Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goals check-in: May

Read 100 books in 2012.

Up to #59. I've had some re-reads this month, and I FORGOT two different books while out volunteering, so I haven't finished them yet. 

Exercise for 
90 minutes per week.

This ain't happening. My back protests at the inactivity. (It also complains about activity, which is its own problem.) I would like to walk more during the evenings now that sunset happens later.

Get rid of (sell, donate, recycle) 80 items from the house by the end of the year.
Up to 98 so far, with a bag of clothing leaving the apartment for a friend's clothing swap. Still behind if I want to get to my secondary (stretch) goal of 365 for the year.

70 posts for this blog in 2012.

12 this month, for a running total of 58. This month I entered a challenge to track my weekly spending -- I was encouraged to blog more regularly, and it was a good excuse for a reality check: am I living within my budget?

Volunteer 60 hours in 2012.
I swung by the Read Aloud program in person in May, where we took an end-of-year photo with (almost) all the volunteers before reading to the classrooms. Twice this month, I helped staff a portable reading room at a local farmers' market and answered questions about the blossoming Green Branch Library. They'll be hosting the reading room every Saturday during the summer, while fundraising for a bookmobile and/or brick-and-mortar location... and I'll be participating in a formal internship with them during the 10-week summer term! 10 volunteer hours (not part of my internship) so far this year -- I need to catch up!

Save or donate 50 percent of my take-home income.
In April, I saved 53.8% and donated 8.8% of my net income. (I'm counting the cash I applied to the accounts, not any interest earned.)
Here's how it broke down:
Emergency Savings: 20% This month I pulled rent money from the emergency account, which just about balanced the amount I have automatically transferred to it. My sweetie had her work hours cut one week, which translated to not being able to pay her share this month.
Xmas 2012: 1.5% Chugging along...
Wedding: 0% Met this goal last month -- now I'm spending it! The wedding is less than 5 months away, and our deposits and other payments are in full swing.
House Fund: 11.4% I want this to grow faster, but it will have to wait until my sweetie is employed full-time.
Grad School: 20.9% Not much snowflaking this month, but I listed my spring term's textbooks on Amazon last night and already sold one. That will get passed along to the grad school savings, which needs the inflow after being hit with summer tuition.
Roth IRA: 0% -- a problem, as I'm not to 50% of the maximum annual contribution yet.
401(k): taken from paycheck; 5% of gross income; not counted in this total
HSA and medical FSA: taken from paycheck; not counted in this total (I'm glad I don't have to think about it.)
Investments: 0% this month; waiting for some windfall that's not already earmarked.
Church Pledge: 7.8% 
Other Donations: 1% I contributed to the rehoming/fostering costs of a kitty in Dallas, because I am tenderhearted after my own lost kitty story. Sadly, though, general finances precluded my usual monthly donation.

Distribute 40 business cards by the end of the year.
'fraid not. I haven't been getting out much for networking purposes. I did pitch an internship, though, and get it registered last-minute, which furthers my career development and professionals skills. Still at 8

Spend 30 days without a phone or computer in 2012.
I had one lovely long weekend where most of what I did was sleep and read and enjoy time at home. (I still used the computer, because it was for entertainment and wedding planning purposes.) I also spent one rather hectic weekend tech-less, so it's possible! Chalk up 2 days toward the total.

Be able to do 20 pushups at once by the end of the year.
Oy. Nope. I can do 3.

Write 10 recommendations on LinkedIn in 2012.
Still holding at 1. Maybe I'll approach fellow students and professors.


Go Meatless! DONE
We switched to ovo-lacto vegetarianism for the entire month. And, honestly, though it was sometimes inconvenient (especially when other people had plans involving meat, like barbecuing for Memorial Day), I didn't physically miss or crave meat like I had expected to. We tried out a few new recipes -- some of which will become regular menus -- and enjoyed finding good prices on fresh local food from the farmers' market. As we move forward, I hope that our success this month will inform our meal plans and choices, so that overall we consume less meat and more fruits/veggies.

Take a mini-vacation. DONE
I took 3 weekends off of school and church! It was really nice to be able to relax and spend time with friends and family, enjoy the sunshine, sleep in, read without interruption, and catch up on some tasks at home. This weekend I'll resume Sunday services, and while I'm looking forward to seeing friends from the choir, I'm much more aware of just how much time this commitment takes up every week (3:30ish to 9:30ish every Sunday, plus at least one extra 3-hour rehearsal a month, plus congregational meetings). Next week, summer term will begin, and I'll be diving back into the books (although with a reduced class schedule).

Sort out checking and credit accounts. IN PROGRESS
After juggling funds for the past month, I'm close to paying my credit card charges from cash I have on hand, not from the upcoming paycheck. In the next month, I'll focus on reducing charges made to the credit card (oh! and I had to get a new credit card), and get that fully in balance.

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