Jul 2, 2008

First July entry

Indeed it's July! To me that means 5 months left until Christmas - my favorite holiday - and spending it with family back in my hometown. I'm excited! The baby finally got his passport and I booked us our flights straightaway.

Holiday plans
I'm lucky to know someone who owns a travel agency that allows an upfront deposit ($400) and the rest to be paid in October. That gives us plenty of time to save some more and pay the rest in mostly cash. Of course we'll pay by plastic first just to earn Fly Buy points, but we've been good about paying our purchases so as not to incur more cc debt. We are also doing a 3-day layover in Hong Kong. I'm looking forward to that because, although I went there 11 years ago, things are definitely much more different now.

It has been busy and has just recently started to slow down. Winter does that but I'm eager to take on a new project to practice the knowledge I earned from a training I attended in May. If I can be a subject matter expert of it, that would be great so for now I'm working towards that. My last stressful project got implemented smoothly - unexpectedly - and so everyone's pleased. My manager today told me that I'm getting a treat - movie tickets or dinner. I think I'll choose dinner because J and I have not dined out in so long.

Tax refund
I planned on snow flaking my tax refund towards car loan payments but I changed my mind as soon as I saw it in my account. I don't know why. Now that we have more car loan to pay you'd think the wise thing to do is just carry out the original plan. Yet, I've no plans to. It's in our savings account though. Maybe once we sell our small car I'd do it. 

New old car
We bought an old car on loan. It's a '98 Audi A4 Quattro and today we already paid $500+ to have it serviced. We experienced 3 times of it stalling as we were slowly turning into a curve. The second time the car behind bumped into us. Luckily, the bumper didn't get dented. It's an old car, what can I say. We got it for cheap and we are more comfortable now in a bigger car. After filling the tank to the rim, we have been refilling petrol every week. We found out that it's more economical when the fuel tank is full, or nearly full, to prevent the petrol from evaporating. According to my calculation, this weekly refill practice is cheaper than filling an empty tank.

Electricity bill
Looks like the winter has really kicked in says our power bill. Last year we paid roughly $320/month for 3 or 4 months. I'm hoping that last month's $340 bill includes a big forecast so that this month's will not be as bad. J went back to work so we're not using a lot of power in the day time anymore.

Tomorrow's pay day and it doesn't bring about excitement anymore. It's not because we're living from paycheck to paycheck because we're not. I think because we've settled into a financial lifestyle that's starting to dull me. Our budget spreadsheet is for the entire year and so I already know what's gonna happen with our money until December. I don't expect any surprises next year either as I'll just continue the spreadsheet into another year.

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