Friday, December 31, 2010
* Find a two hour time each week to have "me time". This could be sitting at a coffeeshop reading, or hiking by myself. I need this time.
* Have a 1 hour a week check-in/organize for the week time. I also really need this time.
* See friends an average of 2 times per week.
* Take my dogs hiking/long neighborhood jogs 1x/week
This is going to be one of my big pushes this year...
* Set a PR in Austin Marathon on 2/20/11
* Run a sub 2:15 half on 4/16/2011
* Set a PR on a half or full marathon after the above
* Run a sub 55 min 10K
* Run 1000 miles (trying again after last year's miserable fail)
* At least one visit to NYC & Baltimore to visit family
*Have intimate time with my guy at least 4 time a week... things get so busy and I need to make sure there is plenty of time for us.
* Read and follow through with a personal development book I have
* This isn't measurable at all, but just be more present in my relationship. I am bad about letting deadlines and other times get in the way.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
So we did. And at the end of it, Ms. T had signed up for 9 personal training sessions with me as her sidekick! Ms. T has always struggled to get in shape (at least in the 5 years I've known her) and felt like this was the only way to ensure success. We had had success one other time when we did a boot camp together. At this gym, it doesn't cost any extra for me to tag along, so when I can, I will and just give her money towards the cost of that session.
We had our first session last night. Oh my gosh, I've lost a lot of strength. This will be good for me too! I love the idea of personal training and think I would really benefit from it... just not as much of a fan of the cost! It's fun doing with a friend as well. So this should help, since he is also going to function as an accountability buddy! We even have to do a food diary. Ms. T is doing the next two on her own while I'm out of town, and then I'll join up again.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Oh boy, I kind of set myself up to fail on these two. They are way to big, and I struggled making the monthly goals. I feel like I made small progress on these, but it is very much two steps forward one step back.
I still work after 7:30pm (or just get up at 5am!), but I consciously try to have some nights when I don't do any work at home. I still need a better system, and I am trying to stay on top of things better. The big things I need to stop doing are procrastinating and being late!!! I am a chronic over scheduler, and I know this!
I am trying to place the right scaffolding around me to help me relax while still being productive.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Goal #1: Spend More Time with Dogs
FAIL - I did not do so well on this one. I really need to work on this. I think it's more a time management issue then an issue with the dogs personally. (When I do take time with them, they are so much fun!)
* Note, I also said I was going to post weekly progress... oops. :-(
Goal #2: Finish Paying Debt to Mom
SUCCESS - I did great on this! I paid that debt off easily, and I am making even bigger payments to the other loan from her. (She helped pay off my student loans when I bought my house, and I pay her back each month, even though she tells me to stop.)
Goals #3: Get In Better Shape
MINIMAL SUCCESS - While I ran two marathons, I did not really train for either. Let's investigate the mini goals further
a) Go to the gym and do some basic weight training at least 3 days a week
FAIL: I really need to add weight/strength training back in
b) Run at least 4 days a week
FAIL: Darn it... must do, must do, must do.... even if they aren't "good" runs, just get out there!
c) Try the Gluten free diet and see if that helps
SUCCESS: I went GF from Jan-Oct and enjoyed it. I am back on some gluten for November and December to see how my body reacts. I think I am going to just keep the gluten to a minimum but not totally eliminate unless I start having tummy problems again.
d) Sign up and complete another marathon at a fast time
SUCCESS & FAIL: I ran one half and two full marathons, but failed at the fast time part. Oddly, due to not running fast, I have guaranteed entry into next year's Nike Women's Marathon!
e) Run more than 1000 miles this year.
FAIL: Not even sure I made it to 500....
Goal #4: Explore More Foods
MINIMAL SUCCESS: While going gluten free did force me to explore more foods, and this fall I started cooking more, and we went to a few new restaurants, I would love to start cooking more. Going to Thailand also helped expand my food experiences. We even did a cooking class!
Goals #5: Wear More Jewelry
SUCCESS: Yay! I did well on this one. I am much more conscious about wearing my beautiful jewelry, and I really enjoyed this goal.
Goal #6: Increase Engagement with T
MINIMAL SUCCESS: This went up and down... I had a tough 6 months or so where I just didn't feel like myself. I feel like this is something that is important to ALWAYS be working on. We did do well about date nights. :-)
Goal #7: Be More Social
MINIMAL SUCCESS: This went up and down as well with my mood, which was frustrating. It's something I have to be aware of... otherwise I use any free time I have to power through the to-do list. This is slowly getting better though, and I expect it to keep increasing!
Goal #8: Save Money
SUCCESS: This was probably my biggest success. Check out the mini goals!
1) Save $2500 towards a Thailand trip (my best friend will be in China this summer)
SUCCESS: It ended up being a little more per person, but well worth it. And I paid for it all easily!
2) Increasing emergency fund savings to $5000
SUCCESS: I have $10,000 in savings! Woohoo...and just opened an investment account. (I feel so grown up!) I also maxed out my Roth and put a little into my SEP.
3) Have 6 months where my credit card statement is under $1000 (I put EVERYTHING on my credit card, phone bills, gas, etc. since I get cash back rewards.)
ALMOST: I think I had 5 months, but I'm all good with that!
4) Pay off my small mortgage
SUCCESS: Paid it off right after we got back from Thailand!
I am going to go over the last two goals later today, since I am actually working on them today!
What is exciting is some of the things that I had as goals last year, are basically automatic now. Mainly financial things, but hey, one piece at a time.
So how do you decide to do your goals?
I feel like the first step is to figure out my priorities...
My relationship with T & my family
Feeling more on top of things, calmer
Reconnecting with friends
Improving myself professionally
That feels like I've covered everything however! arg...
Saturday, December 4, 2010
1) Put $1000 into my SEP - DONE!
2) Get windows ordered for house - all picked out, the bf is putting in the order today or tomorrow
3) Get majority of Christmas shopping done - I'm about halfway there...
4) Create and start running plan - must do today...
5) Begin making spare bedroom into my private business supply room! - got a great start going, more this weekend
6) Get pictures up in bedroom - halfway... got current pictures up, still need to do new pictures
I'm going to leave out the obvious things like finish Christmas shopping and travel plans...
1) Read 4 books at least! My reading has slacked a little in the past few months, and I really miss it. I picked up a new book at work (book exchange) and I'm excited to read it. It's the Boy in the Striped Pajamas. Has anyone read it?
2) Run 100 miles: I finally started going back to the gym yesterday. I went twice... at 5am and around 5pm. I just did a mile plus elliptical in the morning, and in the afternoon I just did the elliptical plus the bike. Hopefully, with a little more free time, I can make this goal!
3) Go hiking with the dogs 6x. We used to be really good about this, but not lately. It's much cooler out, and the dogs love it. We have so many great hiking places here too.
4) Get my January calendar done. Scheduling is going to be a bit more tricky this spring with my small business.
5) Finish organizing stuff for my small business, so I can start 2011 off right! I have a good start going, now I just need to finish!
6) Relax for the holidays! (Easier said than done for me!)
Monday, November 22, 2010
* Have a weekly time set up just for me to go to a coffeeshop or bookstore or something where I can review where I am, what I need to do, and a little me time.
* Set up some type of schedule for housework to get done
* Make a concerted effort to pick up things as they are dropped!
* Build in fitness and healthy eating more
I'll keep updated on my progress. :-)
Please let me know ANY ideas you have!!!
1) Put $1000 into my SEP
2) Get windows ordered for house
3) Get majority of Christmas shopping done
4) Create and start running plan
5) Begin making spare bedroom into my private business supply room!
6) Get pictures up in bedroom (from August!!!)
I have a bunch of half written articles that require me to look in depth as various aspects of my life. I hope to get to these this week.
Also, Trent at the Simple Dollar had a nice article about taking the time to make sure his life was aligning with his future goals.
It is quite timely that I feel better with it being Thanksgiving week. I need to take the time to acknowledge those who make a difference in my life.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
The happiness thing happened a little...but fell apart as soon as I got a whiff of November. Sad, isn't it? (Literally...) This is something I really need to focus on more; I just need to find the energy. (Crazy cycle isn't it?
Money-wise I'm very happy! The credit card total was $1036. Although it is just over $1000, I'm still considering it a success. At the Marine Corp Marathon, I splurge on two winter dresses and a desperately needed belt from my favorite store H&M (which I don't have at home) and two MCM Christmas Ornaments. One was for T and I, and one for my grandfather who was a Marine.
I'm debating whether to set goals for November at all... or to just try to live the month with a smile. Ideas?
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
The only thing I didn't really accomplish was much physical activity. No running or gym. That will be my focus come November.
So here is to this week being a good one!!! Just M-F and then we are off to Cali for my marathon!
Today's Happy Task: Easy jog on one of my favorite trails that just reopened & curling on the couch with T to watch a monday night show!
Saturday, October 9, 2010
It looks like the money challenge will go well this month. So far I'm only at about $260 on the credit card. We are heading out of town next weekend, but will barely have to pay for anything between Saturday and Tuesday, so that's helpful. (Thanks family! I love you!)
I'm not at all ready for the marathons, but there isn't much I can do about it now. I am going to just try to enjoy them for the gorgeous scenery and not worry about times. I have signed up for one in February, so that will be my new focus.
Today's Happy Task is date night!
Friday, October 8, 2010
Tonight we are probably going to high school football game which is always fun!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
This being happy thing is hard sometimes...
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
My happy tasks today is to have a cup of tea this morning and flip through the latest Real Simple magazine I have. :-) That and try to feel better!!!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Without further ado, today's happy task is:
Read the new book from book club for at least 30 minutes. The book is Eat, Pray, Love :-)
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
This month flew by; things were way busier than I originally planned. I took over running Special Olympics where I work and that took up a lot of time to figure it out.
Running: I did not run 100 miles, but I did do a little better here and there. I ran close to 30 I think.
Money: As noted in last post I didn't make the <$1000 challenge, but I'm okay with that. I'm going to attempt it again
Business: I have been working on it, more in the first half of the month, but I am making strides. My 1 year plan isn't quite as concrete as I would like, but I have some time to work on it again today.
Home: This is going slow!!! All the weekends away and working. We have things in place and organized. We just need wall decorations.
Social: I did fairly well on this goal! Book club is this Friday (my friend I run it with had to postpone) and I went scrapbooking with a friend. I also went to lunch a little and saw some old friends. I have a couple of friends I need to see that I miss, but they are on the October list!
Cooking: I made a new dish two nights ago! And I found some cooking shows and a cookbook I really like. I did a good amount of cooking, but I need to start using recipes!
So I didn't make my <$1000 on the credit card goal. Not even close actually! I spent a little over $2000. Some of this is to do having unexpected car repairs (including a spare): $300
We had to book hotels and flights for our DC marathon; we opted to stay with family for SF: $600 (just for hotel! We wanted it to be close, and have decide we are financially secure enough to stay at a nicer place)
I decided to sign up for another marathon: $110
All in all I am okay with it. I did almost all the grocery shopping this week and went to lunch a few times at work.
I think I'll go for the <$1000 challenge again next month. We are traveling for two weekends, but will have family around which always helps. :-)
Goal review and October Goals coming up!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Otherwise, money is good! I just got a new client, so that is good. I think I will be able to hit my new savings goal without any problem.
The main difficulty I am having is running. I had a super busy weekend and allergies were beating me down, so T and I went for about a 2 mile walk last night, but that was it. Therefore, the alarm went off at 5:45, and I'm finishing my tea about to head out the door for a run!
Happy Monday everyone!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
No splurges this month!!!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
The last week was super busy at work. We had a coworker whose job overlaps with mine leave. She left some big programs unfilled, and I was asked to step in and take over one of them for an extra half days worth of pay for the year. I'm excited about the opportunity (and the pay raise!) T and I have also been talking about how to expand my business more. Life feels like it's picking up and yet I have more social time than usual! It's nice for the most part... but I do need to keep hyper organized, and remember to keep running!
Being in California, where I grew up and love, always makes me think of goals. I would love to be able to live here again or at least visit more often. (I did have an opportunity to move here this summer, a good offer, but we decided against it.)
Things are really good in the money realm. I have paid off my mom, paid off my small mortgage, paid for the trip (which we went over budget for), paid for a new garage door, paying for a new bedroom set, and already have $6000 in my emergency fund. Despite the traveling we have coming up, I still think I can be ambitious and up my e-fund savings goal to $10,000. This gives me more than 3 months living expenses (and many more if T is splitting the mortgage.)
Now, to figure out how to get the rest of life to go that well! I'll brainstorm some ideas while I'm California dreamin'!
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
1) Running: One of the marathons is only a month and a half away so this month has got to be good. I want to follow the plan and run at least 100 miles.
2) Money: Keep credit card <$1000: This is going to be difficult, but I really want to try. We are going to a wedding this weekend which will mean paying for some food and drink, gas, and a gift. However, I am going see some old high school friends and I'm super excited!!!
3) Business: I want to have a more concrete 1 yr plan, and get started on a vague plan for years 2-5 as well.
4) Home: We still need to do more decorating in the master and guest bedrooms. We have pictures to put up and just general organizing to do. That is this month's focus.
5) Cooking: I want to cook three new recipes this month!
6) Social: I have been working so hard to not have to work so much! I want to be social again... I have already signed up to scrapbook with a friend. I want to start up my book exchange club again. I want to have people over for BBQ or dinner at least 2 times. I joined a soccer league as well, so that should be fun!
1) Credit Card <$1000 : Success!!! I'm only about $25 under but it's under!
2) Running: Fail. Big time... I ran a total of 22 miles in the last two weeks. As usual, I need to step it up!!
3) Finish September Calendar: done... although it is always changing.
4) Business: I did make a list of some loose ends, and I make some good progress on them. I am working on increasing the business, and I feel good about what I did. :-)
5) Cooking: Well, it depends on how you define cook! I did cook a couple nights, and so did T. However, there were a couple nights, like last night, where we were tired and not very hungry and just had some chips, or a simple quesadilla. Overall, we didn't eat out much which was part of the goal!
6) September Goals: I have them on paper... I just need to type them up!
I feel good about everything in August except the running.
We got a new bedroom set so we've been having fun setting up the room and figuring out what to do with the two other rooms now! We are working on a hodge-podge guest room and it's starting to come together.
Look for September goals shortly!
Monday, August 16, 2010
1) Keep Credit Card under $1000: I have about $400 left for the month, and I'll need to get gas a few times and have the pest guy charge of about $150. We just stocked up on groceries so we shouldn't need much more than a quick milk run.
2) Marathon Training: We were very active on the trip, but I didn't actually go for a run ever. (Except through an airport...) I did a little bit at the gym yesterday and need to get back into it. I need to do at least 50 miles in these next two+ weeks.
3) Finish September Calendar for Work: easy enough... I'm through about the 18th.
4) Make a List of Loose Ends for my Business: T and I were talking about how I want to grow my business over the next few years. I'm scared to even think about it because I have so many things I want to improve on first at this level before I move ahead. I need to get those things written down.
5) Cook at least 8 nights: I cooked last night so that's 1. That is me cooking at least half of the remaining nights. T should pick up another few of those, and we sometimes splurge after yoga for Chipotle. I'm also supposed to meet a friend from high school who just moved here for dinner as well.
6) Make September Goals before September Starts!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
1) August Calendar: DONE! And the first bit of September is completed as well! Gold Star for me!
2) Get rid of caseless CDs!: I kept the ones I wanted and the rest went to Goodwill!
3) Put pictures up in bedroom: We decided to wait until we got back from Thailand so we can include a picture from there, so fail on this one.
4) Get Thailand itinerary worked out: Funny-not-so-funny story, things changed, but we have 3 nights hotels booked, and we might just backpack and wing it! So semi done?
5) Fill out health care applications (for business): Negative...
6) Work on my field related blog: Not yet...
7) RUN MY TAIL OFF!!!: Darn, a little, not really
8) Organize my iTunes and get more good running songs: Got some songs, made a running playlist. That's as far as I got.
9) Organize the office: DONE! And it is AWESOME :-) We have some little things to put on the walls, but the organization part is so much better. We rearranged which helped a lot
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Overall, I'm still keeping it down, just now below $750!
I'll shoot for August then!
Monday, July 5, 2010
Here's to Monday everyone! We ended our 4th with one dog on the porch and the other missing all night. A neighbor found him this morning. I must get a run in today and we have poker night at a friends later. I have a feeling this is going to be one of those really long, but really fast weeks!
Friday, July 2, 2010
The "theme" this month is tying up loose ends! So without further ado here are some of the loose ends I need to tie up!
1) August Calendar: We get back the 12th, but I still need to get the whole months schedule for my business (and contractors worked out) It's also transition back into the office job time.
2) Get rid of caseless CDs!
3) Put pictures up in bedroom
4) Get Thailand itinerary worked out
5) Fill out health care applications (for business)
6) Work on my field related blog
7) RUN MY TAIL OFF!!!
8) Organize my iTunes and get more good running songs
9) Organize the office
10) PLAY! :-D
1) Birthdays: Pass with honors! I rocked this one... this included hiding a giant grill in one of the bedroom closets! My credit card definitely has some side effects though...
2) Following running training plan 25 of 30 days: Fail! Oops... started out pretty good, kept it up in California, then it just fell away. Getting back on that horse for July.
3) Pay $1500 to small mortgage: PASS Still waiting for some work checks, but already put $500. I should be able to accomplish this without any problems
4) $2000 to savings: PASS This will be close... due to all the birthdays. Again, I'm still waiting for some work checks to come in. I will definitely put a $1000 into savings and hopefully the full $2000.
5) Get at least halfway through my online literature class FAIL I did nothing. Doh
1) Read 4 books PASS I think I read at least 6 books! 3 Jodi Picoults, one field related book, The Happiness Project, and I think there was one more somewhere!
2) Go tubing at least once. FAIL but not our fault, for most of the month tubing was closed due to flooding.
3) Go hiking 10 times SEMI PASS We didn't make it 10 times, but I did do 3 great walks with my mom and at least 5 hikes with with bf and dogs.
4) Cook 3 new recipes SEMI PASS I did 2!
5) Play with dogs (walk, fetch out back, etc.) 20 of 25 days: FAIL I probably did closer to half of the days... which is an improvement but still not where I want to be!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Goal #9: Streamline My Work : B
Personal business, I am getting better as staying on top of things. I have a plan to have one of my contractors take on a bigger role, and T set me up with a billing software. I have semi organized paperwork, but I still need to work on that. I have a good idea of where I want my business to go, but I need to hammer out a more detailed plan.
Office work is chaos but not too bad. I organized a bunch of files, and I feel pretty good about things for next year. I need to get in there a little before school just so I feel ahead of things. I have a list of things to get running on as soon as the year starts again.
However, I still have a long way to go before I feel like either is a well-oiled machine!
Goal #10: Organize My Life : C+
Two steps forward, one step back, fall asleep and forget to move at all. I think that adequately describes how I feel about this goal.
The sub-goal to not work past 7:30pm comes and goes. Overall, I have been doing better, but then I'll get super overwhelmed and be up half the night.
Being early. Gosh I want to accomplish this one, but I'm so bad about it. I think I need to just keep a book with me at all times, and take those few minutes as personal time. I'm looking into getting a Kindle... so that would help!
Gathering Goodwill and trash... I think I did the best on this one! I almost constantly have a Goodwill pile going, and I'm on a missing to clean out. I scanned a ton of articles from graduate school, so I don't have to keep the paper versions anymore. I'm on a minimizing kick! T is also starting to join the bandwagon.
Processing incoming papers. I am getting better at this. I try to sort my inbox about once a month now, but I still need to figure out a more permanent solution.
So there are all my goals so far. Wish me luck!!!
Goal #5: Wear More Jewelry : B+
I have really made a conscious effort on this one! I am trying to find fun jewelry that goes along with what I am wearing. I also organized my jewelry which makes this much easier. I do default to my favorite when life gets busy, but I think that's reasonable.
Goal #6: Increase Engagement with T : C+
::Sigh:: This should be my main priority, but life just seems to get in the way. I am trying, I'm just not very successful yet. :-( However, I am constantly thinking about this and with the roomies gone, we have much more time to ourselves which helps.
Goal #7: Be More Social : B-
We started up our Sunday BBQ's again. I finally made it scrapbooking again with girlfriends. Happy hours are harder, but when I have a cancellation, I've tried to sneak in meeting a friend for coffee or something similar. I need to make a list of those I must get together with so I don't like time take over!
Goal #8: Save Money : B+
So far I have already paid for my flight and T's, so that should be only ~$500-1000 max more for me for our big trip this summer.
Even assuming $1000, that still leave me with $2000 in savings. Not quite 3 months income, but it will get there.
I have had 3 months so far keeping expenditures under $1000: February, March, and May. Right on track!
My small mortgage is down to $2500. That will be paid off this summer!
Goal #1: Spend More Time With Dogs : D+
Overall, I failed at this one. Since the roomies moved out I have made much more of a conscious effort to spend some time with them each day. Usually we go outside and play quasi-fetch! Hopefully, we'll start getting more walks in too. In May I took them on a few runs with me as well.
Goal #2: Pay off House Debt to Mom (by April) : A!
I paid this debt off in March! I am continuing to make monthly payments for student loans as well. Hopefully I will up those in the fall.
Goal #3: Get in Better Shape : C+
While I did try to run more, it was sporadic at best. Going gluten-free did help, but that wasn't enough. T and I made a habit of going to yoga once a week at the gym (a strength training based yoga). Overall, I need to establish a more consistent routine for getting in shape.
Goal #4: Explore More Foods : C
We have been cooking more variety of foods, but do fall back on the old standards. Going gluten free has increased my food variety and exploration some! I am trying to focus on this one more this summer, since we finally have the house to ourselves. Going out to eat we didn't do well... we need to find new restaurants!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
1) Birthday: brother, mom, and T's. His is the big one for I need to figure out my plan of attack and execute. Luckily, I have until the end of the month!
2) Following running training plan 25 of 30 days
3) Pay $1500 to small mortgage
4) $2000 to savings
5) Get at least halfway through my online literature class
1) Read 4 books (I started one last night, but that counts in June! I only read a chapter!)
2) Go tubing at least once. Yay summer!
3) Go hiking 10 times
4) Cook 3 new recipes
5) Play with dogs (walk, fetch out back, etc.) 20 of 25 days
Look for a update on my year long goals as well as information on some big changes at my house happening today in fact!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
A lot of the money this month has been spent on treating friends out, the bf's brother, a movie. Nothing too extraneous, just more eating out than necessary.
In other news, our roommates are moving out this month. This will increase our monthly expenses for the mortgage and bills, not quite doubling it. But the amount of sanity and serenity it will bring to my life is well worth it. My job is good; my business is going well. I will be more productive with room in the house... it's time. :-)
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
So I'm going to adopt this one happy thing a day mantra of sorts...
Today's: Going to read for a good 15 minutes in my current book.
Yesterday was my birthday... I turned a grand 27! I'll be posting more about that later!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Money is doing well... now I am working on how to best allocate it. I won't be under $1000 this month. There is already a good $200-$250 that is donations/charity race sign ups. And the last three nights we went out to dinner. (Need to slow that down!)
My credit card goal this month is going to be to keep it under the old mortgage payment amount, since I won't have a mortgage payment due in May. I think I can manage that!
I am working on relaxing a little more. I'm still not great at it. On foot doctor's orders, I have started some yoga to work on stretching my legs out, and it's not as bad as I thought.
The Project M-31: Simplify Your Life in 30 Days at The Minimalist Path is going slowly!
I have done a couple of the days, but we haven't done them all yet! I will give an update on that soon as well!
Happy Sunday everyone!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Last Tuesday, I was supposed to attack my car! Now I need to explain something. With my office job I am still traveling between about 6 different sites. With my business I travel even further between more sites. Given the population I work with I need certain materials in my car. So the complete minimalists in the car concept just doesn't work for my career. That aside, I spent a day last week on Saturday when I cleaned out my car. I went through the glove compartment. I cleaned out under the seats, in pockets, etc. It was fantastic!!! I did everything but only put in the minimalist items.
Then yesterday, I got my oil changed and they vacuumed the car. I feel much more calm in my car so I'll count that as a success!
So I have completed Day 2 and Day 3 so far! Look for more posts soon!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
So far I have already completed the following:
* Make a dentist appointment for me (I've told T, but he's technically on his own. I did buy us new toothbrushes and flossers though!)
* Scheduled my annual doctor's with a doc who can give referrals for all things (including gastro)
* Scheduled an appointment with a foot specialist
* Got my oil changed this morning!
* Set up my online account to pay the government electronically (so part way on that one)
Monday, April 5, 2010
And I realized...
That wasn't very hard!
I bought groceries, lots of gas, two gifts, two cheap bracelets for myself, AND even spent over $200 on clothes.
And I still made it!
Now this month we should be buying our tickets for Thailand, which will be around $1000 alone. But perhaps taking out plane tickets I can still say under $1000.
Perhaps instead of it being a challenge, it should be the norm.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Even with spending a little over $200 on clothes (Friends & Family time at Gap, Inc.!) and buying one of my friends an early graduation gift, I still came in under $1000.
I am set to refinance next week as well, and apparently I'm unique in that I want to bring extra money to closing to pay down the loan amount.
Things are good in that department!
April Goals Coming Soon
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
So when the first task was to clean the junk drawer, I was a little excited. This is a task I've been meaning to do! Our junk drawer is a small drawer in the kitchen. It's full of JB Weld, dog flea and heartworm stuff, pens, pencil, notepads, recipe calendar pages, and more.
I spent about 10 minutes cleaning it. While I definitely didn't eliminate <10% of the stuff as instructed, I did get rid of at least half of it. Part of it isn't mine, so I feel bad just throwing it out. Also, all the pens worked and notepads are always being used in the house.
Am I justifying? Perhaps, but I still feel better having cleaned the drawer!
* Dentist for T and I
* Annual check up for me (and get gastro referral)
* Oil change
* 60K mile check up
* Back to the gym!
* get foot checked out
* Figure out and pay quarterly taxes
I'll go through my March Goals later and a year long goal update too!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Monday: Day 2 - Junk Drawer
Tuesday: Day 3 - Vehicle
Wednesday: Day 4 - Night Stands and End Tables (This for me will be dresser and two entrance tables)
Thursday: Day 5 - Start Thinking Differently
Friday: Day 8 - Collections
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Basically, this is a 31 Day Guide on how to simplify your life simply! Perfect... since I love the idea of getting my life in order, and one of my New Year Resolutions was to Organize My Life more... this was the ideal prize for me.
So I started to go through it... and was excited to find that some things I have already simplified or just don't need to. These lucky six are:
Day 6: Travel Packing - I am known for my ability to travel light. I have even taught one of my roommates how to do so. I spent 80 days backpacking Europe with 40 pounds on my back, and got rid of extra stuff as I went. I even have a box in the closet of travel things. So I am good on that one!
Day 7: Bathroom Drawers - Completely randomly, two weekends ago, I decided to clean out the whole vanity. T had already redone the medicine cabinets and one other drawer so I attacked the rest (and some of my closet). Those are all nice and organized now. I still could do my jewelry, but that's a different story, for a different day...
Day 13: Storage Unit - Don't have one! Go me! We barely have anything in the attic either! (and remember, the garage wholes the stuff of 4 adults and still fits my car.)
Day 14: Finances - We just switched my Roth and SEP to a new company, all my other accounts are organized. I'm in the process of refinancing. I have minimal credit cards... I'm good!
Day 21: Paper & Plastic - This one is about cleaning out plastic bags and using the reusable bags. I have a couple of the reusable ones, and I keep some in my car! So check on that one! I do need to go recycle some of our plastic bags at the house, but we do try to use them around the house.
Day 27: Latte - I only let myself go get one if I have a gift card (that I got as a gift) to spend. So I'm good on that one! I used to only let myself if I was going to sit there and work for at least an hour. (I'm more productive there compared to at home.)
I also had to do a little rearranging for some things (like cleaning my desk/office area) that I know I'll need more than just an evening for. In the next post, I'll put up the first five tasks I'm working on!
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Some quick money updates:
- The <$1000 money budget is going well... I have just over $100 left for the month. I know I'll need to get gas at least once. This included a HUGE grocery shopping trip.
- I am refinancing my house!!! Yay! I qualify for the HARP program so it is nice and easy. T's and my goal is to put some extra towards the principal so I can refinance for the smallest amount possible... thus making our monthly payment as small as possible. (And for anyone who is wondering, the mortgage is still entirely just in my name.)
- I am sending the last of the small amount I owe my mom today! That's an extra $200/mo I will have. (Although I have sent $3600 this year to her!)
- We moved my IRA and are in the process of moving my SEP. T is teaching me about investing more.
Also, I won a contest recently for a cool simplify your life book... I will start that probably this weekend, and I am going to chronicle my progress here!
Make it a great day! (yes, this is from the person who got up at 3:30am)
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I'm a morning productive person; I ignored it for years, but slowly, during college, learned to accept it. Once the sun goes down, I'm pretty much useless. Perhaps this light later thing will help; I can still be productive in the morning when it's dark...
Perhaps I just need to work less ;-)
Monday, March 15, 2010
I also have spent $20 on dinner out with my old roomie who was in town for a week. We had a blast just running, playing dominoes with our elderly neighbors and relaxing when possible.
My credit card shows $270 right now, and I have spent that $40 in cash as well. My phone bill bounced on autopay so as soon as I get a new card that will be another ~$85.
I'm still just under $400 which is exciting given the month is half over!
This whole no credit card things has really kept my spending to a minimum, since I hate spending cash! Luckily, T was nice enough to pay me part of his rent in cash, so I could have some as needed.
The spending challenging is going well, now if I could just control the to do list!!!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
We had to talk about how our partner and I feel about money and accountibility to each other. Here was my answer:
We have lots of discussions of money; he is more of a spender because he works hard and wants a higher level of life. He is more of a risk taker and investor of sorts, whereas I am more of a frugalist and saver. (However, I am the one with the house!)
What He Wants: He wants to be able to travel, have a nice house, be able to buy me things because he sees them and thinks I would like them. Luckily, my tastes are not very high end (i.e. Target having a budget category). He wants to not have to worry about if he has enough money to go out to dinner, or catch a movie one night. He wants to work because he gets something out of it and not just money. He wants to be able to give his children what he had and better (without spoiling!)
What I Want: I hate debt of all kind and I love my job in education, so I work more on the saving end. Like him, I am big on traveling and am willing to scrimp in other areas in order to do so. I want to be able to provide my children with all necessities and give them experiences and opportunities in life. I want to have enough money that I would feel secure to work less when I have children.
To Sum It Up: I’m a spend less, he’s a make more! Together we can be quite a powerful force!
As far as accountability, we are both responsible, paying off balances in full each month. If I need to borrow money or vice versa it’s never an issue. Things are split pretty fairly. I tell him when I am trying to keep my budget at a certain point, and he will tell me how much we need to save for upcoming travel. He is teaching me how to invest my money. We balance well.
For example, after the gym last night, I had planned on cooking dinner. He wanted to stop at Chipotle, so he paid.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Here are last month's numbers:
Gas: $126 - this will be higher in march due to work ($200)
Dining Out: $151 - This will probably be the same ($150)
Groceries: $92 - this will likely go up with more days and our stock running low ($150)
Gifts: $214 - this should go way down ($50)
Target: $90 - this should also go down, all I kinda want is rain boots (into Misc for
Misc: $92 - this should go down since I got the purse I needed, for march I'll have $190 not assigned
Phone: $80 - this stays the same ($80)
Gym: $75 - stays the same need to go more! ($75)
Taxes: $81 - no more!
So let's keep it under $1000!
So far I have spent $85 on a gift and some necessary home stuff
1) Credit Card <$1000: This one is super close... I went about $20 over, but I bought my roomie's bday present for April (~$45) and had one meal that someone gave me cash for their portion. I am going to count that as a SUCCESS!
2) Running Plan: FAIL...big time. I did well the first two weeks, then it all went downhill from there. I am working 8am-11pm today, so running will not happen. Starting tomorrow however, I will get moving again.
3) Taxes: DONE! and refund received!
4) Organize Office: We made a TON of progress on this. While it's not perfect, we cleaned through a lot, and got rid of things, and found places for others. While I didn't completely success, I made a lot of progress.
5) March Calendar: It's done!
Monday, February 22, 2010
There was a contest from Krystal at Give Me Back My Five Bucks, but it seems to have disappeared...check later I guess!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
I feel like I'm always busy... I try to plan in break time and then something comes up and there goes relaxation time!
I know its hard on T, but he is being so supportive; I really appreciate it. Now to just find the time to let him know how much I appreciate it!
I need to keep working on streamlining my work... it's getting better but it's not quite there yet. And I don't think I ever posted my #10 resolution: Organize my life!
On a happy note, in preparation for our visitors, we SUPER cleaned the house. I did a lot of organizing in the office. It's not perfect yet, but it's SO much better. We are making a conscious effect to keep it as nice as we got it! We've been doing well so far! I also took a big old bag to goodwill and a bunch of old VHS and DVDs. I also took a bunch of books to the used book store. (And only came back with one that is semi job related.)
Here's to life calming down soon!!!
Monday, February 8, 2010
First thing it will be used for it paying the small loan I owe my mom. Then some will go towards a new garage door and towards my small mortgage. I still will have enough to beef up my savings a little.
This makes my money stress level go down quite a bit. However, I am still trying to spend minimal this month.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I also forgot about my gym membership... it's $75/month. Before anyone gets flabbergasted over the price, I do have some justifications! I went to a different gym before that was half the price, but T went to the fancier one. I finally switched and got about $150 in gym money to use on their spa (massages and facials for us!), and they have a MUCH nicer facility. There is an indoor 24 hour lap pool, many more machines, more (and better) classes, and an outdoor pool area. There is also a good little cafe and they have all different activities going on. Given that T goes there, I definitely go more and we get time to go together.
Hopefully this weekend will be a no spend weekend. T is working Saturday and I am working most of the day and going scrapbooking that night. I already paid to go scrapbooking and I'm not going to by anything there. Sunday is just relaxing and cleaning and watching a little Superbowl. I have a lot of work to catch up on, so I should take care of most of that as well.
Anyone else having a no spend weekend?
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
And guess what?!
I DID IT! It was awesome :-)
Just to keep everyone updated... with tonight's 1.75 in fast intervals, but I jogged out the remaining .25 after...
Mileage Goal: 22/1000
Here's tonight's To Do List:
1) Collect and take out trash
2) Finish Lit Assign #1
3) Do Lit Assign #2
4) Type notes from office today
5) Do laundry! (completed 8:45pm)
6) Make pile of books for little brother to go through when he visits (completed 8:30pm)
7) Do scheduled training run (completed 7pm)
8) Figure out dinner for Wed.
9) More pick up in office!
Last night, I got the gym in time to do a fast-ish 2.5 miles (24 minutes; 9:36 pace) before a 30 minute core class, then I did the remaining 1.5. Normally that remaining 1.5 would not have happened.
Tonight I'm going to do 7 X 400 (.25 mile sprints, seven times with walking or light jogging in between) I'm hoping to do them at a 8min/mile pace.
I have started cleaning out too... I have a bag full of mainly clothes to go to GoodWill. I have some books to sell on amazon. I posted them up this weekend and sold two for a total of $21.57 already. The only money I have spent was getting gas on Monday and the two post office charges.
I think this is going to be a good month :-) How is your February looking?
Monday, February 1, 2010
Today: 4mi run
Tuesday: 7 X 400 at 5K pace
Wednesday: Fitness Pilates (unless I have a meeting, then just stretching at home)
Thursday: 3 mi run + strength
Friday: rest, or strength
Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: 8 miles
Sunday, January 31, 2010
1) Credit Card charges of less than $1000: Everything goes on my credit card, except my mortgage, IRA payment, and electric bill (and sometimes gas.)
2) Develop a running plan that involves running 5k per week and follow it!!! (Follow it meaning at least get out there and run. If I don't actually run the whole mileage plan, I at least walk it or make the distance in the following day or two)
3) Get my taxes done! I should have a refund, so that's motivation.
4) Get office ORGANIZED... this is a huge undertaking, but I desperately need to do it.
5) Have March calendar planned out
And of course, I'll keep tabs on the 2010 goals as well...
Friday, January 29, 2010
So in February, I am going to really watch my spending. My brother is coming to town and I know there will be a few expenses with that, but my mom has offered to take the four of us to a nice dinner as our Valentine's Day gift. I am going to work on cleaning out the pantry instead of buying food, eating at home more, maybe having a few game nights, and just keeping the money side low key.
I'll keep updates on my progress here. Thanks for any support!
So here are some of my general goals to go with it:
a) No working past 7:30pm. This is usually the latest any of my private business goes to, and I need to stay onto of work so I don't procrastinate and end up working half the night. This will also allow for more time for T and I.
b) Be everywhere 5-10 minutes early: This one has not happened in January, so I need to focus on it now. I will get up plenty early and end up bustling around around just trying to get ONE more thing done. Then I'm late. I'm not usually super late that it has effected my job or anything, but just enough that it drives me nuts.
c) Each month gather one trash bag of Goodwill and one of trash
d) Find a better way to organize incoming papers... I had an inbox but I only cleaned it out every few months (read: 9 months?!)
I think I also need specific goals and parts of the house to work on each month:
January: Bathroom & Bedroom; we re-cleaned out the bathroom and go that back together, but the bedroom still has a ways to go. That's on this weekends agenda.
February: Office!!! (this is the worst!)
I just want to not feel overwhelmed like I do so much of the time!!! Any suggestions are welcomed, encouraged!!!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Office job wise I just found out I am doing a great job this year, but of course, I feel like I could always do better. My office is a bit of a mess right now and I really need to come up with a way to keep myself organized. I think I have mastered using my outlook calendar, but now it's a matter of keeping track of everything else!
In order to accomplish this goal, I decided I needed monthly goals instead of a yearly one.
1) Make new invoices and timesheets that are pre-filled in as much as possible for the first 6 month
2) Pick one client per month to provide a yearly report
1) Clean out drawers with random papers and file them
2) Sort through and organize the new set of materials I just received
Lucky for me, I not only live with an amazing man who was willing to give me February's rent early, but I am still able to pay all my bills and not go into any debt. Yes, technically I'm fine, nothing will default. However, this has really shocked me into revisiting a budget and fully concentrating on my savings.
So I have looked ahead, we get back next week and I shouldn't have any additional costs once we get back except gas. I am going to start to try having no spent days and focus on keeping my costs as low as possible. I'm also going to try and get my taxes done as I should have a refund coming my way. Finally, I'm going through my house and looking for things to sell and give away.
Any suggestions? What strategies have you used to go on a money diet after a bit of binging?!
Monday, January 18, 2010
1) Get February private business calendar hammered out (completed 2/18)
2) Start 30 Day Shred (schedule for Monday or Tuesday) - due to being sick, putting this on hold
3) Finish posting remaining two goals for 2010
4) Get in some quality dog time!
6) Reserve our place to stay on vacation
7) Go through pile on coffee table and process (this involves a couple of small mailings, some magazines, business cards for emails) (finished 2/18)
8) Get all invoices for private for the first half of the year prepped
9) At office, start working on next big presentation (mid-Feb.)
10) Mail in car registration check/form (completed 2/19)
11) Return dive equipment (completed 2/19)
12) Mail out 1099's for private business - I can do 3, the rest are back ordered...
Friday, January 15, 2010
1) Save $2500 towards a Thailand trip (my best friend will be in China this summer)
2) Increasing emergency fund savings to $5000
3) Have 6 months where my credit card statement is under $1000 (I put EVERYTHING on my credit card, phone bills, gas, etc. since I get cash back rewards.)
4) Pay off my small mortgage
These will be attacked at varying intensity. First I am focusing on paying off my little loan to my mom, next is the small mortgage & travel. The fall will be hardcore saving time.
1) Meet up with friends 1x/week (even if that means taking a walk with one of the roommates)
2) Go out with friends at night at least 2x/month
3) Have people over 1x/month (at least!)
4) Go to 75% of work happy hours
Progress so far:
1) um, have in the other categories, but not so much this one; part of that is scuba lessons on the weekends
2) We went out for a friends birthday this week for dinner and trivia, so that's 1!
3) We have a game night scheduled for the 30th :-)
4) 1/1 so far!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
1) Date night out 2x/month
2) Show love everyday
3) Send love (email/text) Mon-Fri
4) Do something new together 1x/mo
I went for a 2 mile run yesterday at a 9:36 pace! Hey, it's a start! And we're going to the gym tonight.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
In fact today is our 18 month anniversary. I have a special dinner at the fancy all you can eat beef place in town! He was sweet; first thing he said to me was happy anniversary.
I am getting the last of my 2010 goals hammered out and should post them shortly. I'm excited about some of the ideas I have in store.
Also, on the work front, I just found out some interesting information regarding a coworker who could be leaving. This means there's a chance I could be bumped to full time (I'm at 80%) It would be perfect timing.
Now all that is left is to catch up on sleep and resume running! I'm planning on a quick 2 miler before I stuff myself at dinner!
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
My presentation is done, copied and all! So all I have to do is show up tomorrow now :-)
We still need to book our hotel for our upcoming vacation and I need to start on the organizing the room and office.
Most of all, I need to sleep...
Monday, January 11, 2010
So one goal is to vary up my jewelry.
1) Wear at least 3 difference necklaces a week.
2) Wear fun earrings at least 2 days a week.
This all culminated in a long talk last night with T regarding ways in which we aren't satisfied or happy. I hate those conversations despite knowing they are necessary at times. I just feel so drained after, and that feeling is hard to shake.
I hope this week is better, T woke up with me this morning super earlier which made me smile.
I'll post my To Do's for the week shortly.
On the exercise front, giving all the in the pool scuba diving I did combined with subfreezing weather, I didn't head out to the gym or around the block with the dogs.
On the dog front, they didn't want to be outside either! Until we gave them the bone from our steaks last night; then they wouldn't come back in!
Here's to a better week...
Friday, January 8, 2010
a) Try 2 new recipes a month.
b) Try 1 new restaurant a month.
Anyone have any good gluten free recipes?!
#3: I've run 4 miles so far this week, two 1 milers, and 1 two miler, and made it to the gym twice. I also ordered Jillian Michael's 30 Shred
and Personal Training with Jackie: Power Circuit Training
to join the Well-Heeled Blog 30-Day Shred Challenge
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
a) Go to the gym and do some basic weight training at least 3 days a week
b) Run at least 4 days a week
c) Try the Gluten free diet and see if that helps
d) Sign up and complete another marathon at a fast time
e) Run more than 1000 miles this year. (yes, no where near the 2000 of Aron, but still!
Optimism Goal: Run a half marathon in under 2:15!
I have run 3 half marathons in the past and only semi trained and pulled off a 2:17 almost every time. So I'm close... if I can get my act together. I'll be tracking that progress moreso at my other blog at http://milestocali.blogspot.com
Here are my minigoals for it:
a) Pay $600 in the February payment
b) Pay $1000 in the March payment
c) Pay $2000 in the April payment (with tax return help)
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
To make this a SMART goal, I want to take the dogs out (walk, park, etc.) at least 4 times a week (assuming we are in town.) We just got back into town really really early Monday morning, and last night one of the roomies and I took both dogs walking for 30 minutes. While they aren't the best walkers, they love doing it?!
So there is one of our first goals of the year... 9 more to follow!
I'm going to try and keep weekly progress reports on most of these goals on this site.
Thanks for reading!
Monday, January 4, 2010
For the runner in you, one of my biggest runner blog motivators: Runner's Rambles
Tired of setting goals to accomplish something, how about some goals to not do something: Smart Passive Income Blog
Not sure what your future holds, here are some uncertainty goals: Well-Heeled Blog
Some classic adult goals: Gather Little by Little
One of my favorite fellow planners has some nice goals laid out: Always the Planner
Need help organizing yourself and your goals: Finance for a Freelance Life