August Goals

August Goals:

  • Spend Time with my Kids, Husband, & Dad
  • Update Family/Personal Schedules
  • Oil Change & Clean/Wash my Car
  • Back-To-School Shopping & School Fees
  • Repairs to my Husband’s Truck
  • $500 towards Debt
  • Cash Staycation/Vacation
  • New Vacuum Cleaner
  • Work on this Site

I have some awesome news! I got a new job! I’m excited about this for a number of reasons but it has a serious downside. I have to work every weekend. Normally, I spend Saturday with my husband and I visit my Dad for Sunday night dinner. I’m attempting to see them as much as possible before I start this new position in September. I will write more about the perks of this job change soon.

I need to update my personal and our family schedules. School starting, my job change, things we want to accomplish before we leave in 2020, and family/friend time all need to be evaluated while updating our schedules for the remainder of the year. I work out our schedules about three times a year unless more is required. This includes our budget/bills, work/school/extracurricular for each family member, doctor/dentist appointments, zone cleaning updates, chore schedule updates, and house/car maintenance.

We need to do some work on our vehicles this month. My oil change is due this month. My car is filthy from all those summer road trips, both long and short. It needs the normal wash but the inside needs more attention. There is sand everywhere, seashells in the doors, junk under the seats, and the windows all need to be cleaned. My husband’s truck needs some upkeep too. One of the headlights just went out and he is replacing that tomorrow. The paint is peeling on the hood and without repainting, it will rust. Michael is attempting to do it himself. This may not be the best idea but paying somebody a small fortune to do it while we are working to pay off our debt is definitely not a good idea. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

School fees are $200 for our two girls. I’m not sure how much supplies are going to cost. We are trying to seriously limit the amount of stuff we are buying these days. This includes back-to-school shopping. The girls have tons of clothing. Ivy needs a couple pairs of black leggings, a backpack, socks, and a pair of shoes. Isabella needs a few basic tanks for layering, a pair of tennis shoes, and a pair of comfortable everyday shoes. She also wants a silver headband to replace her favorite one that broke at the end of last school year. Octavia is in need of a pair of tennis shoes and socks for the fall. We hope to get all of this done this month.

We want to pay $500 towards debt this month. We would love to be able to pay more but I don’t think it’s logical with everything else we have going out. We plan to get back on track with killing it in September. We are both taking a vacation this month so we will both have a short paycheck too. I am also starting that new position next month which will make a huge difference in our budget. There will be more details about this in an upcoming post.

We are planning for a staycation/budget vacation this time. Michael didn’t want to drive too far and we didn’t want to spend the money to rent a hotel for a week. We decided to play our entire vacation by ear. We are going to decide by vote each day what we are going to do. We are just looking forward to spending time together regardless of what we end up doing. We would all love a trip to Disney World or to spend a week in a nice hotel on the beach but we want to save the money toward our goals more. This is one of the many sacrifices that we will have to make over the next two years in order to live our dreams.

We are in need of a new vacuum. Ours is about 5 years old and is not working as well as it once did. We have a large dog and three family members with long hair. We also have a toddler and kids who enjoy crafts. We take a toll on vacuums. Our budget is $200. I don’t want to spend too much because we will likely either get rid of it when we leave or take it on the road with us for upkeep in short-term housing for jobs.

I really need to spend some time on this site. I need to get caught up on posting all of our fun adventures from this summer. I have a list of posts I want to write. I also want to learn how to do a few things. I have always focused on the writing side and I want to learn more of the tech side in the next couple months. We intend to continue with this site even after we leave so we can use it for memories, keep our friends and family informed about what we are up to, and hopefully inspire other families that would like to do the same. That is another reason that I think these monthly goal/review posts are so important that I take the time to do these no matter what. I love reading the planning stages of long-term travels. I know it is because that is where we are at right now. It is nice to see where others started at and to see if there is anything that will help us to achieve our goals. I hope that readers are getting something from this or will in the future. If nothing else, it keeps us on target.

Any goals you want to share? Are you working on paying off debt? Any tips on vacuums?

June/July Review

June/July Goals

  • Maintain
  • Save for Dental Work
  • Schedule Appointments
  • Finish the Pantry Challenge
  • Plan/Have Octavia’s Birthday Party
  • Work on House/Continue Decluttering
  • Work on Breaking Down our Long-term Plan

We have done well at maintaining our financial standing over the past two months. We do have dental appointments coming up in a couple days which we have savings for. Ivy was unable to get an appointment to have her wisdom teeth taken out because of a referral issue that is now fixed so she will be doing that soon. Michael needed to get glasses this summer. This was his first time having any issues with his vision. I have decent insurance through my work and his eye exam and basic glasses were not horrible. His sunglasses nailed us. In total, it ended up costing us almost $500. That was a big hit but we had a feeling it was coming and budgeted accordingly.

This pantry challenge is legit never going to end. I have no idea where it all came from. I had no idea the number of odd things that were hiding in the kitchen. The initial wave of making meals was easy. We are now working our way through the odd bits such as frozen food, canned food, small amounts of pasta/rice, seasoning packets, and spices. It is difficult to plan meals around the odd items. We are very slowly clearing it all out. I wanted to completely clear everything out of our kitchen and also save some money in our monthly budget. We saved a ton of money over the last few months on groceries but that it no longer the case. We are now just planning meals around getting rid of things. It is no longer saving us much but it has made for more interesting meals.

We had Octavia’s second birthday party. We ended up doing Bubble Guppies. We had it in our backyard. It was loads of fun. I have photos and will be making a post soon.

I know that I am a little behind on posting because this summer has been so busy. I will be getting caught up on posts over the next couple months. We did some traveling. We worked on the house and continued our decluttering process.

I have spent a lot of time collecting information and putting together a list of everything we need to do before we leave in 2020. I know that we have two years but it is surprising how fast time goes. We both work full time and are busy raising three kids. We wanted to make sure we had enough time to prepare and research our options so we know that we have chosen the right ones. There is so much involved with prepping for long-term travel for a family of five that I will be dedicating multiple posts to it. I will share my list soon. I sectioned off a notebook and we added things to it as we thought of them or came across them on suggestions on blogs, vlogs, or word of mouth. It is so nice to have it all on paper and mapped out.

Anything you want to share with us? Please drop it in a comment below.

June/July Goals 2018

June/July Goals

  • Maintain
  • Save for Dental Work
  • Schedule Appointments
  • Finish the Pantry Challenge
  • Plan/Have Octavia’s Birthday Party
  • Work on House/Continue Decluttering
  • Work on Breaking Down our Long-term Plan

We are doing a lot this summer and we hope to just maintain our current financial standing. We are not planning to pay-off the next credit card at this time. I am taking the girls on a trip and I know that it’s going to cost us a lot of money. I am really looking forward to sitting on the beach with my daughters. Our oldest, Ivy, also needs her wisdom teeth removed before they come in so we are starting to save for that. I have to make the appointment but we are thinking July or August is likely. Oral surgery is expensive even with insurance. I need to schedule her appointment and they all need to see the doctor soon. We like to do check-ups before school starts if possible.

We hope to finally finish the pantry challenge this month since we can now cook easier. Ivy and Isabella are interested in learning to cook so they will be cooking more going forward. We are planning meals around what is already in our kitchen. This is good for them because they are learning to make new foods and learning to work with what is available. During the last few months, we have used up many of the easier ingredients and we are now working on the more unusual items. I am toying with the idea of playing a game of “Chopped” with the girls to get rid of some of the odd leftover items.

My sweet baby, Octavia, is two this month. I don’t know where the time goes. We are planning her birthday for the end of the month. I think we are going to have it outside and her theme will be Bubble Guppies or Moana.

We are planning to do a little more work around the house and continue the decluttering process. We are focusing on things that we can do for free or very cheap that will improve our home. Decluttering, cleaning, organizing, and doing projects that we already have the stuff to complete is what we are focusing on.

We will continue working on breaking down our long-term plans into small achievable goals. In order to travel in two years, we need to accomplish quite a few different things. These things became our first list of goals and they include many things from paying off our debt to minimizing our possessions to teaching the little girls to swim. There are so many moving pieces in a goal this large that it requires a lot of planning to make sure that no part of it is missed. Some things are time sensitive and need to be started by a certain date. We are hoping to have a full plan that is easy to follow by the end of summer that fully encompasses all of the different parts that are needed to undertake something so massive.

We are hoping this month is much less stressful than May was. I will update you soon with our progress. Are you working on anything this month? Any summer plans you want to share? Any huge goals you need to break into smaller chunks? Please share with us in the comments.

May End of Month Review

May Goals

  • Finish paying off the 6th credit card on the list
  • Pay toward our 7th credit card
  • Finish something on our list of home remodeling
  • Air Conditioner
  • Sell Some Stuff
  • Finish the Pantry Challenge
  • Continue Decluttering
  • Break Down Long-Term Goals and Plans

We started off the month with a balance of $765.29 on credit card #6. We were able to pay it off. This was our only accomplishment on our debt payoff plan in May. We had a busy and draining month. It drained us both physically and financially. The air conditioner going out was just as big of a nightmare as we thought it was going to be. We started by buying two window units which set us back over $300 but did give us time to figure out our next move. We knew when we bought them that they were only a temporary fix but we needed time to come up with the best plan. We do intend to sell them and recoup part of the cost.

Replacing our central air was a nightmare but we definitely went with the best option. We had an older furnace so it needed to be replaced too. It was still functional but a new one would ensure that we were not dealing with the potential loss of heat and will increase our resell value. We intend to sell our house in a couple years so that was also a consideration. It was cheaper to buy the furnace and air conditioner unit together. We did most of the work ourselves which helped to offset a lot of the cost. We did have to take out a personal loan for $4,000. We didn’t want to do it but our savings were not going to cover it. We got a decent interest rate and we are going to pay it off after we finish paying off our credit cards.

We didn’t do anything else around our house. We didn’t sell anything. We were honestly just too busy to think about anything but the air conditioner, work, and finishing out the end of the school year. We didn’t finish the pantry challenge but we are back at it again. We mainly ate easy to prepare foods like salads, sandwiches, and fruit. We didn’t want to cook too much because it made the house hotter. Our kids were sick this month which added to the drama. It was quite a mess of a month.

We did continue to declutter. Each of our daughters has a memory book that is a drop-in style scrapbook. We started going through our photo and memory boxes to try to organize and make sense of things. Our goal is to make the things that are truly important to us easier to access and to store them in a better manner.

We have started to figure out the details of our long-term plans so that we are better able to see our path. We want to break the big steps down into smaller portions the same way we did with our debt-free journey. We broke our debt down into individual debts and worked out the order to pay them in that made the most sense. We also broke that down into monthly goals. It has made that process so much easier that we decided to apply it to the other aspects of our long-term plan.

It was a crazy month but we survived to fight another one.

May Goals 2018

May Goals

  • Finish paying off the 6th credit card on the list
  • Pay Toward our 7th credit card
  • Finish Something on our List of Home Remodeling
  • Air Conditioner
  • Sell Some Stuff
  • Finish the Pantry Challenge
  • Continue Decluttering
  • Break Down Long-Term Goals and Plan

We currently owe $765.29 on the 6th credit card on the list. We intend to pay it off this month. This is a completely reasonable goal. This is our only detailed financial goal this month. We had a huge issue come up. Our air conditioner gave out on us. We are trying to figure out what our options are for replacement or repair. It is an old unit which is causing some issues with repairing it. This threw a major wrench into our plans because we have no idea what this is going to cost. We had originally wanted to pay $1,000 on our 7th credit card this month but I don’t know how all of this is going to go. Michael is looking into our options and figuring out what will be the most cost-effective. There is a possibility of taking out a small personal loan with a low-interest rate from our local credit union to deal with the air conditioner problem. This is not ideal because it involves more debt which is what we are trying to get rid of. It might be an option because I am not sure if we can come up with the required amount of cash quickly enough. If we do this we could also keep pounding away at the credit cards which have much higher interest rates. We are not sure if there will be any additional costs to getting a loan or what the interest rate is going to be yet. Those costs will also have to be looked at. We are even considering buying a couple window units. I will let you know when we figure this out.

We have quite a few projects that we are going to have to finish in order to sell our house. They will also make it more enjoyable to live here for the next couple years. We are able to do them ourselves. We have been very slowly working down the list. We hope to accomplish a couple small things on that list. We were planning to do more but life threw us that air conditioner curveball.

We have boxed up some things that have value as we have been decluttering. We are going to try to sell some of those items this month. We could use that extra money to help us reach our goals. We will be continuing the decluttering process this month.

We will be finishing the pantry challenge and I will be writing a post about it. The idea behind a pantry challenge is to completely clean out our pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. This is saving us some money in the short-term but it is extremely useful in the long term. It will help us to be more organized and make meal planning easier. It will help to stop us from losing things and food from going bad.

We are working on breaking down our long-term goals to develop an overall plan. We want to start to get more prepared for our long-range goals. We are planning such a major lifestyle change that we feel that the more we can prep the better our entire family will adjust when the time comes. Decluttering has actually been a huge part of this. Being able to spend a couple years paring down our possessions is much less stressful than having to do it quickly. We need to pay off all of our credit cards to make ourselves more financially independent. It is hard to do what you want to do in life with large amounts of debt hanging over your head. I will be doing a post sometime in the near future about what our plans actually include because it will help our entire journey make more sense. I touched on it in our debt confession but now we are in full planning mode so we have a much more detailed plan coming soon.

Thanks for coming along on our journey! What are your May goals? Are you planning anything big soon? Share with us below!