2018 Goals - Weeks 42, 43, and 44 plus a BIG long term goal

The last three weeks have been really stressful at work so I haven't had the motivation to check in on my blog. I do have big news to share!

I have a long term goal that I want to announce. We are setting a goal to pay our mortgage off by December 2026. Yes that is only 8 years away and yes we have only owned the house for 3 years. We have a 30 year mortgage and the payment is a reasonable amount for our income (about 25% of our combined income). Since buying the house in September 2015 we have paid extra principle with every payment and making a 13th payment of all principle. Doing this we have already cut 17 years off. We are in a position with our income, and because we are frugal, that we can bump up our "payment" (what is actually due plus extra principle) to $1200. We've been paying $1000 every other paycheck (13 times a year). I became really excited about this when I used a mortgage payment calculator last week. I knew the extra money we put toward the house would decrease our interest payment and shorten the years but I didn't know it would cut the time in half. Seeing how much we can save in interest by doing this is crazy and so motivating.

Here is the extra payment mortgage calculator that I used. Try it out! Even with adding $50 of extra principle a month can make a big difference! For a loan of $120,000 you will knock off 13 years and save $38,695 in interest! DO IT NOW!!!!!! Instead of buying a new lamp, or two pillows or a trendy pair of shoes put it towards your house. You can update your decor and wardrobe after paying your house off! And when you get a raise put more towards your principle and pay it off sooner. Imagine your life in 10 years, with no mortgage. I want to remodel my kitchen, go to Europe for a month, and save for my kids college so they won't have to take out a loan.

1. Complete 30 days of yoga. COMPLETE! I followed YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene to complete this goal. True 30 day yoga journey. 30/30

2. Read 20 books. 38/20 COMPLETE! I think I will be able to double this goal and make it to 40 by the end of the year. WOW!!!
1. MaddAddam - Margaret Atwood
2. Your Money or Your Life - Vicki Robin
3. The Cold Dish (Longmire Mystery series)- Craig Johnson
4. A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman
5. Better Than Before - Gretchen Rubin
6. The Whole30 - Melissa Hartwig
7. Hidden Figures - Margot Lee Shetterly
8. Manhattan Beach - Jennifer Egan
9. Hillbilly Elegy - JD  Vance
10. The Perfect Stranger - Megan Miranda
11. Outliers: A Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell
12. The Salt Line - Holly Goddard Jones
13. Flat Broke with Two Goats: A Memoir - Jennifer McGaha
14. Endurance - Scott Kelly
15. Counting by 7s - Holly Goldberg Sloan
16. The Great Alone - Kristen Hannah
17. The Genius of Birds - Jennifer Ackerman
18. Into the Water - Paula Hawkins
19. The Nightingale - Kristen Hannah
20. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
21. The Year of Less - Cait Flanders
22. Wicked Plants - Amy Stewart
23. Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee
24. Marry Him - Lori Gottlieb
25. Stories I Only Tell My Friends - Rob Lowe
26. The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton
27. Beartown - Fredrik Backman
28. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry - Fredrik Backman (LOVED this book!)
29. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman
30. Britt-Marie Was Here - Fredik Backman
31. Us Against You - Fredrik Backman
32. Educated: A Memoir - Tara Westover
33. Furiously Happy - Jenny Lawson
34. The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware
35. Death Without Company (Longmire Mystery series # 2) - Craig Johnson
36. Spark Joy - Marie Kondo
37. Kindness Goes Unpunished (Longmire Mystery series # 3) - Craig Johnson
38. Stumbling on Happiness - Daniel Gilbert
Currently reading A Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold (I need to finish this book. I usually pick it up and read a few pages at the end of the workday while I wait on the clock.)
Currently reading The Boys in the Boat - Daniel James Brown
Currently listening to Little Women - Louisa May Alcott (I listened to about half and my loan ended.)
Currently listening to Something in the Water - Catherine Steadman

3. Visit a National Park. DOUBLE COMPLETE! I visited the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in July. I also visited Glacier National Park in August.

4. Save $2500 for house updates. COMPLETE! I need to put $154 into the account every other paycheck (13 times) to make my goal. I saved $350 and now have surpassed my goal! $200 of this is from selling a greenhouse I bought and decided we didn't need. $2650/$2500

5. Save $1000 towards a new car. COMPLETE! I was really good with not spending extra money the last few weeks so I saved an extra $200 plus my scheduled $50.  $1257/$1000

6. Add 3 chicks to my flock. COMPLETE! The last month Betty, my new Easter Egger, has not been laying. The two other new girls are still laying daily. I hope she is okay. I miss those green eggs. I also hate that I end up with at least one slacker every time I get chicks. I just want good layers that are friendly. Is that so much to ask?

7. Cut back my food budget to $325/month ($3900/year).  $3325/$3900 
All I know about the last three weeks is I stayed in budget (kinda). I did dip into my extra food money from a few months back. I have $39 left for next week's food so I'll have to get creative. I wanted to make ramen this weekend so I did buy some extravagant items for that. I think I'll try and use things from the pantry next week to make up for it.

8. No buying personal clothing and other items other than the following few items. FAILED $621/$300
Even though I failed this goal, I am happy with my purchases. I will still aim to not spend anymore this year on clothing and other personal items. I will still get a few haircuts and replace anything that becomes ruined.

I was on the news one morning for work so I bought a pair of khakis. I usually wear jeans everyday and recently donated my old dress clothes and khakis. I was able to find a suitable and more trendy pair at Old Navy for under $20. I also bought a second tube of mascara for the year a few weeks ago that was $7.

Here are my estimates on the cost of the items I plan on buying in 2018 and what I really spent:
Hiking shoes $90 $73
Running shoes $60  $30
Mascara (2) $10 $12
Bra $30 $68
Undies $20 $19
Haircuts $90 $36 so far
Not planned:
2 pairs work pants $0 $40
Summer tops $0 $40
Prana shorts and two tanks $0 $87
Chacos $0 $110 (old pair destroyed)
2 Brooks sports bras and running shorts $0 $64
2 pairs of jeans (zipper broke on work jeans) $0 $42

9. Complete a third round of Whole30. Be active 3 days a week. So I have decided to nix the Whole30 reboot. I am instead going to make a goal of being active at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes or more.

I can't remember what I have done over the last three weeks but I do know I exercised! I went to the gym 2 times a week and walked the dog. I'll keep track for next week's update!

10. Have a better, more efficient garden. Well since I started my fall veggies and we had a heat wave there isn't anything really happening in the garden. I do have a few heads of lettuce, and 3 cabbages that are growing. I hope the cabbage makes it through any frosts; they are still small plants with a only a few leaves.

11. Sell excess produce, honey and eggs at my neighborhood farmers market. FAILED This goal isn't happening this year. With losing 3 honey bee hives over the winter, only having 3 reliable egg layers and having a crappy summer garden I don't have anything to sell. My neighborhood market has also started charging a vendor fee. I wouldn't have enough product to sell to cover it so it just doesn't make sense. I've thought about having a small stand on the sidewalk but it never happened. Maybe next year!

12. Be a better beekeeper. oh man. I blew it again. I noticed the bees weren't flying at my home hives. When we opened them up they were all dead. It hasn't been cold and they weren't in the flooded area of the yard. There were some hive beetles in there but not a large amount. My work hive is still strong with a lot of bees but I will need to feed them this winter.

13. Finish a craft project. COMPLETE! Let's see if I can do some more.
I darned one sock.
I sewed a bandanna for my pup Ellie. Then I made a second one for my mom's dog.
I patched a hole in a Smartwool sock that Ellie chewed when she was a pup. 
Painted a mirror frame with chalk paint.

Need to do:
We found three chairs for our mix-match dining room. I need to recover all three and paint one.


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