Week 17 and it’s gonna be….

justin-timberlake-90s
Courtesy of 90’s 411

Sorry…as a product of the 90’s I can’t NOT make this joke.

General Health

Man…when I’m down, I am DOWN. Week 17’s WW mantra was to be kind to yourself and treat yourself as you would a friend on the same journey. I’m hard on myself. I am mad when I don’t accomplish my goals and even more mad when it’s because I am getting in my own way.

I DONATED BLOOD ON WEDNESDAY. So I’ve stayed on track with that side goal holla. I always feel better doing things that are for the greater good even though I hate needles. I was stabbed a total of 6 times last week between birth control, allergy shots, and blood donation.

My diet was a battle as we managed to get 4 boxes of Insomnia Cookies for Administrative Professionals Day (aka my bosses like me more than your bosses like you day) and I have very little control around baked goods. I also ate a LOT of barbecue so I bet weigh in is going to be rough.

Handling this new StepBet well still. 2 weeks down, 4 more to go!

GYM July 2016 – June 2017: 82(as of 4/28) /120 

Well…..at this point I would have to go to the gym every day between now and July 1 so I think I may have to shift this from July 2016 – August 2017 :( I’m going to keep going and keep trucking to do the best I can but it’s not looking great.

Be Creative
I’ve been knitting AND journaling again. I always get to work early so I’ve just been jotting a few lines down before work hubbub starts. It feels good to try.

I’m still reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” by Mark Manson and loving it.

I’ve also taken to listening to podcasts instead of music at work and I’m finding it helpful. Personal finance, comedy, and personal growth seem to be my podcast genres.

Financial Goals

Pay Down Some Mortgage
I threw $61.40 in there just to get myself up to an even $700 by the end of April.

Frugal AF
Man, I’m just trying. I slip up here and there on food but at least they’re small. I need to find new breakfast options as I am starting to loathe oatmeal (again) and have fallen prey to the breakfast buffet downstairs because bacon. My budget gets blown one bacon at a time.

I’ve been listening to some personal finance podcasts and find them helpful:

Bad with Money with Gaby Dunn

Radical Personal Finance with Joshua Sheats

Mortgage: $700/$1,000

$300 by the end of June? I hope I can make that work in 2 months!!

Professional Goals

Continuing Education Credits for Health License
I have one more free training with our insurance company and I have not been doing my license stuff. I told you when I’m down I’m DOWN

Learning About Annuities
We’re not getting far with these and it’s a little annoying.

Blog Goals

What Do You Like About This?
Got any feedback? Is there a particular thing you like about my weekly updates? Are they motivating or whiny? Lemme know

Weekly Updates
Doin’ the damn thing.

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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?

 

 

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!

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.

Boxed.Com Savings Hack – Act Now!

Step 1: If you have American Express, log onto your account and activate the Boxed.com $15 offer (if you would like a referral link to open an AmEx – send me your e-mail!)

Step 2: Sign up for iBotta

Step 3: Activate the Boxed.com offer – make sure to click the SHOP button at the bottom and download the Boxed.com app

Step 4: Create a Boxed.com account using this referral code (or put ATAA2 in the promo section at checkout)

Step 5: Spend at least $60 at checkout, make sure your referral promo code reflects $15.00 and use your $4 in rewards.

I bought 100 Forever Stamps for $46.75 and 100ct. Zyrtec for $37.99.

 Here’s how this worked for me:

Subtotal $84.74
Shipping $0.00
Tax $0.00
Referral Promotion $15.00
Rewards $4.00
AmEx Offer $15.00
iBotta Cash Back $12.71
Total $38.03

I get excited about the little things…like getting stamps a day before they go up in price without going to the post office…and almost getting them for free?

What savings hack triumphs do you have?