Category Archives: Goals

Q1 2016 Financial Report

I haven’t really given any financial updates in a while, so I figure now’s a good time!

First, I met my goal for 2015 of paying off my highest interest student loan! I was super stoked!

As much as I want to build on that momentum, 2016 is not being focused on student loans. I have two major items/events that my money is going to. I’m getting married in October, and I also desperately need a new vehicle. My goal is to not go into any debt for either of these items.

My fiance and I are paying for our wedding ourselves and splitting the costs 50/50. We’re looking to keep it under $8,000 total. Maybe $10,000 with the honeymoon, but the lower the better, obviously.

As far as a car goes, I’ve been complaining about my truck for years. I don’t need a brand new car but I do need something that’s more comfortable and roomy. I cannot keep going through Idaho summers without air conditioning. I’m looking to buy something used but with pretty low mileage in the  $6,000-$8,000 range.

After I paid off my student loan, my savings dipped below the $1,000 I always try to keep in there. Luckily, the first 3 months of 2016 have been financially awesome. I was able to put aside my entire tax return, and I was finally able to reimburse myself from my HSA for my wisdom tooth surgery last year. I also had a couple side gigs that brought in a few hundred dollars. Thus, I now have $3,000 in my savings and my checking account is in no danger of me needing to draw from savings.

So far I’ve spent about $1,000 on wedding planning, about a 4th of what I’ll need to spend total. with $3,000 more for wedding and at least $6,0000 needed for a car, I’m looking at needing to save $9,000.

I’ve been consistently able to save about 500 a month from my regular income. with 9 months left in the year, that’s about $4500, or half of my goal! However, with the weather heating up, I’d really like to buy a car in the next couple months. And the wedding is in October, meaning about 1500 of that $4500 won’t really count toward this year’s goals. (But that will be put to good use toward my student loans, which is still a priority. I’m just not putting my life on hold to pay off college.)

Luckily, I have a couple opportunities coming up to earn some extra money, so I’m hoping I can really maximize my income. More on that when it works out.

I could also do a little better on the frugal living front, but I’ve managed to keep my spending in check. Without really noticing, we’ve cut our eating out to about once or twice a month. We’re at a point where we genuinely prefer my homemade pizza enough that it’s worth the extra time and effort to make it rather than order subpar fast-food pizza, which is nice for our wallets and our bodies.

Overall, 2016 is looking great! I’m in a better financial spot than I’ve ever been, and I still have hopes for paying off my student loans before I’m 30, even though that’s not really my focus this year.

 

 

2015, Quarter 1

The first 3 months of this year have flown by. As far as my savings plan goes, it is going… tumultuously. I haven’t really earned any income on the side. I am doing well at saving money from my regular income though.

By now, I would have like to have made a nice large payment to my student loans, but car troubles and needing to get my wisdom teeth out have kept me from taking that money out of my savings. I’d rather feel secure that I can pay for unexpected expenses than save a couple bucks on interest. If I have to replace my truck, I want to do it without financing, so I want to keep some extra money set aside just in case.

I still plan on paying off my highest interest loan this year, I just might end up making the payment all at the end of the year, when I will also hopefully have more in my savings. I’m thinking I really want to move from keeping a $1000 emergency fund to a 2-3 month income emergency fund.

Mainly, I need to get to work on earning extra income. It all boils down to actually working in my free time, something I struggle with. I don’t want to mess with y work-life balance, so I’m trying to make side money by doing things I enjoy- but you can’t make money watching Gilmore Girls reruns and eating frosting out of the tub. Dang.

Anyway, that’s how my first 3 months have gone financially- not terrible, but I have a lot of work to do this year.

January Progress

money goalsJanuary’s almost over, and most New Year’s Resolutions have been forgotten.  I didn’t really have any specific “New Year’s” resolutions, but I did find myself finding a lot of great things I wanted to accomplish this year, right around the last week of last year. I found an awesome yoga challenge. I found a really cool reading challenge. I made too many grand plans to have time for.

But my main goal this year is to pay off my highest interest student loan. That is a tangible goal that is really easy to track. I’d like to pay it off earlier in the year rather than later, but in order to meet my goal, that loan just needs to be at a zero balance by December 31, 2015. Read the rest of this entry

Good Choices I’ve Made Recently

Lately I’ve been trying to procrastinate less, be less lazy and focus on my health. These are things I’ve done in the last two weeks that have been beneficial decisions toward these goals:

I haven’t had any coffee this week. The last two weeks I had had it pretty much every day at work. I’ve been thinking I needed to stop drinking it so much, especially since I add so much cream and sugar to mine, but I didn’t really make a concious decision. I just said “I think I’ll have tea” on monday, and then tuesday did the same. Wednesday was a little more difficult since I was really groggy, but I decided it was worth it to keep the trend going.

I deleted the facebook app from my phone and downloaded the wordpress app. This way, when I’m using my phone just because I’m bored, i’m using it to read and comment on other people’s posts. Consequently, I’ve read more articles, stories, and poems this week than I had in the 2 months prior. This in turn gives me inspiration and ideas or my own posts.

I started taking lunches to work again. Recently I’ve just been snacking throughout the day, and I know that’s not good. Yay for eating on a regular basis.

I downloaded a pedometer app onto my phone so that I can better track how active I am throughout the day. Surprisingly, on days I work, where I sit in front of the computer for 10 hours, I walk more than I do on my days off. This is due to the fact that when I take breaks at work, I make it a point to walk around. At home, I never really think about getting up and moving around. Now that I’m more aware of this, I can figure out how to best combat it.

I’m pretty proud of myself for making some good choices lately. How about you? Make any good decisions or break any bad habits recently?

Kickstarted

So, the anthology group I am a part of is getting everything together, and we’re releasing our collection of Fairy-tale/mythos inspired stories in October! We’re putting together a kickstarter for the project, which will be live on July 1st! I’m not going to nag you all about it too much, but it’d be cool if you checked it out! There will be information about all the authors and their stories on the kickstarter page.

Anyway, that combined with the fact that I’m reading a book called “the tipping point” are what inspired this next little snippet. The tipping point is all about the little things that cause epidemics, whether they be diseases, or social epidemics like fashion trends and tv shows. I realized that the terms “kickstarter” and “tipping point” have similar meanings. So here is what popped into my head on the drive to work this morning.

Janie slid up from home base, rushed back around third, ducked under the short stop and rounded second. She barely made it to first as the pitcher caught the ball from second base and then she sprinted with all her might to home plate, where the bat flew into her hands and she got ready to miss the ball three times like she always had before. but first, something happened.

The catcher called her a pathetic loser.

Janie relived that first home run backward, forward and sideways until she went to sleep that night. Then she dreamed about the game, only this time it happened in a castle surrounded by clouds.

 

Unfinished

I am a procrastinator. Not in the worst way. I get important things done. But I would get a lot more done if I sat around less and actually did the things I put on my to-do lists.

I love the idea of crafts, and have a giant bin full of pieces of fabric, paper, and knick knacks waiting to be turned into art, gifts, or both.

I love to read, but sometimes I start a book and no matter how much I like it, I put it down never to pick it up again. Read the rest of this entry

30 Day Writing Challenge

My lovely friend Beth messaged me a week or so ago. “Jeriann! want to do a writing challenge with me?!” She accompanied this excited question with a link to a writing challenge. (I’ll get to that in a minute.) It’s a thirty day writing challenge, with a prompt for each day. I’m not sure if the person who posted it on Tumblr realizes that February is only 28 days this year, but that’s ok for me, because I found a 25 day writing challenge that I can do after that, so that it will be the end of March before I have to come up with my own ideas for posting again.

I’ve done writing challenges and similar things before, and I can’t guarantee that I will follow the prompt each day, but I will try my hardest to be inspired by it. I figure as long as I write every day, the challenge is met. If you’re interested, you can find the challenge I am participating in here: 30 Day Creative Writing Challenge

I would be posting the first day’s writing, except for two things. Read the rest of this entry

Deserving the Airhead Title

So I titled my first post “The End” and then I didn’t really explain why.

I am beginning this blog in order to end my existence as a wannabe writer. I want to stop putting things off just because I have time to do so. I have this issue where I am afraid to do the things I love, probably fearing failure. I know I can’t get anywhere if I don’t work on my passions, but instead of practicing my guitar or putting my story ideas to paper, I waste my time watching TV or staring at my computer.

By maintaining this blog, I hope to end my time as a slacker. Let’s see if I can make it happen.

The End

Beginnings only start because of something else ending, right?

I have decided to be extremely cliché and predictable and start actively posting on my blog on this day, the first of 2013. I am sure that no other wannabe bloggers have thought to do this. I am fully aware that starting on the first of the year in no way ensures that I will succeed in my goal of posting regularly. But I have to start somewhere and I’ve been putting it off long enough.

So this is me, writing a blog post, as much to see how it looks on the page as to be producing content. That’s about all I have to say right now; hopefully I’ll come up with something interesting later.

Peace.

Jeriann