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How’s the New Job Going?

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I’ve now been at my new job an entire month. And as I mentioned previously, the transition back into corporate life has been a bit rough. But 4 weeks in and I am genuinely loving the work I get to do and the team I work with, like truly loving. I wake up in the mornings excited to tackle the challenges of the day.

The work is varied, it’s challenging and I feel a bit more in control than I did when I first started…a bit. Still have a ways to go in that regard. But I feel truly blessed to get to make good money doing something that I truly enjoy doing. I know that’s not the case for everyone.

The Importance of Boundaries and Scheduling

I have come to appreciate the power of boundaries and scheduling. And I also recognize how hard it is to set those up. But I KNOW how crucial they are to my success and more importantly my mental health.

I’ve begun blocking time for specific projects. I’m learning to say “No” and more importantly, “Yes, but not now”. The juggling has taken a toll – family time, personal time (yeah, I don’t really have that right now,) personal business time and work time. It’s not only affecting me, but also the kids.

Now I’m blocking a couple of hours during the day so that I can just spend time with the kids when they get home from school. After hearing “when are you going to be done with work?” a couple dozen times, I finally realized that I needed to make some fact time with them a priority.

I am protecting my morning hours. My most productive hours are the time between going to the gym (before the sun gets up) and 10am. I am no longer letting myself get pulled into frantic phone calls and meetings. If I don’t get things done then, it messes up my whole day.

And I am now also blocking time for my personal work. Granted, that is typically on the weekends. But if I sit down and focus and get it done during the time allotted, it gives me a sense of freedom and time to breathe before I hit the ground running on Monday morning again. And gives the kids an idea on when I’ll be available.

This transition is still a work in progress. But I am focusing on balancing the needs of my new job, my personal needs and the needs of my family. Yes, I feel like a professional juggler some days. But overall, I am enjoying life more than I have in a long, long time. And the financial peace I get from steady income and a solid savings account is a big part of that.

Budget & Tracking in 2021

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For the first time in a long time, I have combined my budget and my tracking into one spreadsheet. At the end of every week, I am notating all the money spent and received. While I have tracked my expenses pretty diligently for the last couple of years, I haven’t combined it with my income.

Here’s my end of January report for personal spending.

Each line has the annual budgeted amount, that amount divided by the applicable months (most are 12 month but there are a few that are more compact.) The following month subtracts the amount spent to date and then adjusts the YTD need and monthly goal accordingly.

I quickly realized there expenses I hadn’t budgeted for but that I want to track. So you will see the new line item Kid Expenses. I am not ready to add that as an ongoing budgeted amount, but I do want to track these specific expenses. It may need to be a line item in the future.

Notes on my January Spending

This month’s unexpected expense was an online driving class needed for Gymnast to get his driver’s license this summer.

You’ll also note that I did blow my whole modified no spend January so we can go skiing plan out of the water. I did end up buying groceries a couple of times and while most of the Personal Spending budget went to skiing I did dip into February’s money this last week of January. But overall, I’m pretty proud of staying on track.

I did finally break down and buy myself a few new clothing items…2 pairs of leggings, 3 work appropriate tops for $86. This was prompted by two things – I’ve been wearing the same leggings for YEARS, I’d guess most of them are 5+ years old and my favorite two pairs have holes in them. Typically, I would just keep wearing them, but now they are past the point of being appropriate if you know what I mean. And two, I am on video calls for hours every day with my new job, many times for Partners and C Level Executives, I needed to up my game as far as video call appropriate work shirts. While they haven’t said anything to me, I’m sure my staple of t-shirt and sweatshirt would at some point be an issue. Now I’ve got a work appropriate top for each day of the week.

I’ll post my full budget later this month, but thought this was a good time to show how January’s money was spent.

Meanwhile,  here are budgeting apps you can use.

PlatformsFees and MinimumBest for
Personal CapitalFreeMonitoring wealth and spending
SimplifiFreeManage money everywhere
YNAB$84 a year or $11.99 a month (after a 34-day free trial), free for students for 12 months.Personal budget tracking
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