Budgeting and running

January 9th, 2007

It’s kind of depressing to put together a budget, to see exactly how little discretionary money there is once all the needs and shoulds are taken care of. Once I pay my recurring bills, including double for student loans, and put away savings, I’ve got very little “junk” money left. The student loan payments (which just started a month ago) and my initial savings estimates take well over a third of my take-home pay.

The more I work on my budget, the more sure I am that I can set good goals and reach them. However, I’m also learning the difference between good goals and unrealistic goals. It’s looking like my initial savings goals are going to be a bit too far reaching. I can still save a good bit, but not as much as I’d initially hoped. Of course, the amount I can save will go up after the student loans are gone, but that will be at least 3 years, I’m pretty certain.

I love running. That’s still the official party line. I tell myself this over and over again when I run. I say it in my head while I’m huffing from the exertion. And it seems to be helping. I ran 2 miles total tonight, including 1 straight mile with no breaks, 2 quarter miles, and 1 half mile. Counting the warmup, cooldown, and breaks in between runs, I also walked another mile, covering 3 miles total again tonight. Progress is going quite well.

The whole watching what I eat thing is going well, too, I suppose. It’s less fun to cut back on calories, but I’m convinced it’s a necessary evil. I need to lose the pudge I’ve picked up, and the fastest way to do that is to diet and exercise. It seems to be working, which is good. I’ve lost a bit of weight, and I think I’m starting to see the fat thinning. It’s too soon to really see much, though. I’ve still got a bit to lose. Hopefully in another month I’ll be pretty close to my target fitness. After that I might consider lifting weights again. One thing at a time for now, though.