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Archive for December, 2012

Refunds and exercise

December 30th, 2012 at 01:09 pm

I'm starting at 0 for 2013. All of my rebates/refunds/reward money will go in this account, to be used for a vacation for the family. Last year I used it for a cruise, which was abruptly cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. So we used that money towards a new car. I'm looking forward to building this account back up again in 2013! So far I have a $5 check I received last week in the mail, I won't deposit it till 2013. I am also mailing out a $20 rebate from groceries which I will receive in 2013.

I'm almost done with my December exercise goals. Yesterday I ran 2.25 miles and then completed 15 minutes of kettlebell workout/push ups/abs/lunges. I have 6 more miles to run in December and one more workout to go. I'm off today and tomorrow so I can get it all done!

For exercise I set a regular monthly goal of running 25 miles and also completing 8 or more additional workouts. I've managed to reach my goal for the past 2 years, with the exception of this year Aug/Sep/Oct. I bumped up my additional workout goal from 7 to 8 last year, but I'm keeping my miles goal the same. I used to run about 50 miles per month, but I found myself focusing too much on getting in the miles, to the detriment of other workouts. I think that I am stronger now that I am adding in other workouts, and my body weight is the same, despite running half as many miles. I guess muscle does help burn fat! Ideally I could run 50 miles a month as well as get in 8 additional strength training workouts, but I guess I don't want that badly enough! I might tweak my goal for 2013 just a bit, though, to keep from getting in an exercise rut. I need to get finished with December's goal and then I will think on 2013.

Had a restful break

December 29th, 2012 at 06:47 pm

I had a fabulous Christmas with my family, and lots of down time.

I weighed myself this morning, and I'm right at 140, which suprised me. My goal weight is anything below 140 and I thought that with all of the desserts and drinks I've had during break that I would have gained. I'm not going to push my luck, though, I'm getting in a good run this afternoon!

I went grocery shopping today and spent $91, but this includes $20 for a deli platter, where I have a rebate to get $20 back in the mail. The kids will be bringing deli meat and cheese for lunch!

I came up with a budget last night with SO in order to keep the house here and keep an apartment in D.C. where SO will be working. The kids and I will stay in the house and she will commute here sometimes on the weekends, or vice versa (about 2.5 hours away). Between the both of us we can manage both places, though this will cut into my monthly savings (retirement savings is still on course). I'm going to keep my 2013 savings goal just the same, I may find other opportunities to reach that goal.

I'm not going to allow myself to get frustrated at how little I will be able to save when the move happens. If I want to stay in this area for the kids then that is the price, 2 households isn't cheap. At least the girls and I have a nice, safe home to live in and SO won't have to short sell to take her next set of orders. I'm going to be pleased with even a little amount that I can save each paycheck, and try not to think of what I used to be able to save!

Ok, I need to get off of this board and get my run in!Good luck to all of you facing fearful challenges, temptations, or difficult relationships. I know every one of us has the strength to do what we know is right, even if it makes us a little uncomfortable for a while!!!

Early morning

December 24th, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I woke up super early this morning, so I'm sure I will take a nap later. I love naps on my days off!

My last day of work was Friday so I have this whole week off. I celebrated with plenty of food and drink this weekend! But today I have already put in a good strength training workout. I did a total of about 50 push ups, 20 reps with the ab wheel, 30 squats, 30 plie squats, and 30 tall box climbs with bicep curls. Not sure how long it was in minutes but my legs, arms and abs feel like jello so I will count it as a workout. I also want to do a "long" outdoor run when it gets light out. A long run for me is anything over 30 minutes.

The girls are with their dad this weekend, he returned from his work trip Friday evening, so they were happy to see him. They will return this evening to have Christmas Eve at my mom's house.

This morning I will also deposit the check from ex. I've already paid the bills for the month so it will go to savings to cover any other things that crop up.

I'm adding to my 2013 goals:
-Complete at least 1 pull up or chin up by December 2013! I've never been able to do one, in my whole life. I think I'm in better shape now than when I was younger, so why not do it now, I'm not getting any younger??!! I can google some training routines to help me reach this goal.

2013 on my mind

December 20th, 2012 at 10:35 am

I have a hot cup of coffee, the rest of the house is asleep, I can sit down and really think about 2013!

-I will continue to save 15% of my salary in pre-tax deferred compensation account. I don't intend to touch this money for another 30 years. It has time to grow.

-Complete course requirements for professional certificate: 3 remaining courses in 2013. It might be difficult material and time consuming. It will take some sacrifices of my free time on the home front. But I am learning useful stuff and it will help me with career advancement in the future.

-Save additional $15,000 by December 2013. (I like to send money to my taxable fund in $5,000 increments). It sounds like a lot of money to save, but even if I don't reach it I will get closer than I am now. Or I could play it safer and make the goal $10,000 so that I don't feel like I am worrying about money all the time or stretching my budget too thin.

So I guess the action steps will be:
-set up my finances so that the goals can be funded appropriately. This will be the biggie.
*Goal #1 is already set up through payroll.
*Goal #2 is in progress. I register one class at a time.
*Goal #3 needs to be looked at. There are variables that impact this goal: child support from ex (I plan my expenses out of my own money so that if something goes wrong with child support at least my bills are paid), where we will be living: if we stay in the area I keep my current job, if we move I get another job.


-arrange my schedule so that I can have the time on the weekends set aside for studying.

So not all of the details are worked out yet, but I feel like I have more of a path to follow now than I did before I wrote out some goals.

Thinking ahead

December 19th, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Finances aren't as great as I would like, but I am keeping up with everything. I also have a supportive SO who will help me out if I ever need anything, so I have that to be thankful for.

I'm almost done with this class I'm taking. I have a test to complete this weekend, and then next week I study for the final. I take the final after New Years and then I am done.

I want to take a break from classes but I also want to utilize the tuition assistance I can receive for this school year from my employer. It is only for a few hundred dollars (the class is $890), but that is a few hundred I don't have to pay. I suppose I can push through another class. There are five classes for the certification. I am finishing up class #2 of 5 right now. The certification will really put me ahead for my career, especially when I can get direct supervision hours. It's a long term goal, not something I want to complete right away.

Still thinking about my 2013 financial goals, it seems as if I can barely think past this week.

Murky finances

December 16th, 2012 at 03:16 pm

My finances may be murky right now, but they are improving every day. This year I had the child support cut in half due to ex not finding steady employment yet. That really impacted the finances.

I also have the issue of SO getting new orders. That has still not completely played out, but we are getting closer to finding a solution every day. It was a lot of added stress in 2012.

Right now I am focusing on remembering the good that is in this world. One sick individual created such devastation, but I must remember that goodness and love is pouring out of others who are heartbroken by this evil.

Financial tidbits

December 11th, 2012 at 10:53 pm

I have some kid and dog maintenance expenses coming up, so probably not much extra going into savings anytime soon. Especially with Christmas expenses this month.

I really need to think about my 2013 goals. I want to arrange them so I can see my progress. As it is this year I made a goal, reached it, and then I deleted it and created another one. So I have no evidence of my progress from one deadline to the next.

My progress on current goals:


{+}Additional $3,000 by December 2012 ($2219 on 11/24) *Should meet this goal on 12/15 with my scheduled deposit*
{+} $5,000 to 457 plan (on autopilot)*Met this goal*
{+} Complete 2nd class in certification series of 5 classes *I'm assuming I will pass, I have two more tests and then the final!!!*
{+}Remain close to family and support network *Looks like we will be staying in this house and area while SO lives in a nearby big (and expensive) city, will commute on weekends*

I admit, I didn't set any goal that was too tough to reach, but they were all important nonetheless.

I'm going to catch up on some other SA blogs and get some ideas for 2013!

no spend Monday

December 4th, 2012 at 10:31 am

Yesterday I didn't spend any money, typical for a week day. I don't want to spend any extra time coming in and out of stores after work so I just plan all of my errands for the weekend if possible. Then I knock them all out in one trip and have the rest of the time off.

Tonight I should be coming straight home as well. I have my online class meeting after dinner so it will just be our regular after school routine and homework.

The bright side to the work week- less money spent!

Shopping practically done

December 2nd, 2012 at 03:01 am

To make a financial-related post today, I spent some moolah and just about finished off my Christmas shopping. My kids are all done, now I just have 3 more gift cards to pick up and some stocking stuffers.

I've increased my contributions to my pre-tax savings account starting next month and received confirmation of this in the mail today. So my paycheck will be smaller, but in the long run, it will pay off. I just have to learn to live with the smaller paycheck. That and the increase in insurance premiums will have a noticeable difference in my paycheck I fear. I'll know what to expect starting in January. And I'll learn to live with it!

Spoke up for myself, and it felt good!!!

December 1st, 2012 at 01:46 pm

Usually I am easy going, and I like to be flexible and try to accommodate everyone. But I hit my limit at work yesterday. It felt great to tell this over-bearing battle-axe to quit trying to dictate the schedules of the assistants so that she could do less work. Of course she huffed off to the administration, who told her yes, the additional assistant was going to work in my room Friday. It was great how she back-tracked, acting like I didn't tell her why I was assigned the assistant for that day. She came back, acting like it was "her" idea to "let" me use the assistant. As if she was the one who made the decision! Eh, whatever lets her save face! I will have no problem dealing with this pushy woman again.
Since it felt so nice dealing with a problem head-on, I am going to start doing so more often. It feels like it is the next step to my whole life change, the one where I stop procrastinating and putting things off. My whole theory is that if I get things done early, and meet issues head on, I get them taken care of and then there is less stress on my system. It feels like it is working.