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Archive for December, 2014

Dietbet started

December 31st, 2014 at 02:58 pm

I weighed in last night for my dietbet. I considered weighing in after NYE, but then I'm not holding myself accountable for food/drink consumption. This way, anything I add tonight will have to come off in addition to my 4 lb. goal.

Although this morning, my weight leveled out and I'm already a pound and a half down, so that's a good start.

I wish everyone a very safe and Happy New Year!!

2015 Goals (Attempt 2)

December 30th, 2014 at 07:29 pm

Note to self - write longer entries in Notepad and then copy into the blog...

Prior to laying these out, let me preface with a confession. I've been hoarding some secret mistakes as I didn't want to admit setbacks, but it's time to turn all that around. Below are my 2015 goals.

- Build emergency fund back to $1000 (This was depleted after funding two unexpected trips for my mom to see my grandmother before she passed. I also need to be better about replenishing this right after I use it...)
- Reduce credit cards (I had my credit cards in a pay-in-full cycle, but I've since run a few up with balances when I tried {and failed} the whole creidt card churn thing. While none of them have interest accruing, I'd like to have all but 1 paid off this year. I also plan to close 3 this year and 1 more next year leaving me with Target for the 5% cash back, BOA which is my oldest, and Chase Freedom for the rewards.)
- Add savings categories (I found a need for two additional savings accounts. One will be semi-annual expenses such as my car taxes and insurance. The other will be for SO and I's one-year anniversary trip to Niagara Falls.)
- Increase retirement savings to 10% (This will be done automatically at the same time as my raise.)
- Build checking account buffers (I'd like a $200 buffer in my own account and a $1500 buffer in our joint account. I had some close call overages on my own account and our joint one accrues dividends when we maintain at least $1500 in it.)

- Lose 10% of my weight (This is about 15 lbs. on my 5'1, 140 lb. frame. To help, I enrolled in a 6 month dietbet, but since I don't want to gain it back, I made it a full year's goal.)
- Win at least 4 months of my dietbet (Obviously the goal is to win all 6 months, but months 2 and 6 seem particularly difficult. Month 2 is 4 lbs. in addition to the 4 lbs. from month 1. Month 6 is maintaining the 10%.)
- Adopt a puppy with SO (Self-explanatory)
- Get dogs outside for more than an hour 4 times a week (They'll clearly be walked several times daily, but it's my goal to get them to the dog park, hiking, or simply much longer walks quite often.)
- Cook more from scratch (I'm already doing pretty well with cooking at home, but it's mostly processed stuff. I'd like to improve to cooking from scratch and start meal planning.)

- Blog at least twice per week
- Post monthly budget and month in review entries
- Participate in one 'challenge' quarterly (This is contingent on people actually posting challenges, but I want to particpate more as I feel this provides great insight into other ways of doing things that I might not have been exposed to otherwise.)

I plan to post the shortened version of these in my sidebar to keep them fresh. Bring it on 2015!

All over the place

December 29th, 2014 at 06:41 pm

Lots running through my head...

Christmas was phenomenal. Got some stuff we needed (more hangers, a portable phone charging device, flexible cutting mats) and some stuff we wanted (a waffle maker, a deep fryer, and a Keurig). While it was a very long day, it was great getting to spend time with both families and each other.

We visited the puppy we were considering adopting on Friday. She was very cute, but the reality of how much training she'd need (she was pretty nippy) set in, and we decided to hold off until after cheer and babysitting are over so I'd have more time to devote to training (Feb-Mar timeframe). I will continue checking the site as they list the puppies at as young as a week old, so if we see one we're interested in, we'll have to apply to reserve our place in the adoption line when they reach adoptable age.

We've been doing great on the not eating out. Between holidays and the food we had around, we should be set through most of this week as well. (Tonight may be an exception as SO forgot to pack me dinner, but I may try to just hold off through babysitting...)

I've tentatively set some 2015 goals. I need to think a little more through what's really achievable, but I want to get back on track. I'll outline those in its own post.

And lastly, SO and I talked about a very basic 5-year plan (it came up during a How I Met Your Mother episode). It's nice that we're both on the same page.

Christmas plans

December 22nd, 2014 at 06:25 pm

Have you ever had one of those days that was so emotionally wonderful that you wake up feeling completely drained the next day? I'm definitely feeling drained after SO's birthday surprise yesterday. I have a feeling Christmas will also be one of those days. Our schedule begins Xmas Eve. SO has a tradition where he plays Christmas carols in his neighborhood, so I will be attending his mini-concert and spending some time with his family before driving home to my mom's. We will spend the mornings with our respective families to do gifts, then SO will come down and have lunch/spend some time with us. Afterwards, we'll both drive up (separately) to have dinner/family time with his family. At the end of it all, we'll do our own gift exchange at home.

Still trying to settle in and missing payments

December 19th, 2014 at 04:44 pm

We're still settling in. We've developed a nice day to day routine, but given that I never get home before 9 pm during the week and SO is sometimes the same way now with his new job, it's been difficult addressing house stuff. There's so much financially to think about, but I haven't really had time to flesh it out. For now, I'm simply attempting to keep my head above the water.

I did finally manage to follow up on payment for the fall season of coaching cheer. Apparently, it was sent 2-3 weeks ago, but I have yet to receive it. It's about 940 which is allocated to new tires and the pet fee. (I can't even begin to explain how excited I am to get my dog back!!)

I'm also still waiting on my refund from my rec cheer party and have a $7 check to cash from overpay on my final car payment.

No heat

December 11th, 2014 at 04:14 pm

I've been in the apartment almost a week, and we haven't turned the heat on yet. It's available, but with all the boxes, it was plenty warm. And even now, the space heater works just fine for keeping us warm in the evenings.

SO is making dinner tonight since I won't be home until 830. It's simple - mac and cheese with hot dogs and Red Lobster biscuits, but it'll be delicious Smile

Avoiding eating out

December 10th, 2014 at 04:27 pm

Still working on the apartment, but I wanted to drop in with a quick thing I've been proud of. Considering the craziness of the past few days, we've completely managed to avoid any meals out. This is a huge accomplishment, and I hope we can continue it for the rest of the week and even longer. I've been waking up early with SO to make our lunches and even managed to prep the enchiladas yesterday morning, so all we had to do was bake them last night (a huge help as we didn't get home until after 8). Today, I have my company's holiday party and SO has leftover enchiladas for dinner, so that marks another day of no food spending Smile

I (sort of) survived

December 8th, 2014 at 08:57 pm

We've got everything moved into our place! Now's the tough part - unpacking it all...after two 18 hour days, I'm exhausted. We grocery shopped yesterday with easy foods being our focus as the goal is to just make it through the week. And I've clarified with babysitting parents that we will return to the previous method - $10/hr for M,W,F evenings, so the extra income will be nice. I'm looking forward to settling in.

And SO is pretty much amazing. I had to move the last of my stuff out myself and when I got back yesterday at 10 pm and walked into the apartment, SO had dinner set up on one place setting on our dining room table (currently, in the middle of the living room...). It was just a sandwich, chips, and a Babybel cheese, but he'd taken the time to cut/arrange it nicely, had the fireplace going and music on. It was an incredibly nice thing to come how to Big Grin

My head's still on...

December 4th, 2014 at 01:42 pm

So far.

My boss keeps reigning me in because I feel like I have to do everything. I bought my full bathroom decorations (super expensive, but an investment I was willing to make). I also got SO's housewarming gifts (he got an apron and hot sauce set while I got a bathtub caddy and bath pillow - I've been looking forward to baths so much!). We also went to Michael's to look at framing for the puzzle. A few months back, we bought two puzzles. Our goal was to finish one for framing before we moved in and work on the other in our new place. It's finished (minus one piece we infuriatingly misplaced...), so now we need to frame it. The puzzles are something we want very long-term, so I want it framed right. Custom framing at Michael's was in the $150 range. My boss said 'heck no!' and found me an online website with diy puzzle frames large enough for mine in the $60 range. I'm glad she's here to keep me in check because I was seriously ready to spend the $150 and be done with it (insane, right???)...My goal is no more apartment spending (other than some sort of filtered water source and our startup shopping trip - SO's financial obligation) until the dust settles. If I still want it in the new year, then we'll consider getting it then.

The Final Countdown!

December 1st, 2014 at 05:41 pm

Less than a week to go. The spare room in SO's parents' house is completely full with my stuff and the stuff from Black Friday. We did a pretty good job of sticking to our Black Friday plan. An impulse or two did sneak in, but we were pretty in control and minimized or passed over something else to make up for it. Next up is outlining moving day and finalizing clearing out the basement I'm in. I'm not spending any money on food as my lunch is covered all week for my work team and I have enough leftovers from my mom's for dinner every night. I also did have two Craigslist sales.