Deployment, Living for TODAY, Positivity, Retirement Journey

An August update.

Photo by le vy on Pexels.com

I can’t believe a whole month has passed since I’ve posted. I thought August would be a financially quiet month, but alas it was filled with spending – lots of spending – albeit the good kind!

Here’s the breakdown:

  • I booked and paid for a cruise for January with my daughter;
  • I paid extra on our mortgage as we are trying to pay it off as quickly as possible;
  • I purchased a few more items for our Europe trip in a couple of weeks; and
  • At the last minute, my husband and I decided we wanted to surprise our son at the pier when his ship pulls in after a 7-month deployment in a week, so we paid for a flight, hotel, and car rental. I.can’t.wait. 😉

To say I spent a lot of money last month is an understatement, but I must say it was all worth it! I truly have not added it up this time. (Perhaps I don’t wan’t to know….)

Even with all of that spending, our networth managed to increase from July by $27,000 (mostly from investments) . We are still on track to retire on time. 🙂

How was your August?

Living for TODAY, No/Low Buy Update, Positivity, Retirement Journey, Travel

July: A challenge update and a few unexpected surprises!

Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

It’s July 12th, and I’m well into my July savings challenge. As far as the everyday spending, I did well.

Here is my spending from July 1st – July 10th:

  • Groceries/Eating Out: $107.96
  • Road trips (excluding actual vacations): $169.01 (a trip to NY to visit my parents)
  • Gas: $0 (All gas was for our NY trip included above)
  • Vet/Dog Food: $0
  • Personal care/household. $37.00
  • Gifts: $17.02
  • Clothes: $0
  • OTC Meds: $16.00
  • Personal spending: $0

Total Spending: $346.99

My goal was to only spend $750 for the whole month, however certain circumstances and happy surprises have made me change this month’s challenge and pivot.

Here’s what happened in July (so far):

  1. My foot is still fractured: An MRI confirmed it. Okay, this wasn’t really a surprise, but I was a bit disheartened. The orthopaedic doctor said I had three options – 1. stay off foot and give it more time 2. try a stem treatment to stimulate growth in the bone for the low, low price of $2000, or 3. have surgery. (He didn’t sound confident in any of the choices, so I can tell you surgery will be the very last resort.) I’m seeking a second opinion and I will see where this leads before I make any decision. In the meantime? I liked option 1 the best, so I’m staying off my foot.
  2. My husband received a raise! This was quite unexpected, as he hasn’t had a raise in three years. It was a very welcome surprise. 🙂
  3. We booked a trip to Italy! We were presented with an opportunity to take a ‘bucket list’ trip this September to Italy. The price was amazing, so we decided to go for it, foot issue and all. We booked a 9-night Mediterranean cruise. We will be spending two days in Barcelona, Spain before the cruise and two days in Rome, Italy after. My husband and I are thrilled to be able to go on this trip, something we’ve wanted to do for a very long time. (The extra money from my husband’s raise actually clinched the deal. 😉 )
Photo by Piotr Arnoldes on Pexels.com

The trip itself was paid for from our vacation/travel account, which we’ve been building up for just such an occasion. Since we’ve never been to Europe, I want to purchase some extra travel items as well as some new clothes. This will most certainly put me over my savings challenge budget, which I am perfectly fine with. I still hope to reign in my normal expenses i.e. eating out, groceries, personal spending, etc. so that I can put away some extra spending money for the trip. I’ll do a follow up monthly spend at the end of the month. 🙂

How was your week? Any suggestions for how to dress for Spain, France and Italy in September? Please share!

Living for TODAY, No Buy/Low Buy, No/Low Buy Update

No/Low Buy Update: Week 6

Every Monday during 2022, I am posting an update on what I spent for the week as a way of keeping myself accountable for my No/Low Buy Year. Also, in order to see my true savings, I am also tracking items I was tempted to buy but didn’t. 

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you have a day full of love and chocolate. 😉

This week was a lot better than last as far as my spending. I would have loved to spend $0, but under $200 is pretty good (for me!). I stayed within budget on gift-giving, which is HUGE. I splurged on a ‘donut’ for Auggie, instead of the large cone he was given by the vet. He liked it a lot better.

What I spent February 7 – February 13:

  • Starbucks (breakfast): $6.00 (on my way back from early drs. appt)
  • Dog Collar: $31.94
  • Birthday gifts: $60.21
  • Groceries: $24.23
  • Valentine’s day goodies: $18.20
  • OTC meds: $8.00
  • Take out: $40.00 (Italian for dinner)

Total: $188.58

What I almost purchased but didn’t:

NOTHING!

In all transparency, I did re-book a cruise this week. I originally canceled the cruise when I thought foot surgery was imminent but decided I really wanted to get away, bad foot and all. So we are cruising in March – 7 days instead of 10, so I actually received money back. If I end up needing surgery, I will schedule it when I get back.

This looks like a perfect setting to heal a broken foot, right?

Photo by Vincent Gerbouin on Pexels.com

How was YOUR week?

Living for TODAY, Positivity

Positivity. A necessity in today’s times.

via

Before I continue to post on this site, I wanted to let you know the direction in which I would like to take this blog (hence the name change).  My personal goal is to make every post on this blog positive.  Not a negative word will be spoken here.

You see, positivity works in all aspects of your life, leading you to find joy even in the direst of circumstances.  This is especially true in how you manage your money.  I hope to inspire you to live your best life, no matter what your bank account is saying at the moment.

Your comments are important to me as well. Constructive criticism, done in a helpful way, will always be encouraged.  However, any negative comment will be deleted.  I need to protect my mind as well. 😉

Welcome to Positive Finance.

 

 

 

Gratitude, Home Care, Living for TODAY, Quarantine

10 Positive Ways 2020 has Changed my Life

exotic mellisuga minima bird sitting on stem in green field
Photo by Skyler Ewing on Pexels.com(Birds are beautiful.  I love watching them.  Something I’ve gained from 2020…)

I’ve always been a pretty upbeat and positive person, but 2020 has challenged me in ways I didn’t think possible.  Staying positive has been the biggest challenge of them all.  It hasn’t been easy finding the ‘good’ in 2020, but I did, and I hope these things will help you see the positive as well.

10 positive ways 2020 has changed my life. 

I am…

  1. Finishing home projects.  Not being able to go anywhere has enabled me to concentrate on what needed to be done at home.  We’ve removed wall paper (FINALLY!) and painted rooms.   Some of these projects have been on my ‘to do’ list for YEARS. 
  2. Trying new recipes. We haven’t eaten in a restaurant in 8 months (although we have had take out).  I’ve been enjoying eating at home, and with that trying new dishes that mimic some of our favorite restaurants.  Our food at home tastes so.much.better.  We know exactly what is going into our food, and with that comes peace of mind.
  3. Saving money.  I’ve written a blog post on how much we’ve saved since the beginning of 2020.  We are continuing to save, and have a HUGE goal for 2021.
  4. Changing financial goals I wouldn’t have, in a million years, predicted a year like 2020.  My husband kept his job, thankfully, but had to take a 10% pay cut.  It made me realize that we have been a bit complacent in our financial goals for retirement, and now have an urgency to pay off our mortgage.  We’ve always wanted to, but now have a plan to get it done by the end of 2021. 🙂
  5. Appreciating Nature.  I’m not a fan of masks.  I will rarely go to places that require them.  I do, however, take long walks in nature….something I’ve grown to appreciate more and more.  And thankfully those walks have helped squelch the extra weight brought on from Netflix binging and snack eating early on. ;o
  6. Changing and improving travel plans. Like millions of other people, our travel plans were halted abruptly.  We were supposed to cruise to Alaska.  The new cruising protocols make my skin crawl, so we won’t be cruising anytime soon.  We will, however, be traveling to Alaska.  By land.  And it will be so.much.better.  Something we may never have done had it not been for the events in 2020.
  7. Valuing time with family. Family dinners, family birthdays, and just plain family get-togethers have been my social lifeline, and I’ve never appreciated them as much as I do this year. 
  8. Taking an online class.  I’ve been ‘retired’ from my administrative/bookkeeping job for two years.  I’m a bit rusty on my skills, so I’m in the process of taking classes online to become certified in Excel and Quickbooks.  This will put me in a very marketable position should the need arise to obtain work, which can be easily done online.  I’m not sure I would have done this pre-2020.
  9. Living more simplyNot going to restaurants, traveling, or running around shopping has allowed me to cook from scratch, read, journal, walk, and live very simply.  A very positive side effect, indeed.
  10. Slowing down.  2020 has afforded me the time to slow down.  I have more time to reflect on what is truly meaningful to me, which in turn, has altered some of my plans going forward.  I may not have figured this out if it wouldn’t have been for 2020.  For that alone, I am grateful.

How about you?  What has changed this year for you?  Anything positive?