Thursday, August 27, 2009


Well I'm back.

Not a very long hiatus, but I finished my tax!

I'm getting a higher refund than I expected, I had a lot of deductions this year, so it's nice to get it in and get it finished. I also finally got around to lodging an amendment for last year's return as I realised I had made a mistake, which should mean I get an extra refund of about $500.

So things are finally looking up finacially. Next week I should get my regular pay, plus payment for half my tuition from first semester, which will be $2,000, and some extra pay for lecturing.

Hopefully I should get my tax refund in about 2 weeks, and that will pay off my largest credit card plus a bit extra. On the one hand it's great, but on the other hand I'm annoyed with myself, because if I hadn't racked up so much credit card debt, the tax refund could be used for so many other things (or for long-term savings). Live and learn I guess.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Goodbye for a little while

My blog is going on a little hiatus.

I have been struggling to keep up with things of late - nothing is wrong, but with work and an enormous amount of study, keeping posting unforunately isn't at the high end of my priorities.

At the moment, I work 35 hours a week, and with the number of courses I'm doing, I "meant" to study a crazy 60 hours a week. In about 2 weeks, that will drop back to 36 hours a week as some of my courses are finishing, but with full-time work it's still a struggle. I don't actually study 60 hours per week, but particularly as I took a weekend "off" last week to go away, my life for the last few weeks has been work until 5ish, go home, and work on assignments until anywhere from midnight to 4am because not having studied the amount I should be, I have left them to the last minute.

I'm not closing my blog and hopefully once study cuts down a bit I'll have more time.

I'm still keeping track of my spending, but with my insane hours of late I have been buying too many "little luxuries" - i.e. fast food/magazines etc.

I haven't even updated July figures yet, but a quick overall picture:

I currently have 3 credits cards, owing around $19,000.

Next pay I will get my regular pay plus $2,000 for study costs, so I will be paying off Credit Card 2.

When my tax refund comes through, (i.e. when I finally finish my tax), that should be almost $10K. So I'll pay off Credit Card 3.

Then, it is just Credit Card 4, which has a balance transfer rate.

My aim will be to start the new year with less than $5,000K debt, which is more than achievable.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Update - finances, work etc

I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks since I posted. Work and study have been flat out, although I'm finally starting to get over my flu/virus/chest infection/whatever I had.

Finance wise, things are looking up. I spoke to my boss about tuition fees, and it's all good - put in my expense claim today, although I don't know how long it will take to come through. But when it does it will be $2,100.

I've been doing some lecturing which I didn't think I was going to get paid extra for - I was workin gon the "it's a good experience and will help on my resume", but my boss came and spoke to me last night and said she will pay be as a casual for any lecturing I do because is so far outside my job description. Which it is - I'm meant to be a research assistant and I'm taking 3 hour lectures on tax law. They are at an introductory level, but still!

Still have to finish my tax - it's on a very long list of things I have to do for study and work.

But once I get my tax refund etc, I'm hoping that I'll only have one CC left with an amount owing - one where I am on a lifetime balance transfer rate, so although I want to get it paid off, I'm not as stressed about it as my other ones.

In bad news, my flatmate (whose parent's own our flat) has put my rent up. Good news - only by $5 a week. :) And I love living here so much that that doesn't bother me. Our clothes dryer is also broken, which in summer I wouldn't care about, but since it's winter in Australia, it's been a hassle drying off clothes. We are getting someone to come and look at it on the weekend, but I'm thinking it won't be cheap getting it fixed.

Back to the study - have an assignemnt due tomorrow as well as stuff to do for work. I think it will be a late one!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Brief update

I've been very slack in posting as of late.

I'm still sick :( which makes it 3 and a half weeks now. Went back to the doctor's last week and they weren't much help. I don't have swine flu, just another virus and there isn't much they can do for it. I ended up taking some time off work at the end of last week, but I still had study which had to be done.

Only good thing about being sick is that I stayed at home and didn't spend money! Makes me realise how much money I often waste when I go out (such as to work). Just little bits here and there that add up. But nothing I actually need.

Not too much happening - work, study, sleep.

Have completed a rough tax estimate and I should get back a very nice refund. Hopefully will finish it off this coming weekend and will have my refund by end of August. Any refund will go directly into my bank account and then I will send it straight off to one of my credit cards.

My job is meant to be paying for half my tuition fees once I successfully complete subjects in my Masters degree. I successfully completed two last semester (2 more this semester and then I will be finished!) so they should be giving me $2010 (each subject is $2010). My boss is currently overseas but will have to talk to her about it once she gets back. I know from my last job that there is a big difference between saying they will pay for it and actually getting it in your bank account! In my last job, I really pushed the issue and was ready to quit over it, but I like my current job, I know finances are tight, and I really want them to renew my contract this year. So I'm not sure how hard to push if they are resisting paying it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back from a very short "break"

I went back home to the Gold Coast (Queensland) over the weekend. Took yesterday off work, and didn't have to take it as annual leave because I had been working some longer hours. My current job is so much more relaxed than my old one!

Unfortunately, as I'm also studying I spent a lot of the weekend working on assignments. But I still got to catch up with friends and my family (it was my Mum and Aunts birthday last week).

It was a spending weekend because I had dinner with a friend on Saturday night for her birthday, and breakfast with another friend Sunday morning. But overall not too bad. Dinner and drinks on Saturday night was $38 (I had steak, expensive but very nice!) and breakfast was $20.

Also collect further information I needed to do my tax, so I will be working on that over the coming weeks.

Back home this morning and about to head off for work - how is it that I can get up, be driven 45 minutes to the airport, take an 1hour and a half flight, collect my baggage and get a 15/20 minute tax trip home, and be back home before I would normally get up?? I mean, it was a very early alarm for me this morning, but it shows I should be getting up earlier!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Third of Aussies would not survive on savings if they lost their job

I read this artice online this morning:

Third of Aussies would not survive on savings if they lost their job,28323,25784706-5017313,00.html
"MORE than a third of Australians would not survive on their savings for more than a month if they lost their jobs. Debt collection agency Dun and Bradstreet's latest consumer credit survey found many Australians were unprepared for financial hardships associated with redundancies and sackings. The survey examined plans for savings, credit use, spending and debt in the coming three months, the Herald Sun reports.Four in 10 people said their savings would last only 30 days if they lost their job, while 38 per cent said they would have to use credit cards to cover household bills and other essential expenses. D&B chief executive Christine Christian said the people struggling most were households earning $30,000 to $60,000 a year and aged between 18 and 49. "There is a very large demographic of people who are first home buyers who have taken advantage of the government's first home owners scheme and many of them are feeling quite pressured at the moment," Ms Christian said.

"They're OK at managing their mortgage repayments in these unusually low interest rate times, but if they were to lose their job, that would be dire for many." Social researcher David Chalke said the results were not surprising. "Many people in the younger demographics have not built up any liquid assets," Mr Chalke said. "They either put their cash into superannuation or bricks and mortar and you cannot cash either of them in." Mr Chalke said younger people had buffers against running out of cash. "About a third of 18 to 34-year-olds live at home and another third could move home if money became really tight," he said. Ms Christian said people should look at preparing a budget, changing insurance payments so they were more frequent and smaller and paying close attention to bills."

This doesn't surprise me. A lot of people live paycheck to paycheck, and until the global financial crisis, job loss probably wasn't a possibility for a lot of people. On the one hand, I'm prepared for the fact that my contract may not be renewed in February '10; but on the other hand, my emergency fund at the moment won't exactly last long! I'm in the category of 18-34 year olds mentioned in the article that could move back home if I really had to, but I would have a lot more chance of getting another job in the state I'm in now rather the state my Mum lives in.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

June Update

Finally sorted out all my expenses/income for June.

I've updated my sidebars, although I left a credit card statement at work, so I estimated, it is slightly less than I'm showing now. In good news: UNDER $20,000! Still a horrible amount of debt, but I'm slowly getting there.

My income for June was: $3,734.15

Expenses, not including credit card interest, (will update once I get my other credit card statement back from work), were: $2,450.28.

Emergency fund is slowly going up. Savings have taken a hit due to me buying a laptop, so have to start working on those again. It's a new financial year, I've had a horrible start due to being sick, (and still am sick), but need to get much more organised in terms of budgeting/goals etc.