Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Wrap Up

I posted at the beginning of the month my goals for January which would set the tone for 2010. The first two weeks went fine. Then my office move happend and in the past two weeks I have worked about 100 hours. Moving on.


Financial (Budget vs Actual)
  • Income $4160.90 - $4121.11

  • Bills $2092.20 - $2075.12

  • Loan Payments $835.43 - $735.94 (no Porsche payment)

  • Credit Card Payments $600.08 - $285.24 (two emergencies but did pay off one card)

  • Groceries $250 - $362.17

  • Gas $280 - $264.50 (pretty good for not carpooling and me having to fill up more often due to more miles driven to and from work)

  • Mad Money $813 ($63 coffee) - $1221.93 (coffee $71.82) (due to emergency vet visit and new laptop purchase)

  • Savings $300 - ($429) (yes that is a negative number due to vet visit and new laptop purchase)

Health Budget vs Actual

  • Walk 5 times - 3 (illness and conflicting schedule which I rarely let happen)

  • Wii fit 8 times - 1

  • 30 Day Shred 4 times - 1

  • Water 8 glasses a day - did not track

  • Fruits & Veggies 5 servings a day - did not track

Personal Budget vs Actual


  • Go through closet - nope

  • Go through bags lined up in bedroom - nope

  • Plan DVD storage - nope

  • Plan mantle & hearth - nope

  • Baseboard molding in living room - nope

  • Make one item for Steampunk wardrobe - yep

So clearly I have not met a lot of my other goals this month. Wow, can't believe how quickly the days go by! I am going to actually write my goals down on my calendar in the kitchen so I can be accountable.

We did have some "emergencies" this month that were unexpected and we did not have the savings to cover all of. The vet visit for the dog we took out of savings. The laptop purchase went on a credit card and we are paying that off with our tax return.

February goals to come tomorrow!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Polyvore

For all you creative types out there I have re discovered a fun way to create colages for fashion and decorating. Click on over to Polyvore and create something of your own (please note the photo below is not my own creation).


The great thing about Polyvore is you can be directed to sites for the items in the photos and buy them yourselves. Don't you hate it when you see something on TV or in a movie or in a magazine and want to know where to get it and can't find it? It's also a great way to discover new products and designers. I love the boots in the photo above and now know where to get them. They are not available at the moment but I will keep looking!
I have been surfing the net in the wee hours of the morning trying to find inspiration for a Steampunk outfit for myself. Tomorrow is the second of two photo shoots with my Steampunk group the Seattle Steamrats. I had intended to make an outfit but I ran out of time due to lots of hours at work in the last two weeks and other factors.

I honestly want to participate and am determined to go out today in search of a few acoutrements to get a passable outfit by tomorrow. I might have to borrow my husbands Rocketeer style leather jacket. If need be I have pants and shoes that can be worn "in a pinch" so its really all about the acoutrements.

The hubs went to the Goodwill a few weeks ago and found this GRAT lamp part that I want incorporated in to a raygun. Wish me luck!



Friday, January 29, 2010

One Credit Card Down

Just a quick post - paid off credit card number one today. I will update my budget and monthly spending this weekend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Overwhelm


Apparently I am unhappy - according to my husband.

Today I worked at my J.O.B. for 12 hours. I am a salaried employee so that pretty much means the more I work, the less per hour I make. I am completely swamped and there seems to be no end in sight. My quality of life in the last two weeks has diminished. I wake up, eat, shower, drive to work, work 9 to 11 hours, drive home, eat, sleep. I am a really exciting and fun person to be around right now.

Problem is, I have thrown all my resolutions out the window by just trying to get through the day. I am exhausted. I am cranky. I am miserable.

I am frustrated because I have been trying to sew a Steampunk outfit for a Calender shoot this Sunday. Folks, its just not gonna happen.

Now, I can sew and sew well. I have make ski jackets and formal dresses. Problem is I am lumpy and sewing for a lumpy body requires alterations of patterns and garments. I just don't have that kind of time and am so tired my eyes burn.

Something has got to give. I need to put myself first. I need to say no to the Calendar shoot even though it is going dissappoint people. I am desperately looking for a way to find balance. I need to learn to say "no".
My thoughts are jumbled and rambling but I just needed to put something down on virtual paper. Maybe things will look better in the morning - at oh dark thirty!




Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Steampunk Blog

A fellow blogger the hubs and I follow has started a new blog called Steampunk Genereation. Run over and check him out!

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Laptop

Our new laptop arrived today. Three days early I might add. I takes a little getting used to typing on a smaller keyboard as well as Windows 7. Right now I have it sitting on our comuter shelf and keep pulling out the keyboard to our PC expecting that to work on the laptop. HeHe

I'm glad my husband ordered one with a ten key. Working in accounting I would be lost without that. A couple weeks ago I had a work laptop to use while I worked from home for two days and it did not have a ten key - AGONY!

So, I am back online at home and will be back to normal posting soon. I have some sewing to accomplish by the end of Saturday for a photo shoot Sunday.

We accidentally ordered the incorrect router so we are hooked up via an ethernet cable at the moment. I can't wait to be wireless and have my dining room back! It will take a while because we have to get our PC fixed so the kids can use it to get online. They will not be allowed to use our laptop because one of them surfed where they were not supposed to and adquired a worm.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We Interrupt This Blog....

Just a quick note to let you know my computer crashed and I am without internet for some reason until I can get that corrected.

We have ordered a new computer which was budgeted for this month and will receive it in the next couple of weeks. Until then blogging will be limited.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Are You A Writer?


I have this idea for a book and have wanted to write it for at least two years. I was emailing with a friend today and I kind of accidentally expanded on my book idea so now I am excited and inspired again but I don't know where to start.

I think I am one of those people that needs to research and make an outline so I have a basic structure to my book. A kind of road map to where I am going. I also think I need to read a few books and re watch a few movies that share similarities with the theme of my book. The book is complete fiction and it has a message.

I know I am being very vague but I don't want to tell too much because I don't really know where I am going yet with it. I guess I should just jump in with both feet. So...........

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mid Month Update

Today was my last day in our Seattle office. For the next two days I will be working remotely as we have our office moved to Redmond.

This means that the hubs and I can't carpool any more. I have budgeted in an extra $35 for the last two weeks of the month for gas for the hubs. I have not budgeted extra for myself even though the drive is an additional 11 miles each way. The hubs car get's really good gas mileage so we "think" he will not have to fuel up every week and it will even out. We will see how it plays out.

Tomorrow I plan to get up at my regular time and work out to Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. A 20 minute killer workout. Friday morning it will be The Firm. Since I don't have to commute those two days I plan to be on my work laptop by seven after a shower and walking the dog of course. This is all in preparation for next week when I hope to get up by 5:30 and do Jillian Michaels or 20 minutes of Wii Fit before a shower and heading off to work.

So far this month I am pretty on track for my budget. The numbers below represent what I have budgeted up to this point, not the entire month. I have paid all bills that were due by now and as far as coffee and groceries go...

Coffee - Budgeted $28 - Actual $26.02 ($1.98 under budget)
Groceries - Budgeted $100 - Actual $108.98 ($8.98 over budget)

We have had a few surprises this month. The hubs needed to take his car back in to get more service work done - $3400 which we had to use a credit card for. Not happy about that.

The dog had weepy eyes last weekend so I took him in to the vet and this is day five of his eye medication. That was an unexpected $111.41.

Our computer is not doing well so we have budgeted to get a laptop this month and place less on our credits cards. We will still have one card paid off as planned.

Friday, January 8, 2010

An Actual Weekend Away


My husband and I will be celebrating our 6 year wedding anniversary in April. Ever since we got married we had always planned to take a weekend trip for our anniversary. We did it in year 1 but have not since.


Yesterday I booked two nights at the McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, Oregon. The package we got was two nights, $60 credit for dinner and $20 credit for breakfast for $185. That is a heck of a deal in my opinion!
There are a few things we want to do while we are down there but mostly just relax and pretend we are on the Italian Rivera.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Obsession of the Week - Dreadlocks

Last September the hubs, our neighbor and I went to see 9 with my local Steampunk group. Having just joined and not owning any Steamy clothing or our own we still went to the movie with the group. While in line I saw a gal who was definitely more Punk than Steam with her hair in two messy buns worn high on her head. Her hair was in black and blue dreadlocks and it looked awesome!

I love the Victorian era clothing that Steampunk is all about but I really want a few things to make my look a little more Punk so I am determined to make my own pair from wool roving. The gal below I found on a forum. This is kind of the idea of what I am going for.

I can buy manufactured dreads at a site called Ragdolly or I can choose from tons of colors to buy and make my own. I love the colorway below but I would do brown instead of black cause my natural hair color is brown. These are not as "messy" as I would like and pretty spendy at $80 for one. I would need two.

I think I will look at trying to make my own out of brown roving. The contrast color I want to do is peacock blue and green. I like the way these dreads look below and how they incorporate some industrial elements in to them.

Dreads seem to pop up in Steampunk more often than not.

Even for men.

Now its off to the yarn sites to price roving! Sounds like a trip to my LYN this weekend is in order too!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jake is Feeling Better

So, first official day of the new year for me. Back on the weight loss bandwagon and back on the "follow my budget" bandwagon.

Already there is news of the not so good nature. We found out today the little leak we had in the hubs new (to him) car is going to cost another $3400. We have not even paid my dad for the car yet (hoping he reduces the purchase price do to the extensive repairs we have made thus far).

We have christened the car Jake from the movie Sixteen Candles. If you remember, Jake was the name of the guy Molly Ringwald's character was in love with (BTW - photo above is not our actual car but the same make, model and color). Our savings will not cover this repair so we will have to utilize our credit card. Not too happy about that!

On a good note, so far this week the coffee budget was $14 and I have spent $5.05. Whoohoo! I returned a couple small items at the fabric store which I was able to use for most of my coffee purchase after my Sunday walk and for our coffee tonight we had a free one coming to us on the punch card. I just wish I had been told there was a .50 charge for debit transactions under $5. If I had known I would have waited to use my freebie when I had cash.

I also still have $5.84 left in my grocery budget and $1 left in my gas budget for the week - but its only Monday.

Exciting news in the world of condo decorating. We will be purchasing baseboard molding to finish up the living room and have figured out a plan to move forward on the hearth and mantle redo. Photos and update to come soon!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 2010 Goals

Yesterday I posted about my year 2010 goals. In order to make them I need to break them down in to much smaller monthly bites.

Financial

Starting Balance = $762.27
Income = $4106.90
Bills = $2092.20
Loan Payments = $835.43
Credit Card Payments = $600.08 (one credit card paid off)
Grocery Budget = $250
Gas Budget = $280
Mad Money = $813 ($63 for coffee)
Save = $300 (laptop fund)

Health

Walk - 5 times
Wii Fit - 8 times
Jillian Michaels - 4 times
Water - 8 glasses a day
Fruits & Veggies - 5 servings a day

Personal

Go through closet
Go through bags lined up in bedroom
Plan DVD storage
Plan mantle & hearth
Baseboard molding in living room
Make one item for Steampunk wardrobe

The hubs and I had a good talk about our budget and what Dave Ramsey would call being "Gazelle Intense" when it comes to paying down debt. Basically, being Gazelle Intense means getting $1000 in savings and then putting ALL extra money towards your debt. We have tried that, more or less, for the past two years and have fell short every month. We are just not ready to give up some of the things that mean being Gazelle Intense.

We are still committed to being debt free, our path is just going to be a little longer due to budgeting some fun in our lives. The difference is we will be conscious of how we are spending our money and when we need to use a credit card. With the pressure off a bit I think we can succeed.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Living an Authentic Life

Authenticity refers to the truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, devotion, and intentions. 2010 is all about living my authentic life.

In December I worked too much and hemorrhaged money in order to fulfill the commercialism of the holiday and am really ready to move on to a New Year. I am giving serious thought to taking a vacation over the holidays next year to somewhere nice and warm.

I have not been the best about keeping my goals in front of me and I resolve to do much better in the coming year. The course of my life is screaming for a change and the only way that will happen is by changing the way I do things.

So without further ado here are the year end numbers...

Savings - $568.48
Cash on Hand - $762.27
Retirement - $18,841.51 (combined yikes)
Home Value - $175,000.00
Mortgage Debt - $149,103.27
Loan Debt - $34,121.25
Credit Card Debt - $4,633.40

Total Net Worth $7,314.34

Goals for the coming year.....

Financial
  • Savings - $3000.00
  • Retirement - $22,500.00 (combined yikes)
  • Home Value - $185,000.00 (unless we buy a new house)
  • Mortgage Debt - $148,000.00
  • Loan Debt - $24,600.00
  • Credit Card Debt - $0
Total Net Worth - $37,900.00 (not including cash on hand)

Personal
  • Take a real vacation (fly to somewhere warm)
  • Revamp blog
  • Learn Italian (CD's in the car while commuting)
  • Get down to goal weight
  • Finish all condo projects
  • Buy a house (this is tentative)
  • Create a Steampunk wardrobe
  • Work on career change
  • Declutter
So far today I have gotten all of the Christmas decorations down and they are all sitting on my dining room table. I want to get that put away by the weekend. I have already made minimum payments on four of my five credit cards and balanced the checkbook. To meet my health goal for the year I want to sit down and make out a grocery list so I can shop for healthy food for the week.

I think I will buy myself a notebook to use as a journal for the year. This will be where I can put my lists of things that need to get done etc. Seeing the numbers above makes me realize even more how important it is to get out of debt and increase our retirement savings.

Here is to 2010!