2019 October Goals – Accountability, Check in, and $$$

Zero-Waste

I’m going to table this goal for now as I haven’t made many changes in the last several months. I continue to reduce my waste and be more conscious of my purchases, my buying power, and footprint.


Fitness

October has been a cold month. Every year I forget how cold I get during fall/winter season. I still walk dogs every Monday – Thursday for 30 minutes/day and get quite a few steps in during the week in addition.

Here are my fitness stats for the month:

  1. Biking: 5 miles
  2. Pole classes: 5
  3. Thriller dress rehearsal: 1

Turkish language progress:

I now have 1,437 Anki cards. I’ve done 6,647 reviews. I have spent 6:46:56 reviewing with an average of 53 reviews per day. My grade is 71% C (same as last month). I have definitely been slacking on my daily reviews and will have to figure out a way to review them at the same time every day so I can make it a habit again. The good news is that I finished Unit 11 in my Rosetta Stone on time! Woot woot! I now have one unit left in my Rosetta Stone before I switch to using Memrise. Potentially I had this idea that I could have my partner (who is from Turkey and fluent in Turkish) only use simple Turkish in January or to speak in Turklish to me. He may not agree to this or remember to do it though…


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’ve been tracking my spending and savings closely since November of 2018. Recently I’ve tried out a couple of budgeting methods/trackers and have found one that is similar to my spreadsheet style – Tiller. It links your banks and credit cards that push data to your budget tracking spreadsheet. You can input categories of spending and delete what you don’t want and add what you do want. My categories for bills include the following:

  1. Rent
  2. Phone (including my actual phone bill and any ‘itunes’ money spent for apps). I recently purchased a $50 gift card for itunes from my credit card rewards points to put toward these expenses, especially my monthly cloud storage bill of $2.99/month)
  3. Car gas
  4. Car insurance
  5. Car maintenance and legal
  6. Car – transport – misc (such as parking, tolls, ride shares and anything transportation related -not including travel- that doesn’t fit into the other car categories)

I have deemed my other monthly ‘bills’ as living expenses

  1. Health (some of which can be reimbursed through HSA) and I made the decision to cancel my monthly massage membership at $69.99 + $15 tip each month as it wasn’t making me as happy as it used to and now I can save that money and occasionally get massages without the pressure to get them monthly.
  2. Food – eating out
  3. Food – groceries
  4. subscriptions/memberships not covered under other categories such as my Costco membership (but I may collapse this category as AAA membership falls into car misc. and my WordPress hosting falls under writing. Perhaps my Costco membership falls under food – groceries?

I have labeled all my other expenses as Discretionary (if I needed to cut spending this is the category I would go to first and then reduce my spending in the living categories)

  1. Travel
  2. Housing/consumables (this is where I put spending like toilet paper, laundry detergent, toothpaste, as well as clothing)
  3. Dance and fitness
  4. Writing
  5. Charity/art support
  6. Entertainment
  7. Education
  8. Gifts (giving money directly and buying useful and loved gifts for others makes me happy and I decided that I would put it into my budget)
  9. Misc. (there are always items that cannot be categorized adequately like raffle tickets)

I have several categories for work that are both income and expenses

  1. Primary income from my day job
  2. Mystery shopping reimbursement that usually has additional money as payment
  3. Work-related reimbursements
  4. Other income (from side hustles)
  5. Mystery shopping (expense)
  6. Work-related expenses (expense)

I’ve opened a high-yield savings account and placed my emergency funds as well as my short term savings goals (Travel, New Car, New Computer, and New Phone, stock options that expire within 3 years) into that account and plan to automatically transfer certain amounts into each goal every month. I’m still working on the automation part but I have all my goals (between Betterment and my new Savings account) configured and dumped my initial starting amounts in those goals.

I am going to open my own 401k and fund it fully as well as my Roth IRA for 2019 if I can manage it with all my savings for the year. The max contribution for a 401k is $16,000 and the max contribution for my Roth IRA is $6000.

For the month of October I had quite a few side jobs and earned a lot of extra income in addition to my monthly primary income paycheck. I spent 56% of my primary income and 36% of my overall income for the month.

I absolutely love making, saving, organizing, and talking about finances. How is your budgeting and money tracking going?


Writing

Happy NaNoWriMo aka National Novel Writing Month. I plan to participate, win, and eventually finish the first draft of the second novel in my Romance Writers Series. This second book features a pole dancer and I’m very excited to share my knowledge and love of this hobby/sport/profession/passion/creative outlet. Dancing makes me very, very happy and I’ve taking pole dancing classes since 2014. If you happen to be in the Seattle area this weekend and are at all interested, you can go to Pole Sport Organization’s Seattle competition!

I’ve been working September to craft a useful outline and I’ve done the most thorough job I’ve ever done with an outline. Though I haven’t really written in two years, I’m very excited to get back into the habit.

Don’t forget to come visit me at the end of November!

11/29 at the Holly Jolly Holiday Market at Thomas Family Farm in Snohomish in the morning.


Thrill the World! I’ve participated since 2015. Every year I’ve been Zombie Waldo – with various accessories and different makeup. See if you can spot me in this year’s video.

My partner and I did something new this month and had mixed feelings on the event. We went to a Harry Potter themed pub crawl!


What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

Here is my February goal check in blog post!

Here is my March goal check in blog post!

Here is my April goal check in blog post!

Here is my May goal check in blog post!

Here is my June goal check in blog post!

Here is my July goal check in blog post!

Here is my August goal check in blog post!

Here is my September goal check in blog post!

2019 September Goals – Accountability, Check in, and the Big Disneyland Vacation

Zero-Waste

I’ve lost a lot of steam on the zero-waste front.


Fitness

September was a slow month. I was prepping to go on vacation. I went on vacation. I got sick after vacation. The month ended.

Here are my fitness stats for the month:

  1. Biking: 15.2 miles
  2. Pole classes: 1

Turkish language progress:

I now have 1,347 Anki cards. I’ve done 6,406 reviews. I have spent 6:35:48 reviewing with an average of 53 reviews per day. My grade is 71% C.

I’m behind again on my Rosetta Stone… I’m trying to finish Unit 10 this first week in October. I fell behind due to a vacation that lasted 1/3 of the month.

I’ve decided to focus only on the Rosetta Stone Units until I finish (there are only 12), while continuing to input my vocabulary into Anki and reviewing daily. When I finish Rosetta Stone I will begin my Memrise in earnest!


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I have been working the last few weeks with a financial coach. I decided to move most of my money into a Betterment account instead of working with an investing company. I am taking charge of my money, my savings, and my retirement.

Here are my goals in Betterment:

  1. Main retirement with my Roth IRA (already $16,000 in the fund and 30% funded for the year). Here is some info about the growth of my IRA according to my age and the amount I would potentially fund each year. In order to contribute the max $6000 each year to this IRA, I will budget $500 to come out of my monthly income starting January of 2020. Before the end of 2019 I plan to take $4000 out of my savings and put it directly into the IRA in order to max out my contribution allowance for 2019.

2. General investing… This is for any leftover income from the month I didn’t factor into my budget. I plan to grow this pot of money for many years.

3. Safety Net… This is a fund I want to build out to 6 months’ worth of living expenses ($12,000 with my current spending habits).

4. New Home… Eventually I want the option of purchasing a home and this would be the down payment. I plan to contribute $70,000 over the course of 10 years.

5. Care for Parents… Just in case… I plan to contribute $70,000 over the course of 10 years.

6. Travel… I plan to save $2000 for travel in a year.

7. New Phone… My current iPhone Xs (which I absolutely love) is one year old and I plan to have enough funds to purchase a new phone for around $900 in a year. I don’t expect to purchase a phone in one year, but I want        to have the funds available should I need to buy a new one or have the inclination when the new models come out next September.

8. New Computer… I use two desktop computers and they are both over 4 years old. My laptop was a refurbished Surface Pro that I got over 5 years ago. All three of these devices have started to show signs of aging and eventually I would like to purchase a high end laptop that I can connect to my wonderful dual monitors. I plan to save $1200 in one year. I will probably only buy a new computer when my laptop no longer works sufficiently (the battery still lasts 5 solid hours now). I will probably continue saving every month until I actually buy a new computer.

9. New Car… I sold my car last month. My partner and I are sharing his VW GTI – which has everything I want in a car: reliability and seat heaters. Joking aside, we eventually might want or need two cars again or to replace his car so I’m saving $12,000 over the course of two years .

10. My final goal is to purchase the equity I have in the company I work for. The equity I own has various purchase prices and deadlines but I made a goal of saving $23,681 over the course of 3 years to purchase the first stocks that would expire.

My savings plans for all the above goals involve saving and contributing the full amounts, but I hope my money will work with me and generate additional interest on top of my contributions so my money will go farther when I’m ready to pull it out and spend it. I will also re-evaluate these goals every few months. My 11th financial goal is to get my savings to work for me as well and to open a high yield interest savings account and put the rest of my ‘cash’ money into it.

In case you were wondering what I actually spent in September… Here are the stats: I spent 59% of my day job income and 49% of my income overall for the month of September. I was surprised that I was able to earn as much side income during this month as I did since I was out of state and on vacation for 10 days. I made a few changes to my monthly budgeting. I thought it was prudent to make a new category for “education” expenses as well as “gifts.” This reduced the amount of miscellaneous expenses I couldn’t fit into other categories.

Want to know where I am under budget for the year? Writing, Clothing (not a category anymore as I collapsed it into ‘household’), Health, Fitness, Education, Groceries, Household, Travel, Entertainment, Car, Housing, Phone, Misc, Charity. There are still three months in the year left to go though! More importantly, here are the categories I’m already over budget on: Eating Out and Gifts.


Writing

I signed up for three sales events for 2019:

11/29 at the Holly Jolly Holiday Market at Thomas Family Farm in Snohomish in the morning.

12/7 at the Si View Holiday Bazaar in the afternoon.

12/14 at the Artisan’s Holiday Faire in the Monroe Fairgrounds starting midday.

Will I ever actual get to writing? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll rustle up some time and motivation for NaNo this year. I do want to finish my contemporary romance book (and eventually series) that is already started.


Disneyland!

I spent quite a few hours preparing for our big Disneyland vacation this year and it went really well! I’ll leave a few of my favorite photos here. If you are planning to go, make sure you get a reservation at Oga’s Cantina, ride in the front of every roller coaster you can (especially the ones with pictures), go back at night and during the day to Guardian’s of the Galaxy in DCA, and get the mint julep and beignets from the Julep Bar.


What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

Here is my February goal check in blog post!

Here is my March goal check in blog post!

Here is my April goal check in blog post!

Here is my May goal check in blog post!

Here is my June goal check in blog post!

Here is my July goal check in blog post!

Here is my August goal check in blog post!

2019 August Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Selling My Car

As a combination money-saver, stress-reducer, and positive environmental impact I’ve sold my car! I’m attempting to utilize my bike, electric bikes/scooters, and ride-sharing more.

Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?

 


My goal this month was to follow the Blogilates Glutes challenge. I also followed the Blogilates abs and squats challenges as well. I did modify the challenges by taking Wednesdays off and towards the end of the month I took a few days off as well so that I have 5 more days of challenge to finish in the month of September to complete the three challenges.

Here are my fitness stats for the month:

  1. Biking: 74.6 miles
  2. Pole classes: 4

Turkish language progress:

I now have 1,299 Anki cards. I’ve done 5,771 reviews. I have spent 6:05:12 reviewing with an average of 52 reviews per day. My grade is 68% D. It appears some data was lost as my time and reviews has gone down since last month. I’ve also missed a few days’ reviews this month.

I fell behind in my Rosetta Stone and have to catch up to finish Unit 9 this week! I will also have to work extra diligently to complete Unit 10 this month since I will be “on vacation” for 10 days.

I purchased a yearly subscription to Memrise and will start incorporating daily practice with that app. I also have been utilizing the daily lesson in Mondly (free).

I tried out a Skype session with a live person from Turkey to see how personalized lessons would work. I wasn’t thrilled with the technology of Skype and it was difficult to understand the trainer at times. The sound quality left something to be desired as well. I don’t think continuing is worth the price at this time. Perhaps I will consider it again when I have finished all the Rosetta Stone units.


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet:

Categories $$ to spend 19-Jan 19-Feb 19-Mar 19-Apr 19-May 19-June 19-July 19-Aug
Take home pay *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Earnings *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Total Earnings   *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Rent 700 same  same same same same same same same
Phone 45 same same same same same same same same
Car 300 Over Over Under under under under over (paid for my 6-month insurance) Over (timing belt replacement)
Travel 100 Under  0 0 90.05 99.42 196.58 over (paid for a trip to Disney) 32.40
Housing Supplies 25 0  Over Under 105.52 (sharpened knives and got zero-waste supplies) 25.84 7.61 37.54 0
Health & Wellness 60 0 Over Under 113 110.45 84.95 179.45 90.95
Writing 25 Over Over 0 14.42 (e-books) 0 0 3.29 0
Charity/art 25 Over  15 Under 32 10 15 15 15
Entertainment 70 Over  20.95 Over 66.33 61.46 66.95 33.05 38.33
Fitness Classes 75 Over  0 30 0 133 35 100 115
Food – eating out 100 179.98  96.00 185.03 251.16 (Travel to FL) 536.77 (family is in town) 458.99 (family is in town) 276.98 277.34
Food – groceries 400 575.47 324.88 444 608.48 (travel to FL) 226.03 256.95 563.30 355.78
Misc. 50 47.92  92.03 660 (put my tax prep and a present in this category) 1.60 348.50 14.34 220.02 166.07
Total Spent  <50% 55% 42% 48% 47% 55% 42% 76% 35%
Total Savings 2080 Over Over Over Over Over Over Under Over

After getting my car in tip-top shape (replacing the timing belt), I sold it! Here are the final cost stats: $249.67 each month to legally own and drive my own car 🙂 – this is equivalent to paying $0.26/mile!


My writing goals!! I am considering self-publishing my middle grade fantasy that has been sitting for several years. I would want this to be published in time for the holidays and holiday sales. This would be my only middle grade book and I could then have an offering for younger readers. I also am in love with the cover art – I had it made by an artist whose work I adore = Donavon.

I nabbed three books from the library on plotting:

  1. 90 Days to your Novel
    A Day-by-day Plan for Outlining & Writing your Book
    by Domet, Sarah
  2. Fast Fiction
    A Guide to Outlining and Writing A First Draft Novel in Thirty Days
    by Jaden, Denise
  3. Take Off your Pants!
    Outline your Books for Faster, Better Writing
    by Hawker, Libbie

What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

Here is my February goal check in blog post!

Here is my March goal check in blog post!

Here is my April goal check in blog post!

Here is my May goal check in blog post!

Here is my June goal check in blog post!

Here is my July goal check in blog post!

2019 July Goals – Accountability, Check in, and My Biggest Spending Month Yet

I’ve discovered more local fruit that I can forage! It’s raspberry season now and there are a lot of plums that are ripe. I believe that I have a mini plum tree in my own front yard! I also know of a location of a very productive plum tree and they are almost perfectly ripe! My housemate has a dehydrator that I played around with to dry out pineapple, apple, banana, orange, raspberry, and plum, as well as make some fruit leather. I can’t wait for the apples and pears to ripen so I can dry out a whole batch of them. I wonder how long they will last in my jars? Is there something I can do to make them last longer? I’ve also found some already ripened blackberries and have frozen a bunch and juiced some more. I’ve been making my own blackberry vinaigrette with them. The juice I made was a complete mess, but the juice is thick and delicious! If I can juice the blackberries in a larger volume and de-seed it, I can freeze it to use later in the year. Maybe I’ll make blackberry ice cubes?

I’m uncertain, but are these golden raspberries?

Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?


My goals this month were to bike at least 25 miles, take 4 dance classes, and do 4 strength training workouts. I met all three of these goals!

I went to exactly 5 pole classes, biked a total of 50.3 miles, and did 4 strength training sessions. Go me!

My goal in August is to follow the Blogilates Glutes challenge. I also want to throw in the abs challenge again.


Turkish language progress:

I now have 1,274 Anki cards. I’ve done 5,898 reviews. I have spent 6:07:28 reviewing with an average of 56 reviews per day. My grade is 72% C. I stopped adding so many new vocabulary words and want to focus on phrase building and grammar. I’m trying to find a course or tutor but it’s difficult as Turkish isn’t taught in all the schools around here. Any recommendations for a language learning program? I downloaded a few more apps to try out, like Mondly. I should be spending more time daily on my language learning but am having trouble figuring out what to study and how to study it without a strict follow-along type course such as my Rosetta Stone lessons. Speaking of Rosetta Stone, I’m now ready to start Unit 9! There are only 12 units in my Rosetta Stone but that seems silly. Shouldn’t there be more? I will have to find out if the course continues beyond what my app has downloaded.


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet:

Categories $$ to spend 19-Jan 19-Feb 19-Mar 19-Apr 19-May 19-June 19-July
Take home pay *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Earnings *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Total Earnings   *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
Rent 700 same  same same same same same same
Phone 45 same same same same same same same
Car 300 Over Over Under under under under over (paid for my 6-month insurance)
Travel 100 Under  0 0 90.05 99.42 196.58 over (paid for a trip to Disney)
Housing Supplies 25 0  Over Under 105.52 (sharpened knives and got zero-waste supplies) 25.84 7.61 37.54
Health & Wellness 60 0 Over Under 113 110.45 84.95 179.45
Writing 25 Over Over 0 14.42 (e-books) 0 0 3.29
Charity/art 25 Over  15 Under 32 10 15 15
Entertainment 70 Over  20.95 Over 66.33 61.46 66.95 33.05
Fitness Classes 75 Over  0 30 0 133 35 100
Food – eating out 100 179.98  96.00 185.03 251.16 (Travel to FL) 536.77 (family is in town) 458.99 (family is in town) 276.98
Food – groceries 400 575.47 324.88 444 608.48 (travel to FL) 226.03 256.95 563.30
Misc. 50 47.92  92.03 660 (put my tax prep and a present in this category) 1.60 348.50 14.34 220.02
Total Spent  <50% 55% 42% 48% 47% 55% 42% 76%
Total Savings 2080 Over Over Over Over Over Over Under

After watching the millennial money on CNBC and the Graham Stephan Show React videos like this one, I decided to make a chart of my average monthly spending (an aggregate over the last 6 months):


My writing goals!! Sigh. Remember how fired up I was about accomplishing some of my writing goals? Well, I didn’t do a single thing towards accomplishing them in July. I still just don’t want to and I guess my focus really is elsewhere. When I have free time, I’d rather be outside, work out, take a pole class, watch a movie, or read a book. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick it back up in November with NaNoWriMo. I’ll still check in on my writing, but I won’t have high expectations for now.


What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

Here is my February goal check in blog post!

Here is my March goal check in blog post!

Here is my April goal check in blog post!

Here is my May goal check in blog post!

Here is my June goal check in blog post!


Recap of events this month: Food, food, and more food!

I found a wonderful boxed cinnamon roll mix that was fabulous!

I’ve been making more GF avocado toasts! I just take two plain rice cakes and spread with fresh avocado. I like to top them with a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

This year I finally made it out to the Seattle Street Food festival and had the best corn of my life and the worst donuts (Hot Revolution Donuts) of my life. We also tried out some dumplings from Kathmandu MoMoCha that were good.

How Much My 1998 Honda Civic Costs Per Month – 18 Month Analysis

I am an avid fan of analytics and cost breakdowns and have tracked every expense since I bought my Honda Civic in January of 2018. Originally it was listed on Craigslist for $2100, but I negotiated paying $2000. It had 183,000 miles when I bought it and it now has a little over 200,000 miles. This means that I have put 17,000 miles on it in 18 months – I have driven it under 1000 miles per month. It costs me $366/month right now to own, drive, and maintain this car. I get 34MPG on average.

I have no record of the last timing belt change – but the recommendation is every 100,000 miles so my car is due. It will cost between $500-$1000 for this maintenance and it will increase the cost of ownership of my car by ~$55/month if I were to do it immediately.

I do budget $300/month in car maintenance/gas/insurance/anything-but-the-cost-of-the-car and I have $465 saved up from that budgeting line item. I dislike spending money but the cost seems minimal in order to use this car. My worry is that I will put this money into the car and if something were to happen to it, that money would be wasted. However, if the timing belt were to break and I totaled my car then shame on me for not properly maintaining my faithful POSH Donut-Mobile.

12-month cost 01/16/19

Total

Per month

Initial Investment

2000

166.67

Legalities (Registration/Title)

350

29.17

Gas

1200

100

Insurance

1013.65

84.47

Maintenance

1600

133.33

2018 business miles

-761.54

-63.46

Total

5402.11

450.176

18-month cost 07/16/19

Total

Per month

Initial Investment

2000

111.11

Legalities (Registration/Title)

350

19.44

Gas

1433.74

79.65

Insurance

1793.08

99.62

Maintenance

2055.05

114.17

2018-2019 business miles

-1026.49

-57.03

Total

6605.38

366.97

2019 June Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Making $$

I’ve been testing out my Eco-Nuts laundry detergent and I think I love them! I accidentally left the small cloth bag in my laundry full of nuts and it went through the dryer… but other than that they have worked amazingly!

Sadly, most of my seed starts have died but I have three small tomato plants, 3 squash humps (with 2-4 plants in each), 2 zucchini humps (with 2-3 plants in each), a cucumber hump (with 2-3 plants in it), and turnip leaves growing! I don’t think the carrots I planted made it since I don’t see any sprouting above ground. My indoor basil plant is dying and the plants in a jar (basil and mint) both died. I’m really hopeful that my squash, zucchini, and cucumbers will grow this summer though. I have also been scouting out possible foraging opportunities with the Falling Fruit app but have so far had no luck finding cherry or plum trees. I also am unsure when cherries are in season around here… I do have my sights set on a local plum tree (not listed on the app) and have been checking their ripeness weekly. I hope to dehydrate/dry the plums I pick.

On my travels out of state I was not particularly zero waste, sadly, but it got me thinking about the difficulties in reducing single-use items while traveling.

Do you have any other ideas I should consider to reduce my waste?


As far as fitness goals go: Though I signed up to participate in the Blogilates June Summer Sculpt program, I quickly ditched it as I was incredibly busy the first few weeks of the month traveling and taking a class for work. I want to take more dance classes in July and bike over 25 miles (hopefully some of those miles will be biked instead of driven).

I reached a landmark progress goal in my pole-dance career on 6/25 this month!

1. Total pole classes I’ve taken: 388

2. Total years spent poling= 5 (with a year break between pole 101 graduation and my next class)

3. Total money I’ve spent on pole classes: $6,546 (average of $17/class)

4. Total hours spent poling in classes: 616.5 hours = 25.7 days = 36,990 minutes

5. Total instructors I’ve had: 34

6. Total studios I’ve gone to: 11

I’ve performed in front of audiences three times!


Turkish language progress:

I now have 1,176 Anki cards. I’ve done 4,537 reviews. I have spent 4:58:46 reviewing with an average of 56 reviews per day. My grade is 67% D.

July 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 8 finished, word of the day in Anki, Rosetta Stone in Anki, Grammar study
August 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 9 finished, word of the day in Anki, Rosetta Stone in Anki, 100 Anki common Turkish vocabulary
September 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 10 finished, word of the day in Anki, Rosetta Stone in Anki, Grammar study
October 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 11 finished, word of the day in Anki, Rosetta Stone in Anki, 100 Anki common Turkish vocabulary
November 2019: Rosetta Stone Unit 12 finished, word of the day in Anki, Rosetta Stone in Anki, Grammar study, take a placement test


My main goal for the year was to save as much money as possible! I’m doing this by earning more money, spending less money, and investing the money that I do have. Here is my monthly budget spreadsheet:

Categories $$ to spend 19-Jan 19-Feb 19-Mar 19-Apr 19-May 19-June 19-July
Take home pay *** *** *** *** *** ***
Earnings *** *** *** *** *** ***
Total Earnings   *** *** *** *** *** ***
Rent 700 same  same same same same same
Phone 45 same same same same same same
Car 300 Over Over Under under under under
Travel 100 Under  0 0 90.05 99.42 196.58
Housing Supplies 25 0  Over Under 105.52 (sharpened knives and got zero-waste supplies) 25.84 7.61
Health & Wellness 60 0 Over Under 113 110.45 84.95
Writing 25 Over Over 0 14.42 (e-books) 0 0
Charity/art 25 Over  15 Under 32 10 15
Entertainment 70 Over  20.95 Over 66.33 61.46 66.95
Fitness Classes 75 Over  0 30 0 133 35
Food – eating out 100 179.98  96.00 185.03 251.16 (Travel to FL) 536.77 (family is in town) 458.99 (family is in town)
Food – groceries 400 575.47 324.88 444 608.48 (travel to FL) 226.03 256.95
Misc. 50 47.92  92.03 660 (put my tax prep and a present in this category) 1.60 348.50 14.34
Total Spent  <50% 55% 42% 48% 47% 55% 42%
Total Savings 2080 Over Over Over Over Over Over

 


My writing goals!! I wrote out a month-by-month plan to accomplish my writing goals.

July – Sell 1-2 At One’s Beast books for at least $11 to break even. Sell 1 Vanessa’s Book of Awesome Things over $1.04 to start making a profit. Sell 1 Ataxia and the Ravine of Lost Dreams book over $1.64 to start making a profit. Redo the draft on my children’s picture book. Perhaps collaborate? Research illustrators and publishers for the book. Update to my author website.

August – Send out Flora to a new beta reader and get feedback. Find a geneologist to comment on the geneology aspects of the book and add in more genetics background for the magic. Research publishers to send Flora out to. Plan book specials for the fall/winter online.

September – Outline Aster & Tilde 5-book series completely. Re-read Aster & Tilde book 1 and edit according to the master outline

October – Write every day and work on Aster & Tilde Book 2

November – Participate in NaNoWriMo and finish writing Aster & Tilde Book 2

December – ??


What are your goals and how are you meeting them this month?

Here is my January goal check in blog post!

Here is my February goal check in blog post!

Here is my March goal check in blog post!

Here is my April goal check in blog post!

Here is my May goal check in blog post!


Recap of events this month:

Maple Valley Days annual volunteering/book-selling event 

Donut adventures in Los Angeles, California

Veggie Fest in Redmond

Indie Author Night at Brick & Mortar Books

Stars Wars in Concert!

Local Event Alert! Indie Author Night – Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond, WA 6/27/19

It’s time for another one of Brick & Mortar’s hugely popular Indie Author Nights!

The event format is simple: they bring in about 20 authors, tell you a bit about them, and they each have 2 minutes to talk about their book or series. After each author has given their pitch, customers will have the opportunity to purchase books and interact with authors!

I’m excited to be a part of this local event and to find some new awesome books to read. My TBR is getting low again…

Here’s a sneak peek at the lineup:

  • Sandra Anderson: Troubled Mother, Troubled Son, an autobiography for older teens and adults.
  • Brenda Baker: the picture book Oddly Colorful!
  • Rachel Barnard: For the Love of Donuts series for young adult and new adult readers.
  • Flora Burlingame: Path of Progress: One Man’s Fight for Women’s Rights and Charcoal and Chalk: John Ogilvie and the Beginnings of Black Education in Texas (adult historical fiction)
  • Van Chesnutt: Push the Red Button, a humorous travel memoir of adventures, misadventures, and observation accumulated over 30+ years of travel.
  • Ellie Collins: Daisy, Bold & Beautiful, a middle grade fantasy full of Greek mythology fantasy.
  • Beverly Cuevas: When the Twinkle is Gone: A Child’s Perspective on Death, an illustrated book for parents with information about how to help children deal with grief.
  • Danielle Dreger: Secret Heart, Bad at Love, and Reckless Night You Won’t Regret (YA queer romantic comedy) and The Ten Fantastic Fails of Rory O’Leary (MG contemporary fiction)
  • Bill Erxleben: A Lion Where There Were Lambs: The Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Rule of Law in the Pacific Northwest, a combination of courtroom drama, regional history, and memoir.
  • Gail Folkins: Texas Dance Halls: A Two-Step Circuit, literary journalism about Texas dance hall culture, and Light in the Trees, a memoir about growing up in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Carol Gavhane: She’s Got This!: Essays on Standing Strong and Moving On, an anthology featuring essays from 46 writers for women and mothers.
  • Julia Goldstein: Material Value, for consumers and to businesses wanting to implement more environmentally-friendly practices.
  • Jennifer Haupt: In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills, a novel for adults inspired by her time as a journalist in post-genocide Rwanda.
  • Amy M Le: Snow in Vietnam is an adult historical fiction tribute to her mother’s heroic decision to flee Vietnam after the fall of Saigon.
  • Ashton Macaulay: Whiteout (A Nick Ventner Adventure), the tale of a drunken monster hunter searching for yeti, and Aberrant Tales, a short fiction anthology.
  • Joyce Major: The Orangutan Rescue Gang, a middle grade fiction full of adventure, friendship, and the environment.
  • Abbi McKee: Cricket and Milo Visit Seattle, the first in a picture book series about two dogs who visit different places.
  • Saqib Rasool: Saqibism, poetry on innovation, entrepreneurship, and inner perception for changemakers, cultural creatives, and entrepreneurs.
  • Sonya Rhen: YA/NA books Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans, The Shredded Orphans and the Space Pirates, and Requite Me: Poems of Love (humorous adventure science fiction) Jealousy, and Angst (poetry about love and love lost)
  • Deirdre Timmons: Brain Candy, a light-hearted and poignant memoir for people struggling with dire illness or loved ones with Alzheimer’s.
  • Doug Walsh: Tailwinds Past Florence (time travel romance) and The Walkthrough: Insider Tales from a Life in Strategy Guides (for people interested in video games!)
  • O.M. Wills: ERTA: The Complete Series, a science fiction and fantasy series for adults.

Los Angeles Trip, Impressions, $$ spent

Last week I went to Los Angeles with my partner. He was attending E3. While he was away during the day at the convention, I went out and found donuts, took a dance class, and was part of a studio audience for LMAD.  I spent a total of ~$613. My SO paid for the plane tickets and the AirBnB where we stayed. I rented the car and bought all the donuts! Here is the breakdown of my costs and what we did each day…

Los Angeles, California trip 6/10 – 6/14

Monday:
Picked up rental car – $193
In n Out at 11AM Double Double burgers with fries animal style
Picked up E3 badge
Parking Garage $2 N. LA
Donatsu –  Royal Dragon yeast donut $5 cash including the tip.
Lyft to City Hall to go to the observation deck which was free! $5.80 for the Lyft
AirBnB check in after 4PM less than 3 miles from E3
Drove to Santa Barbara and Cold Spring Tavern, split the bill – $65
Stopped for gas – $40 to fill the tank
Stopped at Ralph’s for snacks and waters

First day thoughts. LA traffic is crazy! Pedestrians, bikers, and drivers alike make crazy poor decisions regarding the usage of the road. People will stop in the middle of the road and put on flashers whenever they feel like it. If you want to make a left turn (most of them are unprotected left turns) you have to wait for the light to turn yellow and then at least two cars running the red light from oncoming traffic before you can make your left turn. This was the hottest day! The rental car process was the simplest I’ve ever been through and I would actually recommend Midway Car Rental (just make sure you get directions for getting to the offsite rental car site).

Tuesday:
Dropped SO off at E3
California Donuts – got a glazed, cream filled, and lemon filled. Donuts were $1 each and I gave $1 tip! Donuts were average – $4
Bath and Body Works and Staples to print my studio audience ticket – $1 printing, $8 bath bomb
4:15 – 5:25 BeSpun Int Upside Down Pole Tricks $35
Big Al’s Pizzeria – got Supreme and BBQ Chicken Large pizzas for takeaway – $48
Ate at Elysian Park and then climbed to the swing and lookout at the top of a hill
Stopped at CVS

I took a pole class at BeSpun. Unfortunately the air conditioning was broken! The class started out slow and then ramped up quickly. I loved the combo we did and we were allowed to take video at the end of class and I was able to dance the combo at this time. Neat little studio NW of Downtown.

Wednesday:
Dropped of SO at E3
Picked up half dozen special donuts from Crafted Donuts – $15 – these were meh
Picked up toilet paper, water, and peaches from Ralph’s nearby – $4.63
Worked at home
8:30 Benihana reservation $80.74
Parked across the street $3.50

Our AirBnB provided 2/3 a roll of toilet paper for our 4.5 day stay… So we had to get some more SMH. I was surprised that with our reservation at Benihana, we weren’t sat until 9:15PM. I’ve never had to wait that long with a reservation. I was ecstatic to find cheap parking across the street, especially since we were parked there for nearly 3 hours.

Thursday:
Dropped off SO at E3
Kettle Glazed Doughnuts $11.75 – decent donuts
Let’s Make a Deal showing 11AM (check in at 10:30AM), rented a cop costume – $25, you can look up the show at a later date with the date 6/13/19 and the code 11030
Picked up SO from E3
Leo’s Tacos $30 cash
Dunkin’ $16.47

LMAD was such a cool experience! I went there prepared to not be in costume and just watch but go so hyped up by the enthusiastic staff and other participants that I wanted to participate. I rented a costume (a cop because I’m a donut enthusiast) and worked really hard to be extroverted so that I would be chosen as a contestant but sadly I was not. It was super fun, regardless, and a little exhausting to smile for over two hours and be energetic for that long. I would definitely do this again if I go back to LA. I arrived around 10AM and drove off the lot around 3:45 so it was an all day event! My favorite part: if I didn’t rent a costume it would have been completely free to participate!

Friday:
AirBNB checkout 12PM
Parked at 2100 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291 $9 for parking (the most we paid)
Muscle Beach being renovated so it wasn’t open 😦 We walked along the boardwalk
Drove to Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee (gluten-friendly, huckleberry, vanilla glazed) $10.75
Drove to CVS for last minute supplies
Drove to the airport
Picked up In n Out for SO $8.81
Midway Car Rental drop off 4:00PM

I was sad that muscle beach was being renovated but there was a slick little outdoor acrobatic gym? It had two ropes to climb, a balance beam, two rings, and some pull-up bars.

Places I still want to go:

  • the Upside Down House
  • The Last Bookstore
  • Donut Friend
  • Eaton Canyon Falls
  • Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
  • SKS Donut & Croissant
  • The Manufactory
  • Angels Flight Railway
  • Birdies Fried Chicken and Donuts

Maple Valley Days 6th Year Follow-up

This was my 7th year volunteering behind the scenes of the event and FreeValley Publishing’s 6th year having a booth at the festival. Wow! I love being involved with this event and I learn something every year. I get to watch conflict resolution and large event planning. It is amazing how much detail and effort goes into putting on this festival and I’m glad I’ve been a part of it.