One of my major new year resolutions this year was to volunteer a minimum of once a week. Because some weeks do not lend themselves to going out & walking dogs, I decided that I could do online volunteering…during whatever busy week the future might hold. Well, that week turned out to be this one. I have been at a business conference for a corporation that is being held in Boulder, CO (~1300 miles away) since Monday & won’t leave until tomorrow, leaving little time for in-person volunteering. So how could I help out some initiative via online methods?
Thanks to Erin (@dogatemywallet), I now have a resource! You must create a profile and set your interests (so that they can better recommend opportunities), but there are no charges or minimum requirements (i.e. you aren’t required to do X events a month). They show needs for data entry, web design, logo design, brain-storming, & a plethora of other opportunities. From my experience with it these last few days, many of the people looking for help are nonprofit organizations who may not have the resources to hire someone. I first suggested a name for an organization (not chosen) & then moved to an ambitious transfer of a smaller website over to wordpress. I’m still working on it, but it’s proven to be a little more than I thought it would; however, through doing these things, I am helping a non-profit & completing my New Year Resolution.
So if part of your new year resolutions or even just general lifestyle lends to this type of action (or if you want to give back but are really busy), check out Sparked! I’m going to be looking for other online resources as well, but this is a great starting point.
Walking in a Winter Wonderland of Debt Repayment
I’m both intimidated & excited by the amount of spending present here. The former because I’m afraid my income for Jan ’12 will not be sufficient and the latter because the spending primarily consists of EF-building & debt repayment. I anticipate an income of ~$90 from my job at the end of the month, & ~$100 from baby-sitting for bf’s nieces. This leaves me with ~$525 to pay (of $715). I am not sure what the stipend for my new job looks like; we have training relatively soon that will tell me. If it is not sufficient, to the plasma/consignment shop I go! Because I’m a little worried about being able to afford it, I have my budget items ranked by importance I know this isn’t how a budget traditionally functions; however, although all of these items are important, not all of them are urgent, and I have to keep that in mind.
- $195 – GRE Testing Fees – Taking this in January; honestly, it will probably get put in the credit card & then this money will get added to my credit card payment. This also includes my fee to apply for graduate school (in my mind the 2 fees are so tied together they’re one).
- $150 – Credit Card Payments – To lower my carrying balance to $1000. Goal is to have it to zero by May ’12. APR is 0% right now, so all should be good
- $150 – Savings Deposit – Part of my goal to bring EF up to $2000 by the end of ’12
- $60 – Food & Dining – Way lower because I have a meal plan this semester!
- $140 – Student Loan Interest – This is ~14% of the interest I currently owe + how much interest is accrued per month (so that it doesn’t accrue half of what I pay again).
- $20 – Hobbies – This is to pay for a deal at Yoga Bliss that aligns with one of my 10 New Year Resolutions; it’s a 10 sessions for $20 within 30 days. I am not sure what the timeline of the deal is (by when it should be purchased), so this could potentially be pushed back to February or even March (or never & I could just pay the cost up front later, but I’d rather not).