2011 Goals

  1. Pass the bar.
  2. Get a good job, whether that's as an attorney or something else.
  3. Save $10,000 in my emergency fund.
  4. Pay off at least 20% of my debt.
  5. Lose at least 8 lbs - weigh-in at 140!

Happy Holidays!

I have a million things to take take care of by Thursday afternoon, which will be followed by 3 straight days of family and friends. I'm really looking forward to passing out presents this year!! Well, I look forward to it every year. ;)

So I'll bid you all adieu for now. Hope you have the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of holidays!

My Current Situation

I was asked by a commenter to share my current budget. As some of you may know, I don't really have one right now. I'll expand on that below.

The same person also left a comment on my outfit blog insinuating that I was "not on board with becoming debt-free" (if my clothes were new, as she seems to suspect they are). I responded there, but I'll restate it here: the blog's title is Shopping My Closet. The point was to do just that - shop my closet, aka assemble outfits from clothes that I currently own. That said, I do still buy clothes now and again, with my own cash (i.e. when I return/sell an older item).

On to my lack of a budget. I've mentioned this before, and I'll mention it again. I'm with a really great guy (aka M). He has zero debt, he makes a lot of money, and he has a lot of savings. We've been together a long time, and half of that time saw us splitting all expenses down the middle. I quit my full-time job about 2 years ago to focus on school, and he started paying for all our food expenses. I graduated from law school earlier this year, couldn't find a job, and ran out of loan funds. Since then, approximately 5 months ago, he's been paying for our rent, our food, and giving me $1200 a month to use on whatever I deem necessary. If I have a particularly large expense that causes me to run out of money, he gives me more. I make minimum payments on all my credit cards, I go out to eat with my mom and my friends, I pay for medical bills, medication, gas, what have you. Yeah, that's right, I'm only making minimum payments on my credit cards. And I go out to eat with friends and family.

But that doesn't mean I don't want to be debt-free.

It means that at this point in time, my debt problems are on the back burner. My goals right now are to pass the bar and to improve my health and happiness. M is completely supportive of those goals and the way I've been using his money.

As for my new job (or ebay sales), most of that money will be going into my emergency fund. I won't be throwing any money at my debt until I get a full-time job again. If someone has a problem with that, then please stop reading. :)

Even Better

I found out I'm not considered an independent contractor at work; I'm a temporary part-time employee. So they deduct taxes, and I don't have to worry about whether or not to pay the city's business tax. It doesn't make that much of a difference, but I'm still kind of pleased about it.

My first paycheck was about $371 (for about 40 hours of work)... $170ish will be going towards my share of M's last Christmas present (his dad, stepmom and I are splitting the cost of the new Google phone). I think I'll put $100 in my emergency fund.

I should get about $730 on the 31st. Paychecks beyond that will be less, because I'm cutting back my hours to coincide with bar study (which actually starts today... but I'm going to try to still work 40 hrs next week). I'll figure out next week approximately how much I should be making over the next couple months, and how much I can sock away.

Hooray for monies. :)

Busy bee

I've finished my first week of work, and am just getting over something I initially feared was strep (symptoms were just right - sore throat + headache + fever!)... but instead seems to just be a mild cold (3 day recovery & no stuffy nose = win!). I'd like to think all the exercising I've been doing shortened my symptoms, but maybe I just got lucky.

I'm really looking forward to my first paycheck on Friday. It's just in time for my birthday weekend, and I might pick up a little present for myself... er, but first I'll be putting some away in savings, like a good lil' pf blogger. I'm not exactly sure how much I'll be getting; I'm unaware of payday cut-offs. But I'll either get paid for just this week (~$410) or both weeks (~$810). Either way, it'll be a great addition to my bank account.

I haven't decided what to do for my bday. A lot of people want to get together and it's making me feel a teensy bit overwhelmed. It'd probably made sense to do a dinner party, but I don't know if I feel like it. I'd be happy with just a quiet dinner out with M.

Christmas week will be split between three families - my dad, my mom/sis/gram and M's family. His family gets Christmas day, my mom and co. get Christmas eve, and my dad gets the eve of Christmas eve. I'll also be starting bar study that week. No fun! But the sooner the better, I guess.

How is the rest of your December shaping up?

December Goals

Goals from 12/1 - 12/20

  1. Exercise daily (with breaks depending on how my body feels).
  2. Finish and mail out Christmas cards. We have cards going to the UK, so it's important we get these out ASAP!! Done!
  3. Wrap Christmas and Birthday presents. We're about 95% done with Bday/Christmas shopping. I want to get everything wrapped and ready so the day before can be devoted to just searching for and wrapping 1 or 2 presents! :p Done! All wrapped by me, I might add. :p
  4. Sell on eBay and Craig's List. I moved this farther up on the priority list because it needs to get done.
  5. Work 40 hours a week.
  6. Enjoy my birthday! I'm 27 this month! I'd like to go to Disneyland or do a wine tour in the Napa Valley! But a fancy dinner out would be nice too :)
  7. Read. I want to finish Air and Rebecca... so I can then give them as parts of Christmas presents!
  8. Keep apartment clean. Includes monthly washing of sheets (done), monthly scrub down of entire house, weekly vacuuming, and bi-weekly dish cleaning.
  9. Do more cooking. I'd like to have dinner cooked at home at least 4 nights a week.
Goals from 12/21-12/31
  1. Begin Bar Study, Round 2. This begins on December 21st. I need to devote myself to this.
  2. Work 20-30 hrs a week.
  3. Continue Exercising daily.
I think I forgot to do November goals, so I'll have to take a look at how my October goals fared!
  1. Find a job. PASS! I found something to take me through my 2nd round of bar study.
  2. Exercise daily. PASS! I am going to the gym daily during the week (except when my knees bother me), playing tennis a couple nights a week, and doing yoga once or twice a week.
  3. Write. FAIL! Other than writing for the blog, and a half-hearted attempt at NaNoWriMo, I have failed to do any writing. :( Can I pretend NaNoWriMo is actually NaDeWriMo?? ;)
  4. Read. PASS/FAIL. I finished The Unbearable Lightness of Being in October. I think I did read something in November, but I can't remember what!
  5. Keep apartment clean. PASS/FAIL. The sheets were washed at the beginning of the month, and I did scrub the apt, but I can't remember when. :p The apt is currently in a state of disarray with Christmas presents everywhere, so I feel like I can't give myself a pass!
  6. Go to ENT. FAIL! But, that's ok, because I need to push this to January, when M's insurance goes into effect.
  7. Do more cooking. PASS/FAIL. M and I had an argument about this after I declared to his parents that we were cooking about 4 times/wk (they asked "are you cooking more?" Why they asked that, I have no clue). M thinks it's 1-2 times/wk at most. I'll have to keep better track of this. Good thing I'm tracking what I eat on my other blog! :p
  8. Sell on eBay and Craig's List. FAIL! This is an important goal for this month.

New Job

I got a job! Not the one I was talking about in my previous post. Although this one pays much less, it's very flexible, and that's what I'm going to need while I'm studying for the February bar.

I'll be working for an online company that provides legal content to law students, firms, and search engines. I'll basically be doing summaries of case law/trial video. It's entirely from home, and I can work up to 40 hours/week. There are some time sensitive projects, but mostly I set up my own schedule. It's $10/hr (gulp! but... better than nothing!). It was advertised as a temporary position (up to 9 months), but that's perfect, because I'll (hopefully!!) be a licensed attorney by then and securing an associate position. Or maybe something else will open up in this company! They seem to be doing very well.

I said I would work 40 hrs/wk until I start bar study (December 21st), at which point I'll drop down to 20 or 30. She said I can do less if I feel stressed out.

I'll be considered an independent contractor, so I'll have to remember to set aside some money for taxes. I got dinged last year for not registering my "business" with the city (I was clerking at a firm and considered an independent contractor; though I really wasn't! But anyway :p). Since this is online-only, I'm not sure if this needs to be registered. I need to look into that.

I also don't know if I need to inform Sallie Mae that I have a job. Since I'll be making so little money, I think I won't need to pay anything towards my loans under IBR. So in that respect, it won't make a difference. I also know that they don't consider me employed if I work under 30 hrs a week. So if I'm working half a month of full-time and half a month of part-time, what does that make me? Half-employed? :p

I'm happy about the job, but I feel like I can't really celebrate because I'm making so little. I'm a little... ashamed. I was supposed to be M's sugar mama! :p He put up with all my frustration and anxiety during law school, and I come out making less than I made my first year of college. I appreciate all the congrats and I'm really happy to have something, especially something that works with bar study. But it's still all a bit depressing. But it's ok... I have chocolate chip cookies. ;)

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