March Rose & Thorns – A monthly recap of the highs and lows experienced each month.
This month marks a significant running goal. I’ve slowly built up my running time and endurance, which has led me to run my first 10k distance. In 1:01, I was able to run 6.27 miles. I was elated when I finished my run and was greeted with a congratulatory longest distance badge on my Garman watch.
As the season moves into the oppressive summer heat, I can already foresee my pace during these long-runs slowing down. This summer, the real challenge will be threading the needle between the heat and the afternoon thunderstorms. However, I’m happy to have reached my goal of running a 10k distance before nature retakes the pleasant spring weather.
Thorn: Tailoring Disaster
Last year, I wrote a post called Revamping 4 Thrift Store Dresses. The post theme was that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have clothes tailormade for your body. I was hoping to create a similar post for this year. The tailor to whom I took my dresses had other plans.
Out of the four dresses, only one of them was worth the time and money to have altered. The other three were mid-length dresses I wanted to be shortened. Easy enough task, I thought. The frustration started when I called to see if they were ready for pick up, only to find out they had not begun. Days later, when I picked them up, the thread used to sew the new hem did not match the fabric color of the dress. The dress I had taken in (and was charged extra for) had the lining peeking out of the front, and the hip area was too tight, rendering it unwearable.
Needless to say, there won’t be a part two of revamping thrift store dresses, and I am on the hunt for a new tailor.
Rose: One Man’s Trash, Is Another Man’s Treasure
I was bitten by the DIY home décor bug this month. Each weekend this month, I was creating of upgrading some areas of my condo. My big IKEA entryway makeover was the most significant undertaking, spanning several weekends to complete. A project that fell into my lap was found while driving home. Like a hitchhiker on the side of the road, a tall swivel neck lamp was looking for a new home. I did a double-take at this abandoned treasure and promptly turned my car around to come to its rescue.
The lamp is sturdy and high-quality. The Florida beach home colors were the only thing working against it. Before I got too excited, I checked to ensure it worked. Thankfully it did because in the time it took to haul it upstairs, I had already envisioned how perfect it would fit into my home. A few coats of matte black spray paint and a new lampshade gave this once discarded garbage a new life.
Rose: Another Student Loan Bites The Dust
It is always cause for a celebration when I pay down a student loan. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t flinch at the large sum of money exiting my bank account to clean the debt slate. Over the past five years, I’ve made it a priority to pay these loans back as soon as possible. This was loan four of five. Each time one is scratched off the list, I feel like I breathe easier.
I was recently asked how I could pay down debt and still afford to travel and buy my first home. This question could be entire blog post, but the short answer is that I don’t buy things or go out often—I thrift shop for most of the things I have, including clothes and home décor. I focus on experiences that are usually inexpensive hobbies, like hiking in a local state park or attending a new fitness class. I also always pay myself first when I get my paycheck. Meaning I take a percentage right off the top to put into savings before paying other bills.
These tips may not be helpful to everyone’s financial situation, but these are the things that have worked for me. My income is consistent every month, making it easy for me to predict how much will be coming in versus how much will be going out. After paying off this student loan, just a little less will be going out this month, which brings me that much closer to financial freedom.
Favorites of the Month
I didn’t buy anything new or exciting this month. However, I did spend a lot of time at the hardware store. In that sense, I’m going to link the products used in recent projects and items that fit my home aesthetic.
March Blog Post Recap
In case you missed any posts this month:
A ONE DAY ITINERARY: EXPLORING TARPON SPRINGS, FLORIDA – Find out what fun activities Tarpon Springs offers on your next day trip.
FLORIDA FARM SPOTLIGHT: COW CREEK FARM – If you love cows as much as I do, you will fall in love with the Highland Cows at Cow Creek Farm in Plant City, Florida.
DIY: IKEA ENTRYWAY MAKEOVER – Talk about a labor of love. This weekend project took longer than expected, but the result was well worth the time.
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