So 2017 didn’t exactly go according to our well-laid plans, but even-still we made some incredible progress on achieving many of our goals. And since I love sharing our progress when it comes to goals, I wanted to share what our 2018 financial goals are!
So originally our goal for 2017 was to pay off the mortgage. We started 2017 with $27,938.08 left on the mortgage and ended it (and started 2018) with $17,680.89 left to pay. Needless to say, we didn’t meet our goal, but we did manage to pay off just over $10,000 on the mortgage and that is something!
And I really wanted to proclaim that this year, 2018 would be the year that we pay it off and get to say that we are officially 100% debt-free, but after going through Michael Hyatt’s course, 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever, I realized that this goal, even though it is a “risky” goal, it isn’t realistic.
When we purchased our home in 2011, it was a foreclosure (one of the reasons that our mortgage was less than a $100,000 to begin with) and was in dire need of some major repairs and updating (we had actual rats living in our basement… 😱.) We sunk in $30,000 cash into our remodel (my husband sold his original business and we used this money to fund the remodel), but that mostly included getting the house up to code, fixing several issues, and remodeling it.
That left very little money for updating and repairing the outside of the house. Well, now almost 7 years later, we can’t put off any longer doing some of the major repairs to the exterior of our home.
So, our debt-payoff plan will be halted slightly this year as we save up and sink money into our home.
Related post: The key to getting your financial life in order
Here’s the plan:
Save $1,800 to replace the windows.
We’re planning to do this in stages. We did replace one window (and added a window where there wasn’t one before) when we purchased the home, so at least on the backside of the house we only need to replace 4 windows instead of 6. The windows in our home are the originals from 1979 and they are single-paned so we’re hopeful that after replacing them, our utility bills will go down. The energy inefficiency of our home was made abundantly clear during the major cold snap we experienced earlier this year!
Living room before (sorry for the small photo – it’s all I have.)
The living room shortly after we moved in:
We’re planning to purchase the windows a bit at a time (like buying the 4 for the back of the house and replacing those) and then saving up the additional money and then buying the other windows. Since my husband is a contractor, we won’t have to pay to have them professionally installed as my husband can do them himself.
Related post: How to find where your money is going every month
Save $5,000 towards replacing the roof and gutters.
We could have claimed our roof on our home insurance after Hurricane Irma but decided not to at the last minute since our policy (and deductible) were going to go way up as a result. Most of the damage to the exterior of our home is due to the terrible condition of our roof. In 2008 (before we owned the home) a tornado touched down in our neighborhood and our roof sustained damage. The previous owner didn’t have the roof replaced but had it patched so the roof has been in bad shape for almost 10 years.
After the roof and gutters are replaced we can start assessing how much we need to save to repair the fascia, sofit, some of the siding and parts of the porches. Of course, that means we’ll have to also assess how much money it’ll be to repaint the exterior of our home. These things may not happen until 2019, but they will at least be possible once the windows, roof, and gutters are replaced.
Oh the joys of home ownership!
But first, we’re partaking in a No Spend Month for January (and possibly February) to reel in some overspending. A No Spend Month is an incredible way to cure overspending and maximize your saving potential. Hopefully this will give us a jumpstart on achieving our financial goals.
So disclaimer, my food photos are awful but for the month of January, my family is embarking on a crazy challenge to #erasefoodwaste in our home. Starting with using up the rest of the Christmas ham in this rice & broccoli casserole from @100daysofrealfood cookbook. Which, side note, this recipe is the perfect one for using up leftovers (and is “slap your mama good” with leftover buffalo chicken from the @trimhealthymama Trim Healthy Table cookbook). . . . So more about our little challenge: We’re trying to be more intentional about the food we eat and we’re trying to teach our children that throwing out perfectly good food is not okay. And after we threw out more food than I care to admit to that had gone bad in our fridge, I knew this challenge was just what my family needed. . . . So will you join us? Will you make January a month where you try to eliminate food waste in your home? . . Here’s some of things we’re doing: ⭕ Saving & freezing our veggie scraps to make broth. ⭕ Freezing almost stale bread to make bread crumbs (which are the bread crumbs on top of the casserole pictured). ⭕ Get creative and create new dishes with leftovers that would otherwise just sit until they become science experiments. ⭕ Not making “new” things for lunch until the “old” things in fridge are used up and having my kids help come up with new ways of preparing the leftovers.
If didn’t catch it on Facebook or Instagram, we’re also doing an #EraseFoodWaste challenge in our home this January. And it’s been tough! I won’t lie. The whole point of the challenge is to not waste any food at all and that is way harder than I expected, but honestly it’s teaching us all a very valuable lesson of how much we are truly blessed.
Related post: The Debt-Free Christmas Challenge
So what about the debt?
I’m sure if you’ve read this far in the post you’re wondering about us paying off the mortgage. I know that we’ll still get the mortgage paid off and we will become a 100% debt-free, but for now we’re holding off on aggressively pursuing this goal until the ones above have been met.
How we look at it is, once the new windows are in, our utility bills will start to go which will increase the amount of money we have left over every month from our household budget. Which, of course will eventually increase how much we can afford to throw extra every month at the mortgage.
Truthfully, if we wait too much longer to address some of these issues with the exterior of our home, we will run the risk of the cost of fixing those errors going up significantly.
So, for 2018 our debt-payoff goal is only $10,000. I know, I know that’s not that impressive. But it’ll at least get us in the four digits and once these other things are taken care of, we can finally focus on getting that last bit of debt GONE! 🙂
What are you financial goals for 2018? I’d love to cheer you!
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