28 October 2013

Run, run, run

I HATED running up until this fall.

It was never something I liked to do, even when I was in shape. Especially running outside. If I was at a gym, I'd hit the treadmill and catch up on a few shows. But running outside was torture for me.

Last year -- I don't know why exactly -- but I remember thinking one day "I'm going to go for a run around the block". I laced up my Adidas, put on a pair of shorts and a tank, and off I went.

It was hard. I hated it as soon as I hit the first running interval.

I was breathing like an asthmatic rolling in cat hair and tree pollen on the hottest summer day. I didn't run far. It was about half a mile that day. I could go at least 2 miles on the treadmill so I blamed it on being outside. I kept trying, but I still hated it.

A few weeks ago I decided to try again. I had to apply the feeling I got on the treadmill to the area. I read a few articles on running form and interval techniques (pinterest is a great place for both), threw on my headphones and went running.

HaHa! I totally run like this!  Here's hoping that I can do better as time goes on though!

For some reason, this time was different. It was still hard. I was still breathing like a dementor, but afterward I felt accomplished. I felt free.

I reactivated my RunKeeper account and subscribed to a training plan for some structure. A friend recommended a local running group so I could meet some running friends.

Pic I snapped on Mile No. 2 // Saturday AM group run

Maybe I was finally was ready for a lifestyle change to just do it and stick to it (like when I became a vegetarian last year). Maybe I just finally snapped and I'm now full-on cuckoo-crazy. But now, I notice a happiness lapse when I don't run for a few days (which happened last week because I was sick).

With every run, I go as hard as I can. I've learned it is true what they say: running is 90% mental. The hardest run in the last two weeks was the day my dog was put down and I had to say goodbye to her on the phone, during my run. 

Running is my therapy. It's my crazy escape from reality until I'm ready to deal with it again.


And best part is, it's free ;o)

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23 October 2013

Two weeks ahead; Budget 20 Oct

I have amazing news.

I am two weeks AHEAD OF SCHEDULE on my debt repayment plan. Which is fantastic.

I had some mystery cash left over (probably a discrepancy on cash flow from all that petsitting last month) and was able to pay off Simba completely in one payperiod.

I cancelled my Seattle trip and applied the money toward my personal credit card. So now my balance is $112.13.

If all goes well and I don't splurge with this next check I'll be on my next debt focus (dentist #1) by November.

Recap of the 5 October payperiod:

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I went a little over-budget on certain areas, but that's due to unexpected costs. The only one at my fault is my food budget because I wasn't paying attention to when sale dates were. But the good news is, I have food.

I had a migraine for a week so I went to get a massage to get rid of it since nothing else was working, which meant I had to cancel Scarywood. I also have to retake my endorsement test (stupid swerving........)

LT (laser tag) was supposed to be a surprise date, but was a bust because a couple of fraternities from the University of Idaho had a social and booked the arena for 6 hours straight. So that's tabled until next month.

Seattle, as stated, was cancelled and the money was allotted to the Personal CC.

Despite what I said in my last post , I am running a 5k. It's my first 5k and I'm doing it to benefit the Arthritis Foundation in honor of my women's fraternity's official philanthropy and the friends/sisters I have that are living with arthritis. I'm training hard for it. I registered and I'm ready to go. Now I just need a fun costume!

20 October payperiod:


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Pretty normal. Things are finally evening out. Since I went over-budget on groceries, I budgeted a little bit of wiggle room this paycheck because I'm low on some household staples and may not make it until November on what I have.


What is this? No savings?

Even though  in my last post I mentioned I was going to save for furniture, I decided the stress of trying to budget and save for either the furniture or materials to build the furniture was too much and I can wait until my debt is paid off completely. What's that phrase Dave Ramsey is always says?

Seriously. This is my motto. Especially when I want something I want, but can't have (yet). I even have a "vision" board hanging in my kitchen:

Sorry for the blurry image. I was excited.


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Kind of covered this already but it's worth saying that I am completely RE-ENERGIZED to tackle all this debt. It's really exciting to have knocked out so much in so little time.

I was a little unmotivated for a while, but reading The Total Money Makeover and listening to The Dave Ramsey Radio Show really helped me keep perspective.

Here's some motivation for you for whatever your goals are:

This is one of my favorite quotes. It is an African proverb referenced in the book The World is Flat.

Earl Nightingale quotesI am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to be become. - Carl Jung

Thomas Edison quotes

Motivational Quote of the day! #pinterest #happymonday #inspiration #noquitting #gym #fitness #motivation #quotes #quoteoftheday
#motivation #quotes

#lifeperformancesystems.com #healthconsulting #health #healthyeating #nutritionconsulting #fatloss #weightloss #fitness #sustainableeating #diet #exercise #ripped #workout #healthyliving #train #motivation #followme #followmeback #follow #picoftheday #followme #google

Skinny fiber is an all-natural weight loss solution that melts away stubborn fat, naturally detoxifies the body and speeds up your metabolism! You can do it with the help of skinny fiber!!! #easy #workout #fitness #lifestyle #healthy #nopainnogain #life love this. #food #yummy #fitness #lifestyle #gym #workout #gourmet #healthy #life #lifestyle #fit

Sayings about problems - http://todays-quotes.com/?p=15474 Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.  #life

Jeffrey R. Holland Write your own story!

What are you working on in your life?

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07 October 2013

Non-financial updates

I had a reader/friend ask me what I've been up to other than financial stuff (and work). Valid question and I was actually in the process of preparing something along those lines:


You mean I can't just live with a bed and a bookshelf? Darn.

I am currently in the process of figuring out logistics for building my own furniture, which means acquiring a sander, drill, and a workbench before I can gather materials to build.

First up will be a dining room table (and chairs). Since I don't have a TV (so a couch is pointlessly random) and there is nowhere but the floor to sit and eat, I figured it would be a good idea to have the table first.

I'll post updates on all the projects I do. Check out my Pinterest boards to see what I have planned for my apartment.


Eating pizza 6 times a week has not been good to me, though commuting by bike has kept the fat at bay.

I'm not a big fan of "Tuesday night is spaghetti night" meal planning. I think that's boring and too constricting. What if I don't want spaghetti that night??

With my budget, I need to plan my meals for the month, so I put together a menu of meals or snacks I can choose from when I'm hungry, much like a restaurant. The challenge is preparing meals for the week beforehand so I can grab and go.

I won't bore you with the details of what I eat. Everyone's different and likes/needs different things.


I'm not what I call a super active person, but I've found that exercise is the cheapest and best therapy for keeping my mental health in check, especially with the crap life flings at me. It also gives me a super hot body, which doesn't hurt one bit.

I've started running again. Let me tell you: I am not one of those runners who can run forever. I tend to appreciate my runs after I'm finished (you know, after I've been whining to myself the entire time).

I decided to do a 5k training program through RunKeeper.com, even though I probably won't be running a 5k.

It's a lot easier for me to keep motivation when the website has it already planned out and I can work my run into my schedule. Feel free to add me on RunKeeper.

I already commute by bike almost everywhere and usually get at least 2 miles in a day, so I'm getting a ton of cardio. I'm doing a 30 day squat challenge to tone my lower half and core.

30 Day Squats Fitness Challenge Chart


I'm a fairly private person when it comes to this subject, but I do yoga and meditate a few times a week. I do some spiritual reading sometimes, depending on my mood, but yoga and meditation are the core of my spiritual life.


I'm hoping to get back on track with my language maintenance. I'm hoping to start a month-long intensive for each of the languages I know (ASL, French, German, and Spanish). I just need to get organized on how I want to do it (and I'll need internet).

I also do Luminosity brain exercises. They're fun, challenging, and quick.

What goals or activities have you been working on?

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Budget: 5 Oct

Recap of the 20 September payperiod:

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WOW where to start on this payperiod? 

I was super happy that my last payment of the damage deposit is DONE. That'll free up some funds for the debt snowball.

You'll notice I was able to buy a mattress and underboard, thanks to a couple of friends who gifted me money after hearing I was sleeping on an air mattress. The rest of their gift filled up my Emergency Fund (as reported in this post.

I initially thought I wouldn't make anything off my petsitting stay. The client was a very sweet woman and her mother who I know I can use as a reference. But they tipped BIG and I made a great profit off the stay, even with that hefty rental car expense. It was over budget because I had decided to pre-purchase gas instead of filling up before returning. It was a good move in the end, though.

5 October payperiod:
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Since this post is a little late, some bills have already been paid. 

You'll notice my utility bill is slowly creeping up the colder it gets. Soon I'll be monitoring how often I use the heater to keep it under that $80 budget.

The phone bill was a little overbudget, but still close. I adjusted it for next month so it should be right on target next time.

Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays. As such, I budgeted in for Scarywood and a surprise for entertainment. This will go down in November. 

I changed "gas" to "transportation" since I'll be riding the bus sometimes with the weather change. Currently at zero since my transit card has credit on it and I still have my Maverik gas cards.

I'll explain Seattle in the Savings section.

I've been riding on permits the last couple years for my scooter. I'm finally going to take the motorcycle endorsement test to get it over and done with. Hopefully they don't cancel on me like the last 6 times I've  tried.


Pretty standard. I have couple of dogwalking jobs this week. Unfortunately, both of my overnight bookings for October cancelled, which affects my savings pretty significantly.


Seattle is shaded out on the "expenses" because I'm not entirely sure I can afford my portion of $197.79 to go on the trip, due to the petsitting bookings being cancelled. So while I'll still save the money for it from my regular work income, I may have to allot it to something else depending on my 20 Oct paycheck.

The Mattress Fund became the Furniture Fund and got a raise. 


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Now that the damage deposit is paid and my E-fund is done with, I can move forward with my debt snowball and completely eliminate the top portion of the budget. 

I paid Riley the $75 "minimum" payment I had budgeted, and I may be able to completely pay him off this check, pending on numbers being crunched by yours truly. So that may change.

I did call Dentist 2 and get the total balance. It was a little higher than what I had thought she had said originally, but it's not too bad. It's still the highest, so once I focus on that one, I'll be able to attack it swiftly.

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"No Zoë -- you can't get a dog"

"Patience is bitter, but it's fruit is sweet"
John Jacques Rosseau

Good god, is it hard to be patient when it seems like everyone around you is getting what they want.

One of my good friends recently got a puppy. I've been dying for a dog for years and never have been able to thanks to the "no pets allowed" rule in most apartments.

In my apartment, however, I just have to pay half my paychcck a small non-refundable deposit and I can have any dog I want. But then there's getting feeding bowls, pet insurance, a kennel, and food. Not to mention toys. Oh and the adoption fee or the cost of transporting one of my mom's dogs up here.

I did the math; it'll be a while before I can get a dog. I made a list on my phone of reasons I can't get a dog right now:

I'm still yelling at myself to snap out of this fever.

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02 October 2013

Knowing yourself

I think one of the hardest things for hardworking people is to know themselves well enough to know when to take a deep breath and say "I need some me time". My phone has been buzzing with reminders of things I need to check off my To Do list, but all I've wanted to do for the last two days is lie in bed and read or watch TV. And that's okay, especially with how hard I've been working.

(Plus fall television is fabulous. Who else is loving the new seasons of How I Met Your Mother & Modern Family?)

It does help that I can relax in peace, not worrying about how I'm going to finance my E-Fund or mattress. I've been extremely fortunate on this financial journey, and I'm preparing for the worst while hoping for the best.

Halloween is one of my all-time favorite holidays. October is going to be a super fun (albeit, expensive) month with Scarywood, my annual fall baking spree, scary movies and books, not to mention small town university Homecoming is something no one should miss (especially when you have a tailgate bus and endzone tickets).

What's your favorite Halloween or fall tradition?

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