I absolutely love April. It means gorgeous weather is ahead. That means I can start having lunch by the pond again and not have to worry about freezing my butt off as I walk to work.
A recap on March’s projects and goals:
My focus in March was on my budget. I have to say I was a bit optimistic with my savings goals, but I didn’t do so bad overall. I’m really happy with how things turned out.
- I’ve used Smartypig as my main savings account for a while now. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend it. It automatically takes money out of my paycheck and deposits it into various savings goals I have. It’s got a fantastic interest rate as well. You can redeem your savings goals as gift cards and they will actually give you a bonus percentage for certain retailers or you can have it put back in your regular bank.The downside is that it does take a little bit of time to get your money. In some ways this is great, because I really do have to evaluate my purchases, but should an emergency come up, I’d likely need to put the expense on my credit card temporarily and pay for it once the money gets back to my checking account a week later.
- At the beginning of March, I was planning to save around $315 from every pay check just to save it, around $60 dollars for things on my wishlist, and another $25 for my Christmas fund. I managed to keep to my wishlist and Christmas goals, but I did have to reduce the amount of money I was setting aside to around $200. I give nearly half of my income to my mom every month so that she can pay bills, so usually one paycheck a month just goes straight to her so I had to rethink my spending habits and decided it makes more sense to save less right now than putting things all on my credit card because I was saving too much.
- March means time to submit taxes and I managed to get mine submitted. I even used a promo code and saved on filing them. I used my refund to pay back the majority of my one remaining balance on my credit cards, and now I’m using a total of 11% of my credit which feels fantastic. I’m really trying to cut back on my use of my credit cards so that I can be able to pay them off completely at the end of the month, so I took my credit cards out of my main wallet and out of my password manager. No easy access to auto-fill the info means I have to think before I buy.
Reading – I’m working on reading both Blogging for Dummies and Blog. – Since graduating from college, reading has become an unexpected hobby of mine, so much so I actually went and purchased a Kindle Paperwhite on March 22. I not only read the two books I planned to read, but I read a total of 4 others. The number would have probably been higher but I lent my Kindle to my mom to read a book I had checked out. In any event, 6 books in one month is just beyond ridiculous for me, and seeing that, I upped my reading challenge from 20 books to 30 for the year.
- Making progress on my room renovations – This is such a big project, and I’m so overwhelmed with it. I managed to get almost through patching with a few spots I need to go over once more. The next step is to start painting which I’m really dreading, BUT before pictures have been taken so I can start letting you all see the progress which is exciting.
- Completing FMS’s March Photo Challenge. – I really need to find a fun and exciting photo challenge because these FMS photo challenges are just not working for me. I managed to get 16 photos done, but I played catch up for most of the month snapping pictures in bursts rather than daily.
At the beginning of the year, I typed up a document with what I would focus on each month, but stupidly I saved it as “Untitled” in a rush and deleted it. I didn’t realize it until it was removed off my backup drive, so now I’m making this up as I go along, and I’m declaring April’s focus:
Nice weather means I’m going to wish I could still lounge around outside after class or take the dogs out to the local Starbucks for an adventure, so it’s a bit depressing knowing that I’m a grown up now and I can’t because I have to sit behind a desk. Focusing on work will make sure I have a few things to stay focused on:
- Compiling a list of Skillsoft Courses – My job provides me with courses for various things from computer certifications to stress relief, and I have been meaning to compile a list of them that I think I’d be interested in or would be of use to myself or the students in the office. They may not be able to take the courses, but I can certainly pass on some knowledge to them.
- The semester ends in May, and I’d like to provide our student employees with performance evaluations and maybe raises before they leave, so I need to figure out the budget which I’ve never had to do, iron out the processes I want to use, and schedule to meet with all of them before they get all stressed out with Finals.
- Lastly, our department is trying to focus on an online support knowledge base of sorts to help continue to provide answers to our customers while also being able to focus on improving things for the future. Tidying up this space has been on my radar for a while, and I hope that with the help of my colleagues we can get some Spring cleaning done.
Other April projects include:
- Evaluating my current wardrobe to see what I need to add or replace for warmer weather. I know for a fact I need to replace the basic tanks I wear under some of my more transparent shirts, but I also want to get some new things in bright spring colors. I’m quite tired of my go to winter look of skinny pants, boots, a shirt and sweater over top.
- I’d like to tackle painting at least my ceiling in my bedroom. Once that’s done, the painting will go quickly because I can do smaller bits at a time.
- I’m also going to work on managing my time better. That means sticking to my usual routine to get things done, workouts, blog posts, and school work included.
- I’m also working on something I’ve sort of informally dubbed “Project Andrea.” It’s my fairly extensive plan to revamp my life, and I’m pretty excited to start. I’ll post more about what my goals for this project are in a later post.
- Also, this month’s photo challenge is Filofax themed so I’m excited. I’ve been revamping my Filofax here and there so I’m excited to share the little updates I’m making.
I’m really thrilled that it’s April. I’m already excited, and we’re only 6 days in!