sabrina

doesn't want to be buried in a pet sematary!



I'm doing 22 things
 

How I did it
How to donate more to charity
It took me
365 days
It made me


Recent entries
live within my means (read all 6 entries…)
"All Your Worth"

A few weeks ago, I read the book “All Your Worth” by Elizabeth Warren. It has a really simple budgeting idea that I read a blog post about and wanted to know more. Basically, they have you split your income up into three piles – must-haves (50%), wants (30%), and savings (20%), and categorize your spending into those big buckets. All the budgeting I’ve done previously uses lots of little categories – you know, $25 for electric bill, $100 for phone bill, $20 for books, etc etc. That model wasn’t working for me because if a utility bill was over by a buck or two, I’d be in the red, and then there would be months I didn’t buy any books or music and those categories would go unnoticed, then next month I’d buy more books… and anyways, it was just untenable for me because of all the micro-accounting. It seems like the three big buckets approach might work more easily: I have my big ticket, non-negotiable items like rent/mortgage and things I have to pay each month regardless, and since they’re right on the border of 50% I know I need to reduce them in case of emergency, so I would have more headroom on an unemployment or disability payment.

I recategorized all my spending for December into the three buckets, in Quicken, and I was way over for the month. :( I went over by like $300 on must-haves, because I suddenly adopted a kitten and he needs vet checkups and shots and stuff (and I decided that pet-care was a must-have), and unfortunately I also went over on my wants by… well, enough. Without even really noticing it. It definitely made me more conscious of what I was doing for the second half of the month, and I had to stop buying things. So I totally blew December, but I only started halfway through the month, so I guess it was kind of a dress rehearsal.

Looking forward to making it work in January. If it works as described, it will make me feel like I’m able to spend “fun money” without that guilty, “I should be doing something productive” feeling, while still making progress on my savings planning. Fingers crossed!



Run a half-marathon
meep

Back in, what, September?, I decided that what I needed was a winter goal to keep me going… and when I found the F^3 Lake Half Marathon, I thought to myself, what could possible be a better idea that signing up to do my first half marathon at the end of January in Chicago? ... and the answer is, of course, so very many, many things could be a better idea. Self-immolation is probably a better idea than a January half-marathon in Chicago. But I signed up anyway, and signed up for the CARA half-marathon training program too, because what the heck do I know about doing a half-marathon? (Also, there was a t-shirt. Very important.)

I wound up dropping out of the group runs after about week 5, because I didn’t think I could keep up with my 12 minute pace group (I seem stuck at 12:30 for distances over 5-6 miles, for now), but I’ve been doing OK on my own—and helped by our freakishly good weather this December. It’s not exactly a hardship to go out and run when it’s sunny and gorgeous and about 50°F. Now the race is only four weeks away. I’m still pretty nervous about it. The longest race I’ve run previous to this is a 15k, so this tacks on about an extra 4 miles to that distance. It sounds so easy when I put it that way… oh, just another 4 miles, pfffffft. Guess we’ll see what happens on the 28th.



Minimize existing clutter and excess possessions (read all 24 entries…)
I think I'm satisfied

I think I’ve finally minimized my “stuff” to a point where I’m happy to mark this goal complete. Everything fits in my apartment, everything has a place to be put away and it isn’t in my face. The apartment is easier to keep clean, as well as keep tidy. I can still have half a dozen hobbies easily, because they’re not competing with each other for space, or competing with my mental fatigue over the endless “stuff” for time. It’s much easier and lighter weight to live when your house doesn’t sap your energy just being present.

It’s honestly taken me almost 10 years to get to this point but I think I’ve completely switched mindsets.



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