40 Goals For 2017: Weeks 17 & 18

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.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything at all, I know. When I took two weeks off from grad school, I decided to take two weeks off everything else I could, and it was wonderful.

Week Seventeen and Eighteen

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. I am thrilled to say the Mister is already nearing 100% with his 2017 Roth and is at $4500. I have $1000.
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. The classes won’t start until the last week of May, but we have opted to do four weeks of their summer fast track lessons.  The cost was $643 and half the amount we originally expected to spend. 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 for Christmas. $264 in my Christmas savings so far.
  6. Save $1800 $3000? for outdoor play set.   We are thinking of talking with a landscaper to prep and get this done. We mulched, but we don’t want to cause drainage issues when we level out the curvy spots.
  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 am not putting anything towards this until the play set is bought. The good news is that my friends and I will probably be staying rent-free at one of the ladies’ parents Florida condo for our big trip. Flight, car rental, and spending money will likely be all I need. I hope to use my credit card points to help with my flight.
  8. Spend $500/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on entertainment.  What’s new? I signed up with Platejoy.com to help me plan low-carb healthy meals within the macros I am striving to meet. I’m on my 3rd week of this and we are very happy with the meal options. Our grocery budget is hovering around $150 per week, but I’m going to play with it a couple more weeks and see if it levels out.
  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 in April plus an Earth Day service project cleaning up a park. I also held a meeting for local parents of twice exceptional children that lasted 2.5 hours. This month, we will have our last two Girl Scout meetings of the school year and I am trying to set a date for my next twice-exceptional parents meeting for early June. I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan and $42/ to St. Jude’s  in April and May.

Personal:

  1. Complete my master’s degree! As of this coming Monday, I will have 5 weeks of homework to go! The last day of my program is July 3rd. Graduation is mid-August.
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  Our 11th anniversary is Saturday, but we won’t have our official celebration until Grandma takes the kids for an overnight at the end of the month.
  3. Read 1 book per month I am  still  working on Organizing Solutions for People With ADHD, but I devoured Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life after I read a review for it on the blog Go Fug Yourself.  Homework has started again and I am stressing out, but I have another week off next week and will find time to read. This makes 7-going-on-8 books read out of 12
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  My bestie and I got pedicures and massages for our birthday adventure in April. This month, I am going out to dinner with my two work buddies.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week. I will schedule it in for July.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I have added on about 4 more inches during my break.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. OK, didn’t happen yet. I have a million Girl Scout patches to sew on.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. No cakes planned until the summer.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.  I have hit it 6 out of 7 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. Sometime this summer. No date set yet.
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The Little and I always have lots of quality time when the bigs are in school. I did pretty good with the bigs when I was on break, but this week we have had so many medical appointments, our quality time has been in the car.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. These are hiding in the closet. I am putting this off this until the summer
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done!
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. Ack! This is piling up again!
  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. Even her night-time diapers have been dry 90% of the time. I have put off our monthly Subscribe and Save order of Huggies Pull-ups. This will save 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 beds, improving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken), and fixing and painting the mailbox. Weeding and mulching has been done, and a few flowers bought. The mister replaced all outdoor lights and scrubbed off the algae growing on the mailbox and the north-facing side of our house. 
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet. Next on agenda is fixing a leak in the master bath so we are safe to finally drywall the ceiling. Once that is done we paint!
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  Spring is here! We tried three new parks so far, the last one being the state park where we hiked for Girl Scouts. Three of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Not yet. Maybe next Monday?
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. Let’s be real, until my degree is done, this is on the backburner. I have posted on the Facebook page a few times though.
  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 master’s is complete.
  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, but I also haven’t been very active on other blogs that bring traffic. I gave myself permission to relax during my break.
  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. Yikes! I am still procrastinating on this.
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out. This will happen after my master’sis complete.
  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. No eating out this week.
  2. I donated some of my stockpiled butter to the kindergarten PTO pancake breakfast.
  3. Our girl scout troop went hiking at a local state park and brought packed lunches to earn a couple of our badges. We had 12 kindergarten/1st grade girls and hikes 2.5 miles!
  4. I’m still in my 10 day free trial of Platejoy.
  5. The youngest is doing so well wearing big girl underwear that we cancelled our Subscribe and Save order of Pull-ups.
  6. I am chaperoning the 3rd grade field trip to the Zoo next month and we have at least two more planned excursions in the next 3 months with scouts and family, so I opted to buy the cheapest family Zoo membership with a 10% off discount code. It was cheaper to do this than pay for 3 visits with parking.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Not so much a stumble as a updating our budget. Our food costs are going up on purpose to buy fresh, healthy, and local foods.

40 Goals For 2017: Week Sixteen

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 Sixteen

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. I am thrilled to say the Mister is already nearing 100% with his 2017 Roth and is at $4500. I have $1000.
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. The classes won’t start until the last week of May, but we have opted to do their summer fast track lessons.  The cost was $643 and half the amount we originally expected to spend. 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 for Christmas. $264 in my Christmas savings so far.
  6. Save $1800 $3000? for outdoor play set.   We are thinking of talking with a landscaper to prep and get this done. We mulched, but we don’t want to cause drainage issues when we level out the curvy spots.
  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 am not putting anything towards this until the play set is bought. The good news is that my friends and I will probably be staying rent-free at one of the ladies’ parents Florida condo for our big trip. Flight, car rental, and spending money will likely be all I need. I hope to use my credit card points to help with my flight.
  8. Spend $500/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on entertainment.  What’s new? I signed up with Platejoy.com to help me plan low-carb healthy meals within the macros I am striving to meet. This is my first week, so tuned tuned about how that is working for me. I hope to lose weight. I lost 20 pounds and kept it off, but PCOS makes it hard to do more. I know our grocery budget is going to increase in the short term, so I’m not pushing it too much. This will be my first week combining my planned meals, Kroger trip, and Green Bean Delivery.
  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 so far. We will also be doing an Earth Day service project cleaning up a park tomorrow. I will be holding a meeting for local parents of twice exceptional children next week as well, which will put me  well over 5 hours. 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. Goal hit 4 of 12 months. 

Personal:

  1. Complete my master’s degree! As of tomorrow,I will have 9 weeks of homework to go! The last day of my program is July 3rd. Graduation is mid-August!
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We plan on using our Groupon for a local dinner/movie place at the end of the month. Our only cost will be the sitter.
  3. Read 1 book per month I am  still  working on Organizing Solutions for People With ADHD.  Homework has started again. This makes 6-going-on-7 books read out of 12.
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  At the end of this month I am traveling an hour to another city to hang out with my bestie for our birthdays.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week. I will schedule it in for July.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. Sunday is the next day I have open to sit and crochet.
  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 until the summer.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.  I have hit it 5 out of 7 days this week. I
  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. No date set yet.
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The Little and I always have lots of quality time when the bigs are in school. Our 6 year old and I did some reading and a trip to Home Depot to pick out flowers, and my son and I played a game together.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. These are hiding in the closet. I am putting this off this until the summer
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done!
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. The clearing off I did is still intact and looking good.
  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. Even her night-time diapers have been dry 90% of the time. I have put off our monthly Subscribe and Save order of Huggies Pull-ups. This will save us $20-30/month. Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. They are now neatly stacked and ready to go though. This is a project I want to work on this week but I don’t know if it will make the cut.
  8. Plant front yard tree. We learned this week 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 will be filling in the area and planting a little grass instead. Deferred! New goal: weeding and mulching flower beds, improving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken), and fixing and painting the mailbox. Weeding and mulching has been done, and a few flowers bought. The mister replaced all outdoor lights this weekend. 
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet. The taxes are done as of this weekend. Next on agenda is fixing a leak in the master bath so we are safe to finally drywall the ceiling. Once that is done we paint!
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  Spring is here! We tried two new parks so far. Two of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Not yet. Maybe next Monday?
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. Let’s be real, until my degree is done, this is on the backburner. I have posted on the Facebook page a few times though.
  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 master’s is complete.
  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, but I also haven’t been very active on other blogs that bring traffic. I gave myself permission to relax during my break.
  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. Yikes! I am still procrastinating on this.
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out. This will happen after my master’sis complete.
  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?

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I used points I accrued through 2020 Research to get $10 in Paypal cash.
  2. This week was spring break, and we opted for a staycation. Our expenses were the movie Moana ($20), and lunches at Chick Fil-A and Wendy’s ($40). We visited two local parks. Last night, my sister spent the night and we had dinner for 5 at a Lebanese restaurant using a Groupon ($24 for Groupon plus $12 extra). We stopped at Dairy Queen for ice cream afterwards ($9). Today we had dinner with Grandpa and a cousin at Bob Evans, and I paid for the entire check. We had $40 in gift cards from an aunt and I spent $20 for the 8 of us. Our spring break was $123.
  3. I crocheted while watching Home Fires on the PBS Roku app.
  4. I used $33 in Extra Care Bucks and many coupons to get 50% off my CVS trip, plus I earned $10 in ECBs back.
  5. I took all 3 kids to the dentist, and the dentist sent them each home with 2 toothbrushes, a small toothpaste, flossers, and a couple toys.
  6. The Mister and I have worked tirelessly on the yard (especially him) and weeded all of the flower beds ourselves, transplanted some grass from around the beds to the bare area where our old tree was, and mulched all beds. We paid for 4 cubic yards of mulch and shared it with our neighbor.
  7. I baked two loaves of bread.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. I cut my hours down this week to have fun with the kids and catch up n yard work this week.

 

40 Goals For 2017: Week Fifteen

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 Fourteen

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. My 2016 Roth funds have officially transferred. Now that we have everything settled and calculated, I am thrilled to say the Mister is already nearing 100% with his 2017 Roth and is at $4500. I have $750. Without having to pay grad school tuition, this will fill up faster this year! We won’t transfer anything over until the end of the year, when we have a good idea about what our income was and if we still qualified for a Roth. I am 99.5% certain we will, but I will be working a little more this year and hoping to pick up a teaching position as a second job once my degree confers. I can’t reliably predict my income.
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. The classes won’t start until the last week of May, but we have opted to do their summer fast track lessons.  The cost was $643 and half the amount we originally expected to spend. 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.
  5. Save $1050 for Christmas. $264 in my Christmas savings so far.
  6. Save $1800 $3000? for outdoor play set.  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. I finished weeding flower beds and ordered mulch, which will be delivered soon. We have to level out part of the yard with extra mulch to get the play set to settle evenly, but we will be ordering it within the next week or two. News: it may cost more than $1800. The Mister doesn’t want to get one that will quickly degrade in a couple of seasons.
  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 am not putting anything towards this until the play set is bought. The good news is that my friends and I will probably be staying rent-free at one of the ladies’ parents Florida condo for our big trip. Flight, car rental, and spending money will likely be all I need. I hope to use my credit card points to help with my flight.
  8. Spend $500/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on entertainment.  I am probably going to go over this month due to our twice yearly Sam’s haul, and the Mister is not on board with me skimping on the rest of the month to make it squeak by. After we have had Green Bean Delivery for 3 months, we will reevaluate our food budget to see if we need to raise it. Now that I am out of school, we are focusing on nutrition and organic foods more. I may have mentioned it before, but after changing to grass-fed meats and dairy and getting more Omega-3s in my diet, my lipids were normal for the first time in 20 years, and that includes the years I was a vegan and vegetarian. We spent about $40 on a family dinner out (with coupon) last week and $5 on a movie rental, and this week the kids enjoyed their Staycation with $40 and trips to Wendy’s and Chick Fil-A.
  9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Not this week!
  10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. We had one Girl Scout meeting this month so far. We will have another meeting in a week and we will also be doing an Earth Day service project cleaning up a park. 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. Goal hit 3 of 12 months. 

Personal:

  1. Complete my master’s degree! I am on break and I start my last 10 weeks on the 18th. The last day of my program is July 3rd! Graduation is mid-August!
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We plan on using our Groupon for a local dinner/movie place at the end of the month. Our only cost will be the sitter.
  3. Read 1 book per month I am  still on a roll. I finished Holly Madison’s The Vegas Diaries (it was OK) and am now working on Organizing Solutions for People With ADHD.  I will be honest, what I have read so far will be VERY helpful for our family. It’s kind of funny, because my engineer husband already figured out some of the exact solutions recommended for us, including the “never sort socks again by buying only one exact-matching brand of socks in both black and white, and dumping the same color socks into two halves of the same sock drawer”. This makes 6-going-on-7 books read out of 12.
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  At the end of this month I am traveling an hour to another city to hang out with my bestie for our birthdays.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week. I will schedule it in for July. I did just receive the copy of the nursing textbook I helped write, however. *cue excited dancing* 
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I crocheted about 6 more inches of it yesterday, when it was raining and stormy, and we had an “indoor”day.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. OK, didn’t happen yet. I was in a nice groove with my afghan. I am moving this to Friday.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. We are making rice krispie treats with Lucky Charms again and molding them into Easter Eggs for our contribution to Easter Lunch this week.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.  I have hit it 7 out of 7 days this week. I have been keeping this glass water bottle  on my desk. 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.
  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. No date set yet.
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The Little and I always have lots of quality time when the bigs are in school. Our 6 year old and I pulled weeds together again this week and the Boy and I did some gaming.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. These are hiding in the closet. I am putting this off this until the summer
  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. The water needs prep for several weeks now that it is clean. Done!
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. The clearing off I did is still intact and looking good. I will work on this more this weekend-maybe.
  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. Even her night-time diapers have been dry 90% of the time. I have put off our monthly Subscribe and Save order of Huggies Pull-ups. This will save us $20-30/month. Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. They are now neatly stacked and ready to go though. This is a project I want to work on this week but I don’t know if it will make the cut.
  8. Plant front yard tree. We learned this week 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 will be filling in the area and planting a little grass instead. Deferred! New goal: weeding and mulching flower beds, improving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken), and fixing and painting the mailbox. The weeding is complete, we are waiting on the mulch to be delivered, and the lights have come in. I am in the process of ordering flowers and may stop at Lowe’s Friday to get the $1 annuals.
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet. The taxes are done as of this weekend. Next on agenda is fixing a leak in the master bath so we are safe to finally drywall the ceiling. Once that is done we paint!
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  Spring is here! We tried two new parks so far. Two of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Not yet. Maybe next Monday?
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. This is on the agenda for this week!
  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 master’s is complete.
  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, but I also haven’t been very active on other blogs that bring traffic, thanks to practicum hell.
  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 am planning this for next week.
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out. This will happen after my master’sis complete.
  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?

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 here, 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, especially now that I’ve signed up fora CSA share again.

Monday: Hunt and Peck

Tuesday: Deviled Eggs, Honey Roasted Carrots, Kiwi

Wednesday: BLTs, Green Beans

Thursday: Lentil Taco Salad

Friday: Instant Pot Beans and Rice

Saturday: Chunky Portabella Veggie Burgers, Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts

Sunday: hunt and peck

Making: American Sandwich Bread, Easter Rice Krispie Treats

 

Feeding 5 for $125 Per Week: 2nd Week of April 2017

Green Bean Delivery: $59.15

My kids demolished that pineapple in an hour.

Kroger: $77.82

Tome it looks like there is nothing here, but the hard cider, two bags of coffee, Clif bars, and so milk are expensive. Our Easter prep includes buying chips and the fixins’ to make Easter egg shaped and colored Rice Krispie treats using Lucky Charms.

Monthly goal: $500

Weekly total: $136.97

Running total: $376.51

I’m pretty sure we’re going over this month, thanks to the extra Sam’s trip.

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. I used a 20% off coupon code, free shipping, and 3% back through Swagbucks to get the new outdoor lights for our home.
  2. We played outside at our neighborhood park and a couple new-to-us community parks.
  3. I got a massage using the 3-massages-for- $60 Groupon I purchased a couple of months ago.
  4. I have been doing yoga every morning using a YouTube video from the channel Yoga With Adrienne.
  5. I signed The Little up for preschool at the YMCA, and we get a discount every month thanks to our membership. While we were at the Y, I let her play in the indoor gym while I read a book.
  6. I had an email for a $2 Google Play credit.
  7. I baked bread today instead of buying it.
  8. We decorated Easter eggs today using a dye kit I bought on clearance after Easter last year for $0.25.
  9. We planned a rare family dinner out to the new El Toro Mexican restaurant near us, and used a coupon. We pretty much never eat out as a family of 5 unless we go to Chick-Fil-A or have lunch with my dad at Bob Evans. I cannot lie, I do not really enjoy wrangling and shushing 3 squirmy kids at a restaurant. It went reasonably well this time.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. It’s been a very expensive week! I had to buy a new 4-slot toaster since ours practically blew up, my son has grown and needed larger clothes, and while I was at Target I fell under the spell of the Eye of Sauron and bought a few clothes for the girls too.
  2. My mother has been getting treatment for skin cancer (just basal cell carcinoma, but still needs to be cut out) and I have reevaluated how I approach sun exposure. That means buying a broad-brimmed hat and two baseball style caps for myself. I NEVER wear hats unless it’s winter, so this is a new thing for me. I also bought SPF 50 face lotion and a fuller coverage swim shirt. I already have a few age spots starting under my eyes, meaning sun damage has already started for me, so I am going into full battle mode. That epic sun protection was pricey.
  3. I bought binders and dividers to help me organize the special education materials for my older two kids (aka The IEP Binders), and the Mister and I decided to buy our son an “experience” gift for his birthday-tickets to see Dan TDM live in June. Those were pricey but we want to encourage him to get out in the world. Going somewhere with noise and crowds in a big deal for our little guy.
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40 Goals for 2017: Week 14

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

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Week Fourteen

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. We just finished taxes last night but haven’t discussed where we are yet. I will transfer my 2016 Roth funds over in a few days. More next week on how 2017 looks!
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. The classes won’t start until the last week of May, but we have opted to do their summer fast track lessons.  The cost was $643 and half the amount we originally expected to spend. We cash-flowed this one. Boom!
  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. $264 in the Christmas savings so far.
  6. Save $1800 $3000? for outdoor play set.  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. This week I am weeding flower beds and ordering mulch. We have to level out part of the yard with extra mulch to get the play set to settle evenly, but we will be ordering it within the next week or two. News: it may cost more than $1800. The Mister doesn’t want to get one that will quickly degrade in a couple of seasons.
  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 am not putting anything towards this until the play set is bought. The good news is that my friends and I will probably be staying rent-free at one of the ladies’ parents Florida condo for our big trip. Flight, car rental, and spending money will likely be all I need.
  8. Spend $500/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on entertainment. March was a 5-week month and I budgeted $625. I spent $638 last month, which is slightly over. I am probably going to go over this month due to our twice yearly Sam’s haul, and the Mister is not on board with me skimping on the rest of the month to make it squeak by. After we have had Green Bean for 3 months,we will reevaluate our food budget to see if we need to raise it.Now that I am out of school, we are focusing on nutrition and organic foods more. I may have mentioned it before, but after changing to grass-fed meats and dairy and getting more Omega-3s in my diet, my lipids were normal for the first time in 20 years,and that includes the years I was a vegan and vegetarian. We spent about $40 on a family dinner out (with coupon) last night and $5 on a movie rental.
  9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Not this week!
  10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. We had one Girl Scout meeting this month so far. We will have another meeting in a week and we will also be doing an Earth Day service project cleaning up a park. 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. Goal hit 3 of 12 months. 

Personal:

  1. Complete my master’s degree! I am on break and I start my last 10 weeks on the 18th. The last day of my program is July 3rd!
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We plan on using our Groupon for a local dinner/movie place at the end of the month. Our only cost will be the sitter.
  3. Read 1 book per month I am on a roll and finished Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia a few days ago. I loved it. Not only that, but I started and finished the book Dyslexia Advocate in 24 hours last Wednesday/Thursday to prepare before a school meeting. If you have a child with dyslexia, I highly recommend it. I am already 60% of the way through a more fluffy book, Holly Madison’s The Vegas Diaries. I got it through the Ohio Digital Library. It’s OK- let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t pay for it, because if you read the first book, it doesn’t really do more than expand a little on what was already covered in the 2nd half of that book. This makes 5-going-on-6 books read out of 12.
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  At the end of this month I am traveling an hour to another city to hang out with my bestie for our birthdays.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week. I will schedule it in for July.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I ended up running a lot of errands on my days off this week and haven’t touched it. It’s next to my chair, though, so I might do some tonight. On the bright side, I got all of the paperwork completed, including the bits signed by the doctor, to register our youngest for preschool in the fall!
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. OK, didn’t happen last week, but planning on Tuesday!
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. We are making rice krispie treats with Lucky Charms again and molding them into Easter Eggs for our contribution to Easter Lunch this week.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.  I have hit it 7 out of 7 days this week. I have been keeping this glass water bottle  on my desk. 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.
  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. No date set yet.
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The Little and I always have lots of quality time when the bigs are in school. Our 6 year old and I pulled weeds together last night and the Boy and I did some reading.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. These are hiding in the closet. I am putting this off this until the summer
  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. The water needs prep for several weeks now that it is clean.
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. The clearing off I did is still intact and looking good. I will work on this more over this next week.
  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. Even her night-time diapers have been dry 90% of the time. I have put off our monthly Subscribe and Save order of Huggies Pull-ups. This will save us $20-30/month. Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. They are now neatly stacked and ready to go though. This is a project I want to work on this week but I don’t know if it will make the cut.
  8. Plant front yard tree. We learned this week 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 will be filling in the area and planting a little grass instead. Deferred! New goal: weeding and mulching flower beds, improving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken), and fixing and painting the mailbox. We just ordered the new lights today and spent yesterday weeding.
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet. The taxes are done as of this weekend. Next on agenda is fixing a leak in the master bath so we are safe to finally drywall the ceiling. Once that is done we paint!
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  Spring is here! We tried a new park last weekend and yet another today! Two of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Not yet. I am plotting my schedule for week two of spring break and may add one of these.
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. This is on the agenda for this week!
  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 master’s is complete.
  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, but I also haven’t been very active on other blogs that bring traffic, thanks to practicum hell.
  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 am planning this for next week.
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out. This will happen after my master’sis complete.
  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?