May 2012 Debt Update and 2012 Goals Check-In
One of the problems with having a blog is that there is a record of promises I have made to myself. No longer is it just in my head where it will go away and I can go back to binge-television watching and eating Choco Tacos while sprawled on the couch. Damn it! Anyways, this month’s debt update met the goal from last month:
Smallest Debt (April 2012): $4,343
Smallest Debt (May 2012): $4,269
Next month will be better, I know this.
Total Debt Update:
May 2012: $32,183
% Change from April: 2.1% Decrease
The monthly goal was to be under $32,200, which I just barely met. I also made a goal to increase my income. First, I got a raise at work which is backdated to February (the backpay will be a nice little chunk to pay towards my Discover card). I immediately increased my savings rate and retirement contribution rate which I had been waiting to do as soon as my raise was implemented. I’ve also been doing some side work since the last week of March. It’s a pretty cool chance to work with a very successful business and get paid along the way. My eBay side business is also generating around $200-$250 monthly. So while these two side ventures aren’t earning a ton more income for me, they both have the potential to continue to grow, with the same level of effort from me, to much more. So I’ll continue to work on these side efforts, but I am also enjoying work more as I have a lot of new responsibilities and a chance to learn a lot more. So what’s the goal for June’s update? Under $31,000 in debt and to continue to be diligent at work and on my side work. Sometimes I feel exhausted because I am putting at least 60 hours a week into everything. But I know it’s not a lot in the grand scheme of things. I still have time for dinner every night, time to read and time to hang out with my friends and family. I’m not writing as much as I want to be nor exercising but that is my own doing, which brings me to part two of this post:
2012 Goals Check In
Whew! What a farce! I totally just wrote my goals back in December and then told them “See you bastards in hell!” and didn’t give them a thought since. We’re getting close to mid-2012, so I want to check in on these goals and see what needs to be adjusted to meet as many as I can.
- Develop my relationships and spend time with the people I love. Always!
- Reduce waste: Energy, water, food, consumer items and paper goods. Yes on all of them except water. I’m not making a conscious effort to use less water what with the 2-3 showers a day I take and the garden hose I like to leave running all day to provide “soothing water sounds” (mostly kidding). But I hardly ever let food go to waste now, and am much more conservative in all the other categories too.
- Get to know more people in LA and elsewhere. Yes. Meeting lots of new people through work, blogging and looking for side work. It’s been very fun and I’ve surprised myself at how non-anti-social (that’s not a word) I can be.
- Pay off $20,000 in debt to bring my debt total to under $15,000. Remains to be seen. I’ll be very happy with under $20,000.
- Wake up 1 hour before I have to get ready for work, Monday through Thursday and write, do errands or work out. Not doing this at all. Going to re-implement for at least once a week.
- Exercise 6 days a week. Not at all. Around 2-3/week. Now pushing back to 4.
- Successfully complete the Yakezie challenge. This should be doable! I need to read more blogs who are new to Yakezie and provide whatever support I can.
- Develop American Debt Project and my two other online properties into income-generating websites. Yes, but not a lot. The other two have been completely neglected. I plan to revive them towards the end of the summer.
- Buy my first place. Only if I have the down payment and the slush fund. More concerned about making the right choice instead of just doing it for the sake of doing it!
- Contribute 10% of everything I make to savings. Totally embracing this! It’s really easy to save a portion of my side income because I treat it as found money, so I don’t mind parting with it.
- Start an herb garden in the patio! Too busy for this right now. Might enlist my mom to help make it happen.
- Become a better photographer. Nothing’s happening….
- Writing goals: Submit to Thought Catalog, brainstorm/start book ideas. I’m over Thought Catalog, but I still need to write non-blog stuff to stay sane. This is also at an impasse.
- Make at least $5,000 in writing/freelance income. None of it is writing income, but I think I can definitely hit the $5,000 mark.
- Create monthly goals for each month, which I will announce on my blog. I love doing this one! The monthly goals keep me on track and I am going to switch it up a little for June. So here’s to the June update being under $31,000!