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Quick end of summer update

August 24th, 2014 at 06:27 am

The summer has been a whirlwind, to put it mildly. DW and I have made plans for the next few years. The girls and I are moving back to my hometown, 3 hours away, for the best interest of the girls. DW is staying behind to finish up the last few years of her orders and will be commuting home ever other week, taking 3 and 4 day weekends (she has tons of leave to use up). This way the kids can finish up school with family close by, in schools we love. When the kids are done with school we will start thinking about where we want to go, but for the time being we want to stay in this area.

Which means the summer has been full of drives back and forth while house hunting, registering kids for school, and scheduling appointments with new providers. On top of the typical summer days of birthday parties, day trips with friends, and our vacation.

We are eager to get settled in our new place, 10 days until we move in. My first day back to work is tomorrow. I haven't had a moment to even reflect on the new job, which in a way is good. No time to waste on worries about whether I will like it or not!

Not much to report in the summer

July 19th, 2014 at 06:31 am

There won't be any savings to update, as I don't get paid in the summer and I live off of the money I put aside during the school year. I set up a separate summer account that I paid into monthly like any other bill, so this account is not part of my long term savings goal.

So many changes are in the works this summer, such is life. I'm almost done with my summer school teaching, it put a crimp in my summer plans. I don't mind working half-days, the real pain was not being able to go out of town for more than a weekend. I do still have about a month of summer left, so our vacation will occur in a few weeks. That has already been paid, except of course for what we spend on the trip.

One of my personal goals is to tackle my procrastination habit. I am going to start facing my "to do" list and start ticking things off of the list. I know that will make me feel a lot better and more in control of my life.

Mid month update

June 18th, 2014 at 04:31 am

I'd really like to get in the habit of using my credit card for everything and then paying it off in full at the end of the month. I'm hesitant to do that because I always hear how you end up spending much more when you use credit, but as long as I can cut myself off when I hit my monthly limit, it shouldn't matter. I can pay my savings first like always, and then verify what is left over. Technically whatever is left over can be spent in credit and be paid off at the end of the month.

I am still on track to meet my financial goals for the year, if all continues as planned. Things are starting to settle down at home, and that is reflected in my finances as well.

4.2 more days of school until summer vacation!!!

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!

Here and now-long post!

May 11th, 2014 at 04:57 am

Last night we had a Mother's Day barbq. We figured we'd have it Saturday since on Sundays we have to wrap up early to prepare for the upcoming week. It rained in the afternoon but by the time our party rolled around the weather had cleared up. It was dry enough for the kids to play outside and the adults to hang out on the deck. We had a great time.

With so much activity I was really engaged in the present moment, something I struggle with. Especially under times of stress, I tend to ruminate on the future, what decisions to make next, what impact those decisions might have, the 'what ifs'. Lately I have also been thinking of the recent past, regretting decisions that we made that probably weren't the best for us, wasted a lot of money, etc.

And what do these thoughts of worry and regret cause? More stress, of course. There's that vicious cycle of unhappiness I cause in my own brain. Between worrying about the future and kicking myself for mistakes made in the past, I have not been enjoying the moment. But being at the barbeque and engaging with people in a casual setting, where we all just wanted to enjoy the time with no hidden agenda, it was so nice. I got to play with my kids, laugh with friends, and enjoy great food and drink, as well as a beautiful night outdoors.

I feel better when I am focused on the present moment, I feel refreshed. I guess I also feel that way when I exercise, if I don't allow my thoughts to fixate on what I'm "fixing"- if I'm burning enough calories or building enough muscle. If I just get in the zone of exercise without the interruption of my own thoughts, I finish refreshed.

I will work on staying in the present moment as my defense against the stress I allow myself to feel. Money comes and goes. Spending it all on crap won't make me feel better, but neither does thinking about it all of the time. With a clear head I can make good decisions that I can own up to. If they end up not being the best choices, well, I go on from there. No beating myself up over them.

Savings update and feeling the pinch

May 2nd, 2014 at 03:30 am

I added another $1,000 to the long-term account, and $25 to my short-term account. I think that my short-term account would be what some consider the "slush fund". That money ebbs and flows when things crop up, like an unexpected gift to purchase or big vet bill. Instead of separating my money into several little areas, I will just pull from this account as needed. My intention is to not pull from the long-term account, that's for wealth building. Yet it's available for big emergencies.

8 more weeks left of school, and so much to do in the meantime! I'm being as efficient as possible at work so that I don't have to bring much home. I have another stack of responsibilities at home and I want to focus on those, not carry over my day job.

Home life has been tense, relationships can be so much work sometimes...is it wrong for me to want my own little cottage in the backyard, all to myself? Smile I know things will get easier, life has ups and downs, but I'm tired of the struggles.

Slow savings

April 18th, 2014 at 05:20 am

Saving has slowed down and I need to ramp it back up. I've been funneling more money towards other expenses, such as trips, Spring clothes, and holiday expenses. I need to get the extra spending under control so all of my savings actually stays in my savings account.

For Spring Break we visited family for 3 nights, and stayed in a hotel. That was an expense, but worth it. We really enjoyed coming back to the hotel to relax and use the pool. While visiting we did some shopping for the kids, since we had the time off and the kids were with us. Today we are back home, and I have no plans for the day. I will exercise later on, but that is about it. I want to pick up the house a bit and work on Easter baskets for the family.

I have the money for the rest of the month mapped out, and renewed determination to do better with keeping more in savings next month. I am pitifully far from reaching my financial goals for this year.

A snowflake for me

April 1st, 2014 at 02:55 am

(I hesitate to even say "snowflake", we've had so much of that this year!)
I've volunteered a few times with DD's chorus and apparently that means I was automatically placed in a drawing for savings off of the Spring trip. I won grand prize, so I get a check for $100 to go towards my DDs trip to NY! I already paid off her trip so this can go towards spending and back in the family fund.
There's no savings update, the money hasn't transferred over yet. But it will be there soon.
I've got a busy week of work ahead of me, but I hardly spend any money during the week. So that's a plus! (I had a rather spendy weekend).

Back to check in!

March 23rd, 2014 at 05:09 pm

I've been off the radar for nearly 2 months, I'm finally ready to check back in to SA. Things have been rather stressful on the homefront, relationship stuff. With that on my mind I've been stalling on financial updates, in case I needed to change those. But I'm back at a point where I'm feeling stronger, strong enough to continue to make good decisions that will hopefully bring about more good things in my life. Wallowing doesn't make anything better, it's time to see the good in my life again!

I did contribute $5,000 to Roth IRA, however, that was for 2013. I may end up making my 2014 Roth contributions by April 2015. That will give me more time to focus on bringing up the savings in my long-term taxable account this year.

I'd like to find a church home. One that shares my beliefs and has a strong youth program. There are a couple of possibilities I've research, they are just a distance away. It would be nice if I could find a church nearby. I'm rather introverted and that includes at church, so I've always had trouble finding a place that feels right. I've never really been a steady church-goer, but I guess part of me wants to explore that possibility. (I started on this tangent because I noticed I haven't donated anything significant this year, that is something I was going to do through programs at church).

Work is going really well. Still non-stop busy during the day, but it is satisfying. This time of year is always exciting to me. The kids understand the classroom routine and programs, and they really start to show progress. This is the time of the year when the kids seem to be "growing" into the next grade. All the hard work slowly begins to pay off.

Lots of rambling, but it feels good to be back at SA!

Taxes are finished

February 8th, 2014 at 03:56 am

I submitted federal return online and I'm going to have to mail in my state return due to the different filing status I have to put, my state doesn't recognize my marriage. So I basically had to do my taxes twice- once as a married filing jointly for federal, that I actually submitted electronically. Then I had to create a "dummy" federal return that I wasn't going to submit, just to get my info into the state return. If it sounds complicated, it was! I couldn't figure out how to skip the federal component and just input my data directly into state. I think the only way I could have done that was if I went directly to my state's website, but it looked like filing there was only available if you were under a certain income? The whole process was a PITA. But it's done now.

I am in the process of streamlining my finances just a little bit more so that I have fewer accounts out there. Two should be taken care of next week.

Usually I love my job, but...

January 9th, 2014 at 04:45 am

when home and work collide unexpectedly, I'm really thrown off. When I'm home I am home, 100%. It's all about my family, my home, myself. When I'm at work I'm at work 100%. I have my cell phone in case a school nurse calls, but for the most part, I'm in work mode.

But today I'm home with DD again, she is still sick. A trip to the Dr. 2 days ago showed no strep or ear infection, and it was suggested fluids and pain reliever until the virus passes. She's still feeling miserable, now whenever she stands up she feels dizzy and feels like she is going to fall over. With the headache, ear ache and dizziness I'm sure it's related to her sinuses. Waiting it out isn't doing her much good right now, and OTC decongestants and pain relievers aren't helping either. Can a cold turn into a sinus infection in a few days?

So as I'm calling in for the second day this week, I'm feeling terrible. I have so much to do at work, I feel like I can't do my job right. I am very hard on myself at work. Not like I have to join 10 different committees or decorate my room like Martha Stewart, but I take my actual job very seriously. I'm hard on myself when I can't give 100%.

I'll get over it, my girls come first, I guess these feelings come with the territory. For now, my little one is back to sleep and I am researching cold remedies for children while I wait for the Dr. office to open!

Feeling good

January 8th, 2014 at 05:03 am

After a long and much appreciated winter break, I'm finally going back to work. Monday was supposed to be my first day back, but littlest DD caught a bad cold over the weekend, so I stayed home with her. Then yesterday schools were closed due to the weather, and we are delayed two hours today. I am really looking forward to getting back to work! It makes all the difference in the world when I love my job. I know that I will have a lot of work ahead of me, but I will power through it.

While at home this week I've had a couple space heaters going in addition to the central heat. The space heaters just make things more comfortable. The kids have also kept throw blankets on them when they are sitting. We've managed to stay warm and cozy this way.

I got paid for the previous month before winter break, so this check has to stretch 6 weeks, until I get paid again Jan. 30 or 31. I carefully check my accounts daily to make sure I am still on track.

I revisited The Automatic Millionaire site by David Bach, I need to pick up a used copy of that book again. I really believe in the concepts he presents about automatically setting up your savings/bills/retirement and then living off of the rest. Its what most of us do, anyway, but it is motivating to read about it in detail. I have some pretty lofty goals this year, and I need to be vigilant with my money to reach them. IF I set it all up automatically, then that is less for me to think about.

Pretty quiet over here

December 22nd, 2013 at 06:16 pm

I'm officially on winter break! I have been home alone this weekend, DW left early to visit family and the girls are with their dad. That leaves me here to wrap gifts, clean, work out, and generally take my time with everything. It has been nice, the quietness, but I'm ready to see everyone again!

I head home tomorrow to spend a few days with the girls and the rest of my family. Then I fly out to meet up with DW to spend New Years with her family. I get back home with a few days to spare before going back to work.

I took out cash to spend until the 15th, when I will replenish the spending money. I already got paid for the end of the month, due to the school holidays, but I don't get another paycheck until the last day of January, so I must be very careful to make it last!

Weekly update

December 5th, 2013 at 03:33 am

My bills have been scheduled to be paid, and by early next week everything left in the account should be what is left over for spending. I'm giving myself extra breathing room this month, because I will have additional expenses such as shipping for presents, meals out while visiting out of town, etc. I will finish my shopping this weekend, much of it will be done online, anyway.

I have exercised each day an average of 30 minutes on Dec 2, 3, 4. Today I will work out when I get home after taking my daughter to a doctor appointment. I am looking forward to those 30 minutes by myself!

I'm also planning to head to church this Sunday. My DW and I have found one that is welcoming to us, and that shares our beliefs. DW and I differ a bit in our spiritual beliefs and we've never been able to find a church that we both feel connected to, so this is a pleasant surprise. The kids program is a bit of a bore, though, according to the girls. I'm hoping as time goes on they will get something out of it, at least give us something to talk about as a family.

That's the plan for the upcoming weekend, anyway. Saturday night I want to take the family to the zoo for the evening holiday lights display I've heard so much about, and it's free! Church Sunday, and online shopping. Exercise. Easy weekend!