January Goals and February Goals

I am proud to announce that I reached all four of my monthly goals for January.  I saved $100, paid off an extra $100 of credit card debt, joined a group (dart league), and most importantly landed my first paying client!  Barely made it on the first two.  After 1st of the month bills I’ll have less than $50 to my name (sheesh).  And my paying client hasn’t paid me anything yet but he will although it’s less than $20 since we haven’t sold very many books yet.  But hey who’s counting…

My girlfriend challenged me to increase my goals for February.  I just love her tenacity!  Looking ahead through February I fear that it will be harder financially than January.  I suspect my truck needs brakes since they squeak and I can feel a coarse grind reverberate through the brake pedal that’s like a blade on a wet stone.  Can’t forget Valentine’s Day either.  I want to buy her roses to show her how much I appreciate her and I want to buy her something nice since we didn’t give gifts for Christmas.  A couple of clients would off-set those expenses.

Despite fear of failure I decided to ramp it up for February and really go for it.  This month I am going to:

  1.   Save $120
  2.   Pay down an extra $120 of debt
  3.   Land 2 paying clients
  4.   Attend a meeting for a new group
  5.   Pay off my brakes by the end of the month

Number 4 will require me to take a night off from work since most of the groups I’ve found meet at night and I have to succeed at Number 3 to make Number 5 happen.

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Blind-Sided

My landlord came to me and said he and his wife want to move in and he wants my girlfriend and I to move out.  He proposed that we move back into the main house.  We just moved out of it in November and it costs twice as much!  Currently our rent is $600/month including utilities and as you know if you have read some of my earlier posts, even that has been hard to pay sometimes.  This month was on track to be the first month that I could pay all my bills, inject a little capital (maybe $100) into my business to at least print business cards and put gas in the tank to drive around town hunting for my first client.  It was also looking like I would be able to put $100 in savings in case we hit a bump in the road and $100 towards debt to finally begin to dig out of this hole.  Now it’s looking like it will all have to go towards two non-refundable pet deposits, moving costs, deposits on utilities, and higher rent.  Not even close to enough to cover it.

We are basically renting month-to-month and don’t have a lease which was to our advantage back in November since we were considering moving to another city.  Now the only recourse we may have is some sort of squatters’ rights claim which I am seriously considering depending on whether or not we can save enough money and find a cheap enough place.

I was so optimistic that we had turned the corner and this month/year would be the start of better days but now everything is in jeopardy again.  If our monthly bills end up being too much higher I will be forced to get a second job and Digital Whale will go to the back burner along with the rest of my dreams.  OR….I could land two clients this month and make it all happen.  Do or die.  Less than 3 weeks.  Tomorrow I go selling.

My New Years Resolution(s)

I’m generally not big on New Years resolutions because I tend to set goals for myself throughout the year, both short-term goals and long-term goals.  I reflect on my goals often and they evolve as things change.  None of my goals ever align with the one year time frame a resolution is supposed to be.

However, this year is a bit different since the start of my social media marketing business, my drastically altered lifestyle, and finally getting caught up on bills are all coming together right now.  Moreover, 2011 really sucked for me and I am not going to hope for a better year in 2012.  I’m going to make it a better year!  With that in mind, here are my resolutions.

1)  Have 10 paying clients by 2013.

2)  Pay down my debts.

3)  Start saving for an engagement ring this year; at least $25/month.

4)  Get social again.  Network to meet new people and reconnect with friends I’ve abandoned the few months.

These were already goals of mine to begin with but I’m going to approach them differently.  The first goal needed a number.  I think ten is a good one.  It’s attainable and if reached will really help me with goals 2, 3 and 4.

Goal 3 needed a deadline.  I keep putting it off.  This year I will start saving.  I would like to put a higher dollar amount to it but at this point $25/month will be a start.

Admittedly, goals 2 and 4 are weak but I don’t want to set some grand target and get discouraged by slow progress in the first few months because I’m still broke.  Also, I don’t want to set the bar too low because as my financial situation improves I will be able pay off more debt and attend more get togethers.  So I started a list of monthly goals and put it on the fridge to keep me focused and accountable and to allow for adjustments as I go.  My goals for January are to pay down $100 of credit card debt, join a new group, land my first paying client, and put $100 into savings.  That will be a modest but good start.

Some of my old friends called yesterday needing a sixth man on their dart team so I joined.

Join a New Group:  CHECK

Christmas and Crawling Out of My Financial Hole

With the holidays behind and all bills caught up I am finally able to pay down some debt and put a little in savings just in case oh shit happens.  Forgot to share that my girlfriend and I did make it to both our family Christmases….albeit by the skin of our teeth and thanks to a good week of tips right before we left.  We managed to keep our expenses limited to gas and $50 in groceries that included ingredients for bruschetta and a bottle of wine.  We didn’t buy presents for anyone which really sucked because giving gifts is my favorite part of Christmas.  I felt a little guilty receiving the few gifts that I got but everyone understood.  Ironically, we both ended up getting cash from my dad and she got even more cash from her family members.  So I ended up returning home with only slightly less money than I set out with and she was in the black on the whole trip.  Most importantly it was the most fun we’d had in months, a nice break from troubles, and it was great to see our families.

I hit the ground running, working every night since I’ve been back, and I seem to be averaging about 25% more take-home per shift.  The rent is paid (I was actually able to pay my half this time!), along with the car payment, and other first of the month bills.  Whereas last month I was running a week or two behind.  Now I can finally get ahead a bit.