As I write this post it is snowing again up in the Northeast. I admit I have snow fatigue and want to go somewhere warm. However, that will have to wait for another time because I will be shoveling in the morning. This winter has been a record setter for much of New England, including February. I am originally from the great state of Minnesota, but have never seen snow like this before. It almost makes me want to move back into the creature comforts of renting an apartment.
February Got Better
So the month of February wasn’t a total loss for the Reaching Our Balance household. As the month went along, Mrs. ROB got better at moving around on her knee scooter that we affectionately call Todd. She even went back to work and picked up another course to teach. Just this past week she had a visit with her doctor and it seems all is going well with the healing process. With any luck she will be able to put some weight on her ankle by the end of March/Early April. We actually were able to go out for the first time in a month and I know she enjoyed getting out of the house. All of the snow days forced a number of cancellations, forcing me to adjust my course schedule, but I am just trying to roll with it. If we get to some of the material we get to it. If not no big deal.
Unfortunately, this was the month when a number of tax bills came due. I had to pay for car excise taxes, car insurance, and I did pay that bill toward our former landlord. All told that consumed almost $2000 of our hard earned money, which could’ve been used to help shore up funds for our looming income tax bill. However, Mrs. ROB is better and that is all that counts. So that fact alone made the latter half of this month a good one.
February Challenges–Poor Results
So I had six different challenges for this month and let’s see how I did.
1) Make sure Mrs. ROB continues to get healthier and stronger–SUCCESS! Although I can’t take the credit for that. That is all her doing. She is doing great and it was primarily because of her. I hope I helped a little.
2) Lose Three Pounds–EPIC FAIL! I think I actually gained a pound so no luck there. I think part of it is because I started to eat Mrs. ROB’s cooking again, which is stupendous (well she is stupendous).
3) Set aside $1000 for anticipated expenses–EPIC FAIL. Part of that failure was because I didn’t anticipate the excise taxes for cars coming in or paying that bill. That accounted for almost $1400. Plus, the car insurance (I pay it all off at once to get the discount) led me to not save the money.
4) Try to begin a new research project or find something to replace it–EPIC FAIL! While I have thought about writing, the snow days, taking care of Mrs. ROB and teaching have taken all of my time. I do have an idea for a project, but I will talk about hat in my monthly goals.
5) Begin reviewing chapters for an edited book–Sort of Success. I have printed off the chapters and looked at them a bit, but haven’t dived into them fully. Although I am in the middle of reading one right now.
6) Begin to Get Back to Normalcy/Routine–Success. As the month has gone along I have gotten into a rhythm and I seem to be getting back to some normalcy. But I have over committed myself again so a lot of small things are keeping me away from larger projects.
I am going to try for some more modest goals this month. These are things I have to do anyway, but I could put off:
1) Lose three pounds–I really need to dedicate more time to my health and working out (I have only been going three times a week).
2) Write a small grant and finish revising a student’s research project–these two things go hand in hand because they are related to each other. I have a very smart student who is finishing his part in a research project we are doing together. Now it is my turn to pony up and begin my part.
3) Change my license plates/tabs. I know I should’ve done this earlier this month, but the snow days have basically blocked one of our cars in our driveway. It should be warming up so I can actually do this in a bout a week or so.
4) Save an extra $500 to go toward the tax fund--I technically have the money in our emergency fund to deal with our tax bill, but I want to try to use as much extra money from side gigs and reduce our expenses so I don’t have to burn through most of it.
5) Do our taxes and not have a meltdown. Last year we owed the IRS over $3000. This year looks to be even worse. I will explain why in another post, but we are probably looking at double last year’s tally. And yes I have finally taken some action to make sure future tax bills will be much less.
If I can somehow accomplish the last task it will be a successful month.