Friday, June 28, 2013

Mid-Year Resolution Update

With 2013 halfway over, I felt it would be appropriate to review progress on my projects/resolutions for the year.  It's hard to believe it is already summer!

1) Money - Deal with it

With our finances successfully merged and transferred to a credit union, things are so much easier.  I also created a huge shared spreadsheet in GoogleDocs that shows our monthly income/expenditures, as well as our budget for projects/miscellany.

I've currently paid down my student loans to half of their original balance.  I am making my usual monthly payments (which are split across four loans of varying interest rates) and making large additional payments to the loan with the highest interest rate each month.  I paid off the first of the four loans last month with a final payoff amount of $666.66.  As if we needed any additional proof that student loans are evil.  My quick and dirty calculations suggest that my loans will be completely paid off in March of next year.  Woohoo!

We also were able to afford a lovely trip to Seattle and San Francisco early in June - I spent some extra time with my sister and nephew, and J joined me for the last few days in Seattle and a nice 3-day jaunt in San Francisco.  We were able to have a lovely vacation and not break the bank by planning early, shopping some internet deals, and spreading the cost over several months by paying in advance for many of the big-ticket items (like airfare, hotels, and rental car).

2) House - Make it Better

Next week is the 2-year anniversary of moving into our home, and we have made some progress on house projects.  I purchased new bathroom exhaust fans that are lovely... And still uninstalled (to be fair, a friend who is an electrician said he could help install them this weekend, so hopefully that will be done soon).  My father is helping J with installing new built-in shelving in our living room next month.  We haven't done so great with getting rid of extraneous furniture/clutter, but we both went through our closets and dressers and donated two gigantic trash bags full of clothes, so that is something!

Living room:  As mentioned above, J and my dad are going to tackle the shelving project next month.  I found that it would be substantially cheaper and considerably faster to install a pre-made track system with custom plywood shelves, rather than making floating shelves, so we will have to see how it turns out.  Last weekend, I found the perfect vintage coffee table for our living room, and it is being shipped to us as I type!  It took a lot of searching and discussion, but I finally found something that fits both of our criteria for storage, aesthetics, and budget.  I also purchased new artwork for above our fireplace and TV, and added more items to the shallow shelves above our DVD storage.

Bathroom:  J has promised to address the shelving issue when he does the living room shelves, since he can buy the supplies at the same time.  The new exhaust fan should also be installed very soon - hopefully it will move a lot more steam/moist air out of our bathroom than the current, ancient fan.

Basement: Nothing has happened down here, although we have a dehumidifier running now.

3) Bodies - Make 'em Healthier

I've kept chugging along at the low-carb lifestyle with a few breaks (primarily for our vacation - there was no way I was going to San Francisco and not eating sourdough!).  My doctor is very happy with my progress and overall health.  Though the scale hasn't budged much, I have gone down two clothing sizes, so that is certainly something!  Additionally, my friends and coworkers have commented on how different I look - it's harder for me to see it myself, since I see my face every day, but here is some visual reference (December, 2012 - June 2012):

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