Best laid plans

Sometimes you just have to laugh, don’t you?

A few days ago I wrote a post setting some goals for July. It published on Tuesday, July 1, the day that I started my new job, but I’d written it over the weekend.

Monday night, a massive, massive storm hit my area, taking out hundreds of trees and power lines. My house and car are fine (others were not so lucky) but we did lose power for three days. It wasn’t really that big of a deal in many ways; campus did keep the lights on, so I could buy breakfast and shower there, and it stays light really late here in the summer so even being at home in the evening wasn’t too bad.

But July ended up starting off with (1) having to toss a garbage bag’s worth of stuff from the fridge that I otherwise would have eaten; (2) buying breakfast for three mornings at $5 a pop (coffee and oatmeal) instead of eating for pennies at home; (3) more driving than I’d typically do in a week (more gas.)

Well, I guess that is why most people have emergency funds, isn’t it? I, however, have $75 and I’m not touching it 🙂 The upshot is that I’ll have a smaller debt payment than planned this month, probably, as I increase my grocery budget to compensate.

The other July goal that is already toast is to contribute $1000 to my 403(b). This one is not my fault either; for boring administrative computer system reasons, even though I am already working and should get paid on time, I can’t fill out my various tax forms until next week, or set up my 403(b) or direct deposit. So my first July paycheck should arrive on time, but it will be weird; it won’t have  anything taken out for the 403(b). I’m not sure how to handle that yet. I should end up with a bigger paycheck than I normally will; I could put the “extra” towards debt repayment, or treat it as side hustling and stick it in my Roth IRA like the rest of my side hustle money.

[ETA: I just realized what I will actually do with the one-time extra paycheck money: pay my car registration and license fees since I just moved to a new state and need to re-do everything. Alas for retirement. Well, I’ll get there eventually..]

Goals for July

June was a huge month for me, but a lot of it involved just sitting around and waiting for that paycheck to hit at the end of the month. (OK, I also hung out a ton with my friends, flew across the country, drove about 1/3 of the way across the country, and got settled into a new town.

July is the reset button, as the new job starts, so I guess it’s time to set some goals.

Goal #1: Figure out a workable budget once I know for sure how much take-home pay I’ll have

Goal #2: Sign up to have $1000 a month put automatically into a 403(b); have first $1000 taken out.

Goal #3: $500 in side hustle income

Goal #4: Bike to work two days a week (saving gas)

Goal #5: Stick to the grocery budget I laid out (this is going to be…really tough. I’m probably going to fail at this goal

That’s all I can think of at the moment. I have two trips to take this month: one to Nearby Large City to see a friend’s play (total hoped for cost: $50 — public transportation and a ticket to the play; should be able to stay with other friends) and one “back east” for my brother’s wedding (total hoped for cost: $300 for plane ticket, public transportation, and incidentals; again, I get free lodging.) So there goes my travel fund contributions for July and August! Good thing I am going to be a total homebody in August and September unless an emergency crops up.