March 2012: Monthly Update New Year’s Resolutions 2012

5 Apr

Champagne Taste and Beer Money (after debt payments).

RECAP: New Year’s Resolutions are here. January update is here. February update is here.

1. Debt Repayment 

I’m continuing to track and I’m continuing to pay minimum payments. But this is NOT enough.

This month, I’ll be getting a big writing check and as much as I want to put it right towards a trip to Buenos Aires, I have to be responsible. This means I’ll be able to concentrate on this effort a bit more and not have to worry about splitting payments between credit cards. Phew!

That said, if I wanted everything paid off in a year, I would still have to put much more than half of each check towards the credit cards. And good ol’ VISA will not let me change my card so I can have a reduced interest rate until I prove myself to them for another 6 months (in this case it’s probably about 4-6). That said, focusing on the VISA solely will help concentrate efforts and reduce debt.

It means not going out and I know that’s where I’m spending my money.  It’s not going to be paid off in a year. Not unless I find a job that pays me more or take on more freelance assignments at the risk of my sanity.

What’s helped: pre-cooking for the week for lunch so I’m not having a boring lunch or eating sodium induced microwave meals. i.e. I’ve cooked a big batch of pasta, brought pre-made pesto sauce and voila! I’ve got three lunches this week (I’m ok with eating the same thing for two or three days in a row one week). I got the pizza pops again and I think it’s a vice. They’re so good.  I still have to do my taxes as well and I’m dreading it.


Coffee Talk. Latte from Tori's Bakeshop.

2.  Attend Book Passage.

Flights are Part 2. I may have to wait another month until I start booking.

But let’s see what they’re at (best rates I’ve found):

August 6 YYZ-BUF $9.50 bus

August 6 BUF- SFO $285-$315 (buy from May-July. Pray there is a sale on Southwest).

August 13 SFO-PDX $116 (buy in April)

August 17 PDX-YYZ: $256.18 (buy in April/May)

Almost $700. SIGH.

I realize that buying my flights backwards may be counterproductive but I’m buying cheapest first, especially since the SFO-PDX rate has been shifting.

3.  Mini 30 Day Challenge: March’s challenge was One Dinner a Week. Though I didn’t successfully completed it technically (last minute fast food joints), limiting myself to one a week really helped me focus a bit more on where my money was going.  And it did help reduce the spending. Now I just have to be a bit more stringent on it.

I’m going to continue this goal for this month. Where I lacked was eating out on the weekends –not so much dinners but extravagant lunches and spending money on friends out of generosity. Not good!  My other goal is to start getting active. So I will try for one to two times a week and then work my way up to three. I’ve been heavily thinking about signing up for Capoeira or spinning classes so stay tuned!

At one of my favourite places, Cheesewerks for their Customer Appreciation Event. I'm TRYING to cut back on the food. I just have to find more events that "appreciate" me to save.

4. Get The Blog in Order

Blog is underway! Whoo Hoo. Weekend of April 8 is the time to get that all in order.  Need to take a day off.

First payment made to Graphic Designer.

Second Payment for end of month to early May

Other goal: get back to posting consistently. Have started to keep a blog schedule of posts I need to work on. Just need to delegate the time to do so.

New goal: one hour a day on blog writing. Needs to be done!

Another hour for the Sympatico articles.

A cheeseplate at a winebar is about as exotic as I'm getting right now. But doesn't it look tasty? Mmmm.

5. Go Somewhere Exotic

I saw a deal too good to be true for Cartagena but it sold out. This is probably a good thing because it would have went straight to the credit card. Still, I was bummed and I need to go away. I’m still planning Buenos Aires but financially, not sure if I can fit it into fall unless I can get some aspects of it compensated. That said, I’m taking a mini break somewhere closer to get back my mojo that won’t break the bank.

6.  Write More Handwritten Notes 

I didn’t write too many for the past two months. In cleaning up my space, I’ve come across a few letters I still have to send out. I promise this will get done to some point this month!

7. Get Published With a Travel Related Piece

Nothing yet. This will be a May goal. But I am getting caught up on my Sympatico articles which will give me more time to pitch.  Still have to clean out and organize that email inbox and look at old business contacts. *Breathe!

I also need to start reading more. I will try for one book this month and use this as prep for Book Passage. *More Breaths!


3 Responses to “March 2012: Monthly Update New Year’s Resolutions 2012”

  1. baconismagic April 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    You are definitely making improvements from month to month, it’s all going to come together soon.

  2. Cristina (@thetravolution) April 9, 2012 at 12:06 am #

    ooh Capoeira! Love seeing your progress. You’re so driven!

    • nearafar April 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

      Thanks! I don’t feel like it. I just know that I’ve had to get organized to get what I want.

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