40 Goals for 2017: Week 30


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

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Week Thirty


  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. The Mister has all he needs for this year’s Roth savings and I have $1700. I just added another $450 last paycheck and hope to squeeze $200-400 with the next one. I also started applying for adjunct teaching positions to help and boost my savings rate. More than half done!
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. Each child went up one level in their skills, so it was a success. We cash-flowed this one. Boom!
  3. Save $3000 for HVAC replacement. This will be sitting in savings until next year, but we are also at 100% for this as well. Done!
  4. Save $4000 towards the mister’s car replacement fund. Not yet. We tend to build up and then dump every few months, so we’ll see how this looks at the end of August/beginning September.
  5. Save $1050 650 for Christmas. Thanks to the $300 in Amazon Trade-in Credits from selling my grad school textbooks, I have completed Christmas shopping for my kids with the exception of a book or two for each child. We decided we would stick to 4-5 gifts per child, with one “bigger” gift each, and that has reduced our budget. We bought two Amazon Kindle Fire Kids Edition 8″ tablets using the code KIDS2PACK to get $50 off and used gift cards  to purchase them.  I will wait for a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal for the 3rd tablet, saving my latest textbook gift cards and a $25 gift card I just earned from SwagbucksGoal met!


6. Save ? for outdoor play set.   Is this happening? We do have GREAT news. I figured out why our child’s PT and OT was rejecting and it is now paying, so we won’t be $800/month. My husband’s powers of procrastination are even more formidable than an insurance company bureaucracy, however!

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. We’ll probably do a dump into this fund in the fall. I have a tentative date next June for our 40th birthday girl’s trip to Florida, and I know we’ll probably be getting a flight there. I hope to use my travel miles for it. We are staying in a friend’s parent’s condo for free.

8. Spend $600/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on my fun money.   I  spent $484.44 in July and was way under budget. We blew the entertainment budget in July.

9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Our 3 year old was sick this week and I had to cancel a shift. I was productive that day and did my rollover while she napped. Done!

10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. This month, I met my fellow Girl Scout leaders for a 2 hour planning meeting to set the meeting calendar for next year and discuss what we want to do. I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan and $42/ to St. Jude’s .


  1. Complete my master’s degree! My portfolio has been turned in and I am 100% done. I earned As in both classes and will graduate with a 3.84. Graduation is mid-August and my degree will confer on that date. Done!
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We feel overscheduled as it is, so there will be no dates for July.
  3. Read 1 book per month  I started The Turn by Kim Harrison, one of my favorite urban fantasy writers. It’s basically a prequel to her popular series about a team of bountyhunters comprised of a witch, a vampire, and a pixie.  I still have a ways to go on this. This makes 16-going-on-17 read out of 12Goal met! 
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I hit a new restaurant with friends a couple weeks ago and tonight I plan to go out with a couple ladies from work. Done!
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I worked 24 hours last week and have not touched this since my last break.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. OK, didn’t happen yet. I really need to get those Daisy patches sewn on my daughter’s Girl Scout vest before the new year starts!
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. No cakes planned.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily  I hit this maybe 5 days this week.
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.


  1. Visit family in Cleveland. We visited my in-laws this month and were thoroughly spoiled as usual. Done!
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. Lots of 1:1 time with the girls when they were down with a fever, and my son and I did some reading. Check!
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. I am posted more on Ebay this  week and already have some bids.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done! Here’s our new fish, Bender, named after our daughter’s favorite Futurama character. 
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. I hit this hard and totally redid my office using the organization suggested in Organizing Solutions For People with ADHD. The corner is cleared out and the bookshelf is more usable, especially since I sold most of my nursing texts to Amazon. I went through and tossed, shredded, or filed most papers, used colored files for easy visual recognition, pared those files down to only about 10, and cleared out my desk. Done!
  6. Get the toddler potty trained! The Toddler, or should I say the soon-to-be-Preschooler, has officially crossed over and is completely in underwear during the day and during naps. This is saving us $20-30/month. Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. They are now neatly stacked and ready to go though. I hope to have this done by end of summer.
  8. Plant front yard tree. We learned that if we let the old roots decompose for another year, it will be easier to plant the new tree in the same spot next year and require a smaller hole. Bonus: it will save us money this year. We filled in the area and planted a little grass instead. Deferred! New goal: weeding and mulching flower bedsimproving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken)and fixingand painting the mailbox. My husband fixed the mailbox but we now know it will only be temporary, as several parts were severely damaged. We are looking to buy a new one.
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet. Still on the Procrastination List.
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  We tried an amazing new park thismonth that will probably become a regular one for us.   This month we visited Winton Woods and Highfield Discovery Garden .  Goal met: Six of six completed. 


  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Nope
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. I am working three days this week and plan to work on this.
  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. August? I am struggling with choosing a name. I don’t want too boring, too complicated, or too odd.
  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  hit it four times this week. Thank you everyone who is stopping by!
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Not yet.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year.  I did brainstorm part of my next post .
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. I have someone who is interested in being interviewed. It will be later this year.

How are your goals going?


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