2014 Goals

Each year I try to set financial and life goals for our family. Here are the past years’ goals: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Apparently last year I decided not to set goals, and that’s okay!  I do have some things I’d like to get accomplished this year, and I think writing them here will help keep me accountable and on track.

-I’d like to get $5,000 paid down on the principal of our mortgage. I don’t think this is a huge stretch, and I’d love to see our mortgage balance shrink that much. Of course, I’d like to see it shrink to zero, but it’s going to be a long time before that can actually happen!

-Replace the back roof.  Right now, we have rolled roofing on the back part of our house.  The slope is not enough, so we’ve got a leak in the door frame to our basement.  I think we’re going to go with a metal roof and hopefully will be able to do this ourselves with the help of friends and neighbors.  That would be an amazing blessing to not have to pay a roofer to replace our roof.  Here’s hoping!

-Replace 3 front windows. These windows have been needed to be replaced for a few years.  They are old and drafty.  In fact, when I was wondering “how do much replacement windows cost?”  I should have sucked it up and replaced them then.  One of our neighbors offered to help us replace these, so hopefully we’ll be just out the cost of the windows themselves.

-I need to set up a Christmas savings account so that I’m not stressing about money in December again next year. Also, I need to be better prepared with making gifts and start that in September or October if I go that route! I stress too much and don’t enjoy the season if I don’t have my stuff all together.

-I’d like to get pregnant in 2014! I’m hoping this is a fairly easy process this time.

-Save more money in general and be more aware of where our money goes. I have started a spreadsheet to track where all of our money goes. I’ve been trying to stick to our budget since Mr. Money’s pay cut and I do a good job of writing the budget but then not tracking to see how on track we are. For instance, I’ve got $400 a month allotted for groceries but sometimes I blow this out of the water and don’t even realize it.  I think if I track how much money we’re spending I’ll do a better job of being more conscious of how much we have left to spend.

This year it seems like we’re going to have a lot of expenses, so it’s important I am very careful with our money.  I hate the thought of spending so much money but it’s a necessary evil sometimes.  The truth is, we probably should have had the roof and windows replaced years ago so that’s that.

What are your 2014 goals?


My Husband Lost his Job

So, this is a post I never thought I would be writing.  After seven years of working for the same company, Mr. Money lost his job.  I think we’re both still in shock and will try to figure out what is the best plan for our family.  I am so thankful that we have always been able to live on not a lot of money, so it’s not like we’re going to feel a huge lifestyle downgrade.

I hope he is able to find a job quickly and that it is even better than the last one he had.  Benefits would be amazing!  Right now we have to pay for our really crappy health insurance ourselves and it’s expensive and doesn’t cover a lot.  Better health insurance and a 401k plan would be amazing.  While we’re at it, I’ll take good hours too. 😉

I’m trying to come up with some ideas to make money from home for myself.  I could start babysitting now that Mr. Money is home to help but after he goes back to work it may be difficult.  I am sure I will come up with something that will help.  For right now, we’re trimming our budget down to the necessities and seeing how we can save money each month.  We had to stop our retirement contributions temporarily too.

I’m trying to stay positive.  It’s scary when you are a one income family with a baby and your one source of income is eliminated.  🙁  We’ve gotten through everything before, so I’m confident that we will come ahead out of this and things will all work out just fine.


7 Links Project

I was tagged by Little House in the Valley to take part in the “7 Links Project“. This project highlights 7 of my past posts that directly relate to the following 7 questions, sort of a “blast from the past” type project. Trip Base initiated this project with the intention of uniting bloggers and bringing to light old posts that may have not gotten as much attention due to the blog’s infancy at the time of posting. Without further adieu, I’ll address each of the 7 categories below.

Your most popular post – My post about “No Poo” is by far my most popular post.  I am always receiving comments and questions on this post, and it never ceases to amaze me the number of people that give it a try!  No poo is basically a method of washing your hair without shampoo.  It saves you money, limits the chemicals that touch your body, and is interesting, as it bucks the “normal” method of hair washing.

A post whose success surprised you Where Have All the Housewives Gone? At 78 comments and counting!  When I wrote this post, I didn’t expect it to be quite as controversial as it ended up becoming.  My stance on things is that I’m willing to listen to how others feel, so I always welcome views that are different from mine but respectful in tone.

The post that you are most proud of – The post where we finally became debt free, minus the mortgage.  I can’t stand debt, so it was such an amazing feeling knowing that we had paid everything off.  We don’t make a ton of money, so it’s even more rewarding to know that we accomplished so much by sacrificing and prioritizing.

Your most beautiful post –Maybe my post about considering adoption?  I don’t think a financial blogger normally writes beautiful posts, so that’s kind of hard. 

Your most helpful post – I think my deodorant recipe is very helpful!  I still use this deodorant recipe to make my deodorant, and it’s still working fabulously.  I like that when I run out, I just make more in my kitchen versus having to run to the store.  Love that!

Your most controversial Post – My post about “family cloth“, or cloth toilet paper, was pretty controversial.  It’s an interesting concept, but won’t work for everyone.   I think if you had a little one you were cloth diapering, it would be pretty easy. 

A post that didn’t get the attention it deserved –My post about natural laundry detergents was pretty interesting but didn’t seem to gain a lot of response.  Maybe everyone is making their own?

As part of the 7 Links Project, I have nominated the following bloggers:

* Living Well on Less
* Out of Debt Again
* Sense to Save

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