WEEK 15 – HAPPY SPRING,YA’LL

6am. Monday morning. Trying desperately to get back on the gym game.

General Health

I was only down .2 this week but that’s still better than a gain and probably most certainly has nothing to do with the amount of pizza I ate. I’m not excited about weigh-in tonight because I was not good…including one day that I ate 100 points! Yikes!

I’m not gonna lie – I’m having a REALLY hard time getting back into the groove of my 6am workouts and normal life.

GYM July 2016 – June 2017: 78(as of 4/11) /120 

Be Creative
I did a lot of knitting when I went to my dad’s in Delaware this weekend.

Financial Goals

Pay Down Some Mortgage
I did not work toward this goal this week. I’ve been doing well but this week was a rough one financially so that didn’t happen and here’s why:

Frugal Fail of the Week
I went for my allergy shot on Wednesday and tried to stop by a new local coffee shop to try them on the way…..they were cash only. I don’t carry cash. So I figure I’ll just go to Starbucks instead along the way. I’m out of money on the app so I have to reload….and the reload minimum is $25. I go stand in the first Starbucks and a barista looks in the eye but does not acknowledge me and keeps holding a conversation with another barista. I count to 30 and walk out because I HATE THAT SHIT. I try to go to the other Starbucks closer to my doctor and they are closed because they can’t make coffee.

I get to work and sitting on my desk is a coupon for free coffee and pastry from Au Bon Pain. What a freaking waste of $25. SHAME.

Mortgage: $638.60/$1,000

Professional Goals

Continuing Education Credits for Health License
This thing called “tax season” should finally be behind me for the year and I can get a little breathing room to do this.

Learning About Annuities
Still waiting for that next session to come around

Blog Goals

A Comment! 
Shout out to David Carlson from Young Adult Money for taking the time to read last week’s post and comment! I read a lot of YAM and his comment reminded me that I need to be better about commenting [thoughtfully] on the blogs that I read more often.

Weekly Updates
I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting bad again about actually updating each section of this update. Stop it, me! You’re better than that!

And with this I pose a random question to you:
Have you ever had someone help you with your cover letter, resume, or job hunt? Was it free help or paid? Tell me about it please!

WEEK 12 IN THE BOOKS

General Health

Here’s how I’m doing with March FitCamp!  :

  1. Respect nutrition –I rejoined Weight Watchers this week and have been trying to get used to the new SmartPoints system as it’s different than the PointsPlus I did last time.  The meal on the left is 10 SmartPoints…and I only get 30 per day.  Luckily, the FitPoints are a lot easier to obtain so I’m able to eat almost double my points thanks to WW sycing with my FitBit!
  2. Do one legitimate straight-leg pushup – I’m noticing that the first 3 on-knee pushups suck a lot less when I do pushups but I’m still not very good.
  3. Beat last month’s 13 days at the gym –BOOM! I was at 15 as of 3/24

GYM July 2016 – June 2017: 65(as of 3/21) /120 

 

Be Creative
I learned how to frog and am back on track with my scarf!  I also now have all the yarn I will need for my next project thanks to someone offloading a bunch from KnitPicks for $8

I picked up Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide To Thriving In The Age of Accelerations at the library and I think it will come in handy for blogging!

Financial Goals

Pay Down Some Mortgage
I was only able to put another $25 in this week but I still put it in!  Telling you all about my weekly progress on this is keeping me motivated to suck it up and throw the money in.

Frugal as Fuck
I feel like every day is a struggle not to spend!  I put $149.95 down on Weight Watchers this week but it will eventually be reimbursed by my health insurance which is a win!

I spent $33 on WW-friendly foods at Aldi and have a good pack of fruits and veggies for work tomorrow!

Mortgage: $556.50/$1,000

Professional Goals

Continuing Education Credits for Health License
I’m officially the worst when it comes to working on my CE – work has been busy!  It’s kind of a good thing!

Learning About Annuities
This got pushed to the end of the month…..sigh.

Blog Goals

Why The Fuck Are You Reading This?
I don’t know either!  I hope to wade through my drafts at some point and pull some more sideposts weekly but who knows!

Weekly Updates
Well I’m posting at least once a week

Week 8 Recap – Excited for March!

General Health

I reached out to a nutritionist to see if they can help me set the best macross for me in  myfitnesspal  and basically to have a professional tell me to stop being such a fat fuck.  I know what my problems are but I’m just not sure the best course of action and have some blog fatigue when it comes to trying to do the research myself.

This was the last week of Girl Meets Fitness and I definitely tried my best but was just unable to do all 5 days of workouts in the last 2 weeks – but I did sign up for her March FitCamp!  Donating blood killed my energy for Tuesday’s leg day but I gave it my best!

I am FIVE Weeks Down on the StepBet Challenge – ONE MORE TO GO!!!! AHHHHHH!
I also signed up for the next challenge that starts March 6 and my goals are a few steps lower so that’s exciting.

GYM July 2016 – June 2017: 48(as of 2/22)  /120

Sub-Goal: Donate Blood – I donated on 2/20!  It was quick and painless YAY!  I have scheduled my next one on 4/26 at St. Monica’s which is just a few blocks from my house.

Be Creative
I’ve been working hard on my knit-game and am a little consumed by it.  I went and picked up 2 more balls of merino wool yarn from Loop to finish it.  I learned how to change colors at Thursday’s knitting circle and I’m trying to get through the purple ASAP

I have been so preoccupied with my knitting that I haven’t been reading so that may be the goal that gets dropped!  Oh well!

Financial Goals

Pay Down Some Mortgage
I transferred $51 from my new Wells Fargo checking account to my mortgage principal this week.  $250 of my paycheck is going direct deposit bi-weekly into this WF account and I think it’s a good idea to keep that over there in case shit goes down and I need to pay my mortgage.

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

Save Like a Motherfucker Frugal as Fuck
I grabbed a few extra snacks in my blood donation so we would have more things in the house to eat.  I found two pennies and a quarter on the ground.  I dug into the back of the work freezer for some chili I had thrown in there last month – it kept me fed through the work week!

My boyfriend’s birthday was Friday so I used a vacation day.  I was able to cash in some Opentable rewards to get a $20 gift card for our fancy dinner.  I got him a groupon for a massage and a few things he needed.

Other than that, we spent the weekend indoors eating crockpot mexican chicken and doing house stuff.  I [obviously] knit while running various videos and apps while he video gamed.  We did take a small trip to Lowes to get some gardening stuff together and started some plants!  Our thrift store Aero Garden needs a new motor so we ghetto-rigged this little setup:

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Mortgage: $81.50/$1,000
Savings: Ummmm…..
So $2,000 towards each of these goals by June? Ummmmm….

Professional Goals

Continuing Education Credits for Health License
I went ahead and signed up for a CE course that I wanted to do because my free coupon code was about to expire and I didn’t want to wait.

Learning About Annuities
We start March 10th!

Blog Goals

Why The Fuck Are You Reading This?
Apparently to learn about my dayplanner because this week’s #TealTuesday was my record-breaking view of OVER 28 VIEWS!!! WOOOOO!  I think it did so well because I promoted through an Intsgram pic and shared it to my Facebook.  I don’t want to lose my Facebook friends to over-marketing through….so that won’t be a usual thing.

Unless my friends legit start getting in on #tealtuesday which I guess I still need to really define as a hashtag, huh?

Weekly Updates
I’ve gone through almost the entire first quarter doing these so that’s exciting!

It Doesn’t Always Pay to Bundle Insurance!

In the last year, I have called 4 different popular insurance companies to see if I can get cheaper rates for my homeowners or car insurance.  I have sat on the phone and given all of my information with both policies sitting in front of me and then we get to the numbers….

Their quotes are always higher than my current policies.

And when I tell the popular insurance those numbers….they apologize and say that I already have the best rates.  They can’t match!  What’s up with that?

So far, it has been cheapest for me to keep my car insurance with Geico and my homeowners insurance with MetLife.  I will say that I’ve been with Geico for a LONG time so I am getting a loyalty discount.

The bundle is often a marketing scam – you assume you’re getting the best price because it’s bundled but often it could be cheaper to stay sepearate.

Protips for Insurance Shopping

1. Be prepared to spend some time and just pick up the phone
So far I have yet to be lucky enough to have a quote generate over the phone.  I sit there and put all my info in then they ask me to call with a reference number….only to have to give them all of the information again.  Don’t waste your time online – call that bitch and cut out the beep boop boop middle man.

2. Have your policies and most recent bills in front of you
They’re going to ask you a lot of questions about your current policy and it’s a lot easier to answer instead of guess.  This also ensure that you’re comparing apples to apples.  It’s also a lot easier to throw a premium number at them before they can push you to start signing up for their insurance.

3. Don’t tell them the premiums you pay until the end
I have just always found this to be easier because then they will be quoting you apples to apples to what you currently have.  If you tell them the number up front they may try to just get you a policy that is closest/below that number but not for the same coverage.  See what the exact coverage you have would be the go from there.

4. Ask if there are any employer or alumni discounts
I save $21.69 on my car premiums just for being a Drexel alumnus.  Every bit helps!

5. Sometimes it pays to stay loyal
I also save $40.16 on my car premiums because I’ve been a client with them for so long – I’ve only had a mortgage for a year but I’m sure I’ll be calling MetLife in another year to see what can be done for me.

I’m very interested to see what other people’s experiences are with this!  Whatchu got?  Lay it on me!

#TealTuesday – Keepin’ Organized

I’m a little old school in the sense that I still carry around a day planner and an event isn’t official until it’s in BOTH my Google Calendar and planner.

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This year I went with the InnerGuide 2017 Goal & Success Planner – Increase Motivation, Productivity & Happiness. Weekly & Monthly Organizer, Appointment Book & Journal (Jan – Dec) Hard Cover  Yes, the title is rather long and that’s justifiable since this planner has a LOT going on.

I find it to be the perfect planner/journal for people that like bullet journals but find the thought of creating one anxiety-inducing.

I don’t use every single aspect of this thing because I find it to be too much.  I didn’t want to go through a spiritual journey before I started putting dates in it and I’m really not good at setting intentions and as you can see – sometimes I phone them in just to not have it be empty:

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I love that this journal/planner hybrid as it has a LOT of space to think – there are several note sections and “Reflections & Ideas” boxes that I will often write in just to get something out of my head.

This thing goes with me everywhere and is also a ghetto folder/wallet – I have my library card taped in the back since I lost the original and I’ve been keeping my Girl Meets Fitness workouts in the back so I don’t forget them at the gym.

How do you stay organized?  What planner/planning method do you use?

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.

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.

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!

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?