• What we spent: January 2012

    ** Click here for more info on my monthly spending roundups.**

    Some notes:

    Car maintenance – oil and stuff. Or maybe it was just oil. Can’t quite recall. Let’s just say fluids and be done with it.

    Clothes and grooming – shirts and singlets for T, and a lipstick for me ahead of my no-beauty spend year. I also just got given a big jar of Elizabeth Arden cream, so am well and truly set.

    Dining – $17 over budget. Hmm.

    Donations – I know it’s not much, but it’s the most I’ve donated in a month yet. This was a cause I’ve long been meaning to patron and this was the minimum donation. In Aussie bucks, no less.

    Entertainment– $30 for a hosted family lunch, $20 ice skating, $10 at the arcade, and $80 for Incubus. I know said no concerts this year unless the Chilis come, but decided at last minute (two days before) to do it. Why? I had a $100 Ticketmaster voucher I originally planned to use it to tick off my goal of going to the theatre but there are no good shows coming up and it expires in five months. This way, we only paid $80 for two. (Though if the RHCP do tour this way, I am not entirely sure I really care to see a post-Frusciante band.)

    Groceries – We came back from our holiday on the 2nd, so really it was a five-week month. Not too shabby.

    Holidays – $64 deposit for a campervan for our South Island trip (post coming up on that), and the rest was food and petrol toward the end of our trip over NYE.

    Insurance – contents for the quarter.

    Medical – doctor’s appointment for T.

    T fun – An expensive boys’ birthday outing. Paintball. Enough said.

    Utilities – are high. T’s phone bill was $64 as he accidentally made some phone calls unwittingly. We went over our data limit with Orcon (this rarely happens), so that was $99. I locked in $81 of winter power (post coming up on our new provider) and spent $135 on electricity.

    A few updates…

    T was off work all month injured (really, he only went back in twice since last year, and only lasted about an hour on each of those days). We’ve received one week of payment from ACC, which pays out 80 percent of wages, and are hoping the other two weeks will be covered.

    I’ve started a subaccount called Wedding. It’s sitting at $360 and will be funded by T’s repayments to me (I have fronted him money previously for his bike, for the costs of his car accidents and some other things). This makes it much easier than me putting the money into my main savings account and having to keep track of his repayments in a spreadsheet.

    And our South Island road trip fund is sitting at just over $1000. Granted, we just booked flights to Christchurch where we’ll pick up the campervan, so this will go down once I make the payment to the Visa.

    I’ve also decided I would really like to start investing a bit of cash into international index funds outside of Kiwisaver, and in NZ stocks that pay dividends. not sure if this will be possible this year alongside our other savings, goals, though.

    How was your January? Spendy? Frugal?

  • What we spent: December 2011

    ** Click here for more info on my monthly spending roundups.**

    Some notes…

    Clothes: Yowza. A same-day shopping run for this wedding was pricey, but necessary – a suit, tie, shoes and a new dress shirt for T. He works in logistics  and was previously in trades, so there’s generally not much need for him to dress up (the last time was probably my Year 13 ball, for which he rented a suit). This was our first peer wedding, and we have more to come, so at least this won’t go to waste. Plus a haircut for me and sunnies for him.

    Dining: Seriously? We killed this. To be fair, our anniversary dinner was free, and then we were out of town for the last week of the month. Perhaps not so impressive? But $99 for three weeks ain’t bad.

    Entertainment: $20 at the driving range, $5 for parking…and $160 on food and beer for our housewarming/engagement party.

    Groceries: Pretty stoked with coming in under budget, especially as I spent lots on fruit in my clean eating week, and this included holiday groceries as well.

    Gifts: All gifts, no donation. Slack.

    Holidays: Petrol, snacks, etc. Will likely end up being more as we’ll chip in some cash to go toward the bach we crashed at.

    Home expenses: We bought a wooden outdoor set off TradeMe. Plus a free table and small TV cabinet from my mum, and we are officially in fully-furnished biz.

    Motorbike: $33 for its warrant, the rest on petrol.

    Rent: A five-week month :/

    Savings: I funnelled a measly $10 extra into savings this month thanks to a quick mystery shop. Definitely didn’t hit 40 percent – probably more like 20 what with gifts and wedding clothes. Plus I still have to put some money toward the bach…so I won’t tally the total up yet.

    T fun: This really is too much, especially as he’s supposed to be managing his own spending money from his own account. Apart from renewing his Xbox membership, this is just a ton of small transactions – an HDMI cable here, McDonalds there, a multitude of apps $1.29 at a time.

    Utilities: Extra high because Orcon billing ended up in two payments this month. We also switched to Powershop (review coming soon), and in addition to our final electric bill with Contact, I bought some power packs at a ridiculously low price per unit. Sky bill was higher than usual, too, thanks to getting in billing sync post-move.

    Uncoded: One big sticky transaction. $75 of this was lent out – waiting on that to come back. $40 was spent on a replacement car part for a friend (T was asked to try and fix the driver’s window, but managed to break it worse) and the rest was spent at NYE.

    This also seems as good a time as any to review our annual spending.

    We spent less in quite a few categories last year compared to 2010:

    Eating out: $2227 vs $2171 – a negligible difference, really

    Entertainment: $2454 vs $1685 – last year included an Xbox, seven concert tickets (plus two more onsold), while this year was just four concert tickets, passes to two food shows, the Easter show, an Entertainment book and our engagement party. Plus miscellaneous extras

    Groceries: $7486 vs $6594 – prices certainly haven’t gone down, so I can only commend us for shopping smarter. What’s more, we’re eating better. That rings up at about $20 saved a week.

    Utilities: $3446 vs $3172 – I am surprised by this.

    And more in others, understandably:

    Clothes/beauty/grooming: $945 vs $1577 – I bought more clothes for work, T bought a suit and electric shaver/haircut kit.

    Holidays and events: $1844 vs $4996 – There was pretty much no travelling in 2010 – I can think of two weekend trips offhand. In 2011 there was Rarotonga, two Wellington trips, two Coromandel trips, passports, sleeping bags

    Insurance: $1440 vs $1854 – added motorbike insurance to this in 2011. This year I’ll downgrade our full car insurance to third party, fire and theft, I think.

    Rent: $12120 vs $13440 – Rent increased, then we moved to a bigger place and it went up again.

    Transport: $5361 vs $7508 – This includes about $350 on registration, $2300ish on major repairs, and the rest on minor maintenance and petrol (mostly). I can’t remember what petrol cost in 2010, but now it’s at $2.10 and was higher at times throughout the year. No surprises here. What’s worse is that in 2010 I counted my bus costs in here, but I pulled them out separately for 2011. *shudder*.

    2012 really wants to be the year of frugality. Yes, you do. No concerts (unless the Chilis come). No clothing purchases except in dire straits. Watching food spending on all fronts, turning switches off at the wall. Travel will be where it’s at – a few domestic trips, potentially an Aussie trip to visit a good friend once she moves over in April, probably our South Island road trip, maybe a Hong Kong trip with family if a deal turns up.

  • What we spent: November 2011

    ** Click here for more info on my monthly spending roundups.**

    A few notes…

    Entertainment: A couple of trips to the driving range and one ridiculous $20 parking charge. Plus another $35 or so on food and booze for a low-key housewarming BBQ the weekend after we moved

    Home expenses: New (secondhand) fridge, moving truck rental, random bits and pieces like brooms and spoons.

    Groceries: Pretty A-OK with that (also included one week from last month)

    Savings: On top of regular savings, mostly due to our bond refund from our old place. Excluding the withdrawal of four weeks’ bond, one week’s rent in advance and a week’s letting fee, actual savings would have been about 50% due to the cashflow of moving and time between rent payments – but in reality that cancelled out all savings this month.

    Motorbike: Pretty spot on for fuel.

    Vehicle (petrol): A little higher than I’d like. It rained a lot last month.

  • What we spent: October 2011

    ** Click here for more info on my monthly spending roundups.**

    Oooookay. This sure was a mixed bag! Some highlights…

    Clothes and grooming: One cardigan and one dress. Both of which were items I’d been searching high and low for.

    Dining: Oh dear. This was going good until the very last week – we were on track to come in under $200 (still over budget, but not as badly). Then, the weekend. Think a long lazy slightly spendy afternoon out with friends, which also may have cost us a chance at a sweet outdoor dining set for just $20, but c’est la vie. No regrets there.

    Fees and interest: FAIL. So much fail, I don’t want to talk about it. I pay off the Visa every week, except in the case of a few big transactions in which I waited until the 31st (motorbike rego, repairs etc), only it turns out interest was calculated on the 30th. Pushed it too far…

    Groceries: A sub-$500 bill? I am a rockstar. (ETA – another $77 didn’t clear until the month rolled over – but still in the same ballpark. Woot)

    Home expenses: Four weeks’ bond, first week’s rent, one week plus GST letting fee on our new house.

    Insurance: Contents, for the quarter. Sometime this decade I’ll get around to switching this to annual, like our other policies. I first purchased contents coverage as a cashflow-challenged student…

    Motorbike: Given $311 of that was bike registration and a helmet for me… AWESOME. And wait till you see our petrol bill…

    Savings: Some for T, and my extra income saved. Not counting regular monthly savings.

    Vehicle: Can I get a hell yeah? This is seriously about the least we’ve ever spent on our car. All up, that’s less than $300 on petrol for the month, including gas for the bike.

    Also, I saved 41 percent of my income! STOKED! I knew I could do it…well, in theory. I just hadn’t managed to, not since changing jobs, between splurging on concert tickets, Guitar Hero and the like. This was, of course, before paying for rent and bond at the new house. And between mystery shopping, editing, and a tax refund on my donations for the year, I netted an extra $60 in easy money, all straight to savings.

  • What we spent: September 2011

    Wow. I don’t think our graph has ever looked anything like this before!

    Let’s get stuck in.

    Bus – Right on track.

    Car maintenance – It was karma. T gave me such a hard time about running the battery flat and denting the car all in one day, the next week he took out one of the front headlights. Boom, $80 for a replacement.

    Clothes – $67.50 for drycleaning our winter coats, plus a couple of singlets for him.

    Dining out – Yikes. There was a big Mexican dinner out. T’s birthday. And a few too many of those $10 here, $10 there fast food purchases that added up.

    Entertainment – Tickets to food festival Taste of New Zealand, plus to Coro Gold for New Year’s.

    Food and groceries – Feeling pretty good about this, especially considering the ridiculously expensive ingredients we bought in the first week for a dinner party. Win.

    Health – Dentist checkup and clean.

    Holidays and events – Food and booze for a party celebrating three birthdays in T’s family at once.

    Motorbike – Petrol plus $500 odd in tuneups and new parts.

    Tax – I owed tax. I’ve paid it. Let’s move on.

    T fun – Too high. Grr.

    T lunch – Lunches are always tricky. I make him some, which on some days aren’t enough for him, or on others, he simply won’t touch. That food goes uneaten for days, or not at all. Talk about wasteful. And he still ends up spending money on lunches. This month we went back to a straight lunch allowance, like we used to do in the old days.

    Utilities – Same as always.

    Vehicle – $287 was for a year’s registration. Otherwise, not too bad on petrol considering it was a five-week month.

  • What we spent: August 2011

    As you might recall, August was to be the month of Austerity.

    More or less.

    It didn’t *quite* work out that way.

    We had that planned trip to Wellington (which was cheap as flights and hotel were paid for earlier, so this was just transport and food/drinks). Our car got some much needed, well overdue work done. And the big one: T replaced his stolen bike with a fully legal, fully running, lean mean machine. It is registered, insured, and quite pretty. And now he owes me big. As in, that motorbike cost almost as much as I’m hoping to spend on our wedding.

    But in terms of eating out, groceries, clothing and regular spending, we ran a pretty tight ship.

    Some highlights:

    Car maintenance – New brake pads and radiator.

    Dining out – Squeaking in under that $160 mark!

    Fees – a couple of ATM withdrawals (T…) and credit card fees (repaid with points, so really I shouldn’t even count them on here).

    Groceries – I am super stoked especially as this was for five weeks!

    Holidays – Food, drinks and transport for Wellington.

    Insurance – For the bike.

    Motorbike – The bike itself cost just under $4200, plus we got a bit of work done on it, and other bits and bobs – petrol, a backpack for T to carry stuff around, bike lock, those things that go on the ends of the handlebars for balance, etc.

    T fun – On par, perhaps at the high end. He’s started playing poker with friends (games are on AT LEAST three times a week, it’s ridiculous – but he knows he can’t afford to play that often).

    Utilities – Nothing exciting to report there.

    Vehicle – Still costing $80-90 to fill up every week. Hoping this will be reduced with the help of our two-wheeled friend. Our distances travelled are only increasing, though – I need to get to more meetings for work, he visits friends all over the place all the time, goes to the gym multiple times a week, wrestling shows every other week, and if he gets into the league, he’ll be going to training God only knows where and how often.

  • July 2011: What we spent

    ** Click here for more info on my monthly spending roundups.**

    Clothes – T needed shorts and shirts for Rarotonga (also, the gym – see below). I bought a dress and cardigan.

    Dining – A little higher than budgeted; we tried one restaurant off my list, and again some eating out with friends, but it was definitely a case of the little things adding up this month.

    Groceries – Whoa – they’re low because we were away for a week, and because my Visa grocery transaction on the 31st didn’t clear until the next day.

    Entertainment – $22 for one Food Show ticket (my media pass was free). $22 for two Harry Potter tickets. $280 for Foo Fighters tickets. $178 for Guitar Hero (x2). Yikes.

    Health – T  joined a gym! That $89 is for a 3-month special on GrabOne.

    Holidays – I took out $500 spending cash. But we ended up spending $800 in total, with $140 for our lagoon cruise, $97 on meals and drinks at the resort and another $60 on food. Add to that $110 for departure tax (something I failed to research), $43 for the taxi home at 4am and $62 on duty free whiskey.

    Insurance – Contents for the quarter.

    Rent – A three-fortnight month. Plus a rent increase. Boo.

    Savings – may in fact have been marginally higher.  But probably not very much. See entertainment expenditure above…

    T fun – Almost 200 more than usual thanks to a couple of game purchases and other electronics guff.

    In July I was also gifted $230 in birthday money and made $855 in side income, all of which I saved. Huzzah. And a bloody good thing, seeing as anything I saved from my regular income last month was negligible.

    So, to August! We’re tightening up ship around here, with groceries and dining out and I’m hoping to make August a bare-bones month, our Wellington trip aside. Let’s see how that goes.

  • What we spent: June 2011

    Gosh, how is it already the end of July?! Somehow I never got around to our June roundup. It’s spendy, I warn you, and July’s won’t be looking much better.

    ** Click here for more info on my monthly spending roundups.**

    Bus: Right on track. I’ve only just realised it’s actually two stages to work (ridiculous!) not one. Occasionally T picks me up, or I get a lift home from coworkers going my way. And I try to walk there once a week or so if it’s fine outside. If I could be more organised in the morning, I could walk partway and cut that down – but if I’m going to do that, I figure I may as well walk the whole way. I will probably start driving once T replaces his motorbike – I think it will work out cheaper, and I’ll likely have to leave the office for various appointments from time to time as I settle in further.

    Debt: T paid that nasty bill to clear his record. Goodbye, savings. Hopefully sis does set up an AP to repay him. Poor money management = cash disappears almost immediately.

    Dining out: Kinda blew the budget there, but I don’t regret it – had some great catchups with friends and tried a few new eateries I’d been dying to visit but just couldn’t with our previously opposite schedules…

    Groceries: Is high, and I can’t remember why we went to the supermarket twice in the first week. Argh, so long ago.

    Holidays: Booked flights to Wellington next month (I loved our first visit so much) and hotel.

    Home expenses: Bought new bedsheets and a food processor. It was half price, plus I had some Westfield vouchers which I used to reduce the cost even more.

    Insurance: Car insurance for the year.

    Medical: Contact lenses, etc.

    T fun: Mostly his iPhone.

    Vehicle: Five weeks of petrol. Nearly $2.10 a litre *cries*

    I also netted an extra 40 in tutoring, and was reimbursed $75 for a mystery shopping assignment. Free meals and drinks FTW. As for savings, that was high as I was paid out my leave from my old job, bringing me so close to my first $10k travel goal.

    I now get paid on the 20th of every month, so I’m not quite sure how I’m going to calculate my savings for the calendar month. Any ideas?

  • What we spent: May 2011

    ** Click here for more info on my monthly spending roundups.**

    Clothes: Jeez. Well, T got a haircut, and I snapped up some $45 Dickies for him. The rest of it was me, all me. I admit, I did some shopping in anticipation of the new job – tops, skirts, a cardigan, and brown boots. I also got my old black boots resoled; I bought them secondhand, but the leather quality was amazing and I wasn’t ready to give them up.

    Dining: A record low. Enough said 😀

    Entertainment: Here’s how it went. Get a text offering only $2.99 for any new release movie/game at our local store. Snap up the offer. Realise we have $12 in late fees from previously. Ouch. (This is why we pay for Sky TV/movies…) Also included guitar strings, and pliers/wire cutter things to cut them off. And booze for a party.

    Groceries: Hmm. I think it was a five week month, but it’s still a little high. Prices just keep increasing :[ I might do another grocery challenge soon, or weekly shopping recaps.

    Home expenses: Bought a cheapie new cell phone to tide me over til I get my work phone (my old one died a sudden death).

    Insurance: Contents insurance for the quarter. I should really see if I can pay this yearly and get it aligned with our car insurance.

    T fun/lunch: S’okay, I suppose. I definitely feel our financial ship has not been running very tightly, as we actually hardly saw each other at all last month. That’s changed now; and our budgeting is going to get a bit stricter.

    Utilities: Pretty average, power was a little lower than usual as I was still partly in credit.

    Vehicle: Was actually about $100 higher than this, but it was paid on T’s own card due to eftpos issues at that petrol station. Right on target, ouchly.

    Work expenses: I can’t keep up with all the courses/training T has got lined up. Not that it’s a bad thing 🙂

    This month I made an extra $530, mostly from freelancing (should have been another $27 for a mystery shop, but error first on the assigning end, and then at my end, led to no payment. Here’s how it went: Asked for a survey at either one of two very close locations. Was assigned one of them, which I immediately put in my calendar. I was familiar with the retail chain, so only gave my survey a cursory glance before going in on the day. When I entered the results online, I noticed the heading listed the OTHER store location. Emailed the staffer who assigned me the survey, who replied it was fine and it was the same company. So I went ahead and finished filling it out. What do you know – a few days later I get a call about it. And a few days later, a call saying they can’t pay me. While I should have picked up the discrepancy earlier, I’m not at all impressed with the situation).

    How did your May go?

  • April 2011: What we spent

    Ch-ch-ch-changes! I added two new categories this month, and am kicking myself for not doing it earlier! I’m breaking out “bus fares” and “car maintenance” from Vehicle and Transport, which will now just cover petrol, registration and warrant costs. I’ll probably create a motorbike category when T replaces his. Click here for more info on my monthly spending roundups.

    Bus: Pretty on par. I did catch the two-stage bus a couple of times due to the horrendous rain a couple of times, and probably will do more often now we’re coming into winter, which’ll up costs slightly.

    Car maintenance: This was our first warrant in our “new” car and it passed no problem. Woo! It wasn’t all roses though – some asshole swiped the car on the road earlier that week and didn’t stop, smashing the left hand wing mirror. Luckily the garage I booked for the warrant was very near Mazspare, so T was able to pick up a secondhand mirror for $30 before the WOF test.

    Clothes: I love opshopping. About half my wardrobe today has come from the Recycle Boutique. Latest additions: a blazer and a couple of tops, jeans, and a skirt. I also picked up jandals for both of us for our upcoming Raro trip. Can’t go wrong with buy one get one free.

    Debt: Non interest-accruing, his.

    Dining out: I cannot believe we made the $160 threshold! We used a couple of vouchers from my new Entertainment Book, which is probably why. Also, I’m trying to keep a regular stash of things like frozen lasagnes in the freezer for those nights.

    Entertainment: Possibly a new record for us? $65 was for the entertainment book. We spent another $40 at the Easter Show. I bought new guitar strings. And we went bowling for a friend’s birthday.

    Groceries: Um. Yeah. We kinda blew it, huh? We replaced basically all cleaning products/items in the house. And spent $40 at the Mercer Cheese shop. Will have to tighten up this month (came in under budget this week already!)

    Mystery shopping: One expensive evening at a restaurant.

    T fun: Where to start? There was $480 on bike gear (jacket, boots), $120 on a basic skills course (at least we still have those…), and some XBox games. Plus the usual don’t ask, don’t tell allowance.

    Vehicle: $147 for six months of registration. A little on motorbike petrol. A helluva lot on car petrol. (Are we ready for $4 a litre? No, I don’t think we are…)

    Utilities: Lower than usual; now that we’ve been here a year, my power company applied my $150 bond toward my account, so no bill this month and probably not next month either.

    Work expenses: Mainly T. His company subsidises a lot of courses, but not completely. This should, hopefully, be a long-term investment.

    Elsewhere, I saved 31.7 per cent – less than usual as I brought in slightly less and T T brought in quite a bit less. Also, I netted a whopping $15 in extra income ($100, but most of that was reimbursement for one very expensive restaurant meal).