Saturday, March 21, 2009

Working Hard

I can't believe how fast this week went. Matt says he thinks this week dragged, but it flew for me. Work is going well - I've had to dive straight into the deep end of the pool, so to speak, and am still learning a lot and trying to transition as smoothly as possible. It's definitely all been interesting. Looking forward to payday!

Still trying to get used to waking up at 7:30 every morning. I think I just need to go to bed earlier. I went to bed pretty early Friday night just because I was so tired.

Volunteered this morning, and then went to see Dottie after lunch. Came home and made dinner. I tried this recipe for rice pudding tonight. It tastes pretty good, but it's not really a pudding...more like a sweet rice and raisin salad? There's just no creamy consistency to it.

Church tomorrow, and then maybe enjoying some of the nice weather outside.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Contributing to society again

I've now officially moved from funemployment to what I anticipate will be Fun Employment. They only pay you for the latter of the two.

First day was, as to be expected, slow. Got a badge, read a bunch of stuff, familiarized myself with their computer data management system. I think it should pick up by the end of next week.

The commute was AWESOME. So awesome, in fact, that I'm thinking about joining a weekly bible study in Silver Spring because it's still shorter than trying to get home from Baltimore.

Most of all though, I'm really looking forward to the ability to save money again (see below for the details).

Plus Matt has to go back to doing the dishes now.

Monday, March 09, 2009

2009 financial goals - updated

Okay, so back in mid-December I made a post about our financial goals for the coming year. Obviously with my recent bout of funemployment things have had to shift a bit, but since I'm scheduled to start at the NCI on Thursday we should (hopefully) be getting back on track pretty soon. We've also made a few changes/updates. So let's review:

1. Pay off the balance of 0% financing for our electronics purchases by the end of March.
We actually did this at the end of last month. Huzzah for one completed goal!

2. Fully contribute to both Roth IRAs for 2009.
We are still planning to do this. One of our first priorities is to open M's Roth IRA before April 15th since it'll actually count under the 2008 contribution limits. Then we'll budget to max both our accounts for 2009.

3. Increase our emergency savings account to $10,000 by the end of the year in preparation for CD laddering.
We've changed our approach on this a bit, and it is actually our second priority at the moment. During funemployment, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that we could pay all our bills on Matt's salary. Since my salary is going to be a bit less than his, if he were to lose his job (unlikely but not impossible) we'd have about a $400 monthly shortfall. So our plan instead is to start the CD ladder immediately, with $500 6-month CDs. As they roll over, we'll add $50 to each CD principle to hedge against future cost inflations.

4. Open a 401k whenever I get a job (hopefully soon!) and contribute at least 10% of my salary.
This is not going to happen in 2009 - since my position is classified as a fellowship I'm not eligible for their TSP account (government equivalent of the 401k). You win some, you lose some.

5. Pay off at least $1000 in my student loan balance by the end of the year.
We're not making this quite as much of a focus right now. But I am actually required to start making monthly payments in a couple months, so we will probably meet at least half of this goal.

6. Open a taxable account to start saving towards the down payment on our next house.
Still on track to begin this in a few months, once we get caught up on other goals and the savings shortfall from the past few months of funemployment.

So, not too bad. We met one goal despite our circumstances, and only had to scratch one goal due to other circumstances.

Also, I was very surprised to learn that NCI is *not* a commonly understood acronym in the general public realm. Shocking! National Cancer Institute, people!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mad scientist?

From Abstruse Goose:

The sad part is, I knew *everything* they were talking about in that comic (and had done much of it at one point or another). I don't think I'll miss being in the lab :-)

And then the bonus follow-up from Cowbirds in Love:

I very much lol'd.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

2 Funny 1 Crazy 1 Sad

Funny: Dave Barry's Colonoscopy Journal (also funny - Firefox doesn't recognize the word "colonoscopy" and suggested I change it to "colonialist").

Funny: Video of a sleep-walking dog.

Crazy: Rubik's Mirror Blocks puzzle. Like a Rubik's cube, but shiny and different sizes instead of colors. This would make me cry.

Sad: I lost Scrabble by one stinking point today :-(

Another win

In addition to getting a job and winning the running distance challenge last month, I also reached my goal weight of 127! Now I can move into "weight maintenance" phase instead of "weight loss" phase so I get a full 1,906 calories per day, yay!

Gotta get ready for church.


That includes an 8 mile run today! And nearly 26 miles for the week. My legs are already killing me. I don't think I'll be running for at least the next 3-4 days. But two months ago the idea that I could even run 8 continuous miles, much less at an 11:30 pace, was completely unthinkable. And I did it!