Shopping Ban Update and March Goals

March 2, 2018

I just don't love March as a month.  I do love seeing Steph's birthday month fun, of course, but March in Chicago means spring and I don't like spring, because spring leads to summer and I dislike summer even more than I dislike spring.  Give me winter and snow year round, please.  But March has arrived and with it some new goals.


Of course, let's start with the February update.  Because that's a little rough.

FEBRUARY GOALS UPDATE:
- So the first, main goal of February was to exercise.  I split that in two parts, one being to use the treadmill every day and the second being to hit 5,000 steps every day.  I actually did hit the 5,000 steps every day, according to my phone.  But the treadmill didn't happen.  It did a lot of the days - more than half the month, so I'll take it.  It was the beginning of the month though.  The last two weeks... yikes.

- I did spend less in February than I did in January, mostly due to there being no gifts to buy.  The shopping ban update is below - it's still more than I wanted to spend.  In January I spent $383, though a lot was on gift cards and only $151 in cash.

- The official DietBet ending weigh in and payout hasn't happened yet, so I can't say for sure, but by my own count, I lost the 4% so I should definitely be getting my money back.

- LOL on the blog catch up.  That was a hell no.  In fact, I got further behind.  But like I mentioned yesterday, it was literally the very last thing I was thinking about when my dad was in the hospital.  I couldn't get everything done and since this is a hobby and not a paying job, it was the first to get cut.  And also, earlier this week (Saturday, apparently) there was some sort of fire that knocked out the internet on our block.  No idea about any of that, but I know it's been down and that's the story the guy who owns the liquor store on the corner told me.  And it's pretty hard to blog without internet.  It's still not back on, by the way.  Yes, I will be requesting a refund for all the days it's been down, I am me after all.

- The bathrooms are looking much better though, you can see them here.

SHOPPING BAN UPDATE:

My monthly bills remained the same, you can see those here if you're interested.  John wanted Netflix back though, so that was an extra $11.  Total Bills: $1421.50

Other money I spent:
  • $49 Groceries.  Groceries are, of course, allowed during the no spend year.
  • $14 Lotion.  There was a face lotion I wanted to try.  Didn't like it.  Was going to return it but John ending up loving it, so we kept it.
  • $70 Dog Grooming.  Yep, that's how much it costs to get her butt groomed.  It's worth it though because it's perfect, she loves going, and the groomer lets all the dogs run around all day and play, so it's basically like grooming and day care.
  • $44 Drinks with Ida.  It was her birthday, I paid.
  • $10 Greek Food.  And then we stopped for food after.  Lazy move on my part, I should have just gone home, but I really wanted it.
  • $47 Taxi.  I was downtown at work when the ambulance came to get my dad.  John went over and drove my mom, so I had to get to the hospital some way.  Expensive but what else could I do, right?
  • $28 Lunch with Mom (and Ida).  When dad was getting his angioplasty done, my mom was 1000% done with hospital food and we went to a brunch place across the street.  I paid.
  • $15 Dining Out.  Well, drinking out.  Tara came into town for a conference and we met up for lunch.  Lunch for her.  Cocktail for me.
Total: $277. 

Low grocery budget again this month because I went hard with my DietBet with Megan and for some reason, exercising does not make me want to eat more, like it does for some people.  Actually, I know the reason - when I'm about to eat something, I think about how much god-awful, soul-sucking time I have to spend exercising to burn it off, and then I don't eat it.  I hate exercising that much.  But yes, the DietBet definitely saved me money on the grocery front - convenience food and the stuff that's not great for you (sugar, dairy, etc.) are what rack up your bill.  My meals of beans, quinoa, and vegetables are super cheap.  It helps that I started with some pantry items already: black beans, green lentils, quinoa, green pea pasta, rice, and frozen vegetables.  Plus eating out those couple of times meant less groceries.

There were some things I know I could have been better about, but since I didn't buy any 'stuff,' I'm still considering it a win.

Alright, on to March:

MINI HEALTH GOAL OF THE MONTH: Water and Vitamins

I definitely felt like I didn't exercise as much or eat as well as I should have in February, so I decided to keep those going as goals for March.  So March, besides St. Patrick's Day, is going to be a very dedicated month - back to none of the unhealthy foods I'm wanting to cut, and daily exercise.  In addition, I'm concentrating on my water intake and my vitamins.  Which I'm already really good at, so it shouldn't be difficult to add.  I want to make sure I drink 100 ounces of water every day and take my vitamins every night.  I also want to make an effort to enter my vitamins into a tracker and see if there's anything I'm missing.  If you care what sort of vitamins and supplements I take as a vegan, let me know in the comments and I'll make a post about it.

OTHER GOALS FOR MARCH:
  • Set up realistic spending goals for the spring and summer months.  It's easy (for me) to save in the winter months because people don't want to go do anything.  But when the weather turns nice, there's a lot of plans being made, and personally I love street fests.  I need to at least increase my Uber budget, because it just isn't safe to come home late at night on the train/bus.
  • Post at least 4 days a week.  I was at 5, but let's not get crazy, since nothing is in the drafts at the moment.
  • Start looking for summer shoes.  Like I do at the end of most summer seasons, I got rid of my flip flops that I wore to death last year.  So I need a new pair, which I think is the only thing I really 'need' to be buying.  I want to find some sandals that aren't just crappy flip flops this time, which is a goal every year.  I never find them though, because I'm super picky about shoes and also I hate them - I hate wearing most of them and I hate shopping for them.  But I hate being barefoot outdoors even more, so there's no winning.  There's just finding a suitable pair of shoes.

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO IN MARCH:
  • St. Patrick's Day.  I'm not even Irish.  But celebrating, day drinking, green beer, bar crawls, sign me up!  I used to go every year to the south side Irish parade, but it sucks now that they cracked down on the drinking in the streets so we're just heading to John's brother's apartment to watch the river get dyed and hang out.  (He lives in the corn cob buildings I know you've seen.)
  • John going back to (firehouse) work.  Okay, hear me out.  He's been on furlough since January 4!  He was supposed to go back February 17 or so, but made some trades to extend the time off, so he's just finally going back now.  He was working his other job, of course, but his other job has him home every day by 3 pm and I'm not home until 5:30 so I just want some time in a quiet, empty house to get everything done that I need to.  I know, I'm horrible, but tell me you wouldn't be thinking the same thing.  Plus the house stays so much cleaner when he's gone for 24 hours at a time 2 or 3 days a week.  #Truth.
  • Finalizing my 101 in 1001 list.  My 2nd list is coming to an end and the 3rd one is beginning on April 1, so I need to finalize it this month.  Look for a post about the final list towards the end of the month.  I'm excited to get it started.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT HERE IN MARCH:
  • Monthly Decluttering Project: Linen and Medicine Cabinets/Closets
  • Monthly House to Home Organizing Project: Linen Cabinet, Vitamin and Medication Storage
  • Things You're Probably Not Cleaning
  • Ingredients to Avoid in Beauty Products
  • Newest 101 in 1001 List
  • Simplified Guide to Cleaning
  • Three on Thursdays 
  • and hopefully more, if I can get back on schedule

What are you looking forward to seeing here this month?  What goals are you setting for yourself, if any?


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