“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” -Warren Buffett

Goal Update - Q2 (late)

Life is still largely chaotic around here, piecing together child care for summer in absence of regular day camps... However in an attempt to stay on track with some of my big goals, I'm writing again.  This time, we're focusing on our (late) Q2 goal update for 2020!
  1. Amy write and publish 20 (or more) blog posts and share our site more frequently and in different places.
    • On track: 9 post so far, 11 to go and 5 months left!  This isn't actually too bad considering how little I've made time in the chaos to write.  I hope as the kids go back to school, I'll have more energy to think and write.
    1. Amy further refine our budget template and share this year.
      • Delayed: This was planned for a June post (one year after originally posted), however we're looking more like September at this point :)  The budget template is one of our most visited posts!
      1. Amy lose 20 (or more pounds) and in turn reduce my blood pressure.
        • On track: I saw my naturopath in February and tweaked my eating to help balance my hormones.  I lost 12 lbs at last update, and throughout covid have maintained that... Which is saying something.  However I need to kick it up and get that last 8 gone this next few months!
        1. Justin take on one paying photography client.
          • Delayed: Justin has purchased several things second hand to get started and put together a website to share his talents.  Under current conditions we'll see how realistic this goal ends up being. Either way, I expect some great shots of our family and pups this year.
          1. Justin get a beehive up and running to supply our own honey and beeswax (and hopefully some awesome homemade gifts for next Christmas).
            • On track: Our bees arrived in June!!  We are happily getting them settled, built an electric fencing to keep our neighbourhood bears away and looking forward to watching them create honey magic!  I'm surprised how relaxing it is hanging out with them :)
            1. Family: take the next step in Agility training with Kiah (our 9 month old puppy).
              • Deferred: Unlikely we will end up doing this this year.  Between having 2 pups now, and all the Covid-19 chaos, we are just working through basic obedience with both pups and trying to keep them engaged in mini-training sessions regularly.  We have taught Kiah to dive into the pool for toys this summer so that's been fun!
              1. Family: create a (loose) vision for our next 5 years.  Things can change along the way but think about what we want to work towards in 5 years.  This will likely be accomplished on our anniversary in May when we will take a date for our 2nd Annual Off-Site Family Strategic Planning Session :)
                • Delayed: A May "date day" did not happen so we plan to revisit this once the kids are back in school.  We plan to do a date day in September once things settle.
                1. Family: walk more as a family.
                  • On track: We are certainly doing this given that there are no more activities and our only option if we want to get out is a walk in our neighbourhood.  We walk or swim almost every day.  In spring it was all walking, now it's all swimming.  As fall comes we'll be walking to the bus stop again each day with the kids.
                  1. Family: get better organized with a distribution of responsibilities (i.e. chores for kids, daily reading, remembering and repacking own bookbags, and so on).
                    • On track: We set up a command centre space with chores and a weekly pay day for the kids.  They have to tell me what was completed in order to get paid (via Rooster).  It worked relatively well until everything shifted in March.  Now we're working to find a new normal of learning at home, while we're both still working our jobs.  That division of responsibilities is still a work in progress.  We've already discussed with the kids what jobs they will have as they go back to school (they are responsible for their own book bags this fall - packing each day and emptying each night). 
                    1. Family: Cut expenses where possible to ensure 2021 is the year our Pool/Solar is paid off and we're officially debt free for life :D
                      • On track: This has gone really well!  Between the lack of activities during covid (hello forced savings) and my hubbys new side hustle, we have made a few major purchases and still managed to maintain our end goal!  Mortgage free in 2021, 10 months to go!!  It's been so exciting to see our progress these last few months and realize this really can and will happen while we're in our 30s!
                      1. Family: Calculate and share net worth each quarter as we work towards financial independence!
                        • On track: I published our first net worth update in February.  My original plan was to update this each quarter, but I'm not looking at our investments much at the moment. We continue to invest regularly, and that won't change but I'm not sure I want to know how much we've lost until it starts to rebound.  Long term, not short term for this area.

                      Making a plan for life's unexpected twists and turns: Emergency Savings

                      2020 has taught me (and I suspect many others) is that we need to be prepared for the unexpected twists and turns life may throw at us!

                      This year has had many twists... Let's start with Covid-19. Who would've imagined?! There are others including wildfires, floods, and a mass shooting.  It has been heavy and sad.  It is all too much sometimes.  And yet in the midst of it, I'm grateful.  Grateful for my family, our home, our safety, our leaders, our country, our healthcare.  Grateful that these situations aren't our norm.  Grateful my kids feel save and have declared this the "best pandemic ever".  Grateful we aren't financially ruined by this.

                      In the Kitchen: Saving with less waste

                      This week I'm writing about three ways we've managed to save a bit of cash and lessen waste in the kitchen!  I've been striving for small changes we can make that over time, will add up to make an impact.  One of the biggest is reducing plastic waste in the kitchen.  Here are 3 of the ways I've managed a small change to do just that!

                      Goal Update - Q1 Covid Edition


                      Remember that time life was simple and we made plans and expected they would happen?  Yeah, last month.  And then... life changed, quickly, massively, and in ways we can hardly fathom.  In an effort to get back to normalcy in the midst of chaos, I'm using a brief moment of quiet to write.  We created some goals for our family for 2020 and it's time for our first quarterly update!  I'm pleased with some areas, others may be less realistic now that our life is... this.  Without further ado, here we go!

                      In the Kitchen: Chili and Muffins, two of our fav ways to save!

                      One of the biggest variable areas of our budget (that quickly gets out of control) is food spending.  We want to purchase and eat food that nourishes our bodies, improves our health and tastes delicious. 

                      I shop almost exclusively with PC Express (use my PC Insiders code for a discount for signing up: AE1629). This is the easiest way for me to compare unit pricing as I shop, take time to consider what I actually need and virtually remove impulse buys.  It also allows me to easily stick to a budget because I can see in front of my eyes a running total and adjust my meal planning/grocery list if I find we are going over my planned spending.  It also allows us to add to the grocery order throughout the week as we remember items we need, and checkout at a time I'm already out for something else.  It fits in beautifully around our life, and saves me over an hour a week that I used to spend walking the aisles of the grocery store.