There are two times of the year that I feel especially compelled to examine what I am accomplishing with my life. One is the start of a new school year. The other is New Year’s Day.
I’m a little boring and predictable like that. But that’s ok.
During the first week of each new year, I sit down with paper, pencil, and the hubby. We discuss what we’d like to accomplish with our new year. Some years we feel excited to achieve big things. Some years we feel tired and just try to finish nagging tasks.
I am excited that 2016 is going to be a “big thing” year! Some people call goals like this a BHAG. Big, hairy, audacious goals. You can only accomplish a BHAG if you are in the right frame of mind. It’s not something you can go into half heartedly. So I’m happy to find that both myself and my hubby are in that frame of mind. 2016 is going to be an awesome year! (Because we have determined to make the best of it regardless of circumstances.)
Now, before I dig in to our goals for 2016, there are a couple of things I want to address.
- I hope you won’t be too disappointed to find that the woman who brings you a series called 5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week each Friday is in debt. Stupid old credit card debt, to boot. I hope I haven’t given you the impression that I am a guru, because in real life I am a very regular person who struggles with debt. Luckily, the 5 Ways series has allowed us to sock extra money towards our debt, but we are ready to knuckle down in a real way this year and knock out that debt.
- I want to talk numbers with you, but I don’t have the green light to use actual cash amounts. Our compromise was for me to use percentages and ratios. In many ways, this might be more helpful anyway since you can relate your own numbers to ours even if you don’t make the same money that we make.
Ok, now that all of that is out of the way, let’s talk about…
Our family’s goals for an awesome 2016!
- Get a water plan in place. I’d like to write more about our water situation in the future (and, in fact, this is a good part of the reason we are in debt). For now, I’ll say that we hope to make a plan to get access to public water in 2016. This should help our money situation since water is a large bill for us currently.
- Barn driveway. We want to make getting to our barn less of a challenge.
- Improve goat pens and fencing. We are growing our goat herd to provide our little 4-Hers with projects to show and sometimes sell at the county fair.
- Finish the bathroom project. We are adding a fan to the bathroom and need to finish redoing the room.
- Paint baseboards and staircase. This has been on my to do list for far too long, and I’d like to get it done early in the year. Luckily paint is a fairly cheap way to improve the look of the home.
- Swimming. Another thing that I’d like to finally focus on is giving my children the time to learn to swim. It’s a super important life skill and I think they’ll enjoy it if we give them enough time and opportunities.
- Vacation. I think that it’s key to get away and spend time together as a family. Even if that means that vacation is camping with PB&J at several meals!
- One on One Time. We want to be intentional about spending more one on one time with the kids.
- Date. It’s very challenging to find the time to date when our kids are so active! We will be looking for creative ways to spend time together without spending a lot of cash.
- Faith. I want to continue to do my daily Bible readings.
- Read. I’d like to read through 12 books this year (since I love reading and hate that it takes me months to get through one book!
- Blogging. I hope to turn this blog into a money maker this year!
- Exercise. I don’t have a specific goal for this just yet, because I haven’t figured out how to fit another thing into my day right now. But at some point I’d like to make it a priority.
Our main goal and biggest focus of 2016 is to pay off debt. The debt we are focused on amounts to nearly 19% of our (after taxes and deductions) bring home pay. So for every $100 we bring in to the house, $19 has to go back towards this debt.
That’s enough to make you never want to use a credit card again.
Now, a person could look at those numbers in a couple of ways. You could be discouraged and decide to just ignore it and hope it will go away (spoiler alert…it won’t). Or you could get angry at seeing money wasted in such a silly way and use that anger to fuel your drive to get rid of that debt permanently.
I’m a red head, so the anger one comes a little more naturally to me anyway.
Here’s how we hope to accomplish this BHAG.
- The year of “No.” If it isn’t necessary to the health or functionality of our family, the answer is no. We will try to counterbalance this with allowing our children to enjoy some frugal fun and are willing to spend money if there is an important life lesson to be learned (such as the swimming I mentioned earlier).
- Be prepared. We are often guilty of letting events sneak up on us rather than preparing for them in advance. There are very few true surprises or emergencies. My tires are showing signs of wear. We need to plan to replace them, because it’s coming whether we like it or not! I’d rather save the money and look for a deal rather than frantically putting the closest tire dealer on a credit card. When we are going somewhere at meal time, the family will be hungry and thirsty. It’s always more frugal to bring snacks and drinks along.
- Make the pie bigger. I am hoping to grow my blog enough to start to make some money from it, and those extra dollars will go towards this debt. (Thank you so much for clicking through any links you find here! You’re making a difference for our family each time you do.) I also want to continue to do random side jobs and sell items on eBay and yard sales when I can.
- Flex those creative muscles. We are going to come up with creative ways to make extra cash, and creative ways to solve problems in a less expensive way.
- Basically, I’m going to take my own advice and use every item on the post I wrote up yesterday.
So those are our S.M.A.R.T. Goals for an Awesome 2016. I will be doing a monthly check in to see how we are doing. I will continue to set weekly goals, which essentially are just the baby steps I’ll need to take each week to march towards our larger yearly goals I’ve outlined here.
What are your goals for the year? Do you have a BHAG for yourself or your family?