Dave Ramsey made me wanna

So, for reasons I can no longer recall, I started to follow David Ramsey for Australians on Facebook.  I have a history of reading personal finance blogs, and whilst they often drive me insane (the content is very repetitive, and they all want to monetise… And a little ranty). This is how I’ve come to know the bible belt financial gospel guru.  Aside from books, he also has a podcast.  I do not listen to it.

I know the basics – there’s baby steps, and they are pretty darn simple and logical to me, a daugher of a banker

  1. Save a $1000 emergency fund
  2. Pay off consumer debts, start with the smallest debt and work through them.  AKA Debt snowball
  3. Save for (three to) six months of expenses
  4. Pay into your retirement fund at 15% of income
  5. Save for your children’s education
  6. PAY OFF YOUR MORTGAGE
  7. Spend/donate etc

That’s from memory… If I got it wrong, I’m not too fussed.  My post is about what reading all these posts have made me wonder…

How long would it take me to pay off my mortgage?

I kept turning the idea over in my head, and couldn’t work it out.  So I broke it down.

First I’d get my offset account to “fully paid up”.  For long term readers, you might recall that I go to this point with a previous lender.  I am onto my third lender – each time the fixed term component ‘matures’ I review the market and go for the lowest interest rate.  Cause..  loyalty gets you no where.  So I started with

  • ANZ (2 years, all fixed), then went to started in Dec 2011
  • Bankwest (3 years, 20% variable with offset, 80% fixed), and now I’m with
  • ING (2 years, 40% variable, 60% fixed) started in Jan 2017

When I looked at my regular ‘inputs’ to my offset account, I could work out roughly what goes in monthly, less what goes out monthly (namely, moving money out of offset to the two mortgage components), and a quarterly strata bill.  I did a calculation and found out I could do it 10 months.  Which was pretty darn close.  And then… I received an inheritance, quite unexpectedly (and I never count those sorts of things). And now I’m close to 6 months. (And I don’t plan to put all the inheritance onto the mortgage, I plan to purchase two ‘big ticket’ items which I see as heirlooms  – one is a gorgeous desk and the other is getting a ring made.  Cause… a paid of mortgage is great, but the two items will hold memories, and were things I was saving for before this unexpected windfall).  Let’s call that out – it would be January 2018! Wow.  By my birthday!

My place is NOT this pretty

And then, I looked what would happen if the same monthly amount *could* go onto the fixed mortgage month on month, knowing it can’t due to stupid rules.  That’s not the point – the point was to motivate myself with the timeline of when I could have it ALL paid off – and the answer was, that amount would take 2 years and seven months.   I was gobsmacked it was such a small duration of time.  You ‘buy’ 25 and 30 year mortgages!  And I’m talking about August 2020.

Of course, I don’t have a step 5 to fund of Dave Ramsey’s plan.  (And I’m at 12.5% +$50p/w on my retirement). And I’m at prime child rearing age, so I’d happily have this plan hijacked by having kids.  But each month I’m not pregnant (ha! I’m single!) is a month I could shoehorn some money into that mortgage and get closer to that end goal of NO MORTGAGE!

I dream of a garden like this (via)

Oh, and 2020 is a much mentioned year where I work.  Because politician Fred Nile got it written into law that if our company was sold (aka long term leased) there could be NO job reductions until 2020.  Well… provided there wasn’t an agreed forced redundancy policy introduced – and you can be sure our strong union will die fighting a forced redundancy policy.  But there’s this concept of job guarantees (when we have 3,570 employees, and Treasury did also say that could be certain types of contractors) until 2020.  And… well… No one knows where we are at relative to that magic 3,570.  To me, it doesn’t matter.  Working hard is what matters.  Take it a day at a time.  That being said, so many people say ‘well we won’t have jobs in 2020’.  I cannot think that far in front of me, there’s enough going on RIGHT NOW.  But, that some mythical 2020 is when I could have a mortgage paid off.  Imagine… I could be someone who takes in rent from my tenants (ha) and due to the rent differential, could live on the spoils.  Ha! It’s not a plan I conceive actually happening, but it’s fun to imagine!

Now every time the doom and gloom mongers say ‘2020’ I will think about having no mortgage.  What fun!

Feel free to check in, in a few months.  Who knows, I might get seduced by international travel, and adjust this back a month or two… Let’s see.

Plastic Free July 2017

I’m delighted to see friends, from different spheres of life, announcing their intentions on Plastic Free July! It warms my heart.  As this is a public blog, many of my friends know I have posted at length about my Zero Waste hopes and intentions!

So, what am I doing for Plastic Free July?

  1. Use it up challenge for moisturisers.  I have a handful of small containers (from flights or samples) of moisturiser.  I’m not a regular moisturiser user, so… there’s that! The idea is to get to one bottle, and then refill it (where, I haven’t sorted yet).
The use is up area. Notice anything Lucinda?

Ok a numbered list might have been overkill there!

Let’s revise what changes I’ve made since blogging (and for long term readers, it’s a check in and update on this post). It’s great to see progress in four years (items in italics)

This is what I have on me most days
  1. Joco glass cup for take away coffees daily, upgrading from plastic keep cups
  2. Glass bottle with silicone sleeve – a bit heavier than the steel one I lost, but pretty
  3. Bamboo cutlery – always in my handbag, to say no to single use packs.  It was a ‘gift with purchase’, which I’m thankful for 🙂
  4. Bamboo straw – a recent addition to the cutlery in my handbag.  Still mastering learning ‘when’ I might need to warn against a straw.
  5. Fold up shopping bag – also always in my handbag with 3 & 4
  6. Pyrex glass dishes with plastic lids – this removes almost all my need for cling film or similar disposable
  7. Hessian bags for grocery shopping (cough… or work out bag.  Nothing if not multi purpose)
  8. Deodorant – years ago I tried Lush and it’s so so, I also found a cardboard ‘pop top’ style deodorant, which is even poorer at odour control.  But these two are all I’m using currently
  9. Shampoo bar from Lush – I do re-use stockings with runs, to hold fragments together
  10. Lunette menstrual cup – not ideal I have two, but one seemed to cause bad smells
  11. Cotton buds with cardboard stems – so at least there’s a little less plastic
  12. Toothbrush – it’s bamboo with charcol bristles
Stylishly plastic free
  1. Bottle brushes – again, no plastic.  How often do I was my bottle? Not enough!
  2. Glass blender – I freecycled a plastic one, then bought second hand a glass one.  Small things, but all are minimal waste.

Things I need to work on:

  1. Toothpaste – or perhaps tooth powder.  I want something that works for travel as well as day to day.  So far, a powder has seemed a little ‘far gone’
  2. Conditioner – solids ones are a fail (from my trial), but I can either get a Lush bottle (you can return their containers – not clear if for refill or recycling) or refill at a bulk store
  3. Dental floss – I tried and failed with silk thread… SInce then, there’s a great company  in Germany who provide it in a glass vial, then Dental lace from the US
  4. Face wash – I have two.  One is the biggest I can get (Cetaphil) but the other was a purchase when I forgot to pack face wash
  5. Body wash – I have one that’s scented; another is an exfoliant
  6. Razors – one handle, and only replacing the head.  Perhaps when I’m through the blade heads, I should look at a plastic free option, but there’s a little fear.
  7. Freezer food – so, since I’ve been single, I’ve resulted in buying and eating meals ready-to-eat from the freezer.  They are cheap.  They have more vegetables than I’d otherwise be bothered with.  The containers are recyclable, but the soft plastic is often soiled and NOT recycled.  I’m icky that I’m this lazy.

Things that are acceptable passes for me

  1. Band aids
  2. Medication or painkillers in blister packs
  3. Ear plugs – I use them for SO long, but they are foam which isn’t recyclable
  4. Storage of bulk items (flours etc) as they aren’t heated, and 2kg of rice is heavy without ALSO storing it in glass
  5. Dish sponges – still cut in half to use one for longer. Though I could retry natural alternatives or options

Finally, some things are just building habits.  Things like:

  • preparing to grocery shop, so taking your bags
  • thinking to take a Joco cup for a coffee, or having a sit down coffee
  • storing cutlery, fabric serviette and a straw in my handbag with a fold up shopping bag
  • planning to refill certain items from a bulk store
  • planning when and where to drop off compost at community gardens with compost bins. Thankfully there’s one near the library I go to

June summary

The other day, my mobile phone recharged (yes, I’m on prepay) and I realised a month had flown by since i got back from Europe.  I spent a week or two after returning recovering from mild but lingering cold.  Work gobbled me up, however, these summary posts remind me, that’s not ALL that happened!

Culture

I started thinking I’d done nothing, but then I found photos of a band I went to with my brother.  Simon doesn’t know them, but enjoyed them, and said more than once that he couldn’t believe I like this genre of music.  Shrugs.  They sung a cover of a song I love too – a cover that they adjust the words to, and make EVEN better!

Thundamental concert – Blue Mountain’s born and bred

I also had my turn of doing flowers for the church.  There was a funeral, right after I did it, and I had requests for the colours and flowers.  I hope they were happy!  In any case, I was proud of the outcome.

Church flowers, for a funeral

Romance

We should rename this section “photos I took of food when I ate out”, because none of the following were at ‘dates’!  I’ve really slowed down from dating.  Some of this is due to focusing more on my fitness.  But also, you get fatigued with profile reading and become very judgemental.  So instead, here’s snippets of a breakfast with friends, a great cafe near my parents, so I spent the night at their house.  Actually, three Friday nights I stayed with my parents, once for the flowers, once for this brunch and once to take them to the airport on Saturday morning.

German pancakes

I have a lovely friend who I met at church who also lives locally, and when he’s in town we catch up for coffee or breakfast prior.

Thia French toast

Work

I have settled back into a groove – the week or two post holidays I was clearly revitalised and much more perky and upbeat than some around me.  It’s worn off a little, but I’ve worked long hours again this week – really trying to take some load off my team, but also preparing to hit the ground running in the new financial year with all the ambitious targets and programs.  So much so, I left work late on Friday 30th June, and was mighty angry at my boss <- it was NOT his fault, but being angry at myself was not fun :p

Health

I did  it – I joined F45.  I did a week’s trial and attended three classes, and still did my usual 2 Barre tone classes.  It’s around $580 for a 3 month membership, and I feel this is a timeline I can commit to.  I paid upfront, as I HATE automatic deductions and all the rules to cease the deductions.  And, to be totally hypocritical, I do happily pay $35 per week for two classes at Barre Body, and sometimes miss weeks due to illness.  Seems sometimes, the ‘cost per class’ I can stomach!?

I also did a special Barre class on the 30th, and was late, which was by candlelight.  I thought it would be darker, with the light dimmer more, but alas no.  Still, it was a different teacher and routine/style to usual so that was a mix up from usually doing F45 on Fridays and Barre on Saturday.

Bought

Shopping haul – pillow protectors, suction hooks, a moisture absorbing egg and candle making items
  • Candle wicks – to remake candles from leftover wax
  • Suction hooks to hang coats – sadly didn’t work on our loggia tiles, but the internal bifold glass is a winner!
  • Moisture absorbing ‘egg’ – ceramic with material inside that can be microwaved and reused!  An impulse purchase
New jacket
  • Marcs cropped Lani wool jacket – $100 off spot sale, so $179.95
  • White bra from Target
  • Wooden shelf and hardware to ‘expand’ storage in my pantry
  • Cancer council sunglasses – replacing the pair left overseas
  • Cancer council lip balm – an impulse purchase
  • Two pairs of runners – one pair for high impact, blue and pretty, one pair for lower impact, black and great for long walks
First work out done with the new runners
  • New (second hand) bed frame.  The Ikea Malm fell apart when I moved, and I made do, but it creaked and felt on it’s last legs.  I wanted a padded head so I could sit up and read, or blog.  $175!
  • The Ikea bed

    The new bed head, and the existing (hacked) ledge

Between paying for the F45 membership, and these little shopping moments, I feel quite cash poor.  Hopefully in coming weeks and months, it’ll feel better having prepaid the workouts at least.

Read

  • The bricks that built this house – Kate Tempest.  Very disappointing, I have NO idea why I read it to completion
  • Innocent – Scott Turow – a great author, I really feel like you get to know the characters but without making it long, and a compelling story that isn’t predictable.

Looking ahead to July, I hope to continue on the 5 weekly work outs, trying Dry July with a friend, and rewarding ourselves for those two feats with a fancy dinner at The Bridge Room.