Tag Archives: monthly goals

Adult Stuff: Budgeting, focusing on the future, and saving money

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of being in debt. Sick of feeling like I don’t have enough to do anything. Sick of feeling like I’ll never have enough. Sick of feeling like I’m the only one. I know I’m not. There is no way I am! But how does everyone else do it? How do they on vacations? Afford rent or mortgage? Save for a down payment on a house? How do they pay their student loans? Have a car? A dog?

I used to feel ashamed of my debt. Like I was the only one with debt. I felt like less of a person; like a failure. I felt alone.

A few posts I’ve written (this and this come to mind) have touched on my debt and the responses I got were overwhelming. I saw I wasn’t alone. And I saw you appreciated that I shared; that I voiced what you were feeling. So in that spirit, I’m going to continue sharing because those of you who know me know I love nothing more than talking about taboo topics. I love helping others by talking openly about things considered taboo, not for polite society (or society at all), not to be discussed outside of family, or not to be discussed at all! I do it in the hopes that it helps someone else feel comfortable discussing it too.

But I’m not all talk. I do have an action plan. Ready?

1) Focus on the future.

This might seem obvious, but I’m more of an in the moment/plan only one week ahead kind of person. Yes, I am a planner and list maker and working on my control issues when it comes to details but I am not this way when it comes to big important things in life. I’m also not terribly goal oriented. Combine that with not being motivated by money and you can see how I got here. I’m working on being more future focused in multiple areas of my life and so far it seems to be working. Currently my financial goals are:
1) pay off my last and final credit card debt
2) save money to pay my Mom back for the Bruno Mars concert we are going to this summer. She purchased the tickets and hotel room for us and I’d like to pay her back by concert time.
3) once I pay my mom off, continue saving that same amount each month for my December fund (Christmas and car related expenses)
4) Save money for my next car down payment
December is a big month for me financially. I should be close to paying off the credit card, it’s the holiday season so that means spending on others (and myself, lets be honest), and it is when my 2 year lease on my car is up. I will need a down payment for my next car and money to pay for the miles I go over according to my lease agreement. Preparing for this now will mean less spending now, but more security in the future. I’m using SmartyPig to help me with the savings. I like it because it isn’t tied to my checking account or at the same bank so I don’t see the money and I’m not tempted to spend it. I also like that you set up individual goals and you can see how far you’ve come in reaching them. Finally, 1% APY can’t be beat. It’s a social site in that you can share your goals with others so if you’d like to see how I am doing search for jacwheeler@gmail.com and send me an invite. I’d love to see your goals and cheer you on as well!

2) Cut unnecessary memberships.

Come on, we all have them and absolutely DO NOT need them. I actually don’t have a lot, but I do have Julep, which I love, but I don’t need it. So bye bye Julep. I’m also considering dropping my gym membership. That’s $89 a month (yes, I know it’s ridiculously expensive but I really love it there!). If I stop it in April that’s $712 by December. Huge. Some of that $89 will go towards yoga class though so I’m not completely free of fitness related memberships. Just switching it up for something cheaper. I also have Netflix and quite honestly, I’m not ready to give it up. As I’m writing myself I’m kicking myself in the ass that I should cancel it. That’s an additional $7.99 towards a savings goal and every little bit counts, yes? Should I say bye bye to Frank Underwood?

3) Continue budgeting.

I really try hard to only spend the cash I get out every 2 weeks and while it works well for me, sometimes I do turn to my debit card for surprise expenses. When I go out to eat and I didn’t budget for it I am working on choosing a cheaper option from the menu. Compromise. I’m also keeping a little sticky note on my debit card that tells me how much “extra” money I have for incidentals and as I use the card I subtract the money on the sticky note. It’s a visual reminder.

That’s enough jibbar jabber for now. I’m curious about your goals and what you think of mine. Are these posts helpful? Would you like me to update you monthly on how I am doing? Updating the blog on my goals definitely keeps me accountable and helps me track where I’m at and where I’d like to go. Before I end this, two books that have really inspired me to take a closer look at who and where I want to be in the future and how my money is shaping that is Money: A Love Story and Paris Letters. Has anyone read these? I’m in the middle of both and loving them.

The Intentional Life Project

March Goals

Happy Saturday, friends. I’m a week late to the March goals posts but I wanted to share these anyway. I really fell off track in February. Between the weather and my Grandmom passing I did a lot of feeling sorry for myself which led to less than ideal choices. But it’s okay, we’re getting back on track.

March Goals

Finances

1. No spending in March.  This one can be both simultaneously hard and easy for me.  I really have everything I need/want so it’s easy for me to not spend.  But as I lose more weight, I need new pants.  So I might have to ease up on this to buy two pairs of pants– work and casual.  That, a monthly dinner date I have with my best friend, and finally getting my bf to let me pay for a night out are my three spending allowances this month.  To help me stay on track with this I will not be carrying around my debit card.  This is what works best for me.  I get the cash out I need for gas and my dates and that’s it.

2. Set up two savings accounts.  I use SmartPig.com where you get 1% APY.  I’ve used them before and really like it.  It’s an online bank where you can set up goals and when you reach them you can withdrawal the money either through having the money sent to your physical bank, through a SmartyPig cash card, or through retailer gift cards where you get additional rewards (like if you release your money to an Amazon giftcard you’ll get an additional 3%).  I have two accounts right now– one is for the Bruno Mars concert my Mom and I are going to in July.  She paid for everything and I am putting aside money to pay her back.  The other is for the car I’ll need in December when my lease is up.  The savings accounts are on automatic pay so the money will leave my bank without me noticing.  I like having the savings accounts separate from my bank because I forget about it!

3. In the beginning of April I’ll reevaluate my budget and make any needed adjustments.

Fitness

1. Visit the gym 4 out of 5 work days.  This of course is contingent on the weather agreeing with me and allowing me to get to work and therefore the gym (my gym is next to my work and 45 minutes from my house).

2. Run at least 3 days a week with 2 short and 1 long run.  Maintain half marathon training.

3. Incorporate physical therapy exercises to strengthen core and glutes.

4. Focus more on strength training with a push/pull/leg split.

Health

1. Always an ongoing battle… eat cleaner.  I’d like to reduce splurging to twice a week and eat cleaner the other 5 days.

2. Meal plan.  Maintain prepping breakfasts and lunches for the week.  Prep more snacks.

Long Term Goals

1. Move out.  Ugh.  A recent exploding fight with my Mom fueled my need to focus more on getting out.  Don’t get me wrong, I like living there, appreciate and feel so lucky that they allow me to be there, and love coming home to a dinner every night that I didn’t cook, but it’s time for me be independent.  I’d really like to be credit card debt free before moving out so that I can start with a clean slate (except for student loans… kill me).  I only have one credit card left to pay off and getting that done as quickly as possible is what spurned my savings goals and no spending March.

2. On that finance note… continue to budget monthly and plan out what I will “splurge” on.  For example, my standing monthly dinner dates with Becky and anticipating when I’ll need new clothes.

3. Focus on using kinder words and speaking with intention rather than speaking to be heard.

 

The Intentional Life Project
The Nectar Collective

Am I the Only One?

Good Wednesday to you all!  I hope your day is treating you well so far.  Mine was off to a good start and continuing nicely along that trajectory.  Just a few random thoughts today… as if my random thoughts yesterday weren’t enough!  A lot of “anyone else?” questions below!

So this morning I woke up at 7:30.  Not bad except I’d prefer to wake up at 7:15. My dream time is 7.  But no matter what I do, no matter how much I prepare and set myself up for success the night before, I wake up at 7:30.  I think it’s because I know I can still be on time if I wake up at 7:30, even if I wake up at 7:45… or 7:50 as has happened before.  I’m on time, but I’m rushed, and I don’t get to do everything I want to do… like a little eye makeup and play with bling.  Any tips on how to actually wake up?  Let me say that my alarm goes off at 6:40 and I’ve tried a variety of noises.  I do wake up, I just hit snooze-a-looze and go back to sleep.  Who else has this problem?

So far so good on the healthy train.  Yesterday I DID NOT want to run.  It was on my schedule to do a 2 mile run after work and I just wasn’t feeling it.  My head was allergy foggy all day, I had a twinge in my back, I was feeling like I had a little bit of cramps, and most importantly, I just didn’t want to.  As always, I turned to the friend for guidance and butt kicking.  Here is a quick summary of the texts following this one…

Me: my plan today was to run 2 miles.  I’m still so foggy.  Run or no?
Friend: brisk walk if that’ll feel better?
Me: I don’t like to walk lol.  I prefer to run.

Insert lots of complaining here…

Me: [coworker] just told me it’s spitting out.  That means I shouldn’t
Friend: It’s not raining here.  Go home and run.

I did not appreciate that suggestion.

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Does anyone else have a friend like that? (Mags is her dog btw)  Mine is the best.  I didn’t want to do it, was pretty convinced I wasn’t going to run, and I was so, so, so happy I did.  I surprised myself with how much I was able to do and felt so good even though I hurt so bad.  I used my free interval app on my phone and set it for 60 seconds run 10 seconds walk.  Every 5 intervals or so I walked for 10:60:10.  I was able to do it and banged out 2 miles pretty quickly, but I think next time I’ll give myself a 15 second walk and hopefully I won’t have to take the extra long walk.  Do you like running through the woods?  I feel like part wood nymph, part Katniss, and part latin dancer due to my Pitbull songs.

katniss2 Pretty sure I look like that.

After running my stomach kind of hurt.  Am I the only one who gets stomach aches after running?  Maybe I ate my banana too soon after.  When I got home the Mumsie had prepared a yummy chicken and veggie meal and I inhaled that.  An hour later I was still hungry so I satisfied my incredibly weird, always present post-run craving: an egg and avocado sammy.

Maybe I’m really just craving protein and fat?  In any case, I fried up two more eggs for lunch today.  I.Can.Not.Wait.  Do you have weird post-run cravings?

Please tell me I’m not the only one!

P.S. I just placed an order with The Honest Company and I CAN NOT WAIT for it to get here!  If you’d like to place an order, click here.  I’ll be honest– I get a $20 credit for each order placed so please use that link if you’re interested :-)  Once you join and place an order, you’ll get your own link to share with friends and family.  All the more reason to click here and order!

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