It is totally uncool to create New Years resolutions, but doggonit, I can’t help myself.
There’s something about a fresh start that makes me want to try for something new.
So Happy New Year!
In this post, I’m sharing some before and after pics of our home addition from last year.
And I want your input on this blog! So pretty please read on and leave a comment. 🙂
Our Money, Life, and Family Goals for 2023
How We’ve Met Our Goals In Prior Years
Choosing goals, typing them out, being accountable (!), and revisiting them each month is the only reason we have been able to accomplish so much in our family.
I am absolutely convinced of this fact.
It’s how we kept our #yearofno going and paid off tons in debt.
And it’s how we have made so many changes to our home in a short time.
So let’s do it again!
Goals for Our Home
Home goals always hit my mind first when I stop to think about our dreams.
Between homeschooling and a husband who works from home, we spend a lot of time at home.
That’s probably why we’ve spent so much time and money devoting our selves to repairing our old 1950s home for the past three years.
In 2020 we managed to get a cistern installed in our yard. After living on the water in these tanks in our basement for years, the cistern has been a luxury.
In 2021/2022 we finally added on to our house. After 14 years of having a “medium sized family” (6 kids and both parents) with one bathroom, it has been such a treat to have the second bathroom!
Now we are in the midst of a boring, but expensive, repair, and by the end of all of this work our old house should be almost brand new again.
But there’s still a lot to be done around here!
So here are our house goals for 2023:
Finish the Kitchen
Part of our home addition included expanding our kitchen to a big dine in space that we all fit into. It has become a favorite place to hang out for everyone, from Mom and Dad, to our 4 teenagers, right down to the 9 and 3 year olds.
Here are some before and after shots, but be aware that we are real live people and not professional organizers. ha!
Gosh, I just love it!
Unfortunately, we did all of that work and then kind of quit. And now we still have no backsplash, no trim, and no baseboards.
There’s also supposed to be a pantry closing off this ginormous mess of food.
(Sorry about the ugly pictures, I’m just keeping it real.)
So the goals for the kitchen are pantry, backsplash, trim, and baseboards.
Our college kid is still living at home, but anxious for his own space. So we’re planning to set up the basement as a spot for him.
This one will be a combination of work and money to accomplish.
Now that we have our new bathroom, it’s time to focus some attention on the old one.
The bathroom tub and surround has been in terrible shape for years. It’s time to put in something easier to clean and keep up with.
We’re hoping to financially swing this one this year, but time will tell. It’s lower on the priority list.
I’m always sad when our family only lives as a whirlwind of activity, depending on the schedules of things we sign up for.
And screentime is another never ending battle around here.
Here are some ways I hope to improve our family time this year.
Usually we have some sort of vacation plan by now, but not this year.
We are looking for a good vacation spot that will please a variety of ages and not cost an arm and a leg.
After the nightmare of renting cars last year (never, EVER use Priceline or Avis, I beg you), we hope to find a place that is a little closer to home so our trusty minivan with 200,000 miles on it will get us there and back.
As a Catholic family who has been absolutely loving homeschool life, I’d like to devote our family to attending mass on the First Friday of every month.
More frugal activities together so we have less time wasted away on screens. Not sure yet what this will look like.
After years of raising little kids, we finally hit the payoff…having teenagers who don’t mind babysitting!
Now we can say “Hey, do you want to do a date night tonight?”
The trouble with date night tonight is that you can’t do many last minute things. Escape rooms are booked and there’s no one good at the comedy club, etc.
So I’m hoping to do better at planning ahead and looking for deals for things we’d like to try.
Personal Goals This Year
It’s no secret that I’ve neglected this blog for the past year or two.
Aside from the usual busyness of life, I spend 2022 focused on selling things on eBay.
(That was to help me meet last year’s goal of saving $10,000 for the house project we’re in the middle of right now.)
(By the way, we met that goal. Yay!)
While I like selling on eBay, it’s not nearly as much fun as blogging. And there are a lot more cardboard boxes involved. 😉
So my goal is to decide what I want from this blog. Maybe renew my excitement for blogging and outline a plan for actually fitting time into my day to work on the blog again.
I have always loved this community of frugally minded people! I guess part of my problem is that I feel like I’ve already written so much about frugal living and I’m just not sure what else I can cover.
Now that our youngest is 3 and a half, reading books has become a favorite hobby of mine again.
Last year I had a goal to read 40 books. I only read 26. But I was perfectly pleased with that!
Because half way through the year, I realized that I didn’t want to just plow through 40 books for the sake of saying I read a bunch of books.
Instead, I wanted to savor some harder books. Like “Jesus of Nazareth”. And “Screwtape Letters”.
I definitely sprinkled some fun reads in there, too. (“I Was Anastasia” was my favorite of those.)
Anyway, I hope to read 30 books this year, but my real goal is to find amazing books that will change the way I think and pray this year.
Collecting No Spend Days
Usually our money goals for the year are the big goals that make all of our decisions for the year.
In the past we have used the #yearofno to pay off thousands in credit card debt.
We saved $10,000 towards a major home repair.
This year, our goal is defined by the word “less”.
Less things in our home. (This is my favorite book for accomplishing that!) I’m quickly noticing that we buy a lot of duplicates simply because I had no idea we already owned one. (What a waste!)
Less trips to the store. Less shopping online.
The best way I can think to measure this goal is to aim for no spend days. I want to see how many no spend days I can collect this year!
I don’t think I’ll count paying regular monthly bills as a spending day. Driving my car might use gas, but if I don’t have to fill up the tank that won’t count.
I imagine that this will help me determine whether running errands is truly necessary. And by the time I get around to buying that thing we need, I may have decided that we don’t need it after all!
Curious to find out how focusing on no spend days changes the way we spend money this year. I think this will be a fun experiment!
(Am I a nerd? Don’t tell me…)
Another goal I’m excited about is getting back to self sufficiency. Really it’s more about getting back to a simple, frugal life rather than worrying about being on the grid.
So I’m ordering more berry plants (strawberry and blueberry…we already have raspberry and I can get blackberry plants from my Dad), and beginning plans for a bigger veggie garden.
Hopefully our hens will begin laying soon, and we can keep up our stock of meat in the freezer.
I’d like to get back to baking our own breads and making more from scratch.
One thing I want to continue is the grocery shopping method I’ve been using for years.
This is the whole reason I’m able to be a stay at home mom and raise 6 kids on my husband’s salary.
And this method works no matter what diet you’re on or how crazy the world has become (sigh).
To make sure you can adapt this method to your own family’s needs, I’ve created a course. (No worries, the cost is less than $20!)
Print the workbook and listen to the videos while you drive or do the dishes.
In no time, you’ll find yourself saving hundreds of dollars in groceries AND feeling more confident about your ability to feed your family, even if illness or a storm makes shopping impossible for a while.
Get started right away and set yourself up for a better 2023.
Those are our family and money goals for 2023!
Whatever goals you have for this bright new year, I know you can accomplish them! Let’s cheer each other on.
What are your goals for the new year?
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Thank you. One thing to limit screentime in my house is that I have less screens so we have to SHARE them. I avoid adding them with all my might. If some of yours breaks etc, put it away and you have to manage without and share even more. Most awful is when everyone has their own device, i imagine. Btw, I am the one who shares. I have no smartphone. Just took laptop from my daughter and sent her to kitchen 🙂
That’s definitely a great idea! I’m all about doing things that force you into doing better. Last year I implemented a “no screens in the bedrooms” rule and it definitely helped. Maybe it’s time to pare down the number of screens around here, too. Thanks for the tip!
Your kitchen looks wonderful! I bet your efforts with eBay have made a difference in the way your house looks and feels. We bought a beautiful yet neglected home in April, 2022 and have embarked on our own renovations since then.
Our goal for the year: be able to travel out of town and sightsee a week each for 2 weddings this summer (I’ve never been to Boston and am so excited!, the other trip is to Memphis and on to Branson, MO); I’m determined to fund those trips from saving extra the next 5 months. But more importantly we aim to be able to put a chunk of money towards the mortgage when our house remodeling projects are finished; in other words we don’t want the remaining projects (bathrooms and office space built out) to eat up all the proceeds we earned from the sale of our previous home. We’ve got to plan carefully in all areas. For me specifically that means I’ve got to do a better job in the details, starting with meal planning and having less food waste. That’s been a struggle since becoming empty nesters as I’m used to a passel of sons to help eat leftovers.
Oh, I would love to see all of the history in Boston! That sounds like a wonderful goal. Good luck with the meal planning…I make so much food for my teen boys that I’m sure it’s going to be a huge adjustment when they’re on their own. So I understand that!