December Lookback

Listening to:
a voicemail my friend sent me. Over and over and over again. That Australian accent. And he's telling me about a girl he has the hots for that it just won't work out with. And my heart just falls apart as he tells the story. Because it is both the sweetest thing ever and also the saddest thing. My heart goes out to him. ❤️

Previous Christmas travel. Will I regret not going anywhere this year? It's possible.

Scotland and Christmas presents. Maybe continuing French lessons into 2020?

Anxious about:
French class. We were asked last minute about joining French 103. On the one hand, I think we should continue taking the class. On the other, I dislike how the CEO asked us to sign up for it. I want to know I have the time and availability in my calendar. Anyway, so if we don't sign up now, we may not get to take it and I think it would be useful for us to have it before we travel to France. So ... I'm just trying to deal with that and figure out what I want to do.

And none of that includes the anxiety I get from just trying to speak French. ACK! Luckily, Justin's got it pretty well. He can string together some words and form a few sentences and questions. I can barely remember the vocabulary despite practicing more than he does!

Interested to Know:
What happened to my UK friend? I really want him to message me. Like yesterday. Please?

Keeping A Secret:
Mostly Christmas presents. I'm not good at keeping secrets.

• Free People 100º Dress in bright pink

Free People Modern Femme Denim Mini Skirt from Macy's in black
Free People Moonbeam V-Neck Sweater from Macy's in rose, black, and white
Free People Adella Lace Mini Dress in charcoal, rose, and black
• Anthropologie Orsay Knit Mini Dress
• Anthropologie Massima Pleated Maxi Dress
Hadley Bow Barette Set in green and pink from Anthropologie
Molly Fit & Flare Dress in black and red from Free People
• Adriana Papell gold Shirley shoes on ebay
• ink for the printer (bought at half price!)

a few travel books

• The Photographer's Guide to Scotland by E. Bowness
• The Most Beautiful Villages of Scotland by Hugh Palmer
• National Geographic Traveler: London

Hopefully going through those books will help me plan our upcoming trip.

Hope you all are having a lovely December so far!

Monthly Financial Update: November 2019

In December, when reviewing my finances for 2018, I mentioned my desire to look at them on a monthly basis in 2019. Justin and I spent a little too much in 2018 and let our finances get the best of us. Maybe by looking at our finances monthly (and let you guys/gals keep me in check), we will do better this year.

That's the goal anyway.

Here's month #11:


Last Year:
• We spent more on gifts and donations, fees & charges
• We spent less on food & dining, shopping (lots of clothes), travel (plane tickets), auto & transport, bills & utilities, and personal care.

In October
• We spent more on food & dining, auto & transport, personal care, and fees & charges
• We spent less on shopping, travel (plane tickets to Paris), bills & utilities, and gifts & donations (Christmas gifts, niece's birthday gift).

Where We Spent Our Money:

Top 10 Merchants:
1. British Air (flights to France)
2. Costco (car battery, gifts)
3. Kroger (trying Indian food)
4. Electricity
5. Everlane (clothes for Justin)
6. Advance Auto
7. Belk (most will be returned, clothes for me)
8. USPS (gifts to friends)
9. St. Cecilia (restaurant)
10. Free People (clothes for me)

Top 10 Categories:
1. Food & Dining
2. Shopping (clothes)
3. Travel (flights)
4. Auto & Transport
5. Bills & Utilities
6. Gifts & Donations
7. Financial (life insurance)
8. Fees & Charges

Gas & Fuel – just at
✗ Groceries – over
✗ Restaurants – over
Hair Appointments – under
✗ Everything Else – over

Net Income:



credit cards

How Did I Do On My Financial Goals for October?

Continue to reduce food spending in either restaurant or grocery category.

Go ahead and book a rental car for summer travel. I think I have general dates and can do so without it being an issue.
Ship Christmas gifts.
Buy a few more Christmas gifts. It would be great to be halfway done. BUT watch spending.

* Loan Payoff Date 12/1/22
* Emergency Funds: $16,717
• 401K $48,325.60
• Credit Scores: 739 (Justin), 799, 802 (me)

Overview of the Biggest Impacts This Month:
1. Buying wine.
2. Buying clothes.
3. Replacing brakes on the car and battery on the truck
4. Buying gifts.
5. Shipping gifts.

What went wrong this month?
1. Car repairs.
2. Waiting until the last minute to buy gifts (i.e. a month before Christmas instead of spreading it out throughout the year.)
3. Lots of food purchased which is both good and bad. Fun that we got to try new cuisines, bad in that we spent extra. Also, did we need wine? Probably not.
4. Shopping for clothes. Probably would have been better to not.
5. I feel like our spending is creeping up. :(

What went right this month?
1. Making returns.
2. Getting a lower price for a flight to Paris
3. Not spending more than we made.
4. Not spending extra on gas.
5. I made extra by staying overnight with kids.

Financial plans/goals for December?
1. Finish Christmas shopping. Try to stick to budget.
2. Watch prices on clothes and try to get price adjustments where possible.
3. Try not to spend too much on food.
4. Do at least one thing to prepare for summer travel to Scotland, whether that's book another hotel or do price comparisons for something I know we are interested in doing.
5. Analyze my year-long spending. What went wrong? What went right? Did it help going over my finances monthly? What can I do different/better next year?

One of the things I've learned from doing my monthly financial update is that I tend to spend more when I'm stressed. I also spend more when I'm trying new foods. Like, I can't try a new dish at home during the same month I travel, because then expenses would truly get out of hand. I really have to just focus on one thing at a time. And being an adult? That's hard. Vehicles need repairs. Having new clothing makes it easier to pick something out to wear in the morning before work. Eating out is expensive, but when you are stressed, it's a solution that can make your life easier.

Overall, my general feeling is just that I need to take life, and finances, one step at a time.

Financial Resolution Goals 2019