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Wow, December’s goals will be the last goals I make for the year 2014! How crazy is that? Is it just me, or has this year really flown by? Maybe it’s because I started this blog, and met a ton of great people (like you!), time seems like it’s flying by. Or maybe it really is going by fast!
Speaking of time flying, I’m really looking forward to the end of this month’s post. I have some big plans for the blog, and I can’t wait to share them with you! I’ve been inspired by a ton of amazing bloggers out there, both new bloggers and those who’ve been doing this for a while. I can’t wait to make Sunburnt Saver even more of a resource in 2015! If you’d like to see anything in particular covered here, let me know! I’d love to get your feedback!
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On to this month’s recap and goals!
Apply for a travel rewards credit card – Pass! Based on a ton of reviews out there, plus reviewing the websites I cited in my Rewards Credit Card post, I decided to apply for the Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard (wow, that’s a mouthful!).
I haven’t applied for a new credit card in a while, as I was pretty happy with my Chase Freedom card (cash back!) but, like I mentioned in last month’s post, I have a lot of travel (and some big expenses – thanks roof) coming up, and I’d love to get some of the travel at a reduced price – if not free! I was surprised to be approved right after submitting my online application – I had no idea it was that fast, but I guess I am a good credit risk?
I’m particularly excited that Barclay’s gives you a free copy of your FICO score. I was planning on checking mine at the beginning of 2015, but it’s handy that I can check it online in Barclay’s portal.
As always, before applying for a credit card, make sure you can pay off your bills monthly! Credit cards, particularly ones with rewards, have high interest rates. The Barclay’s is anywhere from 14%-18%, which means if you carry a balance every month, you’ll be paying an additional 14-18% on top of your monthly payment. No bueno!
Continue with my exercise goals – Pass! I’ve been doing really well with this! My Mom and I track our workout and nutritional progress on MyFitnessPal and having that accountability partner has been really helpful.
It might not be for everyone, but sharing my fitness and nutritional diary with my workout buddy (Mom) is great motivation. I actually think twice about having an extra cookie (or slice of pie…) because I know Mom will see it, and likely use it as an excuse to have a cookie herself! I really recommend MyFitnessPal, even if you don’t share your progress with anyone. Just another handy tool on the health journey!
Make Weather Wednesdays goal! – Let’s see!
November 5 – 85 degrees
November 12 – 80 degrees
November 19 – 74 degrees
November 26 – 74 degrees (fun fact: on Thanksgiving, it was 87 degrees in Phoenix. That’s insane!)
For a total of $313. So how did I do? Even with the Black Friday shopping I did, I was able to save a total of $645 this month! Pass! I’m so jazzed!
This time last year, not only did I not have a savings, but I actually went into debt. It’s insane how caught up in buying expensive gifts for everyone I was. Even worse, I didn’t plan for the gifts. For some reason, I just thought I could buy presents for everyone (yes, even people I barely spoke to) and still come out ahead. Thank goodness for budgets – and to B, who helped me set up my first budget and get me on track!
So yes, $645 in savings for me in November is pretty amazing.
Spend no more than $50 on lunches – Last month, I had 4 lunches scheduled, but I only ended up paying for 3 lunches! The birthday lunch we had scheduled for my coworker was paid for by our new supervisor – woohoo generous supervisors! 🙂 I ended up spending $44 on lunches out this month, so pass!
Have a relaxing Thanksgiving – pass! Except for the instance where Mom almost forgot to bring out the stuffing, our Thanksgiving went really well! It was probably smoother for me since all I had to do was bring some rolls, a dessert, and a bottle of wine, but still. Success!
Get Sunburnt Saver organized – There is a lot going on this month with family, friends, and work, so I’d like to buckle down on getting things done this month for the blog. I’m an obsessive planner, yet I only have blog post ideas for this month – nothing yet for January! My goal is to brainstorm ideas for January, February, and March. It may be ambitious, but it’s always better to have too many ideas than too few!
One more blog goal… Reach 900 views in December – I’ve been steadily increasing the number of monthly pageviews, from a low of 400 in July (when I first started) to October’s high of 710. November was 715, which is slightly better. I probably didn’t do much better than October’s record because of the holiday, which is fine. 900 pageviews may be an ambitious goal, especially since lots of holidays are coming up, but it’s worth a try!
Make Weather Wednesdays goal – It should be pretty cool this December (60s to 70s), but that can’t be an excuse for me to buy more things. If anything, I hope I can save even more in December than I did in November!
Spend no more than $100 on date nights – I didn’t want to admit it, but November was surprisingly a budget killer in terms of ‘date nights.’ B and I went out way too often, and it shows in my budget. I spent almost $200 on date nights! Which means, of course, that it wasn’t just a once-a-week event – more like 2 or 3. Not only does that kill my goal of maintaining or losing weight, but it’s also a big hit to the budget.
Now that we (still!) have Thanksgiving leftovers, and lots of things to crockpot-cook, my goal is to get cooking done at the beginning of the week – so we don’t have to worry about ‘what to eat’ when we both get home from work and don’t want to cook but want a hot meal.
Take pictures at Christmastime – I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted at Thanksgiving, so my goal this Christmas is to take a bunch of pictures. Even if my hair isn’t behaving, even if someone’s eyes are closed – my goal is to take pictures, or else!
One thing I’ve learned over this past year is people don’t live forever, and you’ll always regret not having more photos of your loved ones. Hopefully, my beloved family members live forever (I know….), but even if I only have them for 20 more years, I still want to take pictures to commemorate events in our lives. Even better – sharing embarrassing photos of your younger relatives with their new boyfriend/girlfriends – like we did with a family member of mine this Thanksgiving! Oh, that 1980s hair!
If you set goals for November, how did they go? What are your December goals? And is it just me, or is 2014 flying by?
*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich*