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Personal Debt Wrangler – Had my money head in the sand – but no more!

Sticky Business: A busy bee ‘s work is never done

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busy-bee I woke up with a slightly panicky feeling.  It could be that the clock radio was talking about stock market downturn which is never a good thing to wake up to.  I also knew that this was my last day of holidays.  After a busy bee enough but also smell-the-roses week, I am starting to feel a bit of lunch bag letdown because I have not accomplished much of the long to do list I envisioned making headway on during my one week vacation.

But since May reminded me that I love being a Libra with her post, If I Only had More Money (which is a worthwhile read, you should go check it out), because I crave balance, I’m going to reflect on the good and the not so good while I sip my coffee here and then figure out what I’m going to do next.  Care to join me?

Let’s start by being kind to myself.  Otherwise I might have to get slightly defensive due to my Type A personality as Prudence points out.  Back in June, I had laid out a bunch of things I wanted to achieve.  I previously did a quick review and thought I had done okay, but let’s double check by looking at the details:

  1. Create a spreadsheet of all my investments in my retirement portfolio and start tracking the stock prices, EPS and dividend payments daily. NOT DONE
  2. Add to the list potential other buys and track and understand their metrics to determine if and when I should acquire. NOT DONE
  3. Open a self-directed stock account and move all of the equities in my retirement portfolio there, making all future decisions myself.  NOT DONE
  4. Figure out how to get my grocery budget down from $800 / month (for three people).  NOT DONE
  5. Move my blog to a self-hosted site.  DONE
  6. Take steps to monetize blog. DONE
  7. Cut the freakin’ cable and save $83.56/month minus the cost of a good quality digital antenna.  DONE – cable canceled and service stops next week
  8. Fill out an application at Shopper’s Drug Mart for a job starting in September.  NOT DONE

Whoopsy!  Well I guess on paper I didn’t do as well as I thought.  Truth is items 1 – 3 are related and item 1 was on my list to do this week.   I think that may be one of the reasons I’m feeling kind of disappointed.  I know it will be a lot of work but I really want to get going on it.  It’s next on the list to address as soon as I can get some hours to start. #whenhellfreezesover

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#4 is ongoing, but truth be told, I have not done much myself on this yet, other than nag talk to The Irishman.  I really want to get control over this.  I think the first thing we need to address is the wasted food.  As a son of a depression baby, The Irishman shops like we are on the brink of starvation, all-the-freakin-time.  Not only does this not appeal to my new minimalist preferences, but it’s hard on the budget.  I’m inspired by Will’s $75 / month spent on groceries.  This will be my focus for the fall.  If nothing else it will give me good blogging content.  #snicker

#5 and #6  I’m really glad to have behind me, but #6 is ongoing. Actually, mea culpa, apparently #5 is ongoing too because I just discovered that I didn’t have an email account set up for debster<at>debtdebs<dot>com in my cpanel and I see there are some feedback messages in my blog I never noticed before.   Apologies Kirsten and Keith (I’ll get back to you soon) and others who I don’t know yet but I’m hoping want to send me money for advertising or writing for them.  #hee hee  I’ve just now set up an email account and forwarded to my gmail.  Regarding #6 advertising, Cashville Skyline wrote a great post on this and so I proceeded to ask her a bunch of questions because I’m clueless I still have a bunch of learning to do on this. #snort

I’m really happy that #7 got done as it required mental work (researching the digital antenna to buy) and physical work (installing on the roof), although he reminded me that he still has to go back up there to do something once the cable is kaputz.  It’s kind of exciting actually.  Feels like we are going back to the sixties and I’m wondering what channels I’m going to get and how my TV watching may change based on what is available to us. #firstworldproblems

#8 well was partially in jest but not a totally ruled out option yet.  If not for this year, it’s still a possibility at some point.  Kayla at Shoeaholic No More continually inspires me with her energy and gumption.  That girl’s going places and I want to live vicariously through her see if I can do something similar with blogging and freelancing before I decide to go the paid employee part-time job route. #don’tquityourdayjob

Speaking of which, I’ve written three articles for Money Propeller, though none are published yet, they are scheduled for the future and I have another four in the hopper.  I’ve got a few guest posts written or planned and looking forward to increasing my exposure through guest posts. #wavingarmsmadly

Likewise, I am also seeking guest posts for this blog.  It’s nice to have others’ perspectives and despite some opinions to the contrary recently, my observation is that it still serves a need.   You won’t see affiliate guest posts here, only ones that are in harmony with my values (because let’s face it, it’s nice to have supporters), or ones that contradict my opinions (I think it’s important to learn and grow by digesting conflicting views which then either modify or reinforce your own), or ones that fill a void that I cannot provide much valuable information or experience for.  #guestposterswanted

So while I realize all of those photos of mine above are not true honey bees and in fact some of them look quite lazy instead of busy, I thought I would share a cool pic from a twit I follow with a cool fact but also a sad fact about the bees in Ontario being impacted by neonicotinoids pesticides used by farmers.  I’m sure there are two views to this story too.

 

Have you been a busy bee this summer or a lazy or injured bee?  What are your priorities you are getting done or not getting done?  Any views on the honey bee industry?

 

   

Author: debster

I am a fifty-something wife, mother and new grandmother, who admits to having their “head in the sand” about their financial situation until amassing $247,500 worth of consumer debt for a total debt of $393,500. We've paid $121K in 2 years with four more years to go. Join my journey at debtdebs.com sharing ideas and motivation to all those coping with poor money management and bad debt decisions.

69 thoughts on “Sticky Business: A busy bee ‘s work is never done

  1. I too am on last day of vacation. Spent most of it on twitter or reading blogs- wish I could be a full time blogger. I also had a long list that is basically unchecked. Sigh! I am REALLY interested in finding out how life is without cable. My parents are cutting the cord next week and it has been an adventure for them. I am proud because they are not the most tech savvy people in the world, (said with love though!) Maybe one day I could guest post here? I have a list of 14 posts that I am working on. Have a great weekend.
    May recently posted…Frugal ConfessionsMy Profile

    • Oh I understand so well, May. We just need to not be too hard on ourselves when we set out too aggressive plans.

      I will certainly do a blog post about life without cable. I’m interested also in how your parents find it. I’m a bit surprised because, as I recall, money was not a big issue for them. Mind you, probably because they have lived all their lives cutting out unnecessary expenditures is why money isn’t an issue for them. Good on them!

      I would love a guest post from you! Just shoot me an email when ever you are ready. Thank you!

  2. That is an epic to-do list! I’m impressed with all you’ve accomplished so far–nice! I make lists like that all the time too because I’m a certified time optimist. I always think I’ll be able to get things done faster than humanly reasonable :). I can’t help it! I actually uncovered a list I made a few years ago titled “Things To Achieve Before Turning 30″–no pressure or anything! Geez, what was I thinking?! Though, having recently turned 30, I was kind of surprised at how many of the things I HAVE done. All that to say, I like your focus on the positive!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Weekly Woot & Grumble: Take a Walk & Stay HomeMy Profile

    • LOL Mrs. Frugalwoods! That sounds exactly like something I would do. I’ve got lists of my lists and yet my husband forgets his at home when he goes to the store! Good for you to look at the positive side on all you accomplished. Those of us that set high standards need to be kind to ourselves!

  3. The site move can take soooo much time, so it’s hard to look at a list and decide if you really accomplished much, as a project manager, I like to look at the work involved and whether or not an acceptable amount of work was done. And I also like to look for savings, I’d say your list, despite not being 100% done, is actually a ton of accomplishments.
    Kirsten recently posted…Freelancing: Am I Crazy To Consider It?My Profile

    • Thanks, Kirsten. I think that’s why I probably gave myself an overall pat on the back initially. I’m a former PM as well. Would love to share PM jokes with you. Don’t you just love when you ask someone when they will be done a task and they launch into a huge diatribe on what has to happen first and as part of getting done, most of it you have no clue what they are talking about, instead of just giving you a freakin’ date? LMAO

  4. I’m a libra too and totally get craving balance! That’s quite a to-do list and I know it can be hard to accomplish things when the list is so long…you’ll get to it eventually! I’ll email you about a guest post I have in mind!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…How Tonya Attempted To Get Her Groove BackMy Profile

    • Oh wow! That would be awesome, Tonya! Let me know when your birthday is too! Your comments went to SPAM. I just recently implemented GASP (Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin), the one where you have to check the box to show you’re not a bot. It’s stopping all that SPAM which is great but somehow is putting some people’s comments into SPAM too. I’m not sure why some people and not others. It might have something to do with people reading my blog through a reader (feedproxy.google.com or something) but that’s just a hunch. Please be patient while I try to sort it out, if I can.

  5. I thought you were on vacation? Enjoy the down time and don’t stress. You have a plan laid out and I’m sure it will get accomplished.
    Brian @ Debt Discipline recently posted…Week End Round Up #44My Profile

    • Thanks, Brian. Well since my husband has to work, I thought I could work on my second job, to be fair. ;-) Good WE!

  6. I’m interested to hear your reasoning for tracking your stocks daily in a spreadsheet. When I bought my first units of my index funds, I did that. Then I stopped because I was making myself crazy. But what purpose will it serve aside from just keeping it all in one place? You can see historical prices just by googling the stock ticker. Presumably there are websites that will allow it as well. Not judging, just not sure what purpose it is serving? To help with rebalancing?

    Site stuff is crazy time consuming sometimes. Glad to see your spam filter is working though… although, it thought I was spam, soooo I need to up my commenting game ;)

    Enjoy the last but of your vacation!
    Alicia recently posted…Credit Card 2 is GONE!My Profile

    • Hey Alicia – you’re right, I might not need to track them daily but I need to get a handle on their metrics – yields, EPS, P/E ratios etc and also know from memory all that we have in our portfolios. I don’t have a handle on that now and need to look them up, everytime I read a Dividend blog and think, hey, do I own that stock? In addition, I need to know how to ensure the portfolios are balanced. I have no clue how to do this. So basically I need a system in place to manage my portfolio and in order to do that I need to get my hands dirty and really understand it before I take the plunge to self-directed. Good question, keep ‘em coming. ;-)

      How did you know your comment was spam, because it didn’t show up right away? Is there a way to prevent this? I just changed the setting to have comments go to pending instead of SPAM.

  7. I’m off from work for the summer every year (I work at a college), and always start with a huge list of things I plan to accomplish over the summer. Never happens. Is the house cleaner and are we eating better meals? Yes. But I still have a young child with me a lot of the time, which seriously limits the amount of time I can dedicate to projects. That being said, she and I have had a great summer, and that’s important, too.

    As for the last 3-4 weeks of my summer vacation (sniff, sniff), my “project” priorities are loading the freezer with slow cooker meals for the fall, and getting all of the items I have for the big fall children’s consignment sale I participate in, ready to go.
    Amy recently posted…Weekend PlansMy Profile

    • Well it certainly sounds like you have a good balance on priorities, Amy. That’s a good idea to cook those meals ahead, and especially now when vegetables are cheaper. Good luck with your project and thanks for visiting!

  8. Debs, Thanks for the amazing compliment and the pingback! I’m so excited to be getting started with freelancing and online income. I’m hoping to be making enough to quit my second part-time weekend job in the next couple months. I love the other employees there, but it is so draining to have to give up a good portion of my weekend EVERY SINGLE WEEK to go into work. I think working online, while still work, is a lot less draining on my energy level (except for my eyes getting tired sometimes). Keep up your hard work and we will both get there eventually!
    Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…Frugal Food Friday – Zucchini, Black Bean, & Rice SkilletMy Profile

  9. That’s a long to-do list! Take solace in the fact that you have checked a number of things off. Especially those that will help you earn more money!

    Jay
    Jay @ ThinkingWealthy.com recently posted…7 Ways to Stay Out of DebtMy Profile

  10. I think it’s great that you are working on guests posts Deb while working your way towards paid freelancing! If you are interested, we could do an guest post exchange. You and I moved to self-hosting the same time and that was interesting. Now I’m about to give myself another jolt of stress by doing a site redesign so wish me luck that it goes well. My mom is a Libra – good people you are :) Have an enjoyable week-end Deb.
    Kassandra recently posted…Investing In YourselfMy Profile

    • Thank you, Kassandra, and I would sure love to do a post swap with you. Wow, you changed your template when you moved to self-hosted, are you changing it again? Good WE too and TTYL!

  11. You’ve accomplished a lot, especially with the blog, just in the last few months! But I know how it feels, as I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as I would like to lately. On the food front, maybe just try lowering it slightly to $700 (or just less than $200/wk?). Break it down into small segments, and I’m sure you’ll get there eventually. I also agree that guest posting isn’t dead. I’ll have to think of a topic for you =). I hope you enjoyed your vacation!
    E.M. recently posted…August Budget PreviewMy Profile

    • I did! I spent a lot of time with Monkey Butt (except today) and I miss him already! I know that we can lick the grocery thing, it’s just a matter of implementing a process instead of being all willy nilly like we are now. I think if I incorporate things like you have suggested, it will give him more structure. He says he is committed to fix it but then just keeps doing the same thing… buying too much food, wasted food. I hate to have to micro manage but I will if I have to, including requesting that he not shop anymore. He never meal plans either, but neither do I, but he does most of the cooking. If I was doing it, I would meal plan. ;-)

  12. I’m loving the list! I think you’re being too hard on yourself – some of those things on that list will take a long time to complete. You’re doing fine! :)
    Nicola recently posted…Why I’m Looking At Multiple Income Streams.My Profile

  13. I think you should celebrate what you’ve accomplished so far. I am wondering though, would it be possible for you to take over all grocery shopping? Or, run a cash only experiment with the Irishman. Put $700 in the envelope and budget and meal plan with him? I find that if I only shop on weekends AFTER looking at what’s in my pantry and meal planning I’m saving a lot of money. You two can do it!

    • Yes, I would like to take over the grocery shopping but I know this will be hard for him. The other thing we’ve talked about is giving him chips each worth $20 and he transfers them over to the spent pot after each shop. We prefer to use credit card because we get 4% cash back on groceries. Definitely need to do something but we are just not getting around to it yet. Thanks for visiting, Michelle!

  14. You really did well, especially on your blog! I have been busy too these past few days and I’m loving it!
    Kate @ Money Propeller recently posted…Friday Jet Fuel #5My Profile

  15. your post is un-BEE-lieveable. *sigh* sorry for the bad pun hehehe just couldn’t help myself. I might consider guest posting for you though. see how I go with my current schedule and I will let you know.
    Toby @ One Six Zeros recently posted…My first idea of turning nothing into somethingMy Profile

    • Good one, Toby! Thanks for the offer. Do give me a buzz when you’re ready. (See what I did there? ;-) )

  16. You did make some progress and that’s awesome! I have been extremely busy, so I can’t blame you for not getting more done. Some of my goals have been about the same. School is about to start back for my kids, so I need to get back on track!
    Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog recently posted…The Myth of the Successful Money Manager [infographic]My Profile

    • It’s starting to be a busy time of year, so I completely understand, Kalen! Good luck and here’s to a good school year for your kids!

  17. I think you did quite well! That is truly an ambitious list. Congrats on getting the cable taken care of – an extra $83 a month is awesome! Curious if you have Aldi’s supermarkets by you? They help me save a lot on groceries. I wrote a post about it last year if you’re interested :)
    Kay @ Green Money Stream recently posted…Frugal and Fun Summer Activities for Kids and AdultsMy Profile

  18. I’ll guest post! (Ahem, but I”ll have to come up with a topic, and then actually write it, heh.)
    The food waste we have drive me nuts, too. We’ve made progress, definitely, but there are still days where I end up chucking moldy or old stuff.

  19. Ooh good for you for moving the site. Moving my site to self hosted was probably one of my worst blogging moments. I hired someone about 2 years ago to do it for me and he nearly deleted the whole entire thing. It was crazy! Luckily I figured it out at the last minute and found someone else to fix it for me and she saved the day. Budget Blonde would be half gone if it wasn’t for that programmer who fixed it for me!
    Cat@BudgetBlonde recently posted…A Major Life & Biz Update + Writing Wrap UpMy Profile

    • Oh wow! That would be not good. Glad you sorted it out, Cat. I’m pleased I was able to do it myself with help from Big Scoots but it was a bit nerve wracking!

  20. I think you should be really proud of the fact that you got your blog moved to self-hosted and the fact that you’ve spent some time and energy monetizing your blog.

    This is an interesting goal -> “Create a spreadsheet of all my investments in my retirement portfolio and start tracking the stock prices, EPS and dividend payments daily.” It seems like overkill to track it every day, but I could see spending an hour a week reviewing it all. It would provide for some good content for the blog, too.

    I’ve been very busy this Summer with some home projects, applying/interviewing and starting a new job, and – as always – running the blog. Also starting a new business with a friend so I’ve been trying REALLY hard to get ahead so that I can invest more of my time and energy towards that. It has huge potential, imo.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…4 (More) Reasons NOT to Quit your Job to Start a BusinessMy Profile

    • Thanks, DC. I agree, daily is probably overkill. I want to track the yield, price/earnings ratios and get more familiar with what I own and what I bought it at. Currently, I’m not that conversant on my portfolio, so I figure by reviewing regularly, I will become more astute.

      Congratulations and good luck on your new venture. Excited to hear about it. Knowing how you work, I have no doubt you will become successful, DC.

  21. I found that as my blog started to grow, everything else on my to do list became largely secondary. It’s hard to prioritize when you have one thing that always needs your attention and takes up so much of your extra time.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Trivializing Disease or Doing Good?My Profile

  22. Isn’t it crazy how time gets away from us! Good luck finishing your list, Deb :)

  23. I personally think you have done a great job on your list considering that it has only been less than 2 months and I think that was a pretty aggressive list you set for yourself. Congrats on the guest post writing!!! Writing has been the only way my blog has made me money, but fortunately I have done enough of it, though, that it is good money and I am happy to have it.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – Least ComplicatedMy Profile

    • Thanks, Shannon! Wow, it’s so nice to get this affirmation. Your writing is awesome. I’m glad you’re getting the opportunities!

  24. I think you’re setting an intimidating standard with that to-do list! It’s great that you can check off three items. Perhaps your note to self should be: “Only include three items on to-do list.” That way, you set yourself up for success – which is always encouraging : )
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Two Debt Bloggers at Tim Hortons: My Meeting with Debt DebsMy Profile

    • Thanks, Prudence! You are right, I believe strongly in the three item rule, so I need to heed this. :0)

  25. I’ve worked so many OT hours at my freakin day job this summer (which is a salaried position) that I’ve barely touched my to-do list. That and no vacation has made me an unhappy camper. Thanks for letting me vent :-)

    Do you have a passion for the stock market? If not, you might find that #1-3 are too much. Maybe start off tracking your current investments monthly.
    Tre recently posted…An Update From The Wellness CommitteeMy Profile

    • Ha ha, not yet Tre! I’m hoping to get one though once I start getting disciplined to look at it. Maybe monthly would be enough, but weekly would for sure be enough. Thanks for the advice!

      Sorry you are having to work so much. I know how that is. ugh chin up and here’s to better days!!

      • I think that Tre has a point about #1-3 possibly being too much. From what I’ve heard, unless you have the time and passion to be a total stock market nerd, it’s really risky to take on complete management of your own stocks. Then again, maybe you’ve got that stock market bug : )
        Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Two Debt Bloggers at Tim Hortons: My Meeting with Debt DebsMy Profile

        • Many bloggers I follow do manage their own stocks and I’m tired of paying thousands of dollars in fees each year which is why I’m motivated to try to go it alone. It’s not that I’m that interested, but perhaps I will become more interested once I get the confidence.

  26. I’m not sure I ever get everything on my list done, but I’ve accepted it’s OK to do the best I can. Sometimes it’s OK to do nothing as well. We had a great vacation this year, my first one after selling the practice. I didn’t have to deal with one work issue at all. Wonderful all the way around!
    Kim recently posted…Would Your Life Change If You Became a Millionaire Overnight?My Profile

    • Yes, we need to be kind to ourselves if we’ve tried our best. Thanks for reading and commenting, Kim!

  27. A long list like that can be real intimidating, but you’ll get through it, slowly but surely.
    Edwin @ Cash Syndrome recently posted…8 Ways I Hack Amazon And Save Big BucksMy Profile

  28. Oh, I have an absolutely never-ending to-do list (and then end up blowing a lot of time hanging out on the internet ) Really, I think migrating a blog would take me two months, so I’m totally impressed you got that done. Happy 25th anniversary too!
    Cecilia@thesingledollar recently posted…Generic budgetingMy Profile

    • Thank you, Cecilia! I feel better knowing it’s not just me. Thanks for visiting. Hope you are doing well.

  29. My, you ARE a busy bee!! And I love following Beekeeper Dan on Twitter: interesting stuff!! Ironically, my old boss is named Dan and is also a beekeeper. His honey won first prize at our state fair a couple of years ago! Must be something with the name. :-) We have been busy, busy farming bees this summer. Not much time to spend on the Net at all. The great thing about harvest season ending is that it give me more time to play with my online friends. :-)
    Laurie @wellkeptwallet recently posted…When Opportunity Knocks, Be Ready to ActMy Profile

  30. You are ahead of me in the blogging game so I always look for tips and tricks, I’m certainly interested in how the monetizing goes and freelance, I would love to say I’ve been contacted by hundreds of people knocking down my door to pay me to blog, but that’s not the case. So I keep an eye out for articles like that.
    Even Steven recently posted…Costco Membership Review #894My Profile

    • Give it time, Steven. You can also market yourself if you are interested in doing this. Did you check out Budget Blonde’s freelancing coaching services post? Hope you had good holidays!

  31. I don’t track my stocks daily because Im way too lazy for that. Nice work on monetizing your blog though, all that hard work is definitely worth something
    Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet recently posted…Personal Finance Thoughts On Going Back to SchoolMy Profile

  32. That was a long to do list, and the things you got done were major. Don’t be down on yourself! Though I can relate… the summer to do list on our fridge is only a quarter of the way checked off, and we start or fall schedule on Friday. Sometimes we ask to much of ourselves. :)
    femmefrugality recently posted…Reliving my Childhood: Lake Arthur Regatta 2014My Profile

  33. We’ve got some of the same things on our lists, Debs :) But I know what you mean. I had a week off back in July and only got about 15% of what I wanted to actually done. Maybe my goals weren’t that realistic, and I’m glad I had the time off, but now I’m just trying to get a little bit done each day towards one goal. It’s much better for me than getting nothing done towards many goals.
    Ryan @ Impersonal Finance recently posted…5 no-effort ways to save money todayMy Profile

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