Category Archives: Uncategorized

2015 – One Million in Net Worth

Just because I haven’t been writing doesn’t mean we have stopped saving.  We had a few changes, sold our house, bought then moved to a new house.  All in all, we’ve had a good year.  Savings on track, investments pretty steady, we are so close to breaking the 1 million mark for net worth.  I didn’t know when this would happen but it’s a huge milestone for us, I had to document it.

I track our net worth every week or so, we have a big tax bill coming in September, but that shouldn’t derail us.  Right now we’re about 12K away from hitting 1 million in net worth.  I’m anticipating October or November 2015 will be a HUGE month for us.

New York, priceless

Making good on one of my goals for the year, to take my oldest niece, G, to New York City. B and I have been wanting to take a long weekend to either New York or Las Vegas, and since she’s just graduating high school and not college, I think we should stay with tamer New York! centralpark

We booked our flights and hotel last night. We will be staying near Times Square at this swanky place, The Paramount Hotel. We got a sweet price through Travelzoo (one of my favorite steal sites), even though B and I get points through IHG or Marriott, this was a better deal, and much higher on the hip scale of a teenager.

paramount

Doesn’t that just ooze, sleek and cool?!? Are we going to be the best Aunt and Uncle ever? We try, we try. She’s such a special young lady. I know we need to cherish the times she still wants to spend with us, because pretty soon she’ll be in college, spreading her wings and becoming more independent.

This is one of the reasons I am so happy we are frugal in our everyday life. We have the available savings that we can treat ourselves and G to a fun and memorable weekend.

Now we are setting a precedent, so our younger niece D is planning on having her graduation trip to California. She’s a sparkly girl, I’m thinking Hollywood and LA are calling her name.

We have a few things on our To Do In NYC list:

1. Stroll Times Square, look for celebrities

2. Bicycle through Central Park (if it’s warm enough)

3. Take a cheesy sightseeing bus

4. Visit Grand Central Station

5. Have breakfast outside Tiffany’s

6. Go to the top of the Empire State Building

7. Have pizza at Serafina’s (my favorite, yummy)

8. Ride the Subway

Even though B and I have been to NYC before, this will be G’s first time. We want to hit the highlights and make it a memorable time for her. Any ideas for visiting NYC with a teenager?

January One Week In

I’m one week into my running challenge and I’m proud to report, I am on track!

I was looking over my goals for last year, and although we managed to save a huge pile of money, this was mostly due to B (his super status saver genes rub off on me, I think twice before every purchase often putting off the purchase entirely) and the stock market. When it came to my health and fitness goals for the year, I fell short miserably. Although I didn’t gain weight, I didn’t lose either. Well I did managed to lose about 5# before our last vacation, then they quickly returned. So this year, I am quite serious about losing this extra weight. I am making it my #2 goal. #1 is always saving and staying on track, that is the title of this blog, I have to keep it the focus.

A little update on the rest of my goals.

1. Living in the moment, not dwelling on the past, doing very well.  Feeling in the present and at peace. A win and worthwhile goal.

2. Taking more pictures, not good at all, I pulled out my camera and it has sat in my purse or in my car during several events that I had planned on taking pictures, total Fail!

3. Workout more- doing well, getting back in the routine of am workouts. Had three morning workouts this week.

4. Savings on track!

5. Home Reno- gathering ideas, bought paint, but need to paint the bedroom. Maybe next week! No more putting this off.

6. Niece to NYC, have talked about this, maybe over her spring break, which is the first week of March. Also talked to B about hotels and things to do.

7. Tidy House- work in process, doing more laundry.

8. Sending packages- mailed a little package to a friend, had some makeup, a spice scented candle and some candy with a cute little card. Who will I chose for February? I’m thinking a friend who moved to Wyoming, I miss her, we used to be pen pals when we were younger.

Hello 2014

dontletyesterdayThis is one of my goals for 2014, to live in the present and not be concerned with the past. I am so happy and grateful for where I am in my life! I have a fantastic husband. I have great relationships with my parents and family. I have a core group of 3am friends, you know the ones that even if you don’t get together regularly because of the business of life, they would be there when you needed them, even if they were asleep in the middle of the night.

I am working on a wrap up of 2013, because I was such a bad blogger and didn’t post much this year. 2014, I plan to write more, even if no one reads it, I will write for myself and keep this online journal to recap and recount my goals and thoughts. I hope to keep myself in line with my savings goals, and figure out where we want/need to be to at least have the option of early retirement.

2013, we stayed on track with savings, even though we weren’t totally frugal and splurged with a fun sports car. We are planning for the future but living in the moment and taking vacations and going out to dinners and enjoying life in the way we decide works best for us.

This these are the main goals.

1. Live in the moment, don’t worry about the past or people from the past, I have a great life, I need to enjoy it fully.

2. Take more pictures, I really like pictures but don’t take them nearly enough.

3. Workout more, this isn’t just to lose weight but to tone up and feel great. I am following the Tone It Up Girls Love Your Body Challenge, which involves running 100 miles by Valentines Day, 6 weeks averages to about 2.2 miles/day. Also plan on doing some of their toning routines. Really want to get weight back in the 130s, this involves losing almost 15#, yikes~ I have let myself slack! Work on portion control and eating cleaner, much cleaner. I also want to run a 5K under 30 minutes and a 10K under 60 minutes. No long races for me, I want to work on getting a little faster.

4. Continue to plan for early retirement, stick with savings goals, increase net worth by $100K, through savings and 401(k)s. Right now our net worth is approximately $702K, and I will be happy if we hit $800K by the end of the year. This translates to basically maxing out our 401(k)s and living off one salary.

5. Home renovations. We want to re-do our bedroom and laundry room. We also might need a new roof and furnace, totally not fun purchases, but pretty practical.

6. Take my niece on a graduation trip, maybe New York City?

7. Get on a better schedule to keep our house clean and tidy and organized, instead of that feeling of dread when unexpected company comes by, is the sink full of dirty dishes?!?

8. Send more letters and packages to friends and relatives. It’s so cheery to get something in the mail, I want to spread this feeling to others, my goal is at least one letter or package of goodies a month.

 

 

Beautiful or Useful and April Goals

There are just too many “things” in my house. When B and I got married (almost 2 years ago come May) we didn’t do a bridal registry, why would we? We each had a house full of things and would be combining all of that to just one marital home. Recently I read a quote that was to the effect of “Keep Nothing Unless it is Beautiful or Useful” and now I feel the need to purge my many non-useful or non-beautiful possessions.

My Goals are for April include this sentiment by selling items on ebay as part of the decluttering process.

Without further ado.

1. Declutter and list at least 10 items on ebay. May be more ambitious and list more, but this is a start.

2. Run 50 miles (I have really slacked on motivation since I found out I’m probably not running the Chicago Marathon)

3. Lose weight! Be realistic 145 is my new goal for the end of April.

4. Get back on track with expense tracking. Need to make this a habit.

March Lookback

1. Run/Walk 60 miles (originally this was 90, but I know that’s just not doable, given I only ran about 20 last month) – This was a fail, I probably set my goal too high as I ran about 30 miles so far, might be able to update this after a long run this weekend.
2. Read the Bible every week (daily is still a goal, but doesn’t always happen, I have a set schedule, and as long as I keep to the weekly schedule, I should finish the Bible in 3 years, kind of a snail’s pace) Yes! read a little each week, so on track here.
3. Lose weight! Get back in the 140s, how did I get so off track! (Running should really help, also trying the 5:2 diet) – Lost a little gained it back, ugh!
4. Organize portfolio and figure when to sell a couple stocks that just haven’t been performing for me (they lowered their dividends, but I just didn’t pull the trigger and sell them, now I regret it. Regret to the tune of about 6K in loss, ouch, that’s a big oops!) – Just don’t have the timing right, still not sure when to sell.
5. Research some new more stable dividend stocks (don’t get greedy, that is my downfall, steady, long term 3-4%, nothing too crazy) – didn’t have a chance to research anything yet.

Off to Florida!

Looking forward to some sunshine and a week without work. Lazy days, long runs, reading on the beach, kayaking and cocktails. Doesn’t that sound marvelous. It does to me.

I’m not great about keeping track of spending while on vacation (or really anytime for that matter) so this will be a challenge. We’ve done reasonably well during January, I’d like to keep this momentum up. I will do a January review when we return.

My husband and I will be with both sets of parents in Florida, this should be interesting. Everyone gets along, but we’ve never traveled ‘together.’ Although technically not all together, we will be in a condo with my in-laws and my parents will be in their RV (my dream- to roam free).

Hope everyone has a great week. I’m hoping to get some exercise in, I know I’ll be indulging in some delicious food, so I am just trying to keep my portions small to counter balance my treats. I’ve got vacation brain already, is it 5 o’clock yet?

Fitness February

Kauai

Kauai

This picture was taken after a kayak and hike in Kauai, since B had done this kayak/hike with a tour on a prior trip, we decided we didn’t need to go with a group. We rented a double kayak and got an early start before the tourists arrived. It was the most peaceful spot. I was in pretty great shape on our honeymoon, so this picture is motivation for me, even if you can’t really see me clearly, I remember how good and fit I felt. I want to get that feeling back.

I am linking up for a February Fitness Challenge with Hawaii Plan I also thought since it is Hawaii Plan’s goal to retire in Hawaii, it would be appropriate to put a picture of Hawaii, cute right 🙂 B and I would like to retire in Hawaii, but since we would like to retire early, we will settle for trips there as often as possible. Can’t wait to get back there in early 2014!

We have pretty similar goals, here are mine.

1)Track calories all week, stay in range if not every day, for the week.
2)Run 50 miles
3)Daily PushUps, Keep up with 100 PushUps App
4)Get weight 145-147, no more 150s!

I’m not great at tracking calories, but I know this works, so I’m going to stick with it. I am also conscious of food components, like I know Fiber and Protein keep me full, so I must include them in every meal. It must sound like I start a new diet every week, but it’s really only every month or so. I get frustrated easily. Right now I am really enjoying The Miracle Carb Diet I’ve tried a few of the recipes, and of course they’re not as good as the full fatty fat versions, but they are a good substitute, spinach dip made with greek yogurt instead of sour cream and mayo, hello yummy goodness! Last night I even made an Asian Cod, that was really flaky and delicious, even B liked it! Tracking will be a challenge for the first week, but I’ll just do the best I can.

Since I ran/walked over 30 miles in January, I think 50 for February is very doable. Plus the first week we’ll be on vacation, so I plan to get some nice long run/walks accomplished.

I have tried to do the 100 Push Up challenge before and got a few weeks in, but didn’t finish. Now that they have a handy App for my iphone, I think it will be pretty easy to accomplish. That way, even on my non-workout days, I will be doing something.

As for goal weight, I’m not trying for anything crazy, if I can just lose 3# a month, I will be at my goal by summer. With the calorie tracking and increased running, I should be able to reach this goal. I am also considering rewarding myself for the weeks that I track my calories and stay within my calorie budget, not reward myself for weight loss, the weight loss is really a reward in itself. The calorie counting is the difficult part.

I am feeling very positive about 2013!