Wednesday, July 2, 2008

June Recap/July Goals

Well, I've updated my net worth tracker there in my sidebar, and yay, progress! I got my tuition reimbursement for my first semester of grad school, but my retirement accounts decreased slightly (less than $1,000). I'd say I'm about on track of where I'd want to be right now--overall, all of my savings accounts went up (emergency fund, sinking funds) and I'm managing to stick to my budget pretty well. I also have several hundred dollars coming in for mystery shops (I don't count those as assets because it's too much to keep track of!) and I owe for a costume, but all of that will probably be evened out by the end of the month.

Now, about those goals...
Review of June Goals
1. Get firm answer on when my tution reimbursement will arrive, and investigate the best way to save it. Sort of done. It showed up three pay periods after I submitted the paperwork and was direct-deposited into my checking account. I did a little poking around but did not decide what exactly to do with it once I had it. I want it in the highest interest bearing account I can find given the economy, so it goes back into July goals.

2. Cut out some of my other frivolous spending. Hmm....Well, I have not started smoking again, so I guess that counts. I did terribly with cutting out Dr. Pepper, so spent frivolously and drank too much sugar besides.

3. Buy a new costume. Done! I've let the director of the troupe pick out all my costumes so far, and she did another marvelous job. Basically, I just tell her I want a new costume in a particular color or shade, and she sets something aside for me. This one is gorgeous and fits me well, though it needs a little work to be truly performance ready. I still owe her three jobs for it, but she is willing to book me for them (I just can't turn them down!).

4. Plan and budget for two summer trips. I'm still planning on one trip, to see my sister. I need to book plane tickets this week. I did get my tax rebate, finally, but I think that cruise is looking less likely unfortunately. The money really could be better spent somewhere else.

5. Put $100 into my Lasik fund. I did not do this. I forgot all about it, and I spent all my "extra" income this month entertaining guests for a week.

July Goals
1. Find an interest-bearing home for that tuition reimbursement money! This will only require a few hours of online research and time spent opening the account and transferring the money over. I might even just move it into my ING account, unless there's a better interest rate out there. I plan to do that over this long weekend.

2. Decide what to do with my tax rebate. As I said, I don't think that cruise is going to happen, so I could do quite a bit with the tax rebate. I don't want to blow it all (so I haven't even cashed the check yet). I could put some in my Lasik surgery account. I could buy a video game and some new summer dresses. I could spend it on my trip to see my sister (instead of using my normal travel fund). I could get cable or internet with it ($600 should cover an entire year, right?). I could do a spa day. I could just beef up the emergency fund with it. Oh, what to do?!!?!

3. Recoup some of the expenses I've had for the volunteer dance jobs. I know I feel like I'm too busy as it is, but I need to do some more paid dance jobs. July and August are busy months for us, and I need to pay off my costume (3 jobs), recoup my travel and food expenses for these volunteer jobs (1 job) and put some away for taxes (2 or 3 jobs).* So I need to book 7 jobs as soon as I can. Buh-bye, social life!

4. In addition or instead of dance jobs, I'd like to bring in income in other ways. I've been doing paid surveys and trying to land a focus group, accepting more mystery shops, and otherwise trying to get more "passive" streams of income going again. I stopped looking at Pay Per Post options, since I decided that I didn't really feel genuine when writing such posts (and also had a really hard time getting any). I might look into the BlogHer network or something instead, although I know I don't put as much time into this blog as I "should" in order to feel like it should generate any money.

5. Sort of related to personal finance, do another good decluttering. I find the decluttering really makes me feel more stable and in control of myself and my life, and I could use some of that right now. I had a very startling discovery a few days ago which will necessitate a good wardrobe investigation (I'll write more about this later!) but I'm going to expand it to include all my things--clothing, books, odds and ends--and hopefully come up with a few more bags of stuff to take to Goodwill. Sometimes I just feel so encumbered by stuff.


*I normally try to put aside 30 percent or every third job's entire check into a sinking fund for taxes at the end of the year, but, um...I haven't been.

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