Financial Report

First the Income 
We think contributors need to know what we have, what we have had and how we can manage (for the most part) to understand why we have asked for help.
Savings are almost gone – we've been holding that few $100 for car rego in November and/or council rates due February.

$ 528.30 pf ~ Disability Payment
$ 528.30 pf ~ Carer Payment
$ 200.34 pf ~ Family Tax Payment A+B

$1256.94 pf ~ Total Income  ($628.47pw)

Now the out-goings 
We've included the minimum requirements and will be trying to reduce the amount in some areas too free up some money.  If the shop is under-budget – that money will go to the debt. If an expense gets negotiated down – the difference goes into debt. This is what 

$ 522.13 pf ~ Mortgage (min)
$ 200.00 pf ~ Food, groceries and sundries
$ 117.92 pf ~ Internet, land line, mobiles 
$ 100.00 pf ~ Gas + Electricity payment plan 
$   57.07 pf ~ Insurance – House, contents, life
$   75.00 pf ~ Council rates, water rates, registration
$   90.00 pf ~ Doc Appt; Meds
$     5.00 pf ~ Microsoft Gold fees – connects XBox, Wii for me, Skype
$   50.00 pf ~ Savings
$ 100.00 pf ~ Fuel – petrol, wood (was $400pf)
$1317.12 pf

We've been covering:

$   44.00 pf ~ Refrigerator rental - yoemans
$ 197.90 pf ~ Personal loan – wyndham
$   91.40 pf ~ VISA (min)
$ 150.00 pf ~ $5 - $10 to home care, mortgage, visa, bills, doctor appts

Total (Original) Debt Amount was : $ 35,369.49

The Debt in Detail

The VISA - $5836.33
We have it at under $7000 - down from $15k, but the diligent higher repayment amount than credit used and minimums monthly has had to reduce. More info to get in here...

The Personal Loan - $4057.94
It seemed like a good idea to get something in place that would allow us to have enforced rests, downtime, holidays - not flash, outrageous overseas adventures, more a week in a warmer state with friends and free attractions.  We could do it at the time, we've even paid more in than necessary and enjoyed much needed mental health retreats.  Weekend here, night there, accommodation to safely and enjoyably attend family events.  With so little outstanding, enabling so much toward recovery and relationships, we feel it is still a good idea.

The Line of Credit - $21,764.21
One of those things set up at the mortgage set up where all the income went there, some on a no interest transaction card providing an enforced budget of $3000 per month to cover our expenses. But not the mortgage.  And not fee free, especially as different banks have different rules charging for use on amounts, and reimbursements.  When the amount going in starts becoming less . . . it was there. *sighs*  It's only been the last few months, thankfully not getting worse as there have been no interest rate rises again (October). Thank you RBA - one more quarter please :D

$3000 - there - every month.  It happened, not intentionally more 'it balances at the end of the month' until it didn't. Around the end of August.  Still, the last amount of the balance of $405 is still there - emergency or mortgage repayment - whichever comes first *gulps*

The Refrigerator Rental - $650
$ 600.00 ~ plus a residual 
Funny story about the background to this rental-lease-buy refrigerator...  
Will be updated and included in time.

Outstanding Accounts
$  870.00 - HomeCare Services
$  106.00 - School fees
$  390.00 - Dental account
$  249.90 - Magazine subs
$  800.00 - Electricity and Gas - payment plan costs set
$   92.28 - Water arrears 
$1421.40 - Collections

$3930.63 ~ Total

The Damage
$2360 pf to $1256pf is a big drop – and it helps to show how we have managed and got good indents into reducing the amounts owing on the cards, the loans and the mortgage. Four years ago, on two full time wages, we bought our first house with a $15,000 deposit and a $195k mortgage/line of credit.  The mortgage is currently under $165k and minimum payments plus $5 a few times a week are still being made. 

Sadly the out-goings of $1555 have not stopped and we can only reduce some things so far, failing to maintain the upkeep on current, accruing debt, before we will begin to lose the ability to go any financial direction but down...

The Reductions
Home Land Line ~ reduced from $45av pcm to $20pcm.  To negotiate further discount

The VISA ~ have previously negotiated no annual fee for life of card, interest rate from 21% to 12% to 7%. I think it is back up around the 18% rate as I've not been the Negotiator this past 18 months. Time to shake off that restraint, avoidance.  Hope to ask for period interest frozen or something - 3 months would be great.  

The NIVA ~ is already Nil Interest with some funds available but not being used.

The Refrigerator Rental ~ yes, something must be done.  Give me a month or so to work out what, beyond $1 like RadioRentals does, a reasonable 'residual' payment should be and how much is outstanding. 

The Mobile ~ moving to pre-pay, currently checking out offers and rates

The Clutter ~ that will need a page all of its own.  Must find the camera cable to download pictures taken for prosperity - - and more of that proof for those who need it - entertainment and/or shock value for others...

The Miscellaneous ~ no doubt we will spend less on food some weeks, fuel during others - this 'extra' money will be placed onto the debt and recorded as 'our money' on the Weekly Update page.  There will be times we need to spend more on food, or ahead on fuel such as wood ~ the $50 saved each fortnight is reserved for that and we will 'repay' that amount with the savings made when we (say) stretch the wood order an extra week or fortnight. The fire wood is not the best example, its $300 every 6-8 weeks in winter, plus a load or two to dry over summer. We'll be needing fire wood by 15 October - and the $300 will come from savings. By the time the next load is due, that $300 will be waiting in the bank put away from each payment, saved in small amounts. Hope that makes sense. 

We'll register to get samples of foods, toiletries, pet goods, surveys and apply a 'cost' to any items received against the food, groceries and sundries budget as an amount toward our weekly contribution to our Mission.  Clothes usually come from op shops, freecycle, friends so that is usually an exciting free adventure for all - SmallBoy likes to check out the trinkets and books, the clothes part is resigned acceptance with minimal time for consideration of options - yes, no, gone browsing...

Areas we are looking to reduce costs including the cooking of foods, snacks, lunch box items, treats from scratch.  I am itching to use a particular recipe for muesli bars using all the leftover bits in the boxes - I've been 'saving' the crumbs and crushed leftovers from the last few varieties of muesli.  I like muesli... *grins*

Some figures might change - we'll note as required. And sometimes things might not look like it adds up - so not accountants here ok! If you know we have about $200 cash available on 6/10 and get $300 one week, $1000 the next, know we are struggling. *grins* 
This Mission 'lives'.

The application to debt payments will be shown in the Weekly Update. No doubt a reference in the Daily Report will be made explaining any changes.


25 January 2011

Find the full post here: A Summary of successes
Our Mission Moves On
We are making in-roads and, although the financial page has not been updated as the happenings around our home has taken up a lot of physical time (and break-thru pain relief makes the ol' brain a little loopy), I'd like to share some of the successes we have made of late.

Telstra - hahaha ~ well, we got our money back as a payment into the account and NOT a credit. A $450 credit would have lasted us 21 months - almost two years. What on earth would we want that when the deduction from the credit card was incurring interest and leaving us with no emergency back up. Any way - it is sorted. Actually, we are in credit on the Telstra bill by $148.98 - so no bill payments required for about 7months. There's a small stress reliever!

Electricity ~ woo hoo ~ we have almost paid off the $850 arrears. Only two more fortnightly payments and we have! Plus, thanks to the next success on the list our electricity bill will be dramatically lower as the ol' power-guzzler is gone...
Two good, working units 
Refrigerator Rental ~ woo hoo (again) ~ it is finalised. We have $44 extra in the fortnightly budget ~ going to be spread around other outstanding bills.  Plus we get to keep the fridge! Nice!! Subsequently we have given the old power guzzling fridge/freezer away to another family to use while they save for their own good refrigerator and not need to hire, rent or pay one off using one of the GE Money type arrangements. Win-Win! Lesson learnt ~ never ever hire white-goods...

Council Home Help account ~ chipping away slowly with $2 a month has not made any great dent in this puppy, but it has ensured we are not having the account sent off to the debt collectors. This alone will save us a huge headache and stress melt-down.

The Line of Credit ~ well I am chuffed we've been able to get $800 in there over 8 weeks - especially when we only get $600 in per week and the mortgage takes half of this! I can't wait until February when the NIVA is reduced to $1000 - it will be more like emergency money then.

School Fees ~ $5 more and its all paid. Just in time for the new school year. SmallBoy has a small scholarship which will cover every thing needed for this year, excluding camp.

Dental Fees ~ believe it or not, we overpaid them by $10 so last appointment Husband walked out with a filling AND $10. It was paid onto the Personal Loan

Personal Loan ~ oh this is just not disappearing quickly enough. It's down to $3047 but the loan repayments are a quarter of our monthly income. Ridiculous really ~ but we weren't on government payments when we bought the share of a holiday property - it is worth it in the long run and we've had the chance to use it twice ourselves and twice by friends in the past two years. It's an investment of sorts, costs more than double the $10k we put in, so we really can't complain. We just can't pull out without losing the lot.

The Weekly Shop ~ is now a fortnightly shop with a "MFB" mid-fortnight buy - as well as being the acronym for mid-fortnight buy, it stands for Milk, Fruit and Bread! We've been staying within the fortnightly budget of $200-$250 ~ and fortnights where the shop comes in under $200 (like this past fortnight when we only spent $175) the balance goes off a bill - currently the gas.

The current debt is now :
$    0.00 - Dental account
$    0.00 - Refrigerator rental
$    5.00 - School fees
$   32.28 - Water arrears
$   49.90 - Magazine subs
$   88.00 - Electricity and Gas - payment plan costs set
$ 850.00 - HomeCare Services
$ 923.60 - Collections
$3046.98 - Personal Loan
$5628.77 - VISA 
$21420.21 - Line of Credit

$32,052,74 : TOTAL DEBT

We've gone down!! Reduced by a massive $5207.73!  Oh wow, oh joy.  
At the start of December, the total debt was $37, 563.47.  We were so disappointed when the debt increased in November due to the interest and fees and fines applied to the Line Of Credit and the VISA (more because we were struggling to stay on top of the payments) but talking to the banks and those we had debt with through Collections to renegotiate minimum payment amounts - plus doing community service time in lieu of two outstanding accounts not only reduced the dollar amounts outgoing, its allowed us to redirect available (ha) funds toward other accounts.

1 December 2010

Read the full post here: Two Months On...
A quick 'then' and 'now' of the key amounts at the start of recordingour Mission and its debt reduction journey reveals we've made about $3500 of change to our debt and spending habits.

The VISA - $5836.33 - now $4828
 ~ down : $1008
The Personal Loan - $4057.94 - now $3482
 ~ down : $576
The Line of Credit - $21,764.21 - now $23040
 ~ up : $1276
The NIVA - $3000 - now $1000
 ~ down : $2000
The Refrigerator Rental - $650
Outstanding Accounts Total - $3930.63 - now $2838
 ~ down : $1092
$  870.00 - HomeCare Services - $863
$  106.00 - School fees - $34
$  390.00 - Dental account - $350
$  249.90 - Magazine subs - $49
$  800.00 - Electricity and Gas - $570
$   92.28 - Water arrears - $43
$1421.40 - Collections - $1297

Our debt has been reduced by $4676! Even adding the interest accrued on the Line Of Credit, we brought our debt down a massive $3500 in two months. Some reductions to our monthly outgoing have come about through negotiating or applying discount entitlements. Plus we 'analysed' where our cash went and began stopping 'usual luxuries', finding a cheaper or free alternative, or simply not buying something 'we always did'.  The other part of freeing up money from the budget was to use the items purchased, especially those from a mark-down.

No point getting 3 lettuce for $1 instead of 50c each if you are only going to use one. Six snack tubs of yoghurt will not be eaten by tomorrow, even for $2 instead of $7, but will if its $4 with 3 days to go. However 4 trays of marked down meat will fit in the freezer and be used over a month, even two if used sparingly. *grins* Having the most wonderful steak sandwiches, hamburgers and chips from The Green Parrot once every six weeks instead of every Friday made takeaway 'special' and free'd up over $100 a month - we have put $200 on the VISA. Catching up on news online or reading magazines instead of buying the newspapers, computer or women's magazines has free'd up $10 each week, reduced the rubbish and given us a free activity out. SmallBoy loves the library! We borrow books, not buy from the Opshop, sales, anywhere. The library is free, SmallBoy and I can swap books if we finish ours before the due date. We've put $80 on school fees.
The Readers' Digest survived the cull ~ we all read that on the couch, in bed, at the loo...

We asked the power company to reassess usage against payments, which were due to increase to $240pm. With the changes of the past 2-3 months, we use less than historically, increasing the amount going toward the debt therefore we had the increase removed. Husband and I continue discussing the value of savings with turning off stand-by appliances, lights, washing times ~ one night the lounge won't glow a blue/red hue and either I have succeeded with my convictions, or we've been robbed.

The big one was getting our Credit Card interest reduced over 10% and the no fees on all sorts of things from our other accounts. No monthly fee on any banking account, including the mortgage. Changing the rate meant we did not need to repay at $380odd a month to meet the minimum, it lowered to $170 and extra was coming off the due balance, lowering the amount to calculate interest. Each month an extra $130 is paid by us on the minimum.

Same with the phones and Internet. No $2 for a paper bill to be sent ~ but still getting the paper bill because its the only way you can then say 'hey, I made 8 calls from my mobile costing $30 while my home phone was unusable, cover me please' and provide the 'evidence'. If there is an amount of transactions fee-free, we arranged all usage under a plan arrangement, without the plan. One mobile is not on contract but gets the features of a $69 contract/cap special plan on the $49 plan being paid. Saved $4 being paid, gained higher usage limits, features and access.

There is no longer a set shopping day, but every Sunday we organise a weekly menu plan (plus a few extra or options) based on what is in the house already. If milk is needed tomorrow, that is not a reason to do a $50 shop. Only milk. Making a trip in the car for one or two items made it expensive every time. Always looking for specials and mark downs that could not be stored, thus forming waste not savings. Now, SmallBoy and Husband ride bikes up to the shop to discourage additional spending - and save petrol. The shop cost has reduced significantly, sometimes allowing for treats like chocolate, cola and even a magazine (once) to be purchased. We have found $200 for a fortnight is saving $100 from the usual shopping budget, using $150 in 'rich week' and $50 or a Simple Savings $21 Challenge in 'poor week'.

Any doctor appointments are no longer made and paid as a private patient. Saving $90 a fortnight to get required necessary prescriptions, it's now a three-hour wait in line to see the preferred doctor (not just first available) and this is bulk billed with no gap requirements. As the pain medications are now at the lowest level, a double fill or repeat can be written making only a monthly visit necessary. That's saving $180 required while rehabilitating. This free'd up $250 to put on the VISA.

The eBay de-clutter has been going slowly - but the first $30 went on the VISA debt. More has gone up on eBay this week - it's all Tupperwareat the moment, but about to put up some cute little boy and girl items we'd rather get a $1 for than continue to take up space in this cluttered mess we call 'home'.  We hope to sell about 30 items this month, and receive $200 for our stuff.

The Line of Credit increase was interest applied as the funds kept transferring over to the NIVA account. With this now at $1000, removing $2000 from our budget's requirements, moneys going into the LOC actually stay there and not be taken in interest while 'on hold' for the next few months. We put $25 in every fortnight for the water and the bill, plus the new balance, is almost covered. Once paid, we will keep putting in $20 each fortnight.

While we have been making changes the loan and debts like dental, homecare and collections have been getting the regular teeny amounts.

Current Debt Total:    $ 37,563.47