Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Recap/December Goals

November Goals
1. Finish decluttering. Um....so-so. I went through a LOT of stuff, but I definitely have more to get rid of. Also, the give away pile is sitting by the door ready to be taken to Goodwill...just waiting. And waiting.As if it'll just walk there by itself.

2.  Buy new cookware. Fail -- we did not have time to get to the Bowery Restaurant Supply together. Maybe in December.

3. Make a dermatologist appointment. Success! I made the appointment, had the mole removed, got stitches for the first time in my life, and my health insurance covered all but the co-pay. That's $50 against my $300 flex spending!

4. Start Christmas shopping.   Half pass/half fail -- see December's goals for why. 

5. Consolidate into one savings account. Almost done! ING finally allowed me to add another account after changing my name, so I can move all the money over and close the account. I'm just waiting on the interest payment to go through tonight and I'll call them tomorrow. I liked ING a lot, but our brick and mortar bank beats their interest rate by almost a full percent, and my loyalty is as flexible as interest rates right now. Someday we may be back.

December Goals
1. Cancel Christmas. My mom has forbidden me from getting her and my stepdad anything for Christmas, as she has all of my other siblings. While Peanut and I are able to afford Christmas this year, we'll abide by her wishes -- and I've suggested to my siblings that we simply exchange cards this year and save presents for years that we're all together (or ideally, for the next generation). My siblings are in various stages of graduate school/beginning their careers and should be focusing on their own lives rather than my "need" for Christmas gifts.That leaves my youngest sister (who's still a kid, and deserves a present) and just a handful of others, mostly the "chocolates and cookies" crowd.

2. Create sub-savings accounts. Now that Peanut and I are fully consolidated into one savings and one checking account, I can set up sub-savings accounts for emergency fund, student loan payoff, and sinking funds. It's so discouraging watching our student loan payments not make a dent in our debt snowball, but watching that payoff account grow will make up for it. (As a reminder, we're keeping cash on hand due to the instability of Peanut's freelance work and only paying minimums, but we're continuing to sock away what we would otherwise be snowballing against the loans. Ideally, we'll be able to pay off the entire balance before our one-year anniversary next September and we're currently on schedule for that.)

3. Really, truly finish wedding stuff. One of our registries has a "completion event" where we get 20% off anything left on our registry that we didn't get -- and we can use up our gift cards at the same time. Likewise, get that cookware from Bowery Restaurant Supply. Also, upload and share all photos, order albums and other prints, frame and hang everything, and provide reviews for the photographers.

4. Cancel Victoria's Secret credit card. I haven't used this card since I opened it six years ago, don't even have a physical card anymore, can't remember my log in, and have my maiden name on the account. I don't care enough about the part of the credit score it helps to have it open -- I'll never use it again.

5. For reals, use up my flex spending money. The end of this month is my deadline -- that's $250 I need to spend on OTC stuff.

Not-so-new monthly feature: New Year's Resolution Recap
1. Max out a Roth IRA automatically. Done!
2. Pay down at least half my student loan debt. Not going to make it due to our new strategy -- but I went from ~$19,500 to ~$12,000 which certainly isn't bad.
3. Give to charity. In progress.
4. Finish graduate school while maintaining a 3.86 GPA and turn in my thesis early. Done!
5. Read more than 100 books. Done!
6. Cultivate a more positive attitude. Doing better!
7. Take the stairs whenever possible. Oh, please.
8. Seven minutes of yoga per day. Pshaw.
9. Develop a regular posting schedule for my "real name" blog. Canceled and deleted.
10. Make less of an impact. Working on acquiring less, in order to have to reduce less.

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