Here we are on the first day of November. For some, the first day of a month is revitalizing, a chance to shrug off the struggles of the previous month and start anew. For others, it’s a scary new frontier, full of unknown possibilities and a fair dose of fear.
For me, it’s a little of both. On the good side, November is one month closer to paying off my undergrad student loans. This month’s payment will be $9 short of my $1,334 goal, but next month’s (FINAL!!) payment will only be around $900, so it will be easy to make up this month’s shortfall. When I started this process in January, I was sure that I’d have given up by April, especially since my loan balance actually increased in January (the interest was higher than my payment. I was not yet the budget master that I am now.) I figured the pull of the blog would keep me in it for a few months, but eventually I would fade out well before the end of the year.
Now that I’m two months and just $2,205.35 away from my goal, I can assure you that no one is more surprised than me. I’m thinking of turning this past year’s blog into an ebook, if only to have something to remind myself of the fact that I did it. In January 2013, the quest becomes paying off grad student loans, and that will be a multi-year (or multi-decade if we’re being realistic) project.
But good side aside, November is going to be a very busy month for me. While I don’t mind being busy, as it helps me not turn into a ball of anxiety by keeping my OCD-brain occupied, this month’s schedule goes far beyond my usual level of busyness (random observation: busy-ness, busy-busi, busi-ness, business. Word origins. Ok, back to topic.)
Here, let me give you a rundown of the month:
1st: Budget rollover and bills due, plus meeting for secret project (another week or so, and you’ll be hearing all about this, I promise.)
2nd-3rd: Out of town. Not far out of town, but an overnight stay still requires some coordination.
5th-9th: Business trip #1. I leave early Monday morning and return late Friday night.
13th-17th: Business trip #2. I leave even earlier Tuesday morning and get home even later Saturday night.
21st-25th: Black Friday weekend. Since one of my part-time jobs is a retail sales job, it’s pretty clear what I’ll be doing all weekend. Oh, and Thanksgiving is on the 22nd and that means family in town. So there’s that too.
26th-30th: Apartment hunting. Since I’m moving in January, I need to find an apartment this month so I can put a security deposit down in December to hold it. Also included in this activity is taking inventory of all my possessions so I know what I need to get before January (#1: a bed).
Oh, and somewhere in the midst of all this, I need to a) continue to work 40 hours a week, b) plan Christmas lessons for Sunday School, c) write 50,000 words because it’s NaNoWriMo and I need the drive to get back into writing daily, and d) find time to eat, sleep, shower, and do all the other little tasks that keep me presentable to the public.
So yeah, November is going to be a busy month for me. Even with a jam-packed schedule, including back-to-back business trips, there’s a lot of room for anxiety. What if a flight is delayed? Or what if my car breaks down (like last month, when I had to empty out the car maintenance fund and pull from the emergency fund to cover the cost of new brakes)? Or what if I get trampled in the Black Friday hordes (last year, I got elbowed twice. Once in the face. Protip: if you abuse the employee, you don’t leave with a Playstation)?
The good news is that once I hit “publish” on this post and open my budget tracking sheet, I’ll be far too busy for the rest of the month to worry.
While I go stare at my massive budget spreadshee (an example of which can be found here), why don’t you let me know how your November looks? Will you be super busy? Super relaxed? Sick of Christmas music by the end of it? Throw in your two cents (hehe, puns on the blog name) and let me know.
Oh, and a huge WELCOME to all my new readers. Over the two days I was on Freshly Pressed, I ended up with almost a thousand extra hits and 48 new followers. So, welcome, and I’m sorry there were no zombies in today’s post.
Oh wait, there’s one. Spoke too soon.