A Day In The Life: 2012 Updated Version

Don’t you just love reading about what other people do every day? Or… maybe it’s just me?

Anyway, I recently read a “Day In The Life” post by a fellow blogger, and it struck me that I haven’t written one of these posts in a while. Sure, it’s a little self serving, but I really appreciate the ability to go back and read about the transitions my life has taken in the past year. Here’s a little synopsis of the last two times I wrote a post like this:

I published my first “Day In The Life” post in February 2011. It was a hectic time. I was working full time for the park service, finishing my master’s degree, and the hubs was already in Grenada without me.

I published my second “Day In The Life” post in August 2011. I had just moved to Grenada. I had absolutely no full time job or full time business. In fact, I only had one freelance job.

It’s amazing to me how much has changed in just over a year. I now have a full time job that I love very much. I also juggle a dozen different freelance writing projects at night and on the weekends. I work extremely hard with little down time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think you’ll find that my typical day resembles the days of many working people, even though less than a mile away I can snap a picture like this:

So with that being said, let’s get started:

6:15 – First alarm goes off. I’m absolutely terrible at waking up. It goes on and off for almost an hour. I grumble each time.

7:00 – The hubs finally tells me it’s now or never. Time to start the day. He brings me a cup of tea to help me wake up, which is honestly one the most endearing things he does.

7:20 – I’m dressed and walking our dog, Julep, up the steep hill by our house. We go through the ritual of petting/licking our neighbor’s dogs and telling them good morning. (Just for clarification, I do the petting. My dog does the licking. And we both say good morning. Obviously.)

7:45 – I’m hopping in the car with the hubs, and he drops me off at work before he heads to his first class. His classes are in the morning during this second semester of medical school, and we both like it better that way.

8:00 – 12:00 – I’m working at my desk. I stay pretty focused and try put ear buds in and listen to Pandora while I work.

12:00 – 12:45 – I meet up with the hubs for lunch. This is our main point of connection during the day, and it’s pretty much the only time that we can chat about our day and any other issues/tidbits.

12:45 – 5:15/5:30 – It’s back to work for me. I like to think really far ahead, and my job involves a great deal of planning 2-3 weeks in advance. So, I spend most of each afternoon ensuring I have everything I need and the amazing people I supervise have everything they need for the next few days.

5:30/6:30 – I’m walking down the street from work to hit dance practice, which lasts an hour.

6:45 – 9:00 – I head home, take the dog out, and throw dinner in the oven or crock pot. I tentatively open my e-mail to see the damage. I begin working through the e-mails for my freelance work. I check my calendar and realize I have about 3 articles to write, a few e-mails to send, and phone calls to schedule. My eyes start to glaze over about about an hour in, so I set a timer for 15 minutes, check on the dinner cooking, and do a quick pick up around the house. Just when I’m thinking about sweeping the floor, my timer goes off, and I sit down and go back to work.

9:00 p.m. –  I take a break to go pick up the hubs from school. We chat on the way home, eat a quick dinner, and he helps me clean up.

9:20ish p.m. – The hubs sits down to study at our big desk. I take a shower, get in my pjs, take the dog out one last time, and then sit next to him to finish up some articles while he continues to study and pre-read for the next day of class.

11:15 p.m. – My eyes are glazing over, but I still haven’t swept the floor. I take a quick break from working, sweep the floor, and manage to put a few clothes away so our home doesn’t become even more of a disaster as the week goes on.

11:30 p.m. – I take one last look at my e-mail and social media and try to cut down on the amount of work I’ll have to do the next evening. I get the coffee pot ready for the hubs and set out the cups and teabags for myself.

12:00 a.m. I kiss the the hubs goodnight and crawl into bed. I attempt to read a book for fun, but I can barely keep my eyes open. I’m asleep before I know it.

Like I said, I know that I pack a lot into an average day, but for one of the first times in my life, I’m doing exactly what I want to do when I want to do it. It’s a hectic time with the hubs in medical school anyway, so it’s the perfect opportunity for me to work without feeling guilty about it. What’s your day like? Want to be next to create a “Day In The Life” post? :)

I AM CREDIT CARD DEBT FREE!

It kind of feels like Christmas morning here at the Budget Blonde household, because I just gave myself the best. gift. ever. My credit card debt is gone. My balance is zero. If you couldn’t tell from the italics, I’m beyond thrilled!

Here’s how it went down:

Last month, I wrote a post called “Pay Off Cards Or Save For An Emergency?” where I surveyed all of you and asked which one should go first. You gave me a ton of great advice, and so many felt strongly either way. Well, blog peeps, I am proud to tell you that because of a very intense few months of taking on extra freelance writing projects, I was able to do both!

To remind you, I set a goal for myself to have my credit cards paid off by October 2012, but it’s September and the credit card debt is GONE, baby!

Do you want to know the best part, though? (You know you do.) I’ve actually finished two and a half of my goals for this year, not just one!

  • Pay Off the last credit card by October, 2012 – $2,000.00 DONE!
  • Pay Off Hubby’s Undergraduate Student Loan #1 by October, 2012 – $358.00 DONE!
  • Put $5,000 in Emergency Fund by December, 2012 – HALFWAY THERE! $2,500 STORED AWAY!

So, I’m really excited that not only did I finish my first two goals early, but I’m also on track to finishing the third goal early as well, which means I can then move on to knocking out some more loans and saving up for a vacation, which we’re going to need after all of this medical school madness.

I should mention that I was almost credit card debt free early this summer. However, some medical bills and a budget that I screwed up pushed back those goals a few months. Still, I prevailed, and you can too with a bit of focus and some flexibility, knowing that sometimes plans don’t always work out the way you’d hoped.

All in all, I’ve been intent on paying off these bad boys for 18 months. If you are looking to do the same, I would simply recommend not using them. See how you do. Understand mistakes will happen. Forgive yourself if you find yourself in a situation where you have to use them. Ignore friends who brag about how they’ve never had a credit card. They will not have the credit history you do, which is required for nearly all major life purchases like cars and a home. Above all, just focus on paying them on time. While I’ve carried a balance for 3 years, I’ve never been late on a payment and my credit report reflects that.

If you have any other questions about the process, drop me a line at cat [at] budgetblonde [dot] com. Even better, if you have your own debt payoff story, please share it in the comments below!