I’ll make this short since it’s a gloomy Sunday morning and I’m cranky!

  • The Yakezie Personal Finance Bloggers group is hosting its second Yakezie Scholarship. The first one was an enormous success and we’re predicting this one will be as well. Applicants can be college students or high school students.
  • The Saved Quarter launched  her Saved Quarter Challenge this week.
  • Two new personal finance carnivals were launched: Crystal with Budgeting in the Fun Stuff launched the Total Money Blog Carnival and Suba with Wealthinformatics launched Seasonal Finance.

Progress on my New Year’s goals so far – just because I’ve made some progress!:

  • Starbucks finite amount – I’m doing great with this. I’ve loaded my Starbucks card, but cut back on my visits more than I had planned. I’m guessing that I’ll have some money left over next month when I fill the card again. 🙂
  • Cash envelope system – This is so not working for me. I’m having trouble keeping track of the 3 envelopes I started, I forget to take the cash with me, or I’m moving the cash around the envelopes and therefore can’t keep track of exactly where I spent it. I think I’m going to try one cash envelope for now, but I really am not good with cash.
  • Savings goal – I’m doing great with this one; already put aside a nice little sum. However, the holidays helped with this goal since I did receive cash gifts. I can count that, right? I also created a spread sheet in excel to help me track my savings throughout my 3 savings accounts so I don’t get confused. It’s a great little worksheet that’s easy to manipulate.
  • Biking goal – I really didn’t discuss this in any of my New Year goals posts, but I did stick a widget on the side bar to track my riding. I’m doing okay with this one, already rode 15 miles this past week. I need to crank it up a bit, but that will most likely happen towards the end of February when it begins to warm up.

That’s it for now. I’ll be posting more follow ups on my goals shortly!


  1. Financial Samurai Reply

    What about NEVER going to Starbucks again?

    I can’t believe people are willing to stand in 10 person lines for coffee. What about just drinking free tea or water in the pantry?
    .-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..A Weight Loss Tip To Die For =-.

    • @Financial Samurai – What? Never go to Starbucks again? NO! I know it seems silly, especially for non-coffee drinkers, but it is more of a ritual than anything else. So limiting my Starbucks to 4 or 5 days a week is a real improvement over every day, I swear. 😉

  2. @TwentySomethingMoney – I lean towards the Starbucks Gold card – I get a free drink every 15 drinks, a free one on my b’day, and I don’t pay for additions like syrup or soy milk. I think there are similar benefits on gift cards as long as you register them!

  3. @Young and Thrifty – Thanks for the kudos on the biking. I don’t have much “bad weather” excuses very often, so I have no reason not to ride! I also think I’m going to have to ditch most of my cash envelopes except for one. Too complicated!

  4. Ronald R. Dodge, Jr. Reply

    Little House, I’m with you about the envelope system. I knew right from the start I wouldn’t be able to handle having the money all divied up as Dave Ramsey put it. I will do that on paper, not not in physical form.

    As for saving goal, that’s something I can’t really say too much given we are only about 2 weeks into the year and it’s too early to do all that much saving. However, I have put in a request to sell back 40 hours of vacation time that will go directly to savings. This year though, I will have to see about upping my minimal 25% of actual gross income to 27% in regards to the FICA tax holiday that is strictly for this year.

    As for biking, I also am not biking on account of the poor weather conditions out there right now. However, I have been doing some running (about 2 or 3 miles a day currently, which was more like about 4 miles a day earlier in the year) as a substitute to the biking.

    Side note about the cardiovascular work outs, according to the so called health profession, the good cholesterol count, it suppose to be greater than 40 for men, which in August, I was told mine was only at 28. I asked the person if diet had any impact on it, but she said no. I highly doubt it’s strictly from cardiovascular work outs given the fact I do watch my saturated fat intake year round, which those other fats also came in pretty low for me. I basically said, I been doing more cardiovascular work outs than most people would do including the biking (Each week would have about 150 miles in during the warmer part of the year in addition to my 20 miles or so per week of running). She had nothing to say about that.

    If they say the measure is strictly from cardiovascular work outs, then I reject that good cholesterol count bit just like I reject the BMI (Body Mass Index) cause even when I was in top notch shape with regards to cycling and cross country running, my weight was too high according to the BMI even though I had a body fat percentage range between 2% and 4.5% based on 3 different ways of being measured for body fat percentage. One was done in class, one was done via the team and one was done on the wellness day at the campus. All 3 of them came with similar results as they all give 2% point range. One of the 3 said between 2% and 4% while the other 2 tests said between 2.5% and 4.5% body fat percentage. This is one of the reasons why I will go by body fat percentage over the other 2 numbers any day.

    It’s just like my youngest. When she was 5 months old, and I kid you not, I was laying down on my back on the couch with her on my chest. She got her legs under herself and other than for my hands being there to keep her from falling as she didn’t have her balance at that point of time, she still lifted her own self self up. She went in for a check up with the welfare system (Yes, we were getting some help financially at that point of time, though not much), they claimed she was overweight based on her BMI measurement. My wife told me, and my reply right back, I want to know what her body fat percentage is, not this garbage BMI number that doesn’t take muscle mass into account. Yeah, even for my height, I’m suppose to be at a weight of 131lbs or below. Fat chance of that happening as my average weight when I was in really good physical shape was 143lbs. Even then, I was known as a bean pole. The only thing that was big on me were my leg muscles as when I would get onto the bike and then start to cycle in those winter months, it would feel like my leg muscles were attempting to bust the seams of my 31″ Waist 29″ Inseam pants like nothing all cause the pant legs weren’t wide enough for my legs when flexed. But then they don’t make small waist line pants with wide leg space of pants for people such as myself back then. Of course, I was also told by my own classmates, I had weird knees cause the bottom part of my quad muscle that went over the knee actually looked like the knee cap itself given how large and developed that muscle on both legs were. But then for not even working out in the work room regularly like 4 of my teammates, the one day I did agree to go into the work room with them, even though I did poorly with the bench press doing only 85 pounds, when it came to the leg press, I lifted 900 pounds in repetition while my teammates only did 500 pounds in repetition. The difference being I did both the running and biking and in many cases constantly pushing myself up and down those hills like it’s nothing while they had only the running, not the biking. As for my biking, that was strictly on a mountain bike as that was the only type of bike I could afford back then.

    Even to this day, so many people in the area use 2 basic excuses for not biking:

    Not bike friendly on the roads (I have to agree with them this area is not bike friendly at all given how rude various drivers are to cyclists and the roadways aren’t designed properly to be able to handle cyclists)

    Area is way too hilly (I could care less about this factor. I will bike in what ever the terrain is. After all, unlike most people, I was forced to start from the bottom and work my way up and I don’t mean that just with employment, but I had 3 life strikes as a child and as a child, I had to not only deal with those 3 life strikes, but I had to work against the system people put me into staying within their rules strategizing and beat them at their own game after having been physically beaten down so many times over the so many years as a child, which eventually I did beat them at their own game. As such, the hills in this area is no different except other than for the fact, the hills don’t beat one down like people to do each other).

    • @Ronald – Yes, the envelope system just isn’t working too well for me. It’s great that your running in lieu of biking. I’ll occasionally substitute a walk in for a bike ride, but the weather here is much more temperate most of the year so biking is my first choice. As for the whole cholesterol thing, I haven’t had mine checking in years. Last checked my triglycerides were high. I really need to go get that checked again.

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