I hated midterms in high school but I also loved them.
They came at the right time. When you needed a re-up or change in scenery or just a damn break!
But they also force you to look back and then look ahead.
Most importantly, they forced you to stop and think.
Sooo, what does The Wordsmith do when he can’t sleep?
It is exactly 3:15am as my fingers strike the keyboard of my Macbook. I reference my MacBook, not to flex (trust me, some people would think that) but because the battery needs replacing. Can barely hold a charge.
It is important to get but not the most important thing in my life right now.
I’ll speak on this idea some more in a bit.
2018 is my Sink or Swim year. If you have not read my WordsOfWednesday about it, please do so HERE.
I decided in December last year while sitting in my cousin’s house in Lagos that I was going to change my approach to my life this year.
How you ask?
For starters, I was going to gamble on myself.
Since I graduated college in 2012, I have typically played it safe. Calculated moves and trying to stay on the side of not getting hurt – not just emotionally.
This year, I decided things would be different.
Thankfully, I was blessed with a great job in the last quarter of 2017. So I decided, 2018 would be the year I stop living from paycheck to paycheck.
I was going to take ownership of my finances, my relationships, my faith, fitness, and creativity.
So how have I done so far?
In 2017 alone, I traveled to the following places.
Atlanta, New York (2x), Los Angeles, Houston, Nigeria, Europe (6 countries) – at least those are the ones I remember off the top of my head.
Without a doubt, all of my travel last year cost me no less than $10,000 – $12,000. Between flights, hotels, car, rentals, money spent on location and such.
So you will understand why this year, as of July 3rd, 2018 I have only been to Los Angeles and Houston.
LA to see my brother and Houston for my cousin’s wedding.
Looking at my finances, I could quickly tell that travel was where things were hurting me the most.
Now don’t get me wrong, I would not trade any of my experiences from last year for anything. I loved getting out there and seeing the world but I am going to be 28 in January, this is the year to set up the rest of my life.
So I decided, less travel and less credit card debt.
This year alone I have now:
Paid off in credit card debt as of June 30th – $5700
Sent my parents on vacation – $2600+
Spent fixing and registering my car – $2200
Honestly, I cannot tell you how I have done it so far.
Actually I can. I have obsessed over every detail. Before I buy something, I ask myself is this a “NEED” or a “WANT”
Most times, I realize that whatever I am thinking about is something I can do without.
I was so broke last year that something had to change.
This year, I am on a budget. Here are some ways I have improved my financial health.
- I cook lunches from home. Eating out at work will hurt you. That postdates delivery charge? Total it for two weeks. Pot of stew right there.
- I find bargains in everything. I still shop o. Don’t get me wrong (matter of fact if I didn’t shop this year, I might have even been able to pay down one more credit card but let’s not loud it).
But I look through the sale section and I buy things out of season. Snatched up a coat a few weeks ago for 80% off. Look out for it’s debut in October.
- I have a weekly budget. A weekly budget is soooooo important.
- it just helps to keep you in check.
- It allows you to prioritize what is really important.
My weekly budget is $50. This is for everything that is NOT gas or food for the house.
So if you are asking me to come out or do this or that, make sure it is in the budget, otherwise?
I am staying my ass at home.
- I DON’T GO OVER BUDGET. It can be tempting but train yourself to stay within budget.
- I set short-term goals. It can be daunting to look at your whole financial situation and think “where do I start?”
Trust me, I thought the same thing too but you have to just start.
Start with the smaller cards or debts. Knock them out. If you can prioritize one every month. Inch away at it.
Before you know it, the outlook is looking a lot better.
- Understand that it is a marathon, not a sprint. The financial mess I got myself in was 4 years in the making. 6 months won’t undo it all but it surely is a start.
One that I am making strides on and you can too.
Yup. I have been trash.
I feel like I need a reboot for the year when it comes to relationships but yeah. It’s all good.
I am not happy (in this department) and I don’t even want to try.
You ever had such bad experiences that you are just like, “why bother?”
Yeah, that’s me right now.
I was mad at the church and mad at God for much of last year.
I feel the Nigerian church has a unique way of alienating young people (more on this in a few weeks). So I stayed away for most of it and gave up one thing I really love doing – praising God.
Late last year, someone told me “your service is for God and not them, do not let being mad at them push you away from giving God what He deserves.”
I am a lot better this year.
Not where I want to be at all but much closer. Serving, being patient and looking for new ways to improve my relationship with Him.
Things are looking up.
Short and sweet – down 17lbs since I started working out and eating “better” on April 1st.
I can still do better but I’ll keep working.
Hoping to hit the 30lbs mark by the end of the summer.
How am I doing it?
Monday – No gym. I have my show in the evenings, so yeah.
Tuesday – Back and Biceps
Wednesday – Shoulders and Triceps
Thursday – Rest day
Friday – Chest and light legs/cardio
Saturday – Rest plus I have choir practice, so yeah.
Sunday – Chest and abs
I work abs into everyday but on Sunday, I do a full ab circuit.
Btw, who wants to join me for a weight loss challenge? Let’s drop 10lbs in July.
You with me?
I haven’t done as much as I would want.
I need to expand more on this. The book I am writing though.
I will blow your mind. Simple.
WATCH THIS SPACE!
As you can see from my goals I wrote late last year/early this year, I have accomplished some but a lot is left to be worked on.
I challenge you, outline your goals, even the ones that don’t have a hard deadline and start working on them.
It will be tough. Really tough but you can do it.
And I am here to help along the way if you need me. We are family.
We will all eventually get there.
I trust we will.
So what midterm grade would I give myself this year so far?
Overall score: N*GGA GET YOUR ASS BACK TO WORK! With your score giving ass!
Lol, I am doing well. Better will come because if you know me, you know I never settle for mediocre.
Thank you for being here and holding me accountable.
How are you doing in 2018 so far?
Leave me a comment below, let’s work together.
Thanks for reading as always!
Thank you for reading and commenting. You are highly appreciated.
© 2018 #WhatTheHeckMan