Welcome to Q2, y’all!
March and the beginning of April was hectic with my final of 3 bridesmaid adventures for 2019 consuming most of my free time. First, there was a shower, then a Bachelorette party in mid-March and finally the wedding the first weekend of April! It was all so much fun, but VERY expensive.
To keep costs down a little bit, I stayed with friends for the April wedding weekend rather than in the wedding hotel, and I volunteered to be one of the “payers” on the bachelorette trip so that I could finish the minimum spend for my most recent credit card churn (the BarclayCard Arrival Plus, which I HIGHLY recommend!) - that helped me secured $800 in travel reimbursements on the card! It’s an incredible bonus.
On the other side of the cost equation, I also decided to fly instead of drive the <5 hours to the wedding destination because that return drive after a weekend of bridesmaiding and late nights would have been BRUTAL. Fortunately the flight was only ~$200. Unfortunately, almost everything that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong on both ends of the flight, so my brilliant plan to “fly in order to make my life a little bit easier” backfired BIG TIME. I sat waiting on a delayed flight for longer than it would have taken me to drive. But my intentions were good! Alas.
Anyway, the first 3 months of the year were super fun with all of my besties getting married, and once I finish buying their wedding gifts (because I am always late to everything, even gift-giving), I’ll be off the financial hook for weddings until next year...when another bestie is doing a destination wedding. One day maybe I will run out of friends who are getting married but it’s really hard to complain when you have so many wonderful people in your life.
Also...I BOOKED A TRIP TO PARIS! For Memorial Day weekend. One of my friends works for the tennis channel and will be doing the French Open while I’m there, so I will have a dinner buddy and a place to stay for part of the trip. I’m SO PUMPED. Paris is my favorite city on earth (as I’ve mentioned several times, I’m sure) and there can never be too many visits.
I’m devastated about Notre Dame, but pledged financing is already nearing $1B, so I’m hopeful its full restoration will come to pass. In the meantime, if you’re looking to donate to worthy causes involving church destruction, here’s a link to the GoFundMe to repair the 3 churches in Landry Parish, Louisiana that burned recently (authorities suspect racially motivated arson).
Financially, things have been steady. I’m still chasing some debt repayment (see below), BUT my (1) investments surpassed $60,000, (2) my emergency fund is nearing $,000, (3) my car loan is now less than the value of my car for the first time in my adult life (I KNOW, I KNOW), and (4) I sold >$250 on Poshmark last quarter! That’s a record. Oh and (5) I just received my ~$2,000 tax refund, which is awesome. I know some people consider tax refund to be an “interest-free loan to the government,” but I consider it forced savings for myself. I lose out on the interest I may have earned from having it throughout the year, but for me, the lump sum makes it much easier for me to allocate to debt or financial goals than a trickle of $180/mo would.
My roommate is adding a third bedroom to our house, so we’ll have a third roommate pretty soon. She’s a friend I know I could live with or I wouldn’t have agreed to a second roommate, but that will decrease my rent a little bit and of course decrease our variable and fixed house expenses since they’ll be split 3 ways instead of only one!
Finally, my boss has given me the green light to do client development of my own, which means I can take potential clients to dinner, drinks, nails, etc. and the firm will reimburse me! Young associates don’t usually have this benefit, so it’s nice that I’m now in that range of experience. I also have a couple of potential clients on deck, and I convinced my firm to give associates 10% of any client fees they originated, so I am super excited all around. Also - ASK FOR THINGS. Do not be a shrinking violet!
Now, onto my overall monthly goals breakdown:
Here’s a breakdown of each goal and how well I did with it:
(1) Spend less money & repay most of the consumer debt
I’m doing ok on this. Definitely spending less than I make, but I haven’t reduced the overall consumer debt load THAT much. I know what my tax return will be going to this year. Womp.
Budgeting for real.
I’ve mailed it in on this one for the moment. I’m sort of rotating paying off a couple of credit cards before they accrue interest (cashflowing a LOT these days), and until I’m finished with that, it’s honestly too much for my brain to handle. After the next ~2 paychecks, I’ll be set to increase my 401k contributions back to normal levels and pay down these debts without having to cashflow other spending. (Remember when I promised I didn’t have my life totally together? Yup. Real.)
I’m also about to have two very expensive dental procedures which is just horrifying. $1500-2000 I did not want to spend this year. Kind of like my $1500 laptop last year….turns out adulting seems to have these kinds of expensive issues annually. Emergency funds are necessary.
Reducing my dining, grocery, travel and shopping expenses.
My Bridesmaid Quarter has come to a close, and I survived mostly intact. I stayed with friends instead of a hotel for the last wedding and avoided almost all purchases for the weekend! Just a couple of coffees and drinks.
Accept all somewhat reasonable Poshmark offers.
Guys, I have tried to negotiate on 2 semi-reasonable offers and lost out both times. Total would have been ~$65! Someone slap me, please.
(2) Build the blog (including monetization)
One of my followers made several purchases through my Amazon affiliate link, so I’ve made $8.01 on my blog. I’m super excited! Planning to add some other tasteful ads and such to the site in the next few weeks.
(3) 50 Blog Posts
Not on track. Can’t win ‘em all.
(4) 30 Minutes of Productive Screentime Daily
Today I listed 5 things on Poshmark! For some reason, this is a dreadful exercise. If I had more expensive items, I’d totally hire someone to do it. I hate it that much. A lot of them are sets of similar items, so I’m hoping that will help me eliminate more items faster (and lower-priced items probably sell better in groups because people will pay $15-20 for 4 basic shirts + shipping but not $5 + shipping for one...am I right on this Poshers?).
Duolingo French has taken somewhat of a back seat, but I’ve been trying to do that during my walks with the dog. And now that I’ve BOOKED A FLIGHT TO PARIS for Memorial Day, I need to pick up the pace! I also braved the dating apps again the past two weeks and have a dating update at the end of the goals list!
(5) Fewer than 5 hours/week of TV (except football season/sports)
This hasn’t been as hard as expected! I think for the most part I’ve been on track with this. The past few weeks have seen a couple of binge days, but one day was a torrential downpour, so that doesn’t count, right? Overall I’m watching SO much less TV than I was last year.
(6) Read 12 books
Still reading Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering Amazon by Tim Keller, but I’m in the final portion of the book, so I should be finishing soon! There are several books on deck and I haven’t decided what’s next, but you should post book suggestions in the comments!
(7) Finish The Federalist Papers
I’m through 22 right now. Definitely not on track, but I’m making progress!
(8) Walk my dog more (specifically: around the block almost every day at least once)
I’ve been hit or miss with this, but with the weather improving overall and the later sunsets, it’s been getting better! I’ve taken him around the block 3 times today (and they’re big blocks!). My roommate also likes to take him on walks when she takes walks, so he’s definitely getting some good exercise.
(9) Work out 200 times this year
I’ve worked out 47 times through 3 ½ months, so I’m a little off track but I think I can gain ground and hopefully get in 200 by the end of the year. The past 3 months have been crazy with bridesmaid stuff for 3 weddings, so honestly I’m impressed I’ve done this well.
(10) Go to church 12 times (and preferably commit to one)
I’ve been to church twice this year (yikes), but twice to the same one. One of my FAVORITE pastors, Tim Keller, was speaking, so obviously I had to go. I’m going to visit this one again when the senior pastor is speaking, because I think I might really like it. I just don’t love the contemporary service which is basically necessary to attend if you also want to go to the Young Adult Sunday School class, which I would.
(11) $5,000 in Emergency Fund
I’m up to $3,829.09 as of publication - but I’m about to have to have my bridge replaced and another bonded tooth repaired (thank God for modern dentistry though; if it were the 1600s, or maybe even the 1900s, I’d be missing a tooth in the front of my mouth and THAT couldn’t have helped my marriage prospects. I’d have been an Old Maid in a time when Old Maids weren’t acceptable...instead of currently being an old maid in a time when it IS acceptable?)
(12) 1-2 new dates per month (unless I meet someone)
Well. I went out with the doctor twice more, so I accomplished my monthly goal...but I sent him packing after he told me “The Bachelor is Bad For Your Soul” completely unironically. He also talked badly to me about other girls he’d been out with (one of whom is a friend of a friend and he gave identifiable information about her!!!)
I also went out with a guy earlier this week and he was shorter than his advertised height by 2”, his pictures were more attractive than he was, and he was generally just a tool. Not a bad guy; I didn’t hate him. I think he was insecure and projecting that with name-dropping and peacocking, so I tried to cut him some slack. Just won’t be going out again. It’s honestly exhausting and I get anxiety just thinking about meeting new people.
April Showers (are actually here!)
Seriously y’all, we’ve had some INSANE storms this month. I’ve left my car in my work parking garage to avoid hail because the storms have been so bad. Speaking of that, LOCK YOUR CARS! My gym bag got stolen out of my car at work last week and now I’m having to replace my running shoes and some yoga pants. (I lock my car but my key hasn’t been working properly so sometimes it doesn’t lock and I don’t realize it…) Fortunately my Beats weren’t in there, but it still sucks to lose the bag and workout clothes/shoes. That’s money I did NOT want to spend.
Anyway, April so far has been good and I’m looking forward to sharing those updates with you soon! How are you guys doing on your goals? Share in the comments!