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June update

June 3rd, 2014 at 05:46 pm

My savings will slow down as my student loan payments readjusted big time. But it's ok, I have made good use out of that education I'm paying for.

I've paid the bills for the month for my rental condo. It's bringing me an extra $150 a month after expenses.

17 days left until summer vacation, countdown has begun!

My summer starts right...now!

June 14th, 2013 at 03:56 pm

After a grueling week of packing at school, I was able to check out for the summer. I am sore, feels like I have a stomach bug, and I can barely keep myself awake for my girls' sleep over. But I made it, and I'm hopeful that after a restful night of sleep I will feel better.

I have $78 dollars left over from last payday, so I will transfer that over to savings this weekend.

I may have a short 3 week job in DC this summer, as a nanny to a family while the regular nanny is on vacation. I can bring my girls with me during the day, and the kids are the same ages as my kids. So I would be getting paid to entertain the kids all day. Obviously I've simplified it but still, a great way to earn some good extra cash for a few weeks. Plus I will be in DC, spending time with SO. I'll see how that pans out soon.

Firming up summer plans

June 9th, 2013 at 04:14 am

I am long overdue for a visit to extended family in the midwest. Mostly due to my divorce and change of lifestyle, as I hadn't revealed any of this to the family at the time, I wanted to spare my mother the backlash. Now my extended family knows about me and my life, and I would like my daughters to see a bit more of that side of the family. I priced tickets and a rental car, we may be able to get out there for about $1500. This will slow down my savings, but perhaps I can make it up elsewhere throughout the year.

Besides this trip to the midwest, we will also go to Hershey, PA for a long weekend. It is only a few hours from SO's DC home, so we are planning a trip up there in early August.

There has been so much anxiety about the move and jobs and schools for the past several months, now that these concerns have been taken care of I am ready to have some fun with my family!

Still cash only...

March 11th, 2013 at 05:57 pm

I have $26 left in my checking account for gas but besides that I have been cash only this pay period. I have very little left till payday on Friday but that is how I planned it. I have all of my bills paid, food in the house, and money for gas set aside. I will make it to payday!

Today the weather was beautiful, thank goodness. I took advantage of the nice weather and ran 40 minutes outdoors before dinner. It felt great to be outside again, in just running capris and a tshirt.

My tenant is out of the beach condo and I have been sort of looking for a new tenant. I say "sort of" because I haven't been hard-core searching for a new tenant just yet. I have a lot going on at home and at school, and I guess I'm just getting lazy. Plus the condo doesn't cost too much, so I see it as "forced savings" almost. Of course it would be even better if someone else was paying down my mortgage, so I need to get on the ball with this. The condo association is changing the by-laws to prohibit renting, so that could really change things for me. In the meantime, though, I should be able to get a renter.

A few more no spend days

March 6th, 2013 at 02:58 am

After a spendy weekend I managed to keep my wallet closed Monday and Tuesday. The longer I can do that the better, I'm doing cash-only this pay period.

I was planning on spending something tonight because we are not going home until after dinnertime. DD has a school performance so we are hanging out on that side of town to wait for her show. I figure I will work out, catch up on never ending paperwork in the classroom, and pick up dinner for us somewhere. Actually, I will check in the fridge or freezer first and see if there is anything convenient we can pack for dinner. PBJs and fruit, anyone? That would be super, if I can get a third no-spend day in!

My course tuition has posted to my credit card, so I have to pay off the $890. I could take it out of savings, but I plan to just pay it off $100 or $150 a paycheck, since it is a 0% card. Then all I have left to do is pass the course and get the most out of it that I can.

I also received $250 bonus for refinancing my new car with my credit union. That money posted in my savings account, so my refund account is now $314.

2 NSDs

February 22nd, 2013 at 03:08 am

Those sure feel good! I really look forward to going straight home after work, without stopping anywhere. Those little stops always seem to cost me something!

I stayed home with little DD yesterday, she was feeling under the weather. I got in some good workouts- a 15 minute kettle bell routine and 5 miles of running. DD and I also bagged like a million box tops for our PTA, while sipping hot tea. It was nice to baby her!

I received a $104 escrow refund check for paying too much escrow last year. The mortgage on my condo will go down $15 starting next month to offset the changes in taxes due, sweet! It is going in the short term savings account that is linked to my checking account. This can be acccessed for unexpected expenses that I don't have every month, like a nonroutine vet visit.

SO and I will go to DC for one night this weekend, she is signing the lease at her new place and we will attend a dinner party for a friend's birthday. SO covers all of these expenses, as she has much more disposable income than me at this point. We have a shared account for joint expenses such as utilities and groceries, and then we have our own accounts for our own bills and savings. It's been working for us.

I sure hope the weather doesn't impact anyone's weekend plans, and please everyone keep safe!

Another refund

February 18th, 2013 at 01:56 pm

I received a $20 refund check in the mail Saturday, which brings my total up to $64.

I've done some good workouts this weekend, a total of 2 weight/interval training dvd workouts and 5 miles of running on the treadmill.

Back to school tomorrow but I'm well rested and ready to keep moving forward.

My spending has been more than usual, as I'm doing a bit of decorating upstairs. Luckily I don't want to acquire more things to clean, so decorating consists of a few pieces of art for the wall and a couple table decorations (this room was completely empty). The room looks beautiful, and even the kids love it!

Rebate money added

January 26th, 2013 at 05:30 am

My rewards check from Chase came today, for $31.44. This bumps my rebate account up to $40 for the year. Slowly moving along!

My former BIL (well, I guess I still consider him the BIL) is a very talented IT guy. He is going to host a website for me that I have been wanting to start. I am going to sell a small selection of teaching and active play products especially chosen for kids with autism and other special needs. Products that I have tested out in the classroom and can give personal feedback on for the customers. I can also sell my own products if I can find enough time to make some more. It will be a niche store that will mostly appeal to teachers, parents, and grandparents of special needs children. The site is still under construction but we are working on it!

It snowed here last night, which caused everyone's world to spin upside down. Instead of 15 minutes, our drive was 1.5 hours, and we saw 11 cars stranded. It only snowed 2 inches, mind you, but it's a huge deal here! I would just stay home this weekend to avoid it all, but I need to get groceries. I'm hoping when the sun comes out some of this stuff will melt, I'm not a snow girl.

We are always growing...

January 24th, 2013 at 03:03 am

I checked my emergency/investment account this morning, and I have a little over 6 months salary saved! This is separate from my retirement accounts. Also, SO and I keep the "yours, mine, and ours" accounts, so this is mine.

After the divorce I walked away with a "clean slate"... no bills, but no real assets, either, with the exception of some retirement money and of course child support for the girls. (The girls will also have much of their college tuition covered by my ex, so that is worth a lot right there). It's up to me to take the next steps towards financial improvement.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that we all have the ability to remake ourselves, each day. Would it have been easier if I had chosen a more lucrative career than teaching? Yes. But that doesn't stop me from improving. I can take additional classes to advance in different directions other than the classroom. I can start a small business related to teaching.

I know that a parent who isn't receiving child support will have less to work with, but that parent still has the power to grow and improve each day, little steps forward at a time. Lots of people do it.

Two income families or single income families, we all have choices to make regarding our occupations and what we spend our money on. We all start out at different points on the path, but we are responsible for ourselves. I know plenty of two income families that are financial train wrecks, so having two incomes doesn't necessarily make you more financially successful than a family with one income. Single ladies and gentlemen have their own advantages over DINKs. It's up to the individual to make it all work.


January 16th, 2013 at 02:59 am

Wednesday already! This month is zooming by... I've gotten so much accomplished at work, though, so I feel good about that.

I'm not feeling too pleased with my exercise progress. I've always been an exerciser, so it's not a resolution-thing, it's just I've let my thoughts and concerns get in the way of my workouts. Since anxiety and depression run in the family, I'm well aware of how thoughts can snowball and affect the rest of your life. I'm breaking myself out of the worrying habit, because worrying really does nothing- it doesn't bring action, it doesn't bring solution. Now I just need to get the uneffective thoughts out of my head and replace with better ones. I let go and let God, so to speak. Keep myself open to what I need to do. I'm rambling, I apologize, but have to get it out!

Bottom line, exercise helps me feel good. I need the endorphins to kick start the good feelings. When I feel better, I have better thoughts. During lunch today I will exercise, even if I just get in a quick 20 minutes. I can change my clothes before hand, clean off with baby wipes after, change back, and be able to finish my day. It's something I need to do, really.

Savings update: $100 to savings, $4 to rebate fund.

Had a restful break

December 29th, 2012 at 10:47 am

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 04:06 am

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.

Financial tidbits

December 11th, 2012 at 02:53 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!

Change is in the air...

October 17th, 2012 at 02:01 am

SO will be receiving her new set of orders any day now. I went ahead and submitted an application for teaching positions at our potential new duty station, for next school year. This place doesn't post positions available but accepts applications throughout the year.

I started class #2 in the certification series. Scared of the hard work ahead but I went ahead and did it anyway. In 10 weeks I will be done with this class!

My ex is still looking for a new job since he retired from the military. Of course I'm annoyed at this but he has been paying the minimum child support, based on the retirement pay and rental income he receives. It's still half of what it used to be, though. Once his savings runs out he's really going to be taking the job hunt seriously, he has some hefty living expenses right now.

Despite that drop in monthly income, our family is happily moving along. Not saving as much as I used to, but that is what it is. Hopefully that situation will resolve itself soon.

Time for one more cup of coffee and then a three mile run on the treadmill to get my energy boost early in the day!

September, just about done!

September 30th, 2012 at 04:39 am

September is always such a rough month for me. If the school system would start us out with appropriate staffing instead of playing hardball for a month or two, the school year could begin so much easier for everyone. Still waiting for the additional staff, but the desperation of the situation has been seen by the right people at least and I have been promised help.

I spent yesterday laying around, I was so exhausted from the work week. Later in the afternoon I got in the car and ran some errands, took DD to a birthday party, but that was about it. The rainy weather didn't help much, either.

I'm feeling much more refreshed this morning. I'm letting my coffee and yogurt digest a little bit and then I'm going to head outside to run. I rarely run outside because I like the weather to be "perfect". Today I just want to start running and see where I end up. I will go for time, no set distance. I will figure every 10 minutes of running equals a mile.

If the rain stays away today we will take the kids to the beach, there's a festival going on with all kinds of things to see and do.

I transferred my short term savings to my taxable investment account, so I'm starting over again with my numbers.

Quick midweek update

September 19th, 2012 at 02:42 am

No eating out: 15/18 days

Just wanted to update midweek before I forgot!

All of the bills have left the account already, so I have the rest to live off of until next paycheck.

Today is a very important day at work. I'm fighting for more help in the classroom, which means my coordinator will be observing most of the day. I have a couple students who probably need more appropriate placements, too. If they were properly placed then I could run the classroom much more effectively, and all of the students would have a stronger education. Lots of paperwork is due for these cases as well. I have a meeting this morning, a doctors appointment at the end of the day and then I have to rush back to work for another meeting. I am looking forward to knocking these off of my plate today!


September 2nd, 2012 at 04:17 am

Yesterday was my birthday, and we celebrated by having everyone over to the house. This was the first party we've had where we made absolutely nothing from scratch. And it tasted delicious! To be fair, most of the food was made at the local deli(fried chicken!) and bakery, but it wasn't SO or myself putting in the work. It really didn't cost all that much, especially considering we fed 12 people. I also will get a rebate of $10 for buying deli products.

I did get spoiled for my birthday with gift cards for coffee and a restaurant. My family and friends know me so well! My parents gave me $100, which I was not expecting, that was very generous! Into savings that will go until I decide what to do with it.

All of the dusting and paper shuffling at work last week caught up to me. My allergies are suffering terribly, not a good way to welcome the students. I still have a few days to rest before the first day of class, so I'm hoping to get this out of my system this weekend. I've gotten very little sleep due to the cold symptoms, but I know with time I will flush all of this out of my system and be healthy again. I just need to take care of myself.

I'm debating whether I should register for the 2nd class or not. It's a very tough class, but necessary. However, it also costs $890. If employee reimbursement is available (it may be depleted already) they have capped it at $620 per employee.
Classes start October 15 so I will need to decide soon. Another drawback is that school starts Tuesday and this time of year is crazy enough without hours of studying thrown in. Maybe I will just wait for the Spring session, it starts in January...

No eating out: 1/1 days

Change is in the air

August 21st, 2012 at 04:22 am

There are lots of changes going on around here right now. School and work will be starting back up, that always brings change, every day is a new adventure. On the homefront, my SO is putting the house on the market in anticipation for a new set of orders. I like our life how it is right now and I don't "want" to change! I love living so close to my family and friends. I love my master bedroom suite. I love the people I work with.

But it's time for the pity party to be over. I'm excited about the possiblity of orders in a great location. I'm excited about the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world with my kids. And I have to admit, part of me is excited to start up somewhere different in the world. I know I could easily get too comfortable where I am now, and I'm just not ready to do that yet. It's not our time yet.

As for financial news, I was able to deposit an extra $100 into savings, bringing the new total to $1039. I also received a $15 rebate check, bringing the cruise savings to $1226. We don't go on the actual cruise until the end of October, so I know I can save the total cruise costs by then.

Today I plan on going through the girls' wardrobes, to determine what else needs to be purchased for the upcoming school year. I know it will be shorts for a while, but the weather can change overnight and I want to be prepared.

NS Sunday and Monday plans

August 13th, 2012 at 04:29 am

Sunday we had friends over for brunch, it was delicious and free!

After the friends left I started the lasagne. While the lasagne cooked I finished the curtains for my classroom shelves. Now that the curtain project is out of the way I can focus on my Spanish lessons again and classroom lesson planning for Sept-Nov. I go back to work on the 24th.

It was a productive but relaxing Sunday with no spending, can't complain. I did eat a Lot, but I will start fresh today.

Today's agenda: medical paperwork since the insurance changed when the girls' dad retired. Also request a copy of DD1's birth certificate, her original has gone missing and I need another original.

Received another rebate check

August 12th, 2012 at 04:48 am

The rebate check was for $15. This brings the cruise fund up to $1211.

Today I plan to finish sewing the curtains for my classroom shelves, 6 more to go. I will also cook a meatless lasagne and take the kids swimming. Easy day!

It should be a NS day!

Quick update

August 7th, 2012 at 07:50 am

I'm updating my savings to $638. When this reaches $5000 I will add it to my taxable investment account, and start saving all over again. Savings has been very slow this summer... but at least I'm not building any debt.

Cruise is almost paid for!

August 3rd, 2012 at 06:21 am

For the past year and a half my family has been saving rebates, credit card rewards, and spare change. I guess this is what others consider "snowflakes". We have almost paid off our cruise with this extra money!

I could easily have drained this money throughout the year on things here and there. Yet by saving it in an account especially for the cruise, I felt a responsibility to not touch the money. The money has a "face".

Automating everything again

July 25th, 2012 at 08:09 am

I revisited David Bach's "Automatic Millionaire Homeowner". I do recommend this book as an easy-read starting point to finances, especially if you are a worrier like me. It streamlines finances so you don't have to think about things so much.

I reset my automatic savings plan at ING to divert funds to my long-term savings. So now I am saving 30% of my income through my 457 plan and long term savings, when calculated using my net income.

Child support is usually saved and then I pull from it as needed for additional expenses such as yearbooks, glasses, parties, etc. (Those are the expenses that have thrown me off lately, with the child support delay).

The rest of my bills continue to be paid online, so no worries there.

So I can put aside the anxiety that I have had lately regarding my finances. The big things have been taken care of, I just have to live on the rest. I'm a big girl, I can figure that out!

I've really enjoying the summer so far. I have been practicing my Spanish consistently using Rosetta Stone. I have also been teaching myself to sew on a machine, it is a lot of fun! I finished one project for my classroom, a weighted lap pad. I'm pretty proud of it, for my first project.

My girls seem pretty happy with their summer. They are spending lots of time in the water and getting lots of time with their dad, which they missed while he was active duty and deployed so much.

My first moonlighting check

July 13th, 2012 at 02:25 am

I only worked a couple hours at the end of June, so I have my first check: $50.63 that was automatically deposited into my online savings account. I also have mileage and cell phone reimbursement coming my way in a separate deposit.

My savings account is basically treading water at this point because I have tuition for my 2nd out of 5 courses to repay. Instead of putting $275 in savings each paycheck I will only put $50. Then I will put $225 on my 0% credit card each paycheck until the tuition is paid off, should be 2 months. Then I will put that money back to savings. So my little part time job will be a little extra in my savings account for now.

Savings updates

July 6th, 2012 at 05:10 am

I added $15 to the cruise fund after selling a textbook, getting close to the deadline!

I also updated personal savings to $6,443. Getting there, slowly, but surely!

I work a few hours this morning at the part time job and then I have the rest of the day off. I haven't gotten a paycheck from the new place yet. It will be automatically deposited into my ING account, so I won't have to touch it at all.

Trying again to gain some financial control

June 28th, 2012 at 02:24 pm

My finances have been a bit in an uproar in June. My ex husband is retiring and his finances are all out of whack, so child support has been a problem since May. I have faith that he will have all of the kinks worked out soon. He's never had an issue with child support in the last 5 years. It's tough to adjust from 20 years in the Armed Forces to civilian life, especially if you didn't plan very well!

Fortunately I can cover things with the family and home on my own, I just won't be saving very much. Thank goodness this is temporary, though I have no idea what the new child support amount will be, if it changes.

I started my new part-time job this week and met my first client. I think that it can be interesting work and I have no problem working 12 hours a week in the summer. I'm just concerned about the time commitment when the school year starts back up. However, I've got to keep my eyes on the prize: Invaluable experience in the field, that will set me apart from other educators. The extra cash won't hurt, either. I have my paycheck set up to automatically be deposited into my ING account, where I keep my long-term savings. Out of sight, out of mind.

We all ate at home this week, minus a trip for Italian Ice, delicious! This summer I see us spending lots of time in the kitchen, as my girls enjoy cooking. I "supervised" while my youngest made homemade tortillas and hummus. Then for another meal my girls worked together to make lasagna, I was impressed that they worked so well together. Usually during the school year there isn't much time for leisurely cooking, so this has been fun.

The water bill at my rental condo is $100 more than it usually is, and I don't know what that's about. I have to add the water agency to my list of phone calls to make...

Made it through the weekend

May 30th, 2012 at 03:02 am

The weekend was full of family, enjoying the water, and celebration. Exhausting! Luckily I have a short work week, looking forward to relaxing over the upcoming weekend.

I will be busy the rest of this week getting the condo rented. The tenant moves out today, so I will meet up with her to do the final walk-thru after work. And I have several people interested in looking at the condo tomorrow after work. So hopefully by the weekend I will have a new tenant. A little hectic, to be sure, but once the new tenant is in place things will relax a bit. This stuff gets easier with practice. Also I'm learning to just plunge ahead with the tasks that need to be taken care of, instead of avoiding and hoping the issues will just "disappear".

My savings is a bit stalled at the moment. With the child support delay while exhusband is in the process of retiring from the military, and a huge payment to my student loan that was not expected, I've actually had to take out of savings this month. I do get paid tomorrow, though, and I'm still expecting tuition reimbursement. If I don't get the reimbursement this paycheck I will be calling to check on it. I've got till the end of June, though, to make my goal, so I can still make it!

Chugging along...

May 9th, 2012 at 02:49 am

This time of the month gets a little dull, financially. I've put money in savings, paid the bills, now I have what is left over to work with until the next paycheck. Repeat.

I'm such an optimist, though. I'm just thankful my finances are "boring" at the moment. I've had the days when everything breaks at once and the savings account dwindles to zilch to cover it all. I'd much rather have boring finances!

I will, however, continue to seek out opportunities to improve my finances and learn more. Soon I will be looking for a new tenant. That is some income. I have applied for summer school. That is another opportunity. It's something.

May financial housekeeping

April 28th, 2012 at 06:00 am

Looking to the upcoming month, I've got some financial housekeeping to complete.
-Increase monthly savings by $50. (increase of $25 per paycheck)
-Receive tuition reimbursement (hopefully in May sometime!) and deposit into savings
-Reach $10,000 savings goal by end of May, and start new savings goal of additional $10,000 by December 2012. Yes, my goals are very exciting (not!)

I don't have any more concrete goals besides just building up the cash- the future is sort of up in the air as far as where we will be living, that sort of thing. If we stay in this area, I guess I'll just keep saving according to plan. If we move in a year, well, the money will come in handy when it comes time to either purchase somewhere else, float me while I look for work, or any emergencies. Or I could just use all of this savings for retirement. I do contribute to retirement through a tax deferred plan as well as an employer paid retirement plan, but it doesn't seem like there is much money in it. I have to add up the total amount of the accounts, but it is a paltry sum compared to the million or so I will need to retire!

I will need to decide where to keep this cash once I make my May goal. The rest of my long-term savings is in a taxable investment account. I hate just piling it up in a savings account, but I'm also a bit leery about putting most of my savings into the investment account. I sure know how to complicate things!

The countdown begins

April 26th, 2012 at 02:45 am

Just a few days left in April, and I'm going to need everyone of them to get everything done! Work is going to be nonstop for the next few weeks. But if I can keep up this pace for a few more weeks then I will be right on schedule to meet all deadlines before the end of the school year. There is an end in sight!

Besides spending on McDs coffee after work lately, I haven't done much spending this week. I've managed to make it home each night without giving in to the temptation to eat out. This has resulted in much less money going out, and more down time with the kids.

I have noticed other SA members "pay" themselves when they have a no-spend day, or if their favorite team wins, etc. I need to start something like that for my cruise. I want to have it paid for by the end of August, and here it is almost May. Time to start getting creative and get that account built up. Maybe each day that I don't buy any food or drinks, I pay myself $3? Or each day that I exercise I pay myself? Maybe both. Reducing caffeine consumption and consistent exercise are both priorities for me, so I might as well reward myself for them.

Also on the financial front, I increased my automatic monthly savings by $50 a month. This should start to make a difference after a few months.

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