Month in Review: May 2016 All Posts / Life / More

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Overall, May was a much better month than April.  I made more progress on my financial goals and just generally felt better physically and mentally.  It’s been a great month, and I’m looking forward to what June will bring! Here is my month in review: May 2016.

Frugal Successes

-I put an extra $1,000 toward my student loans!  Our progress toward paying off $117,000 of student loans feels slow, but we’re getting there, little by little.

-I got a free oil change with an old coupon I had (of course, the shop charged us $2.80 for an “extra” quart of oil, so it wasn’t actually free).  They also found that my car needed a repair (my car is 16 years old, so I’m used to hearing this every time I bring it to a shop for oil changes).

They quoted us $90 for the repair, but my hubby was able to do it himself for $35!  It’s awesome to be married to someone who is knowledgeable about cars and can do many minor repairs himself.

-I signed up to become an Amazon affiliate.  If you’re not familiar with the program, this means that occasionally I will post links to products on Amazon’s website.  If someone clicks on the link and then buys something on Amazon, I will receive a small commission on the sale.

-I went to free holy yoga classes twice per week.

Frugal (and Other) Failures

-We didn’t put an extra $500 in our emergency fund – we added $250, and we’ll add the remaining $250 in June.  (We’re beefing up our emergency fund in preparation for becoming pug parents in June).

-I had mixed results on my goal of spending less time glued to my phone.  I have noticed that I feel happier and more relaxed when I unplug.  I’ve also found that the constant pain/muscle tension in my neck/shoulders lessens when I’m not on my phone as much (all the yoga might be helping too!).

-I gained a few pounds – for the first time since I started eating clean and exercising 6 days per week.  I’ve been having too many cheat meals, and it’s time to buckle down on my diet again.

Highlights of the Month

-I went to the Walk for Animals with friends and had a great time.  We also got some free swag and we won a gift card for pet photography services.  I’m excited to get some professional photos with our new puppy soon!

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What I Read

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking – I’ve read this book before, but I recently re-read it because it’s that good.  It is truly one of the best non-fiction books I’ve ever read.  In Quiet, Susan Cain describes how American society values “the Extrovert Ideal” and undervalues the unique skills that introverts possess.  As an introvert, I can relate to so many aspects of this book.

Cain discusses how workplaces are designed for extroverts (how many companies have “open” office environments these days?), how introversion in children is often seen as a “problem” that needs to be “fixed”, and many other issues surrounding ways that American culture favors extroverts.  If you’re an introvert, you will love this book.  Even if you’re an extrovert, I still recommend reading it because it will help you to understand the introverts in your life better – 1 out of 3 people in the US are introverts, so there’s a good chance that you know many introverts.  You may have coworkers, classmates, friends, family members, and loved ones who are introverts.

What I Watched

I finished season 2 of How to Get Away With Murder.  It’s amazing!  If you haven’t watched it yet, go watch it.  Seriously.  Right now.

I also watched old seasons of Gilmore Girls (can’t wait for the revival!) and started watching Better Call Saul – which is pretty good so far.

In Case You Missed It

I shared my journey to debt freedom on The Penny Hoarder.  TPH is the most popular personal finance site on the web, and writing for them was a dream come true.  The one downside was that I received a few negative comments on the article.  I’ll be sharing my thoughts on that sometime over the next couple of weeks.  Stay tuned!

How was your May?  What are your plans for June?


  1. You still made great progress on your goals! The Walk For Animals was a lot of fun! So excited for your June update because you’ll have a new puppy by then!! 🙂

  2. Sounds like a great month! Congrats on getting published in the Penny Hoarder as well!I’m heading over there right now to check it out 🙂

  3. Aw, congrats on your win! Sounds like you’ve had a really good time. I keep meaning to watch How to Get Away With Murder!!

  4. I keep hearing about the book Quiet and I should probably read it because I’m such an introvert!

    Congrats on your Penny Hoarder article. I haven’t read the comments yet, but I think controversy can be a good sign. And it’s hard to write for a big web site, get lots of traffic, and not have any naysayers. It’s always good inspiration for future posts, like you said.

    • Thanks, Kalie! I agree that it can be a good sign. When I first started blogging (and not very many people were reading my blog), all of the comments were positive. Now that my blog is growing, it’s inevitable that there will be some naysayers (like you said).

  5. Good for you on the article at Penny Hoarder. I’m sure you are very grateful to your parents! One of the comments mentioned the sacrifices that YOU are making, but I think the opposite is true. It’s really your PARENTS who are making this sacrifice. I am the mother of four grown children, and it would have driven my husband and me absolutely nuts if they had returned home! Don’t get me wrong. They are super kids, and I love them to death. We have a wonderful relationship, but the last thing they wanted too wanted was to live with us again. Fortunately, they all graduated with degrees in accounting with almost no debt and went onto their independent lives.

    • It is a sacrifice for ALL of us. In my case, I would MUCH rather not be living with my parents. It would be much more pleasant to live on my own in my own home. I could choose to pay my loans off over 25 years instead and live on my own. Instead, I choose to live with my parents so I can pay off my debt sooner. There is no question that this is a sacrifice I am making – I am sacrificing some of my space, privacy, freedom, and pride.

      That being said, the sacrifice I am making benefits me greatly because I will be able to pay off my debt sooner. For my parents, they are also making a sacrifice, but it doesn’t really benefit them in any way. They are doing this because they are kind people who have been in debt themselves and understand how awful debt can be. I am incredibly grateful to them for allowing us to live with them.

  6. Definitely going to have to read Quiet. I’m a total introvert. Thanks for a recommendation. Congrats on your progress! And don’t pay any mind to the negative trolls. I’d love to take a look at their debt. It’s easy to hide behind a computer and try to judge another from a far.

    • Thank you! That is very true. It is easy to judge other people even though it’s impossible to know every detail of someone’s situation.

  7. How to get away with murder #addicted. It’s such a ridiculous show but so good!

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