2020 January Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Birthday Freebies!

Financial Independence

First month of the year and I have budgeted $2589 per month. I spent $3006.75 because I prepaid for my flight and half an airBnB for 9 days in Mexico City. I have budgeted $300/month on ‘travel’ and I put $100/month into my Savings goal in Capital One for ‘travel.’ This account currently has $1704.80 so I moved the $940 I spent from that account and back into my general emergency savings fund in Capital One which leaves a balance of $767.14 for travel. I moved the money into emergency savings rather than use the money directly for paying the plane ticket and housing costs because I had some excess cash in my checking account already to pay for these travel expenses. I don’t plan on many more travel costs for the Mexico vacation because I plan to put food costs into my eating out/food budget and anything that isn’t directly travel related into their respective budget categories for the month.

I bought a year’s subscription to Trusted Housesitters, a website where you can find houses to sit or conversely for people to sit your house and watch your pets while you’re away on your own vacation and trip. You can use this link to get 25% off: https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/refer/RAF286731/

I had to renew my driver’s license (cost of $78 cash for my enhanced renewal) which was absorbed into my transportation budget category

I signed my updated will (cost of $30 at Pony Express).

I still managed to earn $120.23 this month that wasn’t related to my business.

I continue to spend more than I want to for food – both eating out and groceries. I only spent $46.41 eating out (we went out many times but it was covered by mystery shopping). I spent $479.20 on groceries. I have been keeping a close eye on what I spend for food, but we often splurge at the grocery store for unnecessary items (ice cream) or new and exciting items (Thai chili Doritos). I do save money by going to Grocery Outlet and combing through my favorite squished cans section and making bulk meals with ingredients like rice and dried beans. Part of the issue is my partner and I both love trying new foods and eating a variety of different meals. We don’t eat the same thing every week. I did spend an average of $763/month on food last year, so just reducing that number down closer to $500 is a win and will end up saving me nearly $3000 in a year. Ultimately my conservative budget of $400 is not going to be easy or very realistic for our current lifestyle (I buy most of the groceries and half of the bill when we eat out).

One way I decrease my spending is to not pay money for what I will already spend money on. For instance, I like to eat out several times per month and I get to do it for free or nearly free through Mystery Shopping. We went out to eat 3x for mystery shops which cost me $19.86 plus my time. I also recently was hired as a trade at one of my dance studios where I get paid to clean the studio in class credit. I have already saved up enough for 6 classes! We are also working on reducing our rent and housing expenses to $0 after our lease is up in July with house sitting. Finally, it was my birthday last month and I was able to get a free specialty pancakes from Ihop ($8.99 value), a free coffee from Starbucks (a $6.77 value), and a free pastry from Panera (a $2.49 value)

My business earnings for January were $546.24 (as some payments were pending and didn’t clear until February so the next month will show a much higher earning). I’m not sure what I will be paying in taxes so I will plan to set aside at least 30% of all that money and put it into my savings account at BECU, to save around $500 to have in the account at all times to pay for expenses. I did spend $27.75 on a bus card refill as I sometimes use the bus to get to clients’ houses when it’s snowing. A bus costs $2.75 for unlimited rides within a 2-hour window so I can usually pay once for a round trip. I opened up a BECU business checking account at the end of last year to use for my business financials because they have ATMs (I sometimes get paid in cash) and they don’t charge fees.


Fitness

I started stretching every day in late December and have continued every day (minus one day where I was in a pole class). I follow this Blogilates video and spend anywhere from 10-15 minutes doing these stretches after  completing her 2020 challenge! After finishing this challenge I went back to the 100 abs a day challenge from last year and am currently on day 15. It’s amazing the noticeable progress I can see with 6 weeks of daily targeted stretching! I can almost place my palm on the floor when trying to touch my toes (from just barely touching the floor with my fingers before). I’m not sure my pancake or splits stretches have made much progress but I’m absolutely thrilled with my hamstring flexibility progress! I have also unfortunately mildly injured my right upper leg/lower butt? I’m not sure what I injured exactly as normal walking or bending over doesn’t make it hurt, but pushing my right hip up and out makes it flare up right below my butt and when I do the pancake stretch it hurts in that area. Now I cannot stretch my pancake but do the legs one at a time and gently stretch that side.

Here are my fitness stats for the month:

  1. Biking: 10 miles
  2. Pole classes: 3

Writing

  • I sent out a 2019 summary and 2020 goals newsletter
  • I signed up to write a short story for my writing group’s next anthology (haven’t written it yet)
  • I sold 12 print books from my inventory
  • I ran a giveaway and gave away 2 Donuts Books, 2 of Nichole’s Book of Practical Things, and 2 Vanessa’s Book of Awesome Things
  • I read and reviewed 2 Indie books

Don’t forget to come visit me this February at the following event:

Come see me and get all of my novels this Sunday from 12PM – 1PM at the Enso Center Winter Marketplace! The event goes from Saturday to Sunday, but I will only be there for a limited time on Sunday. All four of my novels will be on sale for just $10 each.


Since my partner and I plan to move out of our house at the end of June and stay with friends, family, or in house sits we have to par down our belongings. This means that I have lots of items to sell and donate! I have to say goodbye to my glass jar and box hoard. We are Tidying Up!

Here is a picture of my homemade (from a gluten free squished bag chocolate baking mix) and cheesecake frosting with Taro powder as coloring that I piped myself!


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