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!

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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.

 

 

 

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!

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.

#TealTuesday #4 My Only Handbag

wp-1483021280753.jpgThis is basically the only handbag I own.  I use this or my Under Armor backpack for all my shit-lugging needs.

I bought this Fossil Morgan Zip Cross Body Bag in September of 2014 and it has been my only real handbag since.  I still have the bag that this one replaced, but the strap was broke n so when I switch out I have to use the same strap.

Aside from not considering handbags – PLURAL- a necessity, here are the strict requirements I have for handbag purchase.  If it doesn’t meet these requirements, I will not buy it (no matter how cute it is.  no matter how on sale it is.  no matter how badly I want something new):

 

Criteria for a Handbag:

Cross Body Strap.  I have to be careful about hurting my back but I NEED to be hands-free and cannot stand bags that have to be held up on your shoulder or at your elbow.  Don’t even get me started on clutches.

Zip Top.  Not only does this keep your bag from falling over/being dropped and spewing your bag full of shit all over the street but it keeps people from being able to pick-pocket you.  In a city, I need that extra bit of security.

At Least 2 Pockets.  This one has EIGHT and I love it.  I like my bags like I like my emotions – easy to compartmentalize.

Real Leather.  Cloth bags get dirty and fall apart a lot faster.  I need something durable that will last and so far Fossil’s leather has been doing good.  Yes, the dye is starting to wear off in some spots on this bag but you

How many handbags do you have?  What’s the oldest one you use?

WEEK THREE RECAP- How are your goals going?

I basically lost the first half of the week recovering from surgery – I wasn’t much of a human again until Thursday this week but bascially sleeping for 6 days gave me enough energy to get some good stuff done around the home!  Check it out.

Continue reading

One Week Down. Fifty One to Go.

How did the first week of my goals go?  Well…let’s see:

Personal Goals

General Health
I went to the gym twice last week which is better than many other weeks.  I forgot to mention in my initial post that my gym will reimburse my gym memberships if I go to the gym 120 times in a calendar year.  120 equals going up to three times most weeks so it’s a bit tough and I have a few months where I was off the bandwagon.  So far I’ve been 32 times since July 5th…in theory, if I go 3 times a week from now to the end of june I can hit that reimbursement!

As you read this, I’m finishing up at the gym right now!  I’ll be down for the count Thursday and Friday so I’m making an effort to get it in early this week.

GYM July 2016 – June 2017: 33/120

Sub-Goal: Donate Blood – February 20th!

create! Create!! CREATE!!!
I STARTED A PAINTING!  I got my paints all set up in my Craft Cave and have put two layers down so far.  It feels good but I think I need to get a second one going too because I forgot how much I hate lag time when waiting for paint to dry.

Curious of what Wally was helping me with last week?  I WORKED ON A LATCH HOOK PROJECT!  I pulled a latch-hook rug project out that I started a year ago and finished the block but now need to go back and fix it up.  I don’t want to reveal what it is yet….so here’s another picture of Wally helping me with it:wp-1483926358383.jpg

I picked up Amy Poehler’s Yes Please at the library and finished the book last night.  I’m convinced that Amy Poehler and I are *almost* the same person and feel freshly renewed.  The book set a good tone for my year and was full of awesome quotes to hold close.  I joined a Goodreads Reading Challenge to read 6 books this year – a bit less than the 30+ most of my friends on there have pledged….but I’m realistic and know myself.  I do have a few books waiting to come in at the library and I anticipate finishing this book pretty darn fast.

 

Financial Goals

Pay Down Some Mortgage
I saved $8 this week using Qapital

Save Like a Motherfucker
This week was a bit of a wash as I did go out twice BUT I also got a free catered lunch at work that fed staff for 2 days of lunch, the man and I for dinner, dinner with friends on Saturday…and I’m eating the rest of it for lunch at work today.  I did not actually save yet soooo…

Mortgage: $8/$1,000
Savings: $0/$1,000
So $2,000 towards each of these goals by June? It’s still reasonable.

Professional Goals

Continuing Education Credits for Health License
I e-mailed someone at work that does webinars and teaches people the products we sell so he’s going to call me this week to set up some webinars.

Learning About Annuities
I e-mailed someone different at work and they are on vacation so I hope to hear back sometime next week.

Blog Goals

Why The Fuck Are You Reading This?
Thank you to the people that have read for the last week!  I look forward to interacting in the future and hearing what people have to say.

Weekly Updates
Well….one down.

How did the first week of 2017 go for you?

Zodiac Signs and your Money Management

From Thought Catalog’s  What Your Zodiac Sign Says About How Good (Or Bad) You Are With Money by Kara Stevens:

Sagittarius

Sagittarius has a strong work ethic and zero qualms about rolling up his or her sleeves and putting in a hard day’s work. This fire sign is passionate about what they do for a living. They spend judiciously,purchasing items of quality or great usefulness. The financial health of Sagittarius is typically good since they are quite good at socking away a sizeable amount of cash and make careful spending choices.

Accurate or accurate?  I’m only not good at socking away sizeable amounts of cash because I’m adept at throwing sizeable amounts of cash into debt.

I take everything I read regarding zodiacs with a grain of salt!  I’m aware that the stars do not define everything…but it’s fun to think about when mine are often painfully accurate!

How did this post align with your sign?

A Better Way to Goal – Wuddup, 2017?

“To be happy we need something to solve. Happiness is therefore a form of action;”
Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

I’ve spent the last few years haphazardly monitoring my goals that every year seem to be the same themes with little progress….and every year I end up feeling unfulfilled.

This year, I’m going to go a bit above and beyond. I turned 30 this month and I’m finally ready to grow and focus.  Less nickel and diming and more big-picture shit.  I think I’ve put together some legitimate, measurable goals for 2017 that I am excited to work towards.

Personal Goals

General Health
2016-08-25-07-23-05“lose weight” is pretty typical but this year I just want to focus on making good health decisions.  I’ve gained about 30lbs in the last 2 years which sucks but I am not upset with how I look.  So I am going to get some blood work done in February after my sinus surgery to see where I really need to work but am also going to continue doing healthy shit like not drinking soda and hitting the gym and using my FitBit.
Sub-Goal: Donate Blood – Donating blood is basically the poor philanthropist’s greatest gift.  Too broke to give money?  Here is some shit your body literally regenerates for free.  Have at it.  I’m signed up for a blood drive on February 20th to donate at the University of Pennsylvania (had to wait until after surgery)

Focus on Creativity 
I’ve spent the last few years focusing my energy on committing almost every waking moment to making money – from work to sitting in front of this laptop cranking out surveys and videocounts for apps like Swagbucks and InboxDollars.  Every year, the earning becomes less and the burden to make pennies greater.  It doesn’t make me happy.  So I need to reset that.

2011

Creating makes me happy.  Painting, doodling, collaging, reading, going to art shows makes me happy.  I need to get back to that and bring my focus back to the ways I feel most alive.  I’m gonna do the fuck out of some art this year and I’m going to work the sexiest on me – my goddamn brain.

Financial Goals

Pay Down Some Mortgage
Wuddup, mortgage? How YOU doin? Look, we’re cool and all but I don’t want to hang together for 30 years. So I’m gonna pump money into your principal this year. Take it like a champ. But June I want to have one extra payment of just principal in there – about $1,000.

Save Like a Motherfucker
Between my savings and my Roth IRA there is a lot of opportunity to put more money away and I need to embrace that this year. Ideally I would like to put at least $1,000 away by June between those two accounts.

So $2,000 towards these goals by June? It’s reasonable.

Professional Goals

License Credits
In order to maintain my health, life, and disability insurance license I have to get 24 Continuing Education (CE) credits every 2 years.  It would appear that most people wait until they’re getting the notifications that it is about to expire.  I’m going to get a jump on it and try to get 12 credits done by June.

Annuities
These are not my responsibility at work currently but I want to learn more about them.  There’s not much elaboration here because I have much to learn.

Blog Goals

Why The Fuck Are You Reading This?
I want to be a voice for personal growth.  I want to motivate my fellow “aging millennials” to push through mountains of debt and still live a happy life.  I’m tired of stressing about my student loans and mortgage every goddamn day and it took a meeting with a financial adviser for me to realize that I am paying off my investments in my future and there’s no need to live a life of guilt and deprivation.  Within reason.

Weekly Updates
I want to work to update you on these goals weekly.  I want to spend most of my time creating but I want to check in and be held accountable.  Follow me to share your journeys.  Follow me to ridicule me when I miss a week or have gained another 30 pounds.  Follow me to see a lot of F-bombs.

So these are my goals to solve  – what are you going to accomplish the fuck out of in 2017?

BJ's List for Today.

BJ’s List Hack – why haven’t I thought of this until just now?

2016-12-17-10-19-36

I’ve gotten very sick of trying to rustle through the coupons and trying to do math at the same time in the aisles – so I’ve made it slightly more idiot-proof!  I have this list and I will not deviate from this list.  Everything we need to get through the winter without ordering delivery every night.

The IB circled next to some is for iBotta – it’s a cash back app where you unlock rebates, scan the items you buy and take a pic of your receipt, and then when you hit $20 in rebates you can cash out to Paypal, Venmo, or other types of gift cards.  Sign up for iBotta with my referral link and get a bonus.