Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Recap/February goals

January Goals
1. Max out Roth for 2009. Not quite--I didn't realize I would not get paperwork aside from my tax papers, but now I know what I've already contributed and can add the $1100 and change to max that out. It's going to happen this week, for sure. 

2. Meet with my thesis advisor, pick a topic, and map out a research and writing schedule. Well, sort of. This seminar is actually in an online class structure, with peer review and stuff, so it's not as self-directed as I expected. I'm participating in the classwork, though.

3. Book plane tickets to Costa Rica/Los Angeles and request time off work. Not done. I'm watching ticket prices but haven't seen any deals.

4. Not buy any new clothes. Half fail. I did buy new clothes (two pairs of yoga pants and a pair of jeans) but I didn't spend "real" money on them--I used a gift card that I got from credit card rewards points.

5. Pay for Spring 2010 semester out of pocket and submit paperwork for tuition reimbursement. Done!

February Goals
1. Set up a new budget now that I know my monthly income. My income went up by a few hundred dollars a month again, since I'm not maxing out my flex spending account this year, so I have to rejigger my budget. 

2. Set up automatic Roth payments for the rest of the year ($227.27 per paycheck!). Also max out the Roth for 2009 since I didn't do it last month. 

3. Do my taxes. I'm still waiting on some paperwork but I started entering what I know and I'm getting a refund this year! I'll have to pay state taxes, but a change in the tax code for this year will get me the Lifetime Learning Credit, which gives me a really big refund from federal. Very cool!

4. Pay for and attend yoga and dance classes. Working out on my own just doesn't happen. I'm no longer taking school classes that conflict, and I've found a new, close, and reasonably-priced yoga and dance studio, so it's time to just fork over some money and go to classes!

5. Keep up the trend of spending more on groceries than eating out. I was very happy to realize that happened last year, and I want to keep things heading that way.

New monthly feature: New Year's Resolution Recap
1. Max out a Roth IRA automatically. See above!
2. Pay down at least half my student loan debt. Still in school, but I've got a plan!
3. Give to charity. I gave something for Haiti this month but I still want to set up a plan for the year.
4. Finish graduate school while maintaining a 3.86 GPA and turn in my thesis early. I wonder how possible this is going to be now that I found that the seminar is peer-reviewed and structured and not a self-directed study. At any rate, I can keep my GPA up.
5. Read more than 100 books. Well, we'll see. I'm reading a lot for work and I went to I think five book club meetings in January, so I'm certainly working on it.
6. Cultivate a more positive attitude. So so. Actually, I've struggled with this sometimes but I try to keep it in mind.
7. Take the stairs whenever possible. About 70% success. I've made a point of telling people that I'm doing this so they keep me accountable. And I've seen a big improvement in my stamina climbing those four flights which is very cool.
8. Seven minutes of yoga per day. Such a total fail I don't even want to think about it.
9. Develop a regular posting schedule for my "real name" blog. Meh. I've done a few posts but I just haven't had time to focus on it.
10. Make less of an impact. Trying. Peanut and I make a point to carry reusable bags to the grocery store and I've also just started declining bags when I forget to carry them. I keep forgetting to take my reusable mug to work, but I'll make a point to do that tomorrow.


  1. Don't get frustrated that you haven't made progress on everything! Some of us overachievers set extra lofty goals. Just pick one thing at a time and keep plugging away :-) I think you're doing great!

  2. I also plan on seeing where I am with my annual goals every month. Great minds think alike!

    And you are going to Costa Rica? So am I? Around what time are you going and where? I'm planning on going for the first two weeks of June and hopefully somwhere around Playa Tambor.

    If you haven't already, set up a Bing travel alert. They don't have Price Predictor for Costa Rica, so they can't say whether or not you should wait to buy, but they will alert you when there is a change, so you can plan accordingly.

  3. Please contact me at I am working on a book and would like to include parts of one of your articles. I couldn't find how to contact you.

  4. You're going to Costa Rica?? With a real (more than a quick) layover in LA? Or just a stopover?

    Costa Rica sounds awesome. And if you actually stop in LA for any amt of time, it'd be cool to do a meetup.

  5. @Revanche--Well, I was hoping to plan an actual trip to LA at the beginning or end of my Costa Rica trip but it's just getting too difficult to coordinate so I'm going to do it as a separate trip (hopefully later this year). I'll definitely let you know, a meet up would be great!

  6. @Laura, thanks for your vote of confidence! :)

    @Investing Newbie, I don't know exactly where I'm going. My brother is living there with his girlfriend, which is the point of the trip, so we'll be staying with them--they have an apartment on the beach. I know they're in the north of the country but I don't know the name of the city. It's fun to plan a vacation this way!


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