April 2017 Goals/Life Update



Setting goals is so important, no matter where you are in life. Goals provide not only motivation to work towards the things you want in life, but when created properly they can also put you on the fast track to achieving all your dreams, financial or otherwise.

Are you tired of setting goals you never end up achieving? Are you unsure of how to create a ‘proper’ goal? Check out my in-depth post on how to create SMART goals here and start setting yourself up for success!

If you’re not setting goals for yourself, you’re hindering your own progress in life. Nobody but you can work on improving your life situation. Setting goals is a crucial, super helpful way to help you determine what you want in life and how to get it.

Alright, let’s get to goal-setting!

This months’ goals are a little up in the air for me, for several reasons. First of all, my car broke down in March (again). This time it looks like she’s going to be sidelined for quite a while. Her engine needs to be replaced. She’s a ’98 Subaru Forester named Lucy and the only car I’ve ever owned, and she’s an awesome adventure vehicle. My boyfriend and I have put a ton of time and money into fixing and upgrading her since I’ve owned her, so we’ve decided to keep her and work on fixing her. At this point giving up on her would just be a waste… Yes, I am aware that sentiment fogging my judgment. I don’t care, I love her!

Secondly, I applied for a supervisor position at my job recently and I just found out that I was the successful applicant. I’ve been a support worker for people with disabilities for almost five years now, so this is the natural next step in that career. I’ll be getting a raise of a few dollars an hour.

Third, the last two points mean that I need to buy a new car, very soon. Since Lucy died I’ve been taking the bus to work and my boyfriend has been picking me up at the end of my shift. However, my new position will require having my own vehicle.

My boyfriend works on cars as a hobby, but he has one of his own that he’s upgrading as a special project and another one he uses for his daily driver that requires frequent maintenance. With Lucy to fix on top of it, I can’t in good conscience purchase another used vehicle that will in all likelihood require him to work on it down the road.

Besides, although my credit score is very good, because we purchased a house last summer, I have too much credit under my name to qualify for a vehicle loan at the bank, and I have no other way to come up with enough funds on my own to purchase a good quality used vehicle in the time frame that I need it.

So, I decided that my best option is to finance a cheap new vehicle. I’ll be able to rely on it to get to work and my boyfriend won’t have to worry about another car to fix. My wage increase should be able to cover the payments and the higher insurance rates that go with a new vehicle.

With that in mind, here are my goals for this month.

FINANCIAL

  • Save $500 towards my goal of building up 1 month’s worth of expenses in my checking account ($1500). Before my vehicle issues, I’d been planning to switch to a budgeting method based on my last month’s income and move away from budgeting paycheck to paycheck. The basic idea is that you save up a month’s worth of expenses and use it for the next month, and the income you earn in that month you save for the month after that, etc. This means that you’re always a month ahead on all your expenses and you know exactly how much you can spend in any given month, since what you can spend is just the sum total of your income from the previous month. It’s a great way to eliminate overspending, make sure you always have enough to cover your bills, and it also acts as an emergency fund – as I discovered! I saved $1000 last month to go towards this goal, which I’ll now be using as part of my vehicle down payment instead, so I’m starting over from scratch on this one.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out my in-depth post explaining The Zero Sum Budget.

Not done. All of my available cash this month went towards my new vehicle down payment and insurance for it. But it’s okay, at least I have reliable transportation now! Next month I’ll be able to see how much my wage increase has affected my paychecks, and hopefully I’ll have more to put towards this goal then.

PERSONAL

  • Be a boss. Literally and figuratively. I’ll be starting my supervisory role at work this month, which I anticipate to be a pretty drastic change in my life. My hours change, my duties obviously change, and I’m going to have more responsibilities and pressure put on me than I ever have before. This month I just want to focus on learning the ropes, keeping my cool, and trying to be the best supervisor I can for my team. I’m a quiet, introverted person in real life so I’m going to need to put real effort into coming across as a confident leader. I’m pretty nervous, to be honest. But I also believe that the best way to grow as a person is to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and I’m hoping that this new chapter in my life will help me do just that.

Done! Well, I should say ‘in progress’. You can’t ever really be ‘done’ being a boss, can you? So far I’m very much enjoying my new position. It’s a welcome change of pace. And honestly, now that I’ve learned more about what the job entails and I’ve discovered that I really feel like I can handle it (so far anyways), it’s helped me to feel more confident already.

  • Fix my laptop issues. My laptop died a few weeks ago. I’ve had it since 2009 so it’s not that surprising. I tried replacing the battery but it didn’t work, so I either did it wrong or that’s not the problem. I’ve been borrowing my boyfriend’s laptop in the meantime. I need to figure out whether my laptop is fixable or if I need to start saving for a new one.

Done! Turns out my battery and my charger died at the same time. The new battery I bought on Amazon wasn’t charged when I received it, and unbeknownst to me, my charger wasn’t working to recharge it, so I assumed I’d either bought a dud battery or there was something else very wrong with my laptop. Luckily, all it took was a new charger and I’m back in business! Wow, the investment I made in this laptop all those years back has really paid off… 8 years old and going strong!

  • Buy A Car. Like I said, Lucy is dead, and I desperately need a way to get to work.

Done! I bought a Volkswagen Jetta. My boyfriend recommended it because they’re relatively cheap and they come with a cool turbocharger (his obsession.) I bought the cheapest one I could get, the very basic one with a manual transmission. I’m still learning how to drive it properly, but I think I’m slowly getting the hang of it. Hopefully I don’t ruin the clutch and/or transmission before I do and negate the money I saved…

BLOG

  • Write 2 posts. Yep, I know that’s kind of a lame goal. But with everything else going on in my life right now, I don’t expect to be able to do much more than that. Unfortunately my blog is probably going to have to take the backseat this month while I deal with everything else.

Done! This post itself was technically the only new post I wrote in April, but I also went back and completely rewrote my Zero Sum Budget post from scratch to make it clearer and more informative, so I’m counting that too.

SUMMARY

This was actually a pretty successful month for me! True, I didn’t have too many goals set, but there were a lot of things going on in my personal life that I wanted to focus on. Many of the things I was stressing out about are now taken care of. Never underestimate the power of relieving stress from your life!

Good luck on all of your own goals, and please feel free to post a comment below on what those are. I’d love to hear about all the awesome stuff you’re planning to accomplish!

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