Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Financial Overhaul

A change in my personal circumstances has me looking at a complete financial overhaul. For the first time, I will be outlining my actual expenses, my average income (being self employed it goes up and down) and the things I will be doing to reduce it. You are free to leave suggestions in the comments on how you might cut back in my position.

My income is approximately $1,900 a fortnight, not including royalties, which come every 6 months, but they are not a huge amount anyway. Some fortnights I earn more, but this is a safe average.

My expenses are:
House – $600
Food – $250
Petrol – $50
Speech Therapy – $270 to $520 depending on if both daughters attend and a couple of other things
Health insurance – $80
Car maintenance/insurance/rego – $50
Gas/electricity/water – $120
Phone/internet – $55
Preschool – $50
Sanity – $20
Savings – $205
Miscellaneous – $150

Total $1900

As you can see my total takes me right up to my income. The miscellaneous section includes clothing, entertainment, unexpected school and medical expenses, my therapy etc. It essentially sits in a savings account until needed.

I have some ways to reduce my food bill. I am gluten intolerant and we try to eat mostly fresh fruit and vegetables so that can push up the food bill, but there is room for improvement.

I am looking at learning how to do my own service, but am going to weigh up if the time it takes me is more cost effective than getting my mechanic who is really good do it.

I know my gas, water and electricity could all come down. I am looking at thermal cooking as well as more solar cooking now that the weather has warmed up. I’ve been using my oven a bit of late and this was reflected in my last bill.

I will be switching internet plans as I am on a higher plan than I really need. Some months I was using the whole amount, but I know I won’t be any more and with my provider if I go over they don’t charge extra, instead the speed just drops.

Preschool is $50 a fortnight, but obviously it is not an expense during school holidays. I have kept it at $50 as I need to get school uniforms and supplies for my older daughter, plus next year my younger daughter starts preschool and it will be increased to $60 a week instead of what I currently pay.

So that is where it currently sits. What would you do differently?

5 comments :

  1. Have you gone to your gp and looked into if there are any health plans you can utilize to receive a discount on the speech therapy? (ie, Medicare rebate for a percentage of the amount). If both girls are doing it I would also suggest putting your name down on some public waiting lists for funded speech therapy...it may take a while to come up for them but the savings will really help you. Also talk to preschool about whether they can utilize any government services to have a speechie come in and work with them while they are there also.
    My bills are a lot higher than that so I think you're doing well.

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  2. Thanks so much for taking the time to offer suggestions Jaaks Place! I really appreciate it. The Gov only gives $250 a year (5 visits with $50) for speech therapy, that is if you get on a health plan and you need 3 specialists to get the plan. We are on waiting lists, it is 2.5years, by which time we will be done with therapy, but I put their names down because you never know.
    Preschool can't get a speech therapist, but when my eldest goes to kinder next year they have a speech therapist twice a week who I've spoken to about my daughters needs and he may be there 3 days next year, so that will help a lot. However, my preschool did help me and make me aware of everything I was eligible for so that was good.

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  3. That's great about the speechie in kinder. I know the struggle with the public waiting list and totally understand what you mean about the need being over by then. My youngest is doing OT and Speech for ASD privately. The health plans are good in theory but a joke in regards to how little sessions you get with them. My oldest has ASD and I get mental health plans to help with his OT but it barely stretches half a year. That's good news about the $250 towards speech though :) . Good luck :)

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  4. How are you going to track how you do against this budget? I personally use Mint and then an excel spreadsheet at the end of each month to check. What are your plans?

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  5. Hi Jon, I use an excel spreadsheet, but have heard Mint is good. I also have a little budget book, old school I know, but I like pen and paper. Pay in Australia is usually weekly or fortnightly, not monthly, so most people do their budget and checking that often, not monthly.

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