We’re two days into 2017 and so far, 2017 has been great! Let me be honest for a moment…I attribute a considerable amount of 2017’s greatness thus far to having been on vacation from work for the past ten days. But, a lot has gotten accomplished around the house. We’re making great progress with the renovations of the 2nd floor of the house. The flooring should arrive tomorrow and we’re ready for it. Hopefully by the end of next weekend, that master bedroom will be complete and we’ll have a bed to sleep in again. (It’s a good thing we bought comfy couches a few years ago!) I also packed up a few more boxes and shipped them off to the Give Back Box program, so, I’ve packed and sent a total of 11 boxes thus far. It’s hard to imagine that we had 11 boxes of stuff just sitting around that I can’t even remember what I sent just a few days ago! Since I’ve been off, I also secured my first “job” through UpWork and have been spending time “working” on that contract. (Note to self: do a blog post on UpWork.) Josh got a very nice Christmas bonus from work which we used to put towards our current debt-free focus which was a HUGE help. The extra Christmas bonus money put toward the debt set us ahead about 3 months on our anticipated pay off which is fantastic! Josh and I also discussed our goals for 2017 and made a rough plan for what we want to accomplish this year. I asked Josh for a “theme” for this year. He thought for a minute and then chose “no wasted motion” as our theme for 2017. I must admit, it’s pretty fitting, as our decisions in 2017 will be focused on staying the course with eliminating our debt. We want every decision we make in 2017 to move us closer to our goal of living aboard by Christmas of 2021. In 2017, we don’t want to waste any money, opportunity for progress or focus. 2017 is the first “official” year of our five year plan. How exciting! Here are our goals for 2017:
- Continue concerted effort to stop buying unnecessary stuff. With the strong foundation we built in 2016, this 2017 goal should be easy peasy.
- Continue to purge items that we don’t need / want that won’t impact daily living. We anticipate continuing to use the Give Back Box program to purge “stuff” we don’t need and aren’t going to miss. I came across a fantastic idea that I may try to use in order to increase the purging effort – putting a box in a central location in the house so that we can drop things in whenever we come across them. When the box is full, seal it up and send it. Replace the box with an empty box and start the process again. We kind of already do this with a bag in the bedroom for clothes to be donated, but, the box may help.
- Continue to digitize all new, incoming “paper.” We built a good foundation for this in 2016, too. I’m LOVING not having stacks of paper and filing cabinets full of documents around. It’s also been super simple to find things once they’re scanned in, using Evernote’s search feature. This should be no problem in 2017.
- Major focus on paying down debt. This is our biggest goal in 2017 and the goal that will need our most attention in order to make significant progress. We’ve built a firm foundation and have a plan, we just need to stick to it.
July AprilMarch 2017 – Plan to pay off of Lowe’s credit card. Due to our success in 2016 with making a concerted effort to stop buying stuff, we were able to put a significant amount of “extra” money toward this goal already, shortening our anticipated pay off date. When we first mapped things out in October 2016, we planned to have the Lowe’s card paid off in July 2017. Since then, the anticipated pay off will occur in March 2017. Fingers crossed!
- July 2017 Colorado Trip – Keep credit card charges to a minimum and pay cash for as much as possible. We’re taking a family trip to Colorado at the end of June 2017. Josh’s mom graciously paid for our share of the lodging as our Christmas present. It was a perfect Christmas present and a huge help in staying the course with our debt free plan. There will be plenty of things that we’ll need / want to pay for while we’re there, but, we hope to pay cash for most everything and avoid using one of our credit cards. We’ll see how we make out!
DecemberJune 2017 – Plan to pay off motorcycle loan. After Lowe’s is paid off, we will begin funneling money toward paying off the motorcycle loan. When we first mapped things out in October 2016, we planned to have the motorcycle loan paid off in December 2017. Based on the progress we’ve made since then, we’ve been able to move the anticipated pay off date for the bike loan to June 2017.
- October 2017 – Plan to pay off PSECU loan. After the motorcycle is paid off, we will begin funneling money toward paying off the PSECU loan. When we first mapped things out in October 2016, we planned to have the PSECU loan paid off in March 2018. Based on the progress we’ve made since then, we’ve been able to move the anticipated pay off date for the PSECU loan to October 2017.
- Early 2017 – Finish renovations on master bedroom, den and remainder of 2nd story of our current home. Renovations have begun and are moving right along. This 2017 goal should be no problem, as long as we stay motivated. (And the dog stays out of the paint.)
- Winter 2017 – Complete renovations on guest room and hallway on 1st floor of our current home. We already have the laminate flooring and door hardware for the guest room and 1st floor hallway, so, all we need to purchase is paint and trim and then do the actual work. This goal should be relatively inexpensive and pretty quick to accomplish in 2017.
2017’s going to be a BUSY year! We’ve got lots of goals but none of them are outside of our reach as long as we stay focused and motivated. Cheers to an awesome 2017 and having only four more years left on land!