Stretch A Dime – March 2017 Update

2017 is flying by so quick! Last month I posted my first monthly update and a lot of people liked it. So, I plan to continue what I started and this is my update for March 2017.

With kids on spring break, Sarah travelling on business to Europe for more than ten days, and me being Mr. Mom for the entire time, March was crazy and good. I also share my update on the progress I am making towards my goals for 2017.


Spring Break

Teddy (older daughter) and Otter (younger daughter) were off for a week on spring break. Sarah and I took time off from work. We were scrambling to find a destination for a mini vacation. Sarah found Horseshoe Bay Resort close to Austin, TX on Trip Advisor

Sarah’s sister’s family joined us. Teddy and Otter got to hang out with their cousin.

We found Horseshoe Bay Resort to be very kid friendly and there were so many things to do – a calendar full of kids activities, three different heated swimming pools, a marina with paddle boards, kayaks, wave runners, jet ski boats, and pontoon boats available for rent.


Wave Runner

This was my first time renting one.

After the first twenty minutes of getting used to it, we started going faster and faster and had so much fun zipping through lake LBJ.

All of us had a blast on the wave runner.

Now onto paddle boarding…


Paddle Boarding

I have never stood on a paddle board before. Being adventurous by nature, I made an impulse decision to give it a try. I said Teddy, you can sit down on the front and I am going to stand in the back and we are going to have some fun paddle boarding.

Sarah and Otter were tired after riding the wave runner. They took a break and were enjoying their ice cream while watching us take off.

We got in the water, I was on my knees and started paddling.

Without any prior experience, I found it pretty difficult to balance the board.

Every time I tried to stand up, the paddle board started to wobble, and I didn’t want Teddy to fall in the water.

So, for the entire hour, I was on my knees rowing and by the time we got back, I lay down on the ground exhausted.

After I got Teddy off, it was so much easier to paddle board just by myself, however, I had no energy left.

However, it was one of the best experiences I have had!


Sunset Cruise

Finally, we went on sunset cruise in a pontoon boat on lake LBJ. The captain showed us multi million dollar homes that belonged to celebrities.

The guided tour was very relaxing and we absorbing the scenic beauty and also in awe of all the beautiful homes.

Fun’s over!



Another couple reached out to me seeking help with debt management and personal coaching. My current plan is to meet them once a month to review progress.

Right now, I am coaching two couples and I would say my coaching plate if full.


Freelance Writing

I have a steady stream of work and it is keeping me busy.


Learning Piano at Forty

I love listening to solo piano music. Growing up, I spent a significant amount of time listening to instrumental music when studying, doing home work, and relaxing at home.

Listening is not the same as making music at all, I get that.


Psychologists say that your ability to learn rises up to your twenties and then starts to drop off. However, it only drops off by about ten to fifteen percent.

That is not good news, that is great news! I learned everything on personal finance past my early twenties.

If I could learn personal finance in my mid twenties, then why could I not learn the piano?

I am debt free and our personal finance is in order. If I don’t try now, when could I?

Reason won, and I caved into my urge to learn.


I take Teddy to piano lessons every week. I signed up for piano lessons and I adjusted the schedule to piggy back Teddy on piano lessons so that we made the best use of our time.

Can an old dog learn new tricks? I guess I am ready to find out and so are you.

Enough said!


2017 Goal Update

Let me now provide you an update on my progress towards my goals.




Church Attendance – On cruise control now.

On Track!

Reading New Testament – I have read 32%.   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.

On Track!



Dates – Pre-planned lunch dates with Sarah are working well.

Family Outings – Saturday family fun has turned out to be a huge success. We have cleared out our calendars for Saturday and it is one free day in a week with no chores and all fun.

Vacation – Otter has dietary restrictions and we just don’t feel comfortable going on a cruise. Our plan for going on a cruise is cancelled. I am continuing to look at vacation destinations for our summer vacation.



With spring break vacation followed by Sarah heading off on a business trip, my walking routine and eating healthy came to a crawling halt!

I failed!

When she returned back, she brought me Belgian chocolates and fine biscuits (what we call cookies) from London.   

I ended up gaining two pounds! Yikes!

I dreaded writing this post for this one reason – I needed to admit to you that I failed. A week back, I started dreading and it was forcing a function and I started my walking routine back again.

In April, I am working to show some progress.



Work – I received my annual review. Overall good and the raise I received was greater than what I had conservatively hoped for. Goal Achieved!

Savings Goal – we filed our tax return and wrote a big check to Uncle Sam! This put a dent into my cumulative savings. I am still hoping to meet my targeted savings goal for the year.

Investment Project – It is a work in progress. I will start writing about it towards the end of 2017.

Passive Income Streams – I  made my first inventory purchase on the Kickfurther Crowd Funding Platform. Now I just need to wait and watch.

Overall Meh, On Track!



Javascript / HTML / CSS Coursera CourseI failed to complete it by end of February. I have postponed this to a later time in the year. 

Reading – I am reading my second book (2 of 6) now titled “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s, a Nazi death camp survivor. I am half way through it.

Vocabulary – I have completed 7 sessions. Very slow progress here, however, any progress is good.



I still need to connect personally with four personal finance bloggers this year. I did not make any progress in the March 2017.



My goal was to publish posts every Sunday. I am still struggling on this front. It is getting better. I am publishing once a week every Sunday or Monday.


That’s it for me. How was your March? How are you doing against your goals for 2017? 



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10 thoughts on “Stretch A Dime – March 2017 Update”

  1. I’m doing really well with my goals. Although I have to admit I was sick for like two weeks so I fell off the exercise bandwagon while I was sick. Yesterday was the first day back to the gym and it was ROUGH. So I am looking forward to getting back on track 🙂

    1. That’s great, MSM! Glad to hear that you are making a steady progress towards your goals.


  2. Really enjoying the monthly updates. I need to reach out to you about how coaching sometime – definitely have a few questions for you. Also really great that you are learning piano. I decided to learn French about six months ago and continue to do my daily lessons on my Duolingo app. I bought a book as well but need to spend more time going through it.

    1. Thank you, DC! Learning another language always comes in handy – it’s cool that you are learning French.

      I have been enjoying my piano lessons so far.

      Hey, I have been wanting to connect with you as well. I will reach out to you and let us have a chat.


  3. During your vacation you were very physically active so that makes up a little for not walking, and eating those chocolates.

    I’ve been adding some YouTube fitness videos to my routine. I used to only do ones 30-40 minutes long but now I’m picking shorter ones 15-20 minutes that concentrate on lower body, upper, or abs. I find I’m less inclined to blow it off if the workout is shorter.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your investment project.

    1. Hello Mrs. Groovy,

      Honestly, I was totally surprised to find that I could stay kneeling down for an hour and row a paddle boat. You are right, I should try shorter walks and not lose sight of my goal. I have been doing better on my walking routine this month.

      The investment project is not a “new thing”. It is what many personal finance bloggers do. However, I want my head to be free from emotions to provide an objective view and also a little bit of experience behind me to write on it.


  4. LOTS of people own waverunners here – aren’t they fun?? Also, I think it’s AWESOME that you are learning the piano!! I’m turning 50 this year, and my resolve is to learn to use a hula-hoop. BIG goals here over at the Frugal Farmer family. 🙂

    1. Wave runners are so much fun! THANK YOU, Laurie! If all goes Well, I hope to record a piece and share it here before the end of the year.

      Birthday wishes to you in advance 🙂 and wish you well with learning the hula-hoop.


    1. Thank you Erik! Appreciate you stopping by. I will give you a holler when I write my review.

      It certainly is an awesome book!


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