Heading into August’s final stretch

I will defeat you She-Ra!

Well, it’s the last week of August and the last week to work on the goals I set up when the month started. I figure I’ll refresh us with some of these, update you on where I’m at, and lay out my plan for the last week.

Financial

As I’d mentioned in a previous post, the bulk of Eldest’s birthday party expenses were associated with a reptile show that was a no-show. This left me with $250 which ended up being absolutely necessary to carry me over the gap between when I would’ve normally gotten child support and when I actually did get child support. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

I’d challenged myself to hit 8 No Spend Days this month. Well, I’ve got 7 so far! I am pretty happy about this I have to say. I look forward to challenging myself again next month with a couple more days perhaps. It really helps to plan ahead, let me tell you. It also helps to just stay home and relax. Amazing how affordable that is!

I really do like the two account system although, I do confess things got a bit tight and I had to switch to the bill account until the child support dust settled, but that lasted only a few days and I’m back to the initial set-up: Credit Union for spending and ING for bills.

As regular readers know, the Income Deduction Order is working. The first amount was cut from his paycheck Friday, August 12 and I deposited the check yesterday. There was a gap in income then from when he normally would’ve paid me something (that same Friday) to yesterday. But, the gap was worth it because I know I got more this way than had he been able to choose the amount given to me. I need to set up for direct deposit. I have the form all filled out in an envelope, stamped, and ready for the mailbox on the way out. I doubt it’ll go into effect before they cut the next check but hey, I’m working on it!

Since I did get some money from the deduction, I’ve arranged for $575 to go into the different savings accounts and I’ve set aside $59 to pay off one of my low-balance credit cards next week when the funds transfer. YAY!

Personal

It looks like working out is going to be a September thing. My friend bought a Groupon for six classes at a circus arts school. They’re letting her split it so she and I can go together. She’s eyeballing something called high-flying yoga. Not to be outdone, I found a Groupon for pole dancing classes at a studio by my house. She went and bought that one too. It was only $29 and they have all kinds of hilarious classes—even some that have nothing to do with a pole or disrobing or laps. The best part of both of these options is they have very flexible schedules. The pole fitness studio is even open until 9:30 on weeknights!

As I predicted, with school starting for the kids this past Monday prepping the night before has become a must-do. And it’s paid off. I don’t know why I know this consciously and yet struggle to do it. I know this is common after all it’s why people smoke cigarettes or eat a box of Swiss Cake Rolls in one sitting (god I love those).

Following the success of our first family meeting, I’m going to schedule another one the first Monday of September which is Labor Day. I think it’ll be good to check in with the kids and how their new school routines are working. We’ll also most likely have to discuss extracurricular activities. This is something my mother and brother have traditionally helped with financially. I never asked, they just really wanted to do it for my kids. But this year, I’d like to contribute financially to this. Eldest has already expressed a desire to try out for the Primary basketball team and Daughter has told me she really wants to do ballet again this year.

So the girlfriend outing didn’t happen this month and it’s not likely. But I guess I’ll be compensating with the pole dancing and trapeze-flying in the next few weeks.

As far as books, most of you voted for Bossypants as my next read and it will be—after Posionwood Bible because that’s due at the library first and I can’t renew it. I’ve been reading it on the train every day and already love it.

As you know, things have gotten pretty exciting at this blog this month what with all of the mentions everywhere and most recently the nomination at my local news site (which is hilarious considering I’d said I wouldn’t ask for votes and I promise you, I’m really trying not to). As a matter of fact, I may even break a previous record for traffic to this blog in one month. The funny thing is that particular month was a freak month for me and was completely due to the Facebook child abuse campaign that asked everyone to change their profile picture to their favorite childhood cartoon character. People came flocking to this blog for She-Ra pictures. They still do! It was by far my highest spike in traffic and this month, I might match it or beat it without a freak Facebook campaign skewing the results.

I should mention I’ve begun crocheting the Alaskan Nights afghan for my mother. I promised this her blanket last Christmas. It’s so beautiful but I’ve already worked myself into a mess. I only copied part of the pattern apparently and returned the book. And I am getting confused without a photo to guide me. So far, I like what I see but I’m in a weird part of it right now and not really sure if I’m doing it right or what.

I have to say, I am really liking the fact I’ve been on top of the goals I set out for myself this month. I worry that maybe I’m boring you guys but you have to know, this has been tremendously helpful to me in staying on track and staying focused. Not to mention, I actually get to prove to myself that I’m accomplishing things and not just meandering mindlessly day to day.

What about you? Are you looking at closing August smoothly or are you kind of freaking out a bit? Do you create and track goals or do you just fly by the seat of your pants?

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16 thoughts on “Heading into August’s final stretch

  1. I am closing August with a dental emergency for hubby, a hurricane, the kids’ birthday, and school stress. So just a typical month for me. LOL.

    Reply
    • LOL! Mysti I love the way you look at things. Sorry you got our Hurricane. I thought we were sure hits but it looks like Irene’s not a Florida gal. We need to set you up with some stress relief 🙂

      Reply
  2. Sounds like a good month, all in all. Glad that you’re getting the child support withheld from his paycheck now – a much better system.

    Do you feel like the no-spend days really work, or do you just spend more in the days leading up to it?

    Reply
    • Yes the paycheck deductions are much better all around. I mean we’ll see how he handles it as the time goes on but for me, it’s way better this way. A lot less stress, anger, frustration.
      The No-Spend days thing is a bit weird. I don’t think I can do a whole week like Sharon and Carla do because I’m pretty sure I’d just do binge buying when it’s over. When I mention planning to grab a No-Spend day it’s not exactly intense. Right now, I have no idea when my next No-Spend will be for instance. I know when it most likely won’t be and that’s where planning comes in. I know I have to stop at the supermarket for a few things today. So I try and think about anything else I need to purchase in the next several days so maybe I can resolve them today. If I try and do my spending today, I have better chances of having a no-spend (or more) this weekend. Does that make sense? I know this weekend I have the kids, and the weather’s probably going to be unpredictable so I doubt we’ll be going out much. I have tons of food in the freezer and fridge for dinner and I can pick up things I may want tonight. So that’s the type of planning I’m talking about.

      Reply
  3. I just finished reading Bossypants. This was one of the funniest reads I’ve had in a while. I experienced so many belly laughs and uncontrollable laughter from this and took away a lot of insightful ‘lessons’ as well. You will enjoy this read!

    Reply
  4. I’m mostly seat-of-pantsing it right now, but when I’m a stay at home parent I have a weekly calendar with household chores that I try to do about 75% of. I mean, ideally I’ll do ALL OF THE CHORES but realistically I just try to do the big ones. being able to see what needs to be done is helpful. Being able to see what I’ve already done is also helpful, because a lot of the chores are stuff like laundry and dishes and tidying up that gets undone again almost immediately. So it’s nice to have reinforcement that yes, it feels like I just did this… because I just did this. Five times. It’s not all in my head. You can’t tell, but I’ve gotten a lot done!

    Next week is my last week at work and I’ll miss the money, but I’ll enjoy having a clean sink and not being exhausted too.

    Reply
  5. I would like to finish August with a good first draft of the first chapter of my book project (I’m on sabbatical), but I will probably have to compromise for around September 10th, I am not complaining, though.

    Reply
  6. My August has been both unproductive and spendy. Although I did buy a bedroom set and in the process of rearranging the whole upstairs and it makes me wonder why I didn’t do this sooner. (cheap, cheap, cheap)…but then again, I’m happy that I waited to make these big purchases until after I finished all my debt payoff.

    On a side note, everyone should have a full length mirror in their room. Who knew I looked so horrible in some of my casual outfits. I shudder to think I’ve been walking around oblivious the last 2 summer seasons. I hope there are some good end of summer sales I can take advantage of.

    Reply
    • You know, I feel the same way you do. I know there are a lot of purchases and investments I need to make that I’ll be kicking myself for not making sooner but reality’s reality. I have to do things in increments and with what i have. I love full-length mirrors. Mine is being blocked by a rocker I need to get rid of.

      Reply
  7. I’m too much of a seat-of-the-pants planner (much to my husband’s annoyance), but your listing and reaching of goals is inspiring! Keep up the good work – it’s nice that the blog helps with that. I read Poisonwood Bible and thought it was a really interesting read!

    Reply
    • I generally am too! But, I read so many other blogs and the ones that track their goals seem to accomplish more than I generally do. So, I thought I’d make a real concerted effort at it. Generally, I’d make them and hardly revisit them and then of course I’d forget everything! This time though things are on track and I’m pretty happy about what I’m accomplishing and totally ok with what I’m not. I finished Poisonwood. It made me cry so much!

      Reply
  8. Pingback: Dancing in September « MutantSupermodel

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