What I initially thought was a 20 day lapse in blogging ended up being 30. Life definitely got in the way of staying up to date with my blog. I feel as though we are starting from ground 0 just like we did 5 months ago when we arrived in Australia. I can't believe how many financial changes are going on right now. Should make for an interesting read while I struggle to try to make the best decisions I can financially manage. We have been really busy doing the following:
Transferring Money From Australia - We transferred our remaining balance from your Australian bank account to our Canadian one... well my Canadian one since we don't have a joint account yet (we have unconventional finances compared to other married people). Australian banking is SO simple. We met with the bank manager and he negotiated us a better exchange rate than if we tried to cash an Australian money order in Canada. Within 24hrs the balance was in our account. It was that easy! I wish the balance was bigger but I was impressed with what we were able to save considering our circumstances.
Moved In With My Parents - My parents were kind enough to store all our shit while we were abroad and have also allowed us to stay at their house as long as we need. They have a big house and we are staying in their basement which is the best scenario when it comes to living with the rents. They have been very accommodating; even turned up their temp on their hot water tank to ensure we can all get hot showers in the mornings. Really they have gone over and beyond. We haven't discussed if we will pay rent or anything. I think it will depend on how long we end up staying here. So far we have decided that we are responsible for cooking half the time and I am sure we will split the cost of groceries.
Purchased A Vehicle - My dad stored my SUV... above and beyond the rest of our shit, seriously owe them. My hubby sold his truck before we left so he was left without wheels. It was killing him. He purchased a really nice truck with all the features he was looking for. It has heated seats which is basically all I cared about. I HATE winter and heated seats are one of those amazing inventions. I guess having command start and a block heater are also good to have. He ended up paying $2000 more than he wanted to but, he did his research and looked an numerous private deals. He got the best deal he could find and I trust him. Along with buying a new vehicle also came insurance and registration. The cost of registration is pretty standard but it pays to look around for insurance. There was an alarming $1200/yr difference between two quotes with the same level of coverage. He ended up getting full coverage insurance for just over $1200/yr (yes, the other quote was double). We always pay our vehicle insurance in a lump sum instead of having monthly payments.
Looking For A House - We started looking for a house in Australia via the public library computer. It wasn't a great idea because we found a few we REALLY liked which were no longer on the market when we showed up. I felt we were looking at the riff raff since the new stuff was already sold. All the was left were the undesirable, overpriced, houses. I know I am being dramatic but there were actually only 4 houses to look at in our price range. I will dedicate a post to my thoughts on each house.... buying a house is such a huge purchase, it deserves it's own post.
Met With A Mortgage Broker - This is a touchy subject because we have a very good friend who is also a broker however, she needed a lot of time to get things figured out for us, isn't located in our area, and she has not been in the business very long. We decided to get a second opinion and go with another broker in the city we are planning on buying with. We sat down with him and he was good, very good. Although we haven't discussed specific details about our mortgage he did say we were guaranteed to be approved for the amount we are thinking of spending. He said he would only need a day post offer to get everything in order. He has been in the business forever and he only deals with real banks... no random online 'cloud banks' which is reassuring for me. If I have a problem with my mortgage I don't want to call a 1-800 number.
Confirmed Employment - I signed a job offer a few months ago but received information about my first day (May 1st) and everything seems to be in order. My hubby works in the oilfield and knew he could come back to the company he worked for prior to the move. He talked to his boss and he is also starting on the 1st. The only change is that he will have a work truck this time. He still needs a personal vehicle however, the oilfield won't be taking it's toll on his new/previously owned pickup.
So far this is what we managed to complete in the last 5 days. I am still struggling to sleep at night.... I go to bed late and sleep until 1pm. I need to get that figured out before I start my job.... This is only what we have done; there is certainly a 'to do' list I will post about tomorrow.