2017 is almost over…

life currently (2)

… and I haven’t written in awhile. I almost asked myself why even bother sharing my thoughts with the ether, but I know how much it positively affects my mental state. So I am back here.

I think the thing I miss most about logging on and putting my thoughts down in words is reflecting on my goals and weaknesses. I use a daily planner for every day To Do lists, but I don’t take the time to think about myself as much as I used to.

Part of that is because I’m not as worried about “making the right decisions” anymore. I know that life is not about making the right decisions but rather about finding your way day by day.

I had knee surgery. I had an accident with Charlie. I gained some weight. I went back to work and picked up another part-time shift.¬† I currently work 40 hours plus an additional 3 shifts at the Knights. I got a raise at my day job – the one I asked for a year ago. I’m going to close on a house soon.

Life is happening to me.

My most important goal was paying down my student loan debt, but then I started to like my job and started to hate my living situation. I recognize that I’m so lucky to have to home I have now with my sister. We just can’t live together and be happy. It never worked when we were little. It hasn’t been working now.

So, I got excited about the idea of having my own place, and my mom Рwith her newly earned real estate license Рstarting looking. My budget was small, and I know that means a lot of paint and a lot of patience until I have a home that is modern and mine. I found the house that I was looking for. I have plans for an office and a shop room and a guest bedroom with a screen projector for movie nights. I will have room for an additional freezer for the game I harvest. I will have a garage to put a canoe. I will have little view of the river. I will have my own bathroom!

I’m grateful. I’m grateful for my jobs. I’m grateful for my family. I know I’m single and 25 all alone in a house, but I have my doggo. I have my parents and grandparents within ten miles.¬†I’m scared and worried and a little disappointed that I’m taking out more loans rather than paying them off, but mostly, I’m excited.

Advertisements

dads make life better

I meant to post this for Father’s Day last year, but I somehow missed it. And here we are again… another year gone by… another year of my Dad being awesome too.

My friend Nichole’s birthday celebration was the week before Father’s Day last year, and it was such a good time. She got her family and friends together for drinks and wings and dancing. I got to meet her dad who I think is just too sweet. He was dancing with all of us and told me how nice it was to meet me. I realized how important it is to meet people’s parents.  They help you understand your friends better.

Nichole’s dad has several daughters. I think dads with daughters know what’s up. Men who have girls learn so much about what growing up as a girl is like, and those men ultimately watch their daughter turn into a woman. I think watching daughters grow up makes most fathers into better people.

And I was thinking about this the weekend of Father’s Day. I like when my life lines up like that. I got to meet Nichole’s dad, and he reminded me how great dads are.

And look at my dad when he was in high school!

333293_279517382062106_777345560_o.jpg

What an 80s hunk.

He’s gutted his whole house to make it pretty – the house in which all of us kids were/are being raised – and took a photo with us even though he was sweaty and gross. It’s okay; we love him that way.

Picture (23)

Now look at his herd of kids (plus a grand baby)! The photo below was taken almost two year ago. We need a new one with my niece in it. Mom and Dad did a heck of a job. My Dad not-so-secretly loves having adult children to meet up with at the bar. I have a theory that he had so many kids just to grow a bunch of friends.

IMG_7993.JPG

short-term money goals for 2017

I have been thinking about my short-term financial goals for a few weeks. I want to shake up my current plan of attack and I finally decided to write down these new goals. I loosely base my financial plan on the debt-snowball. I love Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Steps,” but there are a few reasons why I don’t follow his plan religiously. First of all, I don’t make a lot of “extra” money each month ( I refuse to say “I don’t make enough money” because that’s a lie – hashtag grateful). Additionally,  I successfully use a credit card and pay it off every month. I plan my splurges very carefully – I just swipe for them rewards. Even though I don’t follow his plan religiously, I had been taking his “throw everything at the loans” approach to the extreme. I pinch every dollar out of my pay check and end up leaving almost nothing in my regular account. This just doesn’t make sense for my situation. Since I just don’t generate copious amounts of income, it’s going to be a few years before I really beat down this debt.

So my new savings goals are:

1. Keeping at least the amount of one paycheck in my regular account
I’d like to automate my bills again and in order to do that, I will have to have enough green in my account. It will take some time to get use to this system. I might have to rework how I budget each paycheck since it won’t act like a zero-base in my account, but I truly believe it will relieve a lot of stress.

2. Maintaining a flex spending account of $1000 for recreation
This goal really torments my inner debt killer who says that I can’t have fun until I pay off my debt. “HANNAH YOU ARE IN DEBT AND DON’T DESERVE HAPPINESS.” It’s 2017 and I have been killing debt for 2.5 years. Shut up you debt murderer. I really value experiences over material objects and want to travel and visit friends and family. They don’t have to be elaborate trips, anything will help me de-clutter and unwind. So I’m officially saying that I am willing to let the debt linger just a little longer, if that means that I can have a few more experiences this year.

3. Bumping my emergency fund up to $2000
I know that Dave Ramsey says that I don’t need more than $1000.00 in my emergency fund, buuuuuuuut I don’t purchase pet insurance even though I have a very large dog who occasionally needs things for his greater health and wellness. Furthermore… my car needs a few more repairs before it will be in better running condition. These are things that I know are going to pop up in emergency-like fashion. I prefer to get ahead of my emergencies.

4. Keeping a little cash “savings” at home for special occasions
This one is a new strategy that I read about recently. The author of an article I was reading said she kept cash in her bedroom as a little bonus money. When I get bonus money, I usually put it towards one of my bigger goals like debt or Christmas or I use it to buy something I have been eyeing online. I still think those are good options, but I want to see what happens if the piggy bank piles up to $100 or $200. I’m thinking it might be good if something like a candle party pops up or if a sibling has a fundraiser or if I want to go out to eat with my friends without worrying about my budget or my savings goals. This one may not work for me, but I want to experiment.

saturday words

What’s crazy about a 7 day week,

is that on a Tuesday 

you might feel lonely and lost;

you might induce a panic attack 

by thinking about job searching; 

then,

on a Friday,

you could have an office meeting

that makes you feel both

Concerned

and needed.

So on Saturday,

when you call your college roommate,

you can truthfully affirm

that you love your job

Because you do

Even though on Monday,

You will clock-in

And wonder what the next disaster will be

And whether or not you need to 

update your resume.

may tbr

 

march 2016 tbr

Pictured here are my March TBR novels. The only one I finished in March was¬†Ellen Foster.¬†I spent all of April on The English Patient, and I just finished it this morning. I also finished two audiobooks in the past week. So it’s not like I’m completely slacking on my goals. I just had to splurge and buy some I could listen to at work.

So what I really need to finish in May is¬†Season of Migration to the North. I will also throw in Summer People by Brian Groh¬†because I’m sort of itching for a summer¬†book to get me through the rest of this spring. It’s been cloudy and rainy for the past few weeks. I just hope I can get through Season of ¬†Migration¬†because it seems like it might be pretty heavy. I’m not sure though.

I’m eight books behind schedule according to Goodreads. My goal is to read 50 books this year!

 

the pressure to succeed

I was sitting here ready to pour out my heart about being in a rut. I was going to say that my mission to be positive worked on my coworker, but I feel more down than ever.Then I realized that I wasn’t thinking about money. That mad me happy, like ‘Hey look at you!” Then¬†I thought about money which made me feel bad again.

Then I stumbled upon this article from Inc.com: Why Millennials Feel More Pressure to Succeed Than Any Other Generation.

It reminded me about the times I have caught myself thinking about celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Jennifer Lawrence.¬†I can’t be¬†worldwide¬†like¬†Taylor Swift. I can’t make as much money as her, and for some wild reason, that makes me feel inadequate.

“Why haven’t I made a life changing app or website?”

“Why haven’t I become an amazing doctor?”

“Why haven’t I made a million dollars?”

“Why haven’t I traveled the world?”

“Why isn’t my body thin and youthful and tabloid worthy?”

“Why don’t I have an Oscar?”

“Why don’t I have a platinum record?”

Comparing myself to celebrities seems downright unbalanced.

Maybe Tay-Tay has been on a world tour, but have she ever caught a trout along the river or had a black bear walk by her in the woods?

Probably not.

The author of the article¬†I mentioned wrote¬†that, “it was the shame of feeling like I haven’t done enough with my life … and that time is running out.”¬†The funny part is that the author was talking about this feeling upon turning 30. I feel like this, and I’m only 23.

However, there is something to look at in the¬†successes of the “rich and famous” which is that they have dedicated their lives to their work in a way that I will probably never understand. My one true complaint¬†is that I wish I could have found my passion and the path to making money from it when I was 13. That would have been real nice.