Happy Friday! I can’t believe we are already done with the first month in 2018! I wanted to report back on my goals for the year and keep myself accountable for my progress. Here’s the first of many updates!
Business (And Professional)
- Regularly post on Money Smart Latina to bring resources and opportunities to help young women live their best lives. (All year) (Needs work. 0/12)
- Match half of my day job income through my freelancing and blog. (All year) (Needs work but will still give credit. 1/12)
- Create three freebies & two products (one e-book, one on Teachable). (Both completed by 9/15/2018) (Needs work 0/12)
- Grow social media channels and newsletter subscribers to 4,000. (All year) (Needs work 0/12) Site redesign (Completed by June 2018) (N/A)
- Present at a national conference (Completed by July 2018). (N/A)
- Continue growing in my current role (All year). (Yes! 1/12)
- Run a 5K (Completed by April 2018). (N/A)
- Lose 40 lbs (10 lbs each by March 31st, June 30th, September 30th and December 31st). (1/4 done!)
- Attend therapy 1x a week (All year). (Yes! 1/12)
- Workout regularly 3x per week (All year). (Needs work 0/12)
- Only drink alcohol on the weekends (All year). (Yes! 1/12)
- Successfully work towards completing thyroid cancer treatment (All year). (YES, Done 1/31/2018)
- Pray every day. (All year) (Yes! 1/12)
- Pay $3,600 towards my student loans. (1/12)
- Pay $6,000 of medical debt. (2/12)
- Save $3,000 for a downpayment on a new car. (Needs work 0/12)
- Save $3,000 towards dental work. (Needs work 0/12)
- Move up retirement contributions by 2%. (Needs work 0/12)
Fun & Relationships
- Attend all the weddings and graduations (Wedding 1- Feb, Graduation- May, Wedding 2- June)
- Attend gay pride in Castro. (Completed by June 2018) (Stretch Goal) (canceled)
- Attend National Seminar in New Orleans. (Completed by July 2018)
- Attend FinCon in September.
- Italy in October w/ H. (canceled)
- Christmas Family Vacation (Completed by December 2018).
- Read 36 books. (Ahead of schedule! 2/12)
Business & Professional Summary
This area needs a lot of work. Quite honestly, I haven’t practiced good time management this month. I was zoning out a lot for the first half of it when I wasn’t freelancing and wasted a lot of time. Most of it was spent mindlessly scrolling through social media on my phone in bed. It’s okay every once in awhile to check out mentally, but I can do it for hours, which isn’t a good thing.
However, the second half of the month was much better. I got all of my freelancing done on time, invoiced before the end of the month, attended a webinar my friend Latisha put on and worked on some accountability goals. But, after rounding up my spending, I really need to focus on my business so I can grow my income to help with some of my financial goals. Even if I drastically cut my spending, I still wouldn’t be able to make some of them. Time to hustle!
Health is going pretty well! I’ve been regularly attending yoga, going to the chiropractor and I’ve lost 10lbs. I wasn’t expecting to lose 10lbs until at least March so I will take it as a win! I also made all of my checkups this month which will explain why my health category was so damn high, in regards to spending.
The biggest win this month was that my endocrinologist called and told me that THERE ARE NO CANCER MARKERS IN MY BLOOD. This means that I am now testing negative for cancer in my bloodwork, which is great news! I am not cancer free but I do not have to go back to the endocrinologist until 6-12mths. Such a blessing. God is good!
Although I’ve had such good progress on a few goals, I have stalled in some. I get carried away and don’t practice balance. So while my eating has been great, I’ve been slacking off on taking my supplements and working out. I need to figure out a consistent way to balance it all.
Finance is an area that definitely needs some work. This is the first time I have tracked my spending for a full month in probably years. Now I know I definitely need to get back to it. What gets tracked gets measured, eh? My spending is in percentages as followed. This doesn’t include any money I have in my emergency fund, put towards retirement or other benefits through work.
- Rent/ Utilities 28.29%
- Health 20.23%
- Debt 15%
- Groceries 7.73%
- Transportation 6.70%
- Entertainment 6.80%
- Resturants 6.18%
- Harrison 3.78%
- Business 1.71%
- Beauty/ Hygiene 1.58%
- Home .72%
- Travel .69%
I honestly thought being home this month would free up room in my budget and I now know that was a lie. As a natural spender and extrovert, I always want to go out and do fun things with my friends. And since I have a lot of friends, it’s not hard finding someone to go out with. I stay home on Fridays too!
I also spent a ton of money on my health this month. Checkups, prescriptions and ongoing management add up. But, I need to be proactive now so my health stays steady and does not get worse. Once you have one autoimmune disorder, they start racking up so it’s important to be as proactive as possible.
My goal next month was to try to cut my spending by at least 10% but my body laughed at me. It could definitely be worse though and I’ll get into that in next months update. I’m happy my living expenses are still under 30% despite my rent increase and I was able to pay 15% of my take-home pay towards debt!
Fun & Relationships
As indicated above, I am having a grand ole time in this department.
This month, I’ve gone to a Backstreet Boys vs N’Sync Dance Off Party, attended my friends roller-derby game (she’s a beast), checked out a new bar by my house I always wanted to and got together for dinner with a few others. Everyone probably says this, but I am truly blessed with the support system that I have. What I lack in family, God has given me in friends and I recognize that is a significant blessing. It’s been nice to finally be in town for a longer than a week and catch up with so many.
I’ve also been taking time to catch up on my reading. So far this year, I’ve read six books.
- The Fall (The Strain Trilogy #2) by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
- The Night Eternal (The Strain Trilogy #3) by Guillmero Del Toro & Chuck Hogan
- Make Every Man Want You by Marie Forleo
- In Full Color by Rachel Dolezal
- Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King
- A Sick Life by Tionne “T-Boz” Wakins
A few years ago, I became a huge fan of the TV show “The Strain.” I don’t watch TV very often but I do have a few shows I enjoy. Although the TV show was based on a trilogy, I had never picked it up until this past Christmas. I immediate became hooked and finished the trilogy in a matter of days. If you are a fan of horror and advance vampire scenarios, I highly recommend it. The writing was done beautifully and actually left me spooked. H’s pipes were making a sound and I made him investigate because I was certain someone was in a wall, LOL. Another but less spooky book I finally read was Sleeping Beauties. Not as gory as other Stephen King books but will still keep you on your toes.
The rest of the books I read were memoirs and one self-help book. Rachel Dolezal is very interesting and I won’t really say a lot on her book or her actions of cultural appropriation but I enjoyed to see how she rationalized her actions. I also enjoyed “A Sick Life.” I’ve always been a huge TLC fan and it was interesting to see her take on her chronic illness. As someone in her early thirties, it can be really discouraging to have so many autoimmune disorders but this book reminded me I’m not alone in my fight.
And as for travel, a few of my trips I planned to take this year have been canceled. Timing was for a few of them and one was the political climate. This is not a politics blog but travel for Americans isn’t what it used to be. But then again, was it ever?
I’m happy with this month’s progress. I feel really good about some areas in my life and recognize I need more balance so I can spend some time on others. I am considering make changes in my schedule so I can spend more time on my business and will be hopefully reporting back next month on a positive note.
How did your month go?