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Imagine it’s a crisp morning in early spring.  You meet your friends at the park wearing your favorite running outfit.  You’ve got your fitness watch ready to go, and you begin stretching.

Everyone is warmed up and ready to begin, so you head to the line they’ve created.  Toes go forward, and soon…you’re off!

Your friends are running with purpose.  They know which route to take, because they’ve mapped it out ahead of time.

But it isn’t long before you fall behind.  After a while, you look around at unfamiliar territory and start to wonder where you are.  In fact, why did you even come this way?  All you know for sure is that your friends said they were planning to meet up at a local diner at the end.  But you know that isn’t the best choice for you.

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Money and Life Goals 2018: February Check In

Setting Goals for You

What destination is the best choice for you?  What is it that you want the most out of life?  You don’t have to set a goal to become POTUS or to beat the record time at a local marathon.  Your goals might be to simplify your life and spend as much time with your family as possible.

Only you know what’s most important to you.

But if you don’t take intentional steps towards those goals each day, you’ll spend your days like the runner who has to jump rolling logs and escape barking dogs.  You’ll be moving, but only in reaction to events happening around you.

Sure, when you’re a mom, you have to react to events you can’t control every day.  But you should still be able to find 15 minutes in your day to inch yourself closer to your true goals.

If you’re searching for a little more motivation to live a more intentional life, I loved the Make Over Your Mornings course.  It inspired me to make some positive changes (and my favorite part was that she didn’t tell me to get up earlier.  Mornings are not my thing.)

I also find it inspiring to check out goals other people set for themselves.  That’s why I’ve been sharing these monthly check ins on the blog.  I hope you find them helpful!

Our 2018 Money and Life Goals

We’ve been paying off credit card debt since January 2016.  We should finish this debt up next month!  We are so excited to be this close to the end of a super long journey.  Learn more about how the #yearofno was our inspiration to get rid of tens of thousands in credit card debt.

The goals for 2018 include our post-debt life.  Since we aren’t quite in that stage yet, some of those goals are just sitting here, patiently waiting for us to get to them.  🙂


There won’t be any traction on these goals until the debt is gone.  Check back in a couple of months, though!  You can bet I’ll be finding frugal ways to accomplish these ideas.


  • Our son’s room
  • The staircase
  • Living room
  • Dining room
  • Computer area
  • Kitchen
  • Our bedroom

Kitchen Redo

Living Room Makeover


Barn Goals

Same.  We’ll work on these goals once we escape credit cards.

Baby Goats

These guys should make an appearance in the next couple of weeks!  I’ll be sure to share some photos.  They’re always tiny and adorable.  🙂

Fruit Trees

We already have some apple trees that have never given fruit, so I need to do some learning about this.


On warm days, we’ll be putting our coop back together and getting ready for chicks!

Family Goals

Here are some goals we’re happy to work on even now.

Monthly Family Outing

We were hoping to go to a trampoline park, but there have been too many germs in our house.  Yuck! So we missed this in January.

Date Night

For the same reason, we missed a January date night.  But we’ve already gotten one in for February!


Planning for our trip to Washington DC has begun!  We can’t wait to see the sights.  (Most of us have never been!)

Personal Goals


Reading hasn’t been a priority for me for the past several years.  (Having children who climb on you every time they see you sit down will do that.)

But going into 2018, I knew that I needed a quiet outlet from the stress in life.  So I decided to set a BIG goal to read 52 books this year.  The idea was that it would force me to build reading time into my day.

It seems to be working so far!  I’m not exactly on pace for 52 books, but I’ve already read more in January than I’ve read in entire years of my adult life.

So far I’ve tried:

Big Girl Panties – Why not start with a fluffy read?  Since I have a bend towards reading a lot of non-fiction, I wanted to kick start my year with something different.  I got this for free for participating in the summer reading program last year.

You Are a BadA** At Making Money – This book has a different take on being an entrepreneur.  It was a different way of thinking, although as a Christian I can’t say I was super comfortable with many of her suggestions.

The Life of Objects – Historical fiction is my favorite!  I thought for sure I’d love this novel set in World War II.  But after giving it 100 pages (Mom is a librarian and she stands by that rule.) I just couldn’t get into it.  I hate to put that much time into a book and not finish it.  But life is short, so why not read books you enjoy?  This one doesn’t count towards my 52.

The Burgess Boys – I almost gave up on this one, too, but I’m really glad I didn’t.  This book shows the perspective of many different people, and I enjoyed getting a peek into the fictional minds of people from different backgrounds.  This is the type of book I’m hoping to read as I step outside my comfort zone this year!


Apparently this is not a priority for me.  🙁

500 Ways to Save Money

Money Goals

Finish Credit Card Debt

This one is still my main focus!  We’re still sending them all the money we break away from paychecks, plus extras as we can.

The dirty secret is that we’ll finish this payment with our tax refund.  No, I’m not a fan of letting the government keep our money year round.  But for now, that’s how we have things set up.  Luckily, the refund amount should cover the entire rest of our credit card bill!

Get Water

We have no well, 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 water main back our dead end road.  This is going to be expensive and time consuming.

So far we’ve worked on getting bids from companies to do the work.

Double Retirement Contributions

As soon as we make the last credit card payment, we’ll file the paperwork to double our retirement contributions at Hubby’s work.

Waterfall Funds

Once that’s done, we’ll get to work on what I call waterfall funds.  Here’s how that works:

  1. 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.)
  2. Next, we plan to rebuild our contingency fund.  This will be for irregular bills that we do expect, like insurance, car tags, and home maintenance.
  3. 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.

Car Payments

With our future set up, we’ll turn our sights to car payments.  This isn’t what Dave recommends, but it’s part of our #newnormal plan.  I’d prefer to focus on knocking out car payments after I know we have built up some savings.  We may even try to do this WHILE we work on our emergency fund.  It’s something I’d rather focus on when we reach this step.

Know where you want to end up, and you’ll do a better job choosing the right path to get there.

Get your workout clothes together!  You’ve got a plan, you know where you want to go, and now you just have to take a few steps every day.

If getting out of debt is on your list this year, you’ll want to start these 11 habits.  They’ll get you there like a reliable work horse.

11 Powerful Habits That Will Have You Paying Off Debt Quickly

What’s your biggest goal for 2018?

How to set goals for life that motivate you to change your future.