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While I’m a huge fan of January 1st, we usually don’t have any goals written by that date.  The last week of December is filled with holidays, birthday celebrations, and seeing how long we can wear pajamas each day.  Not a lot of room there for brainstorming our future.

But once the new year begins and we settle back into our routine, that’s when we’re ready to imagine our future.

Setting these goals was the most fun this meeting has been in years!  While finishing off debt is the first thing we wrote down, we can see light at the end of the tunnel.  We should send the last payment to the credit card companies in the next couple of months.

I can’t begin to tell you how sweet that feels.

If “pay off debt” has been on your list for years, it’s time to make it a reality.  Get mad, make a plan, and get it done.  If we can do this while raising 5 kids, anyone can do it.  Learn how to get out of debt here.

If setting goals seems silly, you should check out what happened when this family decided to get serious about their goals!

Our Big Goals for 2018

In case you don’t know our back story, in 2016 we decided to start living a #yearofno.  This mindset guided every decision we made.  We said no to any purchase that wasn’t an absolute necessity, and all of the money we could scrape together went to pay off credit card debt.

In 2017, we hadn’t even finished the first giant card off yet.  So we decided to #presson.  (But if you want the honest truth, we still referred to it as our #yearofno.  And we’ll keep calling it #yearofno until we make that last payment.)

Read on to learn about the hashtag we’ll be adopting once we’re free from credit cards!

via GIPHY

Goals for Our Home

Our house is a cute little 1950s Cape Cod.  It needs some major updates.  But don’t worry, we won’t be filling a Home Depot credit card to fund a makeover.  😉

Follow along on Pinterest, where I’ll be pinning frugal home makeover ideas.

Paint All The Things!!

I’m not great at painting, and I don’t love it.  But boy does this house need a fresh coat of paint!  Once we’re out of the #yearofno, we’ll be adding a line item to the budget for paint.  Then I’ll tackle:

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

This photo of our kitchen is from a few years ago, before the cabinets started cracking. :/

Redo the Kitchen

I’m so excited!  We’ve got some frugal plans to redo the cabinets, counter tops, and floor.

Living Room Makeover

This won’t be too over the top, but some curtains, pillows, and a new color in here will be refreshing.

Closet!

Our house has no closets (aside from small bedroom closets).  That means no home for the vacuum cleaner or sheets.  We have a corner of the dining room I’ll happily sacrifice to get a closet.

Goals for Our Barn

One thing that feeds my soul is getting outside and farming (on a very mini-farm level).  This year I can’t wait to add some fruit trees and get back to chickens.  We’re also expecting some baby goats in the next month or so!

Goals for Family

One thing we really missed was getting out and doing things.  We were able to manage with free things fairly well, but we’d like to be able to treat our family to affordable outings while everyone is still young.

Monthly Entertainment

We’d like to plan at least one fun family outing each month.  Groupon, sale days, and family passes are our friends!

Date Night

Hubby and I had more dates last year than we’ve had in ages!  (We held back on these in 2016, but last year we decided this shouldn’t wait until we were debt free.)  We want to keep that going, so we’ll keep dating a priority again this year.

Washington DC

Vacation

We’re planning our first trip to Washington DC sometime this year!  (Got any tips for us?)

Personal Goals

I’m an INTJ, and that means that I obsess over things just a tiny bit.  Ok, a lot bit.  I need a more relaxing outlet, and I’ve decided to make reading a priority.

I’m hoping to read 52 books in 2018.  And not just nonfiction!  I plan to do this by reading every afternoon.  I tried reading at bedtime, but I ended up staying up until 1 am (!!) and that just ain’t gonna work.

I also recognize that my blogger bod isn’t the healthiest thing, so I need to get some movement into my routine.  Any suggestions for exercise?

I squeezed in my goal to write a book in 2017, and you can learn about it here.

500 Ways to Save Money: Build a Cash Jackpot for the Best Things In Life

Money Goals for 2018

Did you scroll down to read just this part?  Aww, that’s ok!  I’m pretty excited about this, too!

For two years, the only goal we could write down for our money was “send it all to the credit card companies.”  So I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve when we decided what to do with our paychecks this year!

This is why we put in all that hard work!  So we could get down to doing what we want the most.

Finish Our Credit Card Debt…And NEVER Do It Again!

We should send in the last payment in March.  I won’t tell you that we’ll never use a credit card again, but I have no interest in carrying a balance on a credit card ever again!!

The rest of these goals will begin after that last payment goes in.

Life will still run in #yearofno mode until that magical event occurs.  After that, we’ll switch to our brand new life motto: #newnormal.

#newnormal

Our new normal doesn’t mean that #yearofno is our life now.  But it does mean we’ll be intentional about our spending.  We’ll be quick to reign it back in when times are lean.  And we’ll be ready to spend when it’s something well worth the money.

Water

We have a weird water situation here.  We don’t have city water.  But we also don’t live off of a cistern or well.  There are two large tanks in the basement, and we have every drop of water we use trucked in.  This is expensive, but it’s also a big burden.  Keeping up with laundry for 7 with this water set up is aggravating to say the least.

My second biggest goal for 2018 is to get public water brought back to our home.  This is going to take a lot of time, energy, and money.  But I plan to dedicate at least 15 minutes of each day to this goal until I see it through.

If you know of any grants or ideas for bringing a water main back a dead end road, please share your wisdom!

Car Payments

This one’s a semi-controversial point.  We still have car payments.  No, I don’t want to continue to have these payments.  But we don’t feel comfortable continuing to live so tightly while we watch our kids grow up.  We want to enjoy doing things with them now.  We also want to build some savings.  So we found a compromise.

We will be making double car payments on the car that is closest to paid off.  This should still get that car paid off in a year.  Ultimately, the goal is to roll these payments until we’re driving two paid off cars and we can create a separate car buying fund.  (Our interest rate on these loans is crazy low.)

Double Retirement Contributions

We aren’t saving a ton for retirement, and we’d certainly like to increase what we’re saving.

Start Our Waterfall Funds

We’ve had a mini emergency fund while we’ve paid off debt.  It’s been good for us to learn to rely on that when we have an unexpected expense rather than falling back on credit cards.

But once the big debt payments are over, we have a plan that we hope will keep us out of future debt.  I’m calling these waterfall funds, because once we have one of them filled up, we’ll send those payments to the next fund instead.  Then we can refill them as they are used.

  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 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.

Those goals will easily keep us busy for all of 2018.

Whew!  This post is always a long one, so thanks for sticking with me.  I’m psyched about 2018, and I hope you are ready to make this the best year yet, too.

Before you go, be sure to check out this post on the best budget moves we made in 2017.

The 7 Best Financial Moves Our Family Made This Year

What’s one of your goals for this new year?