Thursday, May 28, 2015

The end of May 2015

I have to say: I was quite surprised to see that the step that I took towards Financial Fitness helped me in the Physical Fitness department, sort of.  By taking my credit card out of my wallet, and having already spent all my grocery money and all the money allocated to “Miscellaneous”, I didn’t have the funds available to just “stop by the Shopette” on the way home from work which meant that I couldn’t succumb to the lure of Haagen Daas chocolate ice cream or a bottle of moscato.  You definitely think a little differently when it’s just not there.  I have $100.91 in my checking account and $100 of it is slated for a bill that will get paid on the same day that my next paycheck hits.  This will enable me to get to that “Zero Dollar Budget” on the day that it resets for the next round.  The $.91 will just get carried over and plugged into the budget for the next pay period.

On a slightly different note, I didn’t unplug from Facebook.  As a nightshifter, I spend my nights off going to the gym, going to the grocery store, and…and…and, really, nothing else.  NOTHING is open in the wee hours, especially on week nights.  Plus, even if I did want to dive into some home improvement project, I don’t think my roommate would appreciate the noise at 3am.  So, I’m going to allow myself the indulgence but my rotation back to dayshift will be quite different.  Though, knowing that I’ll be putting in availability for a higher number of hours at the part time might derail any of those home improvement projects but, goodness knows, I will have ample time very, very soon.  Like, in 339 days.

Also contributing to my Financial Fitness is ebay.  I purged my wardrobe of a few gently used items and listed them for dirt cheap.  They’re still quite good but, being that they don’t fit, it’s not doing me any good by having them in my drawers or closet.  I have tons more to list on ebay.  It’s all piled in the room that is my “office”.  Eventually, I will get it listed or donate it to Goodwill.  In the meantime, I watch the pennies increase on the items that have bids on ebay.  Ten items currently listed; three have already ended and sold; seven remain—all with bids that end in the next day or so.  It’s a good way to end the month.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Last Year in This Phase of My Life

I spent the last five days in Ventnor.  It was intended to be my annual birthday vacation and it was supposed to be as fun as previous years.  It wasn’t.  It was boring.  There wasn’t anything that I did there that I couldn’t have done at home.  Granted, there is a boardwalk that gives me a straight down and back or up and back route to walk but, again, boring.  I’d much rather walk loops around my neighborhood.  The other reason that it was boring: well, there wasn’t anything to really do besides shop and I don’t *need* anything.  Buying things just adds to the stress of my upcoming retirement so I limited myself to a few things that I thought would be useful additions: three pairs of pants and a necklace/earring/bracelet set.  And coffee.  Lots of coffee.  From Starbucks.

This Sunday is my birthday.  #39.  The last year of my 30s.  Who’da thunk?  While I was in Ventnor, I couldn’t help but reflect on quite a few of those years; specifically, the ones that I’ve spent in the military and what I’ve done in that time.  Did I make a mark?  I think so.  Did I do something that I loved and had a passion for?  Absolutely not.  Can I use this last year—345 calendar days, but who’s counting—to help someone else not spend 20 years doing something that they don’t like?  I know I can.  On the flip side, I *have* spent the past nine years doing something that I really enjoy: helping customers find the right fit at Victoria’s Secret.  You can really tell if you have a passion for something when damn near every conversation can get turned to that subject.  I LOVE helping customers find what fits them.  I really don’t care if it’s a VS item.  I prefer that it be ‘cause it helps me keep my job but I’d rather see them in a style that fits perfect rather than one that fits “pretty well.”

Because it is my last year of my 30s and my last year in the military, I’m using these milestones to track things a little differently.  I want to focus on three things: Mental Fitness,  Financial Fitness, and Physical Fitness.  I know, it doesn’t sound all that different that what I’ve been doing all along but herein lies the difference: If it doesn’t help the one, it better help the other.  No more spending idle time on facebook.  I want to make a difference in the lives of those who know me.  I want to deepen the friendships that I already have and cultivate them into relationships that really matter.

My first step in the Financial Fitness:  I removed my credit card from my wallet.  This is big for me.  I always had it there as a safety net so I never really had to comply wholly with my budget.  Now, I will be forced to.  No more “covering the difference with my credit card.”  I already have an emergency fund in place--$1000—for anything that might actually constitute an emergency.  Those are so rare though.  Most things can be planned and budgeted for; and that’s my goal.

For my Physical Fitness: I will just be continuing on the track that I began last year when I quit grains and sugars.  I lost 20lbs between September 2014 and March 2015 but hit a plateau.  Sugar crept back in so I’m, again, making a concentrated effort to eliminate it.  I will also continue hitting the gym on my nights/days off but I plan to work out a specific, goal oriented plan with a trainer friend of mine.  And it won’t be a one-month plan but a one-year plan.  I want to map out where I plan to be by the time I’m 40.

I will provide updates and progress along the way in hopes that I’m able to inspire one other person to do something similar.  I know I’ve been inspired by many friends’ blogs.  I hope I can do the same.