At the beginning of the year, I posted about my new, exciting vision for the New Year and promised to update you. Here’s how we did at the Centsibly Rich household in March.
Giving and Random Acts of Kindness
Alan and I binged on podcasts on the road trip to Alabama. This Tim Ferriss podcast featuring Adam Robinson had some moments that stuck with me. One thing Adam talks about is delighting and creating magic for others. He says “it gives you infinite power because you want nothing and your offering everything” and when he does this he’s playing a game he “can’t lose” (start around 0:53).
This is one of the main reasons I wanted to make 2017 a giving year. I’m far from perfect and, though I haven’t given a ton of money, I have been more focused on others. I’ve been more kind and more conscientious of what might be going on in their lives. I’m paying more attention. I’m focusing more on them than myself. This is far more beneficial to me than it is to them, and what if it spreads? Focusing on “creating magic” for others is a win for everyone.
I committed to doing at least one random act of kindness, and/or give one unexpected gift, each month this year. My inspiration came from the generosity of the Rockstar Community Fund (RCF). The RCF has touched many lives and spread a ton of good – check out exactly how much has been given and how far-reaching it is on the Rockstar totals page!
Here’s what I did in March:
- Contributed $20 to the RCF (If you’d like to help, go here!)
- I went to Aldi twice this month and put several dollars worth of quarters in the carts (this is great fun!)
- As I was heading to the grocery store, I noticed a woman with a sign – “Broke and Hungry”. I bought her some food and gave her all the cash I had ($15)
I love blogging. It has changed my life. It’s making me a better person. It is forcing me to do wonderful things I wouldn’t have otherwise done. Best of all, blogging has allowed me to connect with so many great people, many of whom are now amazing friends. For all of this, I am grateful.
Did you feel a “But” coming? There is something that’s been holding me back. Something that has had me focused on the “wrong” things (wrong for me, that is). The focus on earning, selling, pushing to get more page views isn’t feeling good to me right now. I’m not saying these are bad things. But, for me, at this moment, they are a distraction and steal my joy.
That said, nothing will noticeably change on Centsibly Rich. I’ll still write posts and share on social media. But I’m not going to worry about the statistics right now. I still want the blog to continue to grow and if it makes money, that would be great (it does make a little). This may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s freeing my mind to focus on what’s important to me right now (both personally and otherwise). If I don’t please the masses, so be it. And if I don’t make much money, that’s totally okay (btw I do have a great product idea for the future!).
So here’s my not so specific update: for the first quarter of 2017, traffic dropped compared to the last quarter of 2016, but it is rebounding nicely. Income is up due to freelance work. How’s that for non-adherence to SMART goals (I’ll get back to it, just need a breather). 🙂
The search for a rental property is back on!!! More properties have been coming on the market too. We’re excited to start looking again, but the competition is fierce!
From the Mad Fientist Laboratory, here is how long we have until FI, if we stay the current course:
Two months less than last month! Most of this progress was due to maxing our IRAs for the year – we didn’t see significant market returns this month.
Last year, our savings rate was 46%. My goal is to get it to 51% in 2017. Our savings rate for the year so far is 72%! Oh, but don’t let that number fool you – it will continue to drop as the year goes on. The tax return is to blame for the huge spike.
We use our tax return to help fund our IRAs each year. I loaded up the IRAs the week the market was trending down. Though I don’t believe in trying to time the market, I was happy to get in on a down day.
Our Digit balance is $2780, but that will go down when I pay the credit card bill for our recent vacation.
Mayo Clinic had a cancellation and I got in for my evaluation sooner than expected. This whole thing has been life changing in many ways, but I’m still processing it – expect more on that in the future.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have Mayo Clinic within driving distance. The clinic itself is amazing, full of beautiful music (a baby grand piano in the atrium!) and fantastic artwork (including museums!) throughout. Their focus is on the patient, with the recognition that a patient’s emotional state and surroundings have a huge impact on their ability to heal. And, of course, they have the best of the best when it comes to doctors.
As for my diagnosis – I have multiple nerve tumors in my leg (they say hundreds) and have a very rare condition called Schwannomatosis (a form of Neurofibromatosis). The great thing about it is the tumors are benign. The not-so-great thing about it is I’ll have it my entire life and it can be painful. But, if you’re going to find out you have hundreds of tumors in your body, the fact that they are benign is the absolute best news you can get, in my opinion.
Since there are so many tumors, they can’t remove them all. Plus, they really don’t know if my body will make more or if the existing tumors will grow. The doctor said I will need “lifelong surveillance”, with surgery to remove the most bothersome tumors. I may need multiple surgeries over the years to manage the disorder.
I am so grateful for this diagnosis. I’m grateful the tumors are benign, I got an accurate diagnosis, and for my supportive family and friends. And I’m relieved to finally have an answer and feel like I can move on with my life. 🙂
Sooooo, I’m having surgery tomorrow. I’m not sure of the extent of the surgery yet because I will have another MRI prior to surgery to determine which tumors will be removed. Later in the spring, I will have my knee scoped to take the tumors out of my knee joint, but this will be much less invasive (hopefully). My goal is to reduce some of the pain and be able to have better range of motion in my knee (which would be glorious for rock climbing and taekwondo!).
Sold! We had a mad rush at the end of March and now have an extra $10,000+ in our rental property fund! I did not want to complicate the savings rate, so I chose not to include this in that calculation.
I admit, it was a sad day. We had so many great memories of camping over the past 10+ years. And we’ll miss it, but it’s just a normal transition to a new stage of life. 🙂
The tomato and pepper seedlings are started and the sweet pea, lettuce, broccoli and cabbage seeds are planted. I should be able to start harvesting rhubarb in a month (can’t wait for rhubarb mulberry crumble!). And the strawberries are up and spreading like weeds this year. Can’t wait to start sharing harvest pics!
Overall, March was great for us in so many ways! How was your March? Did you reach your goals for the month?
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