Month: September 2015

Purge and Declutter

Over the past few months, I’ve been on a slow and steady declutter. I was initially inspired by Cait at Blonde on a Budget. She’s removed 70% of her belongings over the last year. While excellent in principle and it has certainly worked for her, it was too extreme for my taste. I took a more tempered approach.

I didn’t want to go too fast. I am a hoarder in nearly every sense of the word. The only part I’m missing is where my stuff because a hazard to myself and others. I also have intense connections to seemingly meaningless things. I have a habit of tackling projects too big, getting overwhelmed and leaving stacks of crap in piles. I wanted this to be different and permanent.

I started with my closet in June. A very good place to start.

Off to Goodwill

Through the purge, I got rid of a little of everything. Lots of clothes, several stuffed animals, and a purse. I also got rid of a blender, a few hangers and some office gear.  I hadn’t looked at this picture since that first purge and I’m happy to report that I haven’t missed a single item.

IMG_0003

Dirty hangers.

A side effect of cleaning out my closet was realizing that my hangers all had a nasty sticky film on them. In to the tub with you! To combat this nasty sticky film in the future, I opened and hung up two “keep dust off” closet organizers. It will be interesting now to see how much I wear the items I can’t see.

After the closet, I tackled the bathroom. There was a lot of organizing to be done, but I wasn’t compelled to get rid of much. Most of the stuff I had was good, but I had too much of it. Instead of trashing it only to buy more in the near future, I vowed to use up all the bottles in my bathroom.

In July, I encountered a major set back. My darling sister decided she no longer wanted any toxins in her home. She took the band-aid approach and decided to get rid of all of the “toxins” at once. She got rid of a LOT. Nearly all of this stuff was essentially new.

My house is full of extra toxins now.

As the designated hoarder in the family, I took most of it. Some of it found a new home. But most of it is still mine. I have a lot of “using up” to do. I’m not going to be buying any household products for a long, long time.

Over the month of August, I started to rethink how I do things around the house.  I’m practicing refusing bags and paper when presented. I also started planning alternatives for items that my household uses regularly.

For example:

  • I was initially inspired to adopt the “no poo” method for cleaning my hair. However lately, I’ve lost my enthusiasm for this approach and instead I’m planning to buy shampoo in bulk from my local co-op.
  • I’ve started collecting my organic matter in a separate container (gallon ice cream bucket) away from the trash.  This allows me to go longer between taking the trash out and prevents pests in my apartment. I’ve yet to start composting my organics. Baby steps.

Overall, it’s been a fun process. I enjoy challenging how I do things while minimizing the amount of stuff I own. The less time I spend maintaining my stuff, the more time I’ll have to enjoy everything else.

Progress, progress.

Making a plan for the rest of my 20s.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s September. September happens to be the best month in the whole year. Why? Because September is my birthday month! I love my birthday.

Before you get all weird on me about how much I love my birthday, I want you to know that I’m not the type of person who makes a big deal of their birthday. I don’t celebrate it or do anything fancy. What I love is the excitement leading up to my birthday.  It comes with the change of the season: the turn of a new school year, pumpkins, apples, LEAVES and an excuse to see my favorite people. It also makes me happy that every year, my dear mother calls me on my due date and tells me that I wasn’t born that day. I waited a whole week to be born. #sorrymomma

As August came to a close, I started thinking about what I want for my birthday. After a lot of thinking, Here are my wants and plans for my birthday.

New Eye Makeup Remover

I start with the most important things 😉 My sister asked what I wanted for my birthday and my first answer was a new potato peeler. After 3 weeks of thinking about it, I told her I changed my mind. My current potato peeler works just fine. It’s not the best for sweet potatoes, but it can take care of carrots like a champ. Sweet potatoes are better handled with a knife anyway. What I do want is new eye makeup remover. I’m nearly out and these peepers don’t have the power to clean themselves!

>Poll: What do you use? I’ve been using the Target Up & Up brand, though I’m open to suggestions of something more gentle or natural.

A tour!

For Hubs’ birthday last month, we toured a local brewery. We had a blast. #FREEBEER Afterward, we talked about how we wanted to tour more things in our area. This week, I randomly found that my local recycling center does tours. The Recycle Zone. Ooooooo. How exciting! I’m in the middle of reading “Zero Waste Home” and this sounds like a perfectly awesome way to finish off that book. I’m not sure if I can get anyone else excited about it, but I’m pumped!

Beyond these little things, I have a bigger plan for my birthday. What I really want is…

An Excellent Year

At the end of the month, I’ll be 29. While most people would expect 30 to be a big birthday, I’m more excited about 29. I’ve been inspired to make my last year as a 20-something the best I can be. I have a lot of things I want to improve. Nothing too crazy, but enough to be a challenge. Enough to challenge how I think and how I react to things. This is what I want.

I want to listen to my body and consume only the things it wants me to consume. 

  • Dairy? OUT!
  • Processed crap? OUT!
  • Mindless eating for the sake of eating? NO MORE!
  • Reducing the amount of time I spend obsessing about food? Yes please.

I’ve been doing well with all of this as of late, but I could do better. I need to get better at setting myself up for success. This means better meal planning and grocery shopping.

I want to get in the best shape of my life.

  • This is the only body I have and I need to treat it better. Feeding it properly will make a huge difference but so will additional stretching and strengthening. I’m on the right track here; I just need to keep going with purpose.

I want to be more intentional.

  • My morning routine sucks. I’m an adult. I need to start acting like one.
  • I want to be the best employee I can be.
    • I’m good at what I do and I’m being noticed for that. But sometimes I don’t feel like I’m giving it all I can. I’m young. The best time to knock it out of the park is now. Hey batter, batter. It’s time to SWING, batter.

I want to turn off my brain and take better care of my soul. 

  • I want to shut out the chatter. Why do I keep scrolling through Facebook? Why do I log in everyday right when I get home? Facebook brings very little joy to my life. My mind would feel better if I didn’t absorb so much meaningless crap about people I barely care about.
  • I love yoga but I need to do it more often. I love how it centers me and turns off my brain. Right now, I have the opportunity to practice 1x per week. I want to make sure I go every week.

What it all boils down to is that I want 29 to be a year of more mindfulness. I want to be mindful about what I take in from the world (and my plate) and what I leave behind (hopefully an excellent impression 😉 ) . Am I really the person I want to be? What can I do to become the best me? To be the best, I need to focus on what my body needs, my mind needs and what my career needs.

If I can do any of this, and don’t worry, I’ve already started, I’m going to take 30 by storm.

August 2015 Recap &Net Worth

Hi 🙂

Let’s get straight into why I’m happy that it’s September.

1. I CAN BREATHE! I caught a nasty cold in the middle of August. Then I got Hubs sick. Then I nearly killed my 89 grandpa by taking both of our sick selves to his birthday. RULE: Do not attend a birthday party for an old man with bad lungs and a compromised immune system when you’re  contagious.  People could die! Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. After 2 weeks of yuck, I’m very happy to be breathing again.

2. Manager for a week! Part of the reason I was sick for so long was that I was a stressed bunny. Over the course of August, I was promoted to officially managing an individual I’d been unofficially managing for 2 months and then demoted when they were fired. I was a real manager for a whole week! Now I’m a manager with no direct reports and a lot of work to do. Can someone get me more coffee?

3. Anniversary/ Birthday love. I’d like to take a moment and give a shout out to my favorite human, Hubs. It was his birthday and our THIRD wedding anniversary in August. Holy crap! I’ve been married for 3 whole years! I guess, time flies when you are head over heels in love with your best friend. … you can gag. It’s okay 😉

[flashback]

August 2014: Hubs and I left for a birthday trip to London! I had $27,594 in debt. I paid off my third loan and said goodbye with an obituary. I was hoping to pay off my debt by December 2015. {Spoiler Alert: I finished 9 months ahead of schedule!}

August 2013: I started looking for a job outside of the traditional legal world. So many coffee dates! Hubs and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary.

August 2015: Harrumph

August didn’t end well. Let’s get right into the RED numbers…

August Net Worth 15

Assets!

Retirement: $19,704 (+244)  This should be red, but it’s not. Baaaaarely not red. I invested my standard amount PLUS an extra $400 to capitalize on the market madness and I only ended up +244. Markets can be such killjoys. FEAR NOT! I’m not troubled by these numbers, but I can easily see how someone could be. Stay the course my friends. 

Also, I think my retirement account system at work is being purposefully glitchy so people can’t log in, panic and sell. Or so many people are on the system trying to sell that it’s being glitchy. Fingers crossed for the first scenario!

Taxable: $8,485 I presume this is down. Way down. There won’t be any official updates until December. I’m hoping December brings a big fat dividend that will bring this account up for the year. But I’ll have to wait until then to find out. 

Auto Value: $13,000  Valuing cars is stupid. I ran the numbers again and the value was way higher than my estimate. New plan: I’m going to keep this as $13,000 until the end of the year and then I’ll re-calculate. If anything happens to the car between now and then, I’ll also re-calculate. Recalculating, Recalculating. After that, I’ll update it every 6 months.

House Fund: $10,029 (+1,785) BOOM! I broke through $10k this month! Just as I hoped for! I totally forgot I was so close to this milestone during the month. I have just over $1000  saved in a different account so the numbers were playing mind games with me. Here I am with $10,000 saved for a house. That feels nice. SEE YOU SOON 20,000!!

> My favorite fact about this number is that it means I’ve refilled the house fund that I drained back in January to pay off my loans. Had I not drained the house fund, my loans still would have been paid off by or before today. This is all pretty freaking fantastical because all I wanted for my birthday (at the end of September) was to have my loans paid off.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Round Two Progress: (What is Round Two? check here!)

  • Baby Saver: $2125 
  • Middle Saver: $7953 (Loan value: $5828) ✔
  • Thing 1: $16,453 (Loan value: $8500) >in progress<
    • Yee! $10,029 down, $6,424 to go!
  • Things 2: $24,953 (Loan value: $8500)
  • Big Momma: $45,330 (Loan value: $20,377)

HSA: $4,602 (-246)  I finally paid for the  bill from my knee appointment AND the markets are way down. My investments took a bit of a tumble. Double whammy! This is still bigger than my 401k and I find that a wee bit hilarious.

Car Fund: $102 (-350) LOL Car Fund. I drained it to buy $400 of stock when it was on sale. As planned, I added $50 to this account. 

Liabilities!

Student Loan: $0! I’m keeping this here until it feels silly to list it. It still feels awesome, so here it is! I don’t owe FedLoan Servicing anything 🙂

Car Loan: $10,222 (-374) Minimum payment as promised. One more month until it’s under $10,000. It’s like my car loan and house fund are passing in the night. Wave to the House Fund on your way down!

Overall:

  • Net worth: $45,699. Up $1,807 from last month. 

I have $45,000 to my name 🙂 Happy Day. I have set an unrealistic goal for myself for next month. What is it? I realllllly want to hit $50,000 by the end of September. I turn 29 at the end of the month and it would be pretty sweet to start a new age at a solid number. We’ll see. To get there, the market is going to have to behave. We all know how great the market is at behaving.

  • Net worth increase: $129/day

I’ll take it. After all the red this month, I’m happy with anything.

 

How was your August? Tell me, tell me! What does your crystal ball tell you about my unrealistic goal?