My 5 Goals in 2019 – Week 6 of 52

  1. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch. I am sorry for the lack of pictures for the past week! I was busy busy and it went by in a whisk. Then I was left with no pictures. Shrug. Deep breath out.
    Happy to say I did pack a lunch all 5 days. There was:
    – Fish, butternut squash and kale chips
    – Leftover pasta with chicken & broccoli
    – Meatballs, mushroom salad and broccoli
    Well I can’t remember the other days. Darn memory. But I do remember the oatmeal I brought for breakfast (and PB2 does not make an equal replacement to peanut butter).
  2. Keep it Frugal. What was frugal outside of cooking at home, drinking coffee at home, bringing my breakfast and lunches to work… Oh yes, we went to the 99 Cents Only store to score some Vegan goods at really discounted rates compared to the fancy grocers.
    Things like:
    – Coconut sugar
    – Granola
    – Almond pudding
    – Spaghetti squash and red/orange bell peppers
    – Vegan cheese

    $0.99 cents for Vegan cheese that otherwise costs $6 at the wholesome nutritional store.
    It has a strong pepper flavor eating it alone. So we were going to put it on our veggie burgers but forgot. So I will need to report back after having properly trying it with something, like in a sandwich. But this stuff is usually $6 at the fancy grocery store! It was very much nostalgic going to the 99 Cents Only store. I remember my young adult days addicted to Combos pizza baked snacks. Those were the days making almost nothing but I don’t ever remember feeling broke with this local store!
    This weekend, I also came home with a big bag of grilled Pacific rockfish. I had it for breakfast this morning of all things. It will also be part of my packed lunches during the week. Yay for being sent home with leftovers!
  4. Pay with cash. Envelopes, clips or debit.
  5. And I did not get around to making new envelopes this payday. I re-used some old cash envelopes. A travel one, a botanical one, and a Christmas themed envelope. Haha.
    I gave up on the money clips for now.
    This week’s cash budget consists of: Food – $205, Gas – $105 and Everything Else – $30.
    I am quite comfortable with my cash budget now. Rarely using my debit card. Last time I used it, I had a hard time recalling the pin.

  6. Healthy habits. I walked a mile twice. Did you know that My Fitness Pal considers light activity as walking one 1/2-hour each day?! And here I can only do it twice in one week. Smh. But I am putting an effort forward and will keep trying. Maybe I will try some yoga again before the night’s end.
    I have started eating healthier this past week. I am trying to eat with Whole30 in mind. But will at times still eat beans or will consume whole grain bread. I tried spaghetti squash for the first time. We had it with marinara and meatballs. It was quite tasty.

    The $1 spaghetti squash from the 99 Cents Only store!
    I’ve also stocked up on green and black tea to replace for coffee with cream and sugar. The switch hasn’t been too hard to get used to thus far.
  8. Read. (Affiliate links) I completed The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Good memoir, well written but quite a sad upbringing. Fortunately, the author did good for herself upon becoming an adult.
    Over the weekend I read:
    It Starts with Food (Whole30)
    Power Foods for the Brain
    The Brain on Fire
    The latter was quite interesting. It’s about a very rare autoimmune disease that made the author quite manic. The neurologist team stuck with her – as opposed as putting her in a psyche ward claiming a severe mental illness – and they figured out what was medically wrong with her. The take away – wondering how many young women have gone un-diagnosed only to live their days in a psych ward when that was a secondary cause of an inflammation in the brain that can be cured 90% of the time.
    I am now moving onto another one by Ellen Marie Wiseman called What She Left Behind.


That’s it for the recap on this week’s goals. How are you doing with your goals and/or staying in budget? Anything fantastic happen over the weekend?

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My 5 Goals in 2019 – Week 5 of 52

  1. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch. Albondigas with an RBC (rice, bean and cheese) burrito for 2 days. RBC burrito for 1. PB&Js for 2 days. Proud to say that I brought my lunch to work each day.

    I also did not use my debit card for the vending machine. Speaking of, I found out the company running the vending machine is charging an extra $0.10 per transaction but the information is not posted anywhere on the machine. Sneaky vendor.
  2. Keep it Frugal. I had the chance to join a (free and frugal) ChooseFI meetup where I heard Jillian from Montana Money Adventures and Johanna Big City FI give some awesome presentations.
    BTW, Jillian will be speaking at FI Chautauqua UK this summer and Johanna will be talking at the LA Lola Retreat coming up quick! But hurry, because tickets are going quick!
  3. Pay with cash. Envelopes, clips or debit. I tried switching from envelopes to clips. Actually I started using the envelopes as divider cards clipping the money to the card. I do like the clip idea overall, but putting money away is more cumbersome than stuffing money back in an envelope at a moments notice.
    As much as I love my new Hmong wallet (Etsy), it is not the perfect cash budget envelope system wallet I was hoping for. But I am not giving up in finding a workable solution because it really is a great wallet.
    hmong wallet
    As for the budget… Now that the Food & Household budget is reduced to $400/month, it seems my ‘Everything Else’ category is being re-purposed for household buys. Which is fine as it works.
  4. Healthy habits. I have walked 2 times this week at a mile each. And I snuck in some yoga during the weekend. I was going to pull with all my might to reach my goal in moving by body 3 days this week!

  5. Read. Book 2 for the year. I started to read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
    The Glass Castle
    “One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree. I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight. Mom frowned at me. “You’d be destroying what makes it special,” she said. “It’s the Joshua tree’s struggle that gives it its beauty.”
    ― Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

January Stats

  • Starting Debt in January: $69,960.45
  • Debt Accrued: $16,558.00
  • Debt Payment: $3,423
  • Debt Remaining: $83,864.79

At the start of the new year, did you give yourself a word to intentionally follow? Did you make a set of goals? How is your progress going? What was our word? Let me know in the comments below. I look forward to rooting you on!
*Wallet picture by ChangnoiBags on Etsy

EOY 2018


There is $9,398 not shown, made up of $1,000 savings and the rest are balance transfers. I could dig more, but will pass. One thing I do know – every penny was spent (excluding the $1,000 in savings).

Retirement (pre-tax)

I had put my retirement contributions on hold in 2017. That hurt me with my income. I ended up owing. The first half of 2018, I still had them on hold. Then my income increased. I now had to play catch up by claiming $0 and putting away $645/per paycheck into my 401k.
Total contributions 2018: $8,630
My employer throws in 5% of my salary. Total contributions from employer: $6,600

2019 Goal: To contribute $12,000  + employer’s 5%


December 2018 Expenses & Debt Recap [-$69,960]

Being lazy. Today you get screenshots.


Debt paid this month (included in images above):

  • $556 Personal Loan
  • $300 Car Payment
  • $343 Student Loans
  • $36 Consolidation CC3
Last month’s Debt Total: $68,501
This month’s Debt Total: $69,960
Deficit of $1,459 due to booking travel. 

Christmas “Shopping”: $358.47
ETA: Food & Dining, note: $70 of that was Christmas celebration
I received a payout this month. $1,000 emergency fund refueled and the rest spend on travel bags & accessories.

November 2018 Debt & Expense Report [-$68,501]

Quick update for November. How did the Jane’s financial house do? This month’s debt was reduced from $69,324 to $68,501.

Here is a list of my debts with the total amounts and the payment made this month.

Debt(SD: 4/2018)(10/2018)(11/2018)
Auto Loan – Paid off (4/2018)$0$0$0
New Used-Auto Loan$13,071$11,523$11,275
Signature Loan$11,510$8,398$7,907
Student Loans$46,996$45,756$45,697
CC1 – Paid off (5/2018)$740$0$0
CC2 – Paid off (5/2018)$2,401$0$0
Total Debt$81,120$69,324$68,501

*CC3 snowball is behind schedule by approximately $1030.

Monthly Debt Recap for 2018


  • April 2018 [-81,120]
  • May 2018 [-76,840]
  • June 2018 [-73,315]
  • July 2018 [-72,002]
  • August 2018 [-71,311]
  • September 2018 [-70,381]
  • October 2018 [-$69,324]




Auto Gas$205
Entertainment, Home$32
Entertainment, Viagogo$809
Gift, planned$500
Everything Else$100

I sit here in pity with what am I doing wrong – like something is not clicking. But here you see $800 on tickets (I changed my mind on discussing how much I spent for them). $800 hard earned bucks down the drain into nothingness within 2.5 seconds of click, click, click, purchase. Sigh.

Moving on. (I realize that was my emergency fund down the drain).

I continue to mosey along. Nothing exciting but a series of small consistent moves to continue my pursuit towards a life of debt freedom.

Thinking, what are my buckets…


  • Live within my means, frugal (and always a struggle for me)
  • Pay down that debt ferociously (w/out accruing new debt)
  • Save an emergency fund 
  • And try to have some frugal fun along the way (I gloat at this as a getting-there-middle-age woman with expectations that I should be able to throw money around when I hit this age – hard wake up call)

I realize a lot of it has to do with the mindset too. Too often I am pessimistic in my outlook on this personal finance journey. I blame it on my genes (after all, I heard happiness is 50% genes). But if I look at it as an awesome challenge – it would be much more rewarding, mindfully.

Being that I have been doing this movement for so long in trying to make and STICK with proper process, it’s been tiring. So pessimism pursues me.

Perhaps one day I will change to Jane Pursues Lean FI (if retiring early can equate to retiring at 60, then I will add RE to FI to make FIRE).


$5 Saving Challenge


Started to save my $5s 💵. I don’t have a goal in mind. But I have plenty of things I can earmark it for. Like an emergency fund, a potential big goal in mind, holiday fun and more. Whatever shall I do? ⁣ ⁣ I realize funding my Emergency fund would be best. ⁣ ⁣ #debtfreecommunity #debtfreejourney #saving #savings #savingschallenge #5dollarchallenge #masonjar

A post shared by Jane (@frugal2fi) on

Can we talk about this $5 Savings Challenge? Initially I thought it was a good idea, but recent transactions have left me with an abundance of $5s in change. Sounds great right? But I am whittling away my budget way too quick! Which teaches me a couple of things:


  • Pack work breakfasts and lunches
  • Or, don’t buy food at work with a $20 because I Always get $5s back!
  • Start going to the bank for my Cash Budget so I have less $20s to break
  • Be afraid to spend… LOL

I am already up $115 in 3 weeks. Yikes!

I intend to use the funds either to build up my Emergency fund or take down the CC3 Debt. The CC3 needs to be paid off by October 2019 so interest is not accrued.


That’s it for my November debt recap. How was your November?