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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:01 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
Things have been pretty boring, so boring I skipped last week again.

Down payment - $1,201.55/$30,000 (-800)
Roth - $1100/$5,000 by April 2013 (+100)
Lawn - $200/$600 by September 14
Laptop/tech fund - $50/$1000
House - $0/$1000

I transferred $1000 of my down payment account into my new business checking account. I hope to replace it before the end of the year and add to it from business income as well.

And now for other goal progress:
FISCAL
-Roll over my puny TSP into an IRA. RECONSIDERING I'm not sure if this is actually what I want to do. There isn't enough in there to buy into a mutual fund so I'll either have to contribute to the new IRA or invest in stocks or ETFs, which I don't know enough about at this point. More research is needed.
-Get an app into the Android store by the end of August. Any income made will go to debt and down payment savings.
----Probably not going to make the goal, especially since I'll be camping for the last few days of the month. Ok, even if I wasn't camping I probably wouldn't make it, but I do think I'm making decent progress for a side project using essentially a new language. I'd say my next apps are going to be easier, except the next game I want to work on is going to require even more study and work to do the animations.
-Take my lunch to work 3-4 times a week. - IN PROGRESS. Same as before. I do it, I don't. Lately it's been more don't as I'm more focused on other priorities.

NON-FISCAL
-Make an exercise plan, then follow it - IN PROGRESS I haven't quite gotten into a routine but I'm moving in the right direction.
-Set a schedule for my free time and stick to it - IN PROGRESS It's all about the priorities. Tonight I have to finish getting some stuff ready for an archery event tomorrow, then I have to get stuff ready for camping, while working on the Android app and getting in some overtime to make up for the days I'm taking off later this month, all while keeping my house from looking like a total disaster, playing with and exercising the dogs, etc etc. Fortunately I like being busy.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:43 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
Same old, same old. I pulled $500 out of savings to pay for some emergency vet bills for one of the dogs (he'll be fine). Otherwise I'm saving and paying on schedule.

Down payment - $1,102.15/$30,000 (down because of vet bill)
Roth - $1400/$5,000 by April 2013
Lawn - $250/$600 by September 14
Laptop/tech fund - $50/$1000
House - $0/$1000

I haven't done a lot of extra time, just a few hours here and there, but since my team of 6 is now down to 4 I'm glad I haven't since I probably won't have much choice for the next few months. In fact I took half of last week off so I could go camping, making this next check a small one, but August was a 5 check month so there won't be any strain on my checking account.

Since I'm going to be busier at work I'll have less time to work on my Android app, therefore I don't know when that will get done. I'm definitely going to finish it, I've done too much already to let it die.

Still haven't decided what to do with the TSP.

I recently realized I've gained maybe 5 pounds since I started working a desk job last year. It isn't much, and my clothes still fit, but I don't want to get to the point where it is an issue before I start doing something about it so I have even more motivation to exercise regularly now. Once again I've started settling into a routine, hopefully I'll be sticking with it for more than a few weeks this time. I might even get a trainer once a week just to keep me on track.

In the rush to get ready for my camping trip I haven't even tried taking my lunch. Now that I'm back I'll have to get back to that.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:08 am 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
It's been a fun few weeks. I've finally accepted that it's going to take more than a year to save up my down payment so I got a security system for the house. I'm just not making enough, which I knew before I just didn't want to admit. Also, in the past two months I've spent over $1000 on vet bills and it's reduced the amount I was able to save. Like I said, lots of fun. I also went through my records and discovered that in a 6 week period I spent $200 on fast food. I'm now on a cash budget for fast food.

And so, the current totals are:
Down payment - $2,302.73/$30,000
Roth - $1900/$5,000 by April 2013
Lawn - $250/$600 (project on hold pending weather and schedule compatibility)
Laptop/tech fund - $50/$1000
House - $0/$1000

Still haven't decided what I'm going to do with the old TSP. Haven't even thought about it.

Android app is still progressing. I'm already planning out the next one but I won't let myself start it until the first one is done.

As I mentioned before I'm on a cash budget for fast food/general eating out. If I don't have the cash and didn't cook, I'll have to eat Chef Boyardee. I still hate cooking and don't expect that to change, but then I don't exactly enjoy sweeping and mopping either and I still do it - if I didn't my two dogs would grow a third.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:37 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:57 am
Posts: 378
catchingup wrote:
As I mentioned before I'm on a cash budget for fast food/general eating out. If I don't have the cash and didn't cook, I'll have to eat Chef Boyardee. I still hate cooking and don't expect that to change, but then I don't exactly enjoy sweeping and mopping either and I still do it - if I didn't my two dogs would grow a third.


Know what you mean about dog hair. My dog (RIP) used to shed big wads of fur that would drift across the room like tumbleweeds.

As for the cooking, what worked miracles for me was a year's subscription to Cook's Illustrated. They test recipes until they're foolproof and then explain how it all works. All you have to do is follow the directions and it usually turns out well -- plus they size the recipes for a family, so if you're single, like me, you have some leftovers and don't have to cook as often!!!! (Major bonus, if you ask me.) I've learned more recipes from CI that I use over and over than from any other source. Also, I cut down on my eating out by setting up a routine: I typically try to cook one big thing on the weekends so I can have leftovers for at least a couple of nights, take myself out for supermarket sushi on Wednesdays, and then have something really easy to throw together Thursday night that gives me leftovers for Friday (such as shrimp and pasta and frozen veggies, mixed with some sort of prepared sauce like Thai or curry).

Cecily


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:43 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
Yep, tumbleweeds sounds about right. They merge with the dustbunnies hiding behind and under furniture to create a new hybrid of grime.

Unfortunately, I'm a very picky eater so most of the time I look at recipes is spent filtering out those that rely on ingredients I don't like, steps that I don't want to hassle with like frying, etc. Once I find one to try I am pretty good at following recipes, my parents made sure I had a decent knowledge of cooking before I left the house. I'm also quite content to eat a bowl of cereal for dinner, some nights I'll just eat a "meal bar", which is another obstacle to cooking - if I'm not hungry I don't think about preparing a full meal.

And I never cook a single batch of anything. Except oatmeal. And popcorn :)


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:03 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:36 pm
Posts: 8
Lucky you on learning to cook before you left the house!! My mother is an excellent cook, so I never bothered to learn. Big mistake. I'm starting to learn now!

I feel your pain on the vet bills, I have two very crazy Boston Terriers... :P

~*Val*~
http://thealmostgrownupblog.blogspot.de/

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~*Val*~

My 20's financial/ lifestyle blog: http://thealmostgrownupblog.blogspot.de/


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:19 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
Heh, I didn't have a choice in learning to cook. As soon as I was old enough not to hurt myself (too often) my parents made sure I was included in meal prep regularly. Then they started assigning part of the meal to me, usually a side dish. Then they'd tell me that I was making dinner tomorrow and that I should have it ready by 6. When I was in high school they tried to make it so that I'd do dinner on Monday one week, then my sister did dinner the next Monday, then my brothers, rinse repeat etc, but our schedules were too erratic to keep that up for long. They also made sure I could read and follow a recipe. Then, the first year I was out of the house my mom gave me a bunch of cooking stuff for my birthday.

I finally broke down and purchased a rice cooker that doubles as a slow cooker. I've used it twice already and the result is way better than the store brand Minute Rice I was using. I haven't experimented with slow cooking yet, need to find a good recipe first.

The whole vet drama is courtesy of what was undiagnosed hypothyroidism - aggression led to a fight that led to a serious injury, separation anxiety led to getting into the pantry and eating the baker's chocolate, etc. I'm taking the dog back to the vet for hopefully one more test to make sure we have the correct dosage, then things should get back to normal, although I'll have to increase my pet budget a bit to pay for the pills.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:15 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:50 am
Posts: 98
Sounds like you're well under way with your money plan. It's the non fiscal ones that seem hardest?

If you really want to lose that 5lbs but can't get your butt moving (like me and millions of others) you might want to look at what you're eating. Eating more healthy will have a bigger effect on your weight than exercise and if you know what & how much you're eating you'll also be more motivated to bring a lunch rather than eat something unhealthy.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:51 am 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
Actually, for me exercise has the greater effect rather than diet. And while I haven't settled into an actual exercise routine I have managed to up my activity enough that my clothes are fitting as they did before. In fact I tried on a pair of pants that were almost too tight last winter and they now fit just fine.

I don't know why I keep trying to do the exercise routine thing, my sleep disorder makes it hard enough to work 9-5, trying to make a persistent schedule on top of that is just setting myself up for failure. But every once in a while I get that bug in my head...


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5398
catchingup wrote:
I don't know why I keep trying to do the exercise routine thing, my sleep disorder makes it hard enough to work 9-5, trying to make a persistent schedule on top of that is just setting myself up for failure. But every once in a while I get that bug in my head...


I don't have any sleep disorders so maybe this is off base. But I know that when I run in the evening I have trouble falling asleep right away even hours later. But if I swim, I sleep like a baby. Sometimes I bike, lift weights, or stretch as well and none of those seem to have much influence on my sleep either way.

Maybe trying a different kind of exercise or doing it at a different time will help.

I also used to take a brisk 2-3 mile walk at lunch every day. It was a good way to get in some exercise without getting all sweaty in the middle of the day. I am planning on starting that up again at the beginning of December.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:46 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
I wish it was that simple, I really do, but I've tried lots of conventional - and unconventional - means to help with my sleep issues but none have worked. And I do take a lot of walks already, I have two large dogs and it isn't unusual to go three miles with them through the neighborhood. I also like to take an afternoon break at work and walk around the block, in fact that's what I'd like to be doing now but silly me when I checked the weather and saw that today's high was 42 I decided to just take my jacket. I didn't think to see what time we'd be hitting the high, which was sometime early this morning so it's colder now than it was when I left and I'm not dressed appropriately.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5398
I was just trying to help! I realize different things work for different people.

Personally I can't drink tea in the evening but coffee is no problem. So I have some reaction to something in tea that is not caffeine...

Maybe if you try avoiding various foods/etc you might find that avoiding something helps. Or maybe not.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:36 am 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
Heh, I just reread what I wrote, I was pretty frustrated because I hadn't slept which made me cranky, and I wanted to get and go take a walk but I couldn't because of said idiocy :)

Update: I've been lazy. My transfers are setup to move money automatically. Thanks to the aforementioned sleep issues I haven't worked as many hours as I should have this month so I haven't bothered trying to save any extra, especially with the Christmas shopping season here. I haven't updated my spreadsheet in a few weeks. I almost forgot to make a car payment but managed to get it in on time.

I made a big, unnecessary purchase last weekend. I bought a new pair of speakers, thinking that the left speaker on my old pair was dead. Nope, the issue was the receiver, so I bought a new receiver as well. I seriously considered taking the speakers back but they're so, so, so much better than my old ones, which came from a shelf stereo unit I bought in high school. When I play music I can hear new harmonies and everything is clearer and richer at the same time. Plus, the speakers were half off so I only paid $450+tax instead of $900. I'm not a total sound snob but I am an audiophile, and I've been wanting to upgrade my system for a while but haven't been able to pull the trigger. I finally got fed up with the dead channel and decided to do something about it. I was a bit of an idiot in assuming it was the speakers - I know how to troubleshoot tech issues but didn't bother - but have I mentioned how great these things sound? They're more than I wanted to spend but when I was at the store listening to everything they had available to demo they were the speakers that called to me, I'll be using these for years to come.

Ski season is here! I have my pass and gear, I'm just waiting for more runs to open. My goal is to go at least 15 days, preferably 20.

On a related note, open season for my benefits ends tonight. The premiums for my current plan are going up to $400/month so I'll probably switch to the high deductible/HSA plan they're now offering. I'm generally healthy so it shouldn't be a problem, but for some reason I'm reluctant to switch over.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:28 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
And my procrastination strikes again... today I was looking at the new premiums for health insurance through work (again) and they struck me as high - I'm pretty sure my employer contributes nothing. This time I had the idea of looking up how much it would cost to get insurance on my own and sure enough, online quotes were much lower for similar policies. Now, if I'd thought to apply a couple of weeks ago when the new rates were released I'd know for sure how much I could get on my own. Instead I have to decide if I go for the sure thing, the somewhat overpriced plan through work or gamble on finding something cheaper on my own. Sure, I'm generally healthy but I do have a couple of preexisting conditions which I don't receive care for and who knows what the health insurance company will make of them.

I'll probably go with the policy through work. Those minor but still present preexisting conditions are likely to throw a big wrench in the insurance plan. I have 2.5 hours to decide.


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 Post subject: Re: Time to set goals
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:07 am 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
Since I do manage my budget carefully I am able to afford the occasional luxury. To some, a sound system is a silly thing to spend a lot of money on. To me, it's well worth it - as I mentioned before I'm an audiophile so having quality sound while listening to music is important to me (typed while sitting on my $80 craigslist futon). Sure, I could postpone doing the things I truly enjoy - music, skiing, etc - but postponing life so I could retire early doesn't appeal to me.


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