Easy Scrolls (Ham and Cheese or any flavour you desire)

I’m sharing one of my budget go-to recipes this week.

I have been using this recipe for about 4 years in my Thermomix (maybe more). You could also use a mixer with a dough hook to make this recipe (no need to have a Thermomix).

My kids love these, and it’s an easy lunch when you don’t have a lot in the cupboards/fridge. I purchased my flour from Costco in bulk a few years ago and it’s still going strong (12.5kgs of it). I estimate the main cost of this recipe is the fillings you use.

I’ve written this recipe so you can make the scroll base dough and then add your own fillings. My favourites are Ham and Cheese, and Vegemite and Cheese. You could also do cinnamon scrolls or spinach and feta (you can be as inventive as you want).

If you would like to see all of my previous budget recipe posts click here.

Ingredients for the Scroll Base 

  • 1 ¼ Cups of warm water 
  • 2 tsp instant yeast (Note: I keep mine in the freezer mine and it lasts forever. I’ve had mine for about 2 years no joke) 
  • 1 ½ tsp vegetable oil 
  • 3 cups of plain (all purpose) flour 
  • 2 tsp salt

Customisable Filling

Feel free to be inventive and make your own flavours

  • 200gms Ham 
  • 1 ½ cups of grated cheese 
  • Tomato or BBQ Sauce (I use both as a pizza sauce on the dough, but this is up to you)

Method 

  1. Add all ingredients to the thermomix bowl.  
  2. Mix 5 SEC – SPEED 5 (Thermomix setting or equivalent settings in your mixer with dough hook).  
  3. Then scrape down the sides.  
  4. Then change the setting to dough. Then 60 SEC – KNEADING (Thermomix settings or equivalent setting in your mixer with dough hook). 
  5. Then get the dough out of the thermomix bowl and shape into a ball (that’s all tucked in on itself).  
  6. Then place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with compostable gladwrap (or other sustainable wrap), and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise (prove).  
  7. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (fan forced).  
  8. Once it has doubled place the dough on a floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll out in a rectangle shape that is 1cm thick.  
  9. Then spread your customisable ingredients on the dough.  
  10. Then carefully roll the dough into a log and cut the log up into 3cm slices.  
  11. Place the scroll slices on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  

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Reduce your subscriptions (and save money) by doing a ‘Scream Test’

Last month as I completed our monthly expense review I noticed that our monthly entertainment subscriptions had gotten a little out of hand. I noticed that we were now paying for Netflix, Spotify, Prime, and Apple TV (almost $50 a month). I was a little stunned at how normal these expenses had become and decided to do something. If you are in a similar situation as us and want to do something about it then keep reading.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I don’t believe our story or situation is unique. We started out with good intentions and just one subscription service, but then slowly but surely over time more services magically appeared.

Maybe like us you added a new one because another service had a new TV show you wanted to watch……

Maybe you forgot to cancel it after the free trial…..

Maybe you hated the Spotify ads…..

Maybe you got into the habit of having all these convenient entertaining options at your finger tips…..

Whatever the reason your subscriptions (like ours) have slowly multiplied over time and now you’re quietly paying for more entertainment than you need.

So what now. Well I’ve decided to apply the scream test method to our subscriptions in order to cut them down significantly and save ourselves $500 a year.

What is the ‘Scream Test’?

I work in IT and a scream test is a term and method we use to determine if a service, function, system etc is still in use, and it’s importance. Typically scream tests are applied when no-one will take ownership of the service, function or system in question. If no-one takes ownership then no-one is able to make a decision on it’s importance, and whether it’s still required. You would be surprised at how often things such as servers are kept running without anyone using them. Scream tests are not something to be taken lightly in an IT setting, and if you would like to learn more about them take a look here.

How do you do a subscription ‘Scream Test’?

Well in very simple terms you quietly remove the subscription service, and wait for the screams from your family.

Obviously if I was applying this method to my work this explanation is overly simplified, but in terms of the context of applying it to my subscriptions this explanation suits this application perfectly.

Why am I trialling the ‘Scream Test’ method?

Well I’m 100% sure my household isn’t utilising all it’s subscriptions, and so the scream test will quickly determine what we are using and more importantly what we aren’t using.

I also don’t want to own the decision to keep/cancel the subscriptions. I have enough on my plate in terms of making decisions so for me a scream test feels like a nicer way to determine which subscriptions we should keep.

What if they ‘Scream’?

I expect my family to scream with at least one subscription, and for that reason we will keep one subscription at a time. If someone in the family wants to try another service then we can cancel our current subscription and switch.

It’s just $500 a year, who cares?

Well I do care, especially when I know that we are paying for something that we aren’t utilising. There is nothing worse in my mind than paying for something you aren’t using, and that’s why I think doing a subscription scream test in your household is a good idea.

Let me know in the comments how your subscription scream tests go or how you are keeping your subscription costs down.

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Crustless Quiche

I’m sharing another one of my budget go-to recipes this time it’s a crustless quiche. I love crustless quiche because my husband is gluten and lactose intolerant, and frozen pastry that matches his dietary needs is expensive for us (so we simply avoid recipes that use it). I also love quiche because it’s a great way to use up your leftovers, and sad veggies.

I shop weekly on a Sunday, and as part of my Saturday routine will go through my fridge and find all the items I need to use up. I will then utilise these in various ways to avoid food waste. We rarely have food waste in our home as a result, and if we do it goes straight to our chickens who create the best compost around.

This recipe for crustless quiche is one of my favourite ways to use up my end of date items in my fridge, and my kids love it.

Please note this recipe has been adapted from the following recipe here.

Base Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese (150gm)
  • 2/3 cup of self-raising flour (80gm)
  • 4 eggs
  • 315mls Milk (315gm)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Mixed Herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Filling Ingredients

  • Your own fillings such as diced tomato, sliced bacon/ham, finely chopped broccoli/zucchini/onion, grated carrots, mushrooms, herbs etc. Be inventive.

Notes: If you want to make this gluten free or lactose free swap out the quantities of the base ingredients for the same amount of the lactose or gluten free alternative.

Method

  1. Preheat oven at 180 Degrees Celsius (fan forced).
  2. Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine all ingredients together until they form a nice quiche batter (eg. All egg yolks and flour are combined and everything is equally mixed together).
  3. Pour batter into a baking paper lined tin.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes (checking at the 40 minute mark) until golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes so that it’s easy to cut and eat. It will be firm to touch in the centre.
The finished result. Perfect for a light meal or lunchbox snack.

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Expense Review – June 2021 (with 6 month recap)

Last month I was crossing my fingers and toes that the borders would stay open, and here I am cancelling our booked holiday. Oh how things change, and although we are disappointed we are thankful we haven’t lost a cent as we booked fully flexible flights. The end of June marks the end of the first half of the year so I’m going to do a 6 month recap of our expenses at the end of this post to determine our average spend per month.

To view all previous expense review tagged posts click here.

Top 5 Expenses – June 2021

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.
  1. Renovations = $3,396.81

Notes: This month we demolished our laundry, bathroom and toilet downstairs as part of our plan in turning our downstairs into a self contained Airbnb. The demolition costs were extremely low as we did it ourselves, and borrowed equipment from our neighbours. The major renovation costs in June were new furnishings, electrician (1st fix), and bathroom fittings. In July we expect to spend even more as we will be paying our contractors to finish the work (estimated at about 9k including supply and install of items). We expect costs in this category to reduce from August onwards.

  1. Health and Medical Items = $1,206.26

Notes: Our medical and health category normally averages around $500 – $700 a month so this month was a bit of an expensive month. My husband had two scans as part of his cancer surveillance ($400 after Medicare benefits), and I broke my prescription glasses ($150). My glasses costs are after Private Health Insurance rebates, and included two sets of frames (regular glasses and sunglasses).

  1. Food and Alcohol = $1079.95

Notes: I feel like this amount is the new normal for our family. My eldest son is 13 going on 14, and is eating us out of house and home. My youngest is 10, and he has finally found his appetite after years of fussy eating. It’s funny how quickly things change. We keep our costs as low as possible and as a result shop predominately at Aldi. That said our food costs are more expensive as we have to cater for my husband who is on a Gluten Free and Lactose Free diet. In June we spent $45.50 on my husbands special bread alone, and this is a cost we can’t reduce. We are so thankful for having an Aldi around the corner from us as this amount would be at least 50% more if we were shopping at Coles or Woolworths (no amount of rewards program points could make it financial viable to switch back).

  1. Mortgage = $994.40

Notes: June was a normal month for our mortgage, and this amount was just our regular minimum repayments. We have opted not to pay extra to our mortgage at this stage, and focus on investing and renovations (personal preference). Mortgage is variable, and payments depend on the number of weeks in each month. June had 4 payment weeks in us.

  1. Utilities = $719.54

Notes: We did slightly better with our utilities in June than May thanks to a lower than expected water bill. This category includes our Electricity, Gas, Water, Rates, Internet and Phones. We review these expenses yearly (or more often if we see a better deal). If you want to save money on your electricity feel free to read up on our tips here in our article – 5 simple ways to save money on your electricity bills.

Year to Date Comparison

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

We spent $9,513.94 in June which is an decrease of $2,690.21 on last month. We spent $317.13 per day in June which down from last month’s high of $393 per day, but well above where we would like to be.

Other Expenses (% of total expenses) – June 2021

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

Restaurants, Eating Out and Activities

Eating out accounted for 1.76% of our total expenses in June, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun.

  • Hubby and I had a lunch date at my favourite pub.
  • I enjoyed a fancy lunch for a co-workers birthday at the Art Gallery.
  • Family dinner at Fasta Pasta after the power in the house went out.
  • Treated our kids (and me) to ice cream after school.
  • Purchased coffee for our fantastic tradies when the power was turned off.
  • Multiple networking coffees at work.

The total for the month of June on this category was $167.15 compared with $243.26 in May.

New Expenses (June)

No new expense categories were added.

Changes we’ve made this month (June)

No significant changes to our regular expenses.

Changes to expect next month (July)

Next month we expect the following changes.

  • My wage reconsideration request wasn’t approved in June, however on the 3rd July I’ve heard back from HR who have said it will be paid shortly. It will result in approximately $1000 in back pay (maybe slightly more).
  • With our holiday cancelled we are still planning on taking the time off work, and will have a staycation. We expect the costs of this to be under 1k including hotel costs, and activity costs. Far less than our estimated 5k spend on our now cancelled interstate holiday.

6 Month Expense Overview ($)

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

Total Spend 2021 (To Date) = $48,134 or an average of $8022 a month for 2 Adults and 2 Children (Aged 13 and 10)

Investment Rate 2021 (To Date) = 41%

Our goal investment rate at the start of the year was 60%, however we created this goal before I took a 30k (after tax) pay cut in March. Given the massive pay cut and the renovations we are doing this year I’m happy with where we are at. More importantly we are still tracking to our current goal of hitting financial independence by January 2029.

Notes: I track my Income and Expenses via my tracker available on my Etsy Store Link Here .

Income and Expense Tracker with Automated Dashboard Single | Etsy

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Net Worth Update – June 2021

Happy End of Financial Year (in Australia anyway). I hope the 2020/2021 financial year has been good to you, and if it hasn’t I hope the new year is more kind. I don’t know about you but I love the end of financial year as it’s a bit like another chance to reset my new years resolutions, and get back on track. So this month we will take a look at how we’re going to date this year, and what our prediction is for the end of the year. If you would like to see all net worth posts use this link here.

I might sound like a broken record but ever since we automated our investing I’ve felt like our net worth posts are pretty uneventful. We pay our investments first, and live off the rest (simple right…). I get lots of questions around how we automated our investing and what our actual investment strategy is so feel free to read about it here.

I’ve tracked our net worth for the last 2 years (and counting) and enjoy seeing it grow over time. I strongly believe that tracking can assist you on staying the course, because lets face it this getting wealthy business takes time (and it’s easy to feel like you’re not making progress and lose interest).

Being a bit of a spreadsheet nerd I track our net worth in a custom made spreadsheet which is available here for $5.50.

I also track it on a day to day basis on a free IOS app called ‘My Net Worth’ so I can see how I’m going over the month, and then I enter the details from the app into my spreadsheet.

Net worth June 2021 – $961,727 (up $16,404)

Net Worth Calculator available here
Net Worth Calculator available here

Assets June 2021 – $1,320,382 (up $22,309)

Our asset increase in June was made up from our retirement funds (called superannuation here in Australia), our investments and a small increase in our home value.

So what did we do right?

We consistently invested thanks to Pearler’s auto investment feature and invested $4000 this month. We continue to invest at a rate of $2000 every two weeks so depending on the number of pay periods in the month (and any dividend payments) this amount will fluctuate.

Our retirement funds also continued to grow thanks to our generous employment benefits (My husband receives 17.5% employer superannuation contributions, and I have deferred tax benefits for any super contributions that are made to my account).

So what did we change?

Our crypto portfolio dropped this month, but we aren’t worried and keep our investments in this category very conservative in comparison to our other investments. Please note that crypto makes up less than 0.6% of our net worth.

What assets do we include?

Often I see a lot of chatter around what should be counted towards your net worth. I don’t believe there are any hard or fast rules, and as you know I’m a huge believer in the saying ‘You do you and I will do me – it’s a no judgement zone here‘.

For us we like to keep things simple and don’t count our depreciating assets like cars and the boat (otherwise we’d be constantly changing the prices every month).

I also count our primary place of residence towards our net worth as we intend on selling it as part of our financial independence plan.

Additionally we count our retirement accounts (called superannuation in Australia), taxable share/brokerage accounts, and our crypto (yep I know super controversial to add this one in but what the hell).

Liabilities June 2021 – $358,655 (It went up almost 6k)

As you can see our home loan increased this month after we withdrew money for our Airbnb renovations from our savings. We keep our savings in our redraw account to offset the interest we pay on our mortgage.

We will continue to take out money next month in July to pay our tiler, and may still need to dip into this in August (not sure yet). We are drawing out of our savings, and are in a privileged position to do this. That said we are now at a point that I’m concerned we don’t have enough savings so we will likely need to do some topping up in the second half of the year.

What liabilities do we include?

For liabilities we keep things simple and include anything and anyone we owe money to.

Total Net Worth Increase in 2021 (to date) = $201,507

As you can see from the graph below our assets have grown and our liabilities have grown (not in a good way).

Net Worth Calculator available here

Overall this has meant a net worth increase of just over 200k in 6 months. I’m gobsmacked by this amount, and I’m hopeful that we may reach our 1 million dollar net worth target by the end of 2021.

But who knows…….

How do you calculate net worth?

If you don’t want to download the free IOS app or use a spreadsheet you can calculate this manually.

  1. Writing down all of your assets and liabilities separately.
  2. Then add up all of your assets together to get a figure (write this down).
  3. Then add up all of your liabilities together to get a figure (write this down).
  4. Then take the sum of your assets and deduct the sum of your liabilities.
  5. This is your net worth.

Net Worth = (Sum of your Assets) – (Sum of your Liabilities)

Happy Calculating !!!!! If you don’t want to do the calculations yourself the Net worth Tracker I use is available in my Etsy shop for $5.50 (click on the image below for the link).

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Side Hustle Income – June 2021

Following our side hustle series detailing the side hustles we participate in we have decided to track and detail the income we generate each month. If you want to read all the previous linked posts you can find them all here.

June marks the end of the financial year for us Australians which means its tax time. The end of the financial year for us side hustlers means it’s time for to prep our receipts, invoices and other items for our tax agent.

Being the end of the financial year it’s also time to calculate our 6 month average monthly side hustle income.

Average Monthly Income = $688.95

Year to Date – Month by Month Comparison

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

June 2021 – Side Income Breakdown

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

Total Side Hustle Income – June 2021 = $385.31

Total Side Income 2021 (to date) = $4,133.71

We break our side hustles into categories currently.

Please note that the numbers below and above don’t include tax so these are less spectacular when you take this into consideration (these are pre-tax figures).

Gardening = $323.75

Our gardening income has continued to drop as we prioritised our own renovations on the weekends. Hubby has been lucky to develop good relationships with his customers so they have been really understanding of our need to reduce gardening hours this month. We forecast our gardening income to rise a little in July 2021, however we may not see our previous highs of $600 a month in this category for a while. My husband usually works 4-8 hours per week on his gardening side hustle (less this month). If you want to find out more on doing Gardening as a side hustle I cover it in this blog post here.

Airtasker = $0.00

I didn’t complete any tasks on Airtasker in June. June was a huge month in our home due to the competing demands of renovating a house, working full time, and still trying to be a decent human and mother. I still watch for tasks and hope to be back on it shortly. If you want to find out more on doing Airtasker as a side hustle I cover it in this blog post here.

Etsy = $42.56

A nice little month for us here on Etsy, and I’m always forever grateful for any income here as it’s passive income. I’m also working on an AirBnB host guide at the moment, which I’m hoping to have ready for the store in September 2021 (so stay tuned). If you would like 10% off any of my Etsy items click here to view my store.

Other (including Market Research) = $19.00

This consisted 100% of Market Research and I found a great new app called Field Agent (Australian App, not sure if there is an equivalent for those who are reading from overseas). I’m really loving the app, and I’ve added it to my list of This consisted 100% of Market Research and I found a great new app called Field Agent (Australian App, not sure if there is an equivalent for those who are reading from overseas). I’m really loving the app, and I’ve added it to my list of MNext month our other side income will be $1500 thanks to my talented husband who managed to get some additional income through his work connections custom making game boards. which you can read more about here. In April I applied for lots of market research gigs, however was unlucky and didn’t get picked. I think its important for me to mention that I don’t always get picked, and likely spent an hour in April filling in surveys that didn’t amount to any money. You win some you lose some. You will find links to all of the Market Research companies I’m signed up for here. Next month we forecast our other side income to be over $1500 thanks to my talented husband who managed to get some additional income through his work connections custom making game boards.

Notes: I track my Income and Expenses via my tracker available on my Etsy Store Link Here .

Income and Expense Tracker with Automated Dashboard Single | Etsy

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We are going to Airbnb our house!! (Well part of it any way)

If you’ve been following along either on the blog or on Instagram you’ll know that we are renovating our downstairs, and plan on turning it into an Airbnb. Today I’m posting a little more about it on the blog, and where we are up to in our plans. For all our Airbnb related posts click here.

So why are we going to Airbnb part of our house?

For two reasons.

First reason is we would like to create another stream of income that isn’t our main wages. We would love to use this income to help us cover some of the costs of renovating our home (and once that’s finished maybe even help us pay off our mortgage).

Second reason is until mid last year my mother in law lived with us, and contributed to the household. It was lovely having her with us, but she now has a lovely home of her own. Since then the downstairs has been underutilised and so we thought it was a good opportunity to turn it into a self contained Airbnb.

How are you going to Airbnb your home if you live in it?

Good question. We have a split level home and have access to each level from the ground level (sounds weird but it’s accurate). This means that our family of four can live in the upstairs 3 bedroom house (with bathrooms and kitchen), and downstairs can be it’s own self contained 1 bedroom house (with bathroom and kitchenette).

What renovations are you doing on the Airbnb?

Currently our future downstairs Airbnb isn’t ready for guests. We purchased our home 6 years ago and underestimated how long it would take to complete. We’ve been cash flowing our renovations which is why it’s taking us so long. That said we are dipping into our savings and prioritising the renovations to get downstairs ready for guests so we can boost our cashflow.

What Airbnb related renovations have we finished?

  • Sectioned off the downstairs so that we guests can’t come into our upstairs area and they have their own private space (and vice versa).
  • Pulled up and removed the old flooring that was water damaged.
  • Replaced the flooring with new tiling.
  • Replaced the skirting boards.
  • Furnished 80% of the downstairs.

What Airbnb related renovations are still to be done?

  • Completely demolish the bathroom and toilet.
  • Put in a new bathroom and toilet.
  • Put in a kitchenette ourselves.
  • Put in 6 new doors.
  • Touch up paint the walls.
  • Finish furnishing the rest of the Airbnb.
  • Put in 3 plantation shutters.

What is our budget?

As close to zero as possible, but will likely come in between 15-20k.

If you would like to see how much we have spent each month feel free to review our monthly expenses posts here. We have a category called renovations.

When are we aiming to start listing our Airbnb?

Spring 2021 (so less than 3 months).

What does it look like now?

Here are a few current photos of the space.

When we do get around to listing on Airbnb I’m going to rope in an amazing friend of mine who is a real estate photographer to assist.

We also have a whole heap of financial and taxation considerations to work our way through before we officially start hosting.

Throughout this journey of becoming Airbnb hosts I’ll be sharing via our blog and via Instagram. It would be great if you followed along.

We have so much to learn about being hosts so I would be keen to hear from any Airbnb hosts in the comments. What are your tips for being an awesome hosts?

Alternatively I would also love to hear from those who use Airbnb for accommodation. What makes an Airbnb awesome, and what are some of the unexpected awesome things hosts have done to make your stay special?

If you would like to follow our renovations on Instagram feel free to follow via @TheBoathouseStirling

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Make your own Multi-Purpose Cleaning Spray for under $1

Today I’m sharing my Multi-Purpose Cleaning Spray solution recipe. It’s so easy to make, and I love it because it’s likely you already have these items in your cupboard.

This spray saves us a tonne of money, and I estimate that it costs just cents in the dollar for every 250ml I use. Additional benefits include the fact that it’s low tox, and you can modify the essential oil to match your preferences. I’m a huge fan of using Tea Tree Oil due to its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties (I also quite like the scent).

Multi-Purpose Cleaning Spray Solution

What do you need?

  • 250mls of warm water
  • 1/4 cup of household vinegar
  • 10 drops of your favourite essential oil
  • a clean empty spray bottle
  • Measuring jug

Method

  1. Use a measuring jug and mix the warm water and vinegar together.
  2. Then add your essential oil.
  3. Mix gently.
  4. Then allow to cool down before filling up your spray bottle.
  5. Happy Cleaning.

Notes:

  • Always do a spot test with any new cleaner to ensure it doesn’t damage your surfaces.
  • As this cleaning spray contains vinegar it shouldn’t be used on stone or marble benchtops (as it can eat away at it, and remove the shine off the surface).

If you use this recipe I would love to hear about it so feel free to post and share on Instagram (and tag me @FrankOnFIRE_ and I will reshare the love).

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Expense Review – May 2021

My My how time flies…….. May has been an uneventful month for us. We finally booked the flights for our family holiday this year (fingers crossed the borders stay open). We also plodded along with our renovations, which continue to take a large amount of our money (and our time). To view all previous expense review tagged posts click here.

Top 5 Expenses

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

There have been some changes to the Top 5 Categories from this month to last month.

Our Top 5 Expenses were are no real surprise for us, and are made up of the following items.

  1. Renovations (Increased $2,862.62 from last month) = $4,816.25

Notes: This month we completed our the tiling of our downstairs area, and we think it looks amazing. In addition to the tiling costs, we had to redo all the skirting boards, doors, touch up the paint and refurnish all of the downstairs. We are turning our downstairs into a self contained AirBnB so hopefully we can start recoup some of this back in income (which we will document in our monthly side hustle income posts link here). We are aiming to have the renovations finished by the end of Spring 2021, but we are struggling to find bathroom contractors so this date may change. So unless we manage to lock down a contractor soon I expect June to be a lot cheaper than May.

  1. Holidays (Increased $1,412.34 from last month) = $1987.75

Notes: We finally booked our fully flexible refundable flights to the Gold Coast. It’s funny pre Covid I would never have purchased fully flexible flights due to the cost, but these days its just part of the process. Until we fly in July I’ll be crossing my fingers and toes that we remain Covid-19 free, and the borders remain open. This category should reduce in June and then go up again in July once we have to start paying for accommodation / park tickets / car hire and miscellaneous costs.

  1. Food and Alcohol (Increased by $457.39 this month compared to last month) = $1006.84

Notes: I’ll be honest I was a little surprised by this as I expected this to be a lot less. In May we gave up alcohol for the month, and so I was hoping to see a little bit in the way of savings from this (sadly not). On the plus side our town got a new Aldi which means that we will save about 45 minutes (and petrol) each week as we don’t need to commute to the next town over anymore.

I analysed the increased costs a little on this category and it seems it was the mid week shops for things we forgot that seemed to do most of the damage. To try and get our spending back on track in June we are going to try and better estimate our food needs to avoid those expensive mid week shops.

  1. Mortgage (Decreased $249.00 this month) = $994.40

Notes: May was a normal month for our mortgage, and this amount was just our regular minimum repayments. We have opted not to pay extra to our mortgage at this stage, and focus on investing and renovations (personal preference). Mortgage is variable, and payments depend on the number of weeks in each month. May was a four week payment month for us.

  1. Utilities (Decreased $127.72 this month) = $772.24

Notes: May was a good month for utilities with no real surprises to share. This category includes our Electricity, Gas, Water, Rates, Internet and Phones. We review these expenses yearly (or more often if we see a better deal). If you want to save money on your electricity feel free to read up on our tips here in our article – 5 simple ways to save money on your electricity bills.

Year to Date Comparison

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

With the renovation and holiday expenses our expenses completely blew out in May. We spent $12,204.15 in May which is an increase of $3,698.16 on last month (and about 5k more than our normal expected spend). This month we spent $393.68 per day which is over $100 more per day than April and $200 per day more than March (ouch…..).

Other Expense Commentary

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

Restaurants, Eating Out and Activities

May was a another great month for staying in, and as a result this category was in line with our goal for this category. That said we still enjoyed ourselves:

  • I went out for drinks with co-workers
  • Had dinner and dessert with one of my closest friends
  • We did a Tree Climbing activity as a family (which was the highlight of the month)

The total for the month on this category was $243.26 compared with $193.65 last month.

New Expenses (This Year)

No new expense categories were added this month.

Changes we’ve made this month (May)

Nil significant changes made in May to our spending except for the increases in holiday and renovation expenses that seems a little never ending at the moment.

Changes to expect next month (June)

Next month we expect the following changes.

I’m hopeful my wage reconsideration request will be approved in June, which will result in approximately $1000 in back pay. We also have my youngest son’s birthday in late June so there will be an increase in expenses in the present category. We are not having a party and instead we are doing something small as a family. I’m hoping to keep expenses under $200 (we’ll see).

Notes: I track my Income and Expenses via my tracker available on my Etsy Store Link Here .

Income and Expense Tracker with Automated Dashboard Single | Etsy

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Side Hustle Income – May 2021

Following our side hustle series detailing the side hustles we participate in we have decided to track and detail the income we generate from them each month. This is the second post of many and you can find them all here.

Year to Date – Month by Month Comparison

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

May 2021 – Side Income Breakdown

These charts are from my Income and Expense Tracker click on the image for the link.

Total Side Hustle Income – May 2021 = $574.62

Our side hustles for 2021 are broken down into categories.

Please note that the numbers below and above don’t include tax so these are less spectacular when you take this into consideration (these are pre-tax figures).

Gardening = $504.35

Hubby works between 4-8 hours a week doing gardening. He works full time at the moment so his gardening is completed on a Saturday, which isn’t my favourite as it means less family time. That said I’m thankful for the extra income as it’s helping us reduce how much we dip into our savings for our renovations. Our gardening income was down this month due to one of hubby’s customers going on leave, and another switching from weekly to fortnightly visits. At this stage we are not looking to take on more customers so this amount might be the new norm. If you want to find out more on doing Gardening as a side hustle I cover it in this blog post here.

Airtasker = $0.00

Another month of zero tasks in Airtasker. I did have a good look, and almost put in an offer or two but I’m still struggling with just the day to day full time work week to be honest. It’s really hard to hustle when you’re just exhausted from the daily grind (So don’t give yourself a hard time if this is you as well, and make sure to take time out when you need it). If you want to find out more on doing Airtasker as a side hustle I cover it in this blog post here.

Etsy = $25.27

My goal for May was to create some new products, and I didn’t achieve my goal at all. I’m not going to beat myself up about it, but I will try and set some time for it in June. If you would like 10% off any of my Etsy items click here.

Other (including Market Research) = $45.00

After zero market research in April I managed to pick up one 45 minute task on Askable worth $45 ($1 a minute which isn’t bad). I applied for quite a few so for those who keep getting screened out don’t lose hope (Getting screened out happens to the best of us). You will find links to all of the Market Research companies I’m signed up for here.

Notes: I track my Income and Expenses via my tracker available on my Etsy Store Link Here .

Income and Expense Tracker with Automated Dashboard Single | Etsy

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