April Showers Bring…New Goals!!!

April Showers bring May Flowers…and what do Mayflowers bring? PILGRIMS!!! (hehehe)

But in all seriousness, not April foolin’, I want April to be an A+ month. March was a little bit of a disappointment…I didn’t utterly fail at my goals, but I let myself get distracted with a lot of stuff due to work and side hustle. Side hustle was good for money I guess, but it was horrific on my time. A lot of the side hustle got spent on fast food because I didn’t feel like cooking.

april

I can’t believe it’s already April! 2015 has flown by. It helps that my job varies enough and makes the time fly. Plus teacher holidays are pretty awesome. Almost makes up for dealing with 16-18 year old’s hormones and advanced math for 8 hours a day ;) I like that back in 2013, I was trying to figure out my life plan…and I’m still doing that two years later. UGH. Maybe it’ll never be actually planned…lol

April Goals

  • Log into MFP every day and log all exercise/food intake today
  • Use the gym at least 3x a week
  • Complete Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred
  • Blog at least 12x this month (up three from March)
  • Read 2 books
  • Find a summer job (or two)
  • Create budget (prepare to possibly need to buy a new car by 2016)
  • Create Emergency Fund (goal – $200)
  • Pay down student loan balance
  • Create debt repayment plan (for real this time)
  • Side Hustle – set up Etsy store

What are you hoping to accomplish in April?

March Goals Recap

There was a lot Ide like to have accomplished this month, but I didn’t make as much progress as I would have liked. C’est la vie. April is a new month :)

Ide wanted to…

  • Lose enough weight to have it start with 17_
  • Not eat out at all or use a vending machine (including going to the gas station for snacks)
  • File my federal and state taxes
  • Submit my application to graduate school
  • Log into MFP every day
  • Find a job for summer 2015
  • Catch up my utilities
  • Place 100$ in my savings account
  • Create a monthly budget for my current income such that all excess from a secondary source can go to debt repayment

Successes

I did file my state and federal taxes. I would have gotten a lot more back…but my new job (which I started in August) pays 3x what my old job did, knocking me into a different tax bracket. At least, due to a deduction because I was in school as an old student, I didn’t end up owing money, so yay to that! I missed one day of MFP, yesterday, because of a wonky sleep schedule. I had a 25 day streak, so I’m pretty displeased about that, but I still consider it a success, because missing one day out of an entire month isn’t too shabby. I caught up both my electric bill and my Cox bill (which were the two utilities I was behind on), and I repaid a personal loan (small – $80) to one of my best friends, so I was very pleased about that.

Failures

I drank so many diet cokes. So many. So. Many. And I ate out. Because I’m terrible. I joined a gym and am waiting for my pass, so this will carry over as an April goal. Hopefully if I pair healthy eating with working out, I will be less inclined to head to McDonalds for an easy meal. I had put $100 in my account…but then I overspent elsewhere and withdrew it :(

Progress

I have been yo-yo’ing the weight thing. I was doing really well the first week, then fell off the horse, then got back on, then fell off again. I joined a gym and have started prelogging on MFP, so I think making more definitive changes will make a definitive difference. I haven’t submitted my application to graduate school; however, I should be by the end of the week, so I’m not setting that as a goal for April. It’ll be done within days of March ending. I haven’t found a definitive job for the summer; however, I’ve applied for three! I applied to teach summer school, applied to work at a local summer camp, and applied to work at a summer camp in NY with international kids (wish me luck!!!). I have been working on a budget for my income, but I’m not much past “use excess to pay debts.”

Overall

Overall I would give myself a C for March. I didn’t accomplish as much as I wanted, but I did accomplish some goals and I did make progress on others. I’m hoping April will be an A+ !!!

2015 Net Worth Update

Now that I’m back to actively trying to get my finances on track, I figured it’s about time to check out my Net Worth…for the first time in four years. :( I’m fairly confident it has gone down by a significant amount…however, my income has gone up significantly, so I’m hoping to change this quickly!

Assets: $1913.66

Liabilities: $27833.84

Net worth: -$25920.18

The very simple way to find this, for those of you who have not tried to find your Net Worth before, is to add your assets (car, house, expensive item, etc.) and then your liabilities (loans, personal loans, bills, balances, etc.). Subtract the latter from the former. When I did so, I ended up with a net worth of - $25920.18. Which is pretty terrible compared to the average for my age group, which is $8525 (according to sources).

I have a few major purchases that will probably need to happen within the next year or two, and I need an emergency fund built up, so there’s a lot of major repairs that need to happen with my finances. It’s hard to try to deal with all the cards on the table, but it’s my just dessert for not being a tight wad and instead being a loose spender for a few years.

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Weekly $ Checkup 3.3

  1. The most I’ve spent this last week was – $20 on gas.
  2. Today I am thankful that I’m alive?
  3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was hanging out with friends and such.
  4. I will consider this week a success if I clean my apartment.
  5. If I had today off I would clean and sleep some more and deposit this check.

The side-hustle game has gotten strong recently. I finally updated my FB page and am in the process of trying to update my Etsy page, but so far I’ve gotten two requests which is exciting! I also was asked to tutor someone in Calculus 1 and am tutoring a second-grader in money-maths, so it’s been really helpful in supplementing my income because I was frivolous with my money last paycheck. I’ve applied to work at a summer camp and at summer school for my parish, so that’s two summer job application jobs down! There are a few more feelers I’ve put out that I need to check out, but so far I’m pleased with my progress.

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Goal Progress:

  • Lose enough weight to have it start with 17_ 
  • Not eat out at all or use a vending machine (including going to the gas station for snacks)
  • File my federal and state taxes
  • Submit my application to graduate school
  • Log into MFP every day
  • Find a job for summer 2015
  • Catch up my utilities 
  • Place 100$ in my savings account
  • Create a monthly budget for my current income such that all excess from a secondary source can go to debt repayment 

“Grown-up” Grocery Shopping

I optimistically wanted to set my monthly grocery budget to $140. Okay. Well. Along with healthy eating that isn’t really a realistic expectation. As Bridget was talking about over at Money After Graduation, you can’t really expect to cut a lot of corners in your food budget and not expect your health to suffer for it. Part of my goals are to lose weight, but I would also like to be stronger and more toned, and eating healthier is a necessary part of that.

So. Shopping. How did that work out for me?

The List

  • Avocados 
  • Yellow Onions
  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Milk
  • Pickles
  • Cucumbers
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Spinach leaves
  • Mushrooms
  • Chicken breast
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Ground Meat
  • Asparagus
  • Zucchini
  • Green Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cream Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • String Cheese
  • Sharp Cheddar
  • Thyme

That right there was all under $140…however, I don’t know that what I bought will actually last me an entire month (I’m certain it won’t). I’ll know better by the end of next week I think, but so far the salads and such I’ve made have been pretty good. Favorites so far: avocados, string cheese, and bacon!!!

2015-03-19

dem groceries

Weekly $ Checkup 3.2

  1. The most I’ve spent this last week was – $170 on groceries and grocery accessories.
  2. Today I am thankful that I figured out the magic hamburger patty recipe.
  3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was spending most of the day hanging out with one of my favorite people…burned up hamburger patties, Icees, and all…
  4. I will consider this week a success if I apply for at least three summer jobs.
  5. If I had today off I would work on my Etsy site and then knit/crochet some stuff

Money management is a lot harder than I remember it being. I think I may have to resort to the magic jar method because this whole using my debit card thing is not working for me.

Magic Debt Cards >.>

They didn’t even need money…they had magic cards

I am not even being facetious though. Using exclusively cash (after paying required bills with plastic) will be the next tactic I try when getting paid. I really don’t have the capacity to mindfully keep up with what I’m spending. I have a lot of goals I would like to meet in the nearish future…having an emergency fund, replacing my car, saving up for a house or property, debt elimination, and eventually even a wedding. I can’t do that if I’m spending my money on bullshit for instant gratification. It’s like psychologically I am getting this pleasure from just…having income. Like, “Look at me! I can buy things because am adult!” I’ve been flirting with my finances this month. A wink here, a hug there, a peck on the cheek…but it’s getting time to pull out the little black dress and go out…because this flirting thing is getting me nowhere fast.

Goal Progress:

  • Lose enough weight to have it start with 17_ 
  • Not eat out at all or use a vending machine (including going to the gas station for snacks)
  • File my federal and state taxes
  • Submit my application to graduate school
  • Log into MFP every day
  • Find a job for summer 2015
  • Catch up my utilities 
  • Place 100$ in my savings account
  • Create a monthly budget for my current income such that all excess from a secondary source can go to debt repayment 

Weekly $ Checkup 3.1

  1. The most I’ve spent this last week was – $20 on gas.
  2. Today I am thankful that I’m getting paid this week.
  3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was finishing the prayer shawl I was knitting.
  4. I will consider this week a success if I finish my personal statement.
  5. If I had today off I would go to sleep because I’ve been stressed.

The last week has been an attempt at a spending fast. I returned several books to Barnes and Noble and got $27.18 back so that I would have gas money. I’m on a bit of a shoestring budget right now because I overspent with my last paycheck, but I’m still trying to work out ways to better improve my situation. Right now I’m looking for secondary jobs (maybe tutoring on the side) and a summer job. I am super excited about spring break coming up haha. I have a lot of plans for April – a wedding, a competition for the club I co-sponsor, a recital, and some other things. I’ve let myself get buried by stress recently…but I’ve really hit the point where I really have to start clawing my way back out or get buried alive. I’m hoping with a positive attitude, trying to do the right thing, and being responsible, I will be able to have the life I want. And if it’s not necessarily the life I want at this moment, the life that I can be happy with. Anyway, happy first week y’all.

Goal Progress:

  • Lose enough weight to have it start with 17_ - went from 189 to 183
  • Not eat out at all or use a vending machine (including going to the gas station for snacks) - I have gotten 2 diet cokes 
  • File my federal and state taxes - Done! Getting a tiny return because I got a new job, but that’s okay! Better than owing!
  • Submit my application to graduate school
  • Log into MFP every day
  • Find a job for summer 2015 – No progress yet
  • Catch up my utilities – No progress yet
  • Place 100$ in my savings account – No progress yet
  • Create a monthly budget for my current income such that all excess from a secondary source can go to debt repayment – I have a template to work from now at least.