We’re halfway through the first month of the year, and I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling so refreshed and ready for the rest of 2018!
Just kidding. I’m exhausted.
As I jokingly said yesterday, I’ve got two jobs and a blog, so if you ask what’s new with me, the answer these days is pretty much going to be “not much.” Despite the exhaustion from two jobs, I can throw all the internal tantrums I want about wanting to go to sleep early instead of writing, but here I am with a tab open to WordPress because having a blog is a thing, too.
What I can do instead is cop out on a fully-formed blog post. I’ve got nothing, y’all. So here’s a mid-month update instead!
State of the side hustle
Y’all, I worked 15 hours last weekend. Six of them were out in the cold on Sunday at a farmers’ market, and that drained me for the rest of the day. The other nine were from an unexpected double shift on Saturday because we were slammed and I wasn’t going to leave just because my shift was technically over when we were four deep at the bar (plus, you know, the opportunity for extra money).
Thank goodness it was a three-day weekend so I could catch up a bit on life things before starting the work week for my primary job. I’m still exhausted and would love to pass out an hour before my usual bedtime like I did on Sunday, but alas, my legion of readers demands a regular blogging schedule so I have to write,
which is why you’re getting this amalgamation of scattered thoughts instead of a real post. 😉
We’ve moved to a new system where instead of getting paychecks at the beginning of every month for the previous month’s hours, we’re now getting paid weekly via PayPal. So between the January paycheck for December’s hours, the 15 hours I put in last weekend, and the fact that we now get paid weekly, January’s income is going to be amazing. Can I recreate December’s success? We’ll see!
I’m scheduled to work just about every weekend now through the end of April, minus one weekend I’ll be at home and my birthday weekend, so the exhaustion will probably continue. But luckily I don’t foresee any more 15 hour weekends in my future during that time!
State of the debt payoff
Speaking of January’s income, I am so close to paying off the credit card that has the bulk of my debt. The intro zero percent interest rate ends at some point in March, but I’m not going to flirt with having to look that up or risk getting penalized with all the accrued interest: I’m paying off that sucker in the next few weeks!
I’d be down to a few hundred dollars on the balance instead of the $2k I’m sitting at right now, but I’ve got a $1,650 “pay off credit card” savings goal in Qapital, which is where the bulk of my debt payoff money is coming from. And sadly it’s going to take a few more weeks to save up the $200 I have left to complete that savings goal.
I’m so close and so tired of waiting! I could pull my money out now and send it over to the card, and then send the additional $200 when it hits the app, but the gold star-seeker in me wants to complete that savings goal. I get a fun celebratory screen when I reach a goal, and I don’t know how pulling money out early affects how the app calculates your progress towards the goal.
So, it’ll be a few weeks for that card and then I have another $400 on a credit card with zero interest through this year. I’ll knock that out pretty easily with all my side hustle money, and then I’ll finally be able to use the second income to get ahead!
At least that’s what I’m planning on, unless I have to make some pricey repairs, which brings me to the…
State of the car
Indeterminate. I had to get to work two weekends ago and it was 20 degrees out. For half a second I didn’t think my car was going to start (yes, I keep my gas tank mostly full so that’s not a concern). My check engine light came on, which I initially attributed to the fact that it was fucking cold out and not fit for human or machine. That check engine light sadly persisted through a midweek (and 40 degree) trip to Costco (where I topped off my gas tank and learned the cold brought me down to a measly 29 mpg. I have never seen it below 31 or 32 mpg, even in the height of the summer while sitting in traffic on I-95, and normal is more like 38 mpg, eek).
And it persisted through a quick trip to Auto Zone on Saturday before I went to work so they could do a free scan to figure out what’s up. The error code that scan threw back was something about insufficient fuel supply.
I’m hoping it’s just an oxygen sensor, and that it’s an easy fix my dad and I can do when I go home the first weekend of February. Calling a mechanic for more info on the error code is on my to-do list today, especially because if it’s something that needs to get fixed before I drive down to NC in a few weeks, I really need to know that.
And if it is something that requires a mechanic, well, it’s likely time for a tune-up anyway: my poor car has 151,000 miles on it, and it’s been idling a bit higher than normal lately as well. So maybe my paychecks from my second job might immediately be repurposed for the car emergency fund instead of getting invested. Sigh. But that’s the risk I run as a car owner!
State of the January goals
So far I’ve made it four times a week, not five. But it’s cold and the joints I destroyed in the course of fourteen years of dancing hurt, so pushing myself to go five times a week for the sake of a challenge that literally has no bearing on anything makes zero sense. Maybe I’ll go five or even six times in the next two weeks to catch up, but I’m not going to kill myself over it.
Even after six freezing hours of work, I was still planning on going to class on Sunday evening. Until my roommate told me she was planning on going to something called spa yoga and asked if I wanted to come. I hate yoga but spa sounded like something I’d be willing to do, so I went. Here’s how the class went:
Went to something called “spa yoga” with my roommate, which was essentially a hot yoga class consisting of slow stretching and a fair amount of laying on your mat with your eyes closed. 10/10 that’s my kind of yoga (especially when it’s 20 degrees out!)
— Erin | Reaching for FI (@reachingforfi) January 15, 2018
Barre yesterday after the spa yoga class felt absolutely amazing. Partially because I got a nice stretch in during the yoga class so I wasn’t nearly as stiff as I would’ve been otherwise. But it was also a nice change to move big and get my heart rate up. Three years ago I never would’ve believed I’d ever be saying this, but huzzah for exercise!
Two weekends ago I mopped my floors. That was excellent timing for that assignment since I was going to do it anyway to get up the disgusting salt my roommate and I tracked in (we have a liberal hand with the sidewalk salt here in DC. Not that that stopped me from needing to walk in the street to get to work one day last week because all the brick sidewalks were an ice rink. More snow, less ice, please!). It’s still horrendously cold out and the sidewalks will continue to be salted, so that was only a first pass at the floors, or at least the area by our door.
In between working a shit ton and collapsing on the couch last weekend, I also went through all the food in the cabinet that serves as the pantry. I found some things I forgot about and need to use immediately, and way too many things that expired way too long ago. I don’t take expiration dates as the gospel truth, but when the dates are 2016 and even 2015, things get tossed.
Throwing food away sucks and I did a lot of it after the pantry cleanout. I’ll be going through things in there more often to avoid having that happen again.
Uber Frugal Month
I’ve fallen behind in the emails, but other than groceries and gas, I think I’ve spent money on a pair of tennis shoes at Costco and a lunch out with Military Dollar and Guy on FIRE and that’s it. So I’d say the uber frugal month has so far been a success, strict adherence to the guidelines notwithstanding.
No, wait, I’ll have a transaction from Amazon come through today because my copy of Cait’s book is on its way! I’ll be dropping everything to read that when I get it. Sorry, intimidating stack of library books currently sitting on my shelf!
State of the human
Tired and it’s time to stop writing. This life update post somehow ended up at 1,500 words (whoops, I ramble too much), so enough about me. How are your Januaries shaping up?