Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 year in review

Millionaire on Heels 2013 year in review
Lillie Rubin evening gown from 1957 ... perfect for a New Year's celebration

This is it … the final progress report against the Millionaire by 2020 plan for 2013.  There’s both a qualitative (2013 New Year’s resolutions and financial goals) and quantitative (the Millionaire by 202 chart) aspect to the report card.

2013 New Year’s resolutions and financial goals

Back in January, the MoH set out her six financial resolutions for 2013:
  • Develop my $1 million by 2020 financial plan and successfully achieve the first year milestones
  • Open an online share trading account (at the moment I go through a broker) and execute at least five trades

Friday, 27 December 2013

Renovating: kitchens, part 2

Source: www.homelife.com.au

As I said earlier in the week, I think a kitchen renovation is about the most expensive project you can undertake on your home apart from building an extension – or a knock down and rebuild.

And as with bathrooms, kitchen renovations always seem to end up taking longer and costing more than planned.  While you may have a spare bathroom to cope while another is being renovated, most people do not have a spare kitchen.  And there’s only so much toast and takeaway one can eat – particularly when the washing up has to be done in the laundry!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Happy Christmas!

Source: www.zazzle.co.uk

The MoH is online sending out her Christmas greetings to all and sundry, so I’d thought I’d stop by and say Happy Christmas!

It’s raining here in Sydney for the second year in a row, so an indoor Christmas is definitely in order.  Not even my mum’s gift of a catnip toy has been able to shift the Millionaire Cat from her chair.

I have a few days off over the holiday period, which I’ll be using to catch up on my gardening, launch a couple of new projects, and plan for next year.  I’ll be revisiting my New Year’s resolutions from last year, plotting out a new course for next year, and of course doing the final 2013 tally of my progress on my Millionaire by 2020 plan.  That’s a lot to do in a week!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Renovating: kitchens, part 1

Source: http://www.pimpyourkitchen.com/

As with bathrooms, doing a kitchen renovation is a major project.  I think it’s about the most expensive endeavor you can undertake on your house apart from building an extension.

So if you can make smaller changes and avoid a full renovation, your bank account will be much better off.

Similar to my bathroom renovations part 1 post, I’ve compiled a set of kitchen “decoration” (as opposed to a full reno) ideas below, everything I could think of that doesn’t require a complete overhaul.

To distinguish between them, I’ve grouped the ideas in line with the following guide:
  • $ – hundreds of dollars
  • $$ – thousands of dollars
  • $$$ – tens of thousands of dollars

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Book review: Renovation Inspiration: Ideas to Inspire

Renovation Inspiration by Emma Peacock

Renovation Inspiration: Ideas to Inspire was authored by Emma Peacock, and published in 2012.

The book “features innovative interiors designed by some of Australia’s best architects and designers” and offers advice, tips, and product listings for each room of the house.  It is a colourful tome, produced on quality, glossy paper that highlights all the photos. 

Basically, the book works through each room of the house:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living areas
  • Bedrooms
  • Children’s Rooms
  • Outdoors
  • Other Rooms
  • Staircases
  • Windows

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Renovating: bathrooms, part 2

Source: http://www.theartofbathrooms.com.au

The bathroom is one of the most trying rooms of the home to renovate.  This is particularly so if you only have one and have to make do with temporary facilities.  You should always allow at least twice as long as the tradies say to have the work completed; you have to project manage the workers on a daily basis; and even then, quality is not guaranteed.  I have yet to meet a single person who is 100 percent happy with his or her bathroom renovation!

To minimise your pain and suffering and improve your chances of a quality result, I recommend following a 12-step process:
  1. Envision your desired bathroom
  2. Create a detailed plan

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Your feedback, please

Well, the weekend is nearly over, and the MoH really is planning to finish her planned post for Friday.  Really.

My procrastination hasn’t been entirely fruitless, and I’ve put a lot of effort into launching a new MoH site design.  I wasn’t a big fan of all the purple, and I wanted something a little more modern, yet elegant. I’ve also invested some time in adding images to my posts.  It will take me some time to retrofit them all, but the later posts are looking pretty good, if I say so myself.

But the real question is what do you think?

Any and all feedback is appreciated.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Renovating: bathrooms, part 1

Source: http://superseventies.tumblr.com

Installing a new bathroom or kitchen is a major project.  Trust me.  The MoH did a big reno in her last home, including two bathrooms, the kitchen, and the laundry.  And a various other times, built-in wardrobes, new carpet, and a new paint job.  The bathrooms were by far the most complex, the quality most variable, and the tradespeople the most difficult to communicate with.

I’ll share my experiences in a case study later on.  But in the meantime, my first piece of advice is not to renovate unless you absolutely need to!  You’ll save a lot of potential heartache and a lot of money to boot.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Case study: Christmas preparations … learnings from 2012

Source: http://sabotagetimes.com

The MoH was at her hairdresser on Saturday when the reality of Christmas fast approaching truly sunk in.  The hairdresser casually asked “Are you ready for Christmas?”  And of course the answer was definitely not.  I still had to buy presents for my largish team at work, plus various other friends and acquaintances.  Plus I really wanted to decorate my house a little bit this year, which meant buying decorations.  Oh and at the time, the office was looking a little bare and in need of some festive cheer.

Two hours, a cup of coffee, and a cut and colour later, I had a few potential themes for the office gifts and decorations.  Off to the shopping centre …

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Saving money by purchasing HEALTHY food

Source: http://www.mangoes.net.au
The MoH made a birthday commitment to prioritise her health and wellbeing this year.  Previously I exercised five hours per week like clockwork and ate well.  However, over the past year or two, I’ve adopted some increasingly slack habits, spending far too much time in the office.  The exercise has dropped off, and proper meals have been replaced/supplemented by unhealthy snacks.

So the past week has been about making a new start.  I’ve done my five hours of exercise and loved it.  I’ve completed three out of five days of a veggie/fruit juice cleanse (absolutely yum for a vegan!), with the final two days to go next week.  And I’ve eaten absolutely no junk food. 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Renovating: home office

Source: http://freshome.com

The MoH has a home office set up with the basics for tax purposes.  But it’s not the most inspiring location at the best of times.  I can easily imagine myself counting my millions at my elegantly tooled antique desk.  Or tapping away in bursts of creativity in a fresh white space surrounded by green plants and fresh flowers.  And admittedly, I can spend hours in stationery shops envisioning my perfectly organised life once everything is sorted into (expensive) little containers and drawers.  But the reality is that I’m far more likely to end up working at the dining room table or on the sofa.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Upcoming December posts

Source: http://travel.ninemsn.com.au/

December for me will be about getting back on track with my planned renovations.  There’s still thousands of dollars left in my planned “spending goals” expenditure for the year and only one month to go.

I don’t have to spend the money obviously … and it could definitely pad out my Millionaire by 2020 progress.  But things are starting to get a bit dire, with a few bits and pieces falling off my house during the windy weather a couple of weeks ago.  And while I have the tradies out fixing things, it makes sense to work on the renovations at the same time.