My Goals for 2020

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2020 Goals Graphic

This year, we’re keeping our goal list short and sweet, with only four goals. But there are a couple doozies on there. Here’s what we hope to accomplish in 2020.

Update:2020 is officially in our rearview! Keep reading to see how we fared with our goals.

1. Continue working on our PayOff2020 goal.

Due to a big income/employment change last year, we had to slow our pace on this goal considerably. We’re still on track to have our mortgage paid off by the time our oldest graduates in May, but we probably won’t have the rest of the goal knocked out by then. That being said, May is still four months away, so anything could happen.

Not familiar with our PayOff2020 goal? You can read all about it here.

Update: We paid off our mortgage in May as planned! It feels good to finally have that off our backs. We made some progress towards paying off our other balances, but made the decision early in the year to focus on building up our savings, until the pandemic is over. We deposited both of our stimulus checks in our savings account, and are trying not to touch them. We’re doing the same thing with any unexpected money that comes our way. If it’s still there on the other side of all this craziness, we’ll apply the money to our pay off goal.

2. Cover the cost of college with scholarships and grants.

Our oldest daughter will be starting college in August, and we won’t be footing the bill. You can read all about that here, but the Cliff Notes version is that we told them if they worked hard in school, we’d help them find the scholarship money they need. Now it’s time to make good on that.

The school she’s chosen costs $48,000 a year (ouch!), so applying for scholarships is a big part of our world right now. Once we’re through the process, I’ll post an update to let you know if we were able to meet this goal.

Update: To date, she’s won 11 scholarships, and has $153,350 of her college tuition covered. That leaves another $38,406 to figure out, plus whatever the yearly increases end up being. She’s still applying for scholarships, so hopefully we’ll get there.

Here’s a break down of the scholarships she’s won so far.

3. Continue working on projects around the house.

We’ll be empty-nesters in two and half years, and we’d like to be caught up on home improvement and maintenance tasks by the time our youngest moves out. So, we’ll be working on this goal again this year. I have a long list of painting and landscaping projects to tackle, so it’ll be fun to see what we’re able to accomplish.

Update: We made a ton of progress on the garden last year. I took up all the lawn at the back of our property, and put in a garden, using mostly free plants and rescued flagstone.

View of Garden Path

You can see all the garden before and afters here.

We also did a mini update of the kitchen and bathroom in the little cottage that the garden is built around. I’ll be doing posts about that soon.

And we did a temporary update of our kitchen floor to hold us over until we get around to finishing our reno (probably still a couple years off).

4. Use up my fabric scraps.

I did a TON of sewing last year, so I have a huge stash of fabric scraps to work through. I’ve got lots of scrap-buster projects planned, and I’ll be sharing them with you throughout the year. So, if you also have a huge stash of fabric scraps to work through, stay tuned for ideas.

Update:I did more sewing in 2020 than in any year prior, and came up with all sorts of scrap-buster projects. I’ll be rounding them up in a post, in case you’re looking for ideas to use up your fabric scraps.

How to Sew a Lanyard

In the meantime, you can find all of my sewing projects here.

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  1. You’re right, those goals are doozies! I probably should have a goal to get my yarn stash down to half its size… but I have cleverly hidden its true size even from myself!

    But we ARE working on our mortgage this year!

  2. I only wish we could cut down our mortgage and pay off all bills, but…unfortunately, we are seniors and I can no longer work due to having non-Hodgkins lymphoma (long story). Anyway, we barely make enough money now to make ends meet but we put every bit of extra on a bill that we can.

    I appreciate you sharing your goals as it encourages me to dig even deeper to try to pay off bills sooner.

    I have read your blog for years but don’t think I have ever commented. I read all your frugal ideas/practices and have incorporated some in my own life. I garden, can, dehydrate, sew, quilt, etc. It becomes a game at times when funds are very low. It is actually easier if you put it in game form, then it becomes a challenge.

    Thank you again, Erin,

    1. I’ve always treated frugal living as a game, too. If you treat it like work, it’ll feel like work. If you treat it like a game, it’ll feel like something you’re doing for fun.

  3. As always I LOVE your posts and value every one of them (even repost to our company website due to helpful (sustainable) tips. Congratulations on your daughter and college and having gone through that with my son last year, yes it IS a big price tag (the only thing I caution you is to be careful as a few of his high school classmates got “full ride scholarships” that were amended when the school year began.) My son got into all but one of his schools and good scholarships for all, even a full ride to Kalamazoo College, but even having to pay a small portion (under 5 figures) he decided to go to our local community college which with scholarships and grants (he is in the honors program) paid for all so the $ we do have saved will be there the other 2 years, but he is now thinking of going to my alma mater which he could still live at home and drive to if he wanted…go GVSU…😉

  4. Hard to get mortgage free, I hope you make it on schedule. We were lucky that our house was paid off for retirement.
    I hope this year to finish landscaping our front yard. Hubby lost the battle to keep the flat grassy lawn. Both my son and I are allergic to grass so it is gone. We are gutting the kitchen right now and it is our big expense this winter. The kitchen was never functional and the cabinets I think were used when the house was new.

    Surprised you are working on getting scholarships so late. My grandson never got around to it and still went to school on student loans. He has a good job so he is slowly paying them off now. He did well in high school but university he actually had to work at. He bombed with the stress. He is saving now to go back and do it right.

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