Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday: Clean a Junk Drawer

When I was a kid, I remember staying up way too late and secretly cleaning out my junk drawer when I couldn't sleep. Don't ask me why...

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!

Big To Do's for April

There are a couple things that I have just been putting off, so here's what I need to get taken care of!

* 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

Starting to Simplify! PROJECT-31

And so I begin Project 31 today... Here are my first 5 days...

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

Project M-31: Simplify Your Life in 31 Days

As I have mentioned before, I'm participating in the Manage Your Money Challenge over at Enemy of Debt. Well, I won a prize this week!!! I won the bonus prize which was a free copy of Project M-31: Simplify Your Life in 30 Days at The Minimalist Path

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

March Money Update

It's March 25th, do you know where your money is?!

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

Still Dark!

Although it was nice to have it stay dark a little later last night, I'm really not sure how I feel about it still being DARK at 7:30am. Wow does that make it hard to get up and get work done.

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


A little over a week ago I discovered fraud on my checking account... because I mainly use one bank that means they had to reissue EVERYTHING! So for over a week now I have been without a credit card...which is good and bad. It is annoying when I have to get gas. I had to do that today and go inside. "$20 on #1 please!" Seems like forever since I had to do that.

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

Mangage Your Money Challenge

I'm participating in the Manage Your Money Challenge over at Enemy of Debt.
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

March Money!

Despite March being a long month, I am going to attempt the <$1000 on the credit card challenge again!

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

February Goal Review

I had a few lofty goals for February! Let's see how I did...

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!