December 2017: I kicked ass

Previously September was my most impressive spending report, at least savings-wise. (I’ve had some other pretty impressive months, but those were impressive if you used the “holy shit, that was a ton of spending” definition of “impressive.”)

Well, turns out December just blew that out of the water!

Overall it was a pretty quiet month; and that combined with the fact that I worked four of five weekends at my second job helped contribute to just how much money I had left over.

In other news, I’ve officially been tracking my net worth and spending for a year, and what a difference that year has made! Continue reading “December 2017: I kicked ass”

How I’m starting off the year

Hello, and Happy New Year, friends! (Are you tired of hearing that yet?)

I thought about jumping into 2018 with my December spending report, but instead I’m going super-topical and talking about resolutions. Or, more specifically, a lack of them.

I’m doing something new and not setting resolutions this year. Sure, I’m setting money goals, and like I said in that post, I have personal goals I’d like to work on this year. But typically every year I’ve set resolutions, so this is a weird departure from the norm for me. Continue reading “How I’m starting off the year”

Five things I don’t regret spending money on

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about ways I’m saving money or things I’m no longer spending money on. It’s a function both of being on the FIRE path and also just a fact of life for someone on a non-profit salary. There’s lots of talk in the personal finance community of how to save money, ranging from small things like lattes to the big things like houses and cars.

But saving money isn’t the whole story—sometimes there are times when it makes more sense to spend money than not to spend it.  I’m a broken record when it comes to talking about why I spend so much money each month on my barre membership. But here are five not-so-obvious larger-ticket items I’m glad I’ve spent money on. Continue reading “Five things I don’t regret spending money on”

What I’ve been eating lately: healthy-ish holidays edition

Welcome to another round of what I’ve been eating lately, aka here are the recipes I’ve been making and loving. Except this time it’s the holidays and temptations abound!

Yes, I had three pieces of toffee at work today that a coworker made. Yes, I ate and drank way too much at my side gig’s holiday party on Wednesday. Yes, I am Erin, Goddess of Rum Cakes. But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on trying to eat a veggie or two occasionally. It’s difficult, but I’m making it work. Here’s how. Continue reading “What I’ve been eating lately: healthy-ish holidays edition”

Holiday traditions, old and new

So writing wasn’t happening Monday night (let’s be honest, it wasn’t really happening last night either. Apologies for the resulting incoherence), so it’s a Wednesday/Friday post week because it’s my blog and I can make the rules! Also that works out just fine because I’m going to be at a holiday party for my side gig tonight so no writing’s happening. ANYWAY.

I’ve been listening to Christmas music since the properly-appointed time of after Thanksgiving and got into the decorating groove last weekend. This got me thinking about holiday traditions, and what’s new this year now that I’m on the FI path. Continue reading “Holiday traditions, old and new”

Failing upward and looking towards 2018

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” -Norman Vincent Peale, apparently/countless motivational Instagram posts
Aw, isn’t that some sweet inspirational bullshit?” -me from not that many moons ago[*]

I’ve never really been a goals person. My concrete plans ended after graduate high school/go to college/get a job, and I’ve never really known what I want to do with my life. Perhaps there’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation going on here (if I had goals maybe I’d know better what I want to be when I grow up?), but it also always seemed silly to me to make goals. “Figure out your life and get your shit together in this next year” doesn’t really work, you know? (Trust me, I’ve tried.)

And yet. Continue reading “Failing upward and looking towards 2018”

What are your trade-offs?

Essentially all of life is a trade-off: when we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else. We trade our time and energy 40 hours a week at our jobs in exchange for a paycheck, which means saying no to the myriad of other things we could or would rather be doing during that time.

When we say yes to an evening in reading a book or watching tv, we say no to an evening out somewhere or spending time with friends. And vice versa.

When we stay up late writing blog posts, we say no to getting more sleep. Ahem, I digress. Continue reading “What are your trade-offs?”

What I learned from my meditation experiment

At the end of last month I wrote about how I was going to start meditating every day for the month of November. Remember how I said I was making it an experiment, not a challenge, because that way I couldn’t fail?

Friends, if this had been a challenge, I would’ve failed miserably.

I missed a few days here and there in the first two weeks, and over Thanksgiving I didn’t meditate a single day. I’m still at over 50% success rate for the month so far, but I don’t know that it’s much higher than 50%.

Luckily though, this was an experiment, which means I haven’t actually failed! In addition to not-failing, my month of haphazard meditation has actually taught me way more than I was expecting. Continue reading “What I learned from my meditation experiment”