Update on January 2018 Goals

January Goals:

  • Pay off my Capital One card
  • Do not go out for dinner more than 3 times
  • Pack our lunches for work
  • Continue to Simplify/Declutter/Minimize Our Home & Possessions

We have done extremely well on our January goals! We have worked very hard and sacrificed a lot but it has paid off. The first goal on the list was to pay off one of our credit cards. We started the month with $745.01 on my capital one credit card and we have paid it off completely. This was just the first of many but it is a success and we will celebrate every one of them, no matter how small.

The second goal was not to go out to eat more than three times. We can check this one off too. Ivy and I went out for sushi for her birthday. Michael got take-out on the way home from work one night. The little girls were sick and it made life easier. We all went out to a sandwich shop one night. I had to work that weekend and then we ran errands afterward so going out for dinner made sense. We tried to pick inexpensive places for the two nights that we went out unplanned.

We have done better at packing our lunches and having breakfast items available. We were a long way from perfect though. There is room for improvement but at least we tried. We managed to pack lunch about half of the time. We did much better with breakfast. We ate breakfast at home or took easy items with us most days.

We played the minimalism game and will finish with it in a couple of days. I’m proud of us for continuing with it. We are enjoying the small benefits of the items gone already. There is still a long way to go around here. The idea that we want to live out of suitcases or backpacks in a few years time is hilarious when staring at the amount of stuff in our house. We are only buying items that are necessary to our daily life and slowly editing the unnecessary items out of our home. We will save money by not buying excess stuff which will help with our other goals too. We will be continuing to work on this throughout 2018.

I will be posting our February goals and plan tomorrow. I hope that by sharing every step with you that we inspire others to make a plan toward their goals. Are you working on anything big or even just big to you this year? Have you found anything that helps keep you motivated? Drop me a comment. I’d love to hear about it!

The Minimalism Game – Week 3

We continued with the minimalism game for a third week. It was much harder to simply find the time to locate so many items to get rid of each day. Our lack of excess time is one of the reasons that we want to continue to embrace minimalism as a family. We are being extra boring because we are working on paying off our debt so we have a little more time than normal which helped us to keep up with the game.

Day 15 – Breast pump in a backpack, a bag of breast pads, a box of freezer bags, a bag of freezer bags, a bottle, a cooler, 2 cans of formula, & 7 packages of formula

Day 16 – 6 bottles, 6 storage bottles, 2 bottle rings, 2 bottle nipples

Day 17 – 14 bottle lids, 3 bottle caps, and 2 bonus breast pump parts I found

Day 18 – No pictures because I went through my underwear drawer. 6 bras, 11 pairs of underwear, and a sock with a hole in the toe

Day 19 – A long sleeve shirt, 2 dresses, 3 sweaters, 3 tanks, 4 shirts, a sweatshirt, a pair of jeans, a swimsuit top, a wallet, an almost full bottle of lotion that we didn’t like, and an old phone case

Day 20 – A wristlet, a pair of glasses, a small religious picture, a jewelry box, a mirror compact, 2 necklaces, a safety-pin, and 12 toys

Day 21 – A broken decoration, a packet of hair oil (Seriously? Why do I keep this crap & never use it?), a broken pair of goggles, 4 rings, 2 lipglosses, 2 necklaces, a broken necklace, 7 bracelets, and 2 pairs of children’s underwear that didn’t fit (unpictured)

I can’t honestly believe the amount of stuff we have. Every time I go to look for another days quota I am shocked again. It seems that we have an endless supply of things. I have not touched anything in our basement or garage either. All the items so far have been removed from our everyday living space. We felt like it would make the biggest impact to start with the areas we use every day. We have gotten rid of things in a number of ways including giving things away, throwing things in the trash, and we have a box of things that we have been working on selling. The rest of this game is going to be harder since the numbers have gotten so big but we are determined to finish through to day 30. We have also already discussed playing again in a couple of months.


The Minimalism Game – Week 2

We continued the minimalism game for the second week. This week was much harder and it took me ages to get it posted because the girls have been sick. We have been continuing with the game and taking daily pictures though.

Day 8 – Two American Girl catalogs that were on Isabella’s bookshelf, a little notebook, a frisbee, and four flooring samples

Day 9 – Book with a broken spine and eight old toys

Day 10 – Sweater, two pajama shirts, a shirt, pajama pants, two tanks, two pairs of shoes, and a baby toy

Day 11 – Old Toys

Day 12 – More Toys including a Busy Book set and an old glove missing its mate

Day 13 – Toys, two coloring books, two chapter books, pajama shirt, sweater, and three pairs of pajama pants

Day 14 – Pajama shirt, chapter book, a broken Christmas ornament (I thought about fixing it but honestly I think it’s just going to sit there for ages.), a toy, a deodorant, penlight, two single socks, a coupon, a hotel key card, and four empty cards

I am amazed at the amount of odd stuff we have sitting around that has no purpose. One of those empty gift cards had been sitting on top of my dresser for over a year. Why? Because I never stopped to consider throwing it out. There are so many things like that around our home. Things that are completely useless but we allow them to stay because we have become blind to their presence.

The Minimalism Game – Week 1 Update

We are playing the minimalism game this month. We thought it would be a fun way for the family to begin to declutter our home. We have actually been really enjoying it. It’s nice to have a goal in place to motivate us. The kids have liked it more than I thought they would. We decided to document each day with a photo and I would like to share them with you.

Day 1 – A baby bathtub that Octavia is too big for

Day 2 – Two pairs of Octavia’s shoes that were too small

Day 3 – A skirt that was getting a little short, shorts that were getting too tight, and a book that Isabella didn’t want

Day 4 – A shirt and two swimsuits that Octavia had outgrown, a toy harmonica from a birthday party treat bag

Day 5 – Two of Octavia’s sleepers, two of her shirts, and a pair of Isabella’s pants that she didn’t like

Day 6 – Octavia’s Clothing: a pair of too short leggings, a too small sweater and shirt, a shirt that I don’t like, 2 Halloween shirts

Day 7 – Seven of Isabella’s books that she no longer wanted

That’s the first week of our decluttering. I will share our week two shortly. Happy Decluttering!


Our Debt Confession

We have debt. There, I said it. We are working on paying everything off so we can live the way we want. We spent years working on becoming “normal” only to realize that we didn’t want to be normal. We are breaking down our debt into small payoff goals. I touched on this in our January goals post. I started this website to completely share our journey into our new life. Our long-term plan is to be debt free, travel with our kids, and buy a house someplace warm that feels like home. This all began with a conversation while on vacation. My husband and I talked about what we would do if we could do anything. What would our lives look like if we were living our dream life? Our dreams included lots of travel, beach days, sunshine, and time spent with our kids and each other. We were not surprised by this. We do travel quite a bit with our girls but not as much as we would like. We went a step further and constructed our dream life. We would sell the majority of our stuff and live out of backpacks for a year while traveling the world with our kids. Then we would travel the United States for one to two years while I work as a travel nurse and Michael works at temporary jobs or stays with our kids. We spend that time getting to know our country and decide where we want to live. We buy a house near the beach someplace that feels right. Wow! That sounds amazing, right?

Do you know what happened after this dream planning? My crazy husband says “Let’s do that.” while nodding his head. Like it was completely doable. Like we just discussed having tacos for dinner. Did I mention that my husband is abnormal? I literally rolled my eyes at the man. He looks at me incredulously and asks “What? If that’s the dream, let’s do it.” I respond to this like any sane human being with “We can’t.” His response…”Why not?” Please keep in mind this is an intelligent, grown man. My response…”Because.” That is where the conversation dies. We left it right there for ages and we could have left it right there forever. That is the place most dreams are abandoned. I mean, we are adults. We can’t just go live our dreams.

For some reason, we revisited this conversation. I like to think it was because we both really want the same things in life. This time we really discussed the reasons that come after that because. We are currently working on the first big hurdle, our huge mound of debt. We want to be really upfront and honest about what we are facing so these are the exact numbers. I hate when I read websites that are about debt payoff, preparing for long-term travel, or budgeting and they do not include the actual numbers. They’ll say things like “Let’s just say this is $100. That’s a nice round number to work with. I also hate when people who only discuss debt payoff after it is done. I love to read about how somebody paid off $50,000 in 14 months or whatever but I wish they were writing the whole way so I can read their entire journey. I want to share all of the details from start to finish with you. So here we go:

We actually sat down together and wrote out every debt. We didn’t know exactly how much we owed. The number makes me want to vomit.

Our Debt

  • Loan – $1,202.67
  • Credit Cards – $17,973.94
  • Student Loans – $49,278.68
  • House – $115,766.18

Grand Total – $184,121.47

We are starting with paying off our credit cards. We have picked out the order we plan to pay them off in. We will continue to make the payments on everything as normal while working on the first credit card we are attempting to pay off. The personal loan will be the next thing on the list if we don’t pay it off while paying on the credit cards since it is so close to being done anyway. The student loans will be next. We are using the snowball method except there are a couple of credit cards that are out-of-order from least to most because we want to pay them off before the interest-free period ends. We have a long road ahead of us but we can do it!