08 April 2014

Goals: quarterly update


This has been one crazy quarter. I accomplished quite a bit and can now shift my focus. I changed some things around and added a couple others.


MENTAL

Language intensive project: study 1 language for 3 months per language (ASL, French, German, Spanish) FAIL

Possibly enroll in school in September (depends on financial aid and financial situation midyear) postponed until 2015

PERSONAL

Accomplish 3 side tasks at work per day CHECK
Visit ABQ IN PROGRESS {link}
Take a trip with my Little  IN PROGRESS {link}

FINANCIAL
Progression goal:
Pay off immediate debt CHECK  >> Save 3 months expenses postponed until after 100% debt free >> Begin attacking student loans IN PROGRESS
ADDED: Save $40 a month for tuition

PHYSICAL
Run a 5k IN PROGRESS (Race for the Cure & The Color Run)
Run a half marathon CHANGED Run a 12k (Bloomsday 12k & Sandia Mountain Shadows Trail Run 10k)
Run 3-4 times per week FAIL 
Drink 4 cups of water per day FAIL
Limit sugar intake  FAIL

SPIRITUAL
Participate in 2-3 bible studies CHECK {1} {2} {3} 
Practice yoga once a week FAIL
Listen to two spiritual messages per week CHECK {1} {2}

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06 April 2014

Budget: 5 March - 5 April


Man I really need to make blogging more of a priority!

Recap for 5 March:

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I went WAY overbudget for this one, but mistakes happen (even a few months in a row).

Recap for 20 March:

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I was super stoked for this check. After quite a few payperiods of going overbudget, I finally buckled down, paid my pet deposit, and even made an extra payment to Dentist 2, leaving my balance at $101.

Projected for 5 April:

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EXPENSES

I sold my iPhone to Virgin Mobile when I switched, and finally received my $50 credit, which came in handy because I need to pay Verizon for January.

I'm running a couple races in the next couple of weeks, so I tacked the registrations onto this check so I could get them out of the way.

INCOME

At my workplace, we get a bonus for perfect attendance per quarter (every 3 months). It's pretty tough to get, but I've managed to work hard enough to get it for the past two quarters in a row. I also got a raise so that will be on the next paycheck. Hard work pays off, quite literally!! I'm super excited.

DEBT

Ohmigod, ohmigod you guys!!!!! I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED to pay off this last $101. I'll be adjusting this budget to accommodate my "reward", which I'll share when I decide what I'll do.

SAVINGS

Whoa we haven't seen this category in a while, have we?! Since I got the raise, I'll be accommodating about $20 a paycheck to get a head start on tuition. It scares the wits out of me to think about going back to school, but also excites me at the same time.

I'll also be saving for a trip to my hometown (Albuquerque) in October.

The strings of debt are slowly, but surely, being cut down. If I can do it, YOU can do it too.

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11 March 2014

One step at a time


I have a big dream list. Sadly I can't do most of it now, either due to work restrictions, money, or time -- otherwise known as Life Circumstances.

I've had to delay school for quite a while, once because of debt, once for love and now for debt once more. When I moved to Washington, I was planning on moving back to Arizona and finishing my degree at NAU, starting in fall of 2015. When Riley and I ended things, my plan was kaputt and I had to make some decisions. Then I got into my dental debt.

I made the decision to stay in Washington, mostly because moving is expensive and a pain in the ass. Also, there's really no place I'd rather be right now. I made a series of steps I need to take, no matter how long it takes to do them.

STEP ONE is paying off my "smaller" debt (the step I'm currently on).
STEP TWO is saving for my two trips this year (July and October).
STEP THREE is paying off my student loans and calling Dave for my debt free scream.
STEP THREE POINT FIVE is applying for scholarships.
STEP FOUR is attending community college using grants, scholarships, and my paycheck.
STEP FOUR POINT FIVE is saving everything I can for step five.
STEP FIVE is transferring to university using grants, scholarships, and my paycheck/savings.
STEP SIX is graduating debt free and getting a teaching job.
STEP SEVEN is funding grad school for library science.
STEP EIGHT is finally doing all the things I can't do now.

That's a lot of steps, and I'm only on step one. The other day I let my brain skip to step four and naturally, I freaked the hell out. I sent myself into a panic and got extremely discouraged when I added up the numbers and compared it to my income.

But what I was really doing was throwing a tantrum that I can't have my cake and eat it too; I'd have to delay my Wants, and, prioritize what's really important (school and staying debt free).

Even though I really have 3 years of coursework left, I may have to take some time off school to save. To most people, this sounds stupid. School is important, yes, but as a teacher, I won't be making much money, and if I want to do all the things I want to do, there's no way I can support myself and do those things on a teacher's salary. As much as I want that degree, I want to be financially free when I graduate even more.

I've felt the chains of student loans and other debt. I've added to the amount of money I've spent on debt the past few years and it makes me sick what I could've done with that money if it hadn't been going in other pockets besides mine. It makes me sicker to think about the amount of debt I would be going into if I were to take loans vs. the average teacher's salary. I'd be poor forever and never get to do what I want.

Sometimes it's hard to remember I have my whole life ahead of me. I can't compare my life to others. I can only compare it to mine. I don't have to travel while I'm young. I don't have to finish college in four years. If I'm patient, stay focused on the now with the future in mind, and work hard, things will fall into place.  It's okay to be a little different.




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10 March 2014

Budget: 5 March


5 March payperiod

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Because my birthday is this Thursday, I'm throwing a party for my friends. What's a birthday party without cake? I probably overbudgeted for it, but I'd rather over budget than underbudget. I really wanted a Frozen-themed cake like these:

Source

But I can't find anyone who can do it (or any other Frozen cake) ANYWHERE. So I'm settling for my all time favorites: cookies and cream ice cream cake and chocolate covered strawberries. MMMMMM.

My boyfriend (Eric), his mom, and I went to the casino and I won some cash. Unfortunately, I forgot my wallet in a Safeway shopping cart and some dirtbag decided to take the $90 that was in there as a finder's fee. At least they turned in the rest of my wallet and didn't take my cards.

I have to tell myself they needed it far more than I did, and I did have to remind myself several times that it wasn't budgeted for a Need (it was budgeted for a date night). I still had $90 (I won quite a bit) to spend on us though. (I was forbidden to spend it on bills, even though it probably would've been safer that way HAHAHA).



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27 February 2014

Budget: 20 February


20 February payperiod:

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EXPENSES

Glorious, glorious $275 rent. 

I decided to spend a little money on myself, my cat, and my friends. While the money could've definitely paid off a lot of my remaining Dentist 2 debt, I believe in rewards and after over that wonderful $1000 payment (and being 85% done with this portion of the debt), I decided to blow some money.

DEBT

I'll be tackling those awful things called student loans next (after saving up for some fun stuff). I've been carrying them around, paying $100 a month, for the last 4 years. I'm done. Goodbye, student loans. You won't be missed (or replaced).
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