Tag Archives: personal finance

Progress Report — Day 61

With only 40 more days left of this 101 day project, a progress report is well overdue. Here goes:

1) Shuck the Superfluous Shit: I think I have sorted, priced and tagged almost 40% of what was in the house. I still have 15 or so bins full of stuff in storage yet to sort and then another, ruthless sort to do of all that remains. I estimate I will have around 30 bins full of yard sale items before I am finished. I have eleven packed away so far. I have also sold several pieces of furniture!

Streamlining of my digital life and exorcising of excess electronics is taking a bit longer, but I have all digital devices gathered up for a full inventory. Progress is imminent.

The almost obsessive amount of TV I was watching has been cut by at least 75%. Every day I spend more time on things I love, like playing music, reading, studying and “cooking”. (<– what do real raw food chefs use as a replacement verb for “cooking”?)

2) Face my Finances: I have been keeping a daily expense diary for a few weeks now and am all geared up to build that f*ing spreadsheet of all my debt this weekend. I have been working tirelessly on my goals as a writer, and school is going well. I was going to attend a 16 week course on personal finance, but have decided instead to focus on the myriad webinars, financial blogs and books available that do not require so much gasoline to take advantage of them. I have finished about 30% of “31 Days to Fix Your Finances.

3) Make-up with Morning: I have not been perfect. Mornings and I have been fighting for over 3 decades, and it has been difficult for me to come to terms with Morning’s point of view.  I have, however, done way better than I ever thought I could. I have been waking up around 5 AM for weeks. I love writing in the morning! Running and yoga in the mornings? That’s been a lot harder.

So far, I have succeeded 4 days out of 7 for 2 straight weeks to adhere to this morning routine: 1) Wake-up and write for 2 hours (No studying or electronics. Only writing during that time). 2) Get outside and run for at least 15 minutes and, 3) Do a short yoga practice and meditate.

By March 1st, I will be totally prepped to go 21 straight days. I want to fully integrate this 3-hour habit because every day I do it, the remainder of the day feels so free! It is seriously awesome.

4) Free the Fat: I am totally winning. I may not have lost much weight, but I feel like a million bucks. Raw foodism rules. I am eating at least 40% more calories than I ever have before. My relationship with food has been completely transformed. I can’t help but be convinced my cells are, as we speak, regenerating and rearranging themselves in a much hotter way. Also, I’m already plenty hot. Also, my libido is through the roof. I’m not really sure what to do about that last one. More running?

5) Divorce the Drama: I’d say I am 65% there. This experience has brought up some emotions and feelings I honestly thought I was done with. At first, I thought this meant that I was backsliding. But now I realize I just needed one more round. I already feel so. much. better. about my ability to manage my social life. By taking care of items 1 through 4 on this list, my stress level has plummeted.

6) I Am A Writer and I Act Like One: Done. I have never, until now, said that out loud or really knew I needed to say it. I can honestly say I have been a songwriter for a lot of years, but not until this project have I internalized the fact that I am also a writer with no modifier. I write. I want to be a writer when I grow up. And I am acting accordingly. I’ve been taking classes on-line, studying all types of styles, taking writing and literature classes at school, feeling out local writer’s groups, writing at a prescribed time every day and I have now updated this blog every day for 41 days. Kick Ass!

I have had so many fantastic things happen to me and because of me since I started this project. Conversely, I have also had my fair share of shitty days — days where I was literally trapped in bed, immobilized by the size of the project and wishing, mightily, for a grilled cheese sandwich. If you had told me last year, or even just 3 months ago, that I would be 61 days into a 101 day project of this scope, I would never have believed it. Yet, even though those difficult days have been very real and very daunting, here I am. I am well on my way to successfully completing this project. I am well on my way to achieving Excess Emancipation!

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Facing My Finances

Thinking about any or all things financial gives me hives. I’ve been putting off thinking about my finances for over a year. In order to be emancipated from excess stress, it’s time to face the proverbial music. I don’t intend to dwell on how I got here, at this point, it’s irrelevant. What I am committing to is creating habits that will A) Get me out of this mess and B) Keep me out of this mess.

I have a box sitting on my desk which contains the carnage. When I get bills or collection letters they go in that box. I am trying to screw up the nerve to go through that box and type up a detailed accounting of the whole picture. I am going to attend a series hosted by the community college on personal finance by Dave Ramsey. It’s a 13-week course that starts on Feb. 15. I have started a daily expense journal. THAT habit is a hard one to incorporate. I am also forcing myself to read, “31 Days to Fix Your Finances.”

I’m not sure I’m quite ready to crack open that box on my desk, but every day I feel a little bit braver about it. I have until the 15th of February to do it. Here’s hoping I do it sooner than later. I keep telling myself, “Hard Now, Easy Later.”

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