Tuesday, September 30, 2008

September Update/October Goals

September goals:
1. Spend less on food! Oh, snap. I was all over this like white on rice—last month I spent $425 alone ($785 combined with Peanut) and this month I spent $212 ($443 combined). We did this by eating out less (mostly only if it was a mystery shop and therefore reimbursed), taking our lunches to work every day but one, and finding some new cheap meals to make. We basically turned it into a game, so we won!

2. Extra cash, again. Ummm…well, I did quite a few mystery shops which I am just now getting reimbursed for. I settled up the dance account although I haven’t been paid for it. I did stash away some extra money in the Lasik fund, and I’m keeping my eyes open for ways to earn more cash all the time.

3. Christmas shopping. Nope…I didn’t do any. I also didn’t buy baby gifts for my two (very) pregnant friends and one who is definitely pregnant but not at the point that you’d say “WOW, she’s going to pop!” Need to revisit.

4. Start taking back my time. I think I did better. I’m not guilting myself over skipping dance class anymore. I just can’t do it on nights that I have school, and that’s ok—I have to set priorities. I also got way caught up on my reading last weekend, so I don’t feel pressure there.

5. Up the ante at work. Doing better. I want to keep focusing on this, and not just because my review is coming up. School came easy for me so I am not accustomed to pushing myself very hard and when things are easy I find myself procrastinating the projects I don’t like. I’m working on this.

October goals:
1. Again, spend less on food. I would like to beat September’s spending and keep it at or below $200 for the month (my share). One way I might be able to do this is to start eating breakfast at home a day or two each week. In addition to my daily bagel at my desk being a bit unprofessional, I could probably stand to eat a little better (oatmeal, fruit, etc), and I’d save $.75 each day. It’s just the getting up earlier that I don’t like!

2. Christmas gifts. No excuses—I need to do this. It will be hanging over my head, and I need to be focused on school (projects and studying) in November. I’m aiming to get at least 50% of the shopping for my long-distance family and friends done in October. Actually, I need to add to that gifts for my pregnant friends as well as Peanut’s birthday and my mom’s birthday.

3. Do some paperwork decluttering. I started a folder for electrolysis pricing and research this weekend, and discovered that I still have paperwork from my legal battle with my apartment’s management company—from two apartments ago. Granted, this happened just over a year ago, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say I’m not going to need any of this documentation anymore. And I’m positive there are other files I can weed out, particularly mystery shopping and medical insurance. Peanut is going out of town for several days at the end of the month; I plan to tackle the project then.

4. Start thinking about MY Christmas list. Peanut asked me what I wanted and I thought about it and I’m not sure yet. This is our first gift-giving holiday (well, his birthday comes first, but I’ll worry about that at another time) so it’s fraught with stress—and while it feels weird to ask for things, many people appreciate it when you can point them to a list. Last year I asked my mom for inexpensive things that I like but don’t buy for myself, like Dr. Bronner’s magic soaps, and I got a slew of nice-smelling things that have made me happy all year long.

5. Spend a little money on things I’ve been putting off. I need to take two pairs of shoes to the cobbler. I need to take a pair of pants to the dry cleaner. They’re not big expenses but they’re easy to keep avoiding. And now they’re hanging over my head and irritating me.

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