Friday, June 22, 2007

One for the Road

It's out July 31th!!!

(Not that I'm counting... [or budgeting])

Kick It

Got to class again last night, and signed up "for real" (which involved paying money! That I sort of had!).

Master T. asked about my med ID braclet, and I babbaled on about having type 1 and how I test before and after class, and I keep my emergency sugar right there by my water... I think some part of me was worried I was going to get the "I can't have you here and be responsible if you pass out," but you know, I already signed my wavier. Instead, he told me he has a student he does private lessons with who's also a type 1 diabetic, which is why he asked. Which was kind of neat in a weird way.

I guess it felt good not to be the spokesperson for my weirdness. It's like being "the feminist," "the black friend," "the gay friend," and etc. You can only represent for one aspect of what makes you you for so long before you want to start waving your arms and saying, "I'm more than this! Yes, I'm this too, but there's a huge load of things that go together! I don't want to be The Diabetic!"

Overall, class went a lot, lot, lot better than the first one. I had a partner who was also new, and we spent less time grappling and more time working on stance and punching technique than we did last time. It turns out that I'd so internalized the "keep your hands up" mantra that I'd been holding my arm incorrectly before I punched and losing a huge amount of power.

I need a lot of work. I'm out of shape and, as ever, uncoordinated. Even after all my time at the other gym, picking this stuff up, all this body stuff, it's not easy for me. It's been a weakness of mine my whole life, and it's one of those things I recognize but am really driven to making the best it can be. I may never be a tricky fighter, but I want to be better.

Physcially, I'm a lot more put together after this class than I was after the last one, too. Some of what's killing me is biking half an hour out there and half an hour back. Riding back is a bitch.

And... I'm wondering how much my inability to move for two solid days after class last week also had something to do with having low sugar all night. If you're at 45 for six hours after a 3 hour workout, your muscles aren't exactly getting much of anything to repair themselves.

My dosing strategy worked out really well this time around. Without the dinner insulin, I was able to come home at 150, which is high, but I knew from the week before that I was going to crash at least 50 points overnight, so I refrained from dosing and set my alarm. The low sugar woke me up at 1:30 am, before the alarm, and I tested at 61. I ate some jellybeans and tested four hours later when I got up for the day at 74 (80's a perfect number).

Not bad.

I'm feeling good enough that I think I'll be able to make it to class on Tuesday. Bare minimum, I can start with once a week if I have to, but I'm hoping to keep at two classes a week regularly and maybe add another one on occasion when I'm feeling up to it.

Felt good to be out and about.

Well, I Managed to Blow that Budget!

One of the things I'm working really hard on this year is managing my out-of-control finances. Sure, there was some bad luck in there, but there's also been a lot of careless spending on my part. I don't keep track of what I spend. I don't balance my checkbook. I just keep approximate ideas of what I have and what I've spent in my head and spend accordingly. I'm usually about sorta maybe around where I thought I've been.

And when I wasn't, I had a credit card.

Now the credit card debt is somewhere around 15K ($14,714.52).

I own nothing but my bicycle and I'm living off the good graces of friends. My goal for the year is to pay down this debt and learn how to budget properly. Luckily, I live with some people who are very good with money. Stephanie and the Old Man are my age - we went to high school together - and they own a house and two cars, have little to no credit card debt and live a very lean, budgeted life that's perfectly comfortable and manageable.

I already know I can't live as tightly as they do (I have a travel addiction and an SO who lives in another country; some extravagence is neccessary in order to live this sort of life), but I can live a lot better than I do.

So I came up with a budget of about what I should be spending in order to spend less than I make. It looks like this:

AK Student Loan: $55
CitiBank CC: $500
WAMU CC: $200
Transit: $35
MA Gym: $85
Groceries: $320
Fun: $195
Meds: $150
(my other two student loans have been deferred until September)


As you can see, I should have a whole $2.82 left over every month!

After logging all of my receipts for the last two weeks I decided to look at how I was doing for the month as far as variable costs ("fun" and "groceries"). I figured that made the math easy.

I should be at about half the total monthly cost for each of the variable bills, so:


Groceries: $218.09

Actual Total: $228.23
Budgeted Total: $110.00

Difference: -118.23


Office supplies: $36.81
Dinner out: $30.13
Books: $7.43
Coffee: $37.24

Actual Total: $111.61
Budgeted Total: $97.50

Difference: -$14.11

Amount overbudget so far this month: $132.24

As you can see, I'm off to a fantastic start!

All snark aside, it does give me an idea of what I'm spending and areas where I can improve. I *do* spend a lot on food. Steph and the Old Man cook a lot with rice and noodles. If I live on rice and noodles I'll feel crappy and triple or quadruple the amount of insulin I use, which would probably result in an extra $80 a month in med costs.

But there are places I can cut back - I need to stop buying my coveted Diet Cherry Coke, which is $15 a week. And I've got to keep the coffee costs to $10 a week. That's one *regular* coffee a day, and if I skip a couple weekday coffee runs, that'll give me enough "leftover" for a foo-foo coffee when I write at the coffee shop on weekends.

I feel bad that the "fun" budget is so high, but because it includes office supplies and actual brain-stimulating activities like going out to new places to eat, movies, and plays... it's hard to cut that. I could probably get it down a lot further, though.

Budgeting is SO FUN!

I don't know why I didn't do this before!