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After the whirlwind excitement of last month’s announcement (when we finally paid off all credit card debt after 27 months of hard work!), we are settling into a new normal.

The first order of business has been finding deals on long overdue updates like new kitchen towels (the ones I’ve been using look like rags!).  We’re finding our footing and trying our best to take things slow.  It wouldn’t do to put ourselves right back into debt!

I’m pleased that we were able to work on some of our goals last month!  It’s such a treat to put our money to work for ourselves rather than sending it all in to a big company.

If you’re interested in reading about how to get out of debt, you’ll find our best tips in that link there.

Now let’s do a check in and see what life after credit cards looks like!

Our 2018 Life and Money Goals

Money and Life Goals 2018: May Check In


Not much traction in our home yet.  Like I said, we’ve been plunking away at replacing worn out items.  These are small things such as laundry baskets and tubs for dog food.

I’m hoping to start painting in May (assuming I’m brave enough to choose a color!).


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

Kitchen Redo

Living Room Makeover


Our 1950s home doesn’t have much closet space at all, so we plan to add a utility closet to the corner of our dining room.  I’m anxious for this to happen!  Some vertical storage will be wonderful!

Barn Goals

As usual, nice weather makes me want to work outside instead of inside!  So we’re seeing some progress here.

Baby Goats

We had 4 adorable babies born in February!  In April we managed to sell the boy to an eager 4-Her.  I’d like to sell one of the girls in May.  We’ll keep the other two to grow our herd.

Fruit Trees

We have 6 fruit trees now, but they’ve never done much.  This year I fertilized them with some rabbit poo.  And the pear tree actually blossomed for the first time ever!  Probably a huge coincidence, but I’m hoping we’ll be able to harvest some pears this year.

We’d like to line our barn driveway with more trees, but we’ll see if we get that far this year.


We’ve got chicks!  Thanks to our local feed mill, it’s like choosing donuts.  We have a little of many different breeds.

Family Goals

Spending time together as a family is a top priority for us this year!  Our family is crazy about baseball, so it’s tough for us to do anything besides run from one game to the next from April to early July.  But our love of the sport is another way we draw close!

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.

April found us on baseball fields and working outside together.  It’s not an outing, but it was good.  🙂

Date Night

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!

Hard to believe it, but we managed to get in a movie date in April!  (We saw Super Troopers 2 in case you’re curious.  If you liked the first one, you’ll like the second one!)


We can’t wait to see Washington D.C. this summer!  I’m lamenting the fact that we have made no traction on finding an affordable place to stay.  Hopefully we haven’t missed any amazing deals!  Must get on this for May!

Personal Goals


I’d like to read 52 books this year.  According to Goodreads, I’m 6 books behind schedule.  But who cares?!  I’ve already read 10 books in 2018, and that’s far more than I have read in several years.

In April, I read:

Between, Georgia  I enjoyed this fiction book about a woman caught between two families who have been feuding for decades.  It was an emotional ride!

The Dip is a super quick read for anyone who doesn’t know when to quit and when to stick it out.  These lessons apply to your job, your hobbies, and any place you want to succeed!

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a heartbreaking story of a young boy who is trying to come to grips over his father’s death on September 11th.

Money Goals

If you love the idea of accountability and chatting with people who also love the frugal life, be sure to join the Living That #YearofNo Life Facebook group!

Finish Credit Card Debt

DONE!!!!!!!  There has never been a more satisfying strike through than that one.  🙂

Finding accountability with your life goals and money goals is the key to making things happen. #goals

Get Water

Our BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal) for 2018 is to get better access to water from our home.

You can read about our water situation here.  In April we had nothing but setbacks on this tough fight with our local water company.  But we aren’t sunk yet!

Double Retirement Contributions

Paperwork filed in April!

Waterfall Funds

Hoping to start the progress here in May!  Here’s what I’m calling a waterfall fund:

  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 sinking 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.

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!

If you’re chugging down a long track toward a big goal, keep going!  So often it seems like you’ll never cross the finish line.  But slow and steady wins.

I know you’ll want to check out this post of 50 frugal living tips!  Be sure to let me know if I missed your favorite frugal tip.

How have you done with your goals?