health · Personal Journey · resiliance

One day down, 364 to go.

Week 1 of 52, day two. Save money, lose weight, get educated, have an orderly house. Yeah I can do this.

Yesterday I only spent money on gas, and got 3¢ off with my loyalty card. I also downloaded or reactivated several money saver apps; Receipt Hog, Ibotta (referral code e7jxrq), Checkout 51, Checkpoints (rturner1979), ReceiptPal, iPoll, Panel App and Viggle. All of these apps are 5 star in the play store and earn the causal user – because let’s face it I am probably not going to remember to use them every day or change my families grocery habits- about $5 a month in PayPal or gift cards. Not the $385 I’m looking for but it’s a start, D and I are in the research phase of changing the way we watch TV and connect to the internet. Currently our satellite bill is $130 (TV) and our cell bill with 15 GB of data is closer to $250 and yes we use every bit of that data, we even turn the mobile data completely off in the car, at work, during meals, and while asleep. Internet not from our cell carrier and Netflix or Hulu may be cheaper for not just the TV bill, but maybe even for the amount of data on our plan.

Losing weight is hard, it takes time and effort. No matter what infomercials tell us there is no pill that can make weight fall off without a cut in calories and increase in movement. My scale hasn’t budged since yesterday but I did manage to get the girls to walk a mile with me and use my SparkPeople app to ensure that I didn’t get to crazy with the calories. New Year’s Day in the Deep South has a specific menu, black eyed peas, corn, cornbread, pork chops, collard greens and pecan pie- none of which is cooked without lard so keeping the day to 1500 calories without offending grandma is a little tricky. I managed in part thanks to the large dog sitting on my foot who happens to love anything not red-brown and square. While I normally do not condone the feeding of one’s dinner to Fido there are circumstances such as the protecting of feelings and family tradition that allow for such an exception.

Classes for my program start on the 6th, but I fiddled around on the school’s internet platform for familiarization and subjected the family to an “on ramp” Spanish cd during the drive to Grandma’s house. So far we have learned car, van, new, old, large, and small as well as a few basics on masculine and feminine. But for anyone who has not been accepted to a school yet: never fear there is still time! Many schools offer online options that allow for registration up to the start date for classes. I happen to be enrolled at USC- yep you read right USC an actual school with a building and sports teams that you and an employer have heard of.

Most school admissions offices are still on winter break, but in the next few days you can do a few things to help expedite your process or at the very least set you up for a summer start date.

  1. Fill out a FAFSA in order to help bankroll your classes. You may want to haul out your tax return from last year to answer many of the questions. Veterans hit up the VONAPP website.
  2. Register for your school of choice, just because no one is checking the email today doesn’t mean yours can’t be ready when they get back.
  3. Gather all of your transcripts, many schools (to include my rural high school) offer online transcript requests and will do a school to school transfer for a small fee.
  4. Shoot your boss, some old teachers, and supervisors an email asking if they could write you a good letter of recommendation (not every school wants these but many do).
  5. Clean up your resume- more of a graduate school thing, but it never hurts to tweak and update your resume- look at what the school or program expects from you and highlight what you have done in that area.
  6. Look into grants, loans, employer education repayment systems, or for the veterans dig out your DD214, schools will want this for proof (and when they have tangible proof that they will get $$ will defer payments until the 4-6 week turnaround time the VA takes). Sallie Mae and FastWeb are among the sites you can search for a college bankroll.

Decluttering was another story. We got the regular chores done, i.e. breakfast dishes, sweeping, a load of laundry in the washer, trash and recycles in the bins outside before heading to grandmas but the actual declutter was limited to my desk. On the upside I GOT MY DESK CLEANED OFF. I threw 2013 paperwork not needed in my taxes through the shredder and into the recycle, I sorted the “keep” art from the 79 on spelling tests and filed accordingly. I made a plan for all the photos that need to be put into albums (OK so I bought 3 albums from Amazon). I made my 2016 declutter plan, that will be updated monthly (fingers crossed) for you to follow along or adjust to suit your needs.

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