Monday, August 4, 2008

July Review/August Goals

July Goals
1. Find an interest-bearing home for that tuition reimbursement money! Done! I just stuck this in my ING account—time is money, and finding another account to manage would have negated any possible gain in earning power I might have found, given the way the economy is going.

2. Decide what to do with my tax rebate. I made a whole post on this, and I am comfortable with how I decided to spend it.

3. Recoup some of the expenses I've had for the volunteer dance jobs. Not so much. I ended up choosing a more expensive skirt to match the costume, then ruined a pair of shows in yet another volunteer job, so I need to replace those. I also had to buy some odds and ends (elastic, thread to match a particular color, more hooks-and-bars). There just aren’t jobs available. I did book some videos, but the dates are looking iffy and I might not be able to do them. I’m currently at a 50% loss for the year (meaning I’ve spent more than twice what I’ve brought in, and that’s without setting aside 30% for taxes). I’ve made a profit for the past two years, so if I take a loss this year I won’t run afoul of the IRS hobby law, but it does open me up to being audited, which is a headache I don’t really want.

4. In addition or instead of dance jobs, I'd like to bring in income in other ways. I booked a lot more mystery shopping jobs, and the payment for those are starting to come in. I think I realized that there’s not much I can do to lower my expenses. I don’t have cable or internet to cut out, I don’t drink lattes (or even dr pepper as much anymore!). I don’t smoke. I don’t go out drinking. About the only place I can cut back is what I spend on lunches, and my entire food budget still falls within the suggested amounts ($100-150 per person per month) so it’s still not like I can do a massive cutting. So I need to bring in more money, period, if I want to reach some of my savings and spending goals.

5. Sort of related to personal finance, do another good decluttering. I did this! It feels great. I took two bags of stuff to Goodwill and posted another lot of books on Paperbackswap. I purged my jewelry again and figured out a way to store it that will make me more likely to wear it more often. I reorganized all the samples and excess beauty things I have so I will use them up and get rid of duplicates (my ultimate goal is to only ever have ONE palette of eyeshadow in my makeup bag. I always buy basically the same colors, so why ever have more than one?!). I feel a lot more in control of my space.

August goals

1. Do some serious catching up on my reading. Most of what I have been reading lately is “required reading”—either for work, school, or one of my three book clubs. I would like to read just one book that I WANT to read! I have a stack of books borrowed from friends and also really want to read Eldest before Brisingr comes out next month.

2. Bring my lunch to work at least two days a week for the entire month. That’s 8 days. That can’t be too difficult, right? Right?!

3. Bring in some extra cash, dammit. I’m thisclose to having my electrolysis fund maxed out, and Spa Week is in October. And once that’s done, I can focus on Lasik. I think it’s totally possible to pull the entire amount together in time to get the surgery next year, but I want to jump on it while I’m super motivated and before I lose steam. I’d also like to break even on my dance expenses but that seems unlikely to happen in just one month. I’d settle for settling my account with the director for the necessities I’ve needed to get—one job ought to cover that unless/until something else pops up.

4. Fix my student loan situation. When I accepted my loans for the Fall semester, I didn’t realize that they had not included my scholarship, so I accepted almost $2,000 in unsubsidized loans which I do not need and therefore do not want! I’ve already written them a letter explaining the situation and requesting a lower amount but haven’t heard back. I want to make sure this gets taken care of asap, preferably before the loans are disbursed.

5. Get tuition reimbursement for the summer sessions. I’m in the middle of the second session and still haven’t received my grades for the first session, but I already know that both grades will be high enough to get the max reimbursement. This will finish me out for the year (my job only reimburses me $5,000 per year) so that way I won’t have to worry about the paperwork until December. I can also sock it away and start earning interest on it.


  1. How did you become a mystery shopper? That sounds like a lot of fun. Did you just search online for a company, and how did you decide that they were actually reputable?

  2. Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate!

  3. YoungSaver, I have a link in my sidebar to my mystery shopping field guide which should answer all your questions.


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