April 2019 Goals

April Goals

  • Pay off loan #1
  • Pay as much as possible on loan #2
  • Cash flow our trip
  • Major decluttering
  • Family time/Get outside more
  • Continue researching travel trailers and remodeling them

If you read the end of the month review for March, you know that we made some big decisions last month. We have been on a bit of a proverbially high ever since. We hope to bank on that excitement and momentum to make huge strides towards our goals in the next couple months. So much of the ability to achieve a huge, slightly unrealistic goal is the mental belief that one can and will do it. We want to go for big goals this month. We want to really push ourselves harder than we have in ages. We want to pay off loan #1 and put a dent in loan #2. Loan #1 has a balance of almost $1,300. Loan #2 is $2,500. I don’t have the receipts handy to give you the exact number down to the cent like I did when accessing our credit cards online but these numbers are really close.

We are going out-of-town for five days to visit family this month. We are driving and hope to make the full drive in one day. It’s 13 hours on Google maps so with three kids it will take us all day. We have budgeted to cashflow the entire trip. We already paid for our hotel. We just need to cover our food and gas. We are giving ourselves two days to get back home because we didn’t want to take any chances with work.

We hit this point last month where this started to feel real. Until that moment it still felt like a daydream. I’m not sure what pushed it over the line between dream and reality but I’m glad it happened. It has made the idea of decluttering and saving money so much easier. It was hard to see the big picture before that mental shift. It completely changed my entire mindset. Preparing for long-term travel has been extra hard because we are still living a normal daily life full of the normal everyday parts of living in the suburbs with three kids. It felt like I was walking in two worlds that were constantly at odds with each other. This mental shift was exactly what I needed. I’m still stressed out and have too much to do but it feels like all my efforts are pointed in the same direction now. I am anxious to be rid of the physical trappings of our current daily life. We are continuing our decluttering this month.

We have decided not to buy anything unless we truly need it. We will not be buying many things for the next year. Our list of items that we are no longer buying includes toys, games, clothing for our two youngest children, kitchen items, jewelry, and decorations. We are currently not buying lotion, soap, or makeup until we use up the large amount that we already own. When we first began sorting through things, we were shocked by the amount of things that we had.

We are trying to spend more time outdoors and being active as a family because we are dreadfully out of shape for what we are planning in the near future. Hiking miles day after day is something that we couldn’t logically do right now without being completely miserable. We have started going to the park to walk the trails or strolling around our neighborhood a few times a week.

We have spent all of our free time in the evenings researching travel trailers and how to renovate them. We have read about things that commonly go wrong. We have looked at floor plans. We have made a list of our must have items. We will be continuing this until we can narrow down exactly what we are looking for.

It’s another busy month around here. What are you up to? Working on anything? Please leave it in a comment below.

March Goals 2019 – End of Month Review

March Goals

  • Pay off Credit Card #10
  • Pay on Loan
  • Save Money
  • File Our Taxes
  • Continue Decluttering
  • Further my education about homeschooling

We made some huge decisions about our future travel plans this month. It wasn’t on our goal list but we found that our conversations turned to RV and travel trailer options often. We realized that it was something that we were nervous about. We needed to figure it out before we were going to be able to comfortably continue our preparations. I get stressed out by things like this. I feel like they are constantly hanging over me. We talked about nothing else over the course of this month. We finally decided on an SUV and travel trailer. We will be buying a used SUV and an older travel trailer that we can renovate to fit our family needs and personal style. We have a couple of things we need to do before we begin shopping but the endless mental debate I was having with myself into the wee hours has finally ended for now. Making this choice was a huge relief. I can plow through anything if I have a set course but the daunting act of trying to figure out the right choice for something huge and important can leave me spinning in circles for days, or even weeks. Having this behind us, for better or worse, allows me get back on track and work the plan again.

We paid off credit card #10. This was our final credit card! We are so excited to be done with this. Those ten small payments a month have made a huge difference in our snowball. We have a couple loans to pay off and then our focus will change to saving for our travel trailer and SUV. It’s taken a ton of work to get to this point but it’s worth the effort.

We didn’t make much of a difference in the loan. We plan to pay it off by the end of April. We are going on a trip in the beginning of April and prepaid for our hotel this month. We didn’t want to chance not finding a room last-minute that had everything we needed/wanted at a decent price. This was in our budget for April and that will give us some additional funding to go toward this loan.

We have found a few ways to cut down our budget. We went grocery shopping at Aldi last week to see if it’s cheaper and it is on many items. We are working on our personal spending which is still way too high. We still eat out and go for coffee way too often. We spend money on dumb stuff that is not helping us toward our goals. We are seriously considering trying a zero spending challenge for a period of time because it would make a huge difference. It would majorly suck in the short-term but it could potentially save us a small fortune. We may try a week or a month to see what happens.

We just filed our taxes finally. We are getting back a small return that will go straight towards whatever step we are on in our priority list at that time.

Decluttering became a huge focus this month. We have an extra room in our basement that is dedicated to the things that we will be selling. We sort through a closet, a drawer, a shelf, or a box from the basement or garage whenever we have a few minutes. We separate out everything into one of five categories: keep, process, sell, donate, and trash/recycle. We have made it through a decent amount of stuff and took a load to the donation center. We are hoping to be done with going through most of our stuff by the end of May. That begins yard sale season in this area and we plan to have a few this summer. We have a lot of stuff! A lot more stuff than we originally realized!

We learned a little more about homeschooling. I read a few books and many blog posts. I learned about laws in different states. We are considering buying a small house in Indiana to use as a home base. I wanted to read up on homeschooling laws because we currently don’t live there and I didn’t know much about it.

Do you know that moment when you have been working on something for a while and suddenly it gains momentum? That was this month for us. Everything went from something we had been talking about to something that was really happening in our near future. The feel of the dream has changed from a beautiful daydream to a crazy reality. It has changed how we are approaching things. It’s easier to sacrifice for a dream when it starts to feel more real.

How was your month? Anything amazing? Please share below. We love hearing from you!

Cutting my Hair for Donation and a New Look

Before

There are not a ton of pictures of me on this blog because I am so often behind the camera but I do have a face. Also, I had a ton of hair! I had been growing it out to donate to a company that makes wigs for kids or women. You should wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner. Dry it completely. Make sure it is dry when you send it because it will mold. Don’t put any product in it.

I love how it turned out! Nicole at The Color Room in Florence, Kentucky cut it. She did an amazing job and was very kind. I would happily see her again. It feels so nice to be rid of the weight of all that hair. My hair is very thick. She separated it into six small ponytails before cutting it. I had brought in a couple of pictures I liked and she helped me decide what would look nice. I am very pleased with the results.

I ended up donating 12 inches. This is my eighth donation. I have donated to Wigs for Kids and Locks of Love in the past. I will be mailing out this donation next week after double checking the qualifications to make sure I mail it to a place that will be able to process mine. Some take gray hair. Some take dyed hair. Some have different length requirements.

I hope this hair helps somebody feel beautiful and brings them joy!

10 Family Movie Nights Brought to You by NETFLIX

1.) Incredibles 2 – OMG! Disney’s Incredibles 2 is now on Netflix! This is a great family movie night that covers all ages. I was as excited about this as my kids were. The basic idea of the first movie was that two superheroes fell in love, got married, and had some kids. Those kids have superpowers too. The world blamed superheroes for some things and they all went into hiding. If you haven’t seen, you really should and then you will know why everybody is excited to watch the sequel. In this movie, Elastigirl (Mom) gets recruited for a high-profile crime-fighting mission and Mr. Incredible takes on full-time parenting for three superkids. Madness and hilarity ensue.

2.) Coco – This movie is a beautiful masterpiece. It is visually stunning and has a great soundtrack. The story is deep and interesting for the whole family. The story follows Miguel, a young would be musician. Music is banned in his family but it is all he can think about. He goes on a quest into the afterlife on the day of the dead to meet his ancestor and finally understand his family legacy.

3.) Bolt – This movie is so much fun and it has a less Disney vibe than other Disney movies (if this makes any sense). It’s even more fun if you happen to have your own good boy at home to cuddle while watching it. It’s about a famous “Hollywood” dog that believes he has superpowers. He spends the movie coming to terms with the fact that he is an ordinary dog but even ordinary dogs are super to their humans. It does have some dramatic themes that could be scary to sensitive little ones.

4.) Hercules – Disney took this ancient story and made it fun for all ages. The soundtrack alone makes it worth watching. It has just enough Disney sass to make it funny for the adults as well.

5.) Next Gen – This is a Netflix Original. The main character who hates robots, ends up forming an unlikely friendship with a top-secret robot, madness ensues and they end up on an action packed adventure to save humanity. Our kids enjoyed this almost as much as their father.

6.) Boss Baby – This movie is hilarious. Some babies are sent to Earth and other babies are sent to work at BabyCo to ensure that babies remain at the top. When things go awry, a top business baby is sent in to stop a dastardly plot that could leave babies unloved. The sibling relationship is the reason this movie is so enjoyable. There is some crude humor and a few high action moments.

7.) Pokemon the Movie I Choose You! – For all of the parents out there who grew up loving pokemon, this is for you. This movie is an alternate take on Ash’s journey from the first episode of Pokemon. What if Ash’s journey was completely different? What if instead of gym battles and a fun storyline with Misty and Brock, he and Pikachu embarked on a journey to find the legendary Ho-Oh?

8.) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – This is a classic that everybody should watch at some point. The Earth is being destroyed and an average Brit goes on the adventure of a lifetime. It’s a funny movie with a great cast. Perfect for movie night with your preteens!

9.) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – Flint Lockwood is the neighborhood failure. His science experiments don’t work out the way he hopes until one day he invents a machine that makes food literally fall from the sky. He is an overnight success and his town, that was going under, is suddenly booming with tourists. He enjoys the attention of being thrust into the spotlight but things go too far. The folk around town including Flint’s father, Sam Sparks (the weather girl), and Baby Brent add to the amusement.

10.) Despicable Me 3 – In the third movie, Gru loses his job and finds out that he has a long-lost twin. It’s a very action packed movie with a lot of humor. If you were a fan of the first two or simply love the Minions, this is worth watching.

Put on your favorite pajamas, make some popcorn, and cozy in for a great evening. Your whole family will love these movies and your pocketbook will thank you for a frugal night spent in with your family.

March Goals 2019

March Goals

  • Pay off Credit Card #10
  • Pay on Loan
  • Save Money
  • File Our Taxes
  • Continue Decluttering
  • Further my education about homeschooling

We will be paying off $1,500 on our final credit card this month! We are so excited to be done with these! We have decided to hustle a little and really cut back on spending for a while to be able to make a bigger dent this month. We are setting kind-of high goals but we need to push ourselves harder. We have been paying things off but we know we could do better and more importantly, we need to do more in order to hit our lofty goals. This leads me to goal #2. Pay as much as possible on the loan we took out for Ivy’s oral surgery. It’s $1,300. I’m not sure how far we’ll make it but we are going to just do our best to pay as much as possible.

We need to file our taxes this month. We have one paper left to pick up before we file. We will decide what to do with our return when we find out if/how much we will receive.

We will continue to declutter our house. We are hoping to finish a large portion of the boxes in our basement that have been there since we moved into our home six years ago. We don’t know what is in most of them. We know there are sentimental items in some of them. We also need to work on our garage. We plan to have a few garage/yard sales this spring and summer. I want to try selling a few things online as well. We have so much stuff to get rid of before we leave. Every dollar we make selling things is going toward our plan and whatever step we are on. We are currently still working on paying off debt.

I want to further my education about homeschooling and start to get a rough plan together of how we will handle some of the basics. I have put together a list of well reviewed books that I want to read. I think that they may help me to have a better understanding of education. I am able to get most of them from the library. Yay! I checked out three of them to get started. If I feel that I need any of them to reference in the future, I can buy the Kindle version at that time. One of the books I chose is completely dedicated to homeschooling styles. I want to get a better understanding of these. I am hopeful that these three books will provide me with more depth of information than I have been able to find online thus far.

It’s going to be a busy month around here. I’ll fill you in at the end of the month about how we did. What are you working on this month? Let me know in a comment below. I love hearing from you!