40 Goals for 2017: Weeks 11 & 12

I’m keeping myself accountable this year by tracking my progress on my 40 Goals for 2017 every week. 

This post may contain referral/affiliate links.

Weeks Eleven and Twelve

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. I have $500 in my fund. The mister has $1000. The goal is for him to add $1000 every month until the 2017 fund is full, and then use that towards the HVAC, car replacement, play set, and extra savings. I am working 4 days this week and next, so we shall see if I can squeeze $460 out of that.
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. This will start in late May. I will be working more then and should be able to easily cash flow this.
  3. Save $3000 for HVAC replacement. Not yet.
  4. Save $4000 towards the mister’s car replacement fund. Not yet.
  5. Save $1050 for Christmas. I transferred $88 to my savings fund in January and February. I have $176. I plan to save $88/month for this.
  6. Save $1800 for outdoor playset.  This is back on. My FIL suggested that even if we move (and that is up in the air still) we could always break it down and bring it with us. Nothing yet. We will probably order it soon.
  7. Save $750 towards next year’s 2018 family vacation and $ 750 towards my 2018 40th birthday trip ($125/month). We have $113 from last year’s garage sale earnings that I put towards our vacation fund. I have picked up extra hours the last two weeks of this month, so we’ll see where we are in 10 days.
  8. Spend $500/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on entertainment. I spent $489 so far this month and have $135 left to spend this weekend, since it’s a 5 week month.
  9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Not this week!
  10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. We had two Girl Scout meetings this month. I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan. I also started donating $42/month to St. Jude’s every month for the next 12 month.  I almost didn’t get a clinical placement for my teaching practicum, and truly thought I would have to withdraw from school and try again in 10 weeks. I found one at the 11th hour and this was my pledge. Although I am a lapsed Catholic, I am way too superstitious to blow this off.

Personal:

  1. Complete my master’s degree! I have completed my project and my three teaching practicum experiences. In 10 days, I will have to turn in a 20 slide Powerpoint presentation about my project, including an audio narrative, but it shouldn’t be too bad. I will then have 2 weeks off before I do my last 10 weeks.
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We have a sitter scheduled for Saturday night to go celebrate our birthdays at our favorite local foodie joint.
  3. Read 1 book per month I just finished Prairie Tale by Melissa Gilbert today. I was a HUGE Little House fan when I was younger, both the books and the show, and even tried to make my own hoop skirts (fail). This book started off slow and I wasn’t sure I would finish it, but then it became very interesting. I had no idea she hung out with the Brat Pack in the 80s and dated Rob Lowe- but of course in 1985 I was only 7 and I was way more interested in Scooby Doo than Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez. There are more tales of naughty sex, drunken brawls, and cocaine use than I was expecting. Total books read this year: 3.
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  The Girl and I saw Beauty and the Beast last Friday with the half-price tickets I scored on Atom. It was awesome! Tomorrow night I am going out with a couple girls from work tomorrow night for a nice kvetching session.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week. This will probably happen when I am done with my master’s.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. This is going to be languishing until April 1st. I need to pull it out and have it ready though. I’m hoping I put the afghan book with the pattern in the bag with the half-finished afghan. It’s been so long I don’t remember!
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. It’s still in its container. My Aunt Judy gave me scrap fabric to practice with for Christmas. No time this week. I have Girl Scout patches that need to be sewn on, but those will have to wait. Maybe early April?
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. We made rice krispie treats for the Mister’s birthday. I gained back 5 pounds of the 20 I lost during my practicum so I’m calling a moratorium on this for at least a couple months.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.  I have hit it 7 out of 7 days this week. It helps that I am no longer teaching OB clinicals.  I got this glass water bottle to sit on my desk and it has upped my game. It holds 22 ounces, so I am drinking my normal 4 cups of tea a day and 2 of these bottles to hit my quota. It has a ceramic cap that is held on my silicone. We are phasing plastic out of our lives and as much as possible and I am known to be a total klutz, having spilled things on my work desk and laptop numerous times, so a cap is a must.
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. Sometime this summer. We are all set for summer camp right now (our older kids will do 2-3 weeks each,  computer programming and 3-day cub scout camp for the boy, art for the girl, and a combined week of outdoor park camp for both).
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The Little and I have had lots of quality time this week.We shopped at Target yesterday and came home and I was her patient while she played doctor. Our 6 year old and I went to Girl Scouts together and had a date night seeing Beauty and the Beast. This was the first time she made it through an entire movie. I read a chapter of a book out loud to The Boy last night before bed.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. These are hiding in the closet. I will see how my last classes are as far as work, and may work on this in April/May.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. We plan on making the girls’ combined birthday present a fish tank. The fish tank is on the counter and the Mister is getting it ready for a fish still. It really needed a deep cleaning.
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. The clearing off I did is still intact and looking good. I have a little more to do, but this will wait until my 2 week break starts.
  6. Get the toddler potty trained! The Toddler has made huge strides the past two weeks. She as been wearing underwear every day and is starting to independently go to the potty without reminders, at least at home. The sitter still prompts her, but she has been staying dry and earned the right to pick out new undies at Target yesterday. Our Huggies shipment came in from Amazon this week and we noticed we still have one and a half boxes of pull-ups left in the basement still. We had no idea how many we were using before this. Now she wears one for naps, night time,and trips longer than an hour,though she stayed dry the entire time we were at the kindergarten book fair and Target trip yesterday, a total of 3 hours. I am hopeful she will be ready for preschool in the fall.
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. They are now neatly stacked and ready to go though. This is another project I want to work on during Spring Break.
  8. Plant front yard tree. Spring is officially here, so we need to start thinking about this. We are thinking of a small Japanese Maple.
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet. We will need to repaint the ceiling when the ceiling is repaired, so we are talking about just painting the living room, which has never been painted since we moved in 12 years ago, the half bath, and the master bedroom. The ceiling won’t be repaired until the Mister fixes the mater bath shower, which may happen this weekend.
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  It’s going to warm up soon, so I am starting to make plans. I have a couple places on my list. We will hit one on Spring Break for sure.

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Not yet. School has the priority this week again.
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. It’s probably unrealistic to expect to do anything extra until my practicum is fully done. That means 10 days more, however!
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. Not yet. Waiting for a sale.
  4. Incorporate as an LLC. I am putting this off until after my practicum.
  5. Explore affiliates for my sites. I signed up for Share a Sale but need to look at which ones to work with.
  6. Double my daily traffic for Frugal Stepping Stones. I haven’t hit it once this week.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Not yet.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year. I am planning this for early April.
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out. This will happen after my practicum.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. I have someone who is interested in being interviewed.

How are your goals going?

 


Frugal Step: Make A Menu

Most of the recipes I link to can be found in my Pinterest boards. Check them out- lots of frugal dishes! Spring is coming, and that means the season for green leafies, leeks, and asparagus. I am perusing my Use Up Garden Produce board for lots of green veggie ideas in March, especially now that I’ve signed up fora CSA share again.

Monday: Spring Pasta with Asparagus and Tomato

Tuesday: Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad, Sliced Cheese, Oranges

Wednesday: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta and SumacShirred Eggs with Herbs and Garlic

Thursday: Fingerling Potatoes with Tomato Cream Sauce, Copycat White Castle Sliders, Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts

Friday: Hunt and Peck

Saturday: Date Night- the kids get hot dogs or nuggets

Sunday: Hunt and Peck

Feeding 5 For $125 Per Week: 4th Week of March 2017

Kroger: $64.01

This is a 5 week month, so we have one more to go. This week I will start our weekly Green Bean Delivery, so I will have about $135 to spend. I anticipate my produce/meat/dairy delivery from Green Bean will be $60 after my $20 off discount for my first order, and the rest will be from Aldi and/or Kroger.

Health Food Unlimited: $37.51

Granola, tea tree oil, bulk pecans, and taco flavored fermented kraut.

Monthly goal: $625

Weekly total: $101.52

Running total: $489.02

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I did another CVS survey for $5 in Extra Care Bucks.
  2. I borrowed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the new Absolutely Fabulous movie from the library. They were both so horrible I was glad I didn’t pay a cent to see them.
  3. I earned enough Swagbucks to get another $25 gift card. I’m not sure what I’m going to get yet, so I haven’t redeemed it.
  4. The 3 year old has been in underwear all week! There have been a few accidents, but several days have gone by with her being totally dry. Our pull-up use has gone way down.
  5. I signed up for Green Bean Delivery using a $20 off my first order coupon code. I’ve been wanting to join a CSA. They will deliver produce, local meat, cheese, and milk to my door once a week. I will only have to hit the store for a few things every week now. They emailed me a $20 off coupon referral link that’s good until Tuesday, so if you want in on the action, email me at Jennifer@frugalsteppingsones.com.
  6. I scored a backpack for the soon-to-be preschooler on Land’s End for $10 and sprang for $6 to embroider it. She really wants to go to school, and that backpack is her incentive to stay dry during the day.
  7. We ate leftovers twice.
  8. The 6 year old and I saw Beauty and the Beast last night using the half price tickets I scored on Atom. We loved it!
  9. I picked up 3 shifts this week and will do an extra few hours tomorrow on Sunday.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Too busy and tired to get into trouble.
This post contains referral links.

Frugal Step: Make A Menu

Most of the recipes I link to can be found in my Pinterest boards. Check them out- lots of frugal dishes! Spring is coming, and that means the season for green leafies, leeks, and asparagus. I am perusing my Use Up Garden Produce board for lots of green veggie ideas in March, especially now that I’ve signed up fora CSA share again.

Monday: Slow Cooker Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (I dump lean beef, a jar of sauce, and a bag of frozen peppers and onions in the slow cooker on low all day)

Tuesday: Leftover Spaghetti

Wednesday: Roasted Root Vegetable Salad, Sliced Cheese, Cuties

Thursday: Endive Lettuce Wraps with Chorizo Sausage, Tomato, and Guac

Friday: Seeing Beauty and the Beast with the 6 year old (we scored 1/2 price tickets). At home chicken nuggets for the kids beforehand and share a popcorn at the movies with the Girl.

Saturday: Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad

Sunday: Hunt and Peck

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I had not one but TWO invites from CVS to take a survey for $10 in Extra Care Bucks. That’s $20!
  2. My boss gave me a little reward at work and I was able to turn in those bonus points for digital rewards. I chose $20 in Vudu credits. I had $10 in Vudu credits that I haven’t used yet, so we watched Dr. Strange last night for my birthday and we might watch Moana tonight if I can get my school work done.
  3. CVS gave me a bonus $3 in Extra Care Bucks for my birthday. I also got a free entree from First Watch, $10 in Kohl’s cash, a free pore smoother from Ulta, 50% off my order from Land’s End, a free 8 x 8 photo book, and $20 off a Shutterfly order.
  4. I finished the Debbie Reynolds memoir and started reading Prairie Tale, Melissa Gilbert’s memoir, on the Ohio Digital Library. I’m not sure it’s going to keep me as interested as the last memoir. It’s starting a bit slow.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. It’s not our fault in any way, but we learned this week one of our children has dyslexia. We are fairly certain that one of the younger girls has it as well, though we can’t formally test for another year. Some urban areas offer free dyslexia tutoring but as far as I can tell, our county does not, and the closest city with this service only takes kids from certain counties. Tutoring in specific methods was strongly recommended to us; we can’t just hire a college kid. One Orton-Gillingham tutor charges around $60/hr, and 2 hours per week were recommended to us. Multiply that by 2 kids and that could be $1000/month! I’m waiting for a list with the local chapter of the International Dyslexia Association and the school psychologist, and hoping we find some that are in the $20-25/hr range, but until then I will be having a mild heart attack and wondering how we will fit that in our budget.
This post contains referral and affiliate links.

40 Goals for 2017: Week 10

I’m keeping myself accountable this year by tracking my progress on my 40 Goals for 2017 every week. 

This post may contain referral/affiliate links.

Week Ten

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. I have $500 in my fund. The mister has $1000. The goal is for him to add $1000 every month until the 2017 fund is full, and then use that towards the HVAC, car replacement, play set, and extra savings. When I pick up more shifts this month and next, I want to save $460/month for this.
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. This will start in late May. I will be working more then and should be able to easily cash flow this.
  3. Save $3000 for HVAC replacement. Not yet.
  4. Save $4000 towards the mister’s car replacement fund. Not yet.
  5. Save $1050 for Christmas. I transferred $88 to my savings fund in January and February. I have $176. I plan to save $88/month for this.
  6. Save $1800 for outdoor playset.  This is back on. My FIL suggested that even if we move (and that is up in the air still) we could always break it down and bring it with us. Nothing yet. We will probably order it soon.
  7. Save $750 towards next year’s 2018 family vacation and $ 750 towards my 2018 40th birthday trip ($125/month). We have $113 from last year’s garage sale earnings that I put towards our vacation fund. I have picked up extra hours the last two weeks of this month, so we’ll see where we are.
  8. Spend $500/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on entertainment. I spent $457.85 in February, and spent $132.59 for this past week.   I got $0.75 back from Ibotta.  This is a five-week month, so my budget is $625. My sister and I had lunch yesterday at a little vegetarian bistro for $15.
  9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Not this week!
  10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. We had a Girl Scout meetings this month. I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan.

Personal:

  1. Complete my master’s degree! I am basically working 7 days a week now. I am still doing a lot of grading and have a huge course rewrite project to finish. Is it April yet?  I won’t catch a breather until then.
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We have a sitter scheduled at the end of the month for a date.
  3. Read 1 book per month– We had to drive 90 minutes away and back on Saturday and I had time to read while the Mister drove. Debbie Reynolds’ memoir Unsinkable was available on the Ohio Digital Library, and I was able to finish it. It was a hoot! I love old movies, so it was fun to hear all the behind the scenes dish about the filming and the actors. And yes, there are some juicy bits, like the time she thought her 3rd husband was trying to murder her and she crawled to the top shelf of her closet and hid behind the luggage. Worth the read!
  4. Monthly me-time with friends. I have tickets to see Mamma Mia on the 11th, but I’m not going. I have too much work to do, so I am donating my ticket to charity. I did have a quick lunch with my sister yesterday when I had to drive an hour south for a medical appointment, hit two pharmacies, and drop off Girl Scout cookies.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week. This will probably happen when I am done with my master’s.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. This is going to be languishing until April.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. It’s still in its container. My Aunt Judy gave me scrap fabric to practice with for Christmas. No time this week. I have Girl Scout patches that need to be sewn on, but those will have to wait.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. The mister and I have birthdays in March,  but I won’t be icing a fancy cake. Instead, I’ll be making our favorite Tuxedo Cake on Friday when the kids are off school. Think of it as a giant Ding Dong. I’m thinking of doing some shamrock or flower sugar cookies with royal icing to work on those skills this month though. 
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.  I have hit it 6 out of 7 days this week.  Better than last week!
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. Since my work this week is grading, grading, grading, and course writing, I can avoid this. As an aside, grading big long papers for dozens of students takes forever.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. Sometime this summer. We are all set for summer camp right now (our older kids will do 2-3 weeks each,  computer programming and 3-day cub scout camp for the boy, art for the girl, and a combined week of outdoor park camp for both).
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The Little and I have had lots of quality time while the big kids were in school. The Boy and the Mister worked on soap carving and knife skills with Cub Scouts this past week. Our 6 year old and I played a game together.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. These are hiding in the closet.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. We plan on making the girls’ combined birthday present a fish tank. The fish tank is on the counter and the Mister is getting it ready for a fish.
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. The clearing off I did is still intact and looking good. There are a couple more things on top to store away, but it looks good.
  6. Get the toddler potty trained! The Toddler has been waking up dry most mornings and had gotten herself to the potty a few times without help. Now that’sit’swarming up, we hope to let her play outside without a pull-up to get her used to using the potty.
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. They are now neatly stacked and ready to go though.
  8. Plant front yard tree. It’s still winter, but spring seems to be coming early. This may be happening in 2 months.
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet. We will need to repaint the ceiling when the ceiling is repaired, so we are talking about just painting the living room, which has never been painted since we moved in 12 years ago, the half bath, and the master bedroom.
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  It’s going to warm up soon, so I am starting to make plans. I have a couple places on my list. We will hit one on Spring Break for sure.

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Not yet. School has the priority this week again.
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. It’s probably unrealistic to expect to do anything extra until my practicum is fully done. I am committed seven days a week and am coasting on fumes and caffeine. 
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. Not yet. Waiting for a sale.
  4. Incorporate as an LLC. I am putting this off until after my practicum.
  5. Explore affiliates for my sites. I signed up for Share a Sale but need to look at which ones to work with.
  6. Double my daily traffic for Frugal Stepping Stones. I haven’t hit it once this week.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Not yet.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year. I am barely treading water right now. I finish two of my practicum sites around March 7th, and my OB site on March 10th. I still have to do a week of grading and massive project work on top of class work. The project will stress me out until the end of the month.
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out. This will happen after my practicum.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. I have someone who is interested in being interviewed.

How are your goals going?