Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May Monthly Recap

I can’t believe May is already almost over! It has flown by, particularly because this time of year is so busy with birthdays, holidays, end-of-year school stuff, and work deadlines.

Each month I will go through how I did on the goals I set at the beginning of the month. If I don’t achieve a goal, I might move it to next month’s goals, which I will write about tomorrow.

My goals for May were:

* Up the amount we are saving monthly. I’ve already changed our automatic savings plan, and the first larger savings payment comes out today. Right now, we are 7.5% of the way to our down payment goal. It is NOT much. But I look forward to watching this number grow.

We did well with this one. By the end of the month we were 21% of the way to our goal, which is awesome! We made a lot more progress than I imagined we would. I upped the amount of money we were putting into savings bi-weekly, and we made a few large payments to the account as well.

* Stick to our budget and live within our means. This one is a bit vague, but this month, I am setting our goal to no eating out for the first two weeks of the month, and only eating out once per week after that until the end of May. I will also stay out of stores during lunch time by walking instead.

This goal was so-so. We only ate out once during the first two weeks in May, and generally cut back on eating out, but we also hosted three parties and had some birthdays, and didn’t budget very well for those expenses. Money was still tight at the end of each pay period.

* Talk to our condo association about the possibility of renting out our condo to family. They are very vague in the bylaws and the actions of the association on rentals. Basically, it is subject to approval. I want to know what our options will be next year. But I’m also really conflict adverse, and despite being on the board (I know!), I really don’t want to deal with the association. I might make M do this one.

We did not accomplish this goal. However, at our annual association meeting it became clear that at least one person is renting to family currently, and there have been others in the past. I think we have leverage, but we have not asked for approval yet.

* Look in to ways to earn extra income. M has a few freelance gigs going, and I am going to look into taking on a few writing jobs.

M has been freelancing still for extra cash, but I have not made any progress toward earning extra income.

* Declutter our master bedroom closet and “quiet” our master bedroom. I’ll go into this “quieting” business later, but basically as an early birthday present this year, I signed up and took the Nester’s Cozy Minimalist decorating course. I totally loved it, and we really made some nice changes to our living room as a result of the class. I loved it so much, I’m going to go through the same process with our master bedroom. I don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that because we plan to move in “only” a year we shouldn’t work on our space. If we try to sell the condo, we will want it to be looking its best. And it’s always a good idea to pare things down before moving!

We started decluttering our master bedroom closet and under the bed. We haven’t done the official “quieting” yet, however. I just have been too busy right now.

* Host family and friends at our condo. In May we’ll be hosting a family dinner, my son’s 6th birthday party, and an informal gathering of friends for a BBQ. This one should be fun and easy to achieve!

We did this, and it was wonderful! We made a lot of great memories in May in the condo!

So, we did the best in the two goals that mattered most – we saved more money than expected for the house, and we had a great time living in the condo. I found this process really encouraging, and am looking forward to setting my goals for June!

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