Yall, June was a monster. So much happened. I didn’t even post anything other than my May 2019 goals update last month because so much insanity was going on.
And clearly July isn’t any less insane, because I’ve neglected the blog altogether. Sorry about that! But I’m back to give you the lowdown on how things are going in my money and my life.
1) Spend less money & repay most of the consumer debt
Unfortunately, I had the unexpected expenses associated with going to a funeral across the country, so I did not in fact spend *less money* per se, but it was worth it.
In terms of my consumer debt, that is actually on the decline big time. I’m almostttt at the point where I’m not going to be cash-flowing the last month’s expenses anymore.. I will be able to pay current expenses. It’s going to be awesome!
Reducing my dining, grocery, travel and shopping expenses.
My new roommate moved in and we’ve done a good job of trying to eat at home instead of eating at restaurants and keeping the alcohol budget down. One night none of our friends could join us for dinner, so we ate dinner at the house before meeting friends at a bar later on. At least $40 saved by not getting sushi!
“Found Savings” has been super helpful.
One of the biggest things, though, is that I’ve started doing a “found savings” transfer every week or two. Angela at Tread Lightly, Retire Early and Erin at Reaching for FI do this and have talked about it on their blogs and social media. Basically any savings you achieve by deciding not to spend money *in the moment* or due to some kind of decrease (like my rent decrease due to a new roommate) goes directly into a savings account. Wanted coffee but didn’t get it? $4 in the savings account. Only ordered one glass of wine, but you wanted two? $12 to savings. Lawn mowing fee decreased $5 because of the extra roommate? $5 to savings! And so on.
Found Savings netted me $59 in the first two weeks I was doing it. This is a great way to help me rebuild my emergency fund more quickly after I spent a decent amount of it last month. I actually highly recommend trying this method if you’re trying to save a little extra money. Money you “save” in the moment doesn’t always find its way to your savings account, but with Found Savings, IT DOES!
Gym clothes splurges have been #worthit so far
I spent QUITE a good bit of money on clothes this month, including on gym clothes. First of all, end of June and early July are great times to look for items on sale, so it was a perfect time of year to get things I needed at a discount. Second of all, I *literally* haven’t bought a single item of gym clothing since law school which means my youngest workout clothes are ~6-7 years old. Spandex doesn’t keep that long, you guyssss. So I went shopping, but maximized discounts and cashback :)
Accept all somewhat reasonable Poshmark offers.
I accepted a $5 offer on something this week. It was definitely reasonable for the item, but that’s all the bites I’ve gotten in the past month. We’re probably going to have a yard sale in the next month or two, though, because I’m at the point that I just want to Get. Rid. of. Things.
(2) Build the blog (including monetization)
Re-upping this announcement because it’s STILL IMPORTANT: if you missed the Instagram announcement, e-mail subscribers will be receiving a template Mandatory Arbitration Rejection Letter. Chase recently updated its credit card and account terms to require arbitration in the event of any dispute (they sue you OR you sue them), but it offers the option to reject mandatory arbitration by sending a letter to a certain address. If you have Chase accounts, you probably got an email about it.
Mandatory arbitration means that you are agreeing to settle any legal disputes in arbitration rather than in court with a judge and/or jury. It prevents you from joining class action lawsuits and arbitration decisions are almost always non-appealable. These are, in my opinion, bad things for the average consumer (P.S. I am a lawyer, but I am not giving you legal advice and I am not your lawyer. Read my full disclosure HERE)
Anyway, I rejected the mandatory arbitration for my student loan refinance and I’m going to rejected the mandatory arbitration for my Chase accounts. Followers on Instagram voted that they’d love a copy of my letter in template form to use to reject their own mandatory arbitration clauses, so if you subscribe, it will arrive in an email immediately following your confirmation email! Hop on it!
(3) 50 Blog Posts
Not on track. But as I said, June was a rough month, so we are just going to have to see where this goes. I have TONS of post ideas and a few things in drafts, but getting things written has been such a challenge.
(4) 30 Minutes of Productive Screentime Daily
My productive screentime has been mostly in Givling and Duolingo in the past month. I’ve dabbled in dating app messaging, but have had so much going on, I didn’t commit to conversations and that went predictably poorly. I’ve done almost nothing with Poshmark. Except make that one sale (ha!)
I completed the Ruby League of the Duolingo competitive league, which is super exciting! I wonder how the app will motivate me to get my French in now…That said, I also lost my 71- or 72-day streak last week. To be honest, super streaks kind of freak me out, so I’m glad to get it out of the way. One of my life rules in general is that I don’t do *anything* on a TRULY daily basis because then it might become a compulsion and not just a habit, which isn’t healthy and yall know I’m all about healthy self-care.
Related Post | When Does Self-Care Become Self-Sabotage?
(5) Fewer than 5 hours/week of TV (except football season/sports)
Well….my roommates and I got on a Ted Bundy kick, I’ve been picking up a little bit of ER, and one roommate and I are re-watcing Sean Lowe’s season of The Bachelor (from 2013), so this isn’t going quite as planned. However, with the construction and the tragedy our friend faced (and which we helped them process), we’ve honestly just been checked out for the past couple of weeks.
(6) Read 12 books
Still reading The Happiness Advantage and contemplating why reading, something that has always made me ridiculously happy, has been giving me such anxiety in this last year or so. Has this happened to anyone else? How did you get out of the rut?
I also picked up Organizing Solutions for People With ADHD, a book my therapist suggested to help me streamline my life a bit in light of my focus issues. This isn’t from June, but since I’m already 3 weeks late, I’ll just admit that I’m reading two books at once and this is the one.
(7) Finish The Federalist Papers
Read 0 Federalist Papers this month.
(8) Walk my dog more (specifically: around the block almost every day at least once)
I was pretty good about this in June! And with the new roommate, he’s getting extra walks because she likes to take walks on her own and always takes the dog. He is the best boy!
(9) Work out 200 times this year
In June, I worked out 18 times! Since, again, I’m late on my posts here...I was on track for 178 workouts at the end of June and now I’m on track for 184 workouts as of posting, which is WAY up from the end of April, when I was on track for 165 workouts by the end of December. I think I can do this!
I’ve been trying to make up for my slow workout schedule earlier in the year, and the numbers are good evidence that it’s working. My ice cream/Oreo intake, on the other hand...
(10) Go to church 12 times (and preferably commit to one)
Not on track here. Didn’t even bring home church clothes when I visited my parents…
(11) $5,000 in Emergency Fund
This number is back to ~$2200 from its high of just over $4,000 a couple of months ago. I talked about its depletion last month and how I’m hopefully on track to start paying things down instead of cash-flowing the last month’s payments. It’s always more slow-going than expected on that, but I’m on track to keep this moving in the right direction.
(12) 1-2 new dates per month (unless I meet someone)
No dates in June either. I’ve been messaging a few people but if I’m being honest, it hasn’t been much of a priority. A lot happened in June that made this the bottom of my list.
I DID run into (1) Dr. Bad For Your Soul (with a new date and some of their friends), (2) a dude who cheated on his girlfriend with me (unbeknownst to me) HAVING HIS ENGAGEMENT PARTY TO HER, and (3) the wingman of another dude who was a mistake...all on the same night at the same restaurant/bar...so hey, dating is really paying dividends for me, amirite?
Now it’s almost August….
June was a whirlwind I hope to never repeat. But I did recently see something that said adulthood is constantly saying “after next week, things will slow down” so maybe I’m just destined to a crazy life forever?
Since most of July has already happened, I won’t tell you what I’m doing for July, but I will tell you that so far I’ve: had a V CHILL 4th of July, I visited my parents, got my dental work all finished, and achieved Gold Status for 2020 with American Airlines.
What are y’all working on for the rest of the summer? Share in the comments! And if you want the Mandatory Arbitration Rejection Template, don’t forget to subscribe! You have to have it in their hands at chase by August 9, so get on it! :)