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Archive for January, 2014

bleak monday

January 6th, 2014 at 07:35 pm

Ugh - back to work today, which was fine, but difficult after two weeks off! I am very grateful to have a good job, though, so I'll stop complaining. The weather is horrible - this morning it was over 50 degrees and pouring rain on top of old layers of ice and snow. Now the temperature is rapidly dropping and everything is freezing solid. Lovely. Thankfully, most of the snow/ice on my front lawn melted, so I was able to get to my house from my car after work without too much danger. The driveway is a mess, so I need to be careful tomorrow morning. I live in a traditionally cold area, but somehow we are not experiencing quite the arctic blast that others are. It's only going down to 8 degrees tonight, which sounds pretty warm in comparison to what I've been hearing.

My paypal account verification is now complete, so I applied for my first $100 paypal swagbucks reward. For some reason, the process would not accept my cellphone number, so I need to wait for a verification code to arrive via postcard THROUGH THE MAIL in order to complete the reward application. Totally stone age!! After that process is finished, I will then apply for another $100 and then a $50 cash out. I officially hit 25,000 bucks late last night when the December bonuses were added to my account. I didn't earn the full monthly bonus amount, but I did get some. It will be fun to get my new Moto X phone for almost "free", but it did take a lot of time and effort to earn those 25,000 bucks, so not sure how much of a bargain it really is. Mr. money mustache had a discount code for republic wrless, but I didn't realize that it expired January 1, so I missed out. Darn, that would have been $19 off for the first month of the plan.

I am finally working on a financial to-do that has been on my list for many years. I have an older traditional IRA and a new Roth IRA at my credit union, both of which have never been invested except in a few CDs here and there. Quite sad, but I didn't take the time and effort to do anything with them. With the help of an advisor from the investment firm that my workplace uses for retirement accounts, the IRAs are now in the process of being transferred over to that company and I can begin slowly investing the money. Bummer that I'm doing this when the market is at a peak, but I'm going to only invest a bit each month for a while to take advantage of dollar cost averaging. I cringe when I think of how much larger the amounts in these accounts would be if I had invested them years ago, but at this point I can only accept reality and start now. I got a call from the investment firm and apparently I forgot to date one of the many places I signed on the paperwork, so now they are mailing me something so that I can correct the error. Ugh. Once the transfer is made, I will be able to look at all of my retirement funds from one website. I'm looking forward to that!

Today was a no-spend day and I should able to keep the spending down for the rest of the week as long as I stay away from any stores.

Hope everyone in the cold belt is staying warm tonight.

sunday stuff

January 5th, 2014 at 05:04 pm

I started the verification process for my paypal account. That will allow me to cash in my soon-to-be 25,000 sw@agbucks for cash through paypal. A few days ago, I received 900 bucks for a Nordstrom purchase I made in December. I have decided that I need to return the item (winter boots that aren't going to be warm enough for my area, but they are darn cute!) and I guess that means I will get a 900 bucks deduction. I don't know how that works.

I also need to return a pair of fashion boots to zappos. They are so cute and fun, but the zipper on one of them broke! I called zappos last night to start the return process. They don't have any more of the boots in stock, so will refund my credit card. The customer service woman decided to send me a $50 coupon to use towards a zappos purchase in the next 90 days to make up for any inconvenience. Sweet! Now I have to remember to order something. I'm going to lose some of my Discover card cash back bonus with the return.

I already did my 15 minutes of piano playing today (more like 30 or so) and have been cooking food to eat for the week. I made a thai coconut milk curry vegetable concoction and brown rice for dinners. I hard boiled some eggs and now need to make a big salad to use for lunches. I'm thinking about making smoothies for breakfasts - I have organic blueberries and strawberries that I picked and froze this summer, almond milk and I just bought a lot of spinach and kale. I need to remember to defrost some berries - I don't like frozen smoothies in frigid January! I have to remember that I'm refraining from processed sugar this week. I have some clementines that I will pack in my lunch each day to help stave of sugar cravings (I hope that works!).

Life is so easy when I'm not working. The minute I start back at my job tomorrow (poor me having two weeks off Smile), I will become overloaded and overwhelmed and I lot of my good intentions will go out the window.

Happy New Year!

January 4th, 2014 at 06:25 pm

Wow, 2014 already - how did that happen? I hope everyone had a joyous holiday season. I have been off from work since December 21 and loving every single minute of it! My workplace closed from 12/21 through 1/1 and we get paid without having to take vacation time. It is a very nice perk. I took off Thursday and Friday to make it a full two weeks. But, now it's back to reality on Monday. Ugh - I am starting to feel a cold coming on today, I hope that I'm not ill on Monday, because I really can't miss work and I hate going in sick.

I have many goals this year, but like another blogger (nika maybe?), I'm setting very small, doable tasks that I am in control of so that I can get some things accomplished this year. So, for this week, my small goals are:

Refrain from eating processed sugar (larger goal: eat healthy food most of the time)
Pack my lunch each day (larger goal: pack my lunch regularly for health and budgetary reasons)
Create ball of yarn from one skein (larger goal: knit a scarf)
Exercise three times (larger goal: move regularly)
Play piano 15 minutes a day (larger goal: play the piano regularly)
Verify P@ypal account so that I can cash in sw@gbucks

I'm still figuring out my financial goals. I want to track my spending and better plan where my money is going rather than wing it like I have been doing. My finances are fine, but I could be doing a lot better job of utilizing and enjoying my money.

I turn the big 5-0 in 2014, so I hope to make it a memorable year!

I'm going to take the big plunge and get myself a smartphone after many years of using a $16 average intelligence pay-as-you-go phone. I've accumulated almost 25,000 sw@gbucks, so I will cash those in for $250 and use it towards a $299 republic wrless phone. I will probably use the $25/month plan and hope to use sw@gbucks to pay for it. I would have more bucks accumulated, but I couldn't keep up with the daily goals during mid-december and had to let it go for a bit, so I'll miss out on the bonuses.

Well, I hope 2014 treats you all very well - cheers!

Net Worth on January 1:
403B retirement 370,254
IRAs 61,419
Cash 76,675
Brokerage 52,290
House 200,000

Total Assets 760,638
Auto loan (4,552)

Net worth $756,086