There is no way we’d have paid off tens of thousands in credit card debt without our beloved goals. That’s why I love to share our goals progress each month! I hope that showing you snippets into our life as we pay off big chunks of debt is inspiring and helpful.
But I didn’t do a March update this year. I started to pull it together…but there was just nothing to tell! We hadn’t finished our credit card debt yet. And since most of our goals for the year are waiting until we can pay cash to meet them, we didn’t make progress in those areas, either.
But that’s ok. The wait was worth it. Because after 27 months of chunking away at tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, I can finally make the announcement I’ve been dying to type for years.
WE’RE OUT OF CREDIT CARD DEBT!!!
It’s hard to believe, after living the #yearofno for so long, that we actually did it!! But I couldn’t be more thankful for those hard years. Because we were able to establish habits and mindsets that will continue to change our lives for years to come.
So what’s next for us? Don’t you worry! We have another huge money goal on the horizon, and we’re going to have to get creative to meet it. That means the 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week series will continue. So will these monthly updates!
Our 2018 Money and Life Goals
Since January 2016, we’ve been sending every dime we could find to the credit card companies. Creating line items in our family budget for anything other than debt is such a treat! We can’t wait to dive into some much needed home repairs and improvements.
By the way, if saving money and living the frugal life is your jam, you’ll want to join our amazingly supportive Facebook group, Living That #YearofNo Life.
Fitting our family of 7 into our 1950s home can be a challenge. Thankfully we have 4 bedrooms…but the one bathroom and no extra closet space makes things interesting!
Since we just finished the debt payoff, we haven’t made traction on this yet. But soon I’ll be shopping for paint. Which is nerve wracking! I’m trying to get the nerve up to put real colors on my walls…but deep down I know I’ll probably stick with a nice clean neutral color. 🙂 Don’t worry, I’ll get some color in the rooms in other ways.
- Our son’s room
- The staircase
- Living room
- Dining room
- Computer area
- Our bedroom
Living Room Makeover
You can tell a farm girl when she starts working on her barn before her house! With the help of my dear old Dad, we’re getting a new pen set up for our goats.
We had 4 babies born in February! They’re adorable, aren’t they?
I’ve been fertilizing the trees we have now. We’d like to line our barn driveway with more trees, but we’ll see if we get that far this year.
I’ve been stalking the chicken pens at our local feed mill for a few weeks, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.
This is a top priority for us! We’ll continue to find frugal ways to get out for some family bonding time. But it will be nice to have the money to grab a Groupon deal if we see one.
Monthly Family Outing
We were able to use a gift card we got for Christmas to take the kids to a trampoline park in February.
In March, we took a fun family trip to celebrate the end of our #yearofno! It was the getaway we all needed.
We had a simple but nice date night in February. We didn’t manage to get in a date for March, but the family trip getaway was so good for us!
Sneaking away for a date is really hard during baseball season. Four of our kids play ball, which means we’re usually running in different directions every night of the week. But maybe we can get creative!
We can’t wait to see Washington D.C. this summer! Finding an affordable place to stay is a challenge to say the least, but we’re still working on it. (Got any tips???)
It’s been nice to get back to one of my favorite habits this year. Reading is good for the soul!
I haven’t been reading enough to meet my goal of 52 books this year. But if I get in more than 20 books, that will beat anything I’ve done in recent memory. And I can’t be unhappy about that!
In February and March I was able to read:
Raising Wordly-Wise But Innocent Kids: Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs for Modern Families Yeah,that title is a mouthful. This book has actionable ideas for raising your kids if you want to protect their souls from everything the world throws at them.
Though it was clearly written in the mid 90s before the world of smart phones entered the picture, it’s amazing how many things haven’t changed. In fact, so many specific scenarios he describes date back to old testament times…which makes it even more surprising to learn how little changes over time!
The Lightkeepers Daughters Wow!! I can’t remember the last time I read such a good fiction book! It did have a kind of slow start. But if you stick with it, you’ll be intrigued by the interesting twists and turns. I absolutely recommend this book, but do be aware that there is some strong language.
Mary, Mary Have you read the Alex Cross series of books? If not, you’ll want to begin at the beginning. I have been chugging away at this series for a decade. Both because I read slowly, and because I don’t like to read the same genre of books back to back. But I’m definitely a fan.
What exercise program has worked for you? My situation is getting desperate! I need some motivation in this area.
Finish Credit Card Debt
DONE!!!!!!! There has never been a more satisfying strike through than that one. 🙂
Time for a new goal!
We have no well (at least not one we have access to from our home), no cistern, and no public water. We rely on a trucker to haul water to us every other week. This is not a fun way to live, especially when you’re trying to keep up with laundry for 7.
Our biggest goal for 2018 is to bring a public water main system back our dead end road.
This is going to be expensive and time consuming.
This month we learned that drilling a well and the system our area requires would cost well over $10,000 and even then it wouldn’t be a guarantee. We have already lost a lot of money trying to solve this water problem.
So we are going back to the water main idea. We’re still working on quotes, but this is probably going to cost us over $20,000.
Since we have no desire to find ourselves right back in a heavy debt situation, we’re brainstorming ways we can find that money ourselves. So far grants have been a dead end. But stay tuned! This goal is going to keep our frugal muscles well exercised.
Two things come to mind right away. We will finally begin my fun $1,000 money saving chart. And beyond that, I’d like to brainstorm ways to bring in an extra $800 per month. That might be a combination of the money we were sending to credit cards and some extra income ideas.
Double Retirement Contributions
We plan to file the paperwork to double our retirement contributions at Hubby’s work ASAP.
Once that’s done, we’ll get to work on what I call waterfall funds. Here’s how that works:
- We’ll be keeping our mini emergency fund, but it will become our savings account. We’ll pump it up to $1,500 and use it for unexpected expenses. (Things like car repairs or suddenly dead appliances.)
- Next, we plan to rebuild our sinking fund. This will be for irregular bills that we do expect, like insurance, car tags, and home maintenance.
- Once these are filled, we will begin a true emergency fund. We’ll sock away money into a separate savings or money market account until we’ve stored up 3-6 months worth of expenses.
Once our waterfall funds are established, we’ll turn our sights to car payments. This isn’t what Dave recommends, but it’s part of our #newnormal plan.
While I’d like to get rid of our car payments ASAP, it seems that the water situation is going to take precedence this year. But we’ll get to the cars eventually. Slow and steady wins the race!
For now, while we have car payments, this method is our plan for how to finance a car.
In January 2016, this huge goal seemed impossible. Now here we are, on the other side of credit card debt. I couldn’t be happier. And I want you to have this feeling, too!
What’s your biggest goal for 2018?