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2015 goals, March update

Back in January, I posted a list of seven goals of things I would like to accomplish this year.  Today, I am doing an update for the last month.

1) Moving Without Murder
Can you believe my parents still haven’t moved in?  Everything is locked and loaded for them, except for a walkway so my mom can get her chair from the driveway in to the house.  

You know, details.

My dad was having it contracted out (it wasn’t our fabulous contractors), and the dude bailed on it!  Now, my dad has to get new bids at a time when everyone and their mother (like mine) are needing cement work (or is it “concrete” Brian?) done.  Jack keeps asking if they will be living with us by April 4th (his birthday) because “that would be a great birthday present Momma”.

2) Find a Better Work/Life/Blog Balance
It hasn’t happened, and probably won’t until April 2016 because of the nature of a giant project we are working on right now.

Between that, some stuff at home (remodeling and other projects), my blog time has slipped lately.  I really hate when this place takes a backseat, because I have so much fun here.  This space is a source of therapy and laughter for me.  If you have emailed me in the last month, I probably have very likely not responded to you.  My inbox is overflowing and I am behind on life.  I suck, I’m terrible, but I will respond.

3) Be More Selfish
Hmmm, I haven’t done much except strongly encourage Troy to install our beautiful wood floors in our new bedroom.  We have been staying in a temporary cubby for six months, with about 10 outfits shoved in to our kid’s closet, and the rest of our belongings in the attic.

I have been patient and not whiny, but I was ready for it to be DONE.  Troy and my father-in-law did an amazing job, and I am so happy we can have a real room again.

On the work front, I’ve been working a lot.  But I also have some days coming up where I need flexibility to either not be there, or come late, or leave early.  So I told my boss my schedule would be kinda squishy over the next few weeks.  I didn’t really ask, just basically said “I’ll be late” or whatever, blah, blah, blah.  I’m choosing to take time for myself to get some shit done.

4) Pay off my Car
I did it!!!!!  I paid it off on March 3rd, 2.5 years early.  We worked so hard to accomplish this.  I basically ignored some other things that needed attention, and spent months devoting half of Troy’s paycheck to this endeavor.  We also did a grocery challenge, sold some stuff, and generally just killed our fun spending for an extended period of time.

It was so fun to go to the credit union and ask for the payoff balance (I had a general idea, but knew there would be a few more dollars of interest since the last time I looked), and said “HERE YOU GO”!

The teller did a little clapping dance for me, and said “congratulations” while I smiled a big dumb smile.  Now, I can go back to using that money for other things.

5) Cull the Herd

This isn’t something I am working on, because essentially I am just no longer expelling energy towards relationships (friendships) that no longer make sense. It’s been freeing.

Nice to be able to check something off of the list and call it done.

6) Learn to Knit Something Using a Pattern
Giant fail on this one.  I have made a point to stay out of Joann Fabrics to save cash (see goal 4), and I have yet to get the needles I need to start learning the mitten pattern I am going to be learning with my coworker.

7) Be a Better Mom
Let’s just call this a work in progress, and end it there, m’kay?

How are you done with your own goals?

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10 comments on “2015 goals, March update”

  1. Congratulations on paying off your car!!! Woohoo!!! That’s awesome.

    Sorry you have to work so much but it’s kind of job security too, right?

    It’ll be so nice for you to have your parents there with you. Well, nice and stressful probably too (I know that I’m enjoying the fact that my older kids having moved out. Even though I do miss them, it’s nice to have fewer people in the house so I can’t imagine having elderly parents move in), But it’ll be nice for Jack and your parents will probably also feel better knowing that you and your husband are nearby should they have an emergency. Plus wooden floors in your new bedroom. So are those done already, then?

    Could your husband and your dad pour the walkway for your mom? You can rent the concrete mixer from Home Depot for the day. It’s messy, dirty, tiring work, but not impossible unless code is an issue for some reason. Also I have no idea of how long of a walkway you would have to make.

    I’m too tired to look up my goals right now but there’s not much positive change since last month… we had to pay a boatload in taxes that I didn’t expect… my husband said that he did but he also didn’t tell me “hey, you know, don’t forget that at tax time we’ll have a huge tax bill due to those stock options I cashed in last year…”. I don’t know, if that had been me, I would have been talking about our huge upcoming tax bill quite a few times at the dinner table! Men…

    We had change our Roth IRAs back to Traditional IRAs since we found out that my husband made too much for us to qualify for Roth IRAs (not an awful problem to have at all, but I was annoyed because I really wanted to be able to have Roth IRAs!).

    We agreed that we would consult with a tax professional in order to plan next year’s tax situation better. I need to meet with one anyway because my dad, in France and in poor health, is making noises about making his will and wanting to discuss my and my brothers’ inheritance and I have no idea of what that would mean for me as an American citizen (I think I would have to pay inheritance taxes in France AND in the USA but I need to consult with an accountant who is familiar with those kinds of situations). In France, everything HAS to be divided equally among all children OR we ALL have to say that we don’t want anything (and then it all goes to the state, I think). Honestly, I never expected to get anything from my dad (we were estranged for a long time) and even though getting some money at some point would be nice, the thought of having to deal with all the accompanying headaches makes me want to say that I don’t want any of it. Some frugal woman, right? I love dealing with coupons and such but I hate dealing with the big stuff. Anyway, I’ll wait until after my visit with my dad this summer to go talk to an accountant since I have no idea of what he’s going to tell me anyway.

    I was able to stick to $50 a week for groceries for all of February and half of March. I went over that this week because I let myself stock up on some 50% off meat and other items. Screw it, my real budget is $100 a week so I still came ahead since I spent only about $68.

    We did have eating out expenses this month since hubby had to go out of state to help his parents and also I took my middle son out to lunch today. Oh and I got lazy once so we ordered take-out (and we all got a stomachache from it so that was our punishment!) and hubby bought lunch once or twice because I didn’t have any leftovers for him and didn’t feel like making a sandwich in the morning (I pack his lunch usually).

    We just spent a huge sum ordering 26 new windows for our house, gulp. But with those installed ALL our our windows will be energy-efficient and new. We currently have crappy, single-pane, 40 year-old (or even older?) windows that are gross and don’t work. So it’ll be nice to have new windows everywhere. And hopefully it will translate into at least a small monthly saving on our electric bill.

    We did agree that our priority, aside from the windows, is to pay off our house in 5 years. Our son will graduate from high school at the same time and I’d really like to be able to live mortgage-free after that… and sink some money into major remodeling of the bathrooms and the kitchen. Hubby doesn’t think that we’ll ever recoup the money (and I agree… our area is rural and houses don’t sell for much here) but if we’re going to be stuck here several more years past 5 years, I’d really like a newer kitchen that’s not straight out of the 70’s and proper bathrooms, remodeled by professionals, not my husband and his caulking gun. I love him but I’m sick and tired of him using caulk (I call it “goop” to “fix” everything). LOL.

  2. This past year I have been dealing with:
    • Empty Nest – praise the Lord, everyone has been employed and living on their own for 16 months straight!!! Goal met.
    • Job Stuff – The company that Hubby worked for 25 years closed it’s doors in 2012. That job was very hard on his health….he has had numerous surgeries, including 2 on his back. He has been using this time to get as healthy as he can, going to the fitness center and working with his pain management Dr. to get off of the meds. To support and allow him to stay focused on his health now for the reward later, I have been putting a real effort into my search for a better paying job. It is very difficult for him, this switching of roles and not being the bread winner….but it is an honor to support his journey like he supported our family for so many years. In 2 days I had 4 job interviews scheduled for the next week, so I spent the $$ for a great hair cut & color. Got a PT job for the weekends (Yay!!), one job offer that I am sitting on the fence about, and waiting to hear back from the other two by early next week. Hubby almost had a stroke about the $$ for my hair, but I told him we could live on love….and soup. He conceded that the $$ was well spent and that I look hot. WIN!
    • Living on less money has been a challenge, especially when we expected to be in a better place financially at our age. We just don’t have the funds to go out with our friends and when you say no thank you to invites, they stop coming. Totally get it, but it does get isolating. My goal is to be more social with less money.

    • Good for you, Brenda! Congrats on having gone on all those interviews and getting job offers! Good luck.

    • Awesome job! We have the same mentality that once the hubby retires, it will be my turn to bring home the bacon.

      A great way to get social for less money is to join some sort of team (if you like sports). Or invite folks over for game night and make it a pot-luck kinda deal.

      Good luck with the interviews!

    • What a lovely mentality you have Brenda, and I wish you all the luck in your interviews!

      I think it is totally doable to live on soup, but Troy would disagree. RE: being more social with less money, host potlucks at your home, have a game night (everyone brings one appetizer), rent a RedBox and have a movie night with some friends and have everyone bring a dish based on the movie (basically a meal theme). And this summer when the weather is nicer, see if your town/city has free outdoor events. our little town offers free music concerts on the waterfront once a week, and they’re so fun!

  3. So excited you paid off your car!! We have been a little ridiculous with our spending lately (darn you REI credit card rewards!). The hubby informed me he had something else he wanted to buy (via text), but that he wants to sell it to me in person. I think I might agree to in on the condition that we have a no spend April. And May. Maybe even June. It’s tough though as this is our last summer here so there are a lot of things we want to cross off our Bucket List.

    Being a better mom. It’s a great goal to have but such a hard one to evaluate the level of success. Try not to stress it too much, Jack seems happy, healthy and well loved. And kids are pretty resilient.

    I don’t remember what my goals were, but it looks like this year will be my year for creating healthy habits. I’ve managed to stick with my running since December (I’ve logged around 60 miles since Dec. 27th). Last week I started adding in some strength training (currently obsessed with a Nerdfitness.com) and I have even managed to cook real food for my family. Oh, and I haven’t had crap food in a few weeks.

    • The cover of the Seattle Times this morning (or the online cover) was all about record profits at REI this year. Looks like you’re helping a little with that. Ha!

      Well now I have to know what it is your husband wants to buy. You have to share!!!!

      That is amazing about the running. I don’t run, but I am so crazy impressed with those who can/do.

      • It’s a good thing next month is April or I would so suggest a family trip to our local REI (3 hours away) just for a reason to get out of town for a bit. Yes, REI loves us.

        Yeah, so I thought he was going to ask if he could buy another bike (he’s got as many bikes as he does pairs of underwear…) but he wanted to buy a $30 workout program from a blog he’s been following for years. I still made him agree to a no spend April though, so win for me!

        Thanks! I’ve tried running in the past, but it never stuck. When I went for my first run in December, it was out of a desperate need for some alone time and now I’m hooked. Hooked enough to go run at 4 a.m. I think running is like crack once you get a good run in.

  4. My only goal this year is to have a kid. As I’m due on tuesday, I’m hoping this will happen soon.

    Congrats on paying off your car. We have two more payments left on our car and now my husband is talking about getting a second car. We’ll need it in the winter, but I’m hoping to put it off until the fall so that we can pay down some more of our other debts first.