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July was kinda rough.  There were moments (hours) (days?) that I was just doggone tired of paying off debt.  For a while, I wondered if I could even see it through to the end.

Paying off debt ain’t for the weak, and after some reflection I wrote about it.  And as I wrote, I realized that the only way around these problems was to go straight through them.

Maybe you’ve felt the same way?  Check out The Brutally Honest Truth About Paying Off Big, Ugly Debt.

Now that that’s off my chest (again), let’s dig into how we did in July.  Did we make progress on our goals?  Are we any closer to debt freedom?  Here we go…

Our SMART Goals

This family is in the middle of paying off thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Learn what they're doing to pay off debt and how much closer they are to their goal!

Let’s check in on our 2017 goals and see what kind of progress we’re making!


We’ve made some progress in July!  I’m hoping to spend this year decluttering, cleaning, and organizing everything so we’re ready to make small repairs and paint once our #yearofno is over.

Remove all items from each bedroom and start fresh.

In July I was able to tackle the master bedroom.  We had several dressers given to us by friends and family, so we passed our old horizontal dresser on to another family, too.  I’m much happier with two vertical dressers in our small bedroom!  It feels so much more spacious in there now!

Clean out the basement.

This is still going a little at a time, but the progress makes me happy.  We don’t get down there as often as we should, but it is summertime.  We’d much rather complete those outside projects!

Shelves In Dining Room

Still to go:

  • Repair dining room ceiling

We’ve also added two more goals.

  • Installing a cable bridge over a backyard creek.  This needs some adjusting, but at least we can get across it now!

Building a swinging bridge across the creek in our yard.

  • We plan to build a small platform for the middle schoolers to use our zipline.  If we build it right, they’ll be able to use it as a nice hangout spot, too.  That should encourage them to get outside more often!  (No progress here yet.)


  • Take a beach vacation.  We had a blast!!
  • Continue to practice swimming.  God bless neighbors who put in a pool, right??
  • Two hiking/fishing/camping trips for every warm month.  We took a small camping trip in July that gave us a chance to do some hiking and fishing.
  • One on one time for each child, every month.
        • We actually got some extra one on one fun in with each child this month!

      Take a hike! #brothers #lovingthemoment

      A post shared by Jamie Jeffers (@mediumsizedfamily) on


            • 12 Dates in 2017.
                • January: Garth Brooks!!
                • February: Dinner date
                • March: We had a sad road trip for a family funeral, but it meant we got alone time.
                • April.  No dates this month.  Sad trombone.
                • May was nuts, and June was vacation.
                • July:  We got to a Reds game!  We used to go to baseball games all the time, so this felt like a nice treat.

               Baseball game date night!


                      • Yoga & movement.  I’m so bad at this.  🙁  I think I’ll use the big back to school routine change as my chance to fit it into my day.
                      • Read On Writing.  I got this book as a gift for Mother’s Day!  Still haven’t read it yet.
                      • Read through the New Testament.  Still chugging along!

              #PressOn and Knock Out Debt


              Getting the big ugly monster credit card paid off makes us feel like these last two cards feel like a lot less pressure!  Still, we know we have to #PressOn and get rid of this debt.

              The Goal

              Since January 2016, our goal has been to wipe out our credit card debt.  We started with 3 cards that were basically maxed out.  The first card we tackled was a giant debt that accounted for half of what we owed.

              What a sweet relief it was to get rid of that one!

              Right now we’re working on credit card #2.  This card has a smaller balance, and we’d hoped to knock it out in short time.  The calculators said we could potentially get it done by September.  But we’d sure love to beat the clock!

              At the end of April, we had credit card #2 down by 45%.  We hit it really hard in a short time period.

              But in June, we didn’t have a lot of success.  We paused the payments to take vacation.  Will we regret getting out of debt a month later?  I doubt it.  We’ll have the memories of playing in the surf and sound with our kids…that’s worth an extra month of debt to us.

              So at the June check in, this card had only moved to 47% paid off.

              How did we do in July?

              Card #2 is 71% of the way there!  We’re on track to be done with this card by September, which will leave us with one medium sized card to pay off.


              Extra Ways We Tackled Debt

              Let’s talk about some extra ways we found cash to pay off this debt.

                  • We used money from the paycheck.  (We have this money pulled out of the paychecks to keep it from getting lost on bills and groceries. Learn more here.)
                  • Sent in a some money I earned from blogging.
                  • Rolled coins.  Hubby donated his poker money to get us closer to debt freedom!
                  • Cashed in Ibotta money.  (I love the easy cash back on groceries, even if you already used a coupon!)
                  • Used the bonus money Hubby got from work.
                  • Sent money from an unexpected check I got in the mail.
                  • Cash I found in a drawer while cleaning.

              The Plan for August

              The 3 year old will start preschool late this month, so I’m considering taking on more freelance writing while he’s there.  We’re expecting some bonus money that will go straight to debt.  Saving on back to school costs and selling things around the house should help, too.

              Debt is going down!

              Unfortunately, a large purchase on August 1st is going to slow our payments down a bit… but more on that in next month’s check in!

              What are you doing this month to reach your goals?