Creating a Fiscal Wellness Plan

Fiscal Wellness Plan

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So here’s the thing…I am not well. Fiscally or physically.  Really, there is no joke here. I do well but there is room for improvement.  I haven’t had that “oh my goodness, I have to do this THING or I am going to die” moment yet.  It’s when you have hit rock bottom and need to make changes in order to be fit enough to bounce back. Get me?

I don’t really want to have the rock bottom moment in my life right now.  I’d rather learn to do things differently so I don’t go insane.  Those big, neon flashing lights are angrily telling me that there is danger ahead. Turn off now to fix it!

My goal for the coming year is to introduce you to my decision to make 2019 my year of Fiscal & Physical Wellness. It is a subject that is very close to my heart. Mostly because I suck at keeping myself well in any capacity.

In my case, Fiscal Wellness encompasses budgeting, saving, and investments. It will remind you of Dave Ramsey and that is because it is loosely based on his Seven Baby Steps. I had to tweek it a bit to fit my current situation.  Such as, I’m not saving for anyone’s college education nor am I looking to purchase a home. With that in mind, here is what I have come up with and I call them milestones.

The first milestone is to have that magical fund called an Emergency Fund fully funded. No guess where that step came from. It is the basis for a good  foundation for your finances. Right? You can be slow and steady with this or bring it up a notch and hit it hard. I am about half way to my goal of one thousand dollars. Whoohoo!

The second milestone, create a small savings plan for short-term goals. This is anything to save for that is around one to three hundred dollars. I have a tendency to feel deprived when I start setting limitations for my self. I can self sabotage with the best of them.

I wanted to create a way allows me to have something to look forward to.  Ok, I know being debt free is a great thing to look forward to. I, however, think instant gratification takes too long.  Creating something small to build up to allows me to feel I’m not depriving myself. Whatever works, right?

Milestone three is the big boom of this plan – paying off debt. The whole, in its entirety. No holds barred. Attack with vigor. Got it? This is where I will incorporate another one of Dave’s ingenious ideas of snowballing the debt.

The debt snowball premise is to pay the minimum on all debts, smallest to largest. Once the smallest debt is paid in full (and closed), you apply that minimum payment to the next debt on the list and so on. By the time you get to you largest debt, you will apply all minimums to pay down that debt quicker.  More here if you want to explore this more.

Once we have defeated the debt monster, we go on to milestone four. This is where I will be having anywhere from three to six months expenses saved.  One top of that, I will be creating a rolling expense of my current budget.

I am new to finance lingo so bear with me. Say I have $2000 in expenses in a given month. With a rolling expense, once I have paid that amount out, it is reviewed, corrected and then replenished for the next month. Trust me, I am learning this as I go along so we will learn this together.

Milestone five is all about investing in my future. I am one of those who has waited to that last-minute to consider what I will be relying on in my “retirement” years. At this point, with all things saved – I can implement investments to cover my expenses in the future.

I am not a fan of the any company’s 401(k). I have seen too many friends and family lose literally all of their “saved” money through their work’s plan. I know not everything in life is secure but I have discovered that there are many other options out there and I can’t wait to dive into it all.

I am so very excited about milestone six. If I was following the traditional seven steps by Dave, this is where I would be saving for a home down payment.  I decided, no. I have no desire at this moment in life to own another home.

Rather, I want to travel. Everywhere. Literally. So my milestone will be saving for trips, travel expenses and airfare. Who wants to go to Ireland with me???

Lastly, and even more importantly is milestone seven.  I am beginning and ending with the foundation that was laid by Mr. Ramsey. I am going to go with his last step of Giving Back.

I would like to think that in some way I am already doing that by writing this all out for others to see and maybe implement a couple of milestones for yourself. 

This next year is not going to be easy. I know it isn’t. I expect growing pains, frustrations, and many temper tantrums. Work is hard, not matter what you do. Delving into your own mistakes and issues is never an easy road. But hey, we are in this together!

laters, lissy ~

Blood and Guts

I am back from another trip to see my nature path. This visit was primarily to get an interpretation of my results from a few weeks ago. We spent well over an hour going though the whole report. There are three tests that gave him a baseline. They were a Cardiac Reactive Protein test (CRP, High Sensitivity), Hormones (thyroid, reproductive, etc) and Cortisol. There were countless others including a food reaction test but we focused on the big three.

I am going to do my best here to give you a layman’s version of what he spoke about and what the plan is for the immediate future. I did some basic research (which really means I googled it) to give a bit more back ground into the whys.

So about this CRP (no, not short for crap). It is a test to actually help determine your risk for cardiac disease. It is an indication also of how inflammation affects you overall health.  I hit on the very high-end of the scale for this one. General base for this test is less than .9mg/L, I hit it at 30.3mg/L.  Doc was not too surprised as this test is also used on fibro patients and he was expecting an elevated result.

I was actually very encouraged with this result. Nothing pays with your head more with chronic illness then the thoughts that “it’s all in your head”. Granted there is not an actually blood test just specifically for fibromyalgia – but the ones I have had give me a more valid diagnosis.

I would like to think of this tests results as the umbrella on top of the other findings. It is everything underneath that we are dissecting and getting a closer look at to get me to my optimal health.

Hormones, oy! I am happy to report that my thyroid is in good shape. It’s doing the best it can do send out the necessary signals to create the what my body needs. All the T3 Free floaties in my body are in working order. My progesterone, however, is tanked. This explains a lot too.

With the low, low amount of this mighty hormone (like to think of it as estrogen’s big sis) my body has been in “we must save the fat or we’re gonna die” mode. Now here is the kicker, did you know that a study has shown that low progesterone can be linked to heavy periods? Me either!!

The doctor is having me utilize a progesterone cream at intervals during my cycle. We will be carefully guiding my body into a normal range for once in my life.

Cortisol anyone? Yet another test that validates the myalgic encephalomyelitis and fibromyalgia diagnosis I have. The normal range for this test 6.0 to 18.4ug/dL.  Your girl is at 6.0ug/dL. Whattheheck?Talk about the stress hormone being stressed! Lordy.

This poor little guy has raised the white flag and surrendered. No wonder my fat has taken up residence. There is very little my body is doing right now to aid in the metabolism of fat, carbs and proteins

We are gonna aid this malnourished adrenal by the use of hydrocortisone in pill form. With it being so low, it affects my weight and most importantly, my sleep.  What I wouldn’t give for a solid eight hours of sleep.

I am very happy for what I learned with my blood tests. I feel encouraged and ready to get these unwanted pounds off my body.

More to come next month on the progress of going diary-free and reducing my gluten intake.

 

Sentimental Feelings

Kon Mari Method - Sentimental

 

Well, I did it. I finished out 2017 with a last dive into the world of KonMari. The last category is that of Sentimental items. The toughest is actually saved for last. It is not only the toughest but I find the most rewarding. By the time you get to this part of the journey, you are ready. To let go of the garage full of antiques from great-grandmother whose Baroque furniture style doesn’t really fit with your post-modern style home. Or the prom dress from thirty plus years ago.  While these items may hold incredible meaning and value to us. They are not in use, hanging out, collecting dust and taking up valuable space.

My father’s watch means so much more to me than the prom dress hanging in my closet that my ass will NEVER fit into again. Your Grandmothers furniture could be use to fund for a trip to the city of her birth – a bit more rewarding than a garage full of furniture. Don’t you think?

I will have to say that delving into this de-cluttering phase was probably to single more rewarding thing I did for myself in 2017.  I really enjoyed this process and what it opened up for me. I love that my items all have a specific home and it takes just minutes to “clean” my bathroom than actually hours. My clothes are kept in check by maintaining a forty-four piece capsule. Books are now less frequently purchase and only if my library doesn’t have the book to lend.

This is not say that the process fixed all my clutter problems. I still have a hard time limiting what I bring into the house. I don’t always ask myself “does it bring me joy?” I whole heartedly admit that another run through of my planner supplies will be happening in the next couple of months. Along with taking care of my balcony patio as I don’t have a garage full of furniture.

It has been quite an eye-opening journey for me.