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Archive for December, 2021

Last Payday of 2021

December 30th, 2021 at 03:22 pm

I was glad to see my paycheck in my account this morning.  I am supposed to be paid on the 15th and last day of every month, it comes early if that date falls on a holiday or a weekend.  So I suspected it would be today rather than tomorrow, as my company is closed worldwide tomorrow.  

I currently have my paycheck going into two separate checking accounts.  One is my main account that I use for the majority of my bills/spending, etc, the other is what I call my housing account.  After the 15th's payday, I adjusted the amount going into my housing account to cover a maintenance increase for 2022 (maintenance is basically like an HOA fee for my ownership structure).  That was reflected today, so while it's very minor, just one more item on a very long list of little things to make sure happen!

I hustled to get online and pay the rest of the bills (I have very few bills on autopay) so that my balances could update asap - I'm anxious to do my 2021 wrap-up!  I'll most likely still have to wait until Monday, but at least it feels like I took action haha.  I still need to transfer information over to my 2022 budget file, but that can wait until I have final 2021 numbers.  I've done a lot of it, just need to make the move over.

I passed all 3 credit exams I had planned this break - my brain is so very tired but it was worth it.  I am officially not opening the school laptop until January 18th!!!  I was pretty aggressive when it came to school this year, but it set me up well for the rest of my degree program - I need to take 10 more classes, I will spread that over 4 semesters, and not have a terribly heavy course load again like I did last semester.  I am on track to graduate in either summer of fall of 2023.  

December This and That

December 21st, 2021 at 06:22 pm

The year is quickly speeding to a close.  While 2021 was a wonderful year for me goals-wise, I am not sorry to see it go.  Ready for the fresh start a new year brings!

I'll obviously do a detailed full year wrap up post after the end of the year but I'm so blown away by where things stand vs where I started in January.  I met up with an old friend the other night whom I hadn't seen in about 2 years and we were catching up.  I was explaining my year to him and his eyes just kept getting bigger and bigger!  Early numbers are looking like I paid off around $36k+ worth of debt this year (the net number is lower since I added new debt in the form of student loans), and increased savings by about $27k.  That's....pretty damn good haha.  

I am done with my shopping for Christmas gifts as of yesterday.  It looks like I spent right around $400.  I only buy for my mother, brother and sister, and I'm fine with that number.  I did not set aside money in a sinking fund for gifts this year, that's on the list for future years.  

The season has had a bit of a pall cast over it, with the infection rate skyrocketing again.  Even though I am mostly surrounded by fully vaccinated if not boosted people, it still has impacted my circle.  My best friend is in from out of town for what was supposed to be 2 weeks.  We went to dinner with my cousin, who I also consider a best friend, last week - two days later, my cousin developed symptoms, took an at home test, and then went to a local urgent care for a "real" test.  Positive.  She had not yet gotten boosted, wanting to wait for her planned time off over the holidays (she has a lot of autoimmune issues, and was afraid of how it was going to hit her - in my opinion that's exactly the reason she SHOULD have gotten boosted asap).  My other friend and I had no symptoms, but started doing at home tests over the course of the next few days.  We remain negative and symptom free.  Both boosted, which seems to be the difference these days.  Lots of plans have been quashed though.  We had tickets to a Broadway show - we had decided not to go, and eat the cost, but now it has been cancelled so we will get a refund.  My friend was supposed to do Christmas Eve with one side of her family - there is a positive there so it has been cancelled.  She has decided to go home a week early, and I can't say I blame her.  My cousin will be spending Christmas alone, since she can't start counting days until she is symptom free, and she is not yet.  Her mother also has serious autoimmune issues so they'll take extra precautions anyway.  My mother works in a school and has been exposed several times, but thankfully she is also boosted, and all of her tests have been negative.  Today is her last day in the building, so fingers crossed we avoid any more exposures before Christmas and we can still have the small but festive day we had planned.  

Christmas Day will be my mom and sister coming over for brunch (fingers crossed!!!) - I am making chai scones, Yuletide Cheer bread, croissant French toast, bacon, and a Buche de Noel.  A bit overboard for the 3 of us, but I am determined to make it special amidst everything going on around us.

I am officially on vacation from work until the New Year (although I am actually sitting at the work computer getting a few things done).  School finished up last week, I am waiting for one last grade....right now, I got an S in each of the three pass/fail courses, an A+ in statistics, an A in anthropology, and waiting on the grade from math.  Hoping for a B there.  My goal was a B, I need a C for tuition reimbursement.  Once that last grade is posted, I will submit my grades for the reimbursement, which should come through mid January.  It was due at noon today so I'm a bit annoyed, but trying to stay patient.  I am taking a CLEP exam tomorrow, then 2 more next week.  If I don't pass these, I will just take the courses.  I need to pass at least 1 of them to keep the same timeline, and am confident I can at least pull that much off haha.  

This morning I had a good weigh in, the number on the scale reflected that I have lost 99.1 pounds since my highest, just under 4 years ago.  .9 pounds to go to get to 100 pounds lost!  Crazy.   

I hope everyone has a lovely holiday, in spite of *gestures wildly* everything going on (I am in the NYC area so it probably feels a bit more intense here at the moment).  

November Spending & Summary

December 2nd, 2021 at 04:46 pm

I can't believe it is now the last month of the year!  

November Spending:

Category - Nov Spending/YTD Spending: Context.  This spending does not include bills, just variable spending that I can control.

Alcohol - $81.25/$361.05: this was wine for Thanksgiving.  I bought 3 bottles, we only had 2, so I will retrieve the other bottle from my mom's house this weekend and put it in my own fridge ha.  This is REALLY not bad considering that we are 11/12 of the way through the year - a few years ago, I was a huge wine aficiciando and my annual wine spending was much higher.

Car/Gas - $170.49/$644.53: ugh.  I got a notice in the mail about a parking ticket from Feb 2020 that I apparently never paid, so of course the fees were through the roof.  I can afford to pay it, so I just did, grumbling the entire time.  I also got gas somewhere in there.  I still have not yet dealt with my tires....maybe later this month since I am off the last two weeks of the year.

Clothing - 0/$1518.91: no spend here is surprising - I do need to pick up a few things, and will probably take advantage of great sales this month to do so.

Dining/Entertainment - $187.11/$2166.24:  still wayyyy toooooo high.  My best friend is coming into town for a few weeks this month, though, so I don't expect it to be much lower in December.

Education - $65.01/$1087.60: this was for a study resource for the 3 remaining CLEP exams I am taking.  I was planning to take them in November, but was so busy that I ultimately decided to push them to December.  Unfortunately, I did not make any use of this study resource in November, and now need to pay for December.  But I decided that "wasting" $65 was far better than over-burdening myself, and while I shouldn't spend it, I can afford to.  Not sure if I will need any books for my spring classes, or if I would find out what those are before the end of the year, so December should be similar.

Gifts - $268.91/$843.4: got most of my Christmas shopping done (I only buy for mom, sister and brother).  I have a few more things I want to pick up that will hit this month's spending, but overall, looks pretty good for a full year.

Grocery/Household/Toiletries - $609.71/$6001.23: this was about middle of the road, and since I wasn't trying to be especially frugal, it's fine.  As of right now, it's my largest monthly expense by FAR when looking at YTD totals.

Medical - $67.05/$1032.28: this was a co-pay and my responsibility for some bloodwork.  Seeing this number makes me feel good about fully funding the FSA for next year - everything in this category would have been covered.

Miscellaneous - $1267.70/$1853.35: as mentioned, I bought a fancy spin bike this month Smile The $250 from my wellness reimbursement that I should get in my Dec 15th paycheck will be credited against this category.  The majority of my spending this year has been on health and wellness, so that will have its own category in 2022.  

Office Supplies - 0/$106.92: another no spend category, woo!

Personal Care - $498.50/$2503.71: another hair appointment, this one for a haircut and color.  I also had to re-up on some of my pricey products, immediately after placing an order for one of them, I found it at a better deal elsewhere, so I need to return the first one (couldn't cancel the order).  I'll do that today, so the return will be reflected in December.

Pet - $70.79/$1107.18: food and litter.  For the first time ever, I placed a pet supplies order and did not buy them any new toys lol.  The nerve of me, I hope they can forgive me haha.

Subscriptions - $88.99/$428.31: this includes the monthly subscription for my spin bike, cloud storage for my phone plan, and a prepared meal box that I had gotten a free trial of and then didn't cancel in time to avoid a new one being sent/shipped.  Oh well.  I have since cancelled, so will not have to keep an eye on it.

Travel - 0/$2206.69: nothing in November, although the airline did attempt to charge my card for the seat upgrade back in July the other day.  It's a debit card, and I always turn overdraft protection off, and there was not enough in the account, so the charge was declined.  Haven't decided what I am going to do there, if I am going to transfer the money back into that account and if they attempt it again, so be it.  Not sure what my responsibility is here at this point.  The funds were there when I made the purchase, and for several months after the fact.  

Total - $3375.51/$21861.41: wow this is a big number, but really helpful to now have a full year's worth of data (well almost) to make projections for next year.  

November Summary with MoM:

As always, this does not include the 401k contribution/loan payments from my 11/30 paycheck, they have not posted yet.  My 401k did hit that "increased 100% this year" milestone a few weeks ago, but the market is down so blah.  I also had to take a little money out of savings, but not too much and I am already focusing on putting it back.

Overall, I'm very happy.  Less progress in November than some other months, but looking at it over the course of the year is breathtaking.