Sunday, October 26, 2014

A peek into our weekend

This was our first weekend without soccer in . . .forever. So, we took advantage & have had such a relaxing few days. The boys had practice on Friday, but no games.

Yesterday I went for a short run, and got my hair cut. It's been just over a year (remember the mullet?), so I've been too scared to get a trim. I'm happy to report that I got a perfectly normal hair cut. I went to an expensive salon, and it was $100. Much more than I'd regularly spend, but I needed to ease back into hair cuts, after the last disaster. Plus, I've clearly saved way more than $100 by not getting my hair cut over the last year. ;-)

It's been a very expensive month. Here's a look at some of our expenses in October. . . much of this is pre-booking, for things like winter activities for the kids, Christmas, etc.

  • Tickets for my parents to come visit in November. We are celebrating our anniversary, and offered to buy my dad a ticket to come up & watch the boys. The price of his ticket will be roughly offset by not using our nanny over the long weekend (had we not opted to go out of town). We ended up buying my mom a ticket as well, as the ticket prices were the lowest I've ever seen - $150/each from Portland to San Jose. Total (with tax) - $312.
  • Anniversary trip. We decided to go for it. We have to go out of town this weekend for a wedding anyway, and desperately needed a little time away. We will leave on Saturday, come back on Monday. We're going to Napa. :-) SO excited! Total deposit for the hotel - $478.
  • Boys indoor soccer league - $500 ($250/each)
  • Boys indoor soccer shoes - $75 (for both)
  • Boys basketball sign ups - $460 ($230/each)
  • Christmas gifts for the kids (almost done with our shopping) - $370

Phew. A crazy month of expenses. And, we're heading to Napa in two weeks, and Hawaii in four weeks. Just a little bit spoiled over the next few months. The Hawaii trip will be amazing, but won't have any time alone, so I'm looking for a little adult time with M. :-)

I crunched all of the October budget numbers, have been watching lots of magic tricks (my youngest has finally opened a magic set that friend got him a few months back), we used gift cards for pizza last night, and for lunch today. I went for a hike with a friend, and S went to a sleepover, so is currently very tired today. I think they stayed up late - maybe 11:00 or so? He's definitely feeling the effect.

On the work side, I'm still working 70+ hours/week, which is no good. I'm hoping for a large bonus in December, but we shall see. I have some rough ideas of what we might do with it, but nothing planned until it's actually real & in our accounts. We'll most likely apply it to our HELOC on our Seattle house. Paying off that loan is a big stretch goal of ours.

And now I need to plan our menu for the week. I have a late work dinner tomorrow, but here's what I'm thinking:

  • Sunday - Chicken taquitos
  • Monday - leftover pizza, for everyone but me
  • Tuesday - Italian suasage hoagies
  • Wednesday - home late from a work Halloween party, so leftover pasta
  • Thursday - Leftover hoagies
  • Friday - chicken risotto
  • Saturday - soccer games, so something easy. Maybe leftovers
  • Sunday - I'd love to roast a chicken. I've never done it before, but maybe I should look up some recipes. 

With that, I'm off. I hope you are all having a fantastic October! I've been in survival mode over the last few months, thanks to work. I'm trying hard to break out & get a bit of enjoyment out of each day, no matter what the schedule says. 

Today it's beautiful & 70 outside. What's the weather like where you are?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October goals - here they come!

I love goal-setting time! I feel like I'm a bit behind (already!) in October, as I missed the beginning of the month due to work travels, jet lag & being ill. That said, it's now or never! Here's what I have planned for the month. These looks remarkably similar to my September goals, but this time I'll need to actually achieve them. ;-)

  1. Fitness-related:
    1. Lose 2 pounds - bringing my weight to 143. We're going to Hawaii in November, & I want to be feeling great!
    2. Track my calories every day in MyFitnessPal
    3. Complete 1000 minutes of cardio
    4. Complete 8 strength workouts
    5. Complete 6 stretch workouts. This is critical. I'm really sore after spending all day at the office
    6. Find & register for a 10K. Start training.
  2. Finance-related:
    1. Finish reworking our budget to take into account yearly categories (vs solely focusing on monthly numbers)
    2. Stick to our budget!
    3. File all paperwork.
  3. Personal
    1. Plan a getaway with M for the next few months. We need time alone together!
    2. Plan one social event with friends.
    3. At least one date night with M.
    4. Continue to rework my work schedule to better accommodate evening meetings (consolidate them all into one evening to minimize disruption to my life).
    5. Bake something fun with pumpkins! Even though it doesn't feel like fall here, I still want to bake something "fall-ish". 
    6. Read 5 books.
    7. Get my hair cut! It's been a full year, if you can believe it, since I got the awful mullet. My hair is now grown out, and needs to be trimmed. 
    8. Every Sunday, review week ahead and do the following (this is critical to "during the work week" sanity!)
      1. Menu plan
      2. Organize pickup/drop off schedule
      3. Coordinate after hours meeting
      4. Consolidate meetings, etc. 
      5. Organize any carpools

Monday, October 6, 2014

September Goal Review

Well, this is one of those months where you review your progress (or lack thereof), dust yourself off, & plan for the next month. ;-) Also, I realized that you might be able to identify personal info from the last post I put up, so I removed. Apologies to those of you who commented. The boys had a blast at the run, and have already asked me to sign them up for another 5K. They are crazy. ;-)

I'm forgiving myself for my paltry September results & focusing on having a strong October. As soon as I kick this cold/flu - right now, I just want soup & a nap!

  1. Fitness-related:
    1. Lose 2 pounds - bringing my weight to 143. We're going to Hawaii in November, & I want to be feeling great! - Nope. Maintained my weight. 
    2. Track my calories every day in MyFitnessPal - Yes, although really had to make guesses when I was in Tokyo
    3. Complete 1000 minutes of cardio - Sadly, August was my highest month ever (1340 minutes) & September was my lowest month ever (420). Yikes. No wonder I feel out of shape.
    4. Complete 8 strength workouts - Nope, 2 strength workouts.
    5. Complete 6 stretch workouts. This is critical. I'm really sore after spending all day at the office - 1 stretch workout.
    6. Start/complete all half marathon training plan runs for the month. - I'll need to find another half, as I'm in no way ready to train. 
  2. Finance-related:
    1. Finish reworking our budget to take into account yearly categories (vs solely focusing on monthly numbers) - I'm 90% of the way there. 
    2. Stick to our budget! - I think so. Haven't finished tallying the entire month.
    3. File all paperwork. - No. :-( 
    4. Rework childcare budget for 2015, with nanny & summer camps finalized. - Yes.
    5. Finalize 2015 travel budget, schedule, price out trips, etc. - Yes!
  3. Personal
    1. Complete Tokyo with as minimal impact to my family as possible. - it was a huge pain for all involved, but i did what I could to keep it together.
    2. Plan one social event with friends. - had dinner with a coworker. Does that count? ;-) 
    3. At least one date night with M. - No, and this was much missed. We need to make this a top priority.
    4. Continue to rework my work schedule to better accommodate evening meetings (consolidate them all into one evening to minimize disruption to my life). - I'm working on this. It's a huge work item, with ever changing demands. 
    5. Use or freeze all fresh produce from the garden. - Yes!
    6. Read 5 books. - More than that! I spent more than 30 hours traveling over the past week.
    7. Every Sunday, review week ahead and do the following (this is critical to "during the work week" sanity!) - Yes!
      1. Menu plan
      2. Organize pickup/drop off schedule
      3. Coordinate after hours meeting
      4. Consolidate meetings, etc. 
      5. Organize any carpools
Okay, off to get the budget finalized, & October planned. :-) How did your September go? Hopefully it was much better than mine. ;-) 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Happy (and belated) October!

I got home from Tokyo on Friday afternoon with a brutal cold/flu, and am just starting to recover. The  trip was very productive, but the jet lag was a challenge.

I couldn't get out of bed much yesterday, but I'm feeling a bit better today. On the agenda for today - two soccer games! I know, such a surprise. ;-) I also need to finish unpacking, catch up on laundry, and put the house back together after being gone.

I feel like I missed out on so much, being gone for a week! I have no idea where I am with my September budget, goals, etc and I'm not prepared for October - at all.

I'll be spending this week getting organized & back to business.  So happy to be home!

Here's my to do list for the week:

  • Laundry
  • Menu plan
  • Grocery shopping
  • Two soccer games
  • September budget
  • September goals (recap)
  • October goals 
  • Plan out work week (adjust meetings, etc)
  • Pay bills
  • Go for a walk
  • Yoga (if I'm up to it)
  • Sleep!!

That's it! Happy Sunday - hope you all have a great day planned. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Happy Saturday

Things have been a bit of a whirlwind, with crazy times at my job, plus the start of fall soccer for two kids. Phew! Last Sunday we managed to get out to Half Moon Bay (my first time) & it was gorgeous! So happy that we made time to explore a bit.

We also finally managed to grow mini (Persian) cucumbers! We had to replant twice, but have success! This is Nick's favorite food, so he's delighted. ;-)


In other news, financial & otherwise:

  • We received our refund from the IRS (our tax miscalculation based on not using the correct deduction for our rental expenses) arrived - $2700. :-)
  • We are saving in earnest for the final part of our Hawaii trip (mostly the hotel - flights are paid for, we'll be cooking in the hotel for the majority of the meals, and aren't planning to do too many activities). 
  • My first grant of stock will vest next week! I'm very excited for this milestone, but we won't be selling until next year for tax purposes. 
  • I may be getting a bonus at work, which would be fantastic! I've heard rumors, but nothing is confirmed yet. *If* the bonus comes through, we'll use the money to fund our 2015 yearly expenses fund. I'm trying to get ahead of our irregular expenses (traveling, kids soccer, etc) which throw off our monthly expenses. We have a few big trips coming up, so would be great to get these saved for & use our salaries to cover day-to-day expenses.
  • I haven't been spending much time on my own health & fitness, with our insane schedule, and we're leaving for Hawaii in 8 weeks. Time to get serious about the workouts & cleaning up my eating! 
I think that's about it. I have the normal list of errands today, and Nick had a friend sleepover last night, so my house is very loud with three little boys. :-) 

Hope you are all having a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

401K rollover - finally!

One of the tasks that's been on my to do list for, *ahem*, quite some time now is rolling over my 401K. There are advantages to having all of the money grouped together (from a fee perspective), and it's also much easier for me to have one broker to deal with.

After lots of phone calls, paperwork, and research, I received a check yesterday for $349K. Woohoo! It's now on its way to my new brokerage firm, and I should have a fully merged 401K in no time. Also, I was a little caught off guard by the value - I typically look at our retirement savings in a spreadsheet where all assets are combined, and the money doesn't feel very "real". Receiving a check for $349,000 definitely made it feel more "real". I've worked pretty hard over the past 15 years, and aside from the other ways we've invested and spent our money, I'm proud of my focus on saving for retirement. M has his own sizable retirement portfolio (slightly larger than mine, as he's older), but what a nice feeling to open up that check! :-) I didn't get to enjoy it for long, but it was great to have a visual measure of progress.

What else is on the agenda for today?

  • Sam has his first soccer game, and then a play date/movie with a friend. 
  • I'm making pizza dough for our dinner tonight
  • I need to plan the menu for the week
  • 3 mile run
  • Yoga (optimistically)
  • I offered to bring snacks to Sam's soccer game, so need to get that all prepped
  • Bake bread
  • Clean the fridge
  • Deal with all of the tomatoes that are about to go bad - my ongoing challenge of the summer ;-)
  • Library to return books
  • Costco for our weekly supplies

That's a pretty full day. What about you? What's on your Saturday "to do" list? 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September Goal Setting

I love the return of fall, back to school, and new schedules!

September is always a month of organizing & planning for us. Here's what I hope to accomplish.

  1. Fitness-related:
    1. Lose 2 pounds - bringing my weight to 143. We're going to Hawaii in November, & I want to be feeling great!
    2. Track my calories every day in MyFitnessPal
    3. Complete 1000 minutes of cardio
    4. Complete 8 strength workouts
    5. Complete 6 stretch workouts. This is critical. I'm really sore after spending all day at the office
    6. Start/complete all half marathon training plan runs for the month.
  2. Finance-related:
    1. Finish reworking our budget to take into account yearly categories (vs solely focusing on monthly numbers)
    2. Stick to our budget!
    3. File all paperwork.
    4. Rework childcare budget for 2015, with nanny & summer camps finalized.
    5. Finalize 2015 travel budget, schedule, price out trips, etc.
  3. Personal
    1. Complete Tokyo with as minimal impact to my family as possible.
    2. Plan one social event with friends.
    3. At least one date night with M.
    4. Continue to rework my work schedule to better accommodate evening meetings (consolidate them all into one evening to minimize disruption to my life).
    5. Use or freeze all fresh produce from the garden.
    6. Read 5 books.
    7. Every Sunday, review week ahead and do the following (this is critical to "during the work week" sanity!)
      1. Menu plan
      2. Organize pickup/drop off schedule
      3. Coordinate after hours meeting
      4. Consolidate meetings, etc. 
      5. Organize any carpools
That should do it! This is a month that's back to "normal". No personal travel plans until November, but I do have my work trip to Tokyo. I'm hoping to be able to get my $110 passport processing fee back. We shall see.

What about you? What are you hoping to accomplish for September?