IWSG 2020 #4

March Goals
Work on weight loss/count calories.
Book flight EDI –> CDG
Get tickets for the ballet in Paris
Perhaps start a new photo post per month: my month in review via photos.
Work on April spring break plans.

Additional Successes
• Walked to a bodega from my hotel in NYC by myself!
• emptied 3 boxes of books and put them on a bookshelf
• Went through clothes and listed approx 50 new items on Poshmark
• ordered mats and frames for paintings we bought while traveling
• thoroughly cleaned baseboards and behind bedside tables in the bedroom
* caught up with a friend I last spoke with in December
• spent a good bit of time outside

April Goals
– Continue to watch covid-19 updates and determine if travel plans in July need to be canceled or moved
– Measure images and buy the correct size mats and frames for the rest of my artwork
– Continue cleaning the spare bedroom and going through clothing.
– hang pictures we already have framed

IWSG Question –– The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

Unsurprisingly, covid-19 has brought a mixture of feelings to my world. I'm fearful of my parents getting sick, specifically my dad who already faces medical issues. And then I had a friend who I got into a major ultimatum fight with that has broken me. I'm worried about my job and whether or not I will have one at the end of all of this.

But there has been good too. – I had the incentive to put up 3 boxes of books that had been sitting for years. I'm working on framing and mating pictures I've collected over the past 8 years of travel. I'm cleaning intensely. I'm organizing. Wine with lunch every day isn't the worst.The lack of paper products on the market has us reaching for kitchen towels or cloth napkins instead of paper napkins or towels. And while I haven't actually booked anything, lower-priced flights aren't the worst (aside from my inability to go anywhere).

I did manage to get caught up with life and forget to write today's post though! So there's that.

Your Turn

How are things going in your world? Are you experience sadness, fear, and worry given the world's current situation? Or have you been able to make positive changes to your life?

IWSG posts: #1 #2. #3

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March 2020 Lookback

I hope everyone is doing well. Staying safe and well as well as staying home to prevent spreading Coronavirus. Here's what's going on in my life --

Listening to:

Being on self-quarantine, I've been watching lots of movies and tv shows on Roku. So far: Gidget, The Age of Adaline, The Giver, and now Analyze This.

A friend recommended I listen to Camila Cabello "Havana", so I'm also listening to that. Anyone else ready for a trip to Cuba with me?


Our time in Hawai'i and in LA. I hate seeing low cost fares to places I want to go, namely the beach, and not being able to take advantage of them.


I need to continue working on my plans for Scotland, but instead I've been preoccupied with cleaning and organizing. Two weeks of self-quarantine is a great time to get things at the house done.
Anxious about:

Work. Will I have a job when this is all over?

Interested to Know:

My spring break is coming up in about 4 weeks; will I be able to go anywhere? When will this coronavirus craziness end?


Free People Enough with the Tiers in peach

• 3 60s vintage dresses
• cabinet organizers for the bathroom


nothing. I'm using my spare time to organize and clean rather than read.

Quarantine Notes:

Day 1: Justin is madder at me than usual. I'm wondering how we are going to get through two weeks together when we are at each other's throats. I can't laugh without pissing him off. It's out first time in a while having lunch together and that's fun. We go grocery shopping, fight over what we need -- him looking for shelf-stable foods, me looking for healthy options that aren't necessarily shelf-stable. We leave having spent more than than necessary. We get to-go Indian, then come home to move his work desk into our spare bedroom.

Day 2: I get to sleep late thanks to his work=desk being in the spare bedroom. I sleep until 10, still recovering from our trip to NYC. He asks me about lunch at 1, but I'm not hungry. We decide instead to have tea time with tea from Paris and chocolate babka from Bread's Bakery in NYC. We sit outside. It's a little cold, but I decide I could get used to midday tea with my husband. He finishes work at 4:30 and we relax watching the 1960s sitcom Gidget that night.

Day 3: Another late morning for me. When I finally wake up, I decide that it is a day of action – I need to clean and organize. And I watch a few movies on Roku and chat with some friends online. Justin and I sit down together for lunch around 12:30: tomato soup, salad with a homemade lemon vinaigrette, brie and a baked frozen baguette from Costco. Wine. Yes, this is the life I'm meant to lead. 😉 More cleaning, more chatting. At 5 Justin calls his work day finished and he makes us dinner: sausage, green beans, and potatoes with leftover salad from lunch. We have after-dinner drinks outside watching the sun go down. Chatting with a friend, I start dozing off. It's 75ºF outside and the weather is perfect. We call it an early night.


Lookbacks from Earlier This Year:


Monthly Financial Update: February 2020

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 #2 for 2020:


green = this year, yellow = last year

Last Year:
• We spent more on personal care.
• We spent less on everything else

In January
• We spent more on bills & utilities, auto & transport, shopping, and gifts (bday gift,
• We spent less on food & dining, travel, shopping, entertainment, fees & charges, taxes. and personal care.

Where We Spent Our Money:

Top 10 Merchants:

1. Broadway.com (tickets for 4)
2. Delta (flight to NYC)

3. Kroger (groceries, wine, cocktail glasses, candy)
4. Electricity
5. Trader Vic's (restaurant)
6. Anthropologie (clothes)
7. Doubletree Orlando/hotel Starbucks
8. Tiki Convention
9. Nikolai's Roof (restaurant)
10. The Paris Photographer (photo session in Paris)

Top 10 Categories:
1. Food & Dining
2. Travel
3. Shopping

4. Bills & Utilities
5. Auto & Transport
6. Entertainment (Travel convention, tiki convention)
7. Financial
8. Gifts
9. Fees & Charges
10. Taxes

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

Net Income:


student loans

credit card debt

How Did I Do On My Financial Goals for January?

✓- Make returns.
Book flights for NYC
and EDI to CDG
. Open Chase account and make $300.
Complete taxes.
Try to stay below food spending,

* Loan Payoff Date 10/1/22 (sooner than last projected)
* Emergency Funds: $25,498
• 401K $48,685.91
• Credit Scores: 747 (Justin), 799, 803 (me)

Overview of the Biggest Impacts This Month:
1. Traveling to Orlando to see Justin's sister
2. Flight to NYC
3. Purchasing clothes
4. Signing up for multiple conventions
5. Restaurant spending

What went wrong this month?
1. Lots of eating out. We should spend less on that.
2. Owing a bunch on taxes. (We haven't paid them yet, but it's coming.)
3. Getting charged for an app I didn't want to keep.
4. Not having the time or taking the time to return items (to Belk, specifically).
5. We will be owing even more in bills during the coming months.

What went right this month?
1. Lots of friend time. It brought on extra spending, but I was grateful to meet new people and make new friends. <3
2. We spent less than we made.
3. We finished our taxes.
4. There was at least one category in our budget we spent less on.
5. Price adjustment on hotels and some clothes!

Financial plans/goals for February?
1. Make Belk returns.
2. Book flight for EDI to CDG
3. Look at refinancing my loans at 1.94% with Earnest
4. Figure out spring break plans for April.
5. Submit warranty info for tire.
6. Watch spending in NYC.
7. Consider looking at the budget to see where improvements and changes can be made.

The more stressed I am the more I spend. And while I expected spending to be down in February, we ended up spending more than we had in January when we purchased experiences with friends. Dinners out, trips to NYC and Orlando, and conventions made the list of must-dos when they may not have even hit our radar at all in months prior. So, there are regrets from spending too much on those things, but there is also the enjoyment of having new friends, learning to be more social, and lots of personal growth that occurred in February.

Financial Resolution Goals 2020

Financial Resolution Goals 2019