Money Goals 2.0

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m moving today. This means I have to demolish the financial goal structure I literally just set for 2018, and rebuild. Le sigh. #firstworldprobs

After rereading last week’s Money Goals post, analyzing my current budget, and changing things around to fit the new expected expenses (plus adding plenty of wiggle room for the unexpected), this is what I’ve settled on for my 5-part challenge 2.0:

  1. 58-Day Spending Freeze
  2. Live on $2,000 each month for day-to-day expenses
  3. Use the cash envelope system
  4. Get one paycheck ahead
  5. Only purchase 20 items or less that cannot be used up, and only if I’m willing to give up an item I already own to create space for the new one

It looks largely the same, aside from a 28 day and $500 dollar difference. Let’s discuss.

30 58 Day Spending Freeze

As I mentioned, a spending freeze is when someone stops spending on anything that is not a life necessity for a specific amount of time. I originally intended to participate in a freeze for the last 30 days of January, but it will now run from January 2nd to February 28th. In addition to the previously mentioned reasons, I also need to get savings back on track after the move. This is going to take more than 30 days.

I hate saving money.

No really. I know that’s a weird thing to say, but it’s the truth. I’d much rather spend every cent on eating out and travelling the world, but that’s not a fiscally generally responsible way to do life. So off I go to save money. *insert eye roll here*

$1,500 $2,000 Per Month 

My new apartment is NICE. I dig it. But it also comes with extra expense. My rent checks will be increasing by $235 per month, and I’ll be paying for water now, whereas I only paid the electric bill at my former residence. I have no clue what my average utilities cost will be, but I can guarantee it’ll increase from the $50-85 I’ve been paying.

That said, I’ve reset the limit to my life spending from $1,500 to $2,000. This will give me that much needed wiggle room until costs are a little more set in stone. I do plan to decrease that as soon as I can do so confidently.

In the meantime, I plan to use the “extra” money to further my finance goals. I still plan hope to pay off $10,000+ in debt because (assuming bonuses and commissions come through as they have been) it looks like a possibility still. Time’ll tell.

Anyway, just having written this post is making me feel a lot more settled about the move and such. I’ve been sweating bullets contemplating all of this for the past week because I was so eager to minimize my expenditures. For real though, #firstworldprobs strikes again.

What are your money goals for 2018?

 

Relocating

Y’all, life is hilARious. Like slap your mama kinda funny.

You know how I mentioned on Tuesday that I’ll be moving in 2018 or 2019? Well, yeah. I’m actually moving this weekend. Mmhmm. You read that right.

My apartment has had… odor issues since I moved in (turns out it may actually be sewer gas coming from the building next door – which would mean I’ve been slowly getting poisoned for the last year or so – cheers!). They weren’t constant, but would come and go at the most inconvenient of times. Recently, the odors combined with fibro have been making me miserably ill. After the millionth attempt to get my landlord to correct the problem, they offered to let me out of my lease, reimburse me this month’s rent and refund my deposit, so that I can move.

Hallelujah.

ish.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m fairly excited about the new apartment. What I’m not excited about is the headache of moving when I’m at 50% health and the curve ball this will throw into my afore mentioned money goals. Gah. Life.

Trying to think of this as an adventure. ‘Cause that’s exactly what it is.

Since I’ll be moving on Friday, I decided that keeping the clutter around until January 1st is entirely pointless. Why would I move it to the new apartment, only to move it again a week later? Nah, I ain’t about that life. So this morning I dropped off an entire trunk full of donations and gave a very hearty “Merry Christmas!” as I drove away. It felt amazing. Especially since the moment was book-ended by doctor appointments that really had me in a mood.

Anyway.

I’ll have to review my goals and see what’s going to change. I know a couple right off the bat are my “keep it under $1,500” and “pay off $10,000.” They’re going to need some modifying. Hopefully not too much; I was dang excited about that biz.

My apartment is packed and everything hurts, but soon I’ll be thriving in my new home. It’s been a busy weekend.

How was yours?

 

Money Goals (This is real talk, y’all)

As I mentioned in my post about preparing for the New Year, I’ve taken a look at my budget and spending habits for 2017.

And holy cow I suck.

Okay, so it’s not that bad. I don’t regret my 7 trips around the good ‘ol U.S. I don’t even regret the one to Canada (I tease, I tease). I don’t regret the car, or the books, or the clothes, but boy-oh-boy did I spend a lot of money on eating out. Like. A lot. Like. Um. Thousands of dollars.

What.

Even.

Here’s the thing, I struggle with committing to a purchase.. unless it’s food. Then I’m like – who needs money? “Gimme them P.F. Chang’s Gluten-Free Hokkein Street Noodles, no Meat please. Oh, I’ll take the Edamame appetizer, too.”

And every time I attempted a budget after becoming debt-free..

Well, let’s just say: I didn’t follow through.

So it’s time to get my act together again. After a lot of soul searching, I’ve decided to attempt a 5-part challenge for 2018. Lemme break it down:

  1. 30-Day Spending Freeze
  2. Live on $1,500 each month for day-to-day expenses
  3. Use the cash envelope system
  4. Get one paycheck ahead
  5. Only purchase 20 items or less that cannot be used up, and only if I’m willing to give up an item I already own to create space for the new one

It’s pretty simple, eh? Okay, if you’re anything like my mom, you’re probably like “wuuuuh???” about #2 and #5. Don’t worry, I’m about to freefall into detail.

30 Day Spending Freeze

A spending freeze, if you’re not familiar with the concept, is when someone stops spending on anything that is not a life necessity for a specific amount of time. For me, that time will run from January 2nd through January 31st.

I’m doing this for three reasons. One, I need to get past the “I just got rid of everything, so I get to buy stuff” stage of decluttering without doing any damage to my minimalist reputation. I want to break the habit of buying. Two, I want to break the habit of eating out and (hopefully) jump-start my weight loss goal (more on that later). Three, I want to use all remaining funds to build a cushion for my goal to get one paycheck ahead on bills.

The rules for the spending freeze are pretty simple: no spending money that doesn’t have to be spent. Therefore, dining out (groceries are needs, Chipotle bowls are not) and shopping (toilet paper is a need, new sheets are not) aren’t going to be an option.

$1,500 Per Month, Cash Envelopes, and Getting Ahead

I’m mainly doing the $1,500 challenge out of curiosity. In my ideal future, I’ll be self-employed part-time and doing whatever I want with the rest of my time. If I want this to be a thing, I have to learn how much I can cut my cost of living. I always thought that  $1,500 a month would be a plenteous budget and easily feasible as a minimalist. It’s time to challenge that theory.

I do expect spontaneous adventures (a day at the museum, a celebratory feast with my friends, etc.) to come up that I wasn’t able to plan for in my budget. But the $1,500 does give me about $100 of wiggle room for those events, so long as there aren’t multiple uh-oh-this-wasn’t-expected events each month.

With the rest of the money, I’ll be building my savings account, taking a couple of trips, and paying down my car.

Wait.. paying down the car?

WHAT?! RACHEL HAS DEBT?!

Yes. Yes she does.

After becoming debt free back in May of this year, I decided I deserved a new-to-me car. Lucy (my ’98 Honda Accord) had seen far better days and was beginning to struggle with day-to-day life. Enter Veronica (Ronnie), my smokin’ hot mama of a black 2014 Toyota Rav4.

I mean, yeah, my decision was not Dave Ramsey approved by any stretch of the imagination. I did it anyway. I expect to have it paid off in 2 years, and it’ll boost my credit score (which will come in handy when I’m ready to move into a new apartment in 2018 or 2019), and it has already allowed me to avoid having to rent a car on multiple trips. Lucy, babe that she was, was definitely not fit/safe for roadtripping.

Anyway, I’m like way lazy when it comes to tracking my spending (hence I can’t stick to a budget), so I’m hoping the cash envelope system (Dave Ramsey approved) will do that for me. When the money’s gone, it’s gone. I dunno. We’ll see how it goes.

The final way I plan to force myself to stick to the challenge is by getting one paycheck ahead. Once I’ve done that, I can automatically put all the money wherever it goes at the start of each month. That means I look at my bank account once a month, and then forget about everything but the cash envelopes after that. This may or may not be a good idea… I’ll, uh, let ya know.

20 Items or Less

I’m getting rid of a lot of crap. LIKE A LOT. If you could see the pile in my hallway and the pile at the bottom of my closet, you’d likely be horrified. DON’T WORRY. I haven’t tossed/donated it all yet; I haven’t forgotten my resolution to wait until January 1st. But gosh my apartment is feeling swell. And I’m loving that feeling.

So I don’t want to reclutter it after I declutter it – ya feel?

PLUS, fewer purchases equals less spending.

And I’m a freak who likes to make unrealistic goals. If I don’t achieve them, who cares. If I do – whoa. I’m a friggin’ rockstar.

Anyway.. That pretty much sums up my minimalist money goals for 2018. How ’bout you? I’d love to chat money with you in the comments below. 🙂

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