December Challenge: Get it done GYSTember

This thread is making me get a head start.


  1. Uhhh finish 2018 state taxes
  2. OH SHIT contribute to an IRA!!! I forgot I haven’t done that yet.
  3. Figure out the best way to liquidate $6,000 for a Roth contribution…
  4. Claim lost money (update: started claims process for 2 forgotten accounts - need to call 1 state and find out how to handle joint claimants)
  5. Call BoA to confirm sign up bonus for Amtrak card
  6. Pay rent with Plastiq for Amtrak bonus
  7. set up autopay on REI on next manual payment
  8. Sign up for TD card bonus
  9. Make decision on old pension (need to receive package first)
  10. Buy return ticket from Seattle
  11. Pass on clothes through BN/swap
  12. Make cheat sheet for Beyond Beautiful
  13. Apply to Blues volunteer position
  14. Change Sprint autopay to REI card ?? need to research phone protection plans
  15. Email contact from old job
  16. Planet Granite: Free week trial
  17. 24 Hr Fitness: Free 3 day trial
  18. Figure out NYE in Seattle plans
  19. Update address w/ Amex - first find blue cash card?


  1. Call Kaiser about blood test follow up, schedule appointments :white_check_mark:
  2. Find out about family medical history (update: sent text) :white_check_mark:
  3. Change to $2/mo Hulu plan/pause existing :white_check_mark:
  4. Make texts make noises :white_check_mark:
  5. Call HSA provider about login :white_check_mark: AHHH I’ve been getting monthly fees since leaving my old job! I need to roll this over to an individual HSA provider that doesn’t charge fees… Does that exist? (Update: opened new account AND submitted transfer request paperwork) :white_check_mark:
  6. Submit Equifax claim :white_check_mark:
  7. Set up autopay for Amtrak cc :white_check_mark:
  8. Pay 1st Amtrak bill manually :white_check_mark:
  9. Make g voice emails auto archive again - filter stopped working (update: turned off “override filter” setting) :white_check_mark:
  10. Check REI autopay (checked, called, got fee waived) :white_check_mark:
  11. Figure out old pension details (will be getting benefits package in the mail) :white_check_mark:
  12. Sign up for 2020 health plan - after 2 hours on the phone, finally confirmed I don’t need to do anything… :white_check_mark:
  13. Order stuff. Waterpik, phone case, reusable pads :white_check_mark:

If you have earned income this year, you can contribute, and if you can contribute, you have until tax day to do it (which I think is actually 15 April this year).


I’m joining the fold for GYSTember!

Here are my 4 “top priorities” - as in things that have been on a whiteboard list of “top priorities” this past month and either coincidentally or not-coincidentally saw almost 0% progress. I am aiming to make continual progress and ideally even complete these 4 items this month:

  1. Get my professional course certification - This means finishing my course homework and assignments. Le sigh.

  2. Finish my 2018 taxes - i.e., send everything to CPA that he is waiting for to file the paperwork that I owe.

  3. Biz website - the parts that are waiting for me include: writing copy, choosing pics, coordinating with web designer

  4. Photo shoot follow-up - this connects to #3 with pics for website or other biz material AND also selecting pics/art choices for myself.

I am adding 3 other challenges for myself:

  1. Get 1 large item per week out of my house - I have at least 4 or 5 bigger items that are taking up space. They need to be sold/donated/gifted/thrown out. The various options and stress have induced paralysis and pledging to do SOMETHING at least once per week should help clear out this backlog.

  2. Use 1 new-to-me appliance or item per week - These are the things I took from my BN group or otherwise added to my home that I haven’t started using because reasons (need to look up manual, clean, learning curve of the buttons, etc.). This can help me learn to use stuff and make things that should be useful actually BE useful (and if they aren’t, they need to GTFO of my home).

  3. A meta-challenge for 2020 - Prep 2020 Bingo and any other challenges/plans for 2020 that keeps me on a GYST trajectory.

To maximize my chances of success and jumpstart better tv/movie/streaming habits, I am pledging to the following rules and limitations for the month of December:

No watching tv/movies/videos at home with the following exceptions-

  • Allowed to watch up to 30 minutes total per day of news-related comedy programs via youtube. This includes: John Oliver, Hasan Minhaj, Samantha Bee, Seth Myers, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, et al.

  • Allowed to watch anything if there is another person in my home watching with me or watching at the same time as me elsewhere in a deliberately coordinated watch together plan [Note: Both of these are typically very rare.]

  • Allowed to watch Star Wars content prior to TROS (Dec 19), including a rewatch of TFA & TLJ; canonical animated series episodes (such as new SW:Resistance) but not a full re-watch of any such series; or episodes of The Mandalorian (if available to me)

  • Allowed to finish the current Survivor season (season 39) - 2 regular episodes, 1 finale episode + 1 reunion episode.

  • Allowed to watch the Crisis on Infinite Earths (CW) - parts 1-3.

ETA: I forgot that I took out Season 4 of Better Call Saul from my library just a few days ago. I’m holding off deciding whether that should be allowed as an exception (leaning toward not allowed & just returning it next trip to library).

I realize this may not sound like much. Following it would drastically reduce the amount of content I watch or put on in the background each week.


Next update: got a good start on my #1 ( certifying lower income for income-contingent loans). Will have to send in hard copies, but have done the online parts. I’ll have to print a pay stub at work and figure out how to convince them I get paid only 10 months out of the year - May need to send a contract copy as well.


This is perfect timing for me as I have a lot of loose threads dangling and also need a reset on health.

1a) Track items that I eat to look for patterns/problems.
1b) Aim for meals, not snacks.
1c) Walk everyday (anything over a mile counts)

  1. Clean up laptop files, save back-up, transfer files to new laptop
  2. Set up workout space for winter
  3. Tackle the financial tasks I need to do before I leave work: cancel work parking permit, figure out my new health insurance, make adjustments with payroll if needed.
  4. Remember not to panic.

I’m in!

  • list 10+ articles of clothing for sale on Poshmark
  • donate bag of clothes not listed on Poshmark
  • determine if we’re contributing to tIRAs or rIRAs or 2019 tax year & set aside funds
  • elect health insurance enrollment & dental enrollment with company
  • finish 30 days of Darebee Power-Up challenge by Dec 21
  • plan out gifts by Dec 14 (yes yes it’ll be tight)
  • make chocolates for family gifts
  • plan out doctors appts to schedule for January when my new insurance kicks in

Today we made a meal list for the week, then a grocery list and then got all the groceries for the week. Will evaluate this week how we liked that meal list and see if we should change anything. My current complaint is far too many meals are made predominantly by me.

Made progress on anvil stand. The structure is well in place. Greyman made some thingies to anchor the anvil to the stand. I think all that’s left is attaching those, making some blocks to fit it better, and then attaching those.

Tried to make progress on my dirt but even though it was over freezing out, the dirt was too frozen to move.

Thinking of calling bank tomorrow to ask about any mortgage payoff procedures they may have.

All right, have a few things to do this month:

  • Inventory freezers (whiteboard list)
  • Inventory canned/dry food (whiteboard list)
  • Inventory fridge (not worth a whiteboard list, ‘clean fridge’ is probably more accurate)
  • Finish Xmas shopping (senior center)
  • Finish Xmas shopping (angel tree)
  • Finish Xmas shopping (family)
  • Review all monthly subscriptions
  • Two house projects from journal
  • Call about car insurance (and pay car insurance)
  • Look and see if there are any CCs worth picking up early next year

I can’t believe I didn’t include any goals related to settling into the new place. I’d like to feel mostly done by January 1st.
edit: kind of hard to realize what needs to be done before actually moving in… as of today this is what I want to do right away:

  • fix bedroom ceiling light fixture that has 2 bulbs, each with a different color temperature, to decrease emotional damage (oh my god… why? W H Y?)
  • procure a tall and narrow recycling bin for kitchen
  • Make sure all moving boxes get set out for recycling on the 1st weekly pickup of december
  • move bed against other wall
  • Have 4 posters hung nicely on the walls
  • use RIT dye in the washer to turn my duvet cover red
  • set up tidy electronics charging station
  • All clothes organized by type in closet
  • order another Thred Up bag in preparation for more closet clear out
  • All books on bookshelf
  • Put paper/fabric shade on window above door
  • makeup cabinet and toiletries organized
  • set up supplies on desk/ set up printer
  • create wishlist and budget for things to procure down the line (trunk for the end of my bed? DVD player, closet tension rods?)
  • progress and plans for kitchen organization and functionality – work this out as I go – what works best?

probably adding more items to the list week by week


I’m just here to keep track of y’all. I’ll try to think of check-in rewards.


I submitted my two drug receipts and only cried with frustration twice. Their chat support finally showed up, and I discovered I was supposed to select the drop down for paramedical orthotic and vision. Because of course why didn’t I think of that.

I will try dental tomorrow.


Two things knocked off my list already: baby bottles plus baby food jars and a list of what’s in the box are in a box in the basement. Login to T Rowe Price is fixed or possibly wasn’t broken in the first place. The important thing is now I have the link so people can contribute to the wiggler’s 529, in time for the major gift-giving holidays!


I called my mortgage company – all I need to do for payoff is to call them up the day I want to do it and do it over the phone, with my mortgage # and my info for the account I want to transfer from up. Which I like way less than just using the internet, but it’s fine, and now that I know how to do it I’m less likely to procrastinate.


Ok so I really need to get my shit together this month in many ways, here’s the list, subject to be added to:

  • health insurance
  • eye exam
  • make list of house projects
  • do at least 4 house projects
  • 401k rollover
  • Roth conversion
  • finalize Christmas gifts
  • send cards and gifts EARLY

All of these are high mental load for me.



Slightly sad that I found this thread AFTER I cleaned off most of my work desk.

My goals:

  1. Apply for Global Entry. (My Chase card will reimburse the cost, so there’s really no reason not to do it. I started once before and gave up when it asked me to list all the countries I’d been to in the last X years because it seemed impossible.)

  2. Obtain a new (or new-to-me) filing cabinet and get it ready for 2020. My current one is built into my desk and is falling apart. I’ve repaired it dozens of times and now it is just held together with duct tape and cursing.


#6. Self-care - dinner last night with 2 friends, and today I used some Starbucks rewards to get a peppermint mocha latte (grande, no whip). Count to date= 2


I got rid of 1 large item today and moved 2 others out of the way/staging to go. I may overachieve and knock off this part of my month’s challenge within the first week. Yay!

Also - I learned that one of my state benefits on account of previously having lower income (does not expire until the end of 2020) entitles me to a significant discount at our transfer station. So I really have no excuse for not disposing of things that no longer have value to anyone and can’t be recycled.


Next step on my number one, the student loan repayment. Printed everything out, wrote an explanation of getting paid 10 times a year on the paystub. I think that might suffice.

I realized, doing this alternate certification, that I’ll have to make payments on the amount that will go into IRAs. I don’t have to when using the previous year’s tax returns, because that’s not part of taxable income. I’m going to need to re-certify as soon as next years taxes are done to get that down further. Oh wait, that won’t work, because husband had income last year. I’m not sure how to make this work.


I seem to recall that there was talk of some kind of matching if new Patreon people started up in Dec. Is that live yet? I don’t want to set things up tonight if tomorrow there is matching.

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Ok. Here is the list. I will probably not get all this ish done by any means, but a girl gotta try.

Long-term projects:

  • Fully set up go-bags
  • Find final homes for things in living room
  • Investigate what I need to do to get a will set up
  • Investigate new HSA homes
  • Find final home for things in hallway
  • Max out Roth IRA


  • Finish sweater for Mom
  • Finish socks/slippers for Dad
  • Make candies for everyone else for holidays
  • Get started on candidate year

Re: the will, there’s apparently a California statutory will form (whaaaat). This is intriguing, and likely sufficient for my current needs (relatively few assets, relatively few beneficiaries).