I contend there’s no better city in the world in the summertime than Chicago. Kanye put it in a song, so it must be true. Though summertime Chi does coincide with construction season (if you’re not familiar, that’s any season that there isn’t still snow on the ground), summer is a pretty magical time here. For a lot of Chicagoans, that means busting out the shorts right around the 45-degree Fahrenheit mark and rocking them clear into October. What can I say? We hold onto sunshine for dear life.
But that’s not the only way to make the best of summer. In fact, I set a pretty lofty list of money moves that our little family was determined to make this season. Now that we are well underway with summertime in the Chi, I thought it would be a good time to check in.
The great thing about checking in with your goals is that it gives you time to celebrate, but it also gives you the opportunity to reroute as necessary. In our case, there’s a need for a bit of both.
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Get outside. This is such a hit and a miss. I’m outside almost every day. But my FitBit streak is no more. I don’t get steps kayaking or gardening, no matter how backbreaking it is to weed garden beds. I’m also doing more sitting than I would like between writing and reading. My FitBit pretty much alternates between 8,000 steps and 20,000 depending on what we’re up to.
Use what you have. I’m still loving kayaking, which is pretty much a three-season hobby of mine. I was even paddling away pregnant as could be last summer. I also dusted off my wakeboard. It was so much fun to be back on the board. I also used muscles that I’m pretty sure haven’t moved since the last time I was on the board pre-pregnancy. We are also trying to be really good about playing with the toys and reading the books that HP already has, as well as eating what we’ve already bought and wearing what we own.
Do curb checks. I rescued a baby bouncer on trash day and resold it in 48 hours. There hasn’t been much curb action, but we’ve inherited quite a few more second-hand items.
Decluttering and reselling. I realized just how little my stuff is worth. While I’m still selling a few things on Poshmark and OfferUp, I’m mostly relying a little on ThredUP and a ton on Freecycle to declutter without adding to any landfills.
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Going green. I’m doing really well, especially now that I’ve ditched my Starbucks habit. The biggest setback was HP’s first birthday. We rented and borrowed as much as we could to avoid buying anything new, but we did use some disposable items that I feel pretty guilty about. Our recycle bins and compost got a good workout, though.
Eating greens. Our garden was off to a pretty slow start despite the nice rain we had. In a few short weeks, I anticipate we will be up to our eyeballs in veggies. This will be a welcome relief to
Side hustling strategically. I’ve made the decision to scale back even more on tutoring this fall. I only have a few hours between the end of my work day and HP’s bedtime, so I’d rather soak up the time with him. As a result, I’m trying to continue to grow my freelancing and ghostwriting now. I am consistently writing five or more articles a month, and I’m pretty pleased with that!
Setting up other investments. This deserves a post in and of itself. The short version is it’s done and no matter how hard everyone tried, I was able to fight off high fees. FSTVX for the win.
Climbing the income ladder. I am two weeks away from finishing my last grad class ever. I never developed senioritis in high school, undergrad, or any of my other graduate programs. But I have it BAD now. Once my transcript is finalized, it’s a matter of getting all of the paperwork processed so my raise can take effect in November.
Getting sushi. Check! We went out for happy-hour sushi to celebrate our anniversary thanks to a gift card from my aunt. We even took HP and learned that he has an incredible reach and a strange palate. The salmon roll he took a bite out of? He loved it. Watermelon? He spits it out almost every time he tries it. I’m penciling in at least one more sushi date before we head back to work.
So Tell Me…How is summer treating you? Have you checked in on your goals lately?