Motivation: Part 1

How 12 months of savings adds up!
Saving $50/month = $600
Saving $100/month = $1,200
Saving $200/month = $2,400
Saving $250/month = $3,000
Saving $300/month = $3,600
Saving $400/month = $4,800
Saving $500/month = $6,000
Saving $600/month = $7,200
Saving $750/month = $9,000
Saving $1,000/month = $12,000

I didn’t add up all the posibilities of savings, but sometimes it helps to just take a look at those posibilities.

Saying “No” is becoming easier and easier. Prioritize. If people drop off your friends list, etc because you are committing to better yourself, then so be it. Get rid of the negative, non-supportive folks anyway. With that, I’ve decided to not be tempted to take off on trips that are not necessary. This is a three day weekend and so instead of “having fun” and posting all the “fun” on Facebook, I’m laying low. I didn’t really get the concept of spending here and there and then all of the sudden someone wants to do something and I’d struggle to afford the possibility. Also, just because I have money doesn’t mean that I have to spend it. Repeat that last sentence!
This is the year to save and not feed needs with material things. January is going rather slow because 1) it’s after the holidays 2) weather doesn’t make me want to go outside sometimes 3) re-evaluating takes some energy. I want to come out of this year on top!

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Needs. And a no-spend update.Β 

Food is a need.

Thank God there was harsh winter weather all weekend. This helps not spend money out! πŸ™Œ
I spent an evening with a friend and we watched Girl on a Train (πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘) and some YouTube. This made for a really cheap catch up date – FREE DATE. She’s got a really comfy place too.
Spending…
I said I was only going to buy $150 worth of food. I went well over my budget. I bought $61 worth of fresh sushi grade fish (way too much and I am basically sushied out!) I went to Costco and spent $137. Costco was a fun trip though. I bought meat and separated it and froze a great majority of it. I bought other food items too; I bought items I knew would last in the freezer. I also made a trip to Trader Joe’s. I bought my favorite night time tea, snack foods and beverages, and quick frozen meals (aka the meals I can just grab when I’m feeling lazy) for $50. I had to go into the next biggest city to take care of my car care and stopped by Taco Bell for something that could tie me over, $2. I’m rounding here. If my calculations are corrext, I spent an extra $100 on groceries. For me this is no biggie because I could easily spend that on dinner and drinks out with friends – the extra $100 – for only 4 hours of hang out. Now, I have about 3 months worth of food for myself.
I’ll admit that being responsible for my finances is a bit foreign to me. I never used to keep my fridge stocked. Granted, I use to live with roomies and so one shelf doesn’t really allow to have a stockpile. Many people on the web disagree with holding a Costco membership as a single person. I personally appreciate what I was able to purchase. I know everytime I open the fridge, I am reassured that I have food to eat. Maybe that’s what was missing – that reassurance. There’s some sort of safety (and less anxiety) in knowing I have food to eat. Actually, in a very much habitual way, I food prepped two take-to-work lunches. Like, “I have so much shit to work with!”
I feel like I spent a lot of money and I did. When the register reads that $137 is due, it was an eye opener. When I previously went shopping, $20 here and there, I didn’t really have a conscious mind of adding everything up.

In a moment of being alone with “nothing” to do I cleaned part of my place. I took two trash bags out. I wasnt feeling like I was on top of the world after cleaning. I just fet that I had done something that benefited me and was not something I used to avoid. I literally had nothing to do but feel I made a good choice. I didn’t focus on buying the healthiest food items. However, for me, it is healthy to do things I would normally avoid doing that are good for myself. 

We are only 9 days into January and so I’m looking forward to what the next couple of weeks brings. 

No-Spend Month and Budget Breakdown.

I just purchased a plane ticket and will now start in on not spending a single penny on non-mandatory items. I have to buy food, gas, and pay my monthly bills – THAT IS IT! No shopping for extras and no going to the grocery store without a list. 
Budget Breakdown…
Fixed and variable expenses.
Fixed = expenses that don’t change = rent, student loans, etc.
Variable = well, they vary from month to month.
I’ve written out all of my fixed expenses, variable expenses, and total salary. I now know how much money I should have left over. What I have failed to do in the past is put my grocery list in the FIXED expenses category. This would just fluctuate. Eating out/Entertainment would also not be in the FIXED category.
Let’s be real: I hate when someone tells me what to do! 😀 When I put limitations on things I go and do the opposite even if it is not good for me in the long run. This is what happens when I put too much of a restriction on things like food budget and Eating out/Entertainment. This is why I increased my food budget drastically. I don’t want to be in the mindset that I can’t have.
However, the no-spend month (which has been written by many bloggers before) is essential in starting off a budgeting year! So this month, I’m making no spending a priority.

Four More Days

2017 Checklist

My hope is that in checking in with this checklist, I can replace some of the more maladaptive behaviors.

FINANCE & TRAVEL
1. Journal βœ”οΈ
– I don’t journal enough. I spend countless hours on social media instead. Presumably this doesn’t assist me in accessing my feelings and puts me into a sort of mindless zone. I have a couple of journals that have a pen has never touched, so there’s a plus! This helps me destress and see how I’ve grown and keeps me aligned with goals.

2. Thermometer βœ”οΈ
– This is what I use to build myself up in savings. 

3. Spreadsheet βœ”οΈ
– This is to remind myself of salary, fixed and variable expenses, and budget. This allows me to see what is left over from my monthly income so I can see how much to budget.

4. Timeline of travel
– A timeline of travel helps me further understand when I’ll be spending more and needing to up my savings game.

Number 5 fits into health, so let’s transition here…

HEALTH
5. Meal Plan
– In the past I’ve deprived myself of good food which led to such deprivation that I would eat out more than I was hoping to. I love steak, shrimp, bacon, tofu; basically I eat anything! Eating at home saves money! Eating good at home still saves money! Eat good! I used to try and do $50 a month on food. I added $100 to my food budget. Why? If I buy food I would enjoy eating out, I’ll save by cooking it at home. 

So there is my top five that I may add on to later. January is a NO SPEND MONTH, which will probably be the next post. 

2017 GoalsΒ 

2016 has been a year. Actually, the past couple of years have led up to this point – optimization of Health, Finance, and Travel.

Mistakes and small steps to change have helped me come to this point – optimization of Health, Finance, and Travel.

This year may not be perfect, but I have a good feeling about it!

This last week of 2016 isn’t to go all out. This last week is to set and write down goals. 

Overall Goals: 

Health = lose 30 pounds over the course of 365 days

Finance = save X over the course of 365 days

Travel = only spend money on extra items (clothing, eating out, etc) while traveling – over the course of 365 days. 

This blog will share how I get healthier and financially smarter. I’ve already started to make small changes toward these goals, but have not made them a priority. I believe when goals are a priority, they can get accomplished to our desire.