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Monthly Progress Report #25

Yay! After two years I think I finally have the numbering of my monthly progress reports right!

I can’t believe we’re already a month into 2021. And what a crazy month it’s been.

So far, 2021 doesn’t seem much different from 2020. I mean, we went from the Tiger King to the Jason Collier drama (seriously, don’t start reading unless you have time to go down that rabbit hole). 

But we do have a female Vice President. And I think that’s amazing. It’s not a Democrat vs. Republican thing, it’s the fact that little girls everywhere see a woman as the Vice President. That’s freakin’ awesome.

Beyond some history being made, I have high hopes for 2021. Maybe even a trip somewhere? Only if it’s safe to do so, of course. But for now, I just want to make it through the winter. 

With the windchill bringing the temperature negative, I’m just daydreaming of summer weather. I honestly just miss enjoying being outside. It doesn’t matter how bundled I may be, the cold isn’t for me.

And the snow! Also not a huge fan. But the good news is we’re only getting a foot or so tonight (ha!). 

At least it’s pretty when it first falls. Not so pretty after the plow guy gets here.

I just started my most recent class (only three more to go!) so hopefully that’ll keep me plenty busy until the weather warms up and the snow melts.

Alright, enough of my whining. Check out 2020 - The Year End Recap if you’re curious how things were shaping up at the end of December.

As always, we’ll start with my debt:

Mortgage: $169,700
Car Loan: $3,600
Student Loans: $8,150
Credit Cards: $1,850
Grand Total of Debt: $183,300

My student loan balances

That’s $1,300 less than December. Let’s be real, that’s a very, very good month for me. Between a bonus I wasn’t certain I would get at work and my stimulus check, I was able to put extra money towards my school loans.

I wish I could write such upbeat updates every month!

Alright, my savings is next:

Savings account: $2,800
P2P Lending account: $150
Investment account: $1,300
Grand Total of Savings: $4,250

My savings increased $750 this month. I actually put $300 into savings and $500 into my investment account but then my investment account dipped a little bit. 

Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Overall, January was a kick butt month for me. I was able to pay down debt and put some money away. Which is great because I needed some good news after writing my blah year end recap last month.

Are you getting a monster snow storm tonight too? If you are I hope you enjoy it more than I will. That’s not saying much -  so have fun, build a snowman, go tubing, drink some hot cocoa, do whatever makes you happy.

As always -

Remember, we will get through this ❤️
Broke Dolly
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Vintage Love: Newburgh Vintage Emporium (in the Times of COVID)


It’s been a while since I wrote one of these posts. Truth be told that’s because I haven’t been anywhere or done anything in about a year. 

Yeah, lookin’ at you COVID.

But my mom’s birthday was last week and we seem to have made it a tradition to visit Newburgh Vintage Emporium around this time of year. 

So yesterday, off we went!

It's no secret - I’m a big fan of the place (actually, places - they’ve opened a second location!) and I’ve posted multiple times about our visits. You can check out those posts here and here.

Ready to check out what’s happening at the Vintage Emporium in the times of COVID?

Here we go!

Check out this fabulous corner booth complete with bamboo furniture and a tiger. Mostly what drew me in were the beautiful light fixtures.

After a years long search I just pulled the trigger and bought myself a new kitchen light. I absolutely love my new light but I’ve been looking for so long it just feels necessary to check out the could have beens.

This print (or painting?) was tucked in the back of one of the booths and I loved it instantly. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to represent someone or not but I immediately thought of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio. But he doesn’t quite look like Joe.

Also in the same booth was this NYC taxi fare painting signed by Mitchell Korman.

Fun fact: I looked up the current rates and that fare will now cost you a $2.50 initial charge and 50 cents per 1/5 mile. Inflation, huh?

Nobody quite loves a faux animal head like this girl. Definitely faux, no real animal heads in my house, but I tend to stick to the traditional deer heads. Although my mom did gift me a little elephant head a few years back. 

But a gorilla head? That’s a statement! One I can get fully behind. This guy was huge too! Not sure how large a real gorilla’s head may be but this seemed about right.

There’s a lot going on in this photo. Like the Bugs Bunny sketch and silver mannequin head but I snapped this photo because of the mod red clock. I think it would look great on a much more modern, admittedly cooler, mantle than I have.

Another stringing piece of artwork! These ladies caught my eye from across the room. Not only do I have an irrational love for the color yellow but their outfits are amazing! Best of all - it couldn’t have been smaller than five feet tall. I’m on the hunt for a big piece for a large blank wall in my living room but I’m just not quite sure what I’m looking for yet. These ladies are absolutely fabulous but not quite it for me.

This not so little guy was displayed in the front of the store and I couldn’t not take his picture. Before I got my Newfoundland (Sadie Donatella), I always imagined I would get a bulldog, they hold a special place in my heart and they’re dang adorable. And look at this guy’s underbite! The black and white make him a pretty sleek looking piece.

My next find was a vintage coffee table with a tile top made by a local artist, Luis Mendez. I love how natural and earthy the table is. And live edges seem to be all the rage these days.

And to round up the photos, I’ll leave you with this drool worthy booth. There’s a lot that I like in here from the midcentury items to the pale pink fabric headboard but I loved the artwork.

I think it would be neat to have this guy pointing the way to my stairs or maybe put him directly above the stairs pointing down. I wouldn’t have thought to have him point down but it’s a neat idea.

We went on to check out their second location but I stopped taking photos and started really browsing. Their second location is as good, dare I say maybe even better, than their first. There’s so much to see and, as always, the customer service is top notch. 

Seriously, if you’re in the area, make sure you go check them out. I have no doubt there’s something for everyone at Newburgh Vintage.

See anything you just have to have in the photos above? How have you been keeping yourself preoccupied through COVID?

Stay safe and healthy.

Broke Dolly
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New Year, Clean Slate

And just like that 2020 is over. A year defined by COVID, murder hornets and Tiger King.

What a strange year it’s been.

I can’t say I’m too sad to see 2020 in the rearview (but am I missing a hindsight joke here somewhere?!)

I hope 2021 is all the things 2020 was not. I hope the world returns to normal, I wish health and happiness for everyone.

Most of all for you, my friends, I hope 2021 is the best year yet.

Seriously 2021, please, please, be kind.

Now that the calendar has officially flipped over, it’s time to see how I did with the goals I set for myself at the beginning of 2020 and set some new benchmarks for the new year.

And in typical fashion, things didn’t go as planned.

In case you don’t remember, my 2020 goals were:

1) Get renovation related debt below $5,000. Hm. Ok, so kind of? This one is tricky. The problem is my renovation debt kept ballooning on me so I ultimately decided to refinance my mortgage for a lower rate and combine it all. So not really, but maybe I should get some credit here because I was making good progress when I stopped keeping track of this because the number wasn’t realistic anymore? No? Fine, that’s not how it works. First failed goal.

2) Accumulate savings of $3,000. This one I actually followed through on! As of yesterday, I had $3,500 smackaroos saved amongst my savings and investment account. I’ll be honest, I did so well in this category because I bought some stock right when the pandemic first hit and things plummeted. 

3) Pay off that pesky smaller student loan. So technically I did do this. I paid off my smallest student loan and I paid it off a few years early. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I added more student loan debt along the way. The upside here is that I really think I’m done with student loans (I know I’ve said that in the past but this time I really mean it!)

4) Get my total debt balances below $160,000. Ha! My grand total is currently dangerously close to $185,000. Things didn’t work out the way I had imagined here and my renovation overages certainly didn’t help. But I think I should be on the right track now. But still, this one was a massive failure.

Well, that’s depressing. At least I met my savings goal.

But since I know what went wrong this year, I’m hoping I can learn from my mistakes and meet my goals for this upcoming year.

Again I’m trying to find the balance between pushing myself and setting realistic goals. It’s not easy. After two years of failure I really want to see some results.

Now for the unveiling! Here’s my 2021 list:

1) Accumulate savings of $4,500. Adding $1,000 to my savings might be a little lofty. But I did just that in 2020. I don’t think that capital gains will help me as much this year but it’s time I actually start actively saving.

2) Get my most recent student loan under $1,000. The loan I took out for the Fall semester is hovering around $2,300 right now. I’d like to get it to under $1,000 before the end of the year. 

4) Get my total debt balances below $175,000. I’m not happy that my debt balances are north of $180,000. Paying off nearly $10,000 in debt this year will be a challenge but I’m up for it. I’d really like to see some real progress.

That’s a wrap folks. Another year and another blah attempt at meeting my goals. Hopefully next year I’m writing a much happier version of this post.

But that’s the good thing about the New Year, the slate is clean. There’s another chance to make good on promises.

How’d you do with your 2020 goals? Did the pandemic throw a wrench in your plans? Have you set new goals for 2021? Tell me about them!

Happy New Year!!
Broke Dolly
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