Tuesday, September 2, 2008

August Recap/September Goals

Hard to believe Labor Day has come and gone! Summer's basically over...and actually, I'm happy about that. I'm ready for the weather to cool down.

I updated my net worth yesterday, which is showing in my sidebar--a massive dip thanks to another $4,000 in student loan disbursements. Ouch! However, even with $12,000 in loans, I still have a positive net worth, and that pleases me quite a bit.

On to the recap:
August goals
1. Do some serious catching up on my reading. Done! I read quite a bit this month, and some of the books (A Handmaid's Tale, Middlesex, and a to-be-published manuscript) were very good.

2. Bring my lunch to work at least two days a week for the entire month. That’s 8 days. I think I did this--twice there were frozen dinners on sale at the grocery store and I stocked up. I'm still not doing as well as I'd like to (4 days a week, sometimes all 5 days), but I did start thinking ahead and remembering to bring lunches with me.

3. Bring in some extra cash, dammit. Um...not really. I did a LOT of mystery shops this month, including many dinner shops which will take a while to reimburse me. I did get paid out for some shops, and I've got my Lasik fund to about $1,000. When it hits $3,000 I'll start shopping around for a doctor and schedule the appointment.

4. Fix my student loan situation. Taken care of. They recalculated to include my scholarship and reduced the loan amount, then forgot to actually apply the scholarship. It's all worked out now, though.

5. Get tuition reimbursement for the summer sessions. No--my grades weren't posted until this week, but I'm taking care of the paperwork now. I should get the reimbursement in my last paycheck of the month, or possibly in October. That will use up the annual $5,000 cap on tuition reimbursement for 2008, so I will fill out paperwork for the Spring 2009 semester sometime in December.

September goals:
1. Spend less on food! I spent $424.69 on food and drink last month. Unacceptable. I went out a lot, I travelled, I bought a gazillion Dr. Peppers. No more excuses--my grocery budget is supposed to be $160 for the month, with maybe another $150 blow/entertainment--this is out of control. I'm aiming for less than $350 (less than $12 per day) for this month, hoping to cut it even more in October. Between Peanut and myself, we spent $785 on food this month, and Trent at The Simple Dollar talks about feeding a family of FOUR for less than that. Geez oh man.

2. Extra cash, again. Settle up the dance account (that will be taken care of on Sunday for sure). Put money away for Lasik. Even up my mystery shopping checking account--I've done such a huge number of reimbursement shops, I will have to borrow from a personal sinking fund to pay my credit card bill this month ($400 in restaurant shops! These are nice restaurants that I would not normally go to, and if I did, I wouldn't order wine and dessert, but it's all required and reimbursed...except the reimbursement never comes before the credit card bill does. Oh, well--I'm earning points on my card!). I also need to set aside money for Spa Week, which comes in about six short weeks.

3. Christmas shopping. I know, I know, it's early. I hate seeing Christmas displays in stores until after Halloween, if not Thanksgiving. But since I will be travelling this Christmas, I need to start thinking about shopping and shipping now--I hate being stressed right before Christmas, and I will have big exams this semester. It won't hurt to start making a list of who to shop for and keeping my eyes open for the perfect present now. (Oh, and I need to start thinking about the gift situation with Peanut's family--do I bring them anything, aside from a standard guest gift, if so how much do I spend, what do I buy, etc. The ticket thing sort of worked itself out--we found an amazing deal on tickets, so it was cheaper for both than what we expected to spend each so he bought them. I told him I would pay for it myself if he wanted, but he said not to worry about it since he spent only what he was expecting to pay for his own ticket so...yay! And we're still getting gifts for each other, but limited the price to $100.)

4. Start taking back my time. I want to be a little more organized. My classes so far have not been difficult or required much in the way of homework (aside from term papers). But this semester, I am taking accounting and a marketing elective as opposed to publishing courses which are basically a review of what I do at work all day--these classes are going to require me to stay on top of things, keep up with the readings, and contribute to group projects. I can't slack off. I want to plan my days well enough to bring lunch AND dinner (or a healthy, high-protein snack) each day, preferably eat breakfast at home, have homework done early, keep on top of class readings as well as book club readings, and not feel overwhelmed. I might be pushing it, but that's my goal.

5. Up the ante at work. My annual review is in two months. The economy has affected my company--not in terms of actual problems (i.e., I'm not at risk of being fired or laid off) but there is a hiring freeze and I know that money for raises and bonuses is tight. I want to make it clear to my boss that I'm valuable, and that I deserve another good-sized raise. Actually, it's not so much convincing her as it is convincing her bosses--so I want to accomplish quantifiable things to make that easier for her. I'm going to sharply limit my time on blogging and email (which I should be doing anyway) and focus on projects that have verifiable results (like coming up with a new marketing piece that everyone loves, rather than reorganizing the files. Not to say the filing wasn't a great accomplishment, because it WAS, and it makes day-to-day work so much easier, but it's harder to point to it and say, "She's a wizard file-maven, let's give her $$$!" than it is to say "Little Miss Moneybags put together the kit that got us a 6,000-copy order, let's give her $$$!").

That's it from me for today!


  1. Ooh, two of my favourite books, Middlesex and Handmaid's Tale. I actually wrote my dissertation on The Handmaid's Tale. This is so off the topic, but speaking of reading (hee), I am determined to read the entire man booker shortlist this year, and have been looking out on amazon for discounted prices. If only I could get over my addiction to buying books, as opposed to renting them from the library, I would save so much money. Sigh.

  2. im so proud of your list! nothing makes me happier than seeing a crossed out list of stuff!

  3. BTW, I have nominated you for an award, see my latest post for more info! :)


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