No Restaurant October

Motivated by this blog post and the ever-vigilant eye of retirement owl, I am issuing a One Month Challenge to everyone who reads this:  stop eating out!  You can spend as much as you want on groceries and processed foods in October, but no restaurants or take-home meals.  Even spending more on groceries, you will probably spend less on food than you normally do; I know we will.*

We usually eat out on our shopping day every week, and we sometimes eat out another time, and this adds up.  It’s important to me to always be looking for ways to optimize our spending – though I’ll admit that I love eating out, because I don’t cook a lot of the things I love at home.  (This is because I don’t have a lot of energy for cooking, things usually don’t turn out as tastily as they do in restaurants, and DW being a vegetarian really limits the things I can cook that both of us will eat.  I got excuses by the dozen.)

Let me know in the comments if you’re participating, and I’ll check in throughout the month to see how you’re doing!  Let’s cut our food budgets together.

 

* We will be out of town for a few days in October, and I’m not counting those days toward this challenge.  Maybe I should, but we’ve gotta start somewhere, and this is it.

September Stats

 

Just a quick stats update:

INTEREST RATE REMAINING BASE PAYMENT EXTRA PAYMENTS
Student Loans 3.75% $22,872.24 $180.74 $50.00
Mortgage 3.50% $305,110.58 $2,259.03 $0.00
Total $327,982.82 $2,439.77 $50.00

I’ve got a new $183.34 student loan payment starting tomorrow; I assume that’s a late effect from the bump from 3.73% to 3.75%.

DW and I have been thinking through a move to Florida more seriously, and we think it would be very beneficial.  An additional 7%+ of my salary not going toward state and local taxes would be put directly toward my 401k, and we could probably even max out my 401k contributions.  We’d be able to take the equity from the house (minus lots of money for the sale) to wipe out my student loan debt and increase our taxable investments.  The rest of the monthly savings (from not having a house and from electricity due to shared walls) would go straight to taxable investments as well.

Okay, need to get some sleep, as I still have to get up to an alarm; however, I want to end by saying:  welcome, new readers!  Hope you like it here.  Feel free to introduce yourselves in the comments below.

How I get through the day

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been struggling with depression, which makes my motivation basically nonexistent.  I’ve spent many days this year just lying on the couch, watching TV or thumbing through Facebook or reddit.

I’ve started therapy, and the direction I was given (so far – have my second appointment tomorrow) was to take breaks during my work day to try to prevent the stress from building up.  This seems to be helping me get through the work day, but it’s still hard to have motivation for anything; I usually feel like breaking down at several points during the day.

But, not doing anything at all just adds to the strain as everything builds up, so I’ve started giving myself two things a day that I have to get done.  Once I’m done with those, I can sit around and wallow as much as I want, but this helps me feel like I’m still being a bit productive.  It also keeps things moving a bit more, which is good for me (and keeps DW happy as well).

Today, my items are to go shopping (by bike for the first time since the incident) and to write up my September Stats post.  Tomorrow, they’ll be to go to therapy and do something else, not sure yet.  DW is waiting for me to finish typing so we can go shopping, so I’m heading off to that, but I’ll be back to post the stats update later tonight.

Thanks for sticking with me.  I’m hoping to have motivation to write some more interesting posts soon.

 

Laid up after accident

The entrance to one of the local bike paths is a bit steep and broken up, so recent(ish) rains have caused sand to pool at the junction of the neighborhood entrance and the bike path.  When I was heading to therapy on Tuesday (to start learning how to deal with stress better), I tried to turn onto the bike path right over that sand, and my touring tires slid out from under me.  I wiped out in a pretty unfortunate way – left foot went under the bike and got sliced up.  It didn’t hurt, and I could feel and move my foot, so I called DW and cycled the last couple miles to therapy and had my (first) appointment.

I didn’t think it was too bad, but DW disagreed, so we went to a clinic after my appointment.  Turns out, I needed twelve stitches – six internal, because the cut was pretty deep.  (On a related note, this is why married men live longer – DW is much smarter about these things than I am.)

Apparently, the reason I wasn’t feeling any pain was because my body shut that shit down with a shock response – which wore off in spectacular fashion overnight, and I’ve been trying to avoid walking ever since.  Should be interesting, since I need to be in the office all this coming week.  DW did get me some crutches, which should help:

disney_crutches
Brightened them up with some Disney stickers.

The PA that stitched me up said no exercise for at least two weeks, though I imagine it’ll be a bit longer until I’m back to training for my half marathon.  (Hopefully my running buddy keeps training; I’d feel pretty terrible if my injury held her back.)  I’m looking forward to being back on my bike as soon as possible, though!

If you’re interested in seeing the cut, check it out after the cut:
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