Sometimes I wonder if my Hubby regrets uttering the phrase #yearofno. He came up with the hashtag, and I grabbed it like a baton and ran with it! But honestly, I know he’s as relieved by the change in our finances as I am. (Maybe more?)
#Yearofno has been a serious game changer in our lives. It’s less about a spending freeze and more about a change in thinking. I’ve learned so much in these past 10 months!
Every January, we set goals for our family and our finances. I also try to throw in some personal goals. And now I even have blogging goals.
You’ll find it all broken down into sections here. The hope is that you’ll find tips to use yourself, and maybe some inspiration for your own hopes and dreams.
Family & Personal Goals
Home & Barn
We had set these goals for updating and repairing our home and barn this year. As the year wore on, we decided to put most of them on hold in favor of using those bits of money to pay off debt instead. No change.
- Get a water plan in place. Our weird water set up certainly needs some changes made. But not this year.
- Barn driveway. Tabled.
Improve goat pens and fencing. Finish the bathroom project.
- Paint baseboards and staircase. Tabled.
Swimming. Three of the kids are pretty decent swimmers now. Vacation. You can read how I saved on camping here.
- One on One Time with Each Child Once+ per Month. This has been trickier since school started. Need to be more intentional.
- Date nights. We took a date! We kept costs down by going out for drinks and dessert rather than a full meal.
- Faith. I’m reading The American Catholic Almanac and daily Bible readings.
- Read. I started When We Meet Again. It’s set in the World War II era. It’s been a while since I read fiction, but I’m really enjoying it!
- Exercise. Baby steps! Some yoga, some extra movements here and there (squats, planks, etc.)
- Improve social media. My goal is
5,000Twitter followers, 600 Facebook likes, and want to have 3,500 pins to my Pinterestpage by year end.
- Learn. Take 12 classes on ways to improve my blogging.
- I bought The Genius Bloggers Toolkit. I really struggled with this decision, but in the end, I couldn’t pass it up. I was able to pay for it from blog money. I’ve already dug into it!
- Views. In January, I had about 6,000 pageviews per month. I’d like to increase that to
18,000 pageviewsper month by the end of the year. Goal!
- 9974 in February
- 8990 in March
- 10,236 in April
- 11,102 in May
- 14,063 in June
- 13,434 in July
- 16,899 in August
- 22,820 in September
- Something is up with Google Analytics and I’m still working on correcting it. They claim my numbers for October are 37,224. Jetpack says 19,637. It’s discouraging not to know!
- Guest post. I’d like to start writing at least 1 guest post per month.
- Done in February! Read it here.
- May post done. You can read it here!
- I had two go live in June. Read my Dollar Stretcher article here and my Money Saving Mom article here.
- I shared a guest post with The Peaceful Mom.
- I am contributing to The Peaceful Mom on a monthly basis now. I also had another post on Money Saving Mom in September.
- I shared our #YearofNo story at The Peaceful Mom. I also had another Money Saving Mom article posted called 7 Habits of People Winning the Fight Against Debt.
- Monetize. I need this blog to earn some money to help with our BHAG, so I’m always exploring ways to monetize. Since I’ll only share things that I truly find beneficial, I pass on a lot of opportunities.
- Learn more about the ways I’m making money in this post.
- I’ve been getting more Linqia campaigns and other opportunities to bring great value to my audience.
- I had a few campaigns in September.
- In October, I had another Linqia campaign. They asked me to create a video, which you’ll find here. (Yikes! Comfort zone, what?) I also dug into freelance writing. This is definitely something I’d like to expand, so if you’re looking for freelance writing or blogging, let’s talk.
Our family has a BHAG this year. A big, hairy, audacious goal. That goal is to pay off some debt that amounts to 19% of our take home pay. Our plan for this goal is…
- #yearofno This has become our mantra, and the whole family is behind it now. They know that if they are asking for an extra (Can we have fast food? Can I have this toy? etc) that the answer is going to be #yearofno. It’s kind of turned into a running joke, and it needs no explanation.
- Be prepared. Not eating fast food is a running theme on this blog, because it’s always been a problem for us! Pizza, stopping for drinks, these things are our family’s worst habits. (Check out this free challenge to help you identify and destroy your own budget busters!)
- In October, we grabbed some fast food on an extra busy night, but overall I’d say we did well on resetting our #yearofno mindset.
- Bigger pie. I brought in extra money through freelance writing. But it went into the Christmas fund we’re building to keep ourselves out of debt this year.
- Get creative. The kids used costumes based on things we had around the house. I did make a run to Goodwill for a sheet. I also found a beard. (Our oldest had to be Odysseus for school, so we put it together frugally.)
So how did we do on our BHAG?
To bring down 100% of our goal this year, we need to be paying 8.3% on this debt every month. Here’s how it’s going.
In January we were able to bring down our debt by 8.2%.
In February we took it down a by 12.9%.
In March we brought the balance down a running total of 22.2%.
In April we were able to get our balance down 29.1%.
In May we were able to get the balance down 41%.
In June we got down 46%.
In July we pulled the number down 51%!
In August the stars aligned and we brought it down to 62% paid off!
In September Due to maintenance costs, we only got to 63%. But we didn’t add to debt!
In October our debt came to 68% paid off. I’m projecting us to hit 85% of our goal at the end of the year. The extra money I’m making is being shoveled into a Christmas fund to keep us out of debt. If I can hit the gift goal and make some extra money on top of that, I might be able to get closer. Stay tuned!
The plan for November
- Keep Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping simple. Continue adding to our Christmas fund so we get through the holiday without relying on debt.
- Continue working on freelance blogging and freelance writing.
If you’d like to help us meet our goal, it’s easy. Share this (and other Medium Sized Family posts) on your favorite social media accounts!
Are you still chomping on your goals for 2016?