WEEK 7 RECAP: Now Funky Fresh

General Health

I may have failed to mention that I had a dental checkup, well-woman, and physical in the last three weeks!  For most things – I was normal and healthy.  Some general health things I need to do – floss more, weight-baring exercise, and better diet.

Still trying to find the balance where I can eat fatty things and be healthy and closer to calorie goals.  myfitnesspal  has been great for water and calorie tracking…not much on exercise tracking because I’m having a hard time logging the Girl Meets Fitness workouts.  I just switch my FitBit to workout mode and pray it’s adjusting properly.

I am FOUR Weeks Down on the StepBet Challenge – OVER THE HUMP!

GYM July 2016 – June 2017: 45(as of 2/17)  /120

Sub-Goal: Donate Blood – TODAY IS THE DAY!  My appointment is at 5:30 but since I’m off today I may try to go earlier.

Be Creative
My scarf is coming along swimmingly!  I had one huge fuck up and my friend had to “frog” a few rows but I’m back in action!

Financial Goals

Well.  February is ALWAYS a really rough month financially.  Car insurance.  BJ’s (cheaper in the long run for meat than regular markets and buying in bulk keeps us shopping out of the freezer)  Higher utilities due to weather.  More travel expenses through the city in inclement weather.  Not to mention that I’m still waiting on the surgery bill from last month.

All hands on deck.  Batten down the hatches.  Time to get frugal as fuck.

Pay Down Some Mortgage
I closed my Qapital account this week.  The new bank account that I recently opened for a cash bonus has direct deposit and also gains interest!  It’s also directly linked to my mortgage account so I am confident that I am more likely to throw money directly into the principal.  Like the $31.50 I put in the other day just to even out the dollar amount in the checking account.

For this goal I will now not talk about what I’m saving to put into it but what actually gets transferred to the principle!

Save Like a Motherfucker Frugal as Fuck
It would appear that I’m the antithesis of saving like a motherfucker this month.  I had to dip in and I’m now negative for this goal.  I’ll be posting a few more posts on how I’m going to be frugal as fuck for the next few weeks.

Mortgage: $31.50/$1,000
Savings: $0/$1,000
So $2,000 towards each of these goals by June? Um….

Professional Goals

Continuing Education Credits for Health License
We started this training this week and I was told to wait another month or two before I start the CE credits.  Boo.

Learning About Annuities
Still waiting on this to be scheduled.

Blog Goals

Why The Fuck Are You Reading This?
Yeah I’m not sure – I noticed last week that I didn’t fully proofread my weekly update and had to fix it after and I was a bit mad that I didn’t proofread better!

Weekly Updates
I feel good about wiping everything but a few links from this and starting anew so I could a) break up the monotony and b) ensure we have less kerfuffles this week!

Greatness Takes Time: My 2 Year Work Anniversary

Here are some reflections that I drafted up while sitting in the waiting room for my allergy shot this morning…enjoy this bonus post!jamieWow – this was taken in 2015 in the first few months of this job.  My hair is much longer and that outfit *barely* fits now.  If you had told me around the time this was taken that I would still be here 2 years later I would laugh…

…because I didn’t think I was cut out for this field and that I was going to be fired.

It was a series of factors – mostly the timing of growth in the office at a time that I was still learning how to use a very complex set of systems, be a legitimate assistant for the first time, and learning all of the different products and services this firm offers.  I was also dealing with a toxic home environment that did not help AT ALL.  My fear of being fired became so severe that it is now just a running joke…but at the time I was concerned that my mistakes would cost us clients and that constant battle to my self esteem was dark.

But I am still here.  I now [mostly] know what I’m doing.  AND I’m happy!

I get really sad when I see people jumping from job to job because they aren’t happy immediately.  How do you know that if you aren’t even giving yourself time to get in the groove?  We’re not super geniuses that pick up a new company’s procedures and cultures overnight.

How to Survive the First 6 Months at Any Job

1. DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED IMMEDIATELY
I know this is difficult.  I know you’re new and things are new and different and you would rather go play in traffic than fuck up and have to be told that you fucked up.  It’s OK.  Instead of getting anxious and upset you should own up and try not to make that mistake again.

2. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN
It’s a hell of a lot easier to keep your shit together when you have notes.  Take the time you need to write clear notes that you can reference when you’re confused about something.  A good employer will not be annoyed by the time it takes you to write things down for later.

3. ASK EVERY QUESTION YOU HAVE AND ASSUME NOTHING
Even if you’re WRITING EVERYTHING DOWN you may still be confused and that’s totally okay.  Whenever I get an intern, the first thing I tell them is to never hesitate to ask a questions because a good employer would rather you ask a question 3 times and do something right rather than make an educated guess and fuck things up.  Hell, I still take applications to my supervisor to review before I submit if I’m in anyway concerned.

4. PUT YOUR FUCKING CELL PHONE AWAY
You don’t need the distraction.  You don’t need to ever be caught scrolling on Facebook.  You’re not yet acclimated enough to be able to juggle social and work life at the same time.  AND you don’t want to look bored or like you don’t have enough work to do.

5. UNDERSTAND THAT TRUE GROOVE TAKES T-I-M-E
I have just recently (I’d say since about November 2016) gotten into my work groove.  I found my sweet spot for organization and task tracking.  This groove consists of a written daily  to-do list, Outlook Tasks, tasks in our Client Relationship Management system, and a spiralbound notebook that I write everything in when I’m on the phone or have an adviser in front of me explaining a bigger task.  It may seem like a lot when typed out but this is how I’ve been able to effectively track and manage my tasks.

I wish I had followed this advice when I started but am also thankful that I have an awesome employer and we’ve managed to work it all out.

sagittarius_318-63013

#TealTuesday – the Pinterest Board

I’ve been collecting teal on Pinterest since I started the #TealTuesday hashtag.  It’s a lot of home decor and fashion just by the nature of pinterest but I find it rather calming to look at a screen of teal items.

Check out my #TealTuesday board and all of my other boards!

I’m always looking for more people to follow!

This basically sums up my challenges.

6 Weeks Down. 46 To Go!

6 Weeks of this has turned it into a habit – I keep in mind my goals each week as I do things and I think it’s really helping with focus!  I’ve also got a routine down that makes me feel better during the day.

General Health
I’ve been logging religiously on myfitnesspal  despite not staying within calorie budgets.  I joined the GMF February Fitness Challenge with  Girl Meets Fitness that started February 6!  Did I go to the gym on day one and do the youtube?  HOLY FUCK I ACTUALLY DID THE WORKOUTS!  I even did one of the days at home for a snow day – I only got 20 minutes in but it was better than nothing.

I am Three Weeks Down on the StepBet Challenge  I was pretty concerned that my rest day was on Thursday due to a snow day – I REALLY needed the sleep and laziness.  Sunday was rainy and NOT EASY and there was a LOT of house pacing and chores-doing.  Mad shout-outs to my weekly Aldi date who also needed to go to Petsmart and was happy to walk a few laps with me around the store before checkout.

I went to the gym A LOT this week – even Saturday!  It feels good to get up and do it.

GYM July 2016 – June 2017: 42 /120
GMF is definitely help me reach this goal – I did try to do one workout at home but it’s just too distracting!  I’m trying to get 5:30am to be my work week habit

Sub-Goal: Donate Blood – February 20th!

Be Creative
I got to make Harry Potter wands with my friend for her Harry Potter birthday party on Saturday.  Chopsticks, hot glue, paint, and pizza?!  Hell to the yes.  I had SO MUCH FUND doing this and booping people on the nose with them.

I’m still knitting!   I LOVE KNITTING!  I just have to get better so I can learn how to fix my mistakes as I get frustrated easily.  I (mostly?) learned how to tink* and am told my rows are pretty good.  I’ve found that this is a great activity to do while running SwagBucks videos are running on my laptop.

This basically sums up my challenges.
This basically sums up my challenges.

*”tink” means to knit backwards when you make a mistake – it’s just knit backwards HAHAHA

Financial Goals

Pay Down Some Mortgage
I’m up to $81.49 this week using Qapital – I added a few more rules ot try to get to that $100 faster and hopefully that works soon!  I guess I could, in theory, save the whole $1,000 through this but with the opening of the Wells Fargo account mentioned last week I think I’m better off pumping cash into that account because it earns interest.  I also took some of my rolled change money that I deposited into Wells Fargo last week and threw it at the principal just like the financial adviser I met with told me to do!

Save Like a Motherfucker
Soooo I forgot about this thing called “car insurance” that is due every 6 months so it was an all-hands-on-deck situation to pull $413 to get that paid before I got stuck with interest on the credit card.  It’s going to be a rough month.

Mortgage: $31.50 + $81.49 = /$1,000
Savings: $0/$1,000
So $2,000 towards each of these goals by June?Yeah I still got this.

Professional Goals

Continuing Education Credits for Health License
We started this training this week and I was told to wait another month or two before I start the CE credits.  Boo.

Learning About Annuities
Someone else at work is scheduling this sooooooo hopefully March or April?

Blog Goals

Why The Fuck Are You Reading This?
Yeah I’m not sure why you are either…but it’s good for me right now!  I know that I need to produce more content that is going to be for YOU but it feels like I’m doing a lot of good things right now and I need to roll with that.  Progress.

Weekly Updates
I definitely need these updates more than you need them.

#TealTuesday Keep the Change!

Today’s #TealTuesday deals with some of my favorite stuff – change!  And since change is copper and silver…how can I make this teal, you say?

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This is my piggy bank!  It’s actually a bear bank.  A teal, sparkly bear bank from the Minnesota airport.  Every few months I count up my change in this bank and a burger bank I keep by the door and deposit it!  I got $6.50 out of this guy this week and deposited it in my new Wells Fargo checking for my Pay Down the Mortgage Goal

Share your piggy banks!  What do you do with spare change?

 

 

knits

WEEK 5: Knits, Bits, & Shits

FEBRUARY HAS BEGUN!  GET IT, BITCHES.

Personal Goals

General Health
I’ve been logging religiously on myfitnesspal  despite not staying within calorie budgets.  I may have also joined a [free] February Fitness Challenge with Girl Meets Fitness that starts today!  Did I go to the gym on day one and do the youtube?  WAIT A WHOLE DAMN WEEK TO FIND OUT LOL.

I am Two Weeks Down on the StepBet Challenge  I need to hit at least 14,979 steps 4 days a week and 18,592 steps 2 days a week, every week, until March 5.  I rocked week 2 with flying colors!  There is $26,520 in the pot and at least 35 people have dropped out already.

GYM July 2016 – June 2017: 37/120
I got it in TWICE this week – definitely an improvement!

Sub-Goal: Donate Blood – February 20th!

Be Creative
I hit the library on break one day and picked up Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness and have kind of been slogging through it.  I’m finding it more and more difficult to read on the bus which leads us to the other creative thing….

knits

I’m learning to knit!!!  I was telling my friend how I was interested in taking a knitting class and she said I could just come to her knitting circle and teach me!  I went to Loop and picked up a skein of yarn and wooden needles and I’m learning!  I do great as long as a knitter is somewhere near me but I am having a hard time learning how to fix my mistakes.  Despite looking at several youtubes I just cannot figure out how to fix a dropped stitch!!  So I must wait until Thursday to get it fixed and keep going….but in time I will learn to fix my mistakes.

Financial Goals

Pay Down Some Mortgage
I’m up to $71.33 this week using Qapital Only one #wallydog pictures last week on his third birthday but other spending pumped this up!

Save Like a Motherfucker
MoneyTalkNews had a post about Wells Fargo running a promotion where you get $250 for opening a checking account so I have a bank account linked to my mortgage now!  It was $25 to open so I took the $25 from paypal and I rolled a bunch of change at the house (more on this on Tuesday!) so there is now $81.50 sitting in that account and it gains a little interest!!

Mortgage: $63.43/$1,000
Savings: $81.50/$1,000
So $2,000 towards each of these goals by June?Yeah I still got this.

Professional Goals

Continuing Education Credits for Health License
We started this training this week and I was told to wait another month or two before I start the CE credits.  Boo.

Learning About Annuities
Someone else at work is scheduling this so

Blog Goals

Why The Fuck Are You Reading This?
I need to get better about using Instagram to promote this blog since it’s my second most popular platform (Facebook being #1 but I’m just not comfortable advertising to that platform yet)

Weekly Updates
5 down.  47 to go!  I like doing this on Sunday nights to share with you all the next morning

Any ideas on how to achieve these goals?  I’m all ears!

photo courtesy for amazon.com

Earning Free Amazon Gift Cards – How I’m up to $112.88 so far in 2017!

I currently have $112.88 on my Amazon gift card balance from earning sites.

photo courtesy for amazon.com
photo courtesy for amazon.com

December was good to me in many ways – one of them being I was able to cash out on a lot of earning sites that had high earning rates for the holidays!  Here is how I racked up this random amount of cash in December.

Ways to Earn Amazon Gift Cards

$40.00 through Inbox Dollars
It took me 6 months to earn $30 – and then less than a month to earn the additional $10 in the higher bonus time of December.  Now…it took me 6 months because I didn’t spend much time with it until the last 2-3 months when I actually got into some surveys, played videos a lot, and did a few e-mail offers.  I earned $67 in 2016 through Inbox Dollars and I think it would be more worth it if I spent more time with it….but I’m trying to limit my earning site time in 2017!

$17.88 through Job Spotter by Indeed
December is PERFECT for Job Spotter because everyone is hiring for extra holiday help – I cashed in for all sorts of help wanted signs and now it’s become a game I can’t stop playing.  I like to walk around on my lunch breaks and find now hiring signs!

$5.00 through Perk.com
Probably the longest $5 it took to earn – from my understanding, people make the most money from them running phones all day and it just seems overly time consuming.  I enjoy their Word Search and Pop Quiz (trivia) games but am no longer working any harder than that to earn.

$25.00 through Swagbucks
Ahhhh Swagbucks.  My love-hate relationship that is more hate every year.  The earnings are not as great, the videos longer, and the surveys just never want to hear from a 30 year old female from 19145.  Yet I can’t seem to stop running videos on my phone at home or checking in when I’m on the laptop.  For that,December was an easy earning month sand I’ve got $25!  I earned $255 in gift cards through Swagbucks in 2016

$25.00 from Verizon Rewards
I earn rewards for just having Verizon – I have things set on auto pay and I earn rewards monthly so in December I cashed out for another Amazon gift card.  I earned about $75 last year in giftcards from Verizon so it’s nice they give a little back despite their ridiculous prices.

 

 

 

FitBit Charge HR 2

#TealTuesday 5 Ways to Stay Motivated with FitBit

FitBit Charge HR 2
FitBit Charge HR 2

I live in a teal world.  They know me here.  Look, it was a pretty easy selling point that it was teal but it ALSO keeps me on track with fitness AND money goals!  This is now my third style of FitBit after the original charge gave me skin rashes and I lost my Fitbit One when it came off my yoga pants in an Uber  – I’ve had the FitBit Charge 2 for 4 months now and have had no issues!

Click here to be my friend on FitBit!  Let’s get in a step challenge and shit talk like a teenager in Call of Duty (without the racial slurs of course)

5 Awesome Apps That Work with FitBit

In honor of our 5th week of #TealTuesday

StepBet
ICYMI: 2 weeks ago I signed up for a StepBet Challenge that started yesterday that I bet $40 and should get that back AND THEN SOME! which will all be calculated by my FitBit.  The pot is currently at $26,520 with 663 participants and last night I met one of my stretch goals so I’m on this.

There is a similar app called Pact but they are currently having integration issues with my FitBit…so we’lll see what’s up with that in the future!

Achievemint
I use Achievemint to earn for fitness for free- link your fitness and social media apps to earn!  Sign up with my link and earn 250 points. You can earn points for logging through connected apps, posting health-related tweets, or checking in to healthy locations!

MyFitnessPal
I like that MyFitnessPal (MFP) links to my FitBit and then I get some more calories back to eat!  As of today I’m on my 51st day of logging which is probably my longest streak to date since I did Weight Watchers in 2012.  The key to health is eating mostly right and moving your ass and this app helps with that.

Walgreens Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices
Walgreens will let you link your FitBit (and other apps) to your Walgreens balance rewards so you can earn cash back for steppin’ it up!  I’ve got about $10 sitting in there right now and I usually just cash it out in $5 or $10 increments whenever I see it.  It’s basically free money back for having a FitBit!

higi
If you have seen a blood pressure station at a Rite Aid or Walgreens it’s probably a higi station.  This is how i weigh myself because I don’t keep a scale in my house and it links to my FitBit.  Honestly, the rewards for higi really suck but I like that I have to go to these to weigh in – kind of like my own ghetto Weight Watchers but without the meetings.

What do you use your FitBit or other tracker for?  Has it been beneficial?

 

WEEK FOUR: One Month Down!

January is basically over!

Personal Goals

General Health
I’ve been logging religiously on myfitnesspal  despite not staying within calorie budgets during my surgery recovery.

 

I am One Week Down on the StepBet Challenge  I need to hit at least 14,979 steps 4 days a week and 18,592 steps 2 days a week, every week, until March 5.  Hitting those 18.5k days was not easy but Wally was thankful for the extra walkies.  Those stretch days are tougher than I thought but that’s why it’s called a challenge!!

GYM July 2016 – June 2017: 35/120
I went once last week and I may not have been totally ready for it.  I did a light 30 minutes on the elliptical that felt like a marathon with the level of sweating I was doing.  Not only was my face pretty sore but I managed to pull a back muscle tying my shoe in the locker room after my workout.

Sub-Goal: Donate Blood – February 20th!

Be Creative
I had to return my library book of The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results and have not started another book yet – this was a good read but just didn’t capture me enough to breeze through it.

I did play around with Photoshop a bit but my free trial is up.  My wonderful boyfriend let me borrow his DSLR camera so I got to spend some time in Delaware this weekend playing around with it.  I’m not much of a photographer at all….but there’s only one way to learn and get better, right?

Financial Goals

Pay Down Some Mortgage
I’m up to $63.43 this week using Qapital Only one #wallydog pictures last week on his third birthday but other spending pumped this up!

Save Like a Motherfucker
I was able to save on the grocery budget this week!  My office shares a breakroom with a law firm that went to trial this week and they were pushing leftover catering on anyone willing to take it.  My fridge was full of meatloaf, green beans, veggies, and baked goods.  I even threw some of the meatloaf in the freezer at work for when I forget lunch one day.

Mortgage: $63.43/$1,000
Savings: $25/$1,000
So $2,000 towards each of these goals by June?Yeah I still got this.

Professional Goals

Continuing Education Credits for Health License
Well I have not started the CE but I am starting life insurance training at work starting on Thursday!

Learning About Annuities
Yeah I gotta get on this.

Blog Goals

Why The Fuck Are You Reading This?
I pulled the trigger on web hosting and then I panicked after trying to figure out SiteGround for a week and cancelled the service….I don’t believe I was using it right so I got my money back and am back on regular ol’ wordpress.  I like it and it’s simple and I’m not ready to do much more than this!  And that’s okay!  Hobby on!

Weekly Updates
I feel like I need to incorporate more photos in these and maybe something else to keep them consistent but not monotonous.

Any ideas on how to achieve these goals?  I’m all ears!

2013-01-28 12.04.14

SSA.gov – See Where You’ve Been & Where You’re Going!

Hey!  It’s about that time….your W-2’s are rolling in, other pieces of important paper are making their way to your home, and you’re either terrified of writing a check to Uncle Sam or excited to get a lil’ somethin’ somethin’…..

Tax season.

It’s kind of neat to check out your w-2 and see just what your time was worth in 2016.

It’s even cooler to see what your time was worth (“on the books”) for your entire working life.  You can sign up for My Social Security  and see your history of earnings and what your estimated monthly social security benefit would be once you meet the benefit requirements.

To qualify for social security, you have to technically work and pay into social security for 40 quarters – 10 years.  I’ve qualified for social security for quite sometime now and you probably have too if you’re reading this of all blogs.

Your estimates are based on the assumption that you will earn the same salary every year from now until retirement.  I check it at least annually since my salary has gone up a little bit.  Here’s mine so far:

At full retirement age (67): $1,666 a month

At age 70: $2,066 a month

At early retirement age (62): $1,166 a month

Makes you think about that sweet tax break for contributing to personal retirement plans, huh?

The Importance of Saving for Retirement

I like to think by age 67 I will have my mortgage paid off so I won’t have to put $1,000 a month towards that….but even so, what the fuck does one do with a measly $1,666 a month?  Can you live off of that and handle an emergency?

All I’m saying is that people don’t enjoy retirement as much when they are living off of just their social security….because it is NOT ENOUGH.

Boost that 401k!  Open a Roth IRA and start contributing – up to $5,000 annually (and until April 15 of the following year)!  Or at least STOP MAKING MORE DEBT FOR YOURSELF.