40 Goals for 2017: Week 33


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- Three


  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 $2000. 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.  Goal met!


6. Save ? for outdoor play set.   Is this happening?  We have the cash but my husband’s powers of procrastination are quite formidable !

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. In August, we have spent $450.32 so far.

9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. I completed this last week. Done!

10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. This month, I don’t have anything planned for volunteering.  Our first Girl Scout meeting is in October.  I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan and $42/ to St. Jude’s .


  1. Complete my master’s degree! I graduated! Done!
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We had to reschedule my post-graduation dinner with friends, but finally got to use that deal I got for Cinebistro, a place where they serve you dinner while you watch a movie. We watched The Glass Castle, which started as a book. I have read the book, highly recommend it, and I think the film did it justice. As far as Cinebistro? We felt like we were eating on an airplane. I had a beef filet with homemade steak sauce, loaded mashed potatoes, and bread pudding. It was way overpriced, even with the discount we had, and honestly one of the worst meals I have eaten in years. They roasted a piece of marrow and used it as a side, and the reek was so bad I couldn’t stand it. We hated having dirty dishes sitting in front of us for most of the movie. We will definitely be limited our movie watching to either at home or the traditional popcorn style. Done!
  3. Read 1 book per month  I finished The Turn by Kim Harrison, one of my favorite urban fantasy writers AND I reread one of my old favorites, Let Your Life Speak, a group of essays about finding your vocation. This makes 18 read out of 12Goal met! 
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I met the girls for brunch at another local favorite, The Meadowlark, this month.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I am working on this today.
  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! I am either making time this week or next for this.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. No iced cakes planned, but our youngest passed her oral challenge of strawberry at the allergy doc’sand is now allergy free! I made this amazing Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake for her to celebrate. 
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily  I hit this 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 and the boy on my day off this week. Check!
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. I am sold my son’s jeans for $23 and am his old firefighter outfit for $3 (boo). I have a box of clothes upstairs and a few coats that will be posted soon.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done! Here’s our new fish, Bender .
  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 fixing and replacing 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 BUT my friend Diane has most of a bucket of paint leftover from project and she is helping me do this in September.
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  We tried an amazing new park this month 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. Procrastinating!
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. I hit a 25% off sale this week. Done!
  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 three times this week again. Thank you everyone who is stopping by!
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Coming soon on September 1st, if you signed up for my newsletter.
  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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