2017 Financial Goals

-Fund all 4 kids college accounts.

We have used an online calculator to figure out how much we need to contribute monthly to reach the goal that we have set. (We do NOT plan on paying our kids whole way through college)


-Fully fund J’s ROTH ($5,500 limit)

This is going to be a stretch but we want to try REALLY hard to make it happen!


-Put an extra $2,000 on our mortgage

We were able to do more than this in 2016, but that was due to extra savings we had and some surprise bonuses. Since that is not something that we can rely on we planned for less. We know that we can do $150/month (which only equals $1,800 total) so we will have to scrape together some extra throughout the year to hit this goal as well.


-Take a family vacation

We haven’t done this since 2014. Yikes! We are hoping to do this before summer hits.


-Add to emergency fund

This isn’t a pressing goal but I always feel better with more money in the bank. So if we have the means to add to our emergency fund we will. If we don’t, due to our other goals, we are still in good shape!


-Continue to live debt free!

November of 2017 will mark our 5th year living without credit card or debt  (other than our mortgage).


2016 Financial Goals-How Did We Do?

J and I like to make yearly financial goals.

The key to making goals, in any area of life, is to be specific. So instead of saying ‘we will pay extra on our mortgage’ we say we want to pay a certain amount for the year. To take it even further we take that goal down to bite size chunks and say ‘We will put an extra $100 on the mortgage each month.’ That monthly number makes the big, yearly number seem much more attainable.

So, to recap here were our 2016 goals and how we did on reaching them:

-Putting 15% of our income into retirement.
We have consistently put 12% of our gross pay into retirement accounts this year. Not quite to our goal, but we are definitely on the right track!

-Begin funding college for our oldest 2 children.
We were able to do this and thanks to a surprise bonus from J’s employer this Fall we were able to also start funds for the younger 2 children.

-Save $6,000 toward a newer vehicle.
This goal didn’t quite work out exactly how we wanted. We had the savings for a newer vehicle but wanted to save up the amount without touching that account. However when our older vehicle went in for a an oil change our plan changed. We were still able to pay cash for a vehicle, but we had to dip into our other savings account.

-Pay an extra $1,000 on our mortgage.
We beat this goal by quite a bit due to using some extra savings, VERY generous bonuses from J’s employer, and a great Fall selling season with my business. These are things that we can’t count on every year, but are VERY grateful when they happen. We were thrilled to put an extra $4,300 on the house this year!!!!

-Continue to live debt free!
Done! We still have more than enough and wouldn’t have it any other way!


How did you do on your goals for 2016?

Financial Review – October

After feeling behind all of September, due to dental bills and car repairs, October felt really good! We did well with out budget and were able to work toward all of our goals (and even exceed some!).

Here is a re-cap of the month:

-I was able to meet with 1 client and attend 1 event this month for extra income. (I have been a consultant with an MLM for 2 years.) I also put together a power point presentation which helped us to…

-put an extra $300 on our mortgage!

-We put $400 towards our ROTH

-We funded the college accounts of our 2 oldest children.

-We were able to open accounts for our 2 youngest children with a surprise bonus from J’s employer. We plan to use the rest to help pay for insulating our attic (hopefully in November)


Looking ahead to November we plan to:

-Finish Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving

-Put an extra $200 on the mortgage

-Have the cash to get our air ducts cleaned (approx. $400)

-Possibly update the trim in the upstairs bathroom

-Fund college for 2 kids and our ROTH

-I have 2 work events scheduled.

Thanksgiving is not an expense for us as it is always spent with J’s family and is potluck style.



Our Plan To Be Mortgage Free.

A good way to keep yourself accountable is to put your goal in writing and to tell others. If other people know what you are striving for they can help keep you in line and encourage you along the way. I know many people feel that money is a taboo subject but that is one of the main points I even started this blog. To be REAL about money. So I am sharing one of our goals. I don’t expect this to be your goal and I don’t want anyone to feel badly about where you are on your financial journey.

This is what we have decided we want for our family.

Our (BIG!) goal: Be Mortgage FREE in 10 years, or less!

mortgage free

The first place I read about someone paying off their house was here. It was a BIG motivator!

Yikes! Even writing it down doesn’t make it seems and more possible but I’ve crunched the numbers and I know we can do it in 10 years. The ‘or less’ part will be a stretch but that is what we are ultimately trying for!

So here are our real numbers. We bought our house in March 2016 for $142,900 and were able to put down 30%. This was because we got a great price for our other house and we have lived debt free for the last 3.5 years. We got a 15 year mortgage at 2.875% and our payment is $890 each month including taxes. We round that up and pay an even $900 a month just because it’s easier math 🙂  By adding a measly $10 we are shaving 3 months off of our mortgage length. I know, it’s barely worth even mentioning but every little bit helps!

I am a nerd and I am visual so I like to make little charts that I can color in to show our progress. For every $10,000 we pay off we want to celebrate in some way…which will be decided when we get closer to that goal 🙂


I wanted to know how much extra we would need to pay to hit our goal. I used an online mortgage calculator and these are the numbers that it gave me.

If we pay an extra:

$100 every month it will save us 2.5 years

$150 every month it will save us 3.5 years

$200 every month it will save us 4 years

So what is our plan to get to the 10 year mark?

1) Consistently pay at least $100 extra each month. This is an attainable number for us. There are months that we will be able to do more, but $100 is our base number.

2) Any ‘extra’ money will got towards the mortgage. There are times when we are under budget and have ‘leftover’ money. Every so often we find things to sell. Sometimes we are able to do small side jobs. Instead of spending that money on something or rolling it over to the next budget we will put it on the mortgage.

3) We have been fortunate enough to get a Christmas bonus from J’s employer each year. This is not guaranteed. IF we get a bonus again this year we will add it to our tax refund money and the cost of living raise J  receives to add a once yearly payment of $1,000 to our mortgage. That yearly payment will save us another 2 years.

These 3 things should bring us to the 10 year mark! #2 will be the real game changer for us and is really what we are focusing on. We really, really, REALLY want to get our house paid off ! 🙂

In the meantime, we continue to budget and keep our expenses low. We aim to be content with what we have and try to not compare ourselves with others. We still have a life. We still eat out. My kids are not in rags. We are even able to help others. We are just determined to be COMPLETELY free of debt.

What about you? Do you think you will be able to pay off your mortgage early?


Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




14- Day Money Finder Challenge (Day 14)!

If you want to start Rachel Cruze’s challenge sign up here.

Follow me from Day 1.


This is it! The final Day!

Day 14: How much money did you save?

My answer….NONE!

With that being said, this challenge was definitely geared toward someone who has never budgeted before or is new at it. We have been budgeting for almost 4 years and feel that we have it down pretty well 😉

As we looked back over our numbers for each challenge we did re-evaluate our spending. We found areas where we could certainly cut back, if the need arose, but are ok with having for now.

This just goes to show that a budget is not stagnant. It is something that will change depending on what your current goals are. Our budget looked different when we were focused on getting out of debt than it does now that we are trying to pay off our house. This is why we make a new budget every.single.paycheck.

Did you go through the whole challenge? If so what was your experience?


Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”