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


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.


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?


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!

Nano November: Halloween and other Costumed Parties

Remember all my costumes from 2015?

Zombie Waldo made an appearance with a second zombie Waldo this year for Thrill the World in Redmond, WA on Saturday the 28th! This time, with two of us – we took home second place.

We had a few zombie cocktails! Marriot had a fun cocktail with dyed sugar and skull candies, but my favorite tasting cocktail was from BJ’s – the Beetlejuice (like a Tokyo tea). Thanks to Pecado Bueno for the excellent chicken tacos we got (free) with the Thrill the World coupons. See the official video Here.

One of my dance studios had a party Friday October 27th and I went with my sister. I had on two costumes. Do you know who I am?


The final celebrations took place on Halloween! I dressed up as a lion with my sister and we visited some of our old childhood homes as trick or treaters.


As a National Novel Writing Participant, Halloween has become even more of an event for me as at the end of the night kickoff begins. I, however, was asleep by 11pm

Nano November: Hallonanoween and other Costumed Parties


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I love costumes! My first “Halloween” costume of 2015 was my zombie Waldo for Thrill the World Redmond, WA. Though I didn’t win any prizes, I got to practice my zombie stare/zombie grunts/zombie walk/ and perform the Thriller with a bunch of other thrillingly dressed zombies. I also helped volunteer for the event. I plan on doing it all again next year!

Paul and Rachel made up as Derick Zoolander and Mugatu for a costume party.

For the Black Cat Bash in Seattle Studio 7 Paul and I dressed as Derek Zoolander and Mugatu. No, we didn’t win any costume contests here either, but we had such a fun time! It was a fun costume to craft and I love couple’s costumes!

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The third celebration was at Liquid Lime on 10/28, where I wore this funky number!

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The fourth and fourth and final celebrations took place on Halloween! As a National Novel Writing Participant, Halloween has become even more of an event for me as at the end of the night our kickoff begins. This year, as I’m in three different regions, I went to the kickoff party for Everett/Snohomish on Halloween during the day. The Hallonanoween celebration at St. James saw the second viewing of my donuts costume for the official Seattle event.

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I also wore the costume for the Time Warp re-kickoff for North Bend/Snoqualmie on the first of November at Fall City Roadhouse. I will wear this outfit to EVERY write in I attend! Yes to getting full money’s worth out of a sub ten dollar costume!

Photo by Sheri J. Kennedy

Photo by Sheri J. Kennedy