40 Goals for 2017: Week 29

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. Please see my disclosure policy.

Week Twenty- Nine

Financial:

  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 with this paycheck. 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 Swagbucks. Goal met!

 

6. Save ? for outdoor play set.   Is this happening? We have the money but not sure if we will be doing it.

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 have spent $350.12 in groceries so far in July. We have blown the entertainment budget in July.

9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Nope. Hasn’t happened.

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 .

Personal: 

  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 just couldn’t finish Snobs but 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. 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 have another night planned with a couple ladies from work Friday. Done!
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I worked 27 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.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. We visited my in-laws last weekend and were thoroughly spoiled as usual. Done!
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. My son just got back from 3 days of cub scout camp where he spent massive amounts of quality time with his father. The girls and I had fun playing with Play Dough, going to a birthday party, and painting nails. Check!
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. I am going to post more on Ebay this coming week.
  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 last week that will probably become a regular one for us.   This month we visited Winton Woods and Highfield Discovery Garden . My sister and I plan to take the kids to Shawnee Lookout and Smale Park this summer too. Goal met: Six of six completed. 

Business:

  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.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Not yet. Also on the agenda for the next two weeks.
  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?

Shop Related Products

Feeding 5 for $150 Per Week: 3rd Week of July 2017

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Food from my in-laws: Free

We drove 5 hours north to visit my in-laws in Cleveland this past weekend, and as usual, my mother-in-law bought boatloads of food for the grandkids and sent it all home with us. We are very appreciative!

Amazon: $14.99 (and got a $14.99 credit back)

Amazon is running a promotion where you pay $14.99 to get a household essentials sample pack and get a $14.99 credit back to spend on those same household essentials. I ordered a 12-pack of Clorox toilet bowl cleaner and my credit plus part of a gift card meant it was $0 out of pocket.

If you like this idea, they have a few more similar ones, such as the Crest White Strips sample pack for $4.99 ($4.99 credit back), K-Cup sample pack for $7.99 (get $7.99 credit back), or the men’s grooming sample box for $9.99 with Gillette razor (get $9.99 back).

Kroger: $58.04

I pulled together my Clicklist on my phone while we were out of town and set the pickup for this evening. I mostly took advantage of the stock-up prices on apple juice, peanut butter,and butter,since my stockpile is getting a little low. I prefer to buy apple juice when it is $1 to $1.50, peanut butter when it is $1 or less, and butter when it is $2.50 per pound or less. I am just about out of all the butter I bought and froze around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

They sent us home with free Reese’s peanut butter cups and a Hershey bar tonight. I also completed the email survey for a bonus 50 fuel points.

Green Bean Delivery: $66.95 after bottle return credits.

I wasn’t planning on buying so much this week, but I got a $5 off our next order coupon if I spent $70, so I got some bison stew meat and my favorite Smoking Goose Uncured Bacon.  We also tried the eleven-grain bread from a local Cincinnati baker called Sixteen Bricks. It was so good and I am getting it again for sure!

Monthly goal: $600

Weekly total: $139.98

Running total: $350.12

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. One of my post-graduate degree goals is to pass the Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) exam. I want to sit for it this fall, before all my knowledge has spilled out from between my ears, so I needed a review book to study. The books are all around $100, so I opted to rent a textbook from Amazon for 3 months at the lower cost of $30.
  2. I sold three of my four remaining textbooks through Amazon’s Trade-In program for about $70.
  3. I had two shifts scheduled this week, but picked up an extra day and worked extended hours the first two days. My goal is to hit about 24-28 hours per week.
  4. I got free BBQ sauce and free chocolate covered pretzels from Kroger this week.
  5. We haven’t been getting many groceries this month, thanks to a bit of a pantry challenge. I am already under budget by about $100, with plans to only get a shipment from Green Bean next week of $70 in food.
  6. I plotted a post-graduate-school budget to account for increased working hours and income, decreased childcare costs (thanks to only one of our three needing it), and no more pesky tuition payments.  I plan on setting up an automatic transfer to coincide with my paychecks to cover all of our savings goals (Roths, vacation, new car, Christmas, gifts, summer camp).

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. We had plans to use our Discovery Garden pass, but it was storming, so we met friends at an indoor play area/bounce place. It was $24 for 3 kids. We’ve only been to places like that for birthday parties,and now I know why! The kids played for 2.5 hours and were dead tired when we were done.
  2. We followed up that play date with a trip to Wendy’s.  Our entertainment budget is out of control this month, and we have two weeks to go, including a short trip.

40 Goals for 2017: Week 28

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. Please see my disclosure policy.

Week Twenty- Eight

Financial:

  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 $1250. I have been picking up a lot of work, and I have plotted how to add more to the pile with every paycheck. 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, and that has reduced our budget. The rest of the gifts will be small or just cash. I just sold back 3 more textbooks today, and will get about $70 in gift cards. Goal met!

 

6. Save ? for outdoor play set.   Is this happening? Not if we are paying out of pocket for expensive therapy. We are still fighting insurance and have contacted the Ombudsman.

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 have spent $210.14 in groceries so far in July.

9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Nope. Hasn’t happened.

10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. This month, I don’t have any volunteer activities planned, but we are stretched to the max with medical appointments and swimming lessons. I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan and $42/ to St. Jude’s .

Personal: 

  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 we are planning a stay at home weekend in a couple weeks.
  3. Read 1 book per month– I just couldn’t finish Snobs and haven’t picked up a new book yet this week, but I am planning some major reading time tomorrow and have no intention of working. This makes 16-going-on-17 read out of 12Goal met! 
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I hit a new restaurant with friends on Monday and have another night planned with a couple ladies from work soon. Done!
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I worked 30 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.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. No cakes planned.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.   I got dehydrated again this week and it triggered another horrible puking migraine. Fail!
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. We have plans later this month.
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. Lots of 1: 1 time on my days off this week. As usual, the girls love their arts and crafts and the boy loves his board games.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. I am going to post more on Ebay this coming week.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done!
  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 painting the mailboxMy 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 last week that willprobably become a regular one for us.   Last weekend we visited Winton Woods and Highfield Discovery Garden . My sister and I plan to take the kids to Shawnee Lookout and Smale Park this summer too. Goal met: Six of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Nope
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names siteI don’t have a lot of time off this week thanks to appointments, so this will probably happen end of July.
  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 several times this week.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Not yet. Also on the agenda for the next two weeks.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year.  I did brainstorm part of my next post and plan to work on it Wednesday.
  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?

Shop Related Products

Amazon Prime Day

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Did you know it’s Amazon Prime Day today?

This is basically a mini version of Black Friday for Amazon, and sometimes they have really good deals.

I say sometimes because I’ve found it can be hit or miss. I once got baby wipes for about 1 cent per wipe, which was lower than any other price I have ever been able to get. Many of the deals will be on Amazon-exclusive products, such as their baby registry, a Kindle, or the Echo.

If you’re planning on checking it out, I recommend doing two things first:

  1. Pull out your list. I keep a list of needs and wants, as well as planned birthday and Christmas gifts. If you don’t have one, start one before you click over. This will keep you from impulse purchases. If it ain’t on the list, you don’t need it. For example, we were planning on getting the kids tablets for Christmas, and may purchase those today.
  2. Check out rebate sites before you buy. Swagbucks and Ebates are both offering cash back for certain Amazon purchases today. If you haven’t signed up for them yet, today may be a good day to try.

 

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What’s Online at Swagbucks.com

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Here’s a quick rundown of their cashback offerings today:

Swagbucks: 5% cash back in patio furniture, jewelry, women’s, men’s, and kid’s apparel, furniture, and home services.

Ebates: 3% cash back in furniture, patio , home services, women’s, men’s, and kid’s apparel, jewelry, and Amazon video.

Ibotta: 5% cash back on home and kitchen, fashion, pets, luggage, Amazon devices, and home services. Also,if you are new to Prime, sign up and get a $20 Amazon gift card.

Here are a few of their deals and discounts for the day. I also may be posting a few on my Facebook page and Frugal Connections Facebook group today.

 

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – Black: $34.99 (was $49.99)

All-New Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet, 7″ Display, 16 GB, Blue Kid-Proof Case: $69.99 (was $99.99)

Moto G Plus (5th Generation) – Lunar Gray – 64 GB – Unlocked – Prime Exclusive – with Lockscreen Offers & Ads: $179.99 (was $299.99)

Instant Pot DUO80 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, 8 Quart: $89.99 (was $129.99) 

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.

Frugal Steps:

  1. I cut my husband’s and son’s hair at home. We use the Wahl Color Pro Clippers. We’ve used them for two years now.
  2. My mother watched the girls while I took their brother to a long medical appointment, and she sent us home with a lot of food and milk.
  3. I worked almost 30 hours last week! I am not doing that this week, however, as it almost killed me.
  4. We found out our two older children both needed glasses this week. Our insurance paid for $130 of each frame, plus gave a 20% discount on the remaining amount on the frames, lenses, and anti-glare. We paid $210 out of pocket instead of almost $500.
  5. My arthritis is flaring up, so I decided to take advantage of using Kroger Clicklist again. I found I am spending less by using it, so groceries were around $100 of my $150 budget. We opted to decline our Green Bean Delivery box this week because we need to use some things up and clean out the fridge. Even though our closest Clicklist store is 15 minutes away, it still took less time-and most importantly, muscle and energy- to complete the task. They did not charge me the $5 fee and gave us a free bag of chocolate covered pretzels in addition to the free BBQ sauce we got as our Free Friday download.
  6. A few of you lovely readers shopped at Amazon through my link, and I earned $12 from that. Thank you!!
  7. We are asking for help from our insurance ombudsman to deal with the denial of our son’s PT and OT.
  8. The tutor was traveling, so we skipped a week and saved $75.
  9. Our friends were camping nearby and we joined them for a day. We went to a splash pad, a park with a fantasy fairy garden and tree house, ate ice cream, and made s’mores on their fire pit. We pulled brats and hot dogs from the freezer, made PB & J,and brought snacks and water from home.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. We ate out three times- two of those times going back and forth from the hospital an hour away on the day we have three medical appointments.

40 Goals for 2017: Week 27

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. Please see my disclosure policy.

I know, we skipped last week! It was the final graduate portfolio week and there was no way to fit it in.

Week Twenty- Seven

Financial:

  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 $1250. I have been picking up a lot of work, so maybe we can squeeze some extra in there this month. Half done!
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. We completed our last swimming class Thursday,and I am looking forward to a break from the four-day-a-week routine. 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 summer.
  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 red cowboy boots for my daughter and a book or two for each child. We decided we would stick to 4-5 gifts per child, and that has reduced our budget. The rest of the gifts will be small or just cash, and I am about $60 from goal. I plan on selling the rest of my textbooks this week. Almost done!

 

6. Save ? for outdoor play set.   Is this happening? Not if we are paying out of pocket for expensive therapy. We are still fighting insurance and have contacted the Ombudsman.

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 $600.78 in groceries in June. I am playing around with Clicklist at Kroger this month and I am loving it.

9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Nope. Hasn’t happened.

10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. This month, I don’t have any volunteer activities planned, but we are stretched to the max with medical appointments and swimming lessons. I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan and $42/ to St. Jude’s .

Personal: 

  1. Complete my master’s degree! My portfolio has been turned in and I am 100% done. Now my classmates and I are constantly checking for grades. Graduation is mid-August.
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We feel overscheduled as it is, so we are planning a stay at home weekend in a couple weeks.
  3. Read 1 book per month– I just couldn’t finish Snobs and haven’t picked up a new book yet this week. This makes 16-going-on-17 read out of 12Goal met! 
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I have two nights out planned this month.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I 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.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. No cakes planned.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.   I got dehydrated on the 4th while taking the kids to the splash pad, and it triggered a horrible puking migraine. Now you know why I have this goal!
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. We have plans this month.
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. Lots of 1: 1 time on my days off this week. As usual, the girls love their arts and crafts and the boy loves his board games.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. The garage sale hits have tapered off, so I am starting to post somethings on Ebay. No bites yet.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done!
  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 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 last week that willprobably become a regular one for us.   Tomorrow we have plans to visit Winton Woods and Highfield Discovery Garden . My sister and I plan to take the kids to Shawnee Lookout and Smale Park this summer too. Goal met: Six of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Nope
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. I don’t have a lot of time off this week thanks to appointments, so this will probably happen end of July.
  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 several times this week.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Not yet. Also on the agenda for the next two weeks.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year.  I did brainstorm part of my next post and plan to work on it Wednesday.
  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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Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I worked two days plus picked up extra hours Thursday night, Saturday, and Sunday.
  2. One of our summer bucket list items was taking the two older kids to see Despicable Me 3 (which was super funny). We went to a matinee for the cheapest tickets, and I ordered them online so I could use the couple of bucks of Paypal credit I had.
  3. We tried a new and fantastic park, hung out with neighborhood friends, hit the pool, and attended a Girl Scout bonfire this week. We brought homemade Rice Krispy Treats to the bonfire.
  4. Our 6 year old’s kindergarten teacher invited all of her students from this past year to meet at a local ice cream shop a few days this summer. We went on Monday and bought $1 kiddie sized cones for three of us and a couple of cherry Slushies.
  5. We watched the movie Logan through Vudu for free thanks to some Vudu credits I earned through work.
  6. I turned in my final graduate portfolio!! This means a lot of time is opening up,and I did  budget recalculation. I calculated that if I pick up 28 hours per week, I will easily hit all of our savings goals plus the extras. I want a family vacation fund (never had one, never gone farther than the grandparents’ in Cleveland) and a personal vacation fund for me to hit some of my travel bucket list goals with just my sister or friends. This makes me a lot more motivated to pick up work. I also know how much I will have to pull from teaching/blogging and from The Mister’s savings to get our mortgage paid off in 5 years.
  7. Kroger had a $10 off your Clicklist order, plus several items for free if you made a Clicklist order. I cancelled our Green Bean Delivery for the week to clean out the fridge and made my first Clicklist order. With the coupon and freebies, it was only $86.57! We got a free family sized Honey Nut Cheerios, Nature Valley Granola Bars, and when they brought the food out they said we were also getting a free pack of Twizzlers. I have to go back this week and get the $1 peanut butter and some strawberries, but otherwise this is a cheap week. It went really smoothly, and they loaded my van with 3 kids in the car. I will definitely take advantage of this in the future if my husband travels for work. Taking three kids to a store is not my favorite.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Even though I squeezed about 7 hours of work in this past weekend, we decided this will be a celebration weekend for us, now that I am 100% with my grad schoolwork. I instituted “no cook” weekend, and we had pizza from one of my favorite places Saturday night after seeing Despicable Me, and we went out last night to Red Robin, a park, and an ice cream place. This was way out of our norm, and we enjoyed it, but it was certainly more spendy than usual!