Thursday, September 8, 2011

Minimising the Shop/Shock

Today we did spend...

With around $40 of the last week's grocery budget remaining, we shopped with this and the coming week's $50 - including an extra $50 for some extra pantry staples. We've been advised by some friendly Bundaberg locals to get a few 'extras' during the coming weeks into the wet season to ensure if any transportation or access to the area arise, we will still have sufficient to make do for a week or more.

The shop came in over budget by $10 ~ leaving $30 for the veggies at Sunday's market. Almost $40 of the items bought where staples including 2kg each of brown rice, brown sugar, wholemeal SR and plain flour, pasta. Also we needed to have kitty litter ~ and hubby splurged on a litre of coffee icecream. I am going to crush a peanut butter biscuit into the icecream on the whim it will taste delicious.

One must always try to include the occasional splurge to keep the spirit positively happy.

Saving while in Debt 

Through all the little savings we have been making ~ $15 each week into an emergency savings fund (ESF) for those unexpected wallet depleting incidents like car troubles; $5 three times a week on to the mortgage; $160pf of family tax payment to ESF ~ we finally have the buffer of emergency money available. It's taken almost 10 weeks, there is $1500 sitting in our online account and half of it is going to be paid on to our debt. It's not cash in a flash, thus no temptation to splash, but only takes 24hrs to transfer for access should it be needed.

There are two schools of thought about having an emergency fund or savings account ~ especially if you owe money, why should you be able to save for self use before repaying a debt. Another is that by having 2-3 months income in a savings account, accessible only for an 'emergency' expense, you have on hand funds you might otherwise have had to borrow and add to your debt list should, say your car break down or an airfare is required.

Our goal is to have $4000 as our ESF account ~ however at the moment every time it gets to $1500, $500 will be transferred on to the VISA and $250 onto the Mortgage or Line of Credit. As the credit card reduces, so will its maximum limit. Currently sitting $1000 under its limit, with the extra $500, we can reduce the VISA limit to $7k leaving a little buffer for some bill payments (mobile, electricity). 

Putting more into the Line of Credit immediately is the priority. With the rental tenancy in its early months, the fortnightly mortgage repayments don't quite match with the monthly rental deposit - especially with the odd deduction for maintenance to inspect the gas heater *prays - please let it still be ok and not need repairs or repayments* or removal of leaves from the gutters. Once that is a month and a half in advance in 'credit', more can divert to the Mortgage itself than the three payments of $5 added each week.

Enjoying the desserts... 

Even if they are a few scoops of coffee icecream with broken up peanut butter biscuits. You know ~ not that it would ever happen - but the biscuits would be better a little more 'stale' for use with icecream. Regardless, it was delicious with the biscuits being a little more crumbly, still melt in your mouthish than imagined. Just one of those funny little thoughts you have at times... Don't you?

Here is the recipe address from Stay At Home Mum ~ Peanut Butter Biscuit recipe ~ and I've put the ingredients as we used below: 

160 grams plain wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon bicarb
1/2 teaspoon salt

115 grams butter
150 grams brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

250 grams smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup crushed walnuts (macadamia, choc chips) 

 Will be looking at Tupperware again ~ and not just the boxes I need to unpack and find homes for within the kitchen. I am hoping to be a demonstrator again ~ one or two parties per week, be able to re-furbish my collection and build it back to its former glory. More on that later ~ but if you are wanting any, do get in touch *grins* 
Think about it and know it will ultimately remove debt, allow storage of dry staple pantry items over the wet season and get us ready for a place of our own upon the return of our home's owners in 2015.

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