- I wanted to reduce the balance on my Chase Freedom card to $6,000. I've gotten it down to about $5,500.
- I wanted to end the month at 237 pounds, a 4 pound weight loss. Sunday morning I weighed 236.4, so I'll claim victory here, too. I didn't make a heck of a lot of changes other than exercising a bit more and skipping a couple of mid-afternoon cravings.
- I wanted to earn $1,500 from mystery shopping, and I did...technically. I made north of $2,000 this month, but much of the income was from work I did in previous months. For example, I received nearly $400 from the Freeman Group for hotels I shopped in September, 2011.
Not so Tangible Goals
- I wanted to reduce the amount of electricity we use. The bill I received last week was the lowest it's been in some time (8 kWh per day, on average). What I've done differently this month is not using the TV merely as background noise when I'm on the computer. And, the thermostat was completely turned off all month, even on the handful of days when it actually should have been used to heat the house.
- I wanted to read more, and I did. I read Boomerang, by Michael Lewis, which attempts to explain why places like Greece are in economic crisis (Lewis says Greeks are lazy and Icelanders should stick to fishing, for example). I am about halfway through In Cheap We Trust, a history of thrift in America. I also read a lot of magazine articles as well as Warren Buffett's 2011 shareholder letter, which he released Saturday. Good stuff.
- I wanted to work on disposing of my still-living-but-confined-to-a-nursing-home grandfather's things. I spent a good bit of time doing just that and then turned over the keys to a couple that runs an antique store near his home, who will be holding an estate sale at some point. Problem solved (I hope).
All in all it was a good month. I would have liked to have done more mystery shopping the last two weeks as things really slowed down, but otherwise I feel I was productive.