Category Archives: Better Man in 30 Days!

Day 25: Start a debt reduction plan.

Does this include student loans if I haven’t graduated? I won’t include them yet because I am not being charged anything currently and I do not really know what I’ll be doing next year to pay them off. I only have a small amount of personal debt that I need to take care of, from a credit card I took out last year to help meet summer expenses, ironically when I had many more work hours than I do now. I shouldn’t have gotten a credit card in the first place, I’ve certainly used it when not absolutely necessary (like yesterday when it was the only card I brought to the grocery store), but it’s helped me out when cash flow is weird.

My plan is to pay it back completely by December 31st of 2012. I wanted to be done a year from now, but I am anticipating a few significant expenses in the months preceding that so I will need to budget accordingly. I already have a monthly mandatory payment, and I’ve been good at keeping up with that, but paying everything by that deadline will require some serious effort and planning. I think I will apply the following policies to help speed up the process:

1. Use all windfall income to reduce my debt (aka tax returns, deposit returns, and maybe I’ll consider that last paycheck that never arrived from my internship windfall too, depending on how I am doing).
2. I wish I knew how to establish separate “folders” within an account with Citibank, so that I could set aside a certain amount that _must_ be used to repay debt. In the absence of that, I might just deposit a fraction of every paycheck immediately towards the credit card.

The lesson is: Don’t get a credit card, and if you do need it for a certain period of time, pay it off once that time is over and then cut it up!

Days 20-24: Lame attempts to catch up.

This basically sums me up lately. Between working, trying to figure out how the hell I am going to stay on this raw vegan kick, and figuring out what I will do for gainful employment next year, I have neglected this voluntary 30-day process. Gahhh, I can’t wait for Day 31 when this is all over and I can just blog about normal things, but I’m going to stick with this.

Emmy tries to catch up with a growing list of demands, after the jump

Days 16-17: I’m actually ahead at this point!

I just got back from spending the first half of this wonderful three-day weekend up North (north of where is up to you to know!). I figured I’d get ahead on the routine and give myself a break from blogging tomorrow.

Day 16: Create a Budget: I signed up for one of those websites. Hah, ironically when my bank account does not look so good. It will look much better by this Friday (pay day!).Hopefully this is a step on a good path to better and wiser financial planning. I’ve always been good and careful with budgets, but now that I’m paying for a lot more out of my own bank account now that I’m not on a meal plan and have to pay rent, I need all of the organization help I can get.

Day 17: Talk to 3 strangers: Hah, when I read this one on the first day I was excited to do the Fight Club version: get into a fight with three strangers, but it turns out talking to three strangers is pretty cool. This weekend I spent Shabbat about an hour and a half’s subway/bus trip away, and talked to not three, but around 10 new strangers. With the three year old, I talked about how knee pads are good for bike safety and how I live in a neighborhood that is very far south. With the five year old, I complemented her shoes and she complemented my skirt, and I also told her about how I live in a neighborhood that is very far south. With the seven year old, I had to explain why I lived outside of my parents’ house even though I wasn’t married, why I went to college away from my parents, why I wasn’t married yet, why I didn’t have children, and the details of the weekly Torah portion. I had a wonderful dinner with the Rabbi and Rabbanit of the congregation, in which we discussed Jewish philosophy. The next day I got to meet someone with whom I discussed cleaning out bookshelfs and old books we liked while growing up (Ramona Quimby is a hit! I stayed quiet about my love of Phillip Pullman books as it received a verbal lashing). This weekend I really went out of my comfort zone, maybe more than I would have by just striking up conversations (I did this Thursday night as I took the subway home from a bar with some law students, but we had been introduced by a mutual acquaintance beforehand). This time I went to a community completely different from mine, slept and ate at a home that isn’t my own, and had to commit to being there 25+ hours in advance. I’ve done this a few times in the past few years in various parts of the world (well, okay, three), and it has been great to see other communities for the most part – the only completely nightmarish Shabbat was when I decided to spend Shabbat in Tzfat when I studied abroad in Israel last year. After the really cool first few hours in which I got to take a tour of the beautiful city and got to hear a really great, non-crazy lecture on Kabbalah, I had an awkward wardrobe malfunction, got followed around town by a sketchy man offering to host me for “drinks,” got followed around by another couple related to said wardrobe malfunction (more of a “shame on you” following-around than a “hey baby let’s get drinks” following-around), had dinner with a family that objected to “Arab-Lovers,” felt lovesick/homesick, et cetera et cetera et cetera, so that memory generally makes me think twice now about accepting or pursuing invitations to spend Shabbat anywhere not within walking distance of my apartment since once you’re there you’re there, but this time it was wonderful and I am really glad and thankful that I had this opportunity.

Days 3-7: In which Emmy stops being a loser and catches up on the list.

It’s been a chaotic week, moving into my apartment, buying stuff for the kitchen, getting back to work, catching up on emails and what not. Sorry I haven’t been keeping up. Today I will try to do as many items on the list, and I’ll try to be caught up by them tomorrow.

Days 3-7