Wondering Wanderer

Week Notes Vol 19

September 12, 2019

Who does’t love September and planning/budgeting for the next calendar year? Everything is due yesterday. I honestly do not mind all the planning and bugeting but I much prefer doing it for my own life rather than for some corporate goals I have very little influence over. Someone on Twitter started a thread on how to succeed at work, maintain work/life balance, have time for family, work out, eat healthy - without making sacrifices. I have to agree that it can be challenging - and who am I to judge with no children to take care of - but there are a few tricks up my sleeve that keep me going:

  • Automating tasks as much as possible - this includes things like bills, savings and investments.
  • Reminders for items that for some reason cannot be automated - such as quaterly estimated taxes, car maintenance, personal health checkups.
  • Scheduling 6+ months in advance - for re-occurring items I put them down in my calendar right after I complete them. This includes things like my dentist, car insurance etc.
  • Staying organized - I keep folders for tax purposes throughout the year so that doing taxes is a breeze since I already have all the required paperwork. I keep folders for non-taxable expenses at well - this way I can for example say exactly when my car is due for something.
  • Meal prep - I usually prep 4 days worth of lunches and dinners ahead of time on weekends which leaves me just one day of figuring out meals and on those days it tends to be some kind of meetup with free pizza anyway.
  • Budgeting - Sunday mornings are dedicated budgeting and financial planning time. There used to be a time where I lived paycheck to paycheck because of poor planning and I aim never to be back there again. If you are just starting out - YNAB and Mint are your best buddies. Add in Betterment for some nice and convinient cash stashing and you have three solid tools in your toolbox.
  • Calendar - if it is not on my calendar it does not exist. Sunday mornings are also time to schedule time with family and friends and reserve much needed time for working out.
  • Setting a limit on social networks - most phones have this feature these days. Look at your usage and find something that makes sense for you. If you say you don’t have time to go to the gym, how do you have time for 2 hours of IG time a day?
  • Extended lunch break - because I start my work day at 7am I need to take a longer lunch break to power through the day. I use this time to go for a quick run or practice my accordion. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I use this time to binge on Netflix for 30 minutes to clear my mind.
  • Notebooks - I have very visual memory so I need to write things down with pen and paper. Some of my daily todo is in a notebook, some of it is as a daily notebook in Todoist


Katrin Valdre

Written by Katrin Valdre who has a permanent address in Portland, OR but does not believe in one physical location. You should follow her on Twitter