I need to set spending goals for major discretionary categories like food, household supplies, hobbies, cons, festivals, etc.
I can’t change my bills right now – but choosing how to divide up what’s left after the bills are paid will give me a sense of ownership and control over my finances.
Back when I was a single Mom (daughter’s grown & gone now), I was really, really good at this out of sheer survival necessity. Over the past few years, I’d gotten away from it – and it’s hurting me financially. I have the skills; I need to dust them off and put them back into regular use.
A friend told me about mint.com so I created an account and took a little time to look at the trendlines (only 90 days of history, but still helpful).
OMG. I spend way, way too much money. No wonder I feel like I’m living paycheck to paycheck! The biggest and easiest area to trim: food. Dining out has gone down, but grocery costs are still ridiculously out of proportion.
I need to do some serious thinking about how to fix this immediately.
I had to go to NJ for a week, so I went up 2 days early and be-bopped around NYC.
Saw one of the last 4 known copies (of the set of the first 14 made) of the Magna Carta – it was awesomely inspiring.
Went to my milliner’s in Chelsea and renewed my love of spectacular hats but resisted the urge to spend $1k I didn’t have to spare.
Saw the Stonewall Inn (it’s the 40th anniversary of Stonewall; an important milestone in freedom).
Took a friend on their first-ever NYC subway ride.
Ate at several lovely restaurants.
Had breakfast with a former co-worker.
Replenished my supply of Portuguese EVOO, which I’ve only ever been able to find in Newark.
I should probably mark this goal “completed”, since I’ve been consistently achieving it for over a year – but leaving it open helps me keep it in focus.
I’ve had to take ALL but $10 out of the reserve funds, in order to cover recent expenses.
I guess I do better under deadline pressure. Now that D*C is only three & a half days away, my final costume plans are coalescing nicely. The list below isn’t final, but it’s getting close to it.
Thursday day: regular street wear
Thursday night: Southern Belle – hoopskirt, parasol, the whole she-bang.
Friday day: Dementor (with two other friends, which will be fun)
Friday night: Evil Inter-galatic Empress
Saturday day: Renfaire attire
Saturday night: Green Dragon
Sunday day: Red Dragon
Sunday night: Mad Scientist (for the ball, doncha know)
Monday day: regular street attire
I’ve finished making one of the three Dementor robes; need to do the other two. If time permits, I will make the Green Dragon back & tail… otherwise, the outfit will morph into a general snake lady.
I repotted the climbing jasmine topiary, the Norfolk pine, and the ivy this weekend. Still need to do several others, but at least some progress was made.
I’m about 75% set up, and that last 25% is pretty critical. I can’t quickly put my hands on the tools, materials, etc. I own because while it’s largely unpacked, it’s not organized.
That means I forget that I have things, and starting projects gets put off because I don’t have time or desire to go hunting stuff down (where’s my stitch ripper? what kind of glue do I have? where’s the wide velcro?)
I’ve hired an out of work friend to come organize it; she’ll be here tomorrow. My other choice was to keep waiting until I had both time & inclination – and after several months, it became quite clear it wasn’t going to happen.
Semi-annual cleaning, and repairing what is hopefully the last cavity. Yay!
Being in “shape”, to me, means having the stamina & endurance to do all the things I want to do. It’s not about a dress size, and it’s definitely not about fitting in to someone else’s idea of shapely.
I love my highly feminine curves, and hope to never lose them.
I would, however, appreciate being physically stronger and to have more stamina.
Belly dancing – which I’ve just begun – should help with this goal; particularly if I practice between classes.
So far, I’ve got 50% of a new costume together. Of course I can always re-wear the ones I put together for last year – I’d just prefer to have a different set for at least a few of the days.
Instead of being in costume all day and all night, this year I’d like to don the costumes for evenings only. The temperature management issue (Georgia in the peak heat season) can’t be underestimated! It’s a lot easier to keep cool during the day when not in full costume.
There were only 3 students, so we each got individual attention when needed. That was really helpful! I’m still fairly decent with the hip rolls and shimmies, but am essentially starting from scratch on the upper body work as I haven’t practiced any of those moves in years.
After the class on Monday, I started practicing my wrist circles and chest moves as I walk about the house… just to cement what we learned more firmly in my mind and in my muscle memory.
I’m looking forward to the next class!
The room is unpacked enough, and organized enough, to be semi-functional…
It still needs work, so I can quickly put my hands on things when I need or want them, and so I don’t have to move items in order to use the table. But serious progress has been made, nonetheless!
I’m excited about doing this – and hooray, the classes start this coming Monday!
I enjoyed the few classes I’ve taken over the years, and since there is a studio near me with lessons, I am going to sign up for the August series of classes.
Hips can and should be encouraged to move independently from the rest of the body.
I had such a wonderful time at DragonCon last year that I vowed to go again this year. I’ve purchased the membership (aka ticket); and scheduled the time off. I’ve got a half a hotel room (sharing with someone else), so I can spend my time at the Con rather than driving back & forth.
Now I want to line up my costumes! Last year, I did 4 days of a single theme: variations on a dragonness. I’d like to be able to figure out something different for this year; using elements I already have to keep the cost down.
Go to the Brazilian waxing parlor and get “groomed”.
Go to the bank (already done!)
Finish altering my friend’s chaps.
Find the rest of his birthday present and get it wrapped.
*Take time to relax, so the great sense of peace I got yesterday continues on a bit longer… *
I scheduled 2 whole days off work, and set all my contact points to “out of office”. Then, for the first time in I can’t remember how long, I turned off my Blackberry so I am actually, truly off work.
I spent yesterday at a day spa, courtesty of a dear gentleman friend. We met up and went out for a lovely supper afterwards.
I’m relaxed and content!
1) sewing craft box
2) Box of Silver tea service and serving ware stuff
3) at least 10 boxes of tools & gardening stuff in the garage
I actually lost count of the total # of boxes unpacked over the last few days, but based on the empties I took to the curb, I know there was at least a dozen.
My god, I still have way too much stuff.
*Mail my rent check
*Deposit dividends at the bank and withdraw some cash
*Unpack the suitcase and put everything away
*Reorganize the playroom – move furniture
*Enjoy playing for a minimum of three hours. I don’t care, at this point, how many people that involves – I need the release and renewal that play time provides.
*Set up a hair appointment for next Wednesday (I’m dreading it, but it needs to be done)
I usually have a list of items I want to get accomplished, but they’re too small to be listed as individual goals.
This seems like a good way to keep up with the list, as I can just update entries under this one heading.