Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Dance for Annual Salary Increases

I recently received my annual salary increase which should be reflected in my next paycheck. I accordingly increased my retirement contribution to my 403b so I will still be meet the minimum threshold to be eligible to receive a 'match' contribution from my company. I really try not to increase my 'lifestyle expenditures' when I receive salary increases and allocate the money to different pots and pretend like the increase doesn't exist. I'm not the only one that needs the incentive of these little mental tricks, right?

My increase was actually reflected a bit late this year, so I will receive a small windfall from retroactive pay from my new salary. This small windfall will go straight to my travel fund which I’m still in the process of beefing up for my fall travel plans. This small windfall and annual increase called for a brief happy dance which I did during the day yesterday when no one was watching. Hey, I need to work exercise into my daily routine anyway and every little bit counts right? : )

Friday, September 3, 2010

September 2010 Goals

It's about time I get back into setting my monthly goals, so here are my goals for the month of September:
  1. Apply for December 2010 graduation. I'm in the final stretch of graduate school, so I have to talk to my academic advisor and fill out the paper work to apply for fall graduation. It's amazing how fast two years fly by!
  2. Save for fall travel 'spending money.' Though I paid for both trips I plan to take this fall (a 7 day cruise and a long weekend in Paris), I still have to set aside more money in my travel fund for spending money. I plan for most of my travel money to be spent on food. I truly have enough stuff; I can do without souvenirs, my main souvenirs will be photos : )
  3. Order all of my FICO scores. I did check my credit report earlier this month via Annual Credit Report , but I haven't checked all of my credit scores this year. I will order them all and take a look at them.
  4. Borrow some French language software from the library and start practicing. I'd love to purchase Rosetta Stone, but since that doesn't fit in my budget, I'll have to settle for borrowing some language software from my local library. It's been a long term goal to learn to speak French conversationally for a while and I've forgotten most of the French I learned to fulfill my foreign language requirement in college, so language software from the library will have to do for now. Once I feel more comfortable with basic conversation, I'll start attending French conversation Meet-ups. I never had the nerve to attend language Meet-ups in the past, but I plan to change that in the near-future!
  5. Start exercising 3 times a week (again). Some how exercising has fallen by the wayside for the past few weeks (okay, months), so it's time to get back on track again. I'll do the 30 Day Shred though I don't think I'll to do it for 30 consecutive days, I'll alternate with Pilates and Yoga stretching. I'd also like to take at least drop-in dance class; one of the advantages of living in a city like D.C. is that there are quite a few dance studios.
  6. Henna my hair. Henna which is traditionally used in Pakistan and other parts of the world to decorate skin is also used by many women as a natural dye and conditioning treatment. It coats (doesn't penetrate) your hair in red which will show up in varying degrees depending on your hair color and how long you leave on the henna. I can't tell any difference in my hair color which is very dark, but it was a great conditioning treatment! It's a little messy/time consuming, but I plan to do a henna treatment once a month. I have to order the henna (I used this brand the last time) and set aside a Sunday to do it.
  7. Take clothes donation to Goodwill. I sorted through my clothes earlier this summer and set aside a bag of items I no longer need to take to Goodwill. I'm tired of looking at that bag in my hallway, so it has to go!

Happy Friday folks!