2016 arrived clumsily.
A dear friend was visiting for several days from San Francisco. And that meant more excitement than usual — getting wine drunk while watching old Mitch Hedberg specials, ice skating outside in downtown Nashville, house parties, and endless amounts of brunching.
It was super fun! But the non-stop hang time left me totally exhausted. He arrived the day after I got back from Massachusetts. So there wasn’t time for my usual quiet, end of the year reflection.
But that’s exactly how life should be, right? Important moments aren’t going to happen as expected. And we’re much better off because of it.
Plus, sometimes you really need to step away from the f*cking computer and spend the afternoon drinking mimosas with your friends.
The December Monthly Budget
So I was feeling super Grinchy when I came home to all of my mother’s holiday decorations. But my family’s gift-free Christmas went better than I expected.
Instead of rushing to open gifts, we enjoyed a relaxed morning sipping coffee in the kitchen. A holiday that once centered around gifts was filled with other things — delicious brunch foods, visiting a nearby alpaca farm, and watching the full moon rise on the beach.
Since I managed to snag a cheap flight in November, I spent almost nothing on Christmas. My gift-free holiday and a surprise bonus meant I was able to save more than any previous December.
Note: mortgage, alarm system, internet, electric, water, gas, household, and coffee numbers reflect one-half of the total bill. I live with my boyfriend, so we split these expenses.
Note: If you sign up for a free account through my affiliate link above, I may receive a small bonus. I’d never recommend a product I don’t save time with and enjoy!
Personal Care: $15.71 (cold stuff), $12.97 (mouthwash & toilet paper)
Household: $2.88 (cleaning products)
Gifts: $100 (owed mother for my father’s birthday gift), $38.24 (friend’s housewarming gift), $13.11 (wine for party), $20 (friend’s going away present), $26.21 (wine for Christmas parties)
Other One-Time Expenses: $13.77 (domain renewal), $64.92 (Facebook advertising)
December posts: 3 (+2)
Twitter followers: 4,094 (+130)
Facebook likes: 627 (+212)
Google+ followers: 160 (+1)
Pinterest followers: 384 (+20)
Feedly subscribers: 106 (+6)
Cumulative Adsense earnings: $174.25 (+$8.75)
When I got back from FinCon, I wrote about the importance of setting intentions. Because if you want to make progress, you have to be specific.
Three months ago, I set a goal of earning $10,000 side income before next year’s FinCon. This income will come from a variety of sources including:
– Freelance writing
– Social media consulting
– Dividends from my taxable portfolio
– Selling stuff
– And more!
So how’s my progress looking?
September – $350.72
October – $858.61
November – $738.71
December – $823.32
Total – $2,771.36
I’ve got $7,228.64 more to go. So I need to earn $903.58 per month for the next 8 months to reach my goal.
Looking at my weight graph from the past several months, it’s easy to see where I got off track. I reached a low weight (under 160) right before November. But back-to-back trips to Las Vegas and San Antonio threw me off. And I never recovered through the holidays.
I want to be healthier. But clearly, it hasn’t been a priority. Am I ready to start feeling better? Do I want to have more energy? I think so.
Yesterday, I went for a short jog in the park. It was only for a half a mile. And it felt so good to be outdoors, alone in the cold. It’s hardly a lifestyle change. But it’s a start.
December Wellness Numbers
Weight: 166.4 (+4.2)
December Miles Run: 0 (no change)
December Steps: 77,853 (-40,227)
1. Prepare for working from home by de-cluttering, establishing a dedicated workspace, and creating a new daily routine! PASS
Instead of setting specific goals, I’d like to shift my focus to being more mindful about balance and self-care. Working from home makes it easy to fall back into my old patterns.
I’d love to eventually establish one screen-free day a week (maybe Saturdays) to recharge and spend more time outdoors. Have you tried it?
Readers: How was your December? What are your goals for the first month of 2016?
Start living your best life.
Enjoy FREE weekly updates about taking control of your money and hustling toward financial freedom!