Friday, November 7, 2008

October Recap/November Goals

October Goals Recap
1. Again, spend less on food. We did not spend less on food, but we only spent $20 more than in September. $485 for two people for the entire month, including all eating out...I’ll take it.

2. Christmas gifts. I did not deal with this at all. Shame on me! Back on the list it goes!

3. Do some paperwork decluttering. Yes! I went through my entire filing cabinet and came out with an entire trash can worth of recycling stuff, and a good-sized stack of stuff to shred. I still need to do the shredding. This was a huge relief to get done.

4. Start thinking about MY Christmas list. I have been thinking about this, and there’s very little I want/need. Peanut is taking me to a show we’d both like to see, and he’s buying my ticket to his home for Christmas, so what’s more to ask for? I want to get him something nice, and I’d like a little something to open, but I want to put about a $20 cap on it. For everyone else, I’m still not really sure what to ask for...maybe gift cards to clothing stores. I want some new clothes.

5. Spend a little money on things I’ve been putting off. I didn’t do this and I wish I had. I have two pairs of shoes to take to the cobbler, and a pair of pants to take to the dry cleaner. I’m making that a priority this week.

November goals
1. Christmas shopping for reals this time! My goal is to get it all done before or during Thanksgiving. Also, my mom’s birthday gift (usually flowers or Edible Arrangements or something) and Peanut’s birthday present (I already know what we’re doing, just have to order it. I’m watching for a coupon code or something). And I need to pick up a little something for his parents, who I have never met (I’m thinking an NYC Christmas ornament or something, and then something like food or wine that I could get there). I think my entire Christmas/birthday gift budget (Peanut, his parents, my parents (4), my siblings (4), my friends (I exchange gifts with a couple), my grandparents, my superintendent/family, cards for everyone else, the book club white elephant exchange, and a food thing for my work peeps) will be around $600. It will be around $700 if I include what I spend on myself to enjoy some things (for example, one friend and I agreed to go to dinner and a show together as our Christmas gifts to each other. Do I count that?).

2. Take care of things I’ve been putting off. Those shoes, those pants, those Lasik consultation appointments. All of that gets done this month.

3. Get ready to batten down the hatches. I put $5000 in my HCRA for Lasik in 2009, which will decrease my paychecks by around $200 each (this is all before tax, so it will really be less, but I’m trying to be as prepared as possible). I will likely get a raise at the end of this week, but I don’t want to count on too much right now. Next year, things will be tight, and I may need to dip into savings to avoid going into debt. No time like the present to start practicing.

4. Use my gym membership. I got a free three month gym membership for mystery shopping a large chain. I enjoyed using it for the shops, but I’d like to take advantage of the yoga classes and other amenities I’m getting for free too!

5. Streamline my spreadsheets. Peanut took a look at my spreadsheets last night and pronounced them “way too damn complicated”. I’m sure they are. I am by no means an Excel wizard, and the spreadsheets I carry around on my thumb drive are a mixture of other peoples’ templates that I can’t modify too much and my own haphazard designs that keep getting built on top of one another. He knows Excel much better and has offered to put together something that will automatically update other portions (for example, when I transfer money from a checking to a savings account, both registers will be automatically updated—or when I note a tax-deductible expenditure in my spending tracker, it will update my taxes spreadsheet as well).

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