Getting Rid of my Debt (What # am I up to now?)

Shhh...the baby is sleeping....
Shhh…the baby is sleeping….

I seriously have lost count. I know I have not been talking about the Debt Killing much lately and that’s because it has slowed down,while my savings has really ramped up. Now that I know I definitely want to move to WA state by September of next year (and possibly as early as August if I get accepted to the Outdoor School I mentioned in my last post), I have figured out how much I need to save to feel comfortable when making the move. I want to have at least 4-6 months living expenses saved up, a scooter (which I estimate will cost me about 2K), and have planned on saving up about $3K for the move. I figure the motor home will cost me probably about $1200 for gas alone, and I’m thinking right now my budget for the motor home purchase will probably be around 10K. I’m not expecting to get the latest model but want something dependable, and I don’t mind putting in some sweat equity to make it my “home” Ii.e. my goal is to make it feel “beachy” by probably painting the walls, and possibly the cabinets depending on what color they are to start with.) Read more

Little things for which I am thankful

She sleeps.... (just try not to say "awww" when you look at her picture...I dare you!)
She sleeps…. (just try not to say “awww” when you look at her picture…I dare you!)

As  I sat down to write this, my little calico Callie came over and started rubbing all up against my computer, so she starts off my list – I’m so thankful for all of my animals and their continuing to remain healthy even as they age. I like to think I have something to do with it, by giving them good food and a good home where they feel safe and can sleep as much as they want. Or, they could just have really good genes. 🙂

I’m all packed up and ready to go on my trip to St. Lucia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I know people think all I do when there is sit on the beach, but really, our conference is a good couple days with events at night as well, so I won’t have much free time after my first night there, until pretty much my last day there before I fly back. But don’t worry, I’ll still take lots of pics of the beach for all of you!! (Do I sound like I”m gloating?? Well, ok…maybe a little….lol)  I’m thankful my roomie is here to take care of all of the furballs – makes me feel a lot better to know their environment doesn’t have to change just because I’m traveling. Especially for Osito, that makes me very thankful. She tends to get nervous when she is in a strange place, which is understandable with her lack of vision.

With the help of two very good friends, I am feeling pretty good about the decision I made this week, to move to Washington State by next fall, if my savings plan works out the way I want it to. My hope is to start attending the National Personal Training Institute in Renton, WA in September, for their 6 month program. It’s $6300 if you pay it all up front, and it lasts for 6 months. The program consists of 300 hours of classroom time, and 200 hours of hands on time, which also includes an internship. They do have a program here around Boston, but really, I want to meet people in the field where I will be living, so I’ll put off attending until I move.  One of my brother’s lifelong friends lives out there now, and he’s been super helpful in answering all my inane questions.

With the decision to move, I have put off my decision to buy an RV or a tiny home and land. Since I don’t know for sure where I will end up doing personal training with clients, and I’m not familiar with the Seattle area, it just doesn’t make sense. Plus, I looked into the campgrounds near the Seattle area, even the state parks, and it would still end up costing me at the very least around 500 but more likely closer to 750/800 a month to rent a spot. I can get an apartment for about 650-700, I think, so financially, it just makes more sense to rent at first. Plus, WA does not have income tax, and Seattle’s minimum wage is $15!!!!  But they make up for that lack of income tax with very high property taxes. Just something else to think about.  I

I’ll also slow down my debt repayment for a bit to stockpile savings.  I will still make at least double payments on the private loan.  I think I’m better at stockpiling savings, and then if I can, pay a chunk of it before I move. We’ll see. The plan is still evolving, but with my friend L’s help, I saw last night it’s financially feasible for me to do this, and (hopefully, which is my word, not hers) not have to touch the money I’ve already saved for the tiny home.   Honestly, my fascination for tiny homes began when I saw people living in these tiny apartments. So now, I’m hoping my unattachment to things will help me find a small place out there that will also hopefully be easier on my wallet.   It’s going to all be about living simpler. I’m excited at the thought of downsizing my space even more.

I’m grateful for boxes. Why boxes, you ask? Well, they give my animals something to do, which is entertain me with their silly antics! I got lots of packages delivered this week (I get their pet food online), so there has been much exploring being done by my boys, Max and Sebastian.

I’m feeling like my life is coming together, like I’m figuring out my purpose. And it’s a good feeling. I  hope you will all have a wonderful fourth of July!

 

 

 

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Wow, I am SO GLAD today is Friday. I’m just tired. Been a long week with lots to do and I’m feeling overwhelmed about a few things. I just have to keep chugging away.

First, I’m very thankful for my second job at the gym. I never see the money that comes in for it, other than to see my tiny home/motorhome fund growing every two weeks. I’ve become the go-to person, in a way, for extra shifts, because I can usually am able to take them, and I guess they realize I’m dependable. All a good thing. I’m opening up there next week, 6 out of 7 days.  Since I have a ton of time saved up at my full time job, I am taking some time off there so I don’t get completely burnt out.

How can you not fall in love with this adorable face?
How can you not fall in love with this adorable face?

Second, I just have to share this picture of little Osito with you. I was getting ready this morning at around 4 a.m. and she had woken up. She and the rest of the animals were looking at me through these little slits of tired looking eyes, and I thought to myself, “it’s even early for them!” I felt badly for waking them up, but I know what they are going to do while I’m gone today. (Yep, a hard day’s work of sleeping.)   Anyway, Osito just looked so super cute, and as I walked toward her, even though she’s blind, she knew I was approaching and her tail started wagging a mile a minute. On last night’s walk, I’m not kidding – she was practically running! It makes me so happy to see her so spritely moving, and knowing she has that youthful energy at times. She makes me smile so much, I honestly don’t think I could love that little one any more than I already do.

Third, I was able to make that extra payment of $400 on my  LAL student loan today as originally planned. This is in addition to the $167 payment that is regularly scheduled. While this won’t bring the balance below $16K, it will bring it closer, anyway. And I’m not done yet paying on it for the month!  Will keep you updated, as always!

Fourth, I’m going to a party/housewarming tonight and will get to see some folks that I don’t get to see often. It’s a  nice opportunity to just get together and relax.

Fifth, my marathon training is still ongoing. Thankful that my brother, who is also my coach, is going conservative with my mileage so I don’t ramp up too quickly.  It is super important to me to not get injured. And for the most part, I’ve been feeling good on my runs. I’m not fast, but I don’t care. To me, right now, it’s more about the fact that I am doing it.

Sixth, my little brother, the aforementioned running coach, took on a Penniless Challenge over the past two weeks. For one week, he didn’t spend a cent if it would benefit him. (Meaning the money he spent on flowers for my mom for Mom’s Day didn’t count.) He did really, really well, even though I know it was definitely hard for him. But you know what? He found he liked making his coffee at home much better than waiting in line at Starbucks! (This is saying a lot – my brother used to work for Starbucks back in the day and loves their coffee!)

Well, on to the day! If you have liked this post, please drop me a line below, hit “like” or subscribe! And, thank you!

 

 

 

 

Little Things for Which I am Thankful (yeah, really not so little…)

It was a busy, but wonderful week. I can’t believe it was a week ago that I picked my friend Lisa (Mom to Marathon) up at the airport so she could stay with me and run the Boston Marathon! We had such a great time and even though we started as friends online, 6 years ago, in ways it feels like no time has passed, and in others, it feels like I’ve known her forever. Know what I mean?

So much to be thankful for this week!  If there’s anything you are thankful for, please drop me a comment below!

1. My friend, Lisa, finished the marathon!!! Now, normally this isn’t a big deal. She’s a great runner and has a strong will so if it’s within her power, she will always finish. Last year, however, it wasn’t within her control, due to some a-holes setting off bombs near the finish line.  So, this year she got to run down that wonderful stretch of Boylston that they had stopped her from doing last year. She told me it was one of her slowest marathons ever, but her face hurt from smiling so much. I was sooooo happy for her!

2. I had gotten to the point at work last week where I could just tell I needed time off. Whenever I start to feel like students are “grabbing” at me (for lack of a better word), I know it’s time for me to be out of the office. I mean, being here to answer questions is basically my job, so when I don’t want to do it, I know I am getting burned out. I can’t think of a better way to have spent those few days out of the office than with a good friend. We went to Castle Island down in South Boston, right on the water, on Tuesday. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. We took little Osito with us and of course, we were stopped by many children and adults alike on the way, who kept cooing over her and her cuteness. 🙂 I mean, she was in her summer dress – how could you not?? (Laugh if you will, I love that little girl and she totally doesn’t mind being dressed up.)

3. This was the week I decided to train for a marathon this fall. My second. I’m a bit nervous about my body being able to take all of the stress of the pounding, so I’m going to really pay attention to it along the way. I’m thankful for all the support I’ve received from everyone since deciding to go for it again. I’m especially grateful for having such a wonderful brother who has agreed to be my coach and put together a program for me.

4. I am thankful for having found a brand of sneaker called Hoka One One. Without them, I thought I would be relegated to no longer running races of even 5 miles. Thanks to them, I have felt so much less back pain this week and even been able to run a few days in a row. They have so much cushioning that they have been able to absorb a lot of the pounding for me. Wish me luck for the 5-6 miles I will be logging tomorrow. For right now, it’s my longest distance I’ve run in a while. It will soon be eclipsed.

5. I am so so so so thankful for my chiropractor. He’s given me such great advice and exercises to use and I am feeling the difference every day. I used to feel like my body was that of an 80 year old woman with the constant back pain. I no longer feel that way.

6. My mom got engaged this past week. I’m really happy for her. The guy she is with now is really great and treats her with such respect and admiration. It’s clear he is really in love with her. She deserves to be happy.

7. A photo is worth a thousands words! Tookie, the cat in the picture below, was my foster baby for about 7 months. His mom just sent this picture to me this week – the dog, Po, is now Tookie’s bestest, bestest, bestest friend in the world! Clearly, Po feels the same way about him as he’s letting  Tookie eat his food!  I am not sure Tookie would have been put up for adoption out of the shelter due to his elimination habits, so I felt so happy when I saw this photo and know that his mom is still totally committed to him, quirks and all.

Tookie, my former foster baby!!! (He's the cat, by the way.)
Tookie, my former foster baby!!! (He’s the cat, by the way.)

Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Osito in her pink jacket and her pink scarf, a Christmas present from my nephew!
Osito in her pink jacket and her pink scarf, a Christmas present from my nephew!

I hope everyone either had a good Christmas this week or a good day off! I celebrated Christmas Eve with my brother and his family and then spent Christmas Day with my best friend, her husband, and her grandma, watching 4 of the 6 Fast and Furious Movies. Then we had the “traditional” Christmas Day meal for a Jewish household: Chinese food!

To the left is my little Osito on a (finally) sunny day. You might not be able to see it but she is nice and warm in this photo thanks to her bright pinks scarf which my nephew made for her. It fits perfectly underneath her pink jacket! ❤

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Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Love....she makes my heart melt.
Love….she makes my heart melt.

This week has been much better than last week. Even took a day off all for myself. “Mental health days” as I like to call them, are much needed sometimes, especially when you are facing the longer, colder nights of the Northeast. Not looking forward to looking out my window at work and seeing that it’s dark out by a little bit after 4 p.m.  But I have a plan to combat that SAD syndrome I usually go through! (See number 4 below.) Read more

Little Things for Which I am Grateful

Osito - How Cute is She??
My baby girl, Osito, adopted from the Animal Rescue League of Boston’s Dedham location. She’s 12 and blind, and just the sweetest thing.

I have been reading/following Josh Becker of Becoming Minimalist, for some time now. He has been posting many infographics on facebook lately that have given me pause.

So, this morning I was thinking of what I am grateful for, and thought maybe I should do it as a weekly Friday post (that will be my goal anyway).  So, here are a few, in no particular order. Read more