Monday, June 2, 2008

May recap/June goals

I updated my Net Worth IQ button in the sidebar, and it looks so sad! My net worth just dived this month, because my next round of student loans were disbursed and I have to officially include them as money owed. However, what the bar graph DOESN'T show is that my retirement accounts went up by $200 and my regular savings and checking accounts went up by almost $1, all things considered, I'm doing quite well. I'm also hoping to see my tuition reimbursement in my next check, so that should even things out quite a bit too. I might do a mid-month Net Worth IQ update when that happens. :)

Review of May goals
1. Budget for trip home. Done. I totally stayed under budget on this trip, but that was mostly because my grandmother gave me birthday money (expected) and also gave my sister and I $100 for the trip (unexpected, and much appreciated--that $100 actually paid for all gas and food for the entire road trip).

2. File paperwork for tuition reimbursement for my first semester of graduate school. Done. I also turned in the pre-approval paperwork for my summer classes. I need to follow up with HR to make sure everything is ready (they have an annoying habit of thinking that "no news is good news"--meaning they won't even confirm they've received anything; they'll only tell you if something's wrong with it).

3. Automate my finances a little bit more. Getting there. I set up auto-withdrawals to my main bank savings account and to my ING account for the first pay period of the month. I'll do the second pay period in a few weeks, and that should take care of my savings. I also put a reminder in my calendar to balance the trackers on the 3rd and 18th of each month so I'll remember to note the automatic withdrawals in my check register and account logs.

4. Quit smoking. So far so good! I can't exactly remember the last time I smoked, although I know I bummed a cigarette off a friend. Luckily, I feel guilty doing that without occasionally buying a pack to share with her, and I won't be doing that now that NY will be raising the cigarette tax another $1.25 (for a total of $4.25; packs will cost an average of $8.50 EACH) tomorrow. I feel a lot better, I smell a lot better, I taste better, I breathe easier. I still crave cigarettes at odd times, but I think the worst is past. I've been through this before though (I've quit for months at a time, only to go back to it) so I don't want to get too optimistic.

5. Take it a little easy. I don't know if I actually accomplished this. I've been sitting around playing a lot of video games, I set some firm boundaries with my mother while I was visiting her, and I've managed to finish a few books...but I also booked myself up through the summer with performances and other goings-on, so maybe not. I feel much calmer than I did a month ago, though.

June Goals
1. Get firm answer on when my tution reimbursement will arrive, and investigate the best way to save it. I want to put aside all the tuition reimbursement money I'll get for the next two years into some kind of high-yield (I know, that's a joke right now) account so that I can earn as much as possible on it before dumping it all into my loans the day after graduation. I don't need access to the money before then, but I do need the ability to put more money in when I get it (so I think a CD is out). I'll probably go with the highest-interest online savings account, but I'll need to do some research.

2. Cut out some of my other frivolous spending. If I had another expensive addiction besides smoking, it would be Dr. Pepper. I buy one almost every day. I'm going to try to cut back a LOT--not just for my wallet but for my teeth and my health. New boyfriend does not drink soda, and he reminded me of all the reasons I didn't for a long time, either. It's so much easier to eat or drink healthy when you're around someone who does it too.

3. Buy a new costume. I've started wanting a new costume so my next several jobs are going to go towards that (I can receive payment in goods instead of money if I want, though it makes no difference for taxes). I haven't had a new costume since February 07 or something, so I feel like I'm due. I think I want orange.

4. Plan and budget for two summer trips. Despite the price of gas and airline tickets, I have two goals for this summer: a last minute cruise deal, and visiting my sister in her new apartment. There's some doubt as to whether the cruise will happen, since my cruise-mate just moved and is also tight on cash. It would be wonderful, but I have my doubts. If we don't cruise, I might just make a point to go visit her instead. Seeing my sister is non-negotiable, and hopefully I'll find a cheap flight out to where she lives. They've been fairly easy to find lately, although on an airline I don't like, so I'll keep an eye open. I'm planning to go in early or mid-August.

5. Put $100 into my Lasik fund. This poor little fund has been neglected since I decided to do it. It's going to be the hardest of my sinking funds to fill, because there's no room for it in my regular budget (so only "found" money goes into it, if I don't spend it on other things) and it has such a far-off goal that it's hard to get excited about it. I probably won't get the surgery until 2010.


  1. Good luck on your goals! I think you've come a long way :D

  2. You've made a lot of progress. $8.50 for a pack of cigarettes is a lot! I don't know how much they cost in my state, but I know people that smoke a pack a day....


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