receive about how important it is to do so to meet critical financial and life milestones. However, don’t beat yourself up over it.

    There are many expenses associated with a house that you don’t have to worry about as a renter. If something breaks or needs replacing in my house, I’m on the hook for it, not the landlord. Maintenance costs are so much more than I thought they would be. Sure, if you’re skilled you can do much yourself (painting, landscaping, weatherproofing), but some are just so big and take a lot of special tools and skill.

    Take trimming mature trees: you need to get it done because otherwise you could have part of tree land on your house or car during a storm. It’s a task best left to the experts who have the equipment (safety rigging, cherry picker trucks, massive chippers) and costs me about $2,500 every 2 to 3 years. Then there is getting the catch basin and sewer line cleaned out so I lower my risk of a messy blow up; that costs me about $800 every 2 years. The boiler needed replacing last December; that was $5,000. Last year I had to have a plumber come out to replace part of the drain in the main bathroom because the pipe had corroded and sprung a leak. It was a tricky project to accomplish and I never could have done it on my own; that was nearly $800, too.

    If I was renting, I wouldn’t have to worry about any of that. I would know that my monthly rent covered all these repairs, and while I may be inconvenienced waiting for the landlord to arrange a plumber for the leaky drain, I wouldn’t have the wait plus the need to worry about my shrinking EF.

    I guess what I’m saying is: it’s OK to not own a house. Ever. And I’m actually thinking that returning to the renting life may be a good thing for me!

    1. I totally agree, but because of the Auckland market and our own personal preferences, I would strongly prefer to buy if possible. Renting for life here is quite a different proposition from renting in other countries IMO.

  3. I can understand the frustration of working towards something and feeling like you’ll never get there! I don’t have dental insurance either because what I’d be paying in a premium and a co-pay is almost more than I’d pay for something out of pocket.

  4. I agree with some of the other commenters. Home ownership isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Property taxes and maintenance take their toll. Most of the time people don’t put enough money aside for home maintenance so things really start to suffer (roofs, windows, tiling, bathrooms, kitchens).

    Keep putting your best foot forward and you’ll get there, even without your wisdom teeth ;-)

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