Monthly Progress – February

I wanted to give a progress update for everyone following, as well as just for myself to have a record of what I have accomplished, improved on, or just done this month. This way I will stay motivated and continue to improve.

Image by HaPe Gera

Image by HaPe_Gera

Mentally

This month I have  made some important mental changes. First of which is my decision to sleep less and wake early. The reason I list this here as a mental change versus a physical change is that by waking early I get that great feeling of accomplishment bright and early in the morning and it lasts all day long. Even if I just get up, shower and eat a big breakfast and dont do anything really productive in the morning, I still feel like I accomplished something early and it puts me in a better place to finish out the day. I also made some goals as well as achieved some goals and that has really helped me motivate myself to grow. I have to admit that I did miss my early wake time three days in the past two weeks. Once I forgot to set the alarm 😉 and twice I just slept through it. I felt horrible the whole day and that was hard but without a taste of failure, how would we know success?

Physically

This month I have improved in a number of ways physically. This is not in the superficial way that one may think but in the health aspect of physical improvement. I have started my workout regiment again based on my new sleep patterns and I have lost nearly 10 pounds already! That is not a huge accomplishment for me in itself. I usually lose weight pretty fast if I just consistently exercise, but that’s the difference this time. I am consistently exercising and sticking to it for more than a few days. The best part is I feel good. I sit at a desk at work 90% of the time and when I come home from work I sit at my kitchen table or on the couch doing homework or writing. After that much sitting, my body just aches. Yea I know, I am in my early 20’s but I have been overweight a long time and it takes a toll after a few years. I am really happy with my physical improvements. I have also decided that I want to spend much more of this next year outdoors. I rarely ever voluntarily spend any time outside and I think it is taking a toll on my body as well as my mind.

Financially

The last thing that has significantly changed for me this month is my financials. I have decreased many of the financial expenditures that I had previously been paying. Here is a basic rundown compared to my initial notebook page about what I was paying monthly.

Cashflow January February
Power 80 60
Cell Phone 90 <20
Whipple 13 0
Gerber 13 12

Everything else in the notebook as far as monthly payments have not changed but some other things that have changed are my debt totals.

Name January APR February APR
Auto Loan 17,240 5% 16,532 5%
Wamu CC 1500 11% 750 11%
Other CC 988 11.5% 950 2.9%

Overall I would say a very different financial month than in my past as I was not keeping track of anything and I was not trying to pay down debt, I was just plugging along and paying what needed to be paid. I was paying more than the minimum on all my debt but I was not paying everything I could have been.

My power bill went down because I have been doing everything I can to conserve energy and my interest rate on one of my credit cards went down because I transferred the balance to a new card with lower rate.

In addition to these changes my wife has taken the initiative and started selling junk that has been accumulating around the house, bringing in $178 in fun money for her to play with. She likes to spend occasionally and the little earnings from this will keep us on track with our goal to decrease debt and it will also keep her from going insane from my spending strike.

One last thing that we have done is created a budget and stuck to it. Our budget is pretty simple and consists of what we will spend on groceries such as food, kitchen supplies and necessities. The main portion of the budget is what we can spend eating out or doing fun activities as a family. We actually were far under both portions of our budget for February! Our grocery budget we only spent half, and the fun activity budget we spend about 70%.

Virtually

Lastly I wanted to give a little bit of information about my traffic so far and a little bit about you, the readers. From day one (Feb 14) till the last day of February I received an average 16 visitors per day with a total of 232 visitors for the month. There were 1409 page views in Feb and 33 feeds were burned. I had two searches direct visitors to my site and most of my traffic came from other blogs I commented on.

The majority of my viewers were running Windows XP and browsing with FireFox 3 although I did have some interesting Operating Systems and browsers join the stats such as Linux, Sun Solaris, Windows NT4, a few Chromes, an Internet Explorer 1, a SeaMonkey and a handful of Iceweasels .

I also discovered that I may have international appeal 😉 as I had a few Russian visitors, someone from Italy and someone from China.

I would say that for a first 14 days of the site, I think we did pretty good. I want to thank everyone that ventured into my domain for coming and invite you back as I continue on my journey to learn and do all I can to save, make and use money wisely.

I have some really exciting things planned for next month and I cant to see how it all unfolds.




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