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March Round-Up, April Goals
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Hopefully everyone’s March was as good as mine! It’s time to review if we’ve met our goals and make new ones! If you don’t recall, below are my March goals both related to Finance and living more simply.

  • Purge 100 items- A –Like I imagined it would be, this one was pretty easy. I didn’t sell anything which was the original goal but I did declutter. Looking back two years ago on my college years where I owned a mattress and a laptop, it is truly incredible how much crap one can accumulate. I’m going to renew this goal for April but this time with the goal to sell some items. I think a reasonable goal is to make $100 from things laying around that I can sell.
  • No eating out during the week- A+ Another easily achieved goal and one that I plan to extend into April and probably beyond. If you missed my post on how I achieved this goal, it is worth checking out.
  • invest $2000 of income in taxable accounts- A+ Despite some car maintenance to the tune of $2000, I was able to make this goal by cutting out in other areas.

March side revenue: $640

April side Revenue goal: $1000

I already mentioned my plan to sell $100 worth of stuff lying around. My current rental income is $550. In order to close the gap and reach my April goal, I’m going to focus on my side hustle which I will go into more detail in a future post. I have laid the ground work in March to hopefully achieve this goal. I have a few consultations lined up with the potential to make the $300 in April. I am feeling really good about it so far since it is only 1-month old and already drawing interest. More to come!

Other goals:

  • Log 100 miles on the road bike. It is a busy month already but now that’s it warm I have no excuse. I have a triathlon in June to get ready for and I am always looking for an excuse not to get in my gas guzzling tank of a vehicle.
  • Log 20 miles on the pavement. This isn’t really a test of endurance so much as a test of making myself put on my tennis shoes and finding the time. I plan to run to the rock climbing gym that I go to weekly and knocking out this mileage.
  • Plant my summer garden. Now that I have goats and chickens in the backyard, which is where I formally had my garden, I need to move my beds to the front yard where they are not in danger of being eaten. I’ve always had a pretty hearty harvest but I have lofty goals of living off the land this year so I need to find the space in the front yard to accommodate everything that I want to plant.
  • Add $1000 to taxable accounts – This has decreased significantly from March but only because of some big bills that I have coming due in April (6-months of car insurance, taxes). Hopefully if I keep putting in the work with my side hustle I will compensate for those expenses and be able to exceed the contribution amount.
  • Start studying for GMAT (15 hours a week), apply to 3rd choice school (University of Georgia)

Good luck in April!

* three of our nine chickens. Even they produce income in this family!

Stop Spending $ on these things:

You probably shouldn’t do everything you read on the Internet, but trust me here. If you’re spending money on these things, you probably shouldn’t be. Take all of these suggestions with a grain of salt. No one should give up a hobby if it brings enjoyment(unless it is just plain unhealthy). The message you should take from this is that, if you’re creative you can continue living a full exciting life without breaking the bank.

1. Music– Now some of you are going to hate me for this one. One of my greatest loves is music. I love finding new music, supporting local artists, going to concerts, organizing my playlists (seriously you guys – music is my boyfriend). However, I am able to support my unhealthy addiction without breaking the bank. For exploring music there are a MILLION options: grooveshark, pandora, spotify (My personal fave), youtube, myspace (not kidding, check it out), 8tracks, soundcloud and soooo many more options! But what about the artists?!! Yes, by all means buy an album and support these people but also remember that when you play their songs all the way through on sites like Spotify or Pandora, these artists are seeing money by way of royalties.

2. Books – One word. Library. Yes they still exist and they are amazing and full of awesome resources. A cool thing that is popping up in Atlanta are roadside libraries (they look like birdhouses, but they are full of books!). You drive up, drop off your books, and pick one to read. It is great idea and definitely adds a sense of community. If you don’t have these available, you should. If you don’t want to build a road-side library, fine, you can implement the same sort of community in your office, neighborhood, social circles, etc. Share your resources!

3. Fast Food– This is a convenience that  you pay a premium for. It is not quality. It is not healthy. A little foresight in planning snacks and meals for the day will make cutting this unnecessary convenience out of your life for good.

4. Cable– I used to be one of those people that couldn’t imagine going without my favorite tv shows. After cutting the cord, I’ve found a million other uses for my time and can honestly say I’m a much happier person. Instead of going home from work and vegging out on the couch, I do a number of meaningful tasks such as: cook, walk my dog, garden, call a friend. So simple and so fulfilling. I do not miss the tube at all. I do subscribe to Netflix where I can get my fix of TV if need be for about $8 a month as opposed to $100+.

5. Gym Membership– This has been the hardest for me but the little extra work I’ve put in so far has been worth the savings (in membership, commute time, and gas money). I do have a gym at my office, but without this I would still be able to get by. There are so many resources on the Internet and it’s true, you don’t need fancy equipment to get in shape- Just the road and your body weight. The hardest part about this has been forcing yourself to work out at home. A cool app that has helped me stay focused is Gym-pact. The days of paying to stay fit are long over. With this app, you make a pact to work out so many days a week and if you meet it you get paid, if not your pocketbook takes a beating. Shouldn’t be too hard to meet you pact though if your priority is to be healthy.

My savings this year from the changes I’ve made: (Jan – March)

Cable ($360) – Netflix ($24) savings = $336

Spotify Subscription savings = $30

Books (I was a frequent Amazon book buyer) savings = roughly $50

Water savings = roughly $40

Gym membership savings = $180

That is over $600 in savings for just three months and my life is fuller and more meaningful. What can you cut out? What have you cut out that’s not on my list?