June Goal Recap

Yes (John Green)

June felt like a month that went at a moderate pace.  For once, I didn’t feel like it breezed by faster than some months this year.  I was glad for that since it meant I was able to balance my life at a slower pace.  June itself was a good month and I had a week off from work, meaning I spent a week and a half traveling around to visit family and friends.  I look forward to those 6-7 weeks throughout the year when I can do that.  It’s hard being far away from family, especially since they’re getting older and from friends who mean a lot to me.  I have plenty here, but I definitely get nostalgic to move closer to family sometimes…ok a lot.

Goal wise, June was a pretty good month.  I think the only goal I was dissatisfied with was my extra earnings, but it happens.  More on those below!

 

Extra earnings ($1247.13)

$144-sales

$53.62 -Writing

Total: $197.62

My freelance check has been taking two weeks to get to me, so that hurt my extra earnings for the month.  Sales were great in the beginning of the month, and then basically stopped.  I had three people in a row cancel their orders, which stunk.

 

Reading Goal (34/100)

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortsenon

The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell

Horrible Histories: The Awesome Egyptians by Terry Deary

Paper towns by John Green

Tales to Inspire by Bathroom Reader Institute

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

Boy Next Door by Betty Cavanna

I was a readaholic this month (when I had time) and I’m already well on my way to reading a lot more in July.  I actually took one weekend to just read mostly and it was wonderful.

 

Beat 10 Video Games (6/10)

Bible Adventures (NES)

Final Fantasy IV & FFIV: Interlude (PSP)

I played a lot of video games this month and beat two.  I’m currently making my way through Final Fantasy IV: The After Years and have no doubt I’ll have it beaten by the end of next week.  After that, it’s time to reload either Shadow of the Colossus or Persona 4!

 

Complete 20 crafts (7/20)

The only one I finished this month was a Dalek piece for my Doctor Who bathroom. I started on Rose in the beginning of the month, but haven’t worked on it in two weeks. My goal in July is to get her finished and the tenth Doctor. Oh and I need to start on gift crafts in July.

 

Volunteering (5/10 opportunities)

I slacked off on this one with the exception of donating to service dogs of Virginia.

 

Pay off $10,000 of student loan debt ($4650.81/$10,000)

I was VERY happy to pay off over $2,000 worth of student loans this month. I only wish I could do this every month, but I don’t forsee this happening again until I get my next tax refund. I’m halfway through the year though and not halfway through, so I’ll need to up the payments…somehow.

 

Get rid of 365 items (233/365)

I only got rid of 27 things in June, but since I’m already ahead for the year, I’m not too bothered by this fact. I anticipate I’ll get rid of a lot more in July, mostly due to giving away things to friends and (hopefully) more sales.

 

Clothing goal (replace and add)

This is a weird goal because I don’t have a formal way of tracking it. I’ve been more adamant this year about recycling or donating clothes that I no longer need, but also getting better quality clothes and making my overall wardrobe better. By the end of the year I hope to have a couple more things in my wardrobe and get rid of the things I really don’t want.

 

Recycling

I took my recycling twice this month and it felt so good to do it! I’ve learned a lot more this year about what things can be recycled and how, which has affected what I buy and even how I buy things.

 

Traveling

I went to visit a close friend in Maryland in June, which was awesome. I also discovered why people complain about the beltway and why I’d not want to live there just because of the traffic! That being said, I DO want to move closer to the Northern Virginia area someday, only I’ll stick with the outskirts like Manassas.

 

Try out 40 new recipes (22/40)

I didn’t do a ton of new recipe experimenting this month (due to being out of town), but I did make some new Japanese recipes, one of which is a definite keeper, Miso soup. I’ve had it many times and it is a personal favorite, so I’m glad to have found one that tastes just as good as the ones I get in Japanese restaurants. The other three things I made didn’t get recipe cards made for them.

 

Filling bear bank to the top

I put money in it every week in June. I’m worried about it not getting to the top at this rate, but I do put what little spare coins I get in. I’m planning on investing in coin wrappers in July to prepare and I already have plans for when it’s full and ready to be banked!

 

Get out there more

I did a good job of this and found myself out and about more often. I went to Doctor Who: Rise of the Cybermen with two friends, went out exploring Rockville Maryland, went to places with friends and met my first online friend. We’ve been friends for 7 years and met this weekend. It was a lot of fun and we clicked super well!

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35 Reasons to get out of debt as fast as I can

Maybe if i pray hard enough God will make my student loans disappear....

After paying over $2,000 towards student loans this past month (take that!) I’ve reflected on how far I still have to go to get them gone.  I’m sorry to say how much I think about it, but then I think ‘just a little more work and I’ll be less in debt’ and it propels me forward.  I have a good balance, but I know I won’t be free until its gone…in five years.  I’ve officially set a timeframe of five years for myself.  I’ll be 31/32 at that time, so here’s hoping for the best.

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Whenever I start to doubt why I put so much energy into getting them gone, I think of different things.  There are numerous reasons anyone can give for wanting to be out of debt.  I’ve given a lot of thought to ‘why now, why not just slack a little and live versus putting so much energy into them’.  Well, the interest rates are a good reason for that!  I have several friends taking the slower pace, but I have a little more than the average graduate and I want the peace of mind and financial freedom.

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1-To have the freedom of knowing I’m no longer in debt.

2-To not feel guilty or fret over eating out, going to a movie or a tour that costs more than $5 (or even $5!)

3-To be able to buy the people I love proper gifts or even have the time to make said gifts

4-To buy little things, like a poster frame, that I currently can’t give a good enough reason to buy (ok other than the fact of decorating and having said posters)

5-To have less stress overall

Hobbit house!

6-To be able to walk into the grocery store and buy what you want without sticking to as strict a budget.  You know a $200 grocery bill versus a strict $120 one.

7-To travel to far off places. One of my biggest dreams is to see the world, but it requires money (usually).

8-To buy the books I really want to read as opposed to wishful thinking with rarer books.

9-To buy a 3DS, PS3 and eventually a PS4.

10-To finish my Doctor Who themed bathroom.

11-To support small businesses as opposed to bigger ones (voting with my dollar)

12-To buy more geeky things, in general (a geek can never have too much!)

13-To create a proper garden (gardening does have an upkeep and start up cost)

14-Donate more to causes that I support and give more time to said causes

15-To be able to freely give to someone in need

wow! Lowes sells these for about $20. love the idea of transforming one of these into a teacher tool box. Super organized!

16-To afford better stuff to organize my house

17-To save for retirement (because currently its looking grim)

18-To go to conventions like comic con

19-To buy spontaneous gifts for those I love

20-To be healthier (money means taking the fitness classes I’ve always wanted to!)

21- To not ‘cheap out’ on some things

22- To cover the tab for a friend who needs it without worrying

That's what missionary work is all about! PreparetoServe.com

23- To pay for volunteer experiences and missionary work (did you know you have to pay for some, I don’t have $2,500 to volunteer abroad!)

24- To invest in better quality clothing

25-To save up for a house/afford a better place

26- To have more freetime (because the money I’m putting towards extra earnings would be gone!)

27- Interest rates on student loans are a nightmare.  The quicker they’re gone, the less those awful companies get!

28-I’m tired of talking about my student loans and how they hold me back

29- To be more liberal with spendings, donations etc.

30- To run in 5K’s that I want to run in, to support a good cause, but cost $30+ a person

Will MOOCs Disrupt Higher Education or Level the Playing Field? [#Infographic]

31- To further my education beyond my Bachelors of Art degree (without student loans at that!)

32- To better myself because of less stress and because I can live freely

33- To help others stop worrying about my student loans along with me

34- To experience more of the world around me (isn’t it sad how much money can control this?)

35-  To feel truly free and not feel as though I can’t make any big changes or move without risking financial suicide

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Some of these may have sounded similar, but they’re different in my mind and all equal the same.  I want them gone and I’m ready to work hard to do just that!  Five years or less, here I come!

 

 

 

 

Take that student loan (a semi-mid June update)

With a little assurance... It's much easier to step outside your comfort zone & do what needs to be done... To SUCEED. <3 xoxo

My goal this month, after coming into a little money & having a HUGE boost in sales (which has tampered off) was to pay more on my student loans.  It’s only the middle of the month, but I’ve paid off $2,000 already!  I plan on making another payment on two loans (not as substantial, but something), which will bring them down even more.  It’s a pity I couldn’t do this every month, because they’d be gone in less than three years, which would be wonderful.  At my current rate (and based on my 5 year action plan), they’ll be paid off in the next five years.  Things could easily change.  I periodically go through a period where I think of moving closer to family and friends back home.  I adore my job and everything about it, I just get homesick sometimes or (maybe I am being called to go back?)

The Winter King (Warlord Chronicles Series #1)

In terms of my other goals for the year, I’m doing ok this month.  I really need to catch up on reading and despite the fact I do a good amount of reading most of the time, I’ll get some weeks where I can barely squeeze any time in.  Thank goodness I’m free this weekend as I plan on doing a lot of reading.  I just finished “The Winter King” by Bernard Cornwell and I plan on reading some more from the Cryptozoology book I’ve had ongoing since the beginning of the year.  Saturday I’ll be treating myself to a horrible histories book I grabbed last week.  I adore them, but they can be hard to come across in used book stores (ordering online means importing them since some are out of print).

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My biggest thing for the rest of the month is just tackling my summer bucket list and having more sales.  I have a couple things posted, but history has taught me the bulk of my sales come at the end of the month.  I’d love to get rid of some more things and make an extra $50+ in online sales, but online sales can be hit or miss.  I haven’t posted my summer bucket list, but its basically a collection of things to do this summer in relation to my 2014 goals, traveling and events I want to go to.  I’ve already scratched off quite a few too.

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There are still ten days left in June and it should be a great rest of the month!  Hopefully I can tackle some more debt payments and goals in that time!

 

May 2014 Goal Update

Very Hungry Caterpillar art project for butterfly garden

We’re already in the month of June!  How is that possible?  May was a good month and I got a new car!  I’m so glad I made the decision to get a new car.  No complaints about the month of May and I bet June will be just as good!  I’m doing this update a little bit differently to make it easier to read.

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Earn $1500 in extra income (year)

April earnings: $238.30

Total: $930.11

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Read 100 books in a year

I read 7 books in may for a total of 28 books read for the year.  According to goodreads, I’m 11 books behind though!

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Beat 10 video games

I beat two video games in May, “The Early Years: The Three Kings” and “Dragon Warrior 2”.  This brings the total number of games that I’ve beaten up to four.

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Complete 20 crafts

I only finished one craft, a twilight sparkle magnet, last month.  It brings the total number I’ve done up to six.  In June, I hope to increase that number as I do projects for my bathroom!

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 Volunteer or donate to 10 causes

This past month I didn’t do any volunteer work or donate beyond putting money in the offering plate 😦

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Pay off $10,000 on debt principal

($2743.90 /$10,000) I paid over $500 towards my principal and hope to pay off more in the coming month.

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Cavity fixed

Check!  My cavity was filled and I’m done with this goal for the year!

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Get rid of 365 things

In May I got rid of 32 things (through sales and donations) bringing the total number of things I’ve gotten rid of this year to 208.

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Clothing goal

I didn’t buy a single article of clothing in May.  That’s got to be a first for me!

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Recycling

I only got around to taking my recycling once this month because I was so busy. It would’ve been two, but I went yesterday and they were closed because the guy never showed up.

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Traveling

Well, I did go to a restaurant about thirty minutes away with a friend and drove to visit family and friends back home one weekend.  My car was on its last legs most of the month, prompting me to get my new car, which is why I stayed in town.  June is going to be my big travel month though.

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Make 40 new recipes

I did some baking and cooking this month and made 6 new recipes.  This included blueberry buttermilk scones and a new type of chocolate chip cookie.  Two recipes didn’t work out so well, but I’ve made 18 of my 40 for the year so far!

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Filling my bear bank

I contributed money every week this month and its definitely getting even heavier.  I didn’t think that was even possible since the thing weighs over 40lbs now.

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Get out there more

I was more of an extrovert this month and made a new friend or two in the process.  I still should go out and do more, but sometimes its nice to just be an introvert 😉

 

 

 

2014 Goal Update for April

image

Yesterday I spent the day going from here to there with two friends.  We started off at the Farmers Market, then played tennis, had lunch, went to free comic book day, two estate sales and goodwill.  As you can see from the pictures above, I got my hands on five comics and at Goodwill I found a complete in box copy of Pandemic: In the Lab!  Only $2 for a $40 board game I want?  Sure thing!  It’s also May fourth, (May the fourth be with you) and time for my monthly goal update.  I goofed and accidently deleted the original, so this is a more condensed version.

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1. Earn $1500 in extra income (year)

Total for 2014: $792.11

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2. Read 100 books in a year

Rebel: A Tibetian Odysssey

Thor’s Wedding Day by Bruce Coville

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

April reads: 3

Total read: 22

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3. Beat 10 video games

None

Total: 3

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4. Complete 20 crafts

None

Total: 5/20

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5. Volunteer or donate for 10 causes

Library (regular volunteer)

Future farmers of Virginia Donation

School fundraiser

School dinner fundraiser

Total: (4/10)

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6. Pay off $10,000 on debt principal

($2246.12 /$10,000)

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7. Cavity fixed

Done!!!

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8. Get rid of 365 things

April (58/30)

Total:  190/365

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9. Clothing goal (replace and add!)

Black hoodie

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10. Recycling goal

I went once this month….with a massive load.

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11.Travel/event goal

  • Sakura festival
  • Out of town trip
  • Attend a convention

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12. Try 40 new recipes and update recipe book

Japanese Pan Noodles

April: 1

Total: 12

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13.Fill bear bank and take to the bank

I contributed a couple bucks in change.

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14.Get out there more

Journy into Nyx pre-release, out with friends a lot, Sakura festival

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I knew going into this month my goals wouldn’t see a lot of progress.  Since the beginning of the month, I’ve made more progress on my May goals including beating a new game, reading a book and paying off more on my loans.  We’ll see where the rest of the month leads!

Did you set any goals for the month of May?  Any goals for 2014?

Last full week of April spiel

april!

April has not been a good month when it comes to finances.  My earnings through sales have been very low (almost non-existant) and my freelancing has taken a hit due to the fact I’ve been so busy and was on vacation for the first week of April.  Combine that with my car being in the shop and a dentist trip and my budget has looked better.  There are still eight days left in the month, so hopefully I can focus more on freelancing and make a couple more successful sales.  I’m currently contemplating if I want to go to a festival this weekend too since it’ll be a three hour drive and I’ve already broken my fuel budget (doubled!) this month.

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Finances aside, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching this month since I spent every weekend back home and the first full week back in my hometown.  It may just be another round of 20-something “I want to do everything” but part of my feels that God is trying to tell me something.  We’ll just see what this summer brings.  Despite overspending this month, it’s been a really good month, but I’m happy to see that May will involve less driving (especially with my old car!)  My favorite parts of the month so far have been;

-Seeing family and friends (several times!)

-Matsuri festival in DC

-Traveling around DC

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May is shaping up to be a great month and it looks like it’ll be less chaotic than April was.  June will pick things back up again since I already have at least two trips happening.  Maybe it’ll mean more progress on paying off debt and checking off things on my 2014 goals!

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Dragon Warrior II

Currently playing: Dragon Quest II

Currently reading: Rebel: A Tibetan Odyssey

Currently Watching: Doctor Who

Currently Loving: Dresses and spring apparel, Marvel, Dragon Quest II, Personality assessments and researching endangered animals

 

 

 

 

 

2014 Goals: March Update

 

Did March even happen?  It went by so fast, I have to wonder.  March was a great month, but it still felt like winter since we got not one, but two sizable snow falls along with 2 snow days and 2 two-hour delays.  Luckily April is proving to be our first real spring month and temperatures haven’t been below 40.  Finally!  As always when a new month starts, here’s an update on my 2014 goals for March.

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1. Earn $1500 in extra income (year)

Sales-$63.00

Writing-$101.83

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March earnings: $164.69

Total: $644.22

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2. Read 100 books in a year

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Radiance by Alyson Noel

Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner

These Tangled Threads by Tracie Peterson

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: Third Summer by Ann Bashares

The Sisterhood of the Travling Pants: Fourth summer by Ann Bashares

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Bashares

 

March reads: 9

Total read: 17

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3. Beat 10 video games

Dragon Quest 1

 

March total: 1

Total: 2

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4. Complete 20 crafts

Magnus magnet

Settler of Catan magnet

April: 2

Total: 5/20

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5. Volunteer or donate for 10 causes

Library (regular volunteer)

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6. Pay off $10,000 on debt principal

($1657.09 /$10,000)

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7. Cavity fixed

I have the appointment in April, so this will be checked off soon.

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8. Get rid of 365 things

January (40/30)

February (35/30)

March (44/30)

Total: 129/365

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9. Clothing goal (replace and add!)

Keeping a personal record for this.

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10. Recycling goal

Went twice to the recycling center!

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11.Travel/event goal

  • Sakura festival
  • Out of town trip
  • Attend a convention

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12. Try 40 new recipes and update recipe book

Peanut butter reeses cheesecake

Apple cake

March: 2

Total: 11

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13.Fill bear bank and take to the bank

I barely put any change in my bear bank this month.  Oops.

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14.Get out there more

Does helping with church service and participating in meetings count?

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April is going to be a very busy month (traveling every weekend for instance!) so we’ll see how much progress I make on my goals…