Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Years Resolutions

I know that a lot of people feel New Years Resolutions are one ever fulfills them, but how many people post them on the internet for the whole world to see? (Don't answer that). But I do have quite a few things I want to accomplish this year, and this is the perfect place to write them all down, and maybe remind myself of the direction I want to go this year.

I want a positive Net Worth (I don't want my current positive net worth to sink into a negative)

I think I will be able to easily accomplish this, but I will also need to change my lifestyle even more now. I have been receiving GI Bill payments for going to college, but those are coming to an end in February. It is a significant amount of money that I will no longer be receiving. Also, I will not be accepting my total payout on Unsubsidized Grad Loans, meaning another $4,000 I will not be taking (but also, I will not need to pay out). Also, I will be paying for my summer classes out of pocket. Lastly, I am expecting quite a few medical bills (Dental work and possible Lasik surgery), but I am hoping starting a flexible spending account to offset the cost and spread out the payments. I actually expect my net worth to drop this year, but I am hoping with some sound investment, I will make it out okay.

I want to learn one song on the piano and one song on the guitar

This is a personal goal of mine. I have a piano in my living room that's not getting any love. I have two guitars, one of which was a gift from last year, that has never been tuned. I miss my music. I need to make time in my life for this.

I want to walk my dogs every morning, and spend time training them every night

This is for their health and well being as well as mine. I know this will make them happier dogs, and it will help with my next goal.

I want to loose 20 lbs

Everyone seems to think I don't need to loose any weight (I'm a size 8, btw) and they are kinda right. I don't need to loose this weight, I want to. And maybe, once I loose 10 lbs I will like what I see and stop there. To do this, I plan on eating healthier, making my own lunches and dinners as often as possible (this will help save money too!). As far as a plan for eating, I am considering becoming a vegetarian for health reasons. I don't know that it would help, or just give me too many restrictions causing a melt down on my part, so right now its just a consideration.

I will clean up my home office and spare bedroom

I moved in one year ago and these rooms are still a mess. I would love to have my office all cleaned up and organized. The same goes for the spare bedroom. In order to accomplish both of these, I will need to buy some organizational items, such as shelves or bookcases. This will be a cost that I don't really want to incur, so for the next few months I will be searching the garage sales for some great deals.

I want to be a better law school student

Okay, so this isn't something with an easy fix. I actually don't really know how to be a better student. I've been checking out StudyHacks, and Tim Ferriss' blog (author of The 4-Hour Workweek) and I am hoping to start in a new direction this year.

These aren't really Resolutions, more of a list of things I would like to accomplish:
  • Complete the backyard (including sod in the spring @ $1,000)
  • Paint the bathroom
  • Learn some Spanish (thanks to Rosetta Stone)

More on how to accomplish these goals in a later post....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cutting out the Coffee Cravings – How I cut down on those delicious but overpriced lattes

The simplest answer would have been – just stop going to Starbucks... but I couldn’t do it. Every time I skipped Starbucks before class I feel prey to the vending machine…with its tiny over-priced vanilla cappuccinos and the $1 bag of M&Ms. It was terrible, and not only for my waistline.

So I came to a resolve, if I couldn’t stay away, I had to spend less. And I did! I never thought I would become a tea drinker, but it happened. I went cold turkey. Well, not really…I drink black tea and green tea, both of which have caffeine. I get my fix, at a lower price point and calorie content…it’s a win-win-win for me!

I started by taking coffee out of the morning equation. For me, it was simply not brewing my daily coffee. Instead, I stocked my desk with tea bags and Splenda. The water cooler has a hot water tap which means….instant caffeine fix, at $0.30 a cup. Once I became accustom to the difference, then the transition at Starbucks was simple. I order a Venti Green Tea now. Instead of $4.00 I pay $1.85 ($2.30 if it’s iced).

The best part? Once I drink the tea, I add more water and microwave until hot and it’s like getting another 20 oz’s for free.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Net Worth - December 2009

Assets $ Diff% Diff
Other Real Estate$0--
Personal Property$0--
Total Assets$164,124--
Debts $ Diff% Diff
Home Mortgage(s)$133,749--
Other Mortgage(s)$0--
Student Loans$20,500--
Credit Card$995--
Car Loans$0--
Total Debts$155,244--
Net Worth$8,880--

Yay! My net worth is UP! 

Not much of a change, but I fell off the spending wagon too, I think I've spent about $400 on my pets between this month and last!!! (They are worth it, I swear)

Oh...and as for my obvious absence from blogging....I'M BACK! 

Thanks for your continued support :)