2020 Q3 Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Biking

Financial Independence Goals for 2020 Q3 snapshot

  1. Max out my Roth IRA, 401k and HSA contributions = monthly deductions mean this happens automatically!
  2. Build up my emergency savings to 6 months/~$18,000 = $12,300 in current emergency savings and $7600 in savings for car/computer/travel/phone
  3. Save 50% of my income = less than 50% of my gross income and about 67% of my net income (only one month so far this year under 50% net income not including business income)
  4. Don’t renew housing lease end of July (no rent spending 8/1 onwards = change of plans. We have renewed our rent with our current house as travel and house sitting is not a good option right now. I will continue to use house sitting as an option for potential low-cost travel. I love looking for new listings weekly on Trusted Housesitters. You can use this link to get 25% off a membership at Trusted Housesitters: https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/refer/RAF286731/

I’ve readjusted my budgeting for the next three months based on my 2020 goals and my past spending for the year. No surprises that I’ve already maxed out my groceries category for the year as my ‘goal’ was too tight and not realistic for my current lifestyle. I’ve increased my budget for gifts, groceries, household and clothing, and misc while decreasing my budget for health, fitness, education, and transportation. My budget categories of eating out, travel, entertainment, housing, phone, and charity remain the same.

Notable spending:

  1. I bought a TV for the first time in my life! Our old one (that I got for free) was slowly dying and it was time to replace it.
  2. I paid to have my taxes prepared this quarter. It was completed towards the end of the extended deadline.
  3. We received nearly one month’s credit for this billing cycle for our auto insurance.
  4. We took a mini vacation to stay in a tiny home for the weekend!
  5. I bought clothing for the first time all year (2 shirts for me, 1 for my partner, and 1 for my Dad).
  6. I got my first haircut/highlights since March. I’ve since added thinning shears to my hair tools so I can better upkeep my short hairstyle between professional visits.

Fitness

Here are my fitness stats for Q3 of 2020:

  1. Biking: 334.8 miles
  2. Pole classes: 13
  3. Other activities: Gardening, Beach Body Workouts!

Health goals 2020
1. Full P90X for 90 days! We did it! woot woot.
2. Lose 3% body fat (I went from 26% to 29% using the BodyScan measurement 01/19 to 06/20). Nailed it! I am down to 26.5% bodyfat
3. 5+ pull-ups any format (I purchased a secondhand pull-up freestanding bar) and can currently do 4 chin ups, 3 pull-ups, 1 wide grip pull-up, 3 narrow pull-ups. I have done 9 chin ups, 6 pull-ups, 3 wide grip pull-ups, 5 narrow pull-ups and have plans to get to 10 chin ups!

New Health goals 2020/2021:

  1. 10 chin-ups in a row
  2. 30 push-ups in a row
  3. 10 narrow push-ups in a row with top form
  4. 2 pole classes/week
  5. Pass intermediate inversions test by my birthday (1/22)
  6. Finish floorwork series by end of 2021 (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
  7. Improved pike/splits stretches
  8. Handstand?

Writing Goals for 2020:

  1. Deplete my physical book inventory = Since there aren’t opportunities for in-person events, I’ve been running giveaways each quarter.
  2. Break even on Ataxia and At One’s Beast = I met this goal in Q1!
  3. Revamp my website = I haven’t made any substantial changes to my website yet
  4. Write 4 short stories = I wrote 2 short stories thus far for two separate anthologies. The second story was published in the The Lost Train: An FVP Books Anthology
  5. Send out 4 newsletters = I’ve sent out 2 newsletters so far this year and will send out my third shortly.
  6. Publish a new coloring book = Haven’t made any progress on this goal yet. I’m still deciding on the subject material.
  7. NEW GOAL: Finish outlining my new novel “Two for Tiny” and begin writing.

Deception Pass Day Trip with one of my favorite masks

Local author Ksenia Anske’s long awaited book she started writing on the Amtrak!

Physical copies of my books are still available at the Neverending Bookshop in Edmonds


What are your goals and how are you meeting them?

2020 Q2 Goals – Accountability, Check in, and an Uneventful Spring

Financial Independence Goals for 2020 Q2 snapshot

  1. Max out my Roth IRA, 401k and HSA contributions = monthly deductions mean this happens automatically!
  2. Build up my emergency savings to 6 months/~$18,000 = $10,200 in current emergency savings and $5800 in savings for car/computer/travel/phone
  3. Save 50% of my income =
  4. Don’t renew housing lease end of July (no rent spending 8/1 onwards = change of plans. We have renewed our rent with our current house as travel and house sitting is not a good option right now. I will continue to use house sitting as an option for potential low-cost travel. I love looking for new listings weekly on Trusted Housesitters. You can use this link to get 25% off a membership at Trusted Housesitters: https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/refer/RAF286731/

Here is an updated snapshot of my budgeting goals and how I’m meeting them. Red indicates going over the monthly budgeted amount and green indicates staying under.

Notable spending:

  1. I bought a used ebike for personal and business use! $1000
  2. I supported an IndieGoGo campaign for a few hundred dollars
  3. I tricked out my garden DIY style ~$200
  4. I bought a garage fridge for $220
  5. I bought a pull-up freestanding bar and under-desk elliptical and inversion bench used for $195 total
  6. I spent $75 on a 4-week nutrition and health program

Fitness

Here are my fitness stats for Q2 of 2020:

  1. Biking: 36.5 miles
  2. Pole classes: 1
  3. Stretch classes: 7
  4. Other classes: 4 Pilates classes, 3 handstand conditioning classes, 1 Alexander Technique class
  5. Other activities: Gardening, Beach Body Workouts!

Health goals 2020
1. Full P90X for 90 days!
2. Lose 3% body fat (I went from 26% to 29% using the BodyScan measurement 01/19 to 06/20)
3. 5+ pull-ups any format (I purchased a secondhand pull-up freestanding bar) and can currently do 4 chin ups, 3 pull-ups, 1 wide grip pull-up, 3 narrow pull-ups


Writing Goals for 2020:

  1. Deplete my physical book inventory = I sold and gave away several books in January and February but still have significant numbers of print books left. I will perhaps run more giveaways or do something creative like sell a book along with a free ARC reading or x amount of words edited.
  2. Break even on Ataxia and At One’s Beast = I met this goal in Q1!
  3. Revamp my website = I haven’t made any substantial changes to my website yet
  4. Write 4 short stories = I wrote 2 short stories thus far for two separate anthologies
  5. Send out 4 newsletters = 1 sent out 1 newsletter and am working on my Q2 newsletter this week
  6. Publish a new coloring book = Haven’t made any progress on this goal yet. I’m still deciding on the subject material.

Here is a list of my accomplishments for Q2:

  1. Run a giveaway
  2. Sell more print books (half of what I currently have in inventory)
  3. Give out review copies of books
  4. Redo all interior files for Seize the Donut, At One’s Beast, Ataxia and push to all marketplaces
  5. Create another niche coloring book
  6. Read 25 books
  7. Write 6 book reviews on my blog
  8. Create a promotion and marketing plan for the rest of 2020
  9. Write 1 short story
  10. Send out 1 newsletter

The view from 520 Bridge as I bike home from Seattle on my new e-bike!

My first forage in the PNW! Juneberries, Huckleberries, and Salmonberries

My favorite new breakfast! Grilled Portobello mushroom with egg and cheese on a bed of spinach surrounded by strawberries

 


What are your goals and how are you meeting them?

2020 Q1 Goals – Accountability, Check in, and Future Uncertainty

I’ve decided to move from monthly updates to quarterly updates… Here is quarter one 2020 update that encompasses January – February – March.

Financial Independence Goals for 2020

  1. Max out my Roth IRA, 401k and HSA contributions = My HSA contribution is deducted automatically from my paycheck every month and my Roth IRA is automatically transferred at $500/month
  2. Build up my emergency savings to 6 months = I have just under 6 months emergency savings currently if I were to only spend $2500/month. I want to build this up to $18,000 by the end of the year
  3. Save 50% of my income = Due to travel in February and the yearly car maintenance in March I have spent 79% of my income, however; I moved all my business/secondary income outside of these calculations and if I were to add that back in I have spent 70% of my total income from all sources. Subtract again my HSA (part of my savings plan) and the amount spent is closer to 66%. Q2 should be even closer to 50% as I won’t be doing any leisure traveling or have extra car expenses.
  4. Don’t renew housing lease end of July (no rent spending 8/1 onwards = this is a new goal that I’ve already started preparing for by gathering a list of friends and family who are willing to host myself and my partner starting August. I will also be working on a combined post-housing budget and look at our finances together. We have already joined TrustedHousesitters and had our first house sit and are now verified. Closer to the summer I will start applying to house sits starting August and planning out our travel and where and who we will be staying with.
    You can use this link to get 25% off a membership at Trusted Housesitters: https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/refer/RAF286731/

Here is an updated snapshot of my budgeting goals and how I’m meeting them. Red indicates going over the monthly budgeted amount and green indicates staying under. I have also shifted the budgeted amount going forward from previous Q1 spending over/under amounts.

Notable spending:

  1. AAA membership $138 for myself and my partner but we share 1 car so now that I think about it, it doesn’t make sense for both of us to each have an account and perhaps I can transfer to another family member or cancel one of ours and get some of the extra cost back.
  2. Health category has ballooned as I have increased the amount of supplements I’m taking and storing as a precaution. My recommendation is to have a 3-month’s supply of all supplements, prescriptions, and medications where possible.
  3. My grocery/eating out spending was significantly low in March due to categorizing all ‘eating’ expenses while in Mexico under ‘travel’
  4. My gifts category is high because I sent money to my family
  5. My partner and I spent $1041 on car maintenance (he got us a discount and I got them to take off some labor costs for several hundred in savings from the dealer – always check the invoice!)

My business earnings have significantly decreased due to the COVID-19 and has since reinforced my determination to find more passive income sources and work-from-home earning potentials. Some of my mystery shops and usability studies are available online but most of my income came from cat sitting and dog walking. When I have the mental motivation I will check out editing/ARC/reviews as a secondary source of active income.


Fitness

Here are my fitness stats for Q1 of 2020:

  1. Biking: 16 miles
  2. Pole classes: 8
  3. Stretch classes: 2
  4. Other classes: 1 Booty class, 1 boot camp class, 1 Boudoir class
  5. Other activities: 1 soccer game and several soccer practice sessions

What are my fitness goals for 2020? A new fitness/health goal each month… Sigh. I made a general goal that isn’t very useful and I’m going to scrap it.

Fitness goals 2020
1. Stretch class 1x/week and stretching 10-15 minutes at least 4x/week
2. Ab exercise 4x/week
3. Cardio exercise/class 1x/week

Potential weekly fitness schedule:

Monday 4/6

Tuesday 4/7

Wednesday 4/8

Thursday 4/9

Friday 4/10

Saturday 4/11

Sunday 4/12

Handstands exercises and conditioning 15 minutes

Abs 5 minutes

Cardio (biking, boot camp, etc) 15+ minutes

Pilates 60 minutes

6pm-Divine Stretch class 60 minutes

Abs 5 minutes

Lower abs 7 minutes with 1 minute timed ARAP sit ups: Lower abs workout for strong and clean pole inverts (8min follow along)

Cardio (Boot camp, biking, etc) 15+ minutes

Pilates 60 minutes

Weights

Abs 5 minutes

1pm-Divine Stretch 60 minutes

Cardio (biking, boot camp, etc) 15+ minutes

 


Writing Goals for 2020:

  1. Deplete my physical book inventory = I sold and gave away several books in January and February but still have significant numbers of print books left. I will perhaps run more giveaways or do something creative like sell a book along with a free ARC reading or x amount of words edited.
  2. Break even on Ataxia and At One’s Beast = I met this goal!
  3. Revamp my website = I haven’t made any substantial changes to my website yet
  4. Write 4 short stories = I wrote 1 short story so I’m on track for this goal
  5. Send out 4 newsletters = 1 sent out 1 newsletter and am working on my Q1 newsletter this week
  6. Publish a new coloring book = Haven’t made any progress on this goal yet

Here is a list of my accomplishments for Q1:

  1. Ran a birthday giveaway
  2. Sold several print books
  3. Had 1 author tea date
  4. Sent beginning of year newsletter
  5. Wrote a short story for the WCPNW anthology
  6. Redid my interior files to fix a typo and editing issue from For the Love of Donuts Book 1
  7. Wrote 6 book reviews on my blog
  8. Read 12 books

Here are my goals for Q2:

  1. Run a giveaway
  2. Sell more print books (half of what I currently have in inventory)
  3. Give out review copies of books
  4. Redo all interior files for Seize the Donut, At One’s Beast, Ataxia and push to all marketplaces
  5. Create another niche coloring book
  6. Read 25 books
  7. Write 6 book reviews on my blog
  8. Create a promotion and marketing plan for the rest of 2020
  9. Write 1 short story
  10. Send out 1 newsletter

Enter my Q2 giveaway HERE:


Green GF pancakes for St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast

GF homemade pizzas with a mix from my favorite section in the grocery story (the squished can section)


What are your goals and how are you meeting them?

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?

2019 – November – What I Spend in a Month in Seattle

I only have three non-changeable living expenses per month: Rent at $700, car insurance at $145, and my phone bill that is usually around $150 but was discounted for this month. This comes out to $995/month or $248.75/week.

I have monthly discretionary expenses that could be reduced in the future: $393/month or $98.25/week

  1. Financial education at $150/month
  2. Massage from Hand & Stone at $69.95/month plus tip (I already canceled my membership and will only be getting occasional massages next year)
  3. Supplements at around $130/month
  4. Patreon support at $20/month
  5. Entertainment at $23.05/month for AMC A-list membership

After canceling my massage membership and finishing up my financial education, next year I will be spending $173.05/month or $43.26/week

I have monthly discretionary expenses that vary:

  1. Gas for the car (I budget $100/month and the range is $25 – $202 per month)
  2. Maintenance on the car (usually twice/year there is maintenance done on the car and I budget $100/month for those costs. The next car maintenance at 40k miles will cost $1500 so I will have to increase my budget to accommodate this expense.)
  3. Transportation (includes Good to Go, Uber/Lyft, etc that I budget $25/month)
  4. Food from the grocery store (varies from $220 to $595 per month and averaged $398/month or $94/week. I budgeted $250/month for next year or $62.50/week)
  5. Food from eating out (Ranged from $154 – $890 per month and averaged $350/month or $82/week. I budgeted $150/month for next year or $37.50/week)
  6. Gifts (I budget $100/month and this includes shipping costs, games, and gift cards)

I have expenses that come up every so often that aren’t always monthly

  1. Travel (I spent $2618 this year on travel related expenses, equal to $218/month or $51/week. I traveled to Florida and Disneyland in 2019. I budgeted $100/month in 2020 for this category of spending.
  2. Housing and consumables (I spent $371 this year on clothing and household items which is equal to $31/month or $7/week. I budgeted $25/month in 2020 for this category of spending)
  3. Writing (I spent $241 last year on writing-related expenses, which is equal to $20/month or $5/week. I budgeted $75/month in 2020 for this category of spending because I want to go to the Romance Writer’s Conference in the area next year).
  4. Dance and fitness (I spent $579.45 total this year, to equal $48.29/month or $11.14/week even though I budget $100/month. I budgeted only $75/month for this category of spending in 2020. )
  5. Taxes and tax prep (Since I have my own side business, I have to pay quarterly taxes and pay for additional tax preparation help every year)

Here is the breakdown of everything I spent in the month of November:

Date Purchase Category Amount Day
11/3/2019 Kitchen Istanbul restaurant Food – eating out -$52.00 Sunday
11/4/2019 Patreon: PSGR, Ksenia Anske, Katie Wismer Charity/Art Support -$15.00 Monday
11/6/2019 Imperfect Foods Grocery Delivery Food – groceries -$25.75 Wednesday
11/7/2019 Hand & Stone Massage Health -$69.95 Thursday
11/8/2019 BIBI Mediterranean restaurant Food – eating out -$41.15 Friday
11/8/2019 QFC Grocery Store Food – groceries -$38.27 Friday
11/8/2019 The UPS store Gifts -$48.13 Friday
11/12/2019 NaNoWriMo Donation Charity/Art Support -$30.00 Tuesday
11/12/2019 AMC movie theatre popcorn Food – eating out -$10.54 Tuesday
11/12/2019 Trader Joe’s Grocery Store Food – groceries -$5.99 Tuesday
11/12/2019 Supplements Health -$90.77 Tuesday
11/13/2019 Pizza week Seattle pizza slices Food – eating out -$10.00 Wednesday
11/13/2019 Grocery Outlet Grocery Store Food – groceries -$8.94 Wednesday
11/15/2019 Gas from Costco Car Gas -$36.65 Friday
11/15/2019 Safeway Grocery Store Food – groceries -$30.99 Friday
11/19/2019 AMC movie theatre concessions Food – eating out -6.92 Tuesday
11/20/2019 Imperfect Foods Grocery Delivery Food – groceries -36.51 Wednesday
11/20/2019 GROCERY OUTLET Grocery Store Food – groceries -17.42 Wednesday
11/21/2019 IJ Sushi Burrito restaurant at the mall Food – eating out -27.7 Thursday
11/22/2019 Safeway Grocery Store Food – groceries -63.7 Friday
11/22/2019 TMOBILE*AUTO PAY 800-937-8997 WA Phone -18.68 Friday
11/24/2019 AMC movie theatre concessions Food – eating out -3.62 Sunday
11/25/2019 Safeway Grocery Store Food – groceries -$66.65 Monday
11/25/2019 Bartell Drug Grocery Store Food – groceries -$4.99 Monday
11/26/2019 Auto insurance Car Insurance -145.12 Tuesday
11/26/2019 Financial Coach Education -$150.00 Tuesday
11/26/2019 Pagliacci pizza restaurant Food – eating out -$28.61 Tuesday
11/27/2019 Gas from Costco Car Gas -$17.01 Wednesday
11/27/2019 AMC A-list Entertainment -$23.05 Wednesday
11/27/2019 Whole Foods Grocery Store Food – groceries -$8.33 Wednesday
11/27/2019 Trader Joe’s Grocery Store Food – groceries -$8.97 Wednesday
11/27/2019 Wa Secretary Of State LLC application Side Hustle Expenses -$200.00 Wednesday
11/29/2019 Holly Jolly Market tacos food truck Food – eating out -$16.00 Friday
11/29/2019 Local Market: lip balm, candle, scrub Housing/Consumables -$28.00 Friday
11/29/2019 Amzn Digital book purchase for review Writing -$11.00 Friday
11/30/2019 Rent payment Rent -$700.00 Saturday

My typical monthly spending will not include a payment to the WA secretary of state as this was a one-time expense. Future monthly spending will not include the $69.95 for a massage. I might have more expenses related to transportation, fitness, and gifts. I am working to reduce my monthly spending on food. I combine the category for housing and consumables and this category includes clothing, personal hygiene, laundry soap, etc. I’m able to keep these expenses close to $0 because I earn gift cards throughout the year that I can use to purchase these items.

2019 November Goals – Accountability, Check in, and 2020 Budget

Zero-Waste

I have a lot of household items to gift and sell and I’m slowly working through that pile. I was very happy to gift out half my jar collection so they can live another life before eventually being recycled. I went through all my remaining junk mail from the past two months and tried to get onto the do not mail lists for all of them. We receive so much junk mailing at this rental address!


Fitness

I’m ready to tackle another fitness challenge for the month of December after a very light November. I was thinking of adding in a daily focused workout that would be the same every Monday but different day-to-day. For instance I would do abs on Monday, squats on Tuesday, etc.

Here are my fitness stats for the month:

  1. Biking: 0 miles
  2. Pole classes: 3
  3. PSO volunteer: 1 shift as pole cleaner

Turkish language progress:

I now have 1,480 Anki cards. I’ve done 6,698 reviews. I have spent 6:49:08 reviewing with an average of 53 reviews per day. My grade is 71% C (same as last month).

I’m almost finished with Rosetta Stone! Unit 12 is much more difficult than the other units and I still have 6/39 left to complete. Then I’m moving on to my Memrise subscription.


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. I’m automating my money flow and prioritizing how I spend my money and where it goes. See this helpful post and chart from Reddit on how to prioritize spending your money:

I created my monthly and yearly budget for 2020 this month which I will probably share in my year-end financial breakdown. I also wrote down my financial goals:

Daily financial goals:

  •  To love what I buy and buy what I love

1-year financial goals:

  • Max out my Roth IRA, 401k, and HSA
  • Save and invest at least 50% of my income
  • Have 6-months living expenses worth of emergency savings

10-year financial goals:

  • Be a millionaire in combined assets, cash, retirement funds

I read a really good step-by-step finances book that I recommend:

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


Writing

I spent time every day until I hit 50k words this month writing for National Novel Writing Month. I even hosted write-ins on Mondays. I still have several chapters left to write in this draft and then I’ll probably switch gears and work on another project.

Don’t forget to come visit me this December at the following events:

12/07 at the Si View Holiday Bazaar in xx from 12PM – 4PM.

12/14 at the Artisan’s Holiday Faire at the Monroe Fairgrounds from 12:30PM – 4PM.

 


I made pies this year!

A pumpkin (both GF and regular flour) and an apple (both GF and regular flour).

I have seen more and more mushrooms out during my dog walks…

 


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!

Here is my October goal check in blog post!

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.