Personal Finance Talk with pia

The end of the Financial Year 2016 – 2017

End of Financial Year

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:

  1. Started reading and learning about personal finance.
  2. Started investing in Acorns and Ratesetter.
  3. Created a few more fee-free saving accounts to act as ‘saving buckets’
  4. Worked out a system that would work for us as a couple.
  5. Tried very hard to get him on board – this is a work in progress!
  6. Refinanced my mortgage after unsuccessfully trying to persuade ANZ to lower my interest rate.
  7. Started tracking our expenses.
  8. 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.)
  9. 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?


4 thoughts on “The end of the Financial Year 2016 – 2017”

  1. Great work! I still live in a split finances household because I’m crazy like that 🙂 sharing finances just seems like asking for trouble.

    Congrats on the Europe holiday. I really want to go, but $11k for 20days seems like a lot! My last holiday was more like $2k for the same amount of time.

    1. Ours is mostly split except for joint bills. We both agree that sharing finances completely is just asking for trouble. Our incomes differ a fair bit too (to the tune of 60k or so) so he doesn’t want me to be on the losing end by pooling finances. We got in the habit of using my personal credit card at first because I was chasing points. And that spiralled into a mess within my personal finance! Whoops.

      And I agree. $11k is a huge amount. I think it is definitely doable for much less. The open cheque book helped but we also didn’t went out of our way to take advantage of it. But if we had to do a tighter budget, we definitely could have. Travelling and seeing the world is high on my priority list tho and flying budget long haul is not, so flights themselves took up 3.5-4k of that sum. If only Australia wasn’t so far from everyone else!

  2. I’m curious about split finances (we combined when we got married). What happens if you do want to go to Europe? It sounds like it would be very difficult for your husband to save the required amount after paying his share of the bills. Do you put it off until he has saved enough? Or do you go and leave him at home? Or “bankroll” his holiday?

    1. I might write up a detailed post on how we do our split system sometime but put simply, he doesn’t have the same amount of bills I have. The house and mortgage is mine so I shoulder all bills that involve the house such as council rates and the like. He pays me rent like a tenant and only shares the utility bills much like a rental. He also does not have other insurances like TPD or income protection or even private health because he has no assets nor an income worth protecting. Consequently, the number of bills he has is very low and probably the same percentage of his income as it is for me. It might even be lower because I tend to have more issues saving than He does. He is very low maintenance and saves very well. He is also very big on 50/50.

      We will only take holidays when we both hit saving goals. And if history is anything to go by, he will have no issues hitting his goal. I refuse to bankroll him, he doesn’t want me to anyways. The only reason that has been happening is because I failed at paying attention and that will no longer be happening!

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