Please Help Me Raise Money To Study In Israel!

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Many of you know that I am planning on studying abroad this summer in Israel with Arizona State University. But, studying abroad is not covered in our financial aid packages, even though I will be receiving summer tuition credits! In order to help see my dream of studying counter terrorism in a foreign country, while pursuing my passion for serving inner city youth, I am fundraising to help with my travel costs and education!

Today, I would like to share with you excerpts from my GoFundMe campaign in hopes that you could donate and share with your social networks to help spread the word and help me accomplish my dreams!

Although many of you may know me from my involvement with the personal finance blogging community, specifically my involvement with the Plutus Awards for the past three years, many of you may not know that I was orphaned at age 15. My mother passed away two days before Christmas during my freshman year of high school. After being through a traumatic experience, I was passed away from relative to relative, basically for my social security benefits, until I was old enough to move out and support myself on my own.

These circumstances have left a lasting impression on me, and as a result I am passionate about working with inner city youth. While going back to school full time to finish my dual bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice, I work full time for a non-profit in a junior high school in urban Phoenix helping youth prepare for college and life.

Since being on my own as a teenager meant being responsible for my own education I haven’t had the traditional college experience.  I’ve always had to work full-time while going to school.

While working full time, I was able to graduate with an associate’s degree, and I was the first in my family to graduate college with any degree. Now I’m in my second semester back in school for my bachelor’s.

Last semester, I made the Dean’s List, was invtied to join the honors society,and was presented with the opportunity to study abroad in pursut of my degree. I will earn 6 college credits over the summer and finish my degree on time even while working full time. The program in Israel will give me valuable experience for my aspirations to help others.

Because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and because my life experiences have pushed me in the direction of and have given me a passion for working with troubled inner-city youth through non-profit work, I am asking for financial assistance before the opportunity passes me by,

By donating to my GoFundMe campaign, you will give me the opportunity to focus on my education and my passion for helping kids overcome barriers that are similar to mine. Any money raised will go directly to my tuition, and my travel expenses, and will go far in helping me achieve my dreams.

Thank you!

Setting Goals, Part Two

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Back in January, I shared how to set S.M.A.R.T goals and today I am here to share a few more of my goal setting tips!

Figure out your “big” thing
Between being a full time student at a major university and a full time employee, plus friend, girlfriend, blogger, etc. , my hands are pretty full with life. Without setting goals and breaking them down into steps every month, I wouldn’t be able to get as much done as I’d like and I’d feel like I was floating. Even though I do feel anxious and overwhelmed at times with life, I always can reflect on what my goals are and what needs to be done to accomplish them. How am I able to do this without being a hot mess most of the time?

I focus on the “big” thing that needs to be accomplished before anything else. My “big” thing at the moment is my education and trying my hardest to get good grades. So, whenever I feel overwhelmed with my huge list, I do what absolutely needs to be done to ensure my big thing is accomplished. Remember what is the most important to you and make sure you don’t lose focus on that. Sure, I’m not always fun when I lock myself in my room to study or take test but I know it’s my “big” thing and treasure it.

If goals are overwhelming, try a power word.
Last year, I was in a weird place. I had just broken up with my ex boyfriend at the time and moved in with a new roommate. I was in a city that although I had made friends, I only had two good ones which left me feeling isolated. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to work on or where to even start so I focused on a power word for the year, mindfulness. Everyday I tried to focus on the situation on hand and just be positive and open to new opportunities.

I can easily say 2014 was one of my greatest years. I went back to school, won a national award, saved up enough money to get my own apartment, traveled all over the U.S and met someone who has been pretty awesome for this season in my life.  I worked on myself and while working on myself is a continuous process, remembering my power word really helped me. Sometimes a big list of goals when we’re not sure what we want is fluff but focusing on a word you resonate with can help tremendously.

To Do List & Baby Steps Are Key
I get overwhelmed and anxious way more than the average person sometimes. When I feel this way, working on my goals is the last thing I can even imagine doing sometimes. Who wants to write a paper when their brain is fried after teaching all day? Instead of cracking out a full 5 page paper, I’ll start an outline or do research and then save the next step for another day. Instead of studying 5+ hours for a mid-term, I’ll do a chapter a night leading up to it for a week prior. It’s hard to do everything at once but by breaking it up and keeping a running to do list, it’s easier to accomplish and not as intimidating.

What do you do to accomplish your goals with ease?

March Goals

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Harrison George, aka Kitty Bae.

The weather has been sooo nice lately in Phoenix lately that I am scared to jinx it and hope we’re able to get at least two more months without soaring high temps. Summer will be here before we know it and I’m not too excited since our summer is everyone else’s winter. As in, I’m not leaving the house and hate life. However, I do have a pool now and can walk around with no pants in my apartment, so, plus!

  • Get my apartment ready for my guests! My best friends are coming into town for Gay Pride and I am super excited to have them staying with me in my new apartment! I want to finish getting it ready for guests. I am completely unpacked but I don’t have anything on my walls and I have a pile of things to run to Goodwill. My dining room has been the catchall spot and I want nothing in it.
  •  Turn in all reimbursements, invoices and balancing out my spending. I have been bleeding money since the middle of January between buying things for my apartment, being sick for a few weeks and having too much fun with friends since I had put myself on a spending ban for awhile. I also buy items for my program at work that I am able to get reimbursed for however, I happen to be bad at turning in receipts. I also need to invoice a social media client, my work mileage, some writing, etc. I hope to get everything settled so I can see how close I am to reaching my goals!
  • Launch Israel crowdfunder! Since I didn’t receive my scholarship, I plan on fundraising my way to Israel! I’ve never fund raised anything before personally so I’m a little nervous. I plan on reading a book, shooting my video and launching next week. I’ll be sharing here as well as some other channels.
  • Continue to balance work and school.  It’s always a balancing act but I think for the most part I am doing well. I need to continue doing this and also taking more time for myself to do NOTHING. My cut off time from school and work will be 9pm every evening. I can read, watch Netflix or go to sleep like a little old lady.
  • Lose 5 more lbs!  I’ve been averaging a five lbs weight loss for the past two months and I’d like to lose another five lbs.  My 30th birthday is in a few months and I would like to be fit for the next decade in my life! Also, I want to look good in a romper 😉
  • Deal with the big thing. I have something big and ugly that has been hanging over me and is stressing me out. I have faith things will be resolved but it depends on some phone calls I have to make but avoid because it makes me anxious. I’ll be taking time everyday to deal with this until I can walk away from it.

That’s more than enough to keep me busy. What about you guys?

Athena

February Goals Recap

Ahhh February. I am pretty happy with how I’ve done this month, even with considering I didn’t make much headway on my goals. I am happy because I am finally not sick anymore, even though my energy levels are shot. I’m doing well in school, H has been here for a good part of the month escaping the snow and it my apartment is starting to slowly come together. If only I could figure out a way to get things to stay on the concrete wall since these Command strips only work for a day or so. >_<

  • Bond with my fur baby. PASS. It’s official, I am a crazy cat lady. Harrison is a great cat and although he gets feisty and goes through this thing where he decides to bite me, he is so sweet. He loves to play, cuddle and just chill. Also, I wasted too much money on cat supplies I thought I would need. All I really needed was a food dish and some bottle caps for him to play with.
  • Change mailing address. FAIL. My roommate is kindly bringing my mail to me along with some clothes I left so I will definitely push this to next month.
  • Schedule a homework calendar. FAIL. I am pretty on top of all my homework but I didn’t make a calendar. I should definitely still do this especially since I have five million papers due.
  • Finish scholarship application for Israel and create a Go Fund Me campaign! Half pass. Finished my application but sadly did not win it. I have my script written and if I do want to film my video, I need to do it soon since my bf is going home. I also need to get the page up!
  • Unpack and work on creating my apartment my home. PASS My apartment feels like my home and I think that has a lot to do with my current happy. I hosted my first ladies night with some friends before a concert and we had a great time. I purchased another bookcase so the only thing that could be considered “lacking” could be a TV and entertainment center. But, I don’t really spend a lot of time watching TV in the first place to really justify spending a few hundred on a television in my opinion. I watch three of four shows religiously on my iPAd and that’s about it.
  • File taxes. PASS! I am currently trying to hoard my tax return as much as I can!

I am not sure what I would like my March goals to be yet so I will work on those and get back to you. Probably just maintenance with all areas of my life!

Hello February- Goals & Budget

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As I spoke about on Monday, I have come to the realization that I currently can’t do everything that I would like to do or for that matter focus. I can’t focus on my full time job, my education, side  hustling, being healthy, time with friends and family and then my own sanity. I want to live a life full of intention that makes me happy, calm and glad to be where I am all of the time. While I’ve been working on doing just that, the never ending not enough time continuum  bares it’s ugly claws at me and although I cringe, I can’t help but also look back at it. Bully.

After having a talk with myself,  I have decided that I am interested in pursuing more educational pursuits like graduate school and studying abroad in Israel! Both of these require time, studying to keep my GPA up ( I currently have a 3.75) and seeking fundraising ideas to help make my opportunity a reality. I have also recently decided to pursue a minor’s in sociology instead of just taking a bunch of random electives due to my interest in socialization and crime, more importantly juvenile offenders.

I’ve also decided that I will continue with my current projects that I already have on my plate since it’s helping me build my online social business portfolio and bring financial education to the masses. These ventures alone along with my part time job I have a few days a week will bring some of the extra income I currently crave and long for but instead on fully focusing on making more, I will devote my time to these instead along with my educational pursuits and my full-time job as a coordinator for a non-profit I love working with disadvantaged youth. I would still love to get involved with a few more ventures and contacts I met last year but I will see if God is willing for it to happen.

Not everybody is the same and I am okay admitting that, despite it being hard in a world of bloggers. I can’t work full time and then go home and hustle five hours. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want financial freedom any less than someone else. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have the hustle in me ( tell me that after I have a 15 hour day between work AND school). It just means right now I am prioritizing my time in a better way for me, including making time to work on lowering my stress levels.

Goals For February 

  • Bond with my fur baby. I took the plunge and adopted a beautiful cat named Harrison. His rescue family found him living in a dumpster and he doesn’t take too kindly to dogs or other cats or have enough patience for children so he would do best in an adult home. Umm, hello. I put a cat into the universe who was grown and didn’t need a companion and God sent me one! He’s coming home today but I am ready to get to know him and cuddle while binge watching Netflix. Bonus? He’s a polydactal cat!
  • Change mailing address. Now that I’ve moved, I need to change the address to all of my bills and the companies I prefer to use for business.
  • Schedule a homework calendar. If it’s not on my calendar it doesn’t exist and I already feel desperately behind in classes even though I’m not. I need to do this so I feel better and not all over the place.
  • Finish scholarship application for Israel and create a Go Fund Me campaign! My application is due in one week and I need to get that in ASAP. I also would like to film a video for my Go Fund Me campaign for my Israel trip and share my story of how I came to be. My college experience has never been a traditional one but neither has my life come to think of it.
  • Unpack and work on creating my apartment my home. I’m officially moved into the new digs and  the only room that currently is unpacked and together is my bathroom. I still have work that needs to be done and make this space my own. But, I can already say I feel comfortable which is a plus!
  • File taxes. I need to do this along with my FASFA since I will be putting some of both towards my study abroad trip to Israel.

Budget 

  • Rent $780
  • Internet $50
  • Groceries $250
  • Household $200
  • Chiropractor $40
  • Health Insurance $135
  • Therapy $140
  • Prescriptions $40
  • Car Insurance $130
  • ASU Parking $125 ( more time on campus means more in parking 🙁 )
  • Gas $100
  •  Car Registration $100
  • Cat! $30
  • Entertainment $75
  • Eating out ( restaurants +bars)  $75
  • Coffee $25
  • Beauty $30
  • Gifts $50

My budget is really high this month due to moving into my first apartment! I allowed a larger than usual grocery and household amount to account for the expenditure. I can already allude to you that I have spent more in health care due to bronchitis but it is what it is.

As much as I want to focus on earning extra income, I’m going to stay focused on my current projects as to not overwhelm myself and just worry about cutting costs when I can.

What is your February looking like? Anything fun planned?

January Goals Update- I have bronchitis edition

Well, to be more specific, I have bronchitis plus fluid in my lungs PLUS a bacterial infection but I don’t think anyone is really counting. Since it’s the end of the month and the beginning of a new one, I wanted to dust off the blog and revisit my goals as well as give some, updates?, of what I’ve been thinking lately. Since I’m all hyped up on Nyquil and might as well.

  • Make $500 in side income. ( continue with part-time job hustle and work harder for social media client.) PASS!
  • Turn in all work reimbursements. PASS!
  • Be caught up in all data for my day job. FAIL!
  • Save $300 in my e-fund. ( H will be here starting in February for a month so I think I am okay not saving in my travel fund this month) PASS!
  • Read 5 books. FAIL!
  • Stay organized and make a calendar for all of my assignments this semester. FAIL
  • Continue to declutter and pack if possible. ( Top of closet, dresser and boxes in garage!) PASS! 
  • Lose 6 lbs ( walk 30 minutes everyday and eat lo-carb no sugar like I am suppose to according to my doctor.) PASS!
  • Post here at MSL eight times. Anything you’d like to see?  FAIL!

Thoughts?

I passed the majority of my goals which is a huge plus but I didn’t pass all of them. I think I have all the time in the world to do everything and then when I can’t accomplish everything I want to, I end up crying to my therapist and my boyfriend.I felt really good coming home earlier this month from vacation and then I saw an unexpected letter regarding a legal issue that has been hanging over my head for the past three years. I don’t feel comfortable going into a lot of detail except that the news I received has ended in endless nights of unrest, digestion issues, crying fits and other related symptoms of stress. It has seriously effected everything although I try my hardest not to let it.

I just feel like every time I get things settled and feel comfortable to take on more or work on something additional, something falls and I end up with a minor setback. And maybe this isn’t anything more than what being an actual adult entails at the end of the day. But also? I am doing a lot at this time in my life. And I’ve had to really evaluate what I wish to keep pursuing and what at this time can be let go. And as stressed out as I may seem to be, I have to stay positive and grateful because I have some amazing things in my life right now that don’t deserve to be NOT enjoyed. I’ve had some amazing opportunities fall into my lap lately because of where I put my time and energy to last semester and I may say, it served me well. Things I never knew were options were offered and I don’t think the shock of it has fully hit me yet.

I was offered an opportunity to go study abroad in Israel this summer! It just so happens that it aligns when I’ll be off from school for the summer and from work. So, although I may have bit my fingers and wondered how I’ll finance it, I decided to go ahead and accept! Not only will I get six college credits but I’ll have the chance of a lifetime to visit Israel, the holy land. I can’t wait to visit the Dead Sea and most importantly, the Wailing Wall. My principal at school told me it’s the closest place to Heaven on Earth and I am looking forward to placing a note in the wall. I wanted to work on my faith again this year and after I announced it to the universe, this opportunity came into my inbox via email. Lord, I am listening!

I’m also considering graduate school after receiving an email based on my academic excellence from last semester. I was contacting to meet with the department to see research options available for fellowships and assistant possessions that allow living stipends. Again, I never really considered graduate school based on the cost and told the universe the only way I would attend would be if I could receive a fellowship and a living stipend so the universe must want me to know this is an option after all.

And last but not least, I moved last weekend into my very own apartment! As in BY MYSELF! I’ve never lived alone and for some reason never thought I could. I was never comfortable with the idea of living on my own and had always lived with others via boyfriends or roommates since I was 21. I decided to move out for various reasons but the main reason is for me to prove to myself I can. I know it sounds silly but I doubt myself for various reasons in everything from relationships to school to professionally. I can be irrational and cry at the drop of a hat. I have abandonment issues and hate doing everything and anything by myself. Really, it’s kinda sad. I get lonely often and sad. But, I need to learn how to be comfortable alone. I need to learn to do things on my own. Because I’m 29 and I may never have this opportunity again so I wanted to go for it. I signed the lease for a year and I also allowed myself to adopt a new cat! A cat ( and any animal) is a huge financial commitment but so is living on your own and I don’t think I’ll ever feel ready so I decided just to go for it. He’s coming home on Wednesday. 🙂

What has the new year brought you?

Setting Goals- Part One

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January is one of my favorite times of the year. I usually get gloomy during the holidays but January always manages to pull me out of my funk. A fresh new start for goals I want to complete, life changes I want to make and a new planner with cute pens to organize my life. What? A girl has gotta have her Erin Condren planner, what can I say.

This year, I wanted to share tips that I’m using to help ensure my 2015 goals come to fruition and make this the most successful year yet. By using the SMART technique I’m already having more progress then I had anticipated.

Have you ever heard of SMART Goals before? Up until two years ago, I hadn’t. At first, I saw it during my initial training for my current organization. I may or may not have been paying attention at first but afterwards, I thought it was actually a good concept. What exactly does SMART stand for?
  • Specific- Make your goal as specific as you can. Saying I want to lose 30lbs is a great goal, especially if it will benefit your health like most weight loss usually does. But, how are you going to get there? “I want to lose 30lbs by eating more veggies and walking 10,000 steps a day” is definitely more specific. And it may actually be one of my goals so no judging. 🙂 Being as specific as possible will give you enough details to help you come up with a valuable plan to achieve your goal.
  • Measurable- Can I measure my goal in outcomes? A goal like losing weight is definitely measurable because either the scale is lower or it isn’t. Counting your steps along with your veggie intake is also something that can be measured.
  • Achievable- Is this goal something you can achieve? Big goals definitely keep us going and I am one of the biggest dreamers you’ll ever meet. But it’s sometimes best to make sure your goal is something that can be achieved within a reasonable amount of time to ensure your momentum will stay until the goal is complete. What reasonable steps can you take to achieve your goal in a timely manner?
  • Realistic- Is your goal something that is realistic for you? As much as we may feel the need for a stretch goal, it’s also important to make sure our goal is something that can be realistically completed for our current stage in life. This doesn’t mean be negative at all but optimistic about where you are and what you can accomplish. Losing weight is a realistic goal and so is developing healthy habits. But losing 50 instead of 30lbs is something that definitely needs to be looked at realistic. As much as it’s important to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zone, it’s still important not to set ourselves up for failure.
  • Time Bound- Goals are dreams with deadlines. Sure it would be great to lose weight or write that book you’ve been putting off. Taking up a new hobby sounds great! So does spending time with people you care about. Okay, great. Let’s give that goal a timeline. As for losing weight, you may say “This month, I will lose three lbs.” By giving it a deadline, you now know you have exactly one month to achieve this task. Giving yourself a deadline allows you to utilize your time better to align with your goals and priorities. Last year I decided to cancel my cable subscription in order to concentrate on my upcoming school year and read more. I was not only able to finish 68 books this year but I also made the Deans list after my first semester back at school in four years. Prioritizing your time towards your goals really helps and makes them achievable.

What technique do you currently use for starting ( and finishing) goals. Stay tuned for part two in my series in goal setting where I provide a few more tips and suggestions into making 2015 your year!

NoSpendVer Wrap Up!

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On October 20th, I embarked on a 60 day no spend challenge with Janine of My Pennies My Thoughts & Sofia from Caviar & Quarters to help get my mindless spending under control before the new year and save as much as possible to move into my new apartment. Along with saving $1,200 for my apartment, I also wanted to save an additional $400 for a retainer I had initially assumed I’d be getting at the end of December. Total to save? $1,600. And after spending my Christmas Break with H on the east coast, I’m finally ready to share!
Total saved? $1605, which means that I passed my exceeded my savings goal by an extra $5. Woot woot! This was definitely no easy task for me for various reasons.
  • Christmas! Christmas comes every year and this was no exception. Every year I take an annual girls trip to LA, specifically Universal Studios for Grinchmas. I already had my pass paid for because I bought an annual pass last year so all I had to worry about was food and gas, easy enough for me! I also had to buy gifts for H and a few small things for people I work with, including my participation in a Secret Santa at school.
  • Health: I was attacked by a spider ( eep!) which isn’t anything new since I’ve been getting bite all summer by creepy crawlers due to the crazy monsoon weather we had. And, I have the worst reactions to any kind of bug bite. I swell and pop Benadryl and use ice packs. But, I had an even worse reaction when I was bite by something in November which landed me in urgent care. I also ended up needing ANOTHER root canal. I had one back in August and needed another one. My dentist thinks I may have had trauma when I was younger but since I have no one to ask, I’ll just have to believe him. The root canal set me back $630 and I’ll need a cap later this year. I also needed to refill my expensive asthma meds and pay for my annual checkup.
  • Stress related to school: Right before Thanksgiving, I had a breakdown. Balancing work and school full-time left me in a state of overwhelming exhaustion and I cried for hours in my room. Between finding out I needed a root canal, not getting enough sleep and running myself into the ground, I couldn’t take anymore. I’m only human like everyone else and doing everything on my own is extremely hard sometimes.
    Anxiety and depression don’t help at all and even though I am doing a lot better than I ever have before in regards to my mental health, sometimes I feel I still have so much left to do. And since money is such an emotional part of my being, it’s easy to throw money at problems in hopes they’ll go away. Towards the end of the semester, I had no problem buying dinner for myself so I had one less thing to worry about. I didn’t have the problem of worry about dinner anymore but I had less to save as a result.
    This challenge helped me realize that I have come very far in regards to some areas of my financial journey. In the past, I had a shopping addiction. I tried to fill things I was missing in my life with possessions and although I am still drawn to shiny things, especially Michael Kors, I no longer spend money I don’t have on belongings which is a huge leap for me. I don’t go impulse shopping and I work really hard to keep my clutter at bay. By not allowing anything beautiful and useful in my home, I tend not to buy things just because.
    I’ve also made huge strides by cooking at home and from scratch for the past two years. I started religiously meal planning in 2008 along with packing my lunches but still relied heavily on prepared and  packaged meals to get me through the week. Now, I cook everything from a recipe and it tastes 100 times better than stuff from a can or the freezer. However, I still eat out too much for my liking. It’s so easy to meet a friend and catch up over lunch or dinner. It’s easy to order take out when it’s just you and you can’t be bothered to cook. And I’ll admit sometimes, I’m either craving it or they just make it better! My Starbucks habit is a lot better and I have an efficient system with my Keruig but I still crave fancy designer lattes like no ones business.
    Going forward, I’ll be tracking my daily spending to help stay on track with my budget. I am moving into my first apartment by myself soon and will be 100% responsible for everything. It’s a huge step for me since I’ve never lived alone and I want to save as much as I can, even after the move in is complete. I want my spending to align with my values and although I enjoy a good meal and fancy coffee, my values are security, making sure my education is on track and making my new digs into the home I’ve never had.

December Recap & January Goals

December this year was a fantastic way to close out 2014 for me. Despite having dental and health issues that hit my emergency fund a bit hard, I was still able to keep maintain my apartment savings which really leaves me feeling relieved. Moving on out on my own is such a nerve wracking thing to me for some reason so I want as much money in the bank as possible. This is hard when I’m pressed for time between a full-time job and a full-time class load and numerous things come up frequently but all I can do is keep on keeping on, right?

Some of my highlights this month were:

  • Passing all of my classes at ASU, three A’s a and a B baby!
  • Having my annual girls trip with my best friend to Grinchmas.
  • Exchanging gifts with my oldest friend for Christmas via sweet care packages for Christmas.
  • Spending two weeks with H and celebrating our first Christmas together. I was extremely spoiled for Christmas but the highlight was seeing Michael C. Hall on Broadway as Hedwig in “Hedwig & The Angry Inch.” I was even able to snag some up close photos and an autograph!
  • Two week break off from work AND school! #teacherlife

Although I’m still in New Jersey for another week or so, I will be hitting the ground running like I usually do after a break from reality. January will be a busy month for me. Not only do I hope to plan writing here more now that I have a vision for this site and some more free time from prior commitments, I will be starting school again. If I thought last semester was rough, this semester I’ll be taking an additional class to graduate a semester sooner and saving myself $6,000. I’ll also be moving out next month so I need to finish decluttering, organizing and pack. I was able to get rid of three boxes of personal items but I still haven’t gone through my closet shelves or my boxes in the garage.

My goals this month are:

  • Make $500 in side income. ( continue with part-time job hustle and work harder for social media client.)
  • Turn in all work reimbursements.
  • Be caught up in all data for my day job.
  • Save $300 in my e-fund. ( H will be here starting in February for a month so I think I am okay not saving in my travel fund this month)
  • Read 5 books.
  • Stay organized and make a calendar for all of my assignments this semester.
  • Continue to declutter and pack if possible. ( Top of closet, dresser and boxes in garage!)
  • Lose 6 lbs ( walk 30 minutes everyday and eat lo-carb no sugar like I am suppose to according to my doctor.)
  • Post here at MSL eight times. Anything you’d like to especially see?

That is more than enough to keep me busy for the entire month. What do you have planned for yours?

2015 Books- A Year In Review

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This year, I was able to accomplish reading 64 books and we are only in mid-December so I might finish more. I have a five hour plane ride in my near future this Friday as well as two weeks off from teaching and ASU. While I’ll be visiting my boyfriend and partaking in holiday fun, I still plan on reading when I can so I might knock out three more books by month’s end.

I saw Leslie and Briana do a book’s recap and while it has nothing to do with finance, I wanted to do one here. Okay, scratch that. Reading has a lot to do with finance. The more educated you are, the better life decisions you are able to make. Better life decisions you make, the more money you can possibly bring in as well as save. And we all want to save, right? Right!

I went ahead and divided my books by fiction and non-fiction. The ones in bold are my favorites and ones I would recommend to anyone. Thursday, I’ll be sharing tips to getting your reading on and how to make time, so be sure to check back soon!

Fiction

Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Notes from the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, #1) by Jenny Han*
Among the Hidden (Shadow Children, #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Palo Alto by James Franco
The Normal Heart & The Destiny of Me by Larry Kramer
American Woman by Robert Pobi
Among the Impostors (Shadow Children, #2) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Psychos: A White Girl Problems Book by Babe Walker
The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh
Among the Betrayed (Shadow Children, #3) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Among the Barons (Shadow Children, #4) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman
Among the Brave (Shadow Children, #5) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1) by Stephen King
Street Pharm by Allison van Diepen
The Fever by Megan Abbott
Among the Enemy (Shadow Children, #6) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Revival by Stephen King
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

Non-Fiction

Love Him Or Leave Him, But Don’t Get Stuck With The Check by Loni Love
Spelling It Like It Is by Tori Spelling
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
White Whine: A Study of First-World Problems by Streeter Seidell
Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman
The Love Playbook: Rules for Love, Sex, and Happiness by La La Anthony
The EveryGirl’s Guide to Life by Maria Menounos
Make Every Man Want You by Marie Forleo
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change by Adam Braun
Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler
You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself by David McRaney
Our Purpose: The Nobel Peace Prize Lecture 2007 by Al Gore
Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt
A Freewheelin’ Time: Greenwich Village in the Sixties, Bob Dylan and Me by Suze Rotolo
Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry by Helaine Olen
Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele
False Conviction: Innocence, Guilt & Science by Jim Dwyer
Good Advice from Bad People: Selected Wisdom from Murderers, Stock Swindlers, and Lance Armstrong by Zac Bissonnette
And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic by Randy Shilts
The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us by Martha Stout
7 Skills To Make Mill$ by Brooks Harper
The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerald Brittle
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner-City Funeral Home by Sheri Booker
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community by Mary Pipher
Bunny Tales: Behind Closed Doors at the Playboy Mansion by Izabella St. James
North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Unusual Family, and How I Survived Both by Cea Sunrise Person
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
Confessions of a Professional Blogger: How I Make Money as an Online Writer by Miranda Marquit
Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder
Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek
The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau
Normally, This Would be Cause for Concern: Tales of Calamity and Unrelenting Awkwardness by Danielle Fishel
Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker
Intrapreneurship: Managing Ideas Within Your Organization by Kevin C. Desouza
The Effective Public Manager: Achieving Success in a Changing Government by Steven Cohen

Although my to-read list has over 700 books on it, I love recommendations if you have one! What was your favorite book this year?

Athena