Tag: moneysavingchallenge

On to the final quarter of the year: September in Review

So, we’re in October…that means there are only three months, 92 days, roughly 13 weeks, or 2,208 hours left in 2022. It’s the final quarter of 2022, and I’m trying to figure out what and how much stuff I can get accomplished before both the end of October and the end of 2022.

Truthfully, I’m tired, burnt out, and just ready for 2022, the decade, and the century to be over.

September was a mess—while there was my birthday, it was a nice low-key day—but the rest of the month was a mess. How as September a mess?

Well—the ongoing family medical issue that I mentioned briefly in my August in Review—it’s still ongoing, and we’re not sure how it’s going to resolve (there is a fifty-fifty chance of it going either way right now).

There’s numerous things going on in the world—ranging from Russia’s still illegal invasion of Ukraine (by the way—I think Russia should be kicked off the UN Security Council…just sayin’), to the death of Elizabeth II, to hurricanes and other natural disasters.

By the time the family medical issue is resolved, I won’t be surprised if in addition to the moderate cases of depression and anxiety, I don’t also have a moderate case of PTSD as well.

I will mention again, that it is time to end the filibuster, expand the Supreme Court, enact term limits for both the Supreme Court and Congress, and finally codify women’s health care and gun control into law.

In terms of the total number of cases of the virus within the US, when I published ‘August in Review’ on September 1st, I noted that we had reached a little over 96.3 million cases and now as of October 1st —we have reached just a little over 98.2 million cases (an increase of not quite 2 million cases). So, numbers are staying ‘steady’—though I’d like to see the number actually start going down again. But there are the various omicron subs-strains running amok.

So—please, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and get boosted when needed.

Once I call a local pharmacy to schedule an appointment, I’ll be getting my booster shot sometime during October (and possibly the flu shot as well).

While trying to keep the mental health on an even keel—I’m trying to lean more into my strengths and values: knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/transformation (values), learner, intellection, input, achiever, and deliberative (strengths). Though sometimes it doesn’t help having the background/understanding of medical issues…ignorance is bliss at times.

So before setting goals for October (and possibly the fourth quarter), its time to look back at the goals I set for September and see how I did with each of them. The goals for September included:

  1. 120-150K steps
  2. Hopefully one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement each day
  3. Finishing one of the many non-fiction books I’ve started
  4. Read at least two to four fiction books
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card darawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  9. Getting the second website up and running
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So how did I do with each of them?

120-150K steps:

I managed 126,581 steps during the month of September. In part due to a partial walk up at Boomer Lake on Labor Day, and the weekly walks to the corner convenience store for the newspaper on the weekend.

One partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement:

I managed a partial walk up at Boomer Lake on Labor Day. Since it’s been a while since I’ve walked all the way around the lake, I’m slowly getting back into the routine. I’ll probably aim for at least one partial walk at Boomer Lake each month (especially as the weather get colder), and hopefully by the spring—be walking all the way around the lake again.

In terms of the intentional movement—the step tracker states that I’ve been moving at least five to ten minutes a day—but I haven’t been writing down what I’ve been doing each day (need to improve on that).

Finishing at least one of the non-fiction books I’ve started:

Nope, didn’t finish reading any of the non-fiction books that I’ve started.

Read at least two to four fiction books:

I managed to read seven ‘new’ fiction books during September (and probably a good dozen or so re-reads). The new fiction books were:

  1. Home Base by Abbie Zanders
  2. Legacy (Montgomery Brothers #1) by Laura Pavlov
  3. Peacekeeper (Montgomery Brothers #2) by Laura Pavlov
  4. Rebel (Montgomery Brothers #3) by Laura Pavlov
  5. State of the Union (First Family #3) by Marie Force
  6. Collide with Me (The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers #7) by Claudia Buroga
  7. Shattered Sea (The Tattered and Torn Series #4) by Catherine Cowles

Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge:

I managed 22 days of not spending any money during the month of September—which considering how bad of a month it was—is a victory in itself. The goal for October will be a minimum of 22 days and a goal of 29.

Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings:

I’ve managed to get better at evening meditations—mainly through the use of the soothing pod app on my iPhone. I’ve also managed my daily oracle card drawings and daily gratitude journal entries.

The time outdoors has either been brief (when I take the dogs out), sporadic (sitting outside on and off throughout the day), or semi-long (spending the afternoon outdoors or walks).

Craft time:

Well most of my craft time was spent on Canva creating various images for different LinkedIn posts throughout the month, in addition to using PowerPoint for image creation as well. I spent a little time using doing some photography as well.

Crafts, such as jewelry design/creation, cross-stitching, coloring, or doodling didn’t really happen—goal is to do more of those crafts throughout the fourth quarter.

Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course:

Nope…this didn’t happen.

Getting the second blog/website up and running:

Nope…this didn’t get accomplished either.

Writing, writing, and writing:

This is one where I did do a fair amount of writing—I managed to keep two weekly series going on LinkedIn, and even started a third one. In addition, I managed usually some type of ‘original’ content another two to three days on the site. While I didn’t get much writing done for the various blogs (though I did get at least five posts on this blog done last month)—I did manage to write somewhat consistently all month.

August, September, and now October (and probably November and December) were/are also focused on trying to find my new normal.

With a family member in the hospital (now going on nine weeks), we’re hopefully that they’ll be released hopefully by Christmas—yes I’m well aware of how far off that date is currently.

That means—I need to have a schedule in place that will allow me to get my work done (writing, reading/research, crafts/hobbies, and so forth), while also being able to help with the potential home care for said family member.

I’m still working on figuring out that schedule. Every time I think I have it partially figured out—the inner critic/imposter syndrome loves to pull me back into my comfort zone—or throw out an idea/thought that has my anxiety spiking.

Looking back at what I wrote at the end of August—I claimed that I was going to aim for consistency in reading, research (on various topics), and writing.

Well, I managed to be consistent in reading fiction books (seven new books, and probably a good dozen or so re-reads), and was somewhat consistent in the research and writing.

Moving forward into October, the goals are going to be:

  1. 125-155K steps
  2. At least one partial walk at Boomer Lake, and at least five to ten minutes of intentional movement a day
  3. Finish at least one non-fiction book
  4. Read at least two to four fiction
  5. Commit to the no spend days/no spend week/limited spending challenge (aiming for at least 22 days, goal is 29)
  6. Time outdoors, meditation/sitting quietly, daily gratitude journal entries, and daily oracle card drawings
  7. Craft time
  8. Getting the second blog up and running
  9. Working through at least one module of a personal/professional development course
  10. Writing, writing, and writing

So the goals for October are basically identical to the goals for September—with the exception of the steps (October is a little higher—at both ends).

As I stated in my review of August (and it definitely applies for September):

 “Also, since I ‘fell’ down on a few of the goals last month, by repeating them—I’m giving myself grace for not being ‘perfect’ and another shot on hitting the goal this coming month.”

I have my fingers crossed that October won’t be any worse than September (and I’ll have a ‘rough’ idea on that come the end of the first full week of October)—but if it is by some chance worse—I’ll just have to give myself grace and remind myself: Progress over Perfection, and sometimes ‘okay, and published’ is better than ‘perfect and forgotten’.

I’m still going to aim for consistency—consistency in reading, research (on various topics), and writing.

Aiming for consistency allows me to lean into my strengths and values: learning/knowledge, creativity, curiosity, spirituality, evolution/growth, and intellection.

In addition—they all give me great practice at time and project management as I’m aiming for at least 85% overall completion (I’m fully acknowledging that I may not hit the step goal, and that I may also not have that much time outside—but I can work towards all the other ones).

I mentioned last month that I was going to try to ‘unplug’ from the computer at night to read or work on a craft project—and I think I only managed it a few times throughout the month—so another ‘mini-goal’ to work towards (no computer after 8pm at least four days a week).

With fall here—what is one of your fall goals?

Namaste…

No Comments careerCraftsfinancesfitnessHealthLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesMonth in Reviewno spend challengesoutdoorsPersonal Developmentprofessional developmentReflectionsspirituality

Nine Months Down, Three to Go: Limited Spending Challenge Check-in

So it is that time again—for a check-in on my yearlong limited spending challenge.

We’re now three-fourths of the way through 2021, and I’ve realized that while I haven’t quite hit the stride I did when I started the challenge (January was the best month to date for this challenge), September wasn’t that bad of a month in terms of managing my splurges.

My limited spending challenge is just that—I’m trying to limit my spending by dividing things into two groups (or categories): needed items and splurges.

So I did really well that first month, and then started slipping each month a little more. I planned to ‘rebound’ and start honoring the challenge again in June, did fairly well for the month, did okay during July (though there will always be some type of splurge), and did okay during August (if we ignore the book splurges), and did fairly well during September.

So how did September go in terms of the purchases/splurges?

In terms of physical items bought:

There was one ‘essential’ order from Amazon that included: dog treats, some hard candy (butterscotch), a couple of notebooks, some beads and more cloth for doing cross-stitching.

In terms of books, there were mainly a small handful of e-books bought (along with one physical book at the beginning of the month):

E-books:

  1. Don’t Look Now by Mary Burton
  2. The Tiger King: Master of the Cats, Part One by Trinity Blacio
  3. Defender (Doms of Mountain Bend #3) by BJ Wane
  4. The Nine Waves of Creation: Quantum Physics, Holographic Evolution and the Destiny of Humanity by Carl Johan Calleman
  5. The Morgan Brother series (five books) by Avery Gale

The one ‘physical’ book was Doing Cultural Geography edited by Pamela Shurmer-Smith

I also bought a course bundle (multi-passionate must haves bundle of 2021), which included a handful of courses related to multi-projects.

So when I compare September to the last few months (or actually any month other than January)—I’ve done really well in limiting the spending. The goal for the last few months is only to have maybe one or two ‘essential’ orders from Amazon (possibly up to three come November and December) for these last three months.

I will probably continue this challenge well into 2022 as a means of trying to get the credit card debt down (there are only two credit card bills that are ‘high’), but also as a means of not getting ahead of myself or distracting myself from my goals.

No Comments financesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPersonal Development ChallengesReflections

Entering the second fall in self-isolation with a new bookcase, craft supplies, and books

So it’s that time again–for a check-in on my yearlong limited spending challenge.

We’re two-thirds of the way through 2021, and I’ve realized that I haven’t quite hit the stride I did when I started the challenge (January was the best month to date for this particular challenge).

My limited spending challenge is just that–I’m trying to limit my spending by dividing things into two groups (or categories): needed items and splurges.

So I did really well in January, and then started slipping each month a little more. I planned to ‘rebound’ and start honoring the challenge again in June, did fairly well for the month, did okay during July (though there will always be some type of minor splurges), and did semi-okay again this month (if one ignores the book splurges).

Hopefully, the book splurges (at least those that aren’t from the ‘freebie announcement emails’) will start to go back down during the next few months. While I did buy quite a few e-books this month, several of them are in terms of the professional direction I’m thinking of going in: freelance writing.

So how did August go in terms of purchases/splurges?

I bought myself a bookcase/nightstand to replace the haphazard one I’ve created over the years. This will also give me storage for the numerous books that I bought this month as well. In addition I bought a few more craft supplies (including a glue gun) to help me get through the fall and winter in semi-isolation.

Then there are the books (I don’t think a month will go by without at least a small splurge on books). The books I bought during August include:

Electronic books:

  1. How to Launch a Freelance Copywriting Business: Creative Writing for a Living by Jules Horne
  2. The Freelance Content Marketing Writer: Find your perfect clients, make tons of money, and build a business you love by Jennifer Goforth Gregory
  3. Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business: The Complete Guide to Starting and Scaling from Scratch by Laura Briggs and the Staff of Entrepreneur Media
  4. The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing: How to Write, Work, and Thrive on Your Own Terms by Zachary Petit
  5. Here with Me (The Adair Family #1) by Samantha Young
  6. Black Ops Mates (Complete Series-Lion Shifter Romance Box Set) by Ruby Knoxx
  7. One Night Years Ago (Sharp’s Cove #1) by J.R. Pace
  8. Two Favors Repaid (Sharp’s Cove #2) by J.R. Pace
  9. Three Times Ablaze (Sharp’s Cove #3) by J.R. Pace
  10. JET (Books 1-3) by Russell Blake
  11. The Power of Reinvention: Personal Stories of How Our Greatest Challenges Become the Catalyst to Reinvent our Life! by Mags Thomson, Irene Anggreeni, Rachel Claire Farnsworth, Emma Smillie, Dr. Trinise White-Foster, Marie Dobenesque, Silika Thor, Martin Gillespie, and Einavi Avni
  12. Just Tell Me What I Want: How to Find Your Purpose When You Have No Idea What It Is by Sara Kravitz
  13. Slightly Off Balance by Kaylie Hunter
  14. New Girl in Town (Olivia Knight FBI #1) by Elle Gray
  15. Weakest Lynx (The Lynx Series #1) by Fiona Quinn
  16. Deadly Act (Kylie Hatfield Series #1) by Mary Stone and Bella Cross
  17. Catnip & Curses (The Faerie Files #2) by Emigh Cannaday Book Read & Review coming soon
  18. Phoenix Rising (Complete Series) by Annie Anderson
  19. I Want to Do All the Things: Finding Balance as a Polymath, Multipotenialite, and Renaissance Soul by Arcadia Page Book Read

Physical Books:

  1. America Before: The Key to Earth’s Lost Civilizations by Graham Hancock
  2. Lost Civilizations: The Secret Histories & Suppressed Technologies of the Ancients by Jim Willis
  3. Plagues, Pandemics, and Viruses: From the Plague of Athens to Covid-19 by Heather Quinlan
  4. The Mayan Calendar & the Transformation of Consciousness by Carl Johan Calleman
  5. Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman’s Path by David Freidel
  6. Statistics for Dummies by Deborah J. Rumsey
  7. Statistics for Absolute Beginners by Oliver Theobald
  8. Biostatistics for Dummies by John Pezzulo
  9. Supernatural: Meeting with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind by Graham Hancock
  10. The Body is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self Love (2nd Edition) by Sonya Renee Taylor
  11. Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach (4th Edition) by Evelyn Tribole

Several of the ‘physical’ books fell under the personal/professional development area, while others were bought as possible ‘reference’ books for short story ideas. Though they were also bought because I’m interested in the topic (early human history). In addition several of the e-books also fell into the personal/professional development area–and as noted above, I’ve read one of them.

The books on freelancing writing (and how to start a freelance business) were bought mainly because that is the direction I’m really leaning in for my career transition. The transition is going to be a ‘mixed’ niche (science/medical writing along with personal/professional development, crafts/hobbies, and spirituality) that might be heavy in one area to begin with, but even out as I find my footing as a freelance writer.

So, yes numerous books were bought (probably on par with April or May, possibly even June)—but that has always been my weakness—books. I’m an avid reader who has absolutely no problem buying fifteen to forty new books when I still have a couple hundred on my e-reader that I haven’t read yet.

The bookcase/nightstand has been needed for quite awhile; I just hadn’t gotten around to getting one yet. The craft supplies were also deemed semi-essential as the pandemic is still raging, and I foresee myself staying in semi-isolation (weekly walk to get the weekend newspaper, and possibly monthly walks at Boomer Lake with a mask) until at least spring 2022.

I should hopefully be able to curb my impulsive e-book buying starting this month, as I’m going to be working on expanding my writing samples (possibly introducing a new landing page—‘portfolio’), and slowly getting my freelance/remote/contract writing business up and running this fall and winter.

For my inner shiny object/squirrel lover: Who is a ‘new’ to you author that you’ve found lately?

No Comments financesLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPersonal Development ChallengesReflections

Review: The Financial Diet. Now on to the planning stages of being an adult

So I recently finished my third book via the ‘personal/professional development board game’.

The book was ‘The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money’ by Chelsea Fagan & Lauren Ver Hage.

So while this is a book about finances and money–it doesn’t go serious in-depth on topics (with the one exception of what one should have in the kitchen for cooking at home), but does give good advice.

What I really liked about the book was the advice that you can/could/should try to mold to your personal life. They don’t tell you that you have to be investing in stocks and bonds, or that you should be buying a house. They acknowledge that everyone is at a different point with different circumstances when they pick up the book–but the advice given within can be ‘molded’ to fit your circumstances if you want it to.

I highlighted several phrase throughout the book as some of my key ‘take-away messages’ and they included:

To stay financially sane–you should create a collage of strategies that work for you.

Strive to find multiple streams of fulfillment, challenges, and incomes

We’re CEOs of our own lives, every hour accounted for and compensated according to our personal standards of wealth and happiness

Judge your career and success (financial and otherwise) on you and you alone. If you aren’t happy, change something.

I would have to say that I’m still trying to figure out what my multiple/collage of strategies is going to look like. Currently there is the savings account with the ’emergency fund’ (but that is starting to dwindle–so I really need to start figuring out how to diversify my income); I have a small retirement account (but I’m not currently adding to it), and a checking account (that will dwindle as the month goes on and bills are paid).

I would also have to say that I’m working on trying to find that ‘right’ mixture of fulfillment, challenges, and income; there are ideas bouncing around in my head–I just need to get them on paper and then actually ‘start’ working on them.

I’m also trying to figure out what my personal standards of wealth and happiness are as well (I’ve spent too many years just going with the flow and ‘bouncing’ via other people’s ideas on the two topics).

I also found the authors’ four DYFDs (Don’t You F*cking Dares), nine big tips, and their ‘starter kit for happiness’ to be helpful as well in terms of acknowledging where I’m at in terms of my finances or questions that I need to contemplate to figure out various budge issues.

I can safely say that currently I’m guilty of three of the four DYFDs currently (but working on getting better at them); I’m guilty of not following five of their nine tips, and I’m slowly working through/brainstorming/planning via their ‘starter kit for happiness’.

Money is one thing that no one really wants to talk about–but it is one thing that everyone needs to make it in today’s society.

While I may not currently know what my long-term financial plan looks like, I am slowly working on determining those plans, as they are one of the cornerstones for any future plans.

I recommend this book to anyone who is either struggling with his or her finances or just wanting an easy ‘finance’ book to read.

Five out of five stars

No Comments Book ReviewsBooksfinancesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentPersonal Development Challengesprofessional development

Limited Spending Challenge Update #2: Acknowledging the splurge

We’re into March–which means that I review how I did for February in terms of my year-long limited spending challenge.

I decided that instead of trying to do ‘no-spend’ challenges (which I usually failed at, since I have a large impulsive spending habit), I would try to a ‘limited-spending’ challenge.

The main difference: I was labeling things ahead of time as either needed/necessary or splurge purchases.

With that being said–February was a splurge month in terms of books.

We had a period of really cold, chilly, and snowy weather where I was only going outside briefly with the dogs. I spent most of the time inside and curled up with my Kindle. So instaed of making headway through the numerous books that I already had on my Kindle–I splurged and bought several more books.

After finishing one of the books that I had pre-ordered: ‘Blackout after Dark’ (Gansett Island #23) by Marie Force, I went back and ordered the last seven books of the Quantum series (I already had the first one), since a character or two made a ‘cross-over’ in the book.

I also bought and read Catalina (The Alders #10) by Avery Gale, and then went and re-ead the first nine books, read the ShadowDance Club series (numerous characters were mentioned throughout the Alder series; and I bought this series back in December), and then bought and read the Masters of the Prairie Winds Club series as well.

The only series that I haven’t finished (that I bought last month) has been the Quantum series–and after I finish the book I’m currently reading, I will probably start that series.

I also bought several items for my pagan/Wicca altar as well this month. Those items included two small statues and crystals (both rough and smooth). While I like the look of the altar, I’m thinking of possibly getting one more statue (just to have it look symmetrical), and possibly another crystal or two.

The altar looks a little ‘cramped’ but that is because I currently have it on a small shelf, and also have basically all the stones out—I haven’t decided which ones I like best, so I have them all out (probably not the best idea–but that is how I roll). Since the area is cramped an d not the best for also trying to do card readings, I will be moving items to where I do my card readings and then back to the shelf/altar when I’m done with them.

So besides buying numerous books, I also had several pre-ordered as well and those were:

Call You Mine (The Baker’s Creek Billionaire Brothers #4) by Claudia Buroga

Inked Persuasion (Montgomery Ink: Fort Collins #1) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Securing Jane (A SEAL of Protection: Legacy Series Novella) by Susan Stoker

Blackout After Dark (Gansett Island #23) by Marie Force

Crew (Anderson Billionaires #5) by Melody Anne

Rocky Mountain Forever (Six Pack Ranch #12) by Vivian Arend

Submission Impossible (Masters & Mercenaries Reloaded #1) by Lexi Blake

Rory (Hope City #7) by Maryann Jordan

I’ve realized that over the past few weeks that sometimes it is better to do a little bit of splurging instead of trying to not spend the money–I usually end up spending way mor later than I initially had planned on.

The other thing I’ve realized over the past month or so–at times my inner critic/imposter syndrome views money and food in the same light–trying to avoid spending or eating something usually ends up with me either overspending or overindulging in something later. I’m slowly working on striking a ‘balance’ in both areas, but I also realize that I’m an impulsive shopper (especially online) and that is a habit I also need to work on curbing.

As I head into March, I know that there will be at least one additional ‘needed’ purchase (a birthday present for my niece), and then my large Amazon order (which will have Chaos’ flaxseed and omega-3 pills in it)–but no e-book splurges.

Looking at the list of books that I have on pre-order for both this month and next month–I can safely say that I probably won’t be splurging on books. After I finish reading my current book, then the Quantum series, plus a few others that are pre-ordered this month, I will be rereading the Fatal series by Marie Force to be ready to read the first book in the spinoff series: State of Affairs that comes out on April 20th next month.

So–while there were splurges in February, I’ve splurged worse last year and therefore I’m not going to ‘beat’ myself up over the fact. This is a year-long challenge and there will always be slight setbacks in any challenge. The ‘winning’ aspect is acknowledging that you slipped, and trying a little harder next month not to continue slipping backyards–but start sliding forward.

No Comments financesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentReflections

One month into the limited spending challenge of 2021

So, I’m one month into my year long limited spending challenge.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have tried numerous minimal spending challenges over the years–so work, others didn’t. Last year, I tried to do the no-spend days, stretched into hopefully no-spend weeks, and then hopefully a no-spend month. Throughout the year, I only managed to get in a no-spend week here and there.

My problems were two: impulsive spending on e-books, courses, and games; plus personal/professional development where I did buy a course here and there that were pricier than most.

I decided then this year, I would look at things differently.

Instead of trying for a ‘no-spend’ month and failing–I would simply try to limit the spending, by having items fall into one of two categories: needed/necessary or splurge.

Bills have always been automatically considered ‘necessary’, and are listed out at the end/beginning of months. I tally my running debt, transfer money, and schedule payments.

I also decided that I wasn’t going to cancel all my book pre-orders that I had for 2021–I did cancel a good portion of them, but not all.

With having the two categories: needed/necessary and splurge, it makes decision making a little easier.

So how did I do in January?

There were a couple of necessary purchases throughout the month: stamps, snacks (human and canine), personal products, and then two mini-splurge purchases.

Those mini-splurge purchases included some items for making jewelry (namely getting some chains for necklaces). I currently consider this a splurge–because I’m not constantly making jewelry. It is a hobby, that I am hoping to spend more time on during the current year.

The second mini-splurge included a e-course bundle. Now, I know that I stated that in order to get another e-course I needed to answer a few questions:

Is this a course that can help me figure something out either personally or professionally? Answer: probably. It is a five course bundle on developing a coaching business. While currently not a direction I’m thinking of going in–I couldn’t say no to the price of $11.99 for five courses.

Is it related to another course I already have? Would it complement it?

Answer: yes, I have several courses on entrepreneurship, and it would complement basically all of them.

Is it something that I should be focusing on this year, or can it wait a year?

Answer: maybe, but didn’t wait. The main reason is that the bundle wasn’t going to be offered again, and while each individual course was going to be offered–five courses at that price would have run me about $60–I got all five for a fifth of the price.

So, two splurges when I usually would have done a lot more throughout the month. The needed purchases tallied up–but that was because of them being fairly large orders. I’m hoping to only do necessary/needed orders hopefully every five or six weeks (that way there is a month or so when not as many orders are coming in).

In terms of the books that I had preordered for January they were:

Caught by the Wolves (Alpha Claimed #1) by Milly Taiden

His Broken Heart Antidote (McKnight Family #4) by Anne-Marie Meyer

His Romance Coach (McKnight Family #5) by Lucy McConnell

Shielding Jayme (Delta Team 2 #4) by Susan Stoker

Pushing up Posies (Grim Dating #1) by Eve Langlais

Shielding Riley (Delta Team 2 #5) by Susan Stoker

Barriers (Anderson Special Ops #3) by Melody Ann and John Henley

Captured in Ink: A Montgomery Ink, Boulder Novella by Carrie Ann Ryan

You Turn: Get Unstuck, Discover Your Direction, and Design Your Dream Career by Ashley Stahl

You Turn is my current non-fiction read, as I just finished up Burnout: the secret to unlocking the stress cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski last night (review hopefully within a week).

So for my first month on the limited spending challenge, I’m proud of the fact that there were no impulsive e-book purchases, only a single e-course purchase, and a limited number of other purchases. While I may never totally embrace the textbook definition of minimalism–I’m defining it on my own terms and will continue to do so throughout 2021 and beyond.

No Comments financesLifestyle Challengesmoney saving challengesno spend challengesPersonal DevelopmentReflections

Limited Spending Challenge: Time frame–the entire 2021 calendar year

So last year I tried to do several no-spend challenges and usually managed to do a few days to a week or two of not spending money–but had yet to work up to a no-spend month.

This year I’m still going to be doing the no-spend challenges, but decided that besides needing to spell out for myself exactly what would count as a ‘pass’ (or needed purchases) versus what would be a ‘no-pass’ (or a splurge), and what I would need to do to justify said splurge purchase; I also needed to determine the time frame: I’m going to start at the beginning of the year, do monthly check-ins, and then a final summary at the end of the year on how well I managed this limited-spending challenge.

So the ‘pass’ or needed purchases will include personal care products (toothpaste, mouthwash, vitamins and supplements, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, deodorant, pads, and hand wash), food (also including snacks and tea), and items for Chaos (flaxseed and his anti-itch chew tablets). In addition, ‘pass’ purchases will also include buying birthday/Christmas presents for my niece (so this will be two additional purchases in late March and late November).

The ‘no-pass’ or splurges will include any e-book that isn’t already pre-ordered (I have probably about forty different fiction books pre-ordered for 2021, and a list of another say fifteen that I would like to possibly get as well), additional e-courses (I have so many that I’ve bought over the past few years that I really need to sit down and start working through some of them before adding more to the list), hidden object or match-3 games (I have quite a few on the computer that I haven’t finished, and truthfully I should probably cancel my gaming subscription since most of the games that are coming out can’t be played on my older laptop).

So I mentioned that while I have quite a few books already pre-ordered for the year, there is another handful that I would like to buy throughout the year as well–but to justify those purchases I will need to have done the following:

Have read at least two non-fiction books (depending on when the book comes out this may also include the previous month; as a goal is to read two non-fiction books a month), and have written a 200-300 word synopsis over each of them, and then published the reviews on both the blog and amazon.

Have read at least two fiction books and written a 200 to 300-word synopsis over each of them, and again published both on the blog and amazon.

In terms of e-courses, if I feel the urge to purchase one I will ask myself the following questions:

Is this a course that can help me figure something out either personally or professionally?

Is it related to another course I already have? Would it complement it?

Is is something that I should be focusing on this year, or can it wait a year or so?

It is extremely doubtful that I will be purchasing any games–because as I stated earlier mos of the games that the one site (big fish) is coming out with aren’t compatible with my older laptop.

This limited spending year challenge is to prove to myself that I already have more than enough books and e-courses to keep me busy and to help me curb my impulsive spending habit.

First check in will be at the end of the month, where I will make note of the pre-orders that downloaded, any ‘needed’ orders placed, and any potential splurges bought.

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How I did on my first attempt at (an almost full) no spend month

So the month of June is basically over—there’s only five days left. So if you remember that at the beginning of the month I’d decided that I was going to do was not spend any money during the month of June (other than some pre-planned items). One of those items was meeting a friend for lunch the following weekend, and a few e-books that I had already pre-ordered & coming out at some point during the month. Read More

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Money Saving Challenge

Other than meeting up with a friend for lunch sometime this month for lunch, and the few things that I purchased today, and the few books that I’ve got on pre-order, one goal now is not to spend any more money this month. That means that I pack my lunch for work (twenty days), not spending any money on the one main match three game that I have on my kindle (it’s funny—I deleted a few games that I was spending way to much money on from my kindle and then downloaded one that I’d deleted because I got stuck on a certain level—and now I’m back in the boat of spending money on the boosts for that game)—this game might get deleted for the month of June (and then re-downloaded come July). This also means that I will have to curb my habit of randomly buying e-books as well. There have been a number of personal/professional development books that I’ve bought over the past couple of weeks, which I need to add to my list of books to finish by Sept 28, 2020.

Trying to stick with a budget hasn’t been that bad—my problem has been trying to also stick with a money log. I can do about a day or two, and then I slowly quit writing down what I’ve bought and how I’ve paid for it. Hence, the money challenge this month—other than lunch with a friend, I’m going to aim for not spending any more money this month (and that lunch shouldn’t run more than $20 [including tip]). Then come July I’ll get back into also trying to keep a money log as well—maybe if I switch up how I’m doing my savings challenges I will actually keep track and stay on top of everything.

So, on June 30th I will post an update on whether or not I was able to stick with this challenge for the entire month (and if I failed, I’ll mention where that money went)—if I succeed I’ll pat myself on the back, maybe get an new e-book (if I also manage to write at least another four book reviews for the blog).

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