January Spending

Over the past few years, I’ve taken some serious attempts to gaining more control over my fiances.  A few years ago I stopped using all credit cards and last year made serious gains towards paying them all off while continuing to operating primarily on cash. I’m not perfect, but I hope by sharing my spending with the world,  I will 1) become more accountable for where my money is going  2) help others find ways to stretch their dollars.

One of my spending goals for January was to abstain from takeout or dining out.  I successfully achieved this and as suspected, found it better for my waist and wallet.  I hope to continue no takeout for February – but allow myself to dine out socially

I saved all my receipts this month and took the time to dig through to categorize where my money went.  Everyone will do their budget sorting differently.  For example – I place my car insurance under Fixed(ish) costs while others may leave in under car expenses.  Here are the most natural categories I found & how I distinguish them.

Fixed(ish) Cost

  • Car insurance
  • Home / Home insurance
  • National Grid
  • Cell Phone
  • Credit Card (yes I do occasionally use them) / Personal Loan

Food/Household

  • Groceries
  • Beer/wine
  • Over the counter medicine
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Small appliances (can opener/vegetable peeler etc)

Clothing

Obvious. For this month it also includes new running sneakers, I considered creating a whole running category but decided to divide cost separately.

Car

  • Gas
  • Maintenance
    • This month this included putting on my snow tires, an air filter being changed & sensor cleaned and an oil change

Work

  • I’m a teacher – I buy things for school.

Unnecessary

  • Maybe a bit harsh of a category but all things not deemed important enough for anywhere else

Dog

  • Food
  • Treats
  • Vet
  • Occasional Toy

*I suspect this category will be a tad higher as I currently have a foster dog.

Gifts (friends & family)

  • It seems there is always a reason to celebrate, this month in was belated x-mas gifts for my sister and brother in law.

Social

  • Dining out
  • Drinking out
  • Running club
  • Race entries

Charitable

  • Donations to bigger causes

Savings

  • All amounts that make it into my savings account

Error

  • Difference between what I have accounted for & income.  Result of taxes/fees/ etc

 

Now my categories are not set in stone, some may disappear as I continue on this journey and others may become more natural.  But this is where I am starting.

I took my categories, divided up all of my spending and made myself a pretty pie chart.

january

 

I love having this visual and it allows me to adjust my goals for February.

My goal for February Financial goals are

  • Decrease Clothing Spending to 10%
  • Reduce my margin of error
  • Increase savings by 5%

Since this is all new to me, I genuinely have no idea if it will work. Any budgeting pros that have suggestions – I am all ears.

 

 

 

 

615 Miles to go

When I finished the Philadelphia Marathon (November), I didn’t think I’d want to run long again for a while. But after the post race high faded away and the post marathon blues came around, I knew I had to conquer 26.2 again sooner than later. While there was nothing that I could do to control the weather that day, I know there were some obvious holes in my training. So rather than start completely from scratch (although I haven’t run much since Philadelphia) I decided now was the time fix my training and see what I can do.

Last week kicked off 18 weeks to go until the Vermont City Marathon. I am following Hansons Marathon Method again, although I made a few changes. I am incorporating a second day of rest but am distributing those miles throughout the week. For Philly it happened fairly regularly that I either needed a second day or life happened and it would interrupt my training. Thus missing miles, by planning ahead, I think I’ll get more miles under my feet without losing the cumulative fatigue.

Week 1

Thursday: AM: 3 mile run // PM: Yoga

I know it’s weird to start the week on a Thursday, but for some reason, Thursday is the first day according to the bible  Hansons Marathon Method. I had made plans with my friend Lindsey to run Thursday afternoon. Wednesday night, she text saying she’d end up having to run in the AM instead. After a fairly quick exchange, we agreed to meet at SUNY at 6:30 am.  This is huge for me.  Super Super Huge.  The run felt good and it was a nice change to be running with someone. ( Marcy dog is only so good for conversation) The 3 mile loop went by quickly and I was on my way to work. This time of year makes it easy to jump from one to the other with only change of clothes.  It was nice to have the run done in the AM  – I don’t know how regular this time of day will become, but its nice to know it’s an option. Currently I am running sans watch – to allow myself to get back into a routine without staring at the numbers.  Once I make it through basebuilding (5 weeks total)  I’ll be all about the pace!

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reflective & my new sleek whistle from Grace by Grit

Friday :AM Yoga/ (rest) / strength

It seems a bit silly to have a rest day on the second day of marathon training, but since I’m coming from almost 2 months of sporadic running – I have no reason to go over the top. Plus, work was exhausting. I left with about 8,000 steps.  (typically I leave with about 5-6k) I am planning to incorporate some conditioning this time around and figured today was a good chance to create new habits.  I completed my day 27 of Yoga with Adriene’s Yoga Revolution in the morning and followed the dirty dozen conditioning workout I once saw in my I Believe training journal.  I stuck to lower reps, in the past I’ve tried to do the max of it all  – and then was able to do it again for days.  Nothing major but small steps for a stronger training.

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Saturday AM Yoga // 3ish miles

I had an amazingly productive morning on Saturday.  I woke up fairly early, cleaned, listened to Hamilton for the 5th Saturday in a row, and then did day 28 of #yogawithadriene’s yoga revolution. After, I packed a change of clothes for work (open house) and headed off to the Hudson Bike Path for 3 miles. I am still running watch -less but after so many miles there, I knew where I needed to go /turn around. My run felt good, my lungs are still trying to clear out the plague from Christmas, but it doesn’t seem to bother me while actually running.

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view towards Downtown Albany

Sunday: HMRRC Winter Series 3 mile race // PM Yoga

I decided to get my miles in at the HMRRC winter series.  My plan said 4 and I should have warmed up, but  enjoyed having the chance to catch up with friends that I haven’t seen in a while.  I am still running watchless – but know that according to the official clock, I finished just around 32 minutes.  I definitely wasn’t racing, nor did it feel like I was putting in a lot of effort, but this certainly weren’t of the effortless variety.  But I certainly haven’t earned any effortless miles.  Although I’ve been walking, practicing yoga, cycling, and strength training,  I’ll be clocking some low miles for the month.  It’ll come back, as it always does.

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Running ladies!

After some free soup and catching up with more running people,  I hustled back to the house to change clothes and grab my foster dog Herman to head to an adoption event an hour or so away.  He was well liked and I am hopeful that his family finds him soon! I was particularly worn out after the days events – lots of driving – but still managed to complete day 29 of #yogawithadriene

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These first few weeks won’t be anything exciting, but they will be incredibly important in creating the strong foundation to tackle the speed/tempo/and strength runs that come in the later part of the training.

Total Miles This week: 9

Total Miles: 9

Hello!

I am no stranger to blogging.  I’ve spent the last (almost) 7 years at www.albanywayfarer.com  I love to blog, but felt trapped on my old site.  So on one glorious snowday, I decided to strike up a new page.

Here we are!

It will have a lot of similarities to my old one just without the history.  I do plan to focus publicly on my fiances, reading, athletic endeavors, and contribution to my community both locally and globally.

This is not a once size fits all blog – but I suppose I view it as a healthy, well rounding living.

Thanks for stopping by!