North Conway, NH

Sunday, January 31, 2016

My boyfriend and I are both strong supporters of 'experiences versus things'.  We decided instead of anniversary and Christmas gifts, we'd just go away for a weekend.  We decided to go to North Conway to get away, but mainly just to relax.  I used to go there often as a kid so it was a little bit of new exploring mixed with some old nostalgia.

Of course the day we were driving up there was a pretty big snow storm.  I still hadn't gotten my much needed new tires and had a rough time getting to Josh's house (but it finally motivated me to just get the damn tires).
We got up to North Conway with just enough time to stop at a Thai restaurant and then head back to our hotel for the Pats/Chiefs game.  We thought about going out for the game, but it was really nice to just be snowed in without having to worry about anything or anyone else.

The next morning we drove over the border into Maine to Fireside Sleigh Rides and went on an adorable sleigh ride through the woods of someone's homestead.  It really made me hope that someday I will be able to take something I love and use my own resources to just run and live off my own business.
We had gotten there a little early so we got to do a few loops with just the owner and his daughter, and then got in a few more when others arrived.  After the sleigh ride we had hot cocoa and apple cider by the fire.  The owner was telling us how he plans to run horseback riding in the warmer months so I will definitely have to plan to go back soon.
After that we drove to downtown North Conway to check out the shops.  I don't think either of us even bought anything, but it was still fun checking out the area staples like Zeb's and the 5&10 Cent store.
That night we walked down the street for dinner at Seadog Brewery and then continued our trend of just relaxing.

The next morning we drove up to the White Mountain Cider Co. for an apple cider donut breakfast and coffee.  After a stop in an antique shop we started the trek back home.  I think it was the perfect balance of doing things (and making Josh stop a thousand times so I can take pictures) but also relaxing.  It is such a beautiful, quaint little area and hopefully we'll be back again soon.

$60,000 in Debt: Month 20

Friday, January 15, 2016

I'm sure I set some money related goals at the start of last year, but  I can't remember them and I'm too lazy to look back and find them.  I am going to make a really strong effort with 2016 money goals though.

The first, which I mentioned last week, was to set up a budget and track my spending.  I started with Mint.com, and I looked a little into YNAB (which many people rave about), but the tool I am most excited for is a spreadsheet.

It was a spreadsheet someone else made, but I've spent most of the last week in dork heaven making it all my own.  Once I have everything working the way I want it to I'll share it (because there must be other people out there as exited by spreadsheets as I am... Bueller?.... Bueller?).

I'll probably continue to use Mint to track my transactions, but this spreadsheet will help me track my income versus actual spending, debt payoff, and savings.

I also opened an online "high interest" saving account with Discover.  Now that I am building some savings it's been driving me crazy watching the money just sit in my credit union account and make a few pennies every month.  I moved everything I consider "house savings" into this other account and it'll be making .95% interest instead of the .15% it was getting in the original account.  It's nothing crazy, but as I put more money into that account it'll only grow larger. 


2016 Goals

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I've never been good a setting New Year's Resolutions but I figured since I have a few things I'm trying to work towards in the upcoming year I might as well write them down.

1. Set up and keep a monthly budget.  I've been tracking my debt payoff for almost two years now, but I want to get more into tracking my spending over all.  I've already set up my budgets in Mint.com and even though we're only a few days into January, it has already turned into a bit of a game for me, seeing how long I can go without filling that little budget bar with color.

2. Complete the final edits of my script and submit it (somewhere).  I "finished" my script in December, but it is far from being complete.  I'm hoping in the next month or two I can get some people to read through it and then do some serious edits.  I'd like to say before May I will try to actually send it out to a few places.

3. Start my research for my book.  I'm not sure if I've written about it here, but my Grandmother lived a fascinating and sometimes tragic life (she grew up in Germany during WWII).  She passed away in 2013, but it scares me to think that her story may someday be forgotten.  There are so many details that have already been lost and I don't want time to eat away at more.  This is going to require a lot of German translations and conversing with her old friends, but I'm excited for this undertaking, as daunting as it feels right now.

4. Continue to simplify my life.  At the end of last year I did a great job of simplifying my digital life (social media, emails, etc.), but I want to really comb through all of my "stuff" and get rid of as much as possible.  I've started this a little, but the majority will be done when I move.

Which brings me to...

5. Move out of my parents basement!  We're really ready to go at any moment once Josh's gets a job, so hopefully this will be happening sooner rather than later... we will see!

Hopefully 2016 will be less of a fail than our attempt to make a "2016"