it’s almost june

How, may I ask, is it almost June? We are close to half way through 2017. I’ve been busy this year. So here’s what I’m up to right now.

Currently Reading: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Currently Singing: JOSEPH music; I got a part in the summer musical.

Currently Watching: I finished Parks and Rec and I’m close to finishing Arrested Development.

Currently Loving: The balance between rain and sunshine we have been getting.

Currently Celebrating: The fact that I paid down a huge amount on my debt last month and that I’m shedding some weight again. I have to keep going.

Currently¬†Thinking: I’ve been working so much the past few months, and it has paid off in a lot of ways. I hope I can get a little better at using my spare time efficiently though.

Currently Worrying: That I won’t make weight for my upcoming weigh in on Diet Bet. I’m so close, and this one has really helped me get back on track again.

Currently Hoping: That the vegetable plants I planted today grow nice and full.

Currently Painting: The first of what I hope is at least a four piece series.

Currently Knitting: A chunky blanket.

Currently Crocheting: A small blanket.

Currently Considering: If I should renovate my room or get quotes for a deck on the back of the house.

Currently Hating: That a part of my knee has still not healed from my accident in November. I have an MRI tomorrow.

Currently Trying: To Bullet Journal more regularly and set daily goals and plans.

Currently Thankful for: The USA and the brave men and women who lost their lives for it. I’m also thankful for the great day off I had because I managed to get a lot done.

Happy Memorial Day.

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april goals

Here were my March goals.

  1. read 3 books <<I read 1 and started another>>
  2. lift three times a week for 20 minutes <<I did this for 2 out of 5 weeks>>
  3. finish knitting Mia’s scarf <<definitely made progress on, but not complete>>
  4. take more photos <<eh>>
  5. job search and read up on my field (potential fields too) <<eh>>
  6. find a new way to volunteer <</>>
  7. quit twirling my hair <</>>
  8. save money for summer trips (little to no spending)
  9. train/play with charlie every day <<eh>>
  10. lose 5 lbs. <<I lost 2 but then gained it back from lifting>>

I knew there was a reason I was heavy on the portion control and not on the exercise. I build muscle relatively quickly and an appetite to match. I hate¬†to see my work in the kitchen backslide when my appetite becomes out of control when I’m exercising. However, I do feel much better having lifted the past two weeks. My body already feels stronger. I know that seems impossible, but I inherited some pretty awesome muscle building genes. ūüėõ

On all points, March was not a great goal reaching month. Maybe I got a little ambitious.

April is going well so far. Our band has another gig this Friday. Hashtag excitement. Charlie and I have been having fun outside even with the snowy weather. I cannot wait until the weather gets a little nicer, and I can squeeze in some trout fishing. One good thing about March was that my summer vacation fund grew a bit, and I was able to put another $75 on my small loan so far. Baby steps.

  1. finish 2 books
  2. lift at least three times a week for 20 minutes
  3. finish knitting Mia’s scarf
  4. trout fish as much as possible
  5. sing more
  6. write more
  7. quit twirling my hair
  8. continue to save vacation money
  9. train/play with charlie every day
  10. lose 5 lbs. and/or a couple of inches all around

I’d like to take this month to focus on myself and less on how much money I do or don’t have. It’s hard when I really want to pay down debt. For right now, I’m doing everything I can, and I want to put more energy into my health and fitness and less on stressing about money I don’t have. So here’s to¬†April!

my favorite side hustling links

tax return

Here’s the thing about living in a small town and working for¬†a small business: it puts a lot of pressure on my wallet. Adult-ing is hard. Balancing my love for my rural hometown and the need to have a successful career and pay off my loans causes me a lot of stress.¬†In an effort to be proactive in this aspect of my life, I’m on a mission to make money on the side. I know I have the spirit of a side hustler, I just have to find my niche.

Pinterest is constantly filling¬†my feed with articles featuring lists of ways to make money¬†online or from home. Some are really helpful, some not so much.¬†There are a few lists that I found¬†extremely helpful. The Penny Hoarder is my favorite so far, but I also really like Making Sense of Cents. Here’s a list of the best suggestions for making money on the side as well as a list of odd jobs that actually bring in a little extra cash for me.

  1. 6 Online Jobs for College Students by Seed Time
  2. The 4 Side Jobs That Make Me Over $3,000 a Month by Busy Budgeter
  3. 103 Ways to Make Money at Home by The Penny Hoarder
  4. 30 Side Jobs to Make Money & Pay Down Debt by Frugal Fanatic
  5. Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 a Month by Making Sense of Cents

I also have my own personal suggestions for a busy millennial struggling for pocket change.

  1. Selling garage sale items/thrift store finds on eBay and Facebook
  2. Trading in clothes you don’t wear at a clothing boutique
  3. Completing surveys on Swagbucks
  4. Starting a band

I’ve made quite a few sales on eBay with items I bought from the Salvation Army. The turn around is relatively quick if you find interesting things. I¬†sold kids snow shoes, a pet barrier for¬†the car, and an HD cable antenna – all of which I found at the thrift store. I also sold a few things I was no longer using, like a pair of Ariat boots and a guitar case.¬†I go through my closet to weed out items I don’t wear enough, and I trade them in at a local clothing shop. I do this almost every time the seasons change. I usually trade my items in for store credit so I can get something new, but they also offer cash in exchange for lightly used clothing.

I started using Swagbucks a couple of months ago. I was primarily using their search engine and only earning a few Swagbucks a week. I didn’t understand how so many people had success with it, but after I started completing the surveys, I racked up enough ‘bucks’ to redeem a $25 PayPal gift card. It only took a week or so once I started doing a couple of surveys every night. I was really impressed with the variety of gift cards available but opted for the PayPal card since I have a couple of small bills that come out of my PayPal account. I haven’t referred anyone yet, but if you find this post helpful at all, use my referral link to get bonus Swagbucks.

If you have a couple of musically talented friends, or family in my case, get together and start a band. It requires some equipment, but¬†a lot of venues¬†have equipment on site. I was lucky to have a family member who had all the equipment already. Booking a gig every few weeks can bring in a good amount of cash (as long as you don’t spend it on alcohol while you’re out performing). Bonus: playing music and getting out of the house can help you unwind and have fun.

I hope to keep expanding my list of side hustles as I continue to pay down my school loans. I keep track of almost all of my bank/financial transactions so I should be able to compile my monthly earnings pretty easily.Maybe I’ll be able to do a “Side Hustle Monthly Roundup.

 

why I put all of my tax return toward my loans

A Story About Tax Returns
One day, I hadn’t gotten my federal tax return. Then, at lunch, my bank account showed a large deposit. After lunch, I didn’t have my tax return any more. ¬†The End.
Why did I use all of my tax return on a loan payment? Because I hate being in debt;¬†I’ve hated it since I signed my loan papers for school tuition. So I decided that as soon as I received my return it was going right on my car loan.¬†It wasn’t ¬†hard to let all the return go because it wasn’t in my account long enough for me to miss it. Plus,¬†I absolutely love seeing those numbers tick down on my remaining balance.
I pay my personal loan on my car online through my bank account which is quite handy. Everything goes to the loan as soon as possible.¬†Once I kill the car loan, I’m going to go crazy on those student loans. I might even find a part-time job to really pay them down.