Good-Bye September!

So long, farewell! And now I get to come to the realization that 75% of the year is over. Incredible.

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September Goals Progress:

  • Obtain a part-time job in addition to my new job – I had two job interviews, and one seemed really promising, but no call backs yet. I also set up an e-lance account for freelance presentation and course design, as well as an Etsy store for my knitting and crocheting, so we’ll see if there are any bites.
  • Bring my total of completed granny squares for bf’s blanket up to 400 – Sitting at a cool 200ish. I didn’t make a single one; however, I did make him some really kick-a$$ Link Gauntlets so there’s that.
  • Order checks – I got blank checks, but no fancy ones are ordered yet.
  • Walk around the lakes near my house at least 3x a week – No walking.
  • Cut out soda from my diet by the end of the month – I am down to a max of 2 a day from 4, so that’s good. I don’t think I’ll try to cut it completely – I really like soda, but I want to cut down on the amount.
  • Practice yoga 2x a week – No. I stopped going to the studio I was volunteering at. Surprisingly enough, it got incredibly stressful because it kept interfering with seeing bf during the week and was hard to do after working from 7:30-5.
  • Bake a new pie from my Williams&Sonoma cookbook – No, but check in on October goals..
  • End the month with a 4.0 in my coursework – I have a high B in psychology and I suppose an A in number theory. I don’t really have grades in the latter. The B frustrates me because some of the questions on our exam were “From the example in lecture 1” but…I wasn’t enrolled yet and the person I got notes from didn’t take good ones (apparently) so I’m counting it.
  • Have a debt repayment plan taking into account the new PT job
  • Get my car inspected
  • Lose 5-7 lbs
  • Have at least 3 fun, free, and goofy dates with bf 🙂 – we hung out a good bit this month 🙂
  • Start working on my…gasp…five year plan

September wasn’t hugely amazing or anything, and to be honest I’m a bit glad it’s over with, but that may also be because I absolutely love pumpkin spice and my birthday and such, so yay October!

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Recreating My Monthly Budget

There are many times in life when you need to reevaluate your budget. The first month after you stick to a new one, if you get a bunch of new expenses, if you pay something off, if you get a new job, etc.

Well, I got a new job and new expenses back in August and never reevaluated my budget. To be frank…I sort of went…budgetless. But, as all of you know, that isn’t really sustainable or healthy or any of that other good stuff. So I went through and listed all my expenses and debts. I then decided how much I wanted to put toward my debt (which was a little more than the minimum), and picked an amount for my savings account. I then went through and cut on my living expenses until I could make those goals. So here it is, the new budget:

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  • Utilities – 45% –This is composed of my rent, electricity, internet, and car insurance. These are payments I have to make and are pretty much set in price.
  • Living Expenses – 25% –This is composed of my phone bill, gas, food, and miscellaneous expenses. I consider these all living expenses because if completely necessary,  I can cut out my phone bill, reduce my gas and food intake, and eliminate miscellaneous purchases (within reason).
  • Debt – 27% –This includes my Discover Card payment, Care Credit payment, car loan (from parents), and private student loan. It’s more than the minimum for Discover and Care Credit because their interest rates are higher.
  • Savings – 3% –I know it’s only $40 a month, but I want to build some savings while still actually making more sizeable dent in the amount of debt I have. Until I get a second job, this will be all I can manage.

This equates $1200, which is approximately how much I make a month after insurance (health and dental) are taken out of my paycheck. Any excess will go into my savings account, and if I do get this second job, I’ll alter this budget further.

Weekly $ Checkup 9.4

  1. The most I’ve spent this last week was – $498 – last of my tuition at LSU. So yay to being out of collection with my university and having a 0.00 balance with them!
  2. Today I am thankful that I did laundry yesterday (isn’t it always on my “I will consider this week a success if…” section?
  3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was sitting with bf late at night just talking about random things like handwriting, trumpet-playing, and just random chattering while cuddling.
  4. I will consider this week a success if I clean my room before going home for the weekend.
  5. If I had today off I would get my tire changed because I had a blowout on the way to my exam yesterday from work.

My bf’s dog (not the one pictured in an earlier post) has had another seizure (she had some back in April), but they had weaned her off the Phenylbarbital, so she will be going back on it probably permanently. I hope that it helps; I’m worried about that sweet girl. I’ve also been a little awol with posting because we keep thinking that bf’s sister is going into labor, so I’ve been spending a lot of time at their house, which does not have wi-fi (gasp).

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Week in Review 9.3

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This week I…

  • Finished a 20 page study guide for my psychology test
  • Finished bf’s sister’s baby  blanket!
  • Had a job interview (that went really well)
  • Played with the most spoiled dog in the world
  • Ate entirely too many candy corn pumpkins
  • Have to make some paradigm changes to be less insecure

I bought…

  • BILLS (well paid not bought)
  • Gas
  • Dresses
  • Candy corn pumpkins

September Goal Progress includes…

  • Had an interview for a second job (part-time) that went really well. They just have to clear me missing some of training. I also applied for more e-lance jobs for course and presentation design, so we’ll see.

How was your week?

Frugality: Gift Edition

I feel like there are really two kinds of gift giving…

  1. Oh man so-and-so’s birthday/Christmas/Valentine’sDay/Anniversary is coming up and is the same time every year! I know them very well and should probably think of something they would like
  2. Oh man so-and-so is having a baby/somesurpriseevent. I have absolutely no idea of what they would want me to buy…or I’m too financially constrained to get it off the registry.

Enter: Hobbies and Crafts!

In case you don’t remember from my hobbies post, I am an avid knitter and have been working on my crochet skills. The situation at hand is that bf’s sister is going to have a baby. And yes, babies come with registries of boring stuff that they need (e.g. diapers, bottles, onesies, etc), but I wanted to make something and didn’t want to buy a bunch of stuff that would be used up. I wanted to give the baby something that it would have for a long time and would say “My Aunt Lacey made that!” (Or something to that effect).

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Above are hats I made for her first baby shower! I also made little booties shaped like paws (her nursery theme is Winnie the Pooh) and a little lady bug diaper cover. Sometimes the most precious gifts are the ones not asked for. I made the lady bug stuff with yarn her mother bought (because she found the pattern and requested it) and the hat/booties were made with leftover yarn from another project.

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I also ended up finally finishing the blanket I was making! I used scrap yarn for it, and had to buy more white, so its total cost was $3.66. I guess where I’m going with this post (aside from showing off what I’m really excited about), is that when it comes to gift giving, there are ten million ideas of things to make (just check out pinterest if you don’t believe me), and in some cases those are much more loved gifts than something you could buy at the store.

So if you’re starting to panic because Christmas is around the corner (at least, according to Hobby Lobby), or because there’s going to be a new person in your life, think about being crafty. It can help you be frugal and develop a new skill, and may be a hobby you love and could use to even generate a side income.

Weekly $ Checkup 9.3

  1. The most I’ve spent this last week was – $352 – Electric bill – Before you say, “WHOA WHAT??” it is a month and a half’s worth of electricity + the fuel adjustment + reconnection fees from moving. Still not awesome.
  2. Today I am thankful that am back on my medication and with my new insurance it’s free! Withdrawals from SNRI’s…not fun.
  3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was watching The Emporer’s New Groove with my roommates!
  4. I will consider this week a success if I actually do laundry and finish bf’s sister’s baby’s blanket before she actually has him/her!
  5. If I had today off I would lay in bed and watch Wicked Attraction and eat candy corn pumpkins (#YOLO)

I’m not sure how I feel about having weekly $ checkups and weeks in review, but I think I’ll keep doing both for a little while and see how repetitive it gets later. Right now I don’t really think they give the same info, but we’ll see. I’m also starting to feel a LOT  better now that I’m taking my medication again.

I stopped because I thought I had an Rx deductible that I needed to meet (and Effexor (even generic) is quite expensive), but then I remembered I could use Care Credit for it, which I would hate to do, but it’s not good to just stop taking SSRI’s, SNRI’s, etc. Then when it was refilled the total was 0$. EXCELLENT! And I don’t know if it’s a placebo, or if it’s because I was able to pay bills and situate school stuff, or if it’s working this quickly (I was only off it for about a week and my psychiatrist doubled my dosage after meeting with her last week), but I’m feeling a lot better, so yay! Things seem to be falling back into place 🙂

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Week in Review 9.2

Fotor09148147This week I…

  • had my first number theory class – it was pretty interesting stuff. Yay Fibonacci!
  • had my first developmental psychology class – the material is interesting; my classmates are not
  • changed my brake pads!
  • made more blanket progress
  • went grocery shopping
  • helped paint bf’s sister’s nursery!

I bought…

  • groceries
  • gas
  • a C-Clamp
  • a slushie

September Goal Progress includes…

  • I lost 2 lbs!
  • Officially have a dog park date set up for next Thursday :3
  • Am studying my butt off for my exam the week after next
  • Having the supplies to bake a lemon meringue pie tonight with bf! (doesn’t count toward my pie goal because I’ve made it before)

How was your week?