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Holding myself accountable: a January review

5

February 3, 2014 by Kate Dore

January recap

Wow, did January fly by, or what? It hardly feels like a month ago that this blog was born and I was sharing my first budget. What a month it’s been!

The Budget Recap:

I added a couple of categories to get a more accurate picture of my monthly expenses – health insurance and personal care products (toiletries, etc.)

As I’ve outlined, the green represents where I saved and the red shows where I exceeded my budget. Upon first glance, it looks like I went over quite a bit, however, I painstakingly obtained records of my utility expenses from the past five years, so that will provide more accurate estimates going forward. Somewhat obsessive, I know…

I exceeded my “one time expenses” budget by paying for my Skillcrush 101 class ($249) where I’m learning HTML/CSS/web design and to earn a certificate of proficiency from Hootsuite ($21). Both of these are well worth the cost, and are items on my list of 2014 goals.

I’m psyched that I met my savings goals, and came in so far under my food budget (always the most challenging category), but not super proud of how I accomplished that.

My food & drink budget broke down as follows, revealing major room for improvement:

Groceries – $81.84
Restaurants & bars – $93.58
Coffee shop – $27.71 (to work on Cashville Skyline or Skillcrush assignments at the closest coffee shop to my office during lunch breaks)

Screen Shot 2014-02-01 at 11.41.53 AM

Fact: creating this spreadsheet brought me an embarrassing amount of enjoyment.

The Goals Recap:

Financial

I maxed out my Roth IRA for the year by transferring $5,500 from my emergency fund and decided not to pay myself back. I invested $1,458.00 in my taxable account and increased my net worth goal to $110,000. I even managed to avoid any parking or speeding tickets!

Cashville Skyline

I succeeding in creating 11 posts, averaging 2-3 per week, and I’ve stayed on track with social media. Amazingly, I’ve attracted readers who are not related to or dating me! Even more surprising, I had almost 600 views in January. Right on!

Education

I’m halfway through my Skillcrush 101 class and loving it so far! HTML & CSS are impossible easier than I thought, and I’m looking forward to trying out some of what I’ve learned on this site. I’ve also completed the Hootsuite certification which has been super useful for more efficiently managing my social media.

Home & Personal

Sadly, I’ve made no progress in either of these categories. Cue the world’s smallest violin.

February Goals

1. Keep up momentum with budget and Cashville Skyline.
2. Successfully complete Skillcrush 101 and finish with a badass portfolio website!
3. Cook lunches for at least two of the four weeks.
4. Exercise at least three times per week (trying this again).

Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone for being so incredibly supportive and encouraging during this first month. It’s been unbelievably cool to have so many intelligent folks to discuss personal finance with! Writing for this blog has already been far more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. Cheers, friends!

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5 thoughts on “Holding myself accountable: a January review

  1. Right on! You certainly crushed your savings goal, very impressive! I seriously enjoyed your first month of blogging. It gets better every month, too. Keep it up!

  2. Nice job on your savings! I’ve never heard of skillcrush before but it sounds interesting!

    • Thanks for the encouragement! The Skillcrush class has been awesome and I can’t wait to have my own portfolio website at the end. I want to keep going with learning code, but I’m not sure what the next step is after this.

  3. […] you’re like me, you’ve meticulously scrutinized your budget, found ways to slice expenses, and significantly boosted your savings. While this is an important […]

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