2012 Wrap-Up and Goals Recap

It's that time again...can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday when I started blogging and did my 2010 recap, my 2011 recap and listed my 2012 goals.

It also shows just how unorganized I've been ever since I returned to school. I admit this blog has fallen off the wayside a bit, but yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting some of my favorite SoCal bloggers (Budget and the Beach, Nurse Frugal, Newlyweds on a Budget, and The Random Path) and realized that we all start our blogs for a reason, and most of the time it's to be held accountable, to stay organized, and for fun. We had a ton of fun just chatting about blogging and life. I was a bit nervous since I haven't met anyone online in real life before, but it felt like meeting ol' pals! I honestly feel like these are friends I'll have for a long time, and it's because of this blog! After meeting with these ladies, I want to continue strong into next year. 2013 will be the year that I will be trying to maintain more balance with it.

The evolution of the blog...

In 2010, I felt like this blog was created to help me learn how to budget, how to save, and how to be accountable.

In 2011, this blog helped me reach many savings goals, was an outlet for the ups and downs of condo shopping in a crazy market.

In 2012, this blog started to grow and I started focusing on stats, numbers, advertising, and guest posts. Halfway through the year, I stopped focusing on growth and numbers, and instead it served as an outlet for the law school application process as well as an outlet for the transition and beginning of my law school journey.

Looking back, I love being able to remember these moments and to share them all with such like-minded people. It's amazing to connect to people that offer unsolicited advice or just an ear to listen to what I have to say, so thank you for sticking around!

I'm not sure what will happen in 2013 but I'd like to get back to talking about my saving and spending habits, as well as general thoughts about school and something I've been thinking a lot about lately..my career path and future, and all of the debt I've acquired (and am still acquiring) through my student loans. So here's to a new year!

2012 Recap

So I pulled up my post from January 1st, 2012. It's crazy how much has changed in only a YEAR! I have to chuckle at some of these goals right now, because I wrote them during a time when I just submitted law school apps, and I was earning a steady paycheck at my full-time job. What I miss the most about working (aside from the paycheck) is that I had so much time at work to get organized, and to stay organized.

Being a full-time student again with zero time while the semester is going in full-speed, priorities shifted and goals fell off of the radar since they were replaced with new goals. Regardless, I'll still rehash these goals and definitely switch them up for my current life situation for 2013.

2012 Financial Goals Recap

1. Max out Roth IRA
Lol! It's kind of hard to max out a roth IRA when you don't have a job. I was planning to do this but I had to stop contributing to my roth as of August 2012. I used to automatically deposit $300 into it every month, so for 2012 I at least got $2,400 into that account.

2. $3,000 in Travel Fund.
My travel fund sits with ING and it currently sits at $1,025. Definitely nowhere near the $3,000 I hoped for, but I don't have any plans of traveling for leisure any time soon. I should have gone on a vacation before school started but it was so busy with work and other family trips.

3. Buy an investment property with 20-25% down.
So glad this one never came to fruition. We almost bought a condo in beautiful Rancho Bernarndo (northern SD), but we backed out due to some issues that would have costed us a lot of money in repairs and headaches in the future. I'm glad this didn't happen though, since BF would have needed to stay at his job to pay the mortgage. We knew that if I was going to go to school he would have to either a) get renters or b) pay the mortgage on his own. It was possible but not ideal, especially risky, since he didn't like his job or his supervisor. He quit a few months ago so it looks like things turned out for the better.
4. Rent out investment property so monthly rent covers monthly mortgage.
Great idea in theory, but at the same time I'm glad I'm not a landlord right now. I can't handle that!

5. Vacation in cash.
Lovely dreams I had huh? I don't see a vacay coming up any time soon, but maybe in a year or 2, I'll finally get to own up to this goal.

6. Open up some sort of interest savings accounts or investment accounts for my little brother & sister.
Fail. I will instead push my parents to do this. They're at the stage right now where the only gifts they want are material items like clothes, shoes, and games.

2012 Personal Goals Recap

1. Get healthy. 
Hmmm, not sure if I hit this goal this year, but I was definitely on track during the first half of the year. I was going to turbo kick classes consistently, and gymming it everyday during my lunch breaks. When school began the stress ate me alive and I didn't make it to the gym at all, but got back into it with a new gym membership in October. Now that I'm in SD for break, I'm back at my old gym which feel so nice, and I've been cooking a lot at home and eating out less. I guess I almost obtained this goal...would like to have more time to run more and of course to cut out sweets.

2. Get into law school. Whether it's this cycle or next cycle, 2012 will be the year I get this accomplished!
Probably the only goal I can safely say I accomplished this year, haha woohoo!

3. Go home as much as possible. I love my family and I hate living 8 hours away, but it's only a 1 hour plane ride away.
Oh wait, this one too. I live with the fambam again. It's been a rollercoaster ride but a fun one nonetheless. I'm lucky to have them.

4. Go on a vacation with the BF.
Wow, when I wrote these goals I must have been itching for a vacation. That didn't happen but this year was filled with lots of family trips with the BF so that's always fun. I shall count that as reaching this goal haha.

5. Read more. I didn't get to read as much this year but I just got back into reading again. I read fiction mostly because I like to get away when I read.
Oh man, really laughing at this goal. I sure did get to read more all right. Law school = read all day errrrrday. So I guess I accomplished that.

Lol, looks like I only completed 3.5ish personal goals this year. However, I'm glad the world didn't end, but at the same time, kinda sad it didn't since I have to pay back my student loans now. I also feel like I'm at a good place in my life right now, hopefully on the right track, and just pushing to keep going.

2012 was a a great year with lots of happenings:
  • New beginnings - I moved back to my hometown and with my family again. It's so nice to be around them again, and to get closer to my siblings.
  • I started law school in August, and what a whirlwind it's been. My life 360'd on me, in a good way of course.
  • Finished finals even while I was sick, a superb accomplishment in my book.
  • No big purchases really...my BF bought me a PC laptop and I gave him my old Macbook. He also bought me a new Samsung monitor for when I'm at home and studying (and skyping with him).
  • Went to my sister's junior olympics in Ohio for the junior national volleyball championships back in July. That was fun!
  • Went on a family trip with cousins to Disneyland in the summer instead of our annual camping trip.
  • Had a family BBQ in Coronado with my family and BF's family before I moved...it was the first time our parents ever met. Can you believe that?!
  • I became addicted to gel highlighters, post-its, and other office supplies.
  • Black Ops 2 came out. Zombies is still my favorite game mode to play.
  • I dyed my hair dark after being light brown/blondeish for many years. Yay!
  • When I was working at my FT job, I really missed being around people and meeting new friends. 2012 delivered in that respect, and I gained so many new lifelong friends...from school and also from this blog!
  • Celebrated 7 years with the bf. My grandma keeps asking when we'll get married but that won't happen until I graduate. I don't think I can handle wedding planning until then, but I'm excited to spend more years with the bf, he's a good guy and he's always been good to me.
  • Celebrated my 25th birthday...writing my legal writing final paper. Honestly never thought this day would come...now I feel like I have so much to do before my next milestone of turning 30. Cheers to getting older.
I'll be back to post up my 2013 goals in a few days but for now let's all relish in the last 2 days of the year. Hope you all enjoy the new year safely with lots of friends, food, or family :)

How did you all do for 2012? 


Calm After the Storm

Holy moly. The 1st semester of law school is over. I just finished my 5th final yesterday. We won't get our grades back until January but I'm only really worried about one class. I've always been worried about crim, but I'm just hoping I passed that class. I've never had to learn so much for one stupid class, and it was closed book...there is no possible way one can learn that much.

Anyway, I can finally stop living under this huge burden of stress...I can finally sleep more than 5 hours a night. I can stop being bitter about everyone else having fun and enjoying the holidays haha. I can honestly say this is the BEST feeling in the world! I can't even imagine what I just put my mind and body through to be honest. I'm in a complete state of haze. I had the most unfortunate luck, because I got sick the weekend of Thanksgiving. That was when the major studying needed to happen, so I ended up studying for contracts feeling like crap. I literally didn't think it was possible. Then it just went downhill from there and I got really burnt out. Also unluckily for me, my last final was the hardest, with the most I've had the memorize/learn. I didn't think I could pull through, but I'm glad I did. I just can't believe I have to do this 5 more times. What the hell did I get myself into?

Today I'll be doing everything that I've been needing to do...following up with my dentist after I received this HUGE dental bill. I've been stressing over it but never had the time or energy to call them to fight about it. I paid over $700 for this one tooth, and out of nowhere they send me another $400? This is all after insurance? They have got to be kidding me. I think this dentist is so unethical, because if he was going to charge me that much, he should have told me what the hell he was doing to my tooth. I had to get a crown, but after I got my temp crown (which I paid $400 for), I came back because it was hurting, and he did something to prep my tooth for a root canal and at that time I paid $300. Why would I be billed another $400? I had to go to a separate place to get my root canal where I only paid $121. So why $1100 all just for prepping my tooth for a stupid root canal? Ugh, this is giving me so much anxiety so I guess I better call them first.

Second of all, I have to call my boss. Remember how I was working part time here? Yeah, that didn't work out so well. I was losing control of everything and there was just no way I could handle working anymore. It wasn't worth it to me. Just studying and doing all of my reading, plus outlining, plus weekly memos to write, I had zero time for anything else. Well I emailed my boss about how I was feeling, and she just never responded. I just realized a week ago that I was off the payroll lol. So I have to call her back to wrap things up today. Not a conversation I'm really looking forward to, but I have to do it.

Another thing I haven't been able to do is send in a manual claim to get my medical bill reimbursed. I can't even remember what it was for anymore, but I definitely want my $300 back.

Those are the 3 biggest things in my financial life bothering me...don't you just hate it when you have to do things that are really, really important but you just dread them? Well I guess I better start on my giant to-do list. I have to clean, give my dog a haircut, dye my hair, schedule a haircut for myself, post some things up on ebay, and do normal human things again.

Btw, thanks to everyone for your support, encouragement, advice, and just listening to me rant and complain. Especially on Twitter! Haha. I'm not sure I could have handled it all alone. So thank you!

Talk to you guys soon!
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