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Posts tagged ‘lifestyle fast’

Half Way

So we are coming up on the half way mark of the year.  So far, so good.  I reviewd the goals that I laid out for the year and I am pretty satified that I am still meeting them.

Goal 1: I’m still exercising and trying to eat healthy.  I’ve lost a few pounds, but not as much as I should.

Goal 2:  Still saving for the car.  Should have a good chunk by the end of the year.  So far my car hasn’t been giving me nearly as much trouble as it did last year.  Less money for repairs, means more for saving.

Goal 3:  I’ve applied to school, but no word on whether or not I am accepted.

Goal 4:  Still saving to boost my emergency fund.

Goal 5:  Definitly buying less stuff and using up what I have, instead of buying unnecessary things.

Goal 6:  Opened a retirement account and I am making automatic payments to it.

Everything looks good so far.  It helps that there are no major setbacks that have derailed me, like last year with the surgery, or the year before when I took a pay cut.  Really what I am beginning to remember is that slow and steady steps are what get you the best and LASTING results. I just have to keep chipping away at the proverbial “rock” and eventually I will get what I want.

On another note, I did create this page to put up my fiction stories.  I haven’t forgotten that original idea and I do intend to put some up.  That was partially why I changed the theme.  I guess I know how I will be spending my Memorial Holiday.

End of Month #2

Money hunt resulted in a whole $4.oo.  With that stack of cash, I bought oatmeal and bananas.  I know, I know.  It was a huge bounty!  Fancy grocery store (http://www.marvelousmarket.com/) supplied me with bread and plenty of snacks to take to work.  So February comes to a close and I just barely make my budget.  Tried not to get too depressed as I filled my tank. But it has to be done, otherwise I can’t get to work.

Big thanks to my cousin for driving me to the store (It was an adventure!) and then treating me to a couple of jamacian patties!  She has been very supportive of my budgeting, but she did ask me a question that has been on my mind ever since.  She asked me, “When would you be done?”

I had to think about that question.  I told her that it would be at least to the middle of the year, but more likely to the end of the year. Yes it was a resolution for 2011, but I think that this maybe a habit that I need to incorporate for the rest my life in some form.  I think that want to teach myself to live on much less. It does suck to run out of money at the end of the month and get the spare change, but I am learning.  As I look back, there were a few places earlier in the month that I could have trimmed and then I would’ve been okay.  So I will just take what I know and apply it to March.

I’m not doing this just to get a car.  I’m not in credit card debt, student loan debt, or upside down in a house.  I really feel like I need to be smarter with my money.  I’m going to be 34 this year and although, I didn’t have much debt, I didn’t have much saved either. But now that these other expenses are creeping up, and the economy is not on its feet completely, I just feel that I need to be a lot more restrictive.

One thing that I am sacrificing now is saving for a house. I do want my own place one day, but that will have to go on the back burner for the future.  I have been fortunate to have rented some nice places (Except for my first apartment which will have to be another post, because there was soooo much wrong with it!).  So I will keep on renting.

On happy news, I am sure that I have lost weight.  My jeans are fitting better, so with crossed fingers, I will weigh myself on Tuesday morning.  I set a pretty aggressive goal to loose weight  this year too (50lbs).  So, I am on my way.

Money Hunt! Money Hunt!

So we are coming up on the end of the month.  A few weeks ago, I felt pretty confident that I would be on budget… BUT that was before gas prices start to creep up.  Now it is the last weekend of the month and I have a tough decision to make.  Gas, or food???

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not starving.  I have stuff in my pantry.  But those weekly things like milk and bread are nice to have around.  So with the last $15 in my budget, I will be getting gas.  This sucks.  This really sucks.

So how am I going to get the food?  Answer: Money hunt!  I have a box containing all the small change I’ve collected over the year and it is coming with me to coinstar tomorrow.  Also, I still have a gift certificate to a fancy grocery store leftover from Christmas that I can use.  Soooo, I’m going to be very creative this weekend.

But this situation worries me.  How am I supposed to have a solid budget if it is constantly changing?  My lifestyle fast is aggressive (by choice), and doesn’t forgive easily.  If I start spending more for gas, I either save less for a car, or eat less food.  Save less for the car seems like the natural answer, but when your car is constantly in the shop,  a new one suddenly gets pushed to the forefront.

Well, I do want to lose weight….

I’m thinking there must be other costs I can lower.  Either way, March is going to be interesting.  No gift certificates.  No money box.  I will just be me and the budget (dum, dum, dum!)  I’m going to have to be a Nazi about it.  But in a way this is good.  This month I put money away for the car, emergency fund, school, and started a Roth IRA.  I also believe I lost weight by sticking to my workouts, but my weigh-in day is the first of the month, so Tuesday will be the day of truth.  All in all, except for the spike in gas, I did very well.  We’ll find out on Tuesday, just how well.  So the fast is (somewhat) workable, I just need to be more vigilent.

Wish me luck!

Lifestyle Fast

So 2010 was not a great year.  Shortly after my last post I went to the doctor and discovered that I needed to have major surgery.  So all my time was either spent thinking about the surgery, getting ready for the surgery, or recovering from the surgery.  It seemed as if it consumed my life.  Happily now I am healthy and healed.

But that wasn’t the only difficult moment in the last year.  Two family deaths in less than five months took its toll too.

And then there is my car.  My cute, sporty, two-door sports car that I loved at 23 started to fall apart.  Now that I’m 33, I realize that it is time to replace it.

In short,  last year things went a little nuts.  So in 2011, I embarked on a “lifestyle fast.”

The lifestyle fast involves a few goals:

  1. Get back on track losing weight and eating healthy. (I gained some after the surgery and the holidays.)
  2. Save for a new car
  3. Apply and Save for grad school
  4. Boost emergency savings to eight months salary.
  5. Make an active choice to consume less and buy green products.
  6. Get more serious about saving for retirement.

So far January was a bust.  I didn’t lose any weight (didn’t gain any though…) and I didn’t save any money (paid off the credit card instead).  But so far in February, I am on track.  We’ll see.  I’ll write back with my results.

One good thing I did was start a new long story.  Hopefully sometime this year, I will finish a first draft. (Usually, it takes me 18 months to finish my short novels.)  But to just be starting something is good.