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Archive for November, 2012

Back to work

November 26th, 2012 at 05:34 pm

After a much-needed 4 day break, we are back at school. I spent no money today. It is the first no-spend day in quite a while!

My girls and I enjoyed a quiet evening after school. I worked out for 20 minutes this morning and then ran 2 miles after work, before dinner. I get the exercise in whenever I can, somehow. Although to be honest, there are plenty of times that I can exercise but don't exercise.

I also finished all of my classwork tonight, fortunately this week is a shorter unit than all of the others. 4 more weeks to go, then class #2 of 5 will be finished! It feels so good to have the schoolwork done ahead of schedule, one less "have to do" hanging over my shoulder all week. The trick was to go directly to my school's website, instead of checking email, bank account, or this site! Once I start surfing I get lazy and don't want to do the important stuff. Maybe that will work for me in the morning, too. To not even get on the computer before I exercise.

Pleasant Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2012 at 03:48 am

Yesterday was a pleasant day off. SO and I put together a storage cube set for the girls' room. The girls played Wii nicely together and made a gummy dessert all by themselves. I ran two miles with little DD on the scooter behind me. We cooked our holiday dishes, I studied about an hour, and then we went to dinner at my brother's house.

On the way home from dinner I stopped at Walmart to pick up some jeans on sale for little DD. It was a mad house, but the store seemed to have it under control.

SO is commuter car shopping so we are going out today to check out some models we researched online. Other than that, running 3-4 miles and studying 2-3 hours are the only other tasks on my "have to do" list. We won't need to do much cooking for a few days as we have plenty of leftovers.

Any purchases I have made this week have been on the credit card so that I earn cash back. So today I will transfer more money to the credit card to cover those expenses.

Forming better habits

November 16th, 2012 at 03:13 am

I know lately I've felt pretty crazy: work is nonstop during the day, the usual homework/showers/lunches at night, my own homework for a tough class on the weekends, and trying to fit in exercise throughout the week. When I feel overwhelmed I start to forget things. And procrastinate. It has gotten to be a bad habit, and it needs to STOP.

Game plan: I'm still working out the details.

-Slim down my "priority" list.

-Delegate computer/vegging out time to after the night routine, and save the early mornings for exercise. Exercise will make me feel way more relaxed and ready to start the day than some quiet time on the computer. I need to not even turn the computer on in the morning. I can putter around the kitchen and do some cleaning while I wake up and drink my coffee, then do my run on the treadmill before waking up the kids. I've done this twice this week, baby steps.

-I need to commit to one night a week as the "cleaning and laundry" night. It won't take long, maybe an hour tops if everyone pitches in. Then I won't have household chores hanging over my head throughout the week. Wednesday night is best for our family schedule.

-Plan a few minutes after work to make calls to doctors and service providers, so that these chores don't build up. Just make it automatic after quitting time (I can leave at 3, so most places are still open), to mentally go through my phone call list. Better yet, I'm going to set up remnders on my phone to pop up at 3pm to "call doctor/bank/etc".

I know that when my life runs more smoothly everything else will fall into place: my finances, my fitness, and my family life. Just takes some time to form into habits. By Christmas these should be habits!

Are there any tips/suggestions that work in your life that others can implement to make things simpler or more streamlined? I know I am always looking for new ideas that work!

Just tired!

November 13th, 2012 at 02:57 am

I feel like it should be Friday evening, after a long week at work, not Tuesday morning! But I'm assuming once I get the kids up and we are in the car, the day will just pick up as I get into the routine of the week. Just a bit worn out, that's all. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving break, it will be our first holiday off since the beginning of the year.

I didn't finish all of my homework last night. I can finish it during the week, it is maybe 2 hours of video and note taking. The class online is tonight, so that will help answer a lot of questions when I talk with my instructor. It's just a tough unit. Then I take another test this weekend. By Christmas I should have the final exam finished and I can enjoy my break before I decide when to take the next course. If I complete 2 out of 5 then I must keep going until I earn the certificate, really.

We are taking a break from hula lessons until January because of my class. I hate to do that because we really enjoy the lessons, but I can't do everything all at once. When this class is done I will get back into it. A few months off is understandable.

A coworker and I exercised after work yesterday, I always feel better when I exercise. If I don't I feel like I'm missing something important. I need to listen to that nagging feeling that I'm missing something and go exercise instead of ignoring it. I know that exercise helps keep me sane!

Nothing exciting on the money front until payday Thursday. I'm only half-way looking at real estate deals. I don't really have the energy to look for investment properties right now. I think I just have too much on my plate. Work, family, school, it's enough for now.

Peaceful Veteran's Day

November 11th, 2012 at 12:35 pm

I took a 2 mile jog around a nearby neighborhood this morning with my little DD on her scooter. I had to cut the jog shorter than usual (because that one leg doing all the pushing on the scooter gets tired after a while!), but it was worth it to have DD with me.

After a quick shower we all went to church, where SO's coworker and her family joined us. Then we went out to lunch. SO, her friend, and her friend's husband are all active duty military, so they each got a free appetizer that we all shared. After a leisurely lunch we stopped at a nearby grocery store to pick up a birthday cake for my mother. SO received a 12% discount on her grocery bill, that was a nice gesture from the grocery store!

Back home big DD gave the dog a bath and dressed her in a cute little summer dress because it has gotten so warm here today. We are taking her to my mom's tonight for her birthday dinner, our dog plays with her new puppy! I quickly sewed a dog bed to give to my mom along with her birthday present. This bed didn't take too long, I'm getting the hang of sewing! I'll take a picture of it tonight with the dog testing it out and upload it to my blog later.

All that is left on my "have to do" list is some homework and then dinner at my mom's house. All in all a peaceful, productive Veteran's day. I'm refreshed and I'll be ready to take on another week at school.

Progressing

November 6th, 2012 at 03:07 am

I have increased my deferred compensation contribution by 25%. If I just leave it at this new amount, I should have enough for retirement. I should also have my employer's contribution in the form of a pension, but I've always been told not to rely on that. So at least this way I have my own retirement savings to rely on, and pension/social security will be additional. It is a very loose retirement plan, but I'm tightening it up as time goes on.

I am 3 weeks into my second class, 7 weeks to go! Most of my studying and video watching is done on the weekends, and my live online class is one night a week. It makes for many hours of work on the weekends, but I would rather cozy up with my notes, coffee and computer on the weekend than rush through a video here and there after the kids are in bed. I go to bed the same time they go to bed!

In the next month or so I will be shaping up my goals for next year, hard to believe!

Happy November!

November 1st, 2012 at 02:22 am

I took the girls trick or treating this year. Usually their dad does this, but he was working out of town this week. We all had a blast, my mom's neighborhood really went all out for it. You could tell the adults at each house were having as much fun as the kids!

November 1, fresh start of a new month. Now that we are not selling the house after all I can take out the decorations that I have. I don't have too many decorations, I have really been training myself to say "no" over the years! I've been decorating with live gourds and pumpkins that I just toss at the end of the season, so combined with the few decorations I do have the house will look just right.

I have done a little bit of Christmas shopping but I need to pick up the pace. I have some money set aside this paycheck to order a few more gifts.

Sticking to my workout plan and limiting eating out is a priority this month. It will keep me healthy and keep me sane, nothing compares to the endorphin rush after a good run!