It's hot.

When Huge Expenses Arrive

Okay….so as I mentioned in my last weekly update….my HVAC system took a huge poop last week. So. I have a Big Hairy Expense Goal coming up. I BHEG if you will instead of a BHAG for those familiar with business planning.

Estimated Cost: Between $6,000 – $10,000

Here is what I’m doing to make this as easy as possible:

SHOPPING AROUND
My boyfriend freelances and has been available this week to have 4 different companies come to look at our system and quote replacing the gas furnace and A/C. He was also kind enough to do a BUNCH of research to help me understand what these dudes are talking about and what I’ll be paying for.

LOOKING FOR ALTERNATIVES
We’ve been taking two box fans back and forth between the living room and bedroom. Unfortunately, there’s also construction on our block so we can’t keep the front windows open. A friend is kindly lending us a window unit so we can wait out the 2+ weeks we may be waiting for installation. This will keep us comfortable at home and less likely to seek out other places that will make us spend money!

CUTTING OTHER EXPENSES
So far I’ve cancelled my Bennett compost service, Spotify, and Amazon Prime. My cell phone will be paid off in my next bill so that should go down. We aren’t running a 25 year old inefficient air conditioning unit so that is saving expenses….though I’m not sure that’s saving when we’re running box fans 24/7.

One expense I’m not cutting? The $15/month gym membership. I’ve been going more and showering there to conserve at the house and make it less hot.

MAKING SOME EXTRA MONEY
I am paying $10 for a 10×10 space at the DiSilvestro Craft & Flea Market on Saturday from 11am through 4pm. I’ve got lots of sewing, quilting, and scrapbooking supplies that I’ve been carting around for way too long. Every night this week I’ve gone home and worked on pricing, staging options, and condensing for ease of travel. My only issue right now is when I signed up for this thing the weather was supposed to be sunny in the 80s and now they’re calling for rain. Anyone have a pop up tent I could borrow?

While pricing and organizing, I’ve been running Swagbucks and InboxDollars

That’s what I’m doing leading up to making a decision and saying goodbye to all of my money for a few months. What do you do when you’re suddenly strapped for cash?

 

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!

Five Frugal Things: Saturday Edition

A la The Non-Consumer Advocate:

  1. I ate leftover pizza and brewed coffee at home for breakfast.
  2. I used our rain barrel water to clean out our Bennett Compost bucket, another bucket, and water some plants.
  3. I met the boyfriend at a bazaar happening at our local Whole Foods – we walked around and bought nothing then came home and ate snacks. One of my favorite things about Philadelphia is all the free entertainment spring through fall.
  4. I’ve had the itch to go out and get a beer or something. Instead, we’re drinking what we have at home. We also went to Acme and bought New York strip steaks, some sides, and a dessert for the cost of one entree at a restaurant. I’m so thankful my man can cook!
  5. Spending the evening in is so much cheaper! Eating and drinking at home while watching the TV we pay for. I’m running Swagbucks and knitting through it all.

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 11 RECAP – I Did Nothing for St. Patty’s Day. Holllaaaa

General Health

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

  1. Respect nutrition – I’ve been eating a lot of oatmeal and trying to stay right buuuuut there were lots of pizza slices and cookies this week
  2. Do one legitimate straight-leg pushup – I’ve been able to up my hand weights from 5lb to 8lb and can now do about 3 knee push ups.  PROGRESS!  I FEEL IT!
  3. Beat last month’s 13 days at the gym – I’m at 10 as of Friday!  I’m going to try to break this record this very week!

It was really difficult to stay on track for the StepBet this week with all that snow!  It makes me so lethargic.  On Tuesday I ended up working from home and spent the last hour of my day jogging in place and walking around the block to knock out the last 4,000 steps before bed.  Rest day can’t be Tuesday!

GYM July 2016 – June 2017: 61(as of 3/19) /120 HALFWAY MARK! WOOO!!  Think I can do 59 more by the end of June?  

Be Creative
I messed up in my scarf this week and was unable to make knitting circle….so that is on hold until I can get help to “frog” a few lines and get in.  I know where I messed up and tried to just keep knitting….but it’s an eyesore now and I feel like I won’t be happy with the finished product unless I take the time to fix it.  Sooooo I’m going to fix it!

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
Another $100 went into Principal!  I’m not fucking around.

Frugal as Fuck
I loaded up one of my desk drawers with oatmeal and oatmeal essentials so I always have a post-gym breakfast.  Or an emergency lunch. And a backup bag of coffee.  

As you can see, I also use painter’s tape and a sharpie to label things – I do this in the kitchen too.  It’s a cheap labeling system that doesn’t leave sticker residue on anything.

The boyfriend and I had a pleasantly cheap weekend – we walked to the grocery store Saturday to get a week’s worth of groceries and Philly AIDS Thrift on Sunday and bought nothing.  We stayed mostly indoors doing home shit and sleeping.

Mortgage: $531.50/$1,000

Professional Goals

Continuing Education Credits for Health License
Not much CE work was done this week.  I should really get back on that before I lose momentum!

The DI seminar was cancelled due to weather.  Fuck you, weather!  I wanted to get my free learn on!

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

Blog Goals

Why The Fuck Are You Reading This?
Still not focusing much on this AND I believe I have killed the weekly #TealTuesday posts….I will continue to post #TealTuesday stuff on my Instagram and Tumblr.

A friend once gave me the advice that i should focus on doing things rather than posting about them.  I like that so I’m going to keep on that.

Weekly Updates
I need to get better about proofreading these on Monday morning on the way to the gym before they post – sometimes when I copy/paste I miss things that make the weekly updates make less sense.  So I’m going to work on that more.

Five Frugal Things: Saturday Edition

A la The Non-Consumer Advocate:

  1. I have no plans….and that’s the best plan some weekends.  We went grocery shopping and are staying in the house while my boyfriend attempts making pho!  Our pot is not the suggested size but we are making do… wp-1489260198922.jpg
  2. I’m continuing to work on my first knitting project and I’m trying to get through the purple yarn so I can start the green!  It’s such a great activity to do and I can run Swagbucks and InboxDollars while I do it.  A great couch activity for a quiet, cold weekend.
  3. Enjoying the TV we have at the house instead of renting or going to the movies.  We do have cable and are locked in until December but we take full advantage of OnDemand and DVR.  I’ve got plenty of People’s Court and High Court to watch!
  4. I rinsed out the compost bucket with rain barrel water while that was emptying and watered our little babies – look at them grow!2017-03-11 11.02.32.jpg
  5. I’m not buying anything!  So enjoy this picture of Wallace:2017-03-11 12.45.49

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:

2017-02-26-17-08-29

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!

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.

#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?