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Coffee Catch Up: September 2018

30 September 2018

castorboard

It’s been a few months since I’ve shared various random thoughts in my head. I managed to sit back this weekend, take stock of things and write up what’s been going on around here.

1) Imma just cruising, thanks!

I wish I could share some HUGE, EXCITING NEWS and be all SUPER INSPIRATIONAL — but I got none of that haha!

Life is simple, life is good, life is just cruising along at a good speed.

With all the crazy shit happening in the world right now, I just want to hug my husband and kids and be grateful for stability, good health and a roof over our heads. Super happy about that.

2) Travel plans

After travelling overseas for 4 weeks, the general consensus of our household: No more overseas holidays! We just want to stay home and get shit done!

Having said that, last weekend we travelled out of town and went camping with friends. We spent another  weekend out of town with friends. My husband went on a “Boy’s Trip”. And we have an interstate trip coming up. We are blessed!

2) I’m learning how to skateboard

Three new families have moved into our street and there’s been an explosion of kids outside our house almost every day. It’s been great. I love the sound of kids NOT on their devices!

(Plus there’s a little girl who changes her outfit 3 times a day?! She’s such a cutie.)

I’m teaching some boys across the street how to ride a castor board (pictured above)… and they are teaching me how to skateboard. It’s super fun. But I’m not very good, because I’m too afraid of falling and breaking my teeth.

Once I’ve mastered basic skateboarding, I’d love to try a longboard… and then eventually try surfing :)

2) My body shape is changing!

While it’s easy to think that this is an age thing, I believe other factors might be at play here.

I’m the same weight as I have been for the last 10 years. I eat well. I exercise well. But I’m just not fitting my clothes the same way. I guess it means that I get to buy new clothes, haha!

But seriously, it’s interesting to see how my exercise routine has changed over the years. I used to do more long distance activities: 4 -5 hours of cycling, or 2-3 hours of running once a week.

Now I do more short, sporadic, high-intensity workouts, mixed up with gentle stretching and yoga, more often.

I’d love to get back into long distance running again.

(And it’s much cheaper than gym classes.)

3) Budgeting household spendings

My husband and I sat down one day, we looked at our last 3 credit card statements and put it all into a spreadsheet. It was really interesting to see the distribution of our combined income.

We spend about $350 per week on groceries and household consumables for a family of 5.

I’ve been trying sooo hard to bring that figure down. I’ve been buying in bulk. Buying on sale. Buying cheaper cuts of meat. Buying less processed foods (our weakness is chicken nuggets and frozen pizzas, they are so convenient to bulk up my teenager’s school lunch boxes. Works out much cheaper than them to buy from the canteen). Buying home-brand items. Buying from cheaper places like markets, independent grocers, in-season produce. I bake a lot of treats and desserts (instead of buying). And we don’t eat out very much.

But despite everything, my weekly bill is always about the same.

Nuts are a killer. Almonds are about $20/kg and peacans are $28/kg.

(Good grief! Just listen to me! First world problems here. Haha sorry! We eat a lot of nuts.)

On the other hand, we still manage to put 10% – 15% into savings each month and it’s very satisfying to see our savings creep up and up.

4) Health Insurance

Our other big + regular spend each month – would you believe it – is health insurance!?

We spend $280 per month on health insurance for a family of five.

I have in the past tried to cut it back (delete things off our plan that we don’t use). But after sitting down to crunch the numbers… it turns out that we actually get back ALL that amount from our kid’s dental bills, orthodontic bills, plus my husband has ongoing check ups with medical specialists and optical work.

Sooo it doesn’t “cost” us anything in the end. And if we have an actual emergency, we’re covered, so it’s all good right? I have no idea.

5) Pointless wasting of money

On the topic of money. My kids have been sooooo careless and infuriating.

We have an outside freezer. I freeze all my bulk-bought meats, bread, berries, frozen foods etc. One evening, my son went outside to grab a smoothie bar and didn’t close the freezer properly… so the next morning my freezer was beeping (too softly!) with its door WIDE OPEN. $300 worth of food was soft and mushy! I was so mad!

It took me a lot of slow breathing (and a bit of shouting) to get over it.

Ugh…. at least I cooked up a whole lot of dinners and gave it to some mum friends.

6) Teenage boys and online shopping

Also on the topic of wasting money… (just joking!)

My two older boys, who are 15 and 13year old, prefer online shopping to actual shopping.

This is amazing, because I don’t have to drag them around the shops for hours. They simply browse and buy their own clothes. To me, this is a godsend.

I always remind them to check things like: Well-known online shop? Ships to Australia? Shipping fee? Refund policy? Shop around? Read reviews. Check sizing. Sign up to newsletters to get sale updates and a discount code!

They like to compile a list, email it to me and I will send back some feedback. I’m pretty brutal though. Such as: Don’t you already have 5 plain black t-shirts?? You’re way too short to wear that style. That’ll look pretty bad in real life.

They make the purchase and they sort out the refund or exchange if it doesn’t fit.

They are excellent and very careful shoppers. Not impulsive at all. I’m very proud haha!

(They like to buy from The Iconic, ASOS, Nike AU and Adidas AU).

7) Teenage boys and saving money

The downside of possibly getting my kids hooked on online shopping (let’s face it, this is ALL my fault) is trying to teach my kids about saving money too.

I made them read “The Barefoot Investor” and they thought it was pretty good.

They’ve set up their multiple bank accounts, they’ve committed to saving over 50% of any money they receive, and they are already planning how to be millionaires. Ah to be young!

Anyway, that’s all from me now.

xxx