Oh man. This year has been kicking my butt. In addition to working full-time, I’m taking four graduate classes, freelancing, planning our wedding, volunteering and also passed two major tests that are a requirement for my graduate program (woohoo! Cause seriously, I was worried I wouldn’t pass them…)
It’s been a crazy two months and I think that the older I get, the more I’m learning that the craziness is the norm and not the exception.
But even beyond that, I’m learning that I like it like this. Working hard makes me feel invigorated and happy. My mom loves to remind me that I was walking at 8 months old and I think it’s safe to say that that dedicated and rambunctious 8-month old is still very much present today.
Because so much has been happening, I wanted to do a quick check-in about what I’ve been doing, reading and spending. (And hopefully you’ll fill me in about your own happenings in the comments?!)
We have officially set the date! The venue is booked, the dress is bought and all vendors (minus the cake) have been secured. It has been SO MUCH fun to plan this wedding with Alex. I love making decisions as a team and working together to throw a party for all our closest friends and family. We are lucky enough to be getting financial help for the wedding and feel so grateful that we get the opportunity to plan our dream celebration, especially as a same-sex couple.
When I first started dating Alex, I didn’t exactly know what being in a same-sex relationship meant for my future—Would we be able to have kids? What about getting married? Celebrating our love by legally committing to each other means everything to me. Two years ago, this wouldn’t have been possible. And sadly, it might be impossible once again in another two years. No one knows what the future holds, but I know that the nearly five years I’ve spent with my other half, are the best I’ve ever had and I can’t wait for 500 more.
But because we’re getting help for the wedding, the numbers are not my story to tell.
BUT there is one thing that I’m happy to report. My GORGEOUS engagement ring was a cool $600 and boasts real diamonds and white gold.
We went to SO MANY different stores when we were looking because I flat out refused to spend over $1,000 on a ring but I also wanted it to be super sparkly (lol). So if you ever need tips on how to find a cheap-yet-expensive-looking engagement ring, I’m your girl. (Hint: do not shop in the “engagement” section)
I have a super aggressive goal to save $20,000 by August and I’m happy to report that I’m 37% of the way there. Woohoo! In order to meet my goal, I’ve been picking up more freelance work on the side and it’s been awesome. I love writing and managing social media, so half the time, it doesn’t even feel like work. Plus, I primarily work with people and brands in the personal finance space, so becoming even more connected with the community has been an added bonus. I’m looking to pick up a bit more work in the coming months, but overall, I’m happy with where I am.
After reading a pathetically low number of books last year, I made a commitment to really up my game in 2017. In addition to reading a lot more fiction ~just for fun~ I’ve also been grabbing books from Paulette Perhach’s financial education reading list. So far I’ve read Brandwashed by Martin Lindstrom which was so-so but I’m currently reading Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich and it is SO good. It’s a deep-dive into what it’s like to live and work in minimum wage jobs. But even beyond that, it highlights the assumptions and conclusions that middle class people make about those who are living in poverty. The book highlights the ways in which “traditional” personal finance advice—Buy in bulk! Meal prep! Budget better!—is literally impossible for low-wage workers to implement. It was written in 1999, but the story is (unfortunately) just as relevant as ever.
That’s pretty much it for me! Happy almost-March, friends.
I would love to hear what you’ve been up to. Any interesting projects or good books?