January 2018 Goals

To help me make progress on my goals I have broken down each part into sub goals. This month my overall goal is to be more organized.

For my prepping:

Read self reliance/homesteading books

Develop our family emergency plans

Prune the apple trees

Order seeds

Put cash in get home bags

Watch videos on cold weather prepping and survival

Learn to make char cloth

Learn to find North with the stars

Scan and make copies of important documents

Consumption v Production:

Try one new baked good recipe per week

Buy only things we truly need

Buy meat for January from local group home

Water Use:

Switch from taking daily baths to daily showers

Energy Conservation:

Use only line drying for laundry – except towels and sheets

Research plans for solar oven and dehydrator

Home Grown Economy:

Blog weekly

Instagram twice a week

Research home inspector and realtor education requirements, career prospects etc  for future job

Zero Waste:

Start using canning jars for fridge storage

Personal Growth:

Yoga and meditation at least three times a week

My 2018 Goals

I like to start the year by reviewing the goals I set for the last year. I ask myself what I really want my life to look like in twelve months, five years and ten years. It isn’t a fifteen minute exercise and does take time and thought. Then I write down the steps that will move me in that direction. Here is my overview of my goals for this year. Each month I will post my steps to help achieve those goals.

Consumption v Production

1 – Reduce packaged goods

2 – Increase bulk buying

3 – Plant and maintain a garden

4 – Reduce meat consumption to 2 times a month (organic and local)

Water Use

1 – Capture more grey water for plants and garden

2 – Reduce baths to once a week and shower the rest of the time ( shower time of 8 mins)

3 – Buy and install rain barrels

Energy Conservation

1- Reduce kWh used

2 – Purchase rechargeable batteries

3 – Buy solar charging panel for phones, batteries, etc

4 – Walk more often to enable walking with boys to Hyvee or Price Chopper

5 – Reduce car use to 2 or 3 times a week (for me and boys)

6 – Build a solar oven and solar dehydrator

7 – Replace clothes dying rack and clothes line

Homegrown Economy

1 – Write blog weekly

2 – Instagram 2 times a week

3 – Explore other lines of income

4 – Attend HOA meeting

5 – Identify local orgs that align with our goals for governance, eco protection, child/animal welfare, social justice and minimalism

6 – Find a spiritual community

7 – Explore non-violent communication and discipline

8 – Reduce all expenditures

Zero Waste

1- Invest in glass containers

2- Get second recycle box

3 – Reduce trash and increase recycling

4 – Transition to organic/homemade cleaners and toiletries

5 – Donate one bag of decluttered items per week

6- Try and buy nothing new – buy used or do without

7 – Attempt to not spend any money not budgeted

8 – Shop locally for goods and services (small biz v big box)

Personal Growth

1 – Practice yoga and meditation 3 times a week (Jan – April) 4 times a week (May – Aug)  5 times a week (rest of the year)

2- Read 1 nonfiction book per month

3 – Get anger issue under control

4 – Better body image

2017 Money Review

One of my New Year’s Day habits is to take my budget book and total up how we spent our money. I know there are apps out there that would track and total it all for me and I have considered keeping it in spread sheet format but I haven’t found one I really like more than pencil and paper. Just like my review of 2016, the figures came as a shock.

Some of the biggest budget killers were unavoidable. We had $3428.73 in medical bills. It all happened in the first two months of the year. The bulk of it was for a child’s surgery. I am happy to say her quality of life and the years of dealing with a medical issue are now in the past and she has been doing amazing since then. The rest was an ER visit for me. I hadn’t been sticking to my dietary restrictions like I should and paid for it physically and financially. This time I got very serious and the issue has been resolved. Total spent : $3428.73

The next biggest drain was home repair. We lost a hot water tank in January that required replacing along with rework of some piping that needed to be brought back up to code. In the summer we replaced the windows on the second floor. We had needed to do it for years. The winter of 2016 we had mold and ice on the inside of the windows. It was bad for our health and heating bills. This year it has been the coldest in several decades and I am happy for the windows. Total spent: $7162.21

Our cars are all at least 14 years old so we had quite a bit spent in repairs. When you consider the fact the amount was for four cars it seems a bit more reasonable. Total spent: $ 3514.90

The remaining parts of the budget were under our control and I really didn’t seem to have much discipline in retrospect. I exceeded our grocery budget by $1602.36. The fix to that is I will no longer shop using the debit card but use cash only. I am also reducing what I buy. If it’s a sale but it just sits on the shelf it isn’t a good deal.

Our memberships were $1673.68. We sat down and reviewed which ones we are going to let lapse. We have two warehouse club memberships and hardly used one so we are letting it go. We have memberships to several local attractions but the kids are a bit burned out on going to them so we will just budget for a trip here and there but let the memberships go.

The other budget items were reasonable. The total showed we had exceeded our budget goals by $19573.84 over the year. I had brought in extra income so all of it was cash flowed. However seeing that number in print was a shock. I learned from this that even if I think I am doing pretty good there is room for improvement.


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