Stretch A Dime – February 2017 Update
Isn’t there a first time for everything? Without further ado, welcome to my first monthly update. I wanted to use my monthly update to gloss over what is going on in my life and also give an update on my journey towards my goals.
February 2017 flew by so quickly.
Every month I do a home walk through – this involves doing a walk around the external perimeter of the home and then visiting the attic to check for any issues. When I was doing the walk through, I noticed water on the drain pan for the water heater.
Luckily, the water heater was under warranty and I was able to identify the problem soon enough and get it replaced at no cost.
A sigh of relief!
My pastor introduced me to a millennial couple that needed help with debt management. We had our first meeting and it went very well. It feels so good to give back, teach, and impart what I have learned on personal finance through experience.
I did not see this one coming – it came in as a total surprise and I am loving it. In this journey, I ‘m sure I will learn a lot about the challenges faced by millennials.
For no particular reason, one fine day I started pitching to potential clients for freelance writing opportunities and landed a couple of clients quickly. They were impressed with my blog and I got the opportunity to write for them. This is another thing I hadn’t planned for but I am so glad it happened. It feels good to invoice clients and receive payments.
Writing is my passion and I love it!
I will provide a detailed blog income report in my next update.
Now let us get to the meat to see how I have done on my 2017 goals.
Church Attendance – Not only have I been attending church consistently, I have been on time. We didn’t go to church one weekend when we were out on a mini vacation.
Driven by personal conviction, I have been doubling down this year. I attend church at 7 am on Sunday by myself and then attend at 10:15 am or 11 am with my family.
Reading New Testament – I am going at a slow and steady pace and have read 23% of the new testament. Given my track history of starting well, finishing poorly especially in reading the Bible, I am still paranoid and don’t trust myself just yet.
My hope is to complete this goal by August 2017.
Dates – Sarah and I have been going on pre-planned lunch dates. This has been working well.
Family Outings – The dad & daughter, mom & daughter dates have not worked out as planned. However, we went on family outings to have fun with the kids. A weekend trip to Dallas and a Saturday visit to Hermann Park in Houston. We had a blast. We have kept Saturdays as a day for the family fun activities – which means no chores, no grocery shopping etc. It has worked well for a couple of weeks now. We will have to see how we are able to sustain this plan over the long term.
Vacation – we have kind of locked down to go on a vacation in the second week of June. We are thinking about a cruise out of Galveston port.
Do you have any suggestions for a week long vacation in summer?
(Coughing) Ahem…Ahem…my goal is to lose 12 pounds and bring my cholesterol levels down to normal level. Eating healthy, going for 30 minute walks ~5 times a week, and taking health supplements were steps I had identified to help me achieve my goal.
In this journey, I found two constants in the universe – one is earth’s gravity and the second is my weight. Both seem to have been constant over the past two months. There is one subtle difference gravity and my weight – I would lose 1 to 2 pounds during the week and I would gain it back up during the weekend.
I was walking seven days a week, which dropped down to six, then five, four, three, two, and then you guessed right – “ZERO”.
Mea Culpa (Latin) – it means my fault. To be accurate, it means “through my fault“. The very thought that I should write this post got me back into my walking routine this month.
CAREER / PERSONAL FINANCE
Work – I have been productive and things are going well at work.
Savings Goal – We have been saving at a steady rate so far. We just finished our tax return and it shows that we will be writing a big check to Uncle Sam.
Ouch! That really hurts!
2016 was an out of the norm year given we received extra one off compensation to relocate and this income hit our W2.
Given that my tax return became extremely complex for 2016, I broke my own rule of do your own taxes and went to an accountant referred to by my friend. It was well worth it.
This puts a dent into my cumulative savings and we need to absorb this hit. Now, I am worried about meeting my savings goal for the year.
Feeling nervous on the savings goal now!
Investment Project – I actually started on this towards the middle of last year. It is something that I have been laser focused and not comfortable talking about it just yet. I certainly plan to open up on it later in the year.
I spent considerable amount of my sweat, blood, and tears on it, and I ‘m hoping it will pay off.
Passive Income Streams – I am always on the lookout for passive income streams. I identified Kickfurther as a potential opportunity to go try out.
Overall Meh, On Track!
I have a feeling I have way too many here. I will have to see how much I am able to stretch myself with these.
Reading – I have completed reading 1 of 6 books. It is a crime scene thriller and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
I have started reading my second book (2 of 6) now titled “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s, a Nazi death camp survivor. It is one of the most influential books that has sold over twelve million copies worldwide. I will write more about it one I am done reading the book.
Vocabulary – I am making slow progress with Word Power Made Easy. I have completed 5 sessions.
My goal is to connect with five personal finance bloggers and get to know them at a personal level this year. I have connected with Rob @ Mustard Seed Money. We chatted on the phone and had a wonderful conversation. It was great to take the first step of building a friendship.
If you are a personal finance blogger, I would love to connect with you. Please feel free to reach out and I will do the same. Let’s get connected, chat on the phone, and hopefully meet at FinCon this year.
If you noticed, I did not write any blog goals in my 2017 goals for the year. It was because I was and still am mulling over them and have not completely settled on them just yet. However, I have identified one main goal.
I plan to publish a blog post every Sunday.
That’s it for me. How was your February? How are you doing against your goals? Did you like reading my first monthly update?