State of Our Union: First Quarter Results

by Erika Torres

Well, my monthly budget updates only lasted one month. So maybe quarterly reports will be a bigger hit? Here is the state of our union on our 2013 goals.

Financial Goals

Bring down my student loans to under $10,000: On track

I paid off my THIRD student loan this week! I started January 2013 with $18,248.01 among five different student loans and now I have $16,092.79 left to pay off among four different loans. That means in three months, I paid $2,155.22 in student loans! Thank you side hustle income!

Make $5,000 in extra income: Complete!

The Side Hustle income has been so good to me. While I’m not making anywhere near this girl, I am very happy with how well I’ve been doing and can say that three months into 2013, I have already knocked this goal out.

I split my side hustle income into three ways. The first $375 every month goes to cover graduate school costs and books that my company doesn’t cover (They only pay 75%). The next $500 goes into our vacation fund (because all work and no play makes Erika a dull girl). And then whatever is left over I use to pay off debt and maybe a few fun things, like my pure barre classes. Of course, when I say “left over” it sounds like there’s not much to go toward debt, but there has been plenty and so far this method has been working really well.

Pay for Graduate School without loans: on track

Thanks to side hustle, I haven’t had to worry about how to come up with the money to cover graduate school.

Save $5,000 in our General Savings Fund: on track

We currently have 60% of our General Savings fund full, but the general savings fund has really turned into a house down payment fund. Eric and I have made a pact that in addition to the $500 per two-week pay period that we put into the fund, any overtime money from our jobs will go into the fund, as well as any “extra” money, ie. Rebates, my bicycle money, etc. Here’s hoping we reach 100% of our goal by the second quarter and we can up our goal for the end of the year!

Pay Down Eric’s Student Loans: No progress

Ugh. Eric’s loans are 0% interest until he graduates (or as long as he’s in school full-time). For this reason, I’ve kind of been ignoring these ones until it’s actually time to pay up. The amount is about $5,000.

Rebuild emergency fund to $1,000: on track

Our emergency fund is 70% funded. We’ve been doing this little by little, whenever our budget allows it and after more important things are taken care of. Since we also have our general savings fund/house down payment fund, it’s not like I’m super worried should an emergency arise, but at the same time, I don’t want our savings fund to ever have to be used in an emergency. Hence, the need for a separate emergency fund.

Save $800 for Christmas 2013: on track

We finally started a Christmas fund this year, and I have a feeling this will make the holidays a lot less stressful. I’ve been setting aside $50 from every paycheck cycle and we’re currently at 43% of our goal. We’re actually upping it to $1,000 because we always overspend at Christmas.

Personal Goals

Go on a domestic vacation: on track

We have our airfare for New York in May. Excited to go on a trip!

Have Eric get hired as a firefighter: on track

Well, so much has happened in this regard, but still no cigar. Basically, we are just waiting to hear from one job, but that could take several months. There will also be hiring opportunities later this year at two fire departments that Eric works at (as an employee, and as a volunteer), so maybe one of those will pan out if we don’t hear back from the first job. We’re so close!

Learn about the stock market: no progress

I’m not sure if this is the right track for our finances at this point in life. Is the stock market just for people who have money to burn? We have our 401K and Roth IRAs: is that good enough? I need to do more research .

Lose 15 pounds: on track

Well, I am down about 10 pounds from the beginning of the year and this is usually where I get stuck. I had a big rut all of February and didn’t lose any weight, and then March I kicked it into high gear. I’m now at the same weight I was last year around this time, but I want to lose more! Juicing in the morning is seriously what helps me drop the weight off. But some days I just don’t feel like having vegetable juice for breakfast, you know?

Bike to work at least 10 times each month: on track

I have completely failed in biking 10x a month to work. January, I only biked like twice, because it was freezing. And I know all you East Coast people are laughing at me, but believe it or not, us Southern Californians have actually had a winter here! It’s been in the 50s in the morning, and I’m sorry that is just too cold for my hiny. Maybe as the weather gets nicer, I’ll pump it up a notch.

Go on at least ONE husband-wife date each month

Eric and I have been doing well in this regard and I’m really proud of us for making an effort. Sometimes, it’s way too easy to rest on the couch with take-out, a dvd, and the iPad and call it a night. And while we still do a LOT of that, we’re also making an effort to get out of the house more.


So there you have it! First quarter results and I am pretty happy with our progress. How are you doing with your goals?  



Our Financial Goals: Six Months into 2013 (and $12,000+ in extra income) | Newlyweds on a Budget July 8, 2013 - 7:51 am

[…] It’s the halfway point of 2013. Time to take a look at how we’re doing on our 2013 financial goals. You can read our first quarter results here. […]

A blog about newlyweds managing money in relationships. | Newlyweds on a Budget April 5, 2013 - 10:54 am

[…] my report of our 2013 first-quarter results, someone asked if I could expand on my side hustle income. I know that I’m always curious as to […]

Holly@ClubThrifty April 4, 2013 - 4:33 am

Great job on your goals! Paying off student loans is such a freeing feeling, isn’t it?!?!?!

Budget & the Beach April 3, 2013 - 5:10 pm

Great job on everything including the weight loss (although you looked great when I saw you in December!). So far I’m fairly happy with things are going this year. I’m making more, but spending is higher with the car and shoulder. Imagining if those things didn’t happen…sigh…

Sara April 3, 2013 - 3:38 pm

You crack me up. What you call “winter” is our version of a nice spring…I’m dying for 50 degree days up here!!

Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies April 3, 2013 - 3:04 pm

Great job with the goals! Super impressed with your progress, especially with the side hustle income.

Michelle's Finance Journal April 3, 2013 - 2:14 pm

You’re doing really well. Congrats~ Keep up the good work and it’s good that your side hustle is doing so well.

The Norwegian Girl April 3, 2013 - 1:41 pm

Seems like you`re doing pretty good! earning $5k in extra income AND losing 10lbs, that`s great!! keep up the good work! 🙂

Lisa Hernandez April 3, 2013 - 12:08 pm

First, congrats on the goal progress. Learning about the stock market is probably an advanced-level financial educational goal, but worth learning before you have tons of money. Think of it not as graduate courses, but having some prerequisites. Your 401k or IRA will have some exposure to the market, so you can’t avoid it. I don’t do my own car repairs, but when the mechanic says I have to replace the transmission fluid, I know enough not to look at the tailpipe.

That said, I started an investment club with about 8 others, where we pooled together $40/month, and learned how to research stocks that fit our principles. That was in 1996, using Better Investing . We were all pretty clueless at the beginning, and still very conservative about what we buy, but learning about what stocks fit us, and learning to tune out what didn’t fit us, made a big difference in understanding “the market” and helped me in picking 401k choices. We have had some unfortunate picks, over the years (sometimes crowd sourcing works, sometimes it’s just lemming behavior) but having a way to learn without entrusting a huge sum in the beginning was very useful.

Be skeptical when investing, and do your own research before handing over money.

SavvyFinancialLatina April 3, 2013 - 11:17 am

Erika congrats on the side hustle income!!! Do you have other savings other than an $1,000 EF fund?

SavvyFinancialLatina April 3, 2013 - 11:20 am

Obviously you have other savings…Let me clarify.

You broke down your savings into various buckets. Do you keep this in separate savings accounts?

We have $30K in savings. $20K EF + $10K down payment. But it’s all in one savings fund. So much easier to keep track off.

newlywedsonabudget April 3, 2013 - 12:46 pm

Yes ours are separated into separate accounts. We do this so we’re not dipping into money that should be used for different things (ie, vacation christmas, car insurance, house down payment) If I kept them all in one fund it would be too easy to be like “oh well we overspent on our vacation so I’ll just take a little more out” does that make sense?

My Shiny Pennies April 3, 2013 - 9:43 am

Good job on your goals. I like that you plan a husband-wife date, there are definitely nights when I just want to sit on the couch in my sweats and veg out. Once we get married, this is something I’d like to do.

Army Amy April 3, 2013 - 9:05 am

I would love an update on your side-hustle money. I know you’ve written about it before, but I just can’t believe how much money you make off of it. I want to know your secret!

newlywedsonabudget April 3, 2013 - 9:47 am

I will do a post soon, breaking it all down!

CeCe @Frugalista Married April 3, 2013 - 8:34 am

Congrats on the 10 lb weight loss and the income for your side hustle. I seriously need one of those! I read another blogger who’s husband is trying to be a firefighter. I didn’t know how hard it was to get in! Hope that he gets there soon.

Michelle April 3, 2013 - 7:43 am

Sounds like you are doing great! Congrats on the side hustle income.


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