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Here is my Month in Review: July 2016

Frugal Successes

-I paid off my first “big” ($6,000+) student loan!  Now that I only have large loans left, the progress feels slow.  This can get a bit demotivating, so I’m excited that I finally paid off a big one – I know now that I can do it!  I had $418.62 left on the loan I paid off, and I also put $500 toward the next loan I’ll knock out – the current balance on that one is $7,232.

-This has been the summer of unexpected, unusual expenses. We had to dip into our emergency fund a couple times this month, which is never fun, but that’s why we have it!  Without it, we would end up relying on credit cards and digging ourselves further into debt.

Frugal Failures

-I accidentally left our freezer door slightly open and didn’t realize it for a couple days.  Everything in the freezer went bad.  Lesson learned!  I will definitely be extremely careful about this from now on.

-I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve been having a lot of pain in my neck lately, and I went to the chiropractor to find out what’s going on.  Thanks to years of bad habits (like spending too much time on my smartphone and laptop), my spine is curved forward in the neck area, which is called forward head posture (aka “text neck”).

Treating this issue is not going to be cheap.  If you’re constantly bent over your smartphone, please please please start spending less time on your phone.  “Text neck” is becoming increasingly common and it’s not fun – it’s incredibly painful, and it can lead to serious health problems if it’s left untreated.  Here are some ways to prevent or correct forward head posture.

Highlights of the Month

-I played giant outdoor Jenga for the first time at my nephew’s grad party.  My nephew just finished high school – it’s hard to believe that I have a nephew who is that old!  We look like we’re the same age. (My brothers are quite a bit older than I am).  This was the first time that all of the nieces and nephews met Herbie (our new puppy) and it was so much fun!

-I had a puppy play date with a few of my girlfriends, and Herbie met Max, Hank, and Luna (and some other dogs) at the dog park!

-I bought Financial Peace University for the hubby and myself.  We’ll be starting it in September and I’m so excited!

What I Read

I borrowed Smart Women Finish Rich from a friend, and it’s great so far!  Financial advisor David Bach (author of The Automatic Millionaire) walks readers through a nine-step program for spending wisely, establishing security, and aligning money with one’s values.  What I love most about this book is that it provides specific advice and actionable tips.

Bach mentions that we should never put all of our eggs in one basket and instead recommends that we put our “eggs” in three separate baskets: the security basket, the retirement basket, and the dream basket.

The book includes detailed information about how to choose between different retirement options and life insurance plans.  This info is particularly useful for millennials who may not have started investing yet and might not be familiar with life insurance options.

What I Watched

I watched Limitless and finished the last season of Scandal.  Limitless was okay but it wasn’t my favorite, and Scandal is as excellent as always.  The plot is a bit ridiculous, but it’s fun and addicting.

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