Motivation: The Frugal Farmer 2013 Goals

 

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Ok, yes, I know it’s April 4th.  I’ve been a little hesitant to set goals for this year for 2 reasons:

1.  We’re in such a tight situation financially right now that it’s difficult for us to even put any extra towards credit card debts, much less think about goals.  Up until now, our goals have been to pay all of our bills every month and not use credit any longer.

2.  The stubborn side of me HATES to fail, so I know that whatever goals I put down here will have a large chance of being met, even if it means we don’t eat for a month (Of course ya’ll know I’m kidding.  Ok, half kidding.  The kids can survive on dandelion leaves for a few weeks, can’t they? 🙂 )

But on the upside, I know that if I do put down some goals here that:

1. I’ll have a much better chance of reaching them, for pride’s sake, and

2.  We’ll likely push ourselves harder than we would have otherwise.

The other tough part about us setting goals for debt payoff is that we have two major expenses we are saving up for right now:

– the need for new roofs on the dwellings here, the house for sure, but possibly the outbuildings as well, within the next few years.  We’ve had conflicting opinions on exactly when we’ll need the roofs; some say a year, some say 5.  This could run us between $10k and $40k.

– a commuter car for Rick.  His current commuter car is hobbling along, but just barely.  We are terrible at buying used cars.  Despite the immediate depreciation of a new car, in the past we’ve almost always bought new and then ran the car into the ground.  Rick’s truck is 12 years old, and our minivan we bought new and kept for 10 years.  We then bought a 6 year old Suburban which is 9 now and has served us fairly well.  But in general, we are just plain bad at buying used and tend to end up with pieces of junk.  So, we need to make some decisions about if and when Rick’s current 12 year old Saturn dies, what we will replace it with.  Obviously, a new car at this point in the game would not be a wise purchase.

So, here is what we’ve decided for 2013 goals:

1.  We’d like to eliminate half of our consumer debt.  This is a LOFTY goal, given our DTI, our current income and our current CC amounts.  But I’d really like to push us to get as much as possible paid off on the CC’s, just because of our dire situation.  We’ll work toward this goal by cutting spending and looking for ways to increase income.

2.  Put $4,000 in savings, at least.    This is another ridiculously lofty goal, given our situation, but we’ve already got $2k in savings thanks to our tax refund, so we’re going to set the bar high here.

I know that part of setting goals means setting obtainable goals, but I really feel we need to push ourselves here if we are going to do our best this year.

Do you find that setting lofty goals helps you to do better, or to instead become discouraged?

 

34 comments

  1. Jose says:

    The kids will do fine with dandelion leaves! sprinkle a little salt and cheese on them, put them in a toaster oven and they’ll love it :D. You seem completely driven to get rid of your debt and i get more than a sense that it frightens you a bit to have it. It’s not an easy path, heaven knows I have more than enough of it myself but I’m not going to let is consume me. Don’t let debt be your boss! Give it a good kick in the butt and push it aside (even while still paying it down as best you can)!

    • Laurie says:

      That doesn’t sound half bad, Jose! Yes, we are working diligently to do just that: just get rid of it, you know? I guess I’d rather suffer at the hands of a frugal budget for a bit than have one more day letting debt consume us.

  2. Jim says:

    Well you are going into the growing season, dandelions are good, so are strawberries, blueberries, carrots and potatoes. You guys will do just fine, you have the desire and love to work together as a team to accomplish your goals. Keep up the good work!

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks, Jim, I really appreciate your encouragement. :-). I know once we get the garden up and running too that that will help to cut down even more on grocery costs…..

  3. It`s important have goals, even if they might seem difficult to reach. Just make sure you have both some goals that you can definitely reach as well as some lofty ones, this was you won`t get too discouraged if things don`t go the way you`ve planned:-)

  4. I hear ya on facing tough times Laurie. I just got the word this morning that my truck has a cracked radiator and needs to be replaces which will end up costing me around $320 which I could have put towards my credit cards as well. However I like your give all you got attitude, giving up is never an option.

    I’ve also stopped using my credit cards as well, and have a plan to get them paid of by the first of the year. However, with all these extra bills coming it makes it that much harder.

    • Laurie says:

      OH no, Chris! I agree: those extra expenses are a pain in the tail when it comes to debt payoff, but at the same time, it makes it that more motivating to improve our situations too, to the point where $300 or $500 is just no big deal anymore. I can’t wait for that day!!!

  5. Pauline says:

    Reach for the moon, land among the stars. Good luck Laurie! I would use the tax refund to pay debt and if an emergency arise use credit, that would save on interest if nothing happens. I have a post on that soon, because debt is your emergency at the moment.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks SO much Pauline, for the encouragement. Yes, we’ve talked about putting that 2k toward debt, but given the shape of Rick’s car, we’re thinking it might be best to have some cash on hand. 🙂

  6. Don’t be afraid to fail, it only makes us stronger. I have set up goals long-term and short-term and have failed at them. I just know that I have to put more effort into them or find a better way to make them happen. Setting goals is a great way to start a path towards seeing your visions. Never give up!

  7. Laurie says:

    Yeah, I know I’m a little behind. :-). Yes, I do indeed feel blessed by the very supportive PF blogging community, and our friends and family here at home too, of course.

  8. Hey if you’re going to make goals , you might as well make LOFTY ones right? 😉

    I’ve been following your journey for a long time now Laurie and I believe that you and your husband WILL pay off half your consumer debt by end of 2013 🙂

    Good luck!

  9. For me I think setting goals I know I can achieve and giving myself a specific time limit definitely helps. But I do like to reach for the stars sometimes and one or two lofty goals really does push me while any more than that would just make me feel overwhelmed.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks for sharing. Yeah, that’s part of the reason we only set a couple of goals. We figured it’d be easier to concentrate on just 2, even if they’re big goals.

  10. I’d rather set goals that are a little ambitious, then too easy. If you put your minds (and wallets) to you, you will make it happen. And even if you don’t meet the goals exactly you’ll still do far better then you would have expect when you set them high but miss. What’s that saying, something like, if you aim for the moon you’ll still land with the stars!

  11. Deirdre O'Mara says:

    Go. For. It.
    Go for it!!!
    You have nothing to lose and everything (and I mean everything!) to gain! Aim high, work hard, and see what happens!

    I have enjoyed your journey so far and I especially like these posts because I find your fortitude and determination bolstering my own! I am in the final phase of killing off my debt and occasionally find my resolve dwindling but reading this is definitely helping keep spending in check and focused on the prize!

    • Laurie says:

      Deirdre, thank you SO much for your encouragement – you have no idea how much it means to us! And a BIG congrats on reaching the end of your own journey! You’re too close to the finish line to give up now – people like us are depending on people like you to win the race and bolster our own determination! If you’re interested in doing a guest post and sharing your story, I’d be delighted to have you. :-). Thanks so much for spending time with us here. 🙂

  12. I think your savings goal is admirable and, more importantly, doable! I really admire how you guys have carefully reasoned through everything. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  13. Justin says:

    Laurie, I think that it’s awesome that you’ve decided to set goals and post them. I’ve just recently started doing something similar and it’s really helped to keep us motivated.
    Good luck with your goals. I cannot wait for the day when both of our households are debt free!

  14. I’m a huge fan of goal-setting. It’s what keeps me honest, otherwise it is to easy to justify spending money that should be going towards something else. Your goals are certainly lofty, but I know how serious you guys are about eliminating your debt. You’re a creative person and I have no doubt you’ll find extra ways to save and earn money. Good luck! I’m rooting for you and your family!

  15. Set the bar high, but don’t let is derail you if something big comes up, like having to buy a car. While we are done with credit card debt forever now, we have actually run it up and paid it off in the past, only to get off track when when something went wrong. It’s easy to start charging again once you open up the flood gate. Just keep going forward like you are.

    I’m glad you didn’t get mugged in the city. I feel like such a bumpkin every time I go anywhere with a six figure population.

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks so much for the wisdom, Kim. We are doing our best. I know what you mean about the bumpkin thing – it seems like the street-wise girl of my youth was another person, literally!

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