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2011 Progress Check…. Survey says??????

Way back in January i listed some short term and long term goals. The short terms goals were basically a to-do list I was whining about, and got all of those done in short order. My annual goals were a bit lofitier and required a bit more work/patience/determination.

So, without further ado, below is my original list of goals and their results…

1.Pay off dump truck.  [There is a balance of $1100. It will be PAID OFF in January!]

2.Pay off 3 credit cards. [Actually PAID OFF 5! Yesireeee, $3175 – GONE. Plus, paid down another $2100 on the remaining cards.]

3.Establish an E-fund. [Started out great, ended up needing to use some. Currently have $2,000 stashed. Not bad, but not the $5,000 i was aiming for.]

4.Establish savings for: Christmas, Health, Rainy Day. And set it up to contribute automatically. I use ING Direct so this is the easiest thing in the world. Just need to do it. And not “borrow” from it. [Set-up account for Christmas. Saved $1000 and used some of it for my shopping. Still have about $300 in there for next year. 🙂  Did not set up Health because we may do Flexible Spending at work. FAILED at setting up Rainy Day fund. Unless the cookie jar counts? There’s a few Benjamin’s in there…]

5.Lose some weight. Specific numbers and/or plans seem to have the opposite effect. So, let’s just keep it vague and any victory will be a win! [WOOOO-HOOOOO!!! Lost 23 lbs this year! Down a pants size and feeling good about the progress. Doc would like to see me lose another 20-30 before we go to fertility specialist. Got an ipod for Christmas, so loading up playlists for workouts.]

6. a) commit to making healthier meals [Sorta. Kinda. Not eating as many carbs. Definately eating at home a lot more. I give it a 50%]

7. b) get a complete physical [Done. everything good except triglycerides a touch high.]

8. c) work out at least 1 day a week at the fire hall [I work out at home. As often as i can. Some weeks it’s every day, some weeks 0 days. Hey, i’m busy. I do it when i can. Let’s call it 50%]

9.Paint the downstairs and decorate. We’ve been there 10 years. It’s about time. [FAIL. I got as far as painting some sample colors on the wall. Hubby freaked the ‘f’ out. Back to square one. Found some inspirational idea pics. Just need to find the right shade of paint and hire a painter.]

10.Might as well make it an even 10. Get back into taking lots of pictures and scrapbooking. Now that i have a cricut, i have nothing to do with it! [Took lots of pictures, but haven’t been able to scrapbook much. It really has been a very busy year for me.]

All in all, i’m pleased with the progress i’ve made on my list of goals. It’s not like i was a total loser. I tried. And succeeded, mostly.

Since New Year’s is only a day away, it’s only fitting to write up a list of GOALS for 2012.

  1. Lose 20-30 more lbs.
  2. Get pregnant
  3. Establish a Rainy Day fund to cover Goal #2 expenses
  4. Paint & Decorate house
  5. Pay off my car

That’s it. That’s all i really care to accomplish in 2012. All i really want is to have a family with the love of my life. All other goals are simply pre-requisites to the ultimate goal: children.

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Feeling victorious

No, we haven’t won the lottery. No, we didn’t just land our dream job. Nope, just feeling good in my skin for once.

Last night I did medical stand-by at the local high school for the football game. Afterwards, we parked the rig back at the fire hall and saw that my hubby was there waiting to pester the new EMT students who were in session. I was standing in front of the bulletin board putzing around and had my back to him. Suddenly, he blurts out “Jesis! Why don’t you get some pants that fit! Looks like you’re walking around with a saggy diaper on!”

Normally, one would be quite offended at such a rude comment. I? Smiled. Cuz I knew my pants looked like that from a combination of the 15 lbs lost and toning up from running.

So today I went online and ordered a smaller pair of EMS pants. Can’t wait to try them on!

I’m not a “biggest loser” and I’m not running a marathon. But when others begin to notice your transformation it really starts to feel real. And that inspires me to keep it up.

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Are we there yet?

This update is long overdue, but here goes…

Jan 2011 – July 2011

  • CC1:   14,350        13,250   
  • CC2:   6,325             5,800
  • CC3:   1,025                 950
  • CC4:   4,910             4,650
  • CC5:   390                          0
  • CC6:   485                          0
  • CC7:   515                          0
  • CC8:   520                       90
  • CC9:   5,225              5,225
  • CC10:   4,150           3,650
  • Total CC’s:   37,895          33,615
  • Family: 10,000                  7,000

So, drumroll please……….. we’ve paid off $7,280 since the beginning of the year! Get out of the way, HUGE snowball rolling downhill! LOVE seeing those ZERO balances!

Thanks to landing some nice contracts and a snowier than usual winter, we have been able to knock down a large chunk of debt. We are also CURRENT on all of our monthly bills, including the mortgage. A small emergency fund is in place for both personal bills and business bills. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…… What a wonderful feeling.

The physical aspects of unloading such a burden are positive as well. I’ve been able to shed 15 lbs since March. My periods (I know, TMI) are pretty regular now. I LAUGH again. I have friends again. I have a good time whenever we go out with friends/family.

Work has improved for me as well. I’m back up to 40 hrs/week plus a $1.25/hr raise. That really helps get caught up. I’ve been throwing extra money each month at the vehicle payments trying to pay them off sooner.

Did I mention we took a VACATION in march? It was hubby’s idea. Surprise of all surprises. Of course, i wanted to pay off as much debt as possible, and maybe stash some aside for the inevitable unexpected expenses. Hubby convinced me that we NEEDED a vacation. It had been more than 5 yrs since we spent any money on ourselves, and we needed to enjoy the fruits of our labor and not be miserly. It took several days to sink in, but he was right. As long as we didn’t accrue any additional debt, and were still able to keep on pace with paying down our debts we needed to spend our money in a positive way and see money as a good thing, and not as evil incarnate. Besides, our 10th anniversary was coming up and he thought we should do something more special than spend a weekend a few hours from home in a so-so hotel in some lame town, arguing about what to do.

So we went on a cruise. Neither one of us had ever been on one before. He found a great deal through his parent’s travel agent. We spent 5 days in the caribbean. It was awesome. We had a BLAST. In fact, we had so much fun, that we decided to work extra hard and save money and do it again next spring. Who would have ever thought? That $1500 splurge allowed us to really RELAX and re-align our senses. It was good for our marriage. Honestly, i didn’t know what to expect. I worried that it could go the other way. It was a good deal, but still a lot of money in what -i felt- was still a fragile personal economy and we hadn’t spent that much time alone together since we’d been married. It paid off ten-fold. He’s still telling everyone what a great time he had and recommending them to go.

So, are we there yet? Have we made enough progress to call it a victory? I mean, everybody has bills, right? Just 6 months ago, my only financial goal was to be able to pay the bills on time every month. We’ve accomplished that. And it feels great. But, it only seems natural to set the bar a little higher.

Discretionary income. It’s one thing to be able to pay your bills, it’s another to MAKE CHOICES on how you spend the money left over when the bills are paid. That concept terrifies me. What if something happens and I need that money later? Was a trip to the movies this weekend really worth it if the electric is in danger of getting shut off again in 6 months? What if an appliance suddenly dies and my small e-fund is wiped out? And then another appliance dies, or the car needs to be repaired? I never thought about these things before because i just couldn’t. I was strictly in survival mode. Food, shelter, clothing. Now that those needs have been met, there’s a whole new set of things to worry about.

So, are we there yet? Or when are we really “there”?

 

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big baby steps

Next week we will be receiving a rather large payment from a customer. Every fiber of my being wants to take every last penny and apply it to our regular monthly payments and other debt. It would feel SOOOO GOOD to knock out a good portion of debt and have that weight lifted.

But…. that would not be the responsible thing to do. Money Management 101 says that you should always pay yourself first. So even though i WANT to pay down a chunk of debt, i know that i NEED to set some of that money aside for an emergency. That would be the responsible adult thing to do.

So, before i even have that money in my hand, i went online today and scheduled an automatic transfer to my ING savings account for the day after i will deposit the large payment. I also set up very small automatic transfers on a weekly basis to my personal ING savings account. Now that i am pretty much caught up on monthly bills, I really need to focus on setting aside $$$ for the leaner times. $15/week goes to my E-fund account, and $10/week goes to Christmas account. This is not very much money, but it’s a start. I don’t want to take out too much and have to transfer it back. As Hubby’s receivables start coming in and our bills are stabile, I can increase the amount or start another sub account, like vacation or vehicle expenses.

In other news, Hubby and I had the baby talk again the other night. I told him that we both need to lose weight and save up some money, because it’s probably going to cost us a lot of money to try to get pregnant. Surprisingly, while I was at class the next evening, he hit the weight room with a couple buds. Sounds like this might finally be the year we start our family!!

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Punch 2011 in the face!

Sooooo…….. Remember those goals i posted before the end of the year? Remember how i said i had 4 (paid!) days off from work for a total of 8 days at home (including the weekends)?

ya……. not so productive.

Here’s the original list, and what actually got accomplished in brackets:

  1. File away this pitiful year  [got a good head start… just didn’t make it into a box yet]
  2. Re-organize my home office and filing system [nope]
  3. Re-organize how i handle unpaid bills. Any ideas? For now, mail is opened, looked at, thrown in a pile and shipped upstairs to form a new pile on the desk where it sits until i either a) pay and file it or b) get a late notice, dig it out, pay and file it. I’m thinking it’s not such a good system [nope… and i need ideas!]
  4. Button up my 2011 Budget [yes! lookin gooooood!]
  5. Get way ahead on EMT homework [finished what had to be done at midnight before class the next day… not so good]
  6. Get MFR stuff organized (payroll, PCR’s, Schedule) [not so much. did get some performance charts/attendance charts posted though]
  7. Work on MFR training for 2011 [nope]
  8. Work on Truck Book for Ambulance [ha. nope]
  9. Make and freeze lots of lunches/dinners [made some (burnt) hamburger helper while rushing to finish EMT homework. i’m not counting it]
  10. Clean house top to bottom [ha! i got the Christmas tree down and that’s it]

So, am i a complete and utter failure?

Truth be told, my time off was not consumed by sipping tea on the couch watching movies. I spent a lot of time out and about with my hubby. That was really fun and really rare. He is a very busy guy and it was nice to spend time with him not really doing anything. I/we also spent a good amount of time with our families – at their homes. Can’t complain about that. Good quality time with the fam is priceless. I’ll clear my schedule any day for them.

So, that said, i’ve decided to make my list a goal for the month of January. Perhaps that’s a little more reasonable. I am pretty stoked about wanting to get organized. Seriously need some ideas though. At work i am the most organized, cleanest person you’d ever met. At home – not so much. Perhaps i’m just lacking the proper tools. Some file cabinets, folders, paper trays should/might/hopefully help the problem.

I am geared up and ready to kick some ass this year. *ahem* My goals for 2011:

  1. Pay off dump truck. (Okay so it’s already scheduled to be paid off. I need a win here so go with it, k?)
  2. Pay off 3 credit cards. (Since 3 of them have a balance of approx $500 this is toooootally do-able)
  3. Establish an E-fund. (Yup – had em, used em, had em, used em. Goal is to put the money in and KEEP it there0
  4. Establish savings for: Christmas, Health, Rainy Day. And set it up to contribute automatically. I use ING Direct so this is the easiest thing in the world. Just need to do it. And not “borrow” from it.
  5. Lose some weight. Specific numbers and/or plans seem to have the opposite effect. So, let’s just keep it vague and any victory will be a win!
  6.              a) commit to making healthier meals
  7.              b) get a complete physical
  8.              c) work out at least 1 day a week at the fire hall
  9. Paint the downstairs and decorate. We’ve been there 10 years. It’s about time.
  10. Might as well make it an even 10. Get back into taking lots of pictures and scrapbooking. Now that i have a cricut, i have nothing to do with it! 😦

I’ve heard once that writing down your goals increases the liklihood off accomplishing them. Well there you have it. Dear 2011: watch your back cuz this year is mine!

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Weigh Day

So, today was weigh day. Today is the day i get weighed and measured at my fitness center. This is the day we see how much my hard work has paid off.

And……..

Drum roll please…………….

I’ve lost 8 lbs!!! That’s not as much as i wanted to lose in the first month, but considering i didn’t entirely devote myself to low carb until 2 weeks ago, i’ll take it i guess. The truth is i’ve been really really good about what goes in my mouth and i’ve been working out just about every day. My goal for next weigh in is 10 lbs. If i do more that would be great. But i don’t want to set the bar too high and get upset when i don’t reach that goal.

Yay me!