Monday, March 30, 2009

My 2009 Goals as of March

Since we are getting towards the end of the month here, I thought I would do an update on my 2009 goals. As I've been doing the last three months, the color of the header indicates progress from red, which means no progress has happened at all, to green, which indicates I consider this a success.

My Financial Goals

One Month of Emergency Savings - This has been a success! My 2008 tax refund money is in my emergency account. I now have one month of day job salary + tenant rent + $900 safely stashed away in an online savings account. It isn't getting the highest interest rates right now, but I need to keep it out of my general fund, and yet still accessible for emergencies. I am a long way from being out of the woods!

Credit Card Paid Off - I just keep plugging away at this one. I am now down to $333.43. Since I am paying $111.68 each month, my last payment will be the first of June! I can't wait! Now, I could take that $333.43 out of emergency funds, pay off the balance and then just pay myself back. It makes financial sense, because though my interest rate on the credit card is quite low, it is still higher than the rate I could earn in my emergency fund. Perhaps I should do it, and yet, I hesitate. It feels incredibly good to know that that one month of savings is stocked away. I don't want to immediately turn around and access it for a non-emergency. I've run into problems before by robbing Peter to pay Paul, and I just don't want to do it again. For now I will pay the little extra interest and continue my monthly plan.

Car Paid Off - I am in almost exactly the same spot as above. The last car payment will be due the first part of June. Again - I can't wait! It is very exciting to think about no longer spending that money. I plan on keeping my car for as long as I possibly can. It will be great to no longer have a car payment!

Three eBay Items Per Week - Oh my, how about NO eBay items for March??? I don't like that I wasn't able to meet this goal (or even come close) but I don't see how it could have been otherwise. eBay sales take time and energy and I had neither this month. Since I was volunteering almost every evening, I didn't have the time to take photos, write up descriptions or pretty much anything else. Ah well, April is another month...

Get an Additional $900 Per Month - Looks like I am going to come in a bit shy this month. I knew that would be the case though, and that is why I undertook my No Spending Challenge for this month. Truthfully, I am thrilled with how well I was able to do, considering that most of March I worked an additional 20-40 volunteer hours on top of my regular day job. Because of the challenge I came in well under all my budgets and though I didn't get $900 in income, I have more than enough for the month. In fact, I was still able to work 3 shifts at the part time job and I sold well over $75.00 of Amazon books! That really helped, let me tell you! It looks like with my new home improvement goals, I'll be keeping this $900 a month goal for quite awhile...

Home Improvement

Repaint My House - I put $500 down on this on a security deposit for supplies this weekend. Whew! I can't believe I am doing this. It simultaneously feels like a very mature, smart decision, and really scary to be spending all that money! I work so hard for the extra income... and there a big chunk goes in one little check. Ouch. However, it has to be done and as the painter pointed out, doing it now before too much rots is better than leaving it for too long and having my wood siding be completely destroyed. I also know this will go a long way towards my home value when the time comes to sell it. It is still a big step though!

Create a Compost Pile, Winterize the Home, Paint the Bedroom and Fix up the Attic - What can I say? I didn't do a dang thing on any of these. I vaguely considered it, but much like the eBay sales, I was just too busy. I had hoped to make some progress on at least one of these this weekend, but it turned out that I needed time to recoup. Instead I spent time relaxing, cooking and cleaning. These projects will just have to wait another month, I think. That's okay - I still have 9 more before the end of my deadline!

Personal Growth

Self Schooling - I was able to do a couple of things this month along this line. I met with some people that are putting together a volunteer position in my field of study. I'm not interested in being the volunteer at this point, (I have enough on my plate as it is,) but helping to create this position is valuable experience. I also jumped on an opportunity to register for an April seminar that relates to my field of interest. I still need to get myself down to the library and check out some books so that even in busy times, I can be studying up!

Gratitude Journal - I admit my gratitude journal has suffered a bit this month. Again, it all had to do with late nights and pouring myself into bed without taking the time to write before falling asleep. While I wish I had been more vigilant with it, the fact was that sleep needed to come first. I don't expect that I will have another busy month like this for a long time, so I will get back with my daily writing starting tonight.


I do have a few other irons in the fire as well. I'm not quite ready to talk about them yet, but let's just say that I am not planning on letting any moss gather! I've got some additional ideas for both passive income and "dollars for hours" work that I am hoping I can put into play. (As things develop a little bit, I promise I will make sure and write about them though.) Now that I have this huge expense of getting the house painted, I need to watch dollars and cents even more than I ever have. This summer means a lot less part time work, and though I have put in (for yet another) part time job, I haven't heard anything yet. Still, there are other opportunities like sales of varying kinds, the annual garage sale, and of course, back to eBay!

This gorgeous photo of spring crocus is by: RebelBlueAngel. Crocus are one of my favorite flowers. They don't last long, but you know when you see them that it is finally spring! Mine in my garden are just coming up and starting to open. This makes me very happy.


Simplelivin' said...

Wow that must be such a great feeling to know that you have 1 month totally covered! Congrats! Come June 1st I feel a celebration coming... you deserve something for you commitment to pay off your credit car and car! I'm sure a huge weight will be lifted from your shoulders too!

Dawn said...

I does feel good, Simplelivin'. I am fairly confident about my job, but with so many of my friends laid off or hurting in other ways, having the start of a good emergency fund does feel pretty good.

Hmmm... a celebration June 1st... certainly something to think about. Right now I am planning on using the "July car payment" to get a tune up on my buggy. That's not exactly a party though! :)

getting stuff done said...

what does get a tune up on my buggy meaN? sounds like something american?

sounds like its all going good. sometimes you cant do everything. but you are keeping your eye on the ball. if you are aware of your goals, then if you dont have time one month, you can still pick them up another.

Miss M said...

Ooh, pretty picture. i love spring flower and bulbs especially. They don't do well here cause it's too warm, you usually have to force them by putting them in the fridge! I wish you much success on your goals, I only made monetary ones this year. I seem to do better with those.

Catie said...

I have to agree..... a celebration is totally in order!

Anonymous said...

You're doing SO well Dawn. Finding extra money every month, saving an ef, volunteering, part time job. Brilliant! Very inspiring.


Dawn said...

Getting Stuff Done - Good question! I never think about how slang doesn't always translate! Buggy = car, tune up = routine maintenance. Basically I have to get my car into the repair shop to have them go over her and check the brakes, do an oil change, check the air filter, look at all the fluids - all that kind of stuff. Last I checked, that will run me somewhere in the nature of $250. Since my car payment has been $300 - I will use that to pay for it.

Miss M - Cold is something we have plenty of! Heh. I love bulbs. I planted a bunch of them last fall, so now I get to see what comes up.

Catie - you will have to help me celebrate!!

Laura - Thanks so much! It makes me blush when people say that. I don't *feel* inspiring, I feel like I am just pushing through day by day, doing what needs to be done. It is *you* all that inspire me!