2019 Goals


Personal goals:

  1. Every day for the next 5 days, pack a lunch. If I am not eating breakfast or lunch from home during the work week, then I need to pack one. It’s a super helpful way to keep me in this new-reduced food & household budget of mine.
  2. Keep it frugal. While my days are filled with a series frugal moves like meal prepping, menu planning and more. It’s here I will give intention to something done frugal during the week.
  3. Pay with cash. Envelopes, clips or debit. This was a good move on my part to start using the cash envelope system. It’s been super helpful to keep the budget and I am having fun picking out new paper every month to craft with. I’ve now bought money clips to try out as they will fit better in my wallet. If in budget, using the debit card is okay too. But it’s seldom it even comes out of my wallet now.
  4. Healthy habits. In the bowl (pick 2 per week): Walk 3 times a week, meditate 2 times a week, hike a trail (as I miss the dirt), run a trail, eat a healthy meal full of complex carbs, or do some yoga. The benefits gained all these things have proved its worth in the past. But keeping the habits up is another story. Try, try again! My goal is to just get to it – with no distance in mind and no time limits.
  5. Read – both a mix of fiction and non-fiction. I am a self help addict when I do read. My goal is to widen my horizon. Let me know your favorite reads!

(Updated 1/26/2019)

Meal Prepping


The burritos have been working out quite well. Prepped. Threw them in the freezer. When needed, microwave almost 1 minute on each side and I have a nice hot breakfast.

Stocking up on:

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Frozen veggies
I already have lots of legumes, beans, oatmeal, flour, and sugar. Lots of spices. I am thinking of investing in a small cubic freezer (I have enough $5s saved up for it.  A couple of dresses from Etsy or Small Cubic Freezer…. hmmmm???).
I am totally out of room from my last Costco run from the protein stock up, but I need more room for the veggies.
Just made a bunch of this 30-Minute Homemade Tortillas Soup. Averie’s use of spice for this recipe was spot on.

2019 Budget (first – half of the year)

(full image here)


  • House & Utilities: $2,031
  • Food & Household: $400
  • Transportation Fuel & Oil Changes: $230
  • Everything Else: $137
  • Debt: $1,535
  • Travel Anticipated: $640
  • Sinking Funds: $200

Financial Goals

  1. Travel Debit Savings. “What’s Due” related expenses – like hotel payment, transport, spending, etc… I opened a checking account with no foreign transactions fees or monthly fees and am now transferring my travel savings into that account. Currently transferring $640/m to the account to cover anticipated expenses. Traveling by debit card.
  2. Stay the Plan. I plan to catch up on scheduled snowball payments in February ($2,900),  then on calendar is to snowball $200/m from February to June, snowball $850 from June to December.
  3. Put $1,000/m in my 401k. My goal to retire by 60 with $600k is to put $1,000 month into my 401k. This doesn’t account for my employer’s contributions. So I’ll use employer’s contributions to cover inflation that I didn’t take into account when I made this goal.
  4. Emergency Fund. Keep the emergency fund for emergencies and keep padding it when possible. The EF is not to be used for the nice linen dress I found on Etsy. Current balance: $500.
Let’s see how this goes! Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve!


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?

The Cycle That Has Yet To Break

Here is the series of life from 2014 – car, back to school, health and now another car. I could be proud that I kept this number pretty even keel. That’s something to account for, I think.

(Lowest and Highest debt amounts in bold)

History of Debt since 2014:


Jun 2014 $61,368
Jul 2014 $60,857
Aug 2014 $59,971
Sep 2014 $58,976 Lowest
Oct 2014 $58,983
Nov 2014 $65,841
Dec 2014 $63,215


Jan 2015 $68,762
Feb 2015 $67,126
Mar 2015 $66,010
Apr 2015 $62,622
May 2015 $62,423
Jun 2015 $63,715
Jul 2015 $68,383
Aug 2015 $66,681
Sep 2015 $68,208
Oct 2015 $66,254
Nov 2015 $67,282
Dec 2015 $65,707


Jan 2016 $63,674
Feb 2016 $62,953
Mar 2016 $61,913
Apr 2016 $64,912
May 2016 $62,216
Jun 2016 $61,921
Jul 2016 $65,490
Aug 2016 $68,762
Sep 2016 $69,352
Oct 2016 $72,571
Nov 2016 $73,819
Dec 2016 $73,845


Jan 2017 $72,144
Feb 2017 $71,449
Mar 2017 $69,964
Apr 2017 $69,213
May 2017 $68,559
Jun 2017 $67,110
Jul 2017 $68,177
Aug 2017 $69,365
Sep 2017 $69,008
Oct 2017 $67,681
Nov 2017 $66,216
Dec 2017 $64,870


Jan 2018 $65,251
Feb 2018 $64,965
Mar 2018 $68,868
Apr 2018 $85,779 Highest
May 2018 $79,686
Jun 2018 $73,346
Jul 2018 $72,208
Aug 2018 $71,533
Sep 2018 $70,550
Oct 2018 $69,469
Nov 2018 $68,501
Dec 2018 $69,960


Jan 2019 83,864 2nd Highest
Feb 2019 80,720