November Recap

Whoa…only 2 months left of my list and let me tell you, I have some work to do! I avoided accomplishing some of these because (1) I was unemployed, which means I had more free time but also means (2) I was broke. Although it doesn’t look like I’ll get around to skydiving, taking a ride in a hot air balloon, or paintballing, I think I will be able to accomplish everything else. As is my typical way of accomplishing things, I’ve procrastinated and put everything off until the end. Which means I have a busy 2 months coming up.

I did manage to get some stuff done in November. Here are the highlights:

4. Work out 10 times a month. I missed this by 4 workouts. And I planned it very poorly because I planned on getting my last 6 work outs in the week of Thanksgiving. When my whole family was in town. Instead of working out that week, I gorged on Giordano’s pizza (…twice…) and ate two delicious Thanksgiving meals. And let me tell you, I wouldn’t have changed the week one bit.

10. Go to 1 new place…while my sister was in town for Thanksgiving, she and my mom met me for lunch at Central Standard, which is conveniently located right next to my building. Lunch anyone????

16. Talk to 1 family member or friend each week. Well, again, I didn’t accomplish this each week. BUT I did see my for a whole.entire.week. So yes, there was a lot of talking and catching up. And we all had the same cold/flu symptoms to prove it. Nothing says Happy Holidays like illness! I also ran into a friend and her husband on the L one afternoon and was able to catch up with them both about their adorable little girl and their Thanksgiving plans. (Reason # 1,036 I’m falling in love with Chicago again…)

19. Find a job. Finally! Read about it here.

27. Stick to budget. Let me tell you, this was a challenge this month. My unemployment ended and I had to wait a few weeks for my first paycheck to arrive. Oh, and I celebrated Christmas with my family already (we do it early every other year when my out-of-town siblings are in town), so I had to buy presents for my nieces and nephews on my even-more-limited budget. I saved some of my last unemployment check for gifts for my parents, which I went in on with my siblings, so that saved me a lot of dough. And then I was able to stick to a $20-per-niece/nephew budget (I went over by $1.36, which is frustrating, but could have been much worse) thanks to amazing places like Half Price Books and some price comparisons between Toys R Us and Amazon. I was shocked when I found everything at Toys R Us for the same price or less than Amazon. Plus, with a Toys R Us nearby, I was able to order everything on-line and pick up in store. So convenient and I didn’t have to deal with the holiday madness. So yes, in my long-winded answer, we can say this one was accomplished this month.

For those of you also on a holiday budget, Mr. Money Mustache, Huffington Post and The Frugal Girl have some great ideas so that you don’t get caught up in the consumerism but in the joy of the holidays. If you click on any of the links, at least watch the Advent Conspiracy video found through The Frugal Girl’s link.  I’m not a religious person, but I often find myself thinking that we are missing the reason for the holidays. I also started a tradition a few years ago that instead of Christmas gifts, I would take my nieces and nephews out on a special day with each one on their own. It’s something I haven’t been able to do for a few years, but I hope to start it again this year…after I save some more money… And even though it costs money, they remember it so much more than the presents I gave them. As The Frugal Girl says…Give More Presence.