May has put new meaning to winter is coming here in NZ. The first few cold nights have started, so it’s dark when you go to work, and dark when you come home. The heater has also made an appearance in my life again. Which is always been a juxtaposition for me between staying warm and saving money.
So what’s been happening in May
We refinanced our mortgage with another bank and saved $5k. Read about that here. The new bank also gave us a cash bonus of $3500, which we quickly put back into our mortgage. So our mortgage payment this month has been bigger than most.
Whilst refinancing our mortgage, we also choose to increase our payment rate. This small increase of $100 per week saves roughly $11,000 in interest over the life of the mortgage, and meant that we will pay the mortgage 1.25 years earlier!
I have kept up with my automatic investing into my InvestNow account. The money is now automatically invested into several index funds, which so far have been performing well. I’m a great believer in paying yourself first. The automatic payment into my investment fund makes it far easier to save than having to do it manually.
Groceries were down on March
Groceries were up to around $600 again this month. I try to be frugal with grocery shopping, but fresh fruit and vegetables always seem to be expensive. I admit we do indulge in some premium products, like expensive cheeses and yoghurt. Although, I made a very cost-effective meal of carrot soup. Carrots were on special at $2 for 2 kgs. You should definitely check out the receipt.
House expenses for this month have gone through the roof. Literally through the roof. We are getting some skylights installed. Our house has raked ceilings, and we don’t get much natural light from outside. This makes the house very dark, and we have the lights on nearly constantly. Although it is quite a large investment, in the long run, the skylights will do wonders. They are also double glazed, which is required by law in NZ these days. We might look into double glazing some of our other windows to try to conserve heat in the winter.
Car expenses are still up! I have decided to try and bike to work more often. A college game me one of his old “heavy” bikes. He seemed to think it was old and heavy, but to me, it is brand new and light. I was so surprised at how light it actually was. I have only made a couple of trips. This weekend I am going to buy some new warning lights for the bike and a helmet. This will hopefully mean I can bike home from work in the dark.
Although, I am still using my luxury sofa car when it is raining. I am not that hardcore….maybe in time.
Goal for 2018
Increase my investments by $12,000
One of my goals for 2018 was to increase my investments by $12,000. This was over and above my investment into my Mortgage. It’s nearly halfway through the year, which is scary in itself, and I have invested a total of $3700. That is only 31% of my goal. So I need to up the investment rate for the month of June. To keep on track I need to invest $1400 per month.
Better start investing!
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