Saturday, February 10, 2018

Goals for 2018

2017 was a wonderful year! We decluttered some and organized some. I went on a trip of a lifetime and met family I have only seen and communicated with through the internet. This was the first year I completed a budget each and every month. We paid off some debt, albeit created more. I started my weight loss journey as well. Since I quite enjoyed this making of goals to keep me accountable, I have decided to keep it up. I also like the word of the year as well. For 2018, the word shall be "SIMPLIFY". This goes off of the word for 2017, which was "REDUCE". Since I did a fairly good job of reducing, I thought in 2018 I would focus on simplifying. Simplifying our lives, simplifying the budget, simplifying the house, you get the picture. On to the goals for this year!

2018 Goals
1. Pay off the jeep. This is going to be one tough goal as we just bought it last June and we owe quite a bit but with planning and hard work, I really feel it can be done!

2. Plant three seasons of garden this year. I hope to have a spring, summer, and fall garden. Bonus if they all produce well!

3. Get rid of even more items in this house! I know myself and will not be keeping track of the number of items, so I plan to keep track of the number of bags or boxes! My goal is to get rid of at least one bag or box each month!

4. Get healthy! I want to simplify my health which means lose weight. 50 pounds was a pretty hefty goal last year so this year I hope to lose 30 pounds. That is less than three pounds a month. Totally doable!

5. Let's try this garage goal again! I hope to get this garage organized, new shelves and all in 2018!

6. The dreaded grocery bill. Let's see if $600 a month can be met this year, shall we?

7. The fence! I hope this is the year that the darn fence gets built!

8. Let's go out on a whim and keep our fingers crossed that we can accomplish the goal of fixing the drywall and painting the walls! This will be a surprise if it gets done for sure!

9. And why not make the goal of starting the outside patio and new deck. I say start it because it may cost  more than we can manage this year.

10. Be more intentional about spending time with family and friends.

Goal update - -December 2017

2017 is all about REDUCE. That is our word of the year. So far I think we are doing pretty well! Check out the first goal post of 2017 here.

1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!) Goal Accomplished!

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. I think I am  going to change this goal to just selling items in general. Yard sale was a FLOP!

I am going to consider this a half accomplished goal. The yard sale was a flop but we did manage to sell some items on craigslist and Facebook groups. 

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage!

Boo! This did NOT get done. Maybe 2018 will be the year?

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty.

Yeehaw! I got more than I could have wanted. It is December and it is still  producing kale, chard, and collards!

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.  Goal accomplished!

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish.  Goal accomplished!

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again.

Another goal not accomplished. I have been splurging all month. I have not weighed myself but I can tell that I have put on a few pounds by how my clothes are fitting. Next year can be the year, right?

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

I did a horrible job of keeping track of my spending for this holiday and I did not have the gifts wrapped before December BUT I did have them wrapped weeks before Christmas and I did have them bought right before December started so that counts for something. I did pay cash, well used the debit card, for all the gifts. No credit card use for us. 

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

Boo! We did  horrible with this goal!  I need to re-evaluate this goal for 2018.

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make.

I did manage to complete some crafts in the form of Christmas gifts! I got a lamp for Christmas that clamps on to the hoop so I will be able to work on the cross stitch! This I am excited for!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Last grocery shopping trip of 2017

I already put the food away BUT I did great on spending! At Aldi I bought $53.19 worth of food but only spent $29.19 out of pocket due to redeeming $24 visa gift cards from a previous rebate. At Kroger I bought $72.16 woth of food but with using my kroger plus card and coupons I only paid $25.68 out of pocket! Plus I spent five minutes using the ibotta and checkout 51 apps and will be getting a total of $4.25 back between the two! So essentially I bought $125.35 worth of food for only $54.87! Very happy with the grocery shopping for the upcoming week and that was with taking the man with me who adds items to the cart!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Goal update - November 2017

2017 is all about REDUCE. That is our word of the year. So far I think we are doing pretty well! Check out the first goal post of 2017 here.


1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!) Goal Accomplished!

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. I think I am  going to change this goal to just selling items in general. Yard sale was a FLOP!

I have continued to sell items that were not donated. I really haven't kept a running total though. I am now debating on just donating many items just to get them out of the house! We shall see! I was told about a company, decluttr, that supposedly will buy movies. I may do that!

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage! 

I can say right now that the shelves will not be happening this year. Boo! I am still trying to get it organized! Time has been flying by and I just cannot catch up! Maybe in December?

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty.  I'm counting this as a win! I still am getting kale, collards, and swiss chard and my beets are ready to harvest as well. 

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.  Goal accomplished!

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish.  Goal accomplished!

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again.

Still working on it! I think I gained some but I haven't weighed myself in months so I don't really know where I am at. My clothes are still fitting pretty good though!

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

No bonus points, but I have all but two gift cards (and my gift) bought! The man and I decided to buy our own gifts this year with a budget of around $100. Not all the gifts are wrapped BUT I did wrap AND deliver most of the gifts. All but one gift has been delivered to siblings, nieces, nephews, parents! Yay!

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

November was WAY over budget. Like $109 over. UGH! I really hope I can get December reigned in!

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make.

No work on the cross stitch BUT I did get the photo album created for the parents and I also was able to get the homemade gifts made. 

November was a busy month! I hope to end the year with things under budget and more organized and more REDUCED! I have been thinking about next years word and I think I have decided on it. It goes along with reduce. Still debating....

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Goal update - October 2017

2017 is all about REDUCE. That is our word of the year. So far I think we are doing pretty well! Check out the first goal post of 2017 here.

1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!) Goal Accomplished!

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. I think I am going to change this goal to just selling items in general. Yard sale was a FLOP!

I have been listing items on Facebook marketplace and craigslist. In October, I made about $55. I have sold items for the kids and they have made about that much as well! 

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage!

Although there is much more space, it is not organized yet. There are a few items we still need to be rid of before I can get organizing. Maybe in November?

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty.

Heck yeah! My fall garden is rocking! I need to get out there and start harvesting all the collards, kale, swiss chard, turnips galore!

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.  Goal accomplished!

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish.  Goal accomplished!

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again.

Yeah, about that...

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

Well, the extended family's gifts will be well under $500, but we will be going over that amount all together if we include our kids' gifts. We are scaling back though. I'm curious how much we will spend this year. The man and I decided to only spend $100 on each other. We are stealing the concept that Budget Girl on YouTube does. We will spend the $100 ourselves and give the person the gifts to wrap. We both like that idea.

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

We only spent about $520 in October! I hope to keep it that low in November as well!

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make.

Nope, no crafts yet...

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Goal update - September 2017

2017 is all about REDUCE. That is our word of the year. So far I think we are doing pretty well! Check out the first goal post of 2017 here.


1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!) Goal Accomplished!

Hot diggity dog! The man finally got motivated to go through his belongings, aka teaching supplies and electronics, and whoa nelly, we cleared that 1000 goal by a long shot! I did NOT count items, but let's just say that 1000 goal was easy peasy once he got started! Just by going through the garage he got rid of 16 boxes and 2 garbage bags for donation. Six bins were taken to his school to give away to fellow teachers. The items that I would not have counted but am just as excited about are the ten garbage bags that were taken to the dump. Our recycling can is also filled. Our home garbage can is just about filled as well. So, yep, goal met!

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. I think I am  going to change this goal to just selling items in general. Yard sale was a FLOP!

The man sold one of his chinchillas this past month. I also snagged some of the things he was going to get rid of to sell. Fingers crossed they do!

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage!

See above. It is getting there! I hope by the end of the month it will be 90% completed. I will just need to get shelves made.

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty.

Our first summer garden was pretty good. I still have a few tomatoes and peppers to glean from it. I started a fall garden and so far it is looking good! The collards and turnips are growing like crazy!

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.  Goal accomplished!

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish.  Goal accomplished!

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again.

Psh, gained a couple of pounds, BUT I am still below what I started at!

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

I was able to score some $30 "treasure chests" for $2 each! They have Disney themes on them but I am going to spray paint them and put the homemade bath items in them for the nieces and nephews. Now to be on the look out for cheap towels! 

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

I only spent $490 last month! It is good, but considering I was cooking from the freezers and pantry it should have been better. Fingers crossed October is just as good!

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make.

Yeah, not in September. There is always October....

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A decision has been made

There comes a time in one's life where a decision has to be made.

Do we go through our belongings (aka, clutter) and take the time to sell on the various online platforms or do we decide to cut our losses and donate it all and get a receipt that may, or may not, help us at tax time?

Well, we reached that time in our life and a decision was made. That decision was to purge. Oh what a decision it was!

Background story:
My husband and I married young. We had no money. He basically made minimum wage and I was in school. When we had a little extra money we would scour the clearance sections for items we NEEDED. When we had a little more extra money, we also sought out items in the clearance section that we WANTED, because it was a good deal, you know. So over the course of 25 years we bought, and stored, and bought and stored.
End of story.

Sure, we donated some and threw away some over the years. Heck, when we moved south we threw out, gave away, or donated almost half of what we had BUT there was still so much we had. Think hoarders, but clean ones.

Then my husband became a teacher. What do teachers loves? School supplies and teaching materials. Oh. My. Goodness. As a new teacher if anyone was giving items away, he snatched it. Back to school sales? Oh, you bet he was there. Limit of 5? Oh no, honey, he is a teacher. He can have a limit of 25. Who can resist 25 composition books that are a nickel a piece? Yep, if it was free or cheap, he took it. I mean, lets be honest, most of us would have done the exact same thing.

So you add the enormous amount of teaching supplies to the already large amount of computer and video game collections and you get this: (side note, this is after one day of cleaning. See that wall back there? Yeah, we haven't seen that wall in a few years. So, yes, improvement has been made)

To note, I am not an innocent partner in all this. I, too, have hoarded my share of items. However, the urge to purge hit me awhile ago and I have been steadily purging my things every so often. Matter of fact, I am going to go through a section in my bedroom later today. Oh and that garage? It is not all his. I have holiday stuff, canning supplies, and general household stuff that I will be going through today as well.

The man is a late bloomer. He finally got the urge a few weeks ago. His mass of clutter has him ridden with anxiety so we take it slow for him. A person needs to be ready to purge and they must be guided, not told what to do. He takes breaks throughout the day when he notices his anxiety rising. It also helps when you are motivated. The details of his motivation has changed over the past few weeks. His current motivation? A Nintendo Switch. (He is a gamer, so of course this would work). Hey, whatever works, right?  I mean, we have money saved so...

So why donate instead of taking the time to sell? Well, mostly because there is SO MUCH STUFF! Plus he tried having a yard sale (remember my goals post?) It didn't work out. Plus the longer stuff sits, the less motivated he will be. He had to be ready and he is most definitely ready. Yesterday alone we threw away 5 garbage bags and we donated 2 garbage bags and 6 boxes. He has another 4-5 boxes in his jeep to give to teachers at work (so they can start their own hoarding supply). Today we hope to have the garage completed. It may not be organized, but it will have been gone through. I am perfectly okay with that.

So, for us, donating is a better decision for us right now. It eases our minds to get rid of this stuff. In other words, it "reduces" our stress. Remember, our word of the year is "reduce". I like to think we are getting a bonus. By donating, we are quickly reducing both our clutter and our stress.

Less clutter in the house = less clutter of the mind, dontcha think?