November 2013 Recap & December 2013 Goals

It cannot possibly be December. Ah, the new year is just around the corner! Let’s get on with it, shall we?

LIFE

We celebrated our four year anniversary this month with a nice dinner out and a bunch of cheap dates “the weekend” before. Our weekend is Monday and Tuesday, as I coordinate my work with Steve’s schedule so we can spend our free time being awesome together.

swarkles

Steve went out to New York and Vermont at the end of the month to see his brother and I had my first (and ideally only) solo Thanksgiving. I went to Whole Foods to get my traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, copious amounts of mashed potatoes and stuffing, gravy, green beans, and pumpkin pie. And wine, of course. It was delicious!

While we don’t own a couch, we are the proud owners of a new hookah from Jordan! It’s roughly the height of an average four year old and I love it. Steve’s brother also brought us some Holy Land wine and a bunch of gross stuff Steve requested. One of those things appears to be meat in a can, but I’m not asking any questions. As long as I don’t have to eat it!

I booked my plane ticket home for the holidays which is actually going to be in January. Holiday travel is SO expensive! By delaying my trip two weeks, I cut my ticket price by more than half. Boom, frugal!

MONEY

Our Chase card is under $1,000! I’m determined to kill it for good this month. See goals below.

After getting my car towed and flying back unexpectedly for my Grandpa’s funeral, my emergency fund was completely depleted. Seriously, it was sitting at around 100 bucks at the end of October. This month, we replenished it to $1,000. You know, just in case Murphy decides to mess with us.

I made $1,673.03 in freelance income this month and received an Ebates payout of $24.59. We made debt payments of $1,671.03.

25 BEFORE 25

11 completed, 6 in progress, 1 early fail, and 7 not yet started. 6 months to go!

OBSESSIONS

This month I was obsessed with: Drunk by Ed Sheeran, green eyeliner, and smoothies!

PORTLAND

I told you guys that Portland is awesome, but I figured I’d let you know new places we’ve tried in case you ever find yourself over here! This month, we went to the Living Room Theaters, which are only $5 on Mondays and Tuesdays. It’s a movie theater with generally independent movies. Oh yeah, you can order food and alcohol and they’ll bring it to you while you are watching the movie. We saw Don Jon, which was weird but not bad.

Food-wise, we tried The Matador, Laurelhurst Market, Fat City Cafe, and Pok Pok.

The Matador is a dive bar with pretty good Mexican food.

Laurelhurst Market, our anniversary date spot, has AMAZING steak and a cool, casual vibe despite its high prices.

Fat City Cafe is a good breakfast place, but you’ll feel bad about yourself after you leave. Portion control is not a thing there.

Pok Pok will make you cry sweet tears of joy. Go order the spicy fish sauce wings immediately. They sound weird but they are so incredible!

Yes, we do eat out — usually Chipotle once a week and a sit down restaurant once a week. No, we won’t stop eating out because we have debt. More on this later.

WRITING

You can check out this month’s writing in my portfolio.

NOVEMBER GOALS RECAP

Inquire about at least 10 freelancing gigs. PASS! Easy peasy.

Create a schedule. Eh, PASS…ish? So I cannot stick to a rigid schedule, but I’ve managed to get everything done while Steve’s at work. That counts, I think. And I can officially fit in cleaning, cooking, etc. at the same time. We’re gonna call it a win.

Attempt 3 recipes from Pinterest. PASS! I made three new things this month, all from The Picky Eater. I found out about the site from my boy, Johnny Moneyseed, in his article 17 Things That Will Push You From Middle Class to First Class. Go read it.

Anyways, I made Twice Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheese, Vegetarian Chili, and Homemade Whole Wheat Pita Pizzas. All of these were great, but you seriously can’t beat the chili! I made it twice and Steve and I are loving it so much. I even considered chili a mastered recipe on my 25 before 25 list. It’s super easy and really freaking delicious.

DECEMBER GOALS

Kick Chase to the curb! I don’t want to look at this stupid debt anymore! December is the month that it will go away forever. I hope.

Finish 2 books. I’m currently reading Oryx and Crake and Lemonade Stand Economics is on deck!

That’s all, happy Monday!

How was your November? Do you have any goals for the rest of the year?

[Image from BuzzFeed]

Comments

  1. Getting rid of that credit card balance will be an awesome Christmas present for yourself! Worthy of another Barney and Robin high-five!

  2. My wife worked a dig in Jordan and brought back a hookah from there as well. It’s rad and the coolest thing in our living room, by far.

    We missed out on traditional Thanksgiving this year, but maybe I can head to Whole Foods and pick up some goodies. I wonder if they’re still serving that sort of food?

  3. Weekends on Monday and Tuesday aren’t so bad. You can do exciting things like go to the License branch and get a new driver’s license without having to miss work or heck any other government office for that matter! OR! You could go do normal weekend stuff and it will be less busy and that seems like a win to me.

    We just finished the weirdest Thanksgiving ever. We went to Vegas to see my in-laws (they just moved there just my father in law got a sweet job with MGM properties as an architect). Seeing family was nice, but, in true Vegas style we had a buffet for dinner since my mother in law didn’t want to miss what little time she was going to have with her grandkids cooking all day. It was a good time, just a little weird since it wasn’t very traditional.

    • Yeah, we just treat them like regular weekends but everything is less busy. I love our makeshift weekends 🙂

      Hmm, that is odd! I don’t blame your MIL though, I would definitely rather spend quality time than cook.

  4. Congrats on the 4 years! This might sound silly, but Bed Bath and Beyond sells bean bag couches… cheaper than a real couch but big enough for two people. It’s a suggestion if you ever get the urge.

  5. Sounds like a good November! Good job with the freelance income! 🙂

  6. I also hope this was the only solo Thanksgiving you have to experience, but glad to hear it was still tasty! That twice baked potato recipe looks like something I will have to try. I’m sure you’ll be able to get that Chase card paid off this month, which will be a great start to the new year. It’s smart to travel after the holidays. If I had the vacation time, I would do the same. It’s not worth it to pay so much on a plane ticket when you can just delay the celebrations and still have fun with family.

  7. I will probably get that same whole foods meal for Christmas for myself unless something awesome comes up instead! Nice job on the freelance income! I thought Don Jon was really cute too! We saw it at the theater and after JGL came out for a Q&A. He’s so cute!

  8. Get ‘er done girl! Kill that debt. I want to go back to Luc Lac and try so many things. Glad you had a nice time for Thanksgiving and will go home to see your family.

    • This is why I should never write posts before the month ends, I totally forgot to edit for Luc Lac! Definitely want to try more stuff 🙂

  9. Sounds like you had a great November! Nice job on your goals (even if you did pass-ish on the schedule), and way to kick down that debt! Oh, and happy anniversary to your and your husband 🙂

  10. I have been in Portland for a while but I haven’t actually made it to the Living Room Theaters yet. There are plenty of other historic theaters in town with good prices, too – the Laurelhurst comes to mind, and the Hollywood has inexpensive matinees.

    Congrats on getting the Chase card under $1k!

  11. I’ll be flying home for “the holidays” in January too, saves a lot of money.

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