Happy End of the Financial Year!. It’s much like the end of a calendar year tho there is much less fanfare, never any fireworks and a lot more paperwork. EOFY is definitely a lot more exciting this year as I have a few plans to put into play but have to wait till the new financial year. Having said that, I thought it’d be interesting (if only for me) to see what has happened in the last financial year 2016 – 2017. A bit of a lookback, if you will.
We got married.
We actually got married in June 2016. I’m still going to add it to this year’s count as many of the financial impact from this supposedly momentous event carried into this year. We clocked our wedding in at over $33,000. A sum I greatly regret as I never really wanted a wedding to start with, but the partner was insistent and I relented. The possibilities of that amount of money in investing!!! Still, I think it’s good that at least we didn’t go into debt for this wedding, having saved every last penny by ourselves.
We got a joint credit card.
Before this, I had a personal credit card. Our joint and personal expenses would be muddled up into a holy mess. I often bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t seem to save anything and since disentangling joint expenses from my own, I soon realised the problem: I had no system and because of that I was actually allowing us to spend my money as joint money. This meant that all my reserves would be wiped up and no savings were made. Lesson learnt here: Always have a system.
**I should point out that we got a credit card because I was trying to take advantage of a sign in bonus as I’m also trying to play the frequent flyer miles game on top of the finance game. This credit card was cut up and cancelled 2 weeks ago, hooray!
We went on our first European holiday.
I’ve always thought that I’d need a lot of savings to be able to afford to go to Europe, but it turns out no, you really don’t! So that was quite an eye-opener. We were extremely lucky as my in-laws paid for our trip as our wedding present. We used $11,000 in total for a 20 days trip but that was with us actually doing some rather luxurious things. So with proper budgeting and not splashing for luxurious accommodation, Europe is looking much more doable again in the near future.
Wanting to travel again made me think about saving…
Really, if it wasn’t for that I don’t think I would ever have started on this personal finance journey. My partner is complacent about money. He doesn’t spend much, and actually saves quite a fair bit. But he doesn’t worry about where it comes from and certainly doesn’t worry about the future because he is not a long term planner. This translates to casual work with very minimal pay and next to no Super. We had no real system to work out joint expenditures and for the longest time, I had allowed that to happen as he had said that he liked what we had working for us and it worked. But the truth is, it didn’t. We had no savings, we were living week to week and if I was being utterly honest, I was bankrolling us way too much. Something had to change – so it did.
In quick succession these things happened:
- Started reading and learning about personal finance.
- Started investing in Acorns and Ratesetter.
- Created a few more fee-free saving accounts to act as ‘saving buckets’
- Worked out a system that would work for us as a couple.
- Tried very hard to get him on board – this is a work in progress!
- Refinanced my mortgage after unsuccessfully trying to persuade ANZ to lower my interest rate.
- Started tracking our expenses.
- Cancelled a credit card, thinking about cancelling the personal card. (However, I do pay the balance back every month and incur no interest so I am on the fence.)
- Actually have savings now!
Which brings us to today.
I cannot wait to see what the next financial year brings! How about you? How have the last 12 months treated you?