Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April recap/May goals

I am having a really hard time believing it is already April 30. Seriously?! How did that happen?

Review of April goals
1. Really work on sticking to the budget. I did a little better on this than in March. The problem is I have this extra debit card that I do all my mystery shopping out of and all my direct deposits/dance income goes into it...and sometimes it turns into fun money and I blow through it without paying attention to what I'm doing.

2. Try to lower my electricity bill. I have not received my next electricity bill yet (hmmm) so I don't know if this worked. I did end up leaving my laptop in my backpack for several days a few times, so I bet it went down a little.

3. Clothing challenge. I went shopping a few times but overall did not find much in the way of sales. I now have a list of clothing "needs" that I carry with me, though, so as I find things to purchase, I can do so.

4. Plan and book my trip home. Done. Plane ticket purchased, plans made for one day road trip with my sister, free places to stay lined up (grandmother's, parents', friend), graduation gift for younger brother planned. I'm really excited for this trip

5. Find a new $5 bill. Done! It's purple and has stars on it. Very pretty.

May goals
1. Budget for trip home. I still need to work out a budget for estimated gas and food costs, and figure out what I can spend on "fun" stuff like shopping (some of my favorite stores are down there and not here, so I might as well work on the clothing challenge while I can!).

2. File paperwork for tuition reimbursement for my first semester of graduate school. Wow, that feels weird to say. I guess I'll get my grades in a week or two (finals start tomorrow) and I'll get my entire out of pocket cost of this semester reimbursed. I plan to stash that money in the highest percentage interest bearing account I can find (possibly even a CD) to sit until I graduate. Then when my grace period on the loans are up, I'll dump all that reimbursement money plus the interest it's earned to drop the principle by more than half before I start making payments.

3. Automate my finances a little bit more. I already pay everything that I can online, but I don't have automatic transfers set up for my sinking funds. I don't know why I still do this manually, but I do. And every once in a while, I'll transfer money and forget to note it in my sinking fund logs, or I'll forget to transfer the money entirely, and while it's not a big deal, it can sometimes be a pain to unravel when I realize what happened later. I'm just going to set up automatic transfers to ING and my Chase savings account the day after each payday and have that email remind me to update the logs. I also want to get things into one place--I have some files on my computer at home, some on my thumb drive, some on my cell phone, and some that I email to myself. Maybe I need to put these things in Google docs or something, because it's getting harder to tell which is the most up to date version.

4. Quit smoking. I have a whole post about half written on this. I haven't mentioned it before because I've been deluding myself that I'm "only" a social smoker and it's not a big deal, but the truth is I'm addicted and I spend too much money on it, not to mention the health hazards. I'll finish the other post soon and address this in more depth there. But my set quit date is May 9.

5. Take it a little easy. In addition to quitting smoking, which is stressful in and of itself, I've been overdoing it a little bit lately as I mentioned, and in May I'm going to give myself permission to relax a little more, not worry about cleaning my apartment to perfection or accepting every single invitation when I'd rather sit home and read. May is for me.

What are your May goals?


  1. 1. save more money
    2. enjoy myself more
    3. take a class, a dance class preferably

  2. Did you hear about this? There may be an extension. I'm not sure.

    New City Advertising Campaign Promotes Free Nicotine Patches - The ads, to air through May 1, promote the city’s 16-day “giveaway” of free nicotine patches and gum.

  3. 1. Final exams
    2. Start new job
    3. Spring clean


Thanks for commenting!