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Archive for December, 2006

Christmas feeling

December 22nd, 2006 at 12:12 pm

I have that 'happy Christmas feeling' today, even the bank applying the quarterly interest of $2,415 to my mortgage account hasn't got me down - (I knew it was coming) interest is accrued daily and applied quarterly. I tend to take a complete break from any computer related equipment over the Christmas, so I'll be back in 2007. Until then...

Have a safe and happy Christmas, and wishing you all a most prosperous 2007.

Just Ramblings

December 21st, 2006 at 09:55 am

Its thursday, and every thursday I move $20 to Savings A account so that is up at $560, not huge, but considering its just $20 a week building this up I like watching it grow. And my dw will make a payment off the personal loan later today, and add $25 to our Savings C account.

We had some problem this morning with a heating pump not working so I had to call the plumber who can call today at 16:00 so hopefully that won't cost too much. But this time of year heating is a must. The heating is zoned, upstairs is working, but only half the radiators down stairs are working, we had a similar problem at the start of the winter, but the pump had just become stuck then, he may replace it now $$

In work today we have our christmas lunch, normally a good spread, and they do a draw for some prizes, top prize this year is a 32" LCD TV (fingers crossed - wouldn't that be nice) - but I don't have much luck on draws.

Really looking forward to christmas holidays now, I'll finish tomorrow, and I'm back to work on the 2nd Jan. We are staying
at home again this year, we had my sister in law's family last year, but this year it will be just the four of us. Hopefully the antibiotics will have kicked in and cleared what infections my dw and ds have at the moment, but they are sounding better already.

We must clear the recycling corner at home as well before all the extra packaging arrives for Christmas - it does get out of hand this time of year.

My dd attends dance classes every Thursday afternoon during the school term, she really enjoys it, dances are to usually to disney songs, so whats not to like I guess. Anyway they have their christmas concert tonight so I'm looking forward to that. We have a neigbour sitting with our ds while we are at it, normally its a bit later when we go out and he would be a sleep, so hopefully he won't act up tonight for her, we'll be using every distracting technique in the book the get out the door.

The plan

December 20th, 2006 at 12:43 pm

Reviewing my budget for 2007, between retirement fund, saving stamps, the three savings accounts, and the investment account I will be saving $960 a month.

I was hoping to increase the % that I pay into the retirement fund in 2007 but that was before my dw was laid off, I'm in my current job three years now, and they have a non contributory defined benefit pension plan, as well as a defined contribution plan which they give a 2% match on, so I doing enough to get the 2% match but was hoping to increase the % but I'll wait until we have more certainty before I do that, I feel very lucky to have joined the defined benefit plan, but I was used to paying 5% in a previous job to get their 5% match, and would like to get back to at least 5% again even if I'm only getting a 2% match.

The saving stamps is something my dw enjoys - I would prefer to put the money we spend on saving stamps into a high interest savings account but dw enjoys the saving stamp process and takes comfort in the fact that the money won't be spent on something else, the grocery store offers a free stamp per book if the book is redeemed in the month of December so that works out at 2% interest, so to keep the equilibrium stable at home, we'll do saving stamps in 2007 again. We typically do $20 a week in stamps.

The three savings account are online savings accounts and as I get paid biweekly I put $20 every pay packet into Savings A this has built up nicely since June 06 when I started it, but as my sister in law is getting married in June 07, it should afford me a new suit, my dw a new dress, and we will probably give a cash present to them both, so what will be left in Savings A by the end of June will be interesting. Savings B has the remains of what severance money my dw got, and Savings C gets $25 every two weeks it is our old emergency fund, but has become my car fund.

We are also getting a $430 monthly cheque on an income protection policy we had on my dw, this is currently going in to clear the credit cards but as soon as they are at zero, that cheque will be lodged to the Savings C account which I have earmarked to change my car in a year or two. We already changed my dw car in 2006 from what severance money she got when she was laid off, but we currently have 2 cars and no loans on them which is good.

The investment account is currently getting $250/month, and as our emergency fund is low, I will use this money in another few months to build up the emergency fund, and pay for our summer holiday to France, and we have some home improvement jobs to complete as well in 2007.

I won't hear my performance percentage increase until March 07, the last two years I have been pleased with the increase, lets hope I will be again this year!!!

Overall the plan is in place for 2007, but I know you can't plan for life and the curve balls it can throw at you from time to time so I expect an interesting journey, but hope I can stick to my budget/plan and achieve some of my goals that Iíve set for the year.

Year to date

December 19th, 2006 at 04:50 pm

2006 was the first year I paid serious attention to our personal finances, you might say it was my new years resolution for 2006 and I stuck at it for the year. I'm hoping to improve on what has been done in 2006 in 2007.

But 2007 has its own challenges as my dw recently was laid off when the company she worked for closed, and with two kids we are trying to find a suitable replacement but looking for part time/flexible hours within a short drive of our home will probably require a lot of luck, for the moment my dw is attending some night classes and getting up skilled so time will tell what happens next for her.

The weather is just horrid, and my dw and ds are at the doctor today ds has a throat infection, and both dw a chest infection - more antibiotics I guess, but hopefully it will see us right for christmas.

Looking forward to christmas at this stage, I do hate the whole getting presents sorted we seem to have so many people to buy for, and try as I might there doesn't seem to be any way to reduce the list. But at least this year we wrapped up last sunday, and have no more presents to buy this year. We did save this year for christmas so it didn't have the wipe-out effect on our finances as it does every other year - although next year I think we'll have to save more for it.

The only other big expense thats coming up - and i'm afraid our emergency fund is going to get hit for it - is that we are getting some trees and hedging put down - we moved into our house in Jan 2005 and we are now at the tree and hedge stage. But it will be Jan 07 before that work gets complete.

Day 1

December 19th, 2006 at 12:38 pm

A quick entry today as it took me longer than I thought to get my stats together, but I'm glad I did now.

I've been browsing for a while and reading a lot of the blogs, and I thought I would get my ramblings in one place and become more active around here.

Thanks for all the interesting blogs that are going here.