My Goals for 2017: January Update


Here are my goals for the year:

Read 52 books and blog about them.   Done in January!

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In January, I read and blogged about 4 books, 3 were young adult books, and 1 was an adult book:

Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan (YA)

The Giver by Lois Lowry (YA)

Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Donn Fendler (YA)

For 2017, I would like to read at least half of my 52 books as adult books that I want to read, not tween/teen books I have to read because of homeschooling.

Increase my financial awareness.  To this end, I have some specific goals.

  • Read one financial book per month.Not done in January
  • Track our net worth every month.Done in January!
  • Continue to use YNAB as our budgeting tool.Done in January!
  • Keep money for upcoming expenses in our Capital One 360 accounts–Done in January.  I put aside our $100 of found money for our trip to Michigan.
  • Spend no more than $800 on homeschooling this year.  (That includes extra curriculars, co-op, competition fees, and books and curriculum for all three kids.)
    On target.  We spent $56.99 this month.  What did we spend the money on?
  1. $30 for Bookworm’s pass to the archery range for 4-H archery,
  2. $10 for a First Confession prep lapbook for the girls (I’m hoping they can make their First Confession and First Communion when we go to Michigan)
  3. $10 for this book for the girls’ homeschool (they loved it!)
  4. $5.99 for this book for the girls’ homeschool (I couldn’t believe the library didn’t have it!)
  5. $1 for this Viking man craft for the girls’ homeschool

Find $700 in “free” money for our trip to Michigan.  On target.   We saved $100 in January.
We hope to go to Michigan to visit family and friends this summer.  My goal is to find $700 in “free” money by using credit card cash back, Ebates, Swagbucks, iBotta coupons, and whatever other methods I can find.  Finding this “free” money and consciously saving it toward one goal would make the trip much less financially stressful.

Improve my prayer life.    Um, let’s just call this one a work in progress.  For the first 10 days of January I did great with my morning prayers, but I didn’t do the rosary at all in January.  We only said the Angelus twice as a family in January.
I plan to do this by saying my morning prayers every morning, saying the Angelus with the kids every week day, and praying the rosary in the evening 5x a week.

Exercise 60 minutes per week.  Another work in progress.  I exercised for 120 minutes in January.
I’m not one who loves to exercise.  I actually loathe it, but I know exercising will improve my health.

Write in my journal 2x a week.  Not done in January.
This goal was also a bit intimidating when I looked at it for the whole year, so in 2017, I plan to take it week by week.  Writing in my journal 2x a week is something I can handle.

Save 3% of my husband’s income in an emergency fund.  Done in January!
Last year I set a goal to save 10 to 15% of his income.  While we were able to do that at the beginning of the year, when we hit our financial cyclone, we weren’t able to continue.  This year I’m setting the goal much lower since we still have financial damage to clean up from last year.  However, I do want to start getting into the savings habit.

Save 1% of my husband’s income in our Roth IRAs.  Done in January!
I know that amount is very small, but for the last few years, we haven’t saved anything in our Roth IRAs.  Of course, my husband is saving for retirement through work, which luckily comes with a match, but I want to start adding to our Roth IRAs, too.

Enter 200 giveaways.  On target!  In January, I entered 26 giveaways.  Unfortunately, I didn’t win any.  🙂
This was a goal that I had last year, which I didn’t quite achieve.  However, I did win a few things including our Ting cell phones, so I want to continue this goal this year.

Stick to our grocery budget.  On target!
Last year was all over the place with our monthly grocery expense.  Some months I only spent $500.  Other months it was $1,400.  Yikes!  We already are eating dairy, gluten, corn, and bean free (except for split peas), so we lose some frugal options that way.  Also, my son and I both were on specialized diets for part of this year, which raised our grocery budget.  Still, I know there are things I can do to lower our grocery budget.  I plan to take these steps:

  • Have a monthly freezer cooking session at the beginning of the monthDone in January!  I had both a regular freezer cooking session and a Paleo AIP freezer cooking session for my daughter.
  • Shop from the pantry firstDone in January!
  • Use other resources such as and Azure Standard to get our healthy food at more reasonable prices.–Done in January!  I’m loving!
  • Find frugal Paleo staple recipes–Not done in January.
  • Experiment with making a monthly menu plan instead of weekly.–Not done in January.
  • Keep our monthly grocery budget in between the USDA Thrifty and Low Cost Plan.  That is currently $784.70 for the thrifty plan to $1,058.30 for the low cost plan.  Done in January!  Technically, we were $1.76 over for the month, but since my mom was here half of the month eating with us, I’m considering this a success.

Get organized.  On target!  This goal is so broad, I have to break it down into smaller bits.  Here are the things I’d like to tackle:

  • Organize my e-mail in boxes.  They are overflowing right now!  I definitely need to delete A LOT!  Not done in January.
  • Set up a chore chart for the kids with pay attached as an incentive.  I plan to use the template that was in the book, Is Your Child a Money Master or a Money Monster?  Done in January.  You can read about what I did and how it’s working in this post.
  • Give myself regular chores to complete each day.  Not done in January.
  • Declutter our master bedroom, closet, and bathroom closet.  Not done in January.
  • Declutter the kids’ toy area.  Done in January.
  • Declutter and organize the pantry.  Done in January.  Here’s a picture.  The first picture is “before.”  The second is “after.”  My mom was visiting, so there are some things there that we normally don’t have like the Diet Pepsi.  
  • Set up a blog calendar and use it.  Done in January.
  • Set up a regular social media schedule.  (By the way, I’m on Instagram now!)  Not done in January.
  • Set up a homeschool schedule for the kids.  (This will primarily be which subjects to tackle on which days.)  Not done in January.
  • Stay 3 weeks ahead in developing weekly assignments for our homeschool.  (All of the kids are switching to a new curriculum come January 2nd, so that requires some planning on my end.)  Done in January.

Make 12 homemade gifts.  Not done in January.
I failed miserably at this last year because our year got so crazy after June.  This time I plan to start earlier.

Did you set goals for yourself in 2017?  If so, please share in the comments below!


  1. Hi Melissa! Your goals for this year are great! I especially resonated with your subgoal of finding frugal Paleo staple meals. Our family is doing the Whole30 this month, and I can see how important and challenging this can be…since most of the foods to eat are fresh, it limits what can be a “staple.”

    Last night I tried a recipe that your family might like: Chicken + Zucchini Poppers (I used ground turkey on a sale that comes around quarterly). It’s at Enjoy!

  2. Great goals! And it looks like you’re on target and completing more than you’re not, so good for you!!

  3. Wow. I’m impressed with your goal setting. It’s very detailed! I need to probably update mine but haven’t even thought about it until I read your post. 🙂

    Here’s my 2017 goals:

  4. What a great post! I love the idea of keeping up with your goals in a monthly post. Talk about accountability! I just might join you in this. I’m adding it to the to-do list now. 🙂

  5. wow what an extensive but fabulous list of goals you have there. Well done for ticking off so many of them already.

  6. You track your goals so well….and openly too!

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