What I’ve Learned in a Year of Blogging

blogiversary1Today is my one-year blogiversary! In that time, as most of you know, I’ve gone from negative to positive net worth, from indebted to (more or less) debt-free, and from zero retirement savings to, uh, well, less than zero retirement savings. I’ve also turned 36, gone to my PhD graduation, made an interstate move for work, attended my brother’s wedding, and assorted other milestones. Continue reading “What I’ve Learned in a Year of Blogging”

Zero Food Waste 2015: Back on Track

zero food waste challenge 2015First of all, some good news: my friend had another appointment Monday, and things look better! Still a long way to go, but it’s great to see some improvement. I’m really glad I went out there, though. Expensive though it was, I think we are both much less stressed after having a little time together, plus I got to spend a bunch of time with my goddaughter, who I haven’t seen in a few months — she’s forty-five four, and can really swim and is working on bike riding. It’s so cool to see her growing up. And taking her to the library and working on crafts with her meant her mom could take some long naps and her dad could go out and do some of his own work 🙂

Continue reading “Zero Food Waste 2015: Back on Track”

The Month My Budget Fell Into Smoking Ruins [And It Was Actually OK]

Alternate Title: That Escalated Quickly


So, it’s been a month! Everything started off according to plan, with a nice relaxing vacation followed by a quick work trip. That was the point at which stuff started to go crazy — and I fell off the blogging map. I was going to get back to it quickly, but then more stuff happened: I went on a last-minute job interview, and my best friend started having trouble with her pregnancy and I decided I really had to go see her, even though I could only afford to take a weekend trip, time-wise. Continue reading “The Month My Budget Fell Into Smoking Ruins [And It Was Actually OK]”

Life Happens Fast

This post was (a) supposed to be about summing up my vacation [it was awesome, thanks!] and (b) looking forward financially, but instead it’s about Life Happening.

Specifically, I just emptied out the rest of my travel account to pay for last-minute plane tickets halfway across the country this weekend. My best friend is having a lot of complicated, scary stuff right now (don’t feel like I should share her story, but the summary is that everything will be ok, probably, but it’s really hard and scary right now) and I haven’t seen her in months and miss her, and I just think I need to. We decided to split the cost of the tickets, but my half came down to the rest of what was in my travel fund after the vacation was over. Oof! That’s quite a hit to the net worth. Worth it, though.

I have a ton of work stuff going on this week, plus now preparing to take this quick trip, but I really miss blogging on the regular and hope to get back to it on Friday — with that post about the financial results of vacation 🙂

Personal Finance Bloggers Gone Wild: Spring Break Edition

PF Bloggers Gone WildHello my friends! I’m writing this post from an undisclosed mountaintop location in the U.S. Virgin Islands, whence I have decamped for four days of Not Being in the Midwest. It’s currently raining, which is why I’m inside blogging rather than outside drinking yet another coconut thing (full disclosure, I have a cup of coffee with coconut milk in it next to me though) but I don’t care — it sounds great, hammering on the roof, and it’s confirming my sense that it was a good choice to only book a boat tour for half a day today since we had a beautiful morning out on the water and snorkeling, and got back before the storm started up. Continue reading “Personal Finance Bloggers Gone Wild: Spring Break Edition”

The Bare Bones Budget + How Big of an E-Fund Do I Need, Part 898678050

I feel like I just keep circling back around to this topic! For a while last year I was wondering if I needed an e-fund at all — after all, I have no dependents to provide for and if financial disaster really struck, I’d be able to give up my housing (which is just a rented room with no lease to break) and move in with friends or family. Everyone shouted me down on that, and I was convinced 🙂 [Side note: at that time, five comments was a huge number on one of my posts. On a day to day basis I don’t feel like I’ve made huge progress at growing the blog, but looking back at those early posts they look so lonely! Thanks for reading and commenting, y’all, every single one of you makes my day.] Continue reading “The Bare Bones Budget + How Big of an E-Fund Do I Need, Part 898678050”

Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 8: A little tired (plus mushroom marsala pasta)

zero food waste challenge 2015Trucking along, and I didn’t waste any food this week — but I am getting a little tired of figuring out how to manage with all the weirdness that’s been going on lately. I traveled, then I came home and caught a bad cold that had me eating strangely and off-plan for most of a week (I either didn’t want to eat at all, or I was reduced to only extra-spicy hot and sour soup to clear my sinuses out, or I had cravings, like the one that had me making cookies for the first time in over a month), and now I’m getting ready to travel again; I’ll be leaving Thursday afternoon (tomorrow) and won’t be returning home for ten days. After which I’ll be here for 2.5 days, then away again for 1.5 days! Sigh.

Continue reading “Zero Food Waste 2015, Week 8: A little tired (plus mushroom marsala pasta)”

Rethinking The Way I Allocate Side Hustle Income

When I first started writing this blog, a little less than a year ago, I was really concerned about two things: finishing my debt payoff, and starting to save for retirement. At 35, I felt there was really no time to waste; I’d already missed out on all the big gains of the post-crash years, too, so I couldn’t expect the market to necessarily be much help. (Mind you, it’s helped some; at this exact moment, I’m showing a $750 gain above what I’ve invested.) Recently, however, I’ve realized I need to make a change to my financial plan. Continue reading “Rethinking The Way I Allocate Side Hustle Income”