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Our January Challenge


For Christmas, each of the kids (the three youngest) received a ski bib. Since there is a long weekend this month, I am going to take them to see some snow. If the price and weather is right, I hope to let them ski.

In order to afford this without going over our monthly budget, we are going to 1) eat through the pantry thus cutting our food budget and 2) not spend any of our personal/entertainment budget. I’ve already created a meal plan for the month and think we can make it with minimal spending.

Our plan is to drive up Saturday morning, hang out in the snow for sure and maybe ski (the kids, not me) and then come home. Thankfully, snow is within a couple hours of us so an easy day trip. Score one for living at the base of the mountains!

My goal for the next 5 months is to find some sort of reasonable adventure like this…

Before you jump down my throat, I am very conscientious of the costs and will try to keep them to a minimum. My goal is to make some memories…

Princess and Beauty will graduate in just over 4 months. Prom has already been cancelled. There was no homecoming. No senior recognition events. Lots of “senior” privileges and experiences have been cancelled. Thanks, COVID!

I want to give them a last semester of high school to remember! I’ve read of lots of parent groups getting together to do something for their seniors, we don’t have that here, so I’m taking things into my own hands.

Any other high school senior parents out there? Is your district or parent groups doing anything special for your seniors?

2021 – Financial Goal #1


I have spent a great deal of time over the last couple of months thinking about this new year. Planning my financial goals, working on a new budget and formulating a 5 year plan to tighten things up. The biggest criticism was me being all over the place. And you are right.

I do best with bite size pieces.

So I will tackle one financial goals one at a time this year…beginning this month.

2021 Goal #1 – Small Student Loan

I held off paying off my student loan until I get started in my new job this month. As soon as my pay comes in, I will make the final payment on the smaller of my two student loans.

This is a great way for me to start as I don’t know exactly what my take home pay is going to look like. Since we live on last month’s income, I won’t need to touch my new pay until February and it will give me this month to revise my budget once I see it.

I can then layout the rest of my goals for the year.

Paycheck Deductions

It’s really going to be different having a regular paycheck. On Monday, I will set up my automatic and pre-tax deductions. These elections will determine my take home pay. I have decided to start with:

  • High deductible health plan – $250 per paycheck
  • HSA – $250 per paycheck ($6000/24 pay periods, company contributes $1,200 which combined will max out the contribution for the year)
  • Dental – $27 per paycheck
  • Vision – $2.90 per paycheck
  • 7% to 401K

Still to be determined – additional life insurance, accident insurance, cancer insurance and critical illness insurance.

Debt Free 2021 Goals

Try these budget platforms this year for a debt free 2021. 

PlatformsFees and MinimumBest for
Personal CapitalFreeMonitoring wealth and spending
SimplifiFreeManage money everywhere
YNAB$84 a year or $11.99 a month (after a 34-day free trial), free for students for 12 months.Personal budget tracking



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