January 2012 Monthly Review

Unfortunately, my finances didnt go quite as I had hoped this month.  I was able to keep my spending low in most categories, but I had a few big purchases (as usual) that ate up my debt money.  One was for the farm shares (post coming) and another was for my suit for the wedding.  Other than that, I was at/or under budget for just about every category.  Looking forward to getting on track for February so that I can buy a beer kit!


This is all the debt I’ve got left to pay.  It used to include more student loans and credit cards but those have since been payed off.

Student Loans

Great Lakes Loan $11,157 ($90)  I hate this loan.  It never goes down.  I got my tax form from them this year, and I paid them over 1,000 in interest.  This does not make me happy either.  I get a tax write off for it, but I’d rather have the money

Truck Loan

Ford Credit: $8,861  ($300):  This is my next target.  In order to keep myself motivated to pay off this goal, I decided to set myself a mini goal.  Hopefully this works well, and if it does, I’ll continue to use it.  I’d really like to complete my mini goal with the help of snowball payments, but it could work out that I just get there using the regular loan payment.  If this is the case that’s fine (I guess) but it will surely take longer!

Health Goals

Though the year is out, i’m still going to keep this going in my monthly reviews.  Since I’ve got a goal of running a marathon for next year, i’ll be counting runs in this as well.  I’ve got my marathon training all mapped out, and I start at the end of this month!

Goal Workouts: 20

In this number of goal workouts, I’m counting my visits to the gym, my running (priming for marathon training) and also my hunting.  At first I was unsure whether or not to count hunting but after guesstimating that I walked approximately 6 miles a day with 25+ lbs of gear, I figured I’d count it.  My hunting will only count this month anyhow.

Total Visits: 30

In terms of the gym, this was a great month – the only day that I didnt go was new years day, and looking back on it, I regret it now.  I should have schlepped myself over there for a bit, but then again there was no way to know how much success I would have had.  I also started training for my marathon on the 31st.  It was just a 3 mile run, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

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27 thoughts on “January 2012 Monthly Review”

  1. Great job on the exercise! That’s the goal that I’m having the most trouble with right now. I’m having a very hard time finding the time and energy, but I also really need it. I had to leave my office and spend twenty minutes walking yesterday because my lack of activity is giving me back pain.

    • Thanks – at least something went right this month. I know what you mean about leaving the office for a while – usually I do it when my eyes start to hurt.

    • I think you’re right about that – at least with buying a suit, i’ll be able to die in it (saving on funeral costs!) and I can use it again.

  2. Good job on the working out! It can certainly be a challenge for most to get into the habit of it. Don’t beat yourself up to much about the finances. With a wedding coming up I can’t imgine it being easy to stay in your budget.

    Jan was good for us. We were under in almost all our catagories. Only thing we went over in was misc. b/c I forgot we had a bday gift to purchase and tax filing fee from turbotax. But our refund made up for those and then some.

    • I’ve been staying within my budgeted expenses just fine, its the things that are 1 time purchases (like a suit) that are not/will never be in my budget that are eating up all my cash!

  3. Student loans just simply suck the life out of you if you cant double or triple the payments. You breathe a lot easier once that thing is gone. I have a 50lb weight vest but I never go over about 20-25lbs those things make a big difference. I went for a walk on the beach with mine and it was a workout with the sand and the vest.

    Little confused on the 20 workouts but 30 visits to the gym?

    • My goal is 20 workouts per month, but I dont always go to the gym – sometimes I run outside (which I’ve been able to do a lot lately, because of the weather). I count the run as a workout, but not a gym visit – I’ll clear that up for next time.

  4. You’re doing really great! Nice job Jeff. Do you feel like you can keep up with being active everyday? When the weather get nicer, it will be a lot easier.
    I did my monthly cash flow update. Check it out.

    • Yea, i’ve been feeling pretty good lately, but I’m not expecting it to get warmer anytime soon, it has been in the 40s (warm for here) for a while, and eventually the snow and cold will come. Hopefully I’ll be able to work around that.

    • Hi Marissa –
      I actually worked out about 32 times last month (I occasionally do 2 a days), but just 30 days. This looks like something I need to clarify in February, because i’ll keep up with my 2 a days through the end of may.

  5. I have a student loan from Great Lakes- UGHHHHHH! Kudos to you with the mini goals for the truck payments, I think you have a winning strategy in place.

    As for the workouts – THAT I won’t support since you make people like me look like total slackers 😉

    • Great lakes sucks – the interest rate really makes me angry, but since I’ve still got to pay them, Im glad I can at least get some tax write off for the loan – but I’d rather not pay interest or the loan.
      As for my workouts – dont feel bad, just work harder 🙂

  6. Student loans stink, I know. I think paying off your truck is a great goal that you should be able to do by making it a priority. A paid-for car is a great feeling! Great job on the gym workouts!

  7. The debt is looking good. We paid off our car in four years instead of the five years for the loan, and it felt great when it was paid off. Now, the car is 7.5 years old, so it is time to start planning financially for a new one (but this time without a loan).

  8. Jeff, if you hate that student loan so much why not pay it off? I know mathematically it probably isn’t the right thing to do but may make you feel better and focus you

    • I do hate that student loan a lot, but I’m not focusing on it for 2 reasons 1: balance is higher than truck, but most important 2: it costs me 150/mo, and the truck costs me 350. Paying the truck would greatly improve cashflow (and then I could use that to pay down the student loan)

  9. Here is a suggestion for your gym workouts: It is important to change your workout every few weeks in order to keep progressing. Your body is a complex mechanism that quickly adapts to any fitness routine. It makes little adjustments as it tries to set a new plateau, which means that you must alter your gym workouts occasionally. You have to trick your metabolism by doing different things. This gives your body more stress than it is accustomed to. In other words, keep your muscles guessing in order to avoid those frustrating pauses in progress.

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