Goal Settings for 2015

goal setting

Aim. Shoot. Score!

I am usually not a goal setting person, but since January is the month of setting goals/resolutions, then why not set some goals for myself as well.  I almost never set goals because I usually fail at them, but last time I set goals I did pretty well… see Oktoberfest Writing Challenge.

For those of you who don’t remember, in the Oktoberfest Writing Challenge I was challenged to write at least 500 words every day for the month of October.  Even though that challenge was a lot of fun and one that I completed, I will not be doing that challenge every day for 2015.

From everything that I’ve read and heard, I have to set realistic goals, and writing at least 500 words every day for 365 days straight is not realistic.

I do, however, have some pretty realistic goals that I will try to accomplish this year.

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Happy 2015!!!

happy 2015

Happy New Year!!!

It might be a little late to wish everyone a Happy New Year, but I’ve been on a break these last few weeks.  But don’t worry my friends, I’m back and better than ever.

This is just a short “welcome back” post.  I really just want to wrap up what an awesome year 2014 was for me and my close ones.

I mentioned in a previous post that Kate and our friend K-to-the-J-to-the-M got a new job, which is very exciting.  Kate is freaking out a little bit because it is going to be something completely different than what she has been doing since graduating college 8 years ago.

This month she spent a LOT of money on clothing because she didn’t really have anything that was “business casual” – one of the perks of being a chemist and working in the lab is that you can wear whatever you want.  But now she’s out of the lab and has to dress the part and her $10 plaid sneakers from Payless won’t cut it anymore.

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Why You Should Diversify

diversify

Be ready for the next Enron

The other day I was on Netflix scrolling though all the options and trying to figure out what to watch.  I like watching series on Netflix because I know exactly what I’m going to watch and I don’t have to waste time scrolling through the options.  But I had just finished watching the last season of Peaky Blinderswhich is awesome btw – and I like to give movies and/or documentaries a chance before jumping into another series binge.

This quest lead me to a documentary about Enron titled, “Enron: The Smartest Guys in The Room.”  I have to admit that even though I had heard about Enron – I knew it was a large company that went bankrupt in a matter of days because of some type of corruption – I didn’t know what really happened.

I should have known this because it was such a big scandal, but I just wasn’t interested in anything related to finances, money, or investing at that time.  Now I blog about personal finances, money, and investing so I decided to be more informed about these things.

I recommend everybody to watch this documentary or read more about Enron’s collapse because it taught me a few things.

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We Are All Winners!!!

we are all winners

We all like good news!

I must say that it has been a pretty awesome last few weeks for Kate and I as well as our friends.  And I don’t mean it because we got to go on an awesome vacation or because we had two Thanksgiving dinners, but because there has been some pretty exciting news in our lives.

No, we’re not having a baby.  I just want to say that before I start getting hysterical calls from my mom.

Actually, our friends En and Em just had their second daughter, baby A. Good job, Em!!! And congratulations to En as well for his contribution.  She couldn’t have done it without you.

Bringing a new member to the family is by far the most amazing thing that could happen, but there were other things that happened to us that were somewhat cool.

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It’s Official – Bars Are Not My Thing

Beers are overpriced

Beers are overpriced

I remember those college days when going out was a bit of a ritual.  I didn’t even start getting ready until 9-9:30 pm because “nobody goes out before 10 pm.”  I never really tried to look too sharp because that wasn’t really my style, but I always tried to look good thinking that maybe that day was the day when I was going to meet someone… or “hook up” with somebody like the youngsters say.  I got a few numbers but that day was never THE day.

Either way, I always had fun when I went out to bars, but I have come to a point in my life where going out to bars is really not my thing.

Boys Night Out

Because all of us are either married with kids, are engaged or in a committed relationship, finding time where all the guys can get together is sometimes difficult without prior planning.  So about a month ago, we decided to plan a boys night out because he hadn’t hung out together in a while.

We settled on this past Friday, which happened to be the day before my brother’s birthday.  It was a great opportunity to hang out and also celebrate my brother’s birthday by going out to dinner in New York and then having some drinks at a bar in Hoboken, NJ.

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Side Hustle Alert! – UserTesting

usertesting

Make Money Online

I write a lot about ways to save money in order to pay off debt.  But that is only on part of the equation.  You can also look for ways to make more money so you can have more disposable income to either save or pay off debt.

I haven’t written much about making money on the side because I don’t usually try to make money on the side myself.  Side hustles take time and effort that I just don’t have.

But don’t worry my young grasshopper.  I found an excellent side hustle that doesn’t take too much time and it’s so easy that even I can do it. Website usability testing with UserTesting.com.

If you are like me and are trying to make money on the side without too much effort then UserTesting.com is for you.

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Giving Feels Good

giving feels good

Give Yourself

We all love receiving things, be it gifts, money, affection, food – you name it, we like it.  You might not believe it, but you know what else feels good? Giving.

When most people think of giving, they think of giving gifts or giving money in the form of donations, but what if you don’t have money to give?  Well, you can give your time.

You can not only give your time to your friends and family but you can also volunteer somewhere and donate your time to your community.

I try to volunteer at the animal shelter every year, and this year Kate told me about a program at work in which volunteers go to middle schools and high school and teach a class about bullying (middle school) or career exploration (high school).

I decided to do the career exploration class because I felt I knew more about the topic and I could help the kids better.

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Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite Holiday because it is all about giving thanks and spending time with family and loved ones – while eating as much as possible.  There are other good Holidays, but you usually have to buy gifts for people… I’m looking at you Christmas and Hanukkah.

Since Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, I want to take this opportunity and give thanks for a few people.

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Back From Family Vacation

Family Vacation

Family Vacation

I’ve been away so long that I feel the need to say ‘Hello everyone!’  It really hasn’t been that long, only two weeks, but it really feels like a long time.

For those of you who don’t know, I just returned from a family vacation to Italy. This was the first vacation I’ve taken with my entire family in over 15 years and it was pretty awesome.

My brother, my sister, and I – along with our significant others – decided to take my mom to Italy.  My mom has always wanted to go to Europe, but never had the opportunity to go.  So when I saw a Groupon for a trip to Italy, I knew this could be her opportunity.

I mentioned the deal to my brother and sister to see if they wanted to join Kate and I on this trip, and also to see if they wanted to split the cost of our mom’s ticket.  Everybody said that they would go, but my sister said she couldn’t really contribute for my mom’s trip because she’s planning a wedding and she’s already over-budget… Yet another reason why I don’t understand big weddings, but that’s a different discussion.

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How To Improve Your Credit Score

improve your credit score

Improve your credit score

Credit scores measure your credit worthiness, meaning how reliable you are as a borrower.  Credit scores are simply a measure of how good your are at managing debt.

This is an unfortunate system because in essence you have to get into debt to have a good credit score, but this is the reality we live in and we have to deal with the cards that we have been dealt.

Having a good credit score is essential in order to be able to get a home loan or a car loan, and also to be able to get the lowest possible interest rates.

If you have a low credit score, here are some ways you can improve your credit score.

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