Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Smaller goals have a place

In our world, 2017 will be a time of big, giant, hairy decisions. Huge amounts of planning & budgeting, and life changing decisions. It's a little overwhelming to think about monumental categories like . . the mortgage & how it will affect the rest of our budget & lifestyle. ;-)

Because I'm a woman who likes a plan, and a challenge & re-thinking our budget, I need to be comfortable with a mix of smaller goals & then, when the time comes, I'll tackle our bigger challenges. My perspective is that financial success (along with a variety of other things) is a mix of small improvements over time, combined with the rarer big moments. It's easy just to focus on the big things, but getting comfortable & taking pride in making improvements to with your smaller goals can also provide a sense of motivation & progress.

So, what small goals am I contemplating for 2017?

  • A toiletry challenge! I consider toiletries any of the following: makeup, anything dental related, any product you'd use in the shower and/or to clean your face. I currently have $75 of Rite Aid plenti points, and I'm hoping to make these last for at least six months. Even better if I can make them last for all of 2017 by "rolling" the points. This may be tricky, as rolling your points means generating new points off of purchases made with points. It would take just the right combination of point offers & needs for this to work well. I'll be doing an inventory of our toiletries in the next few weeks, so I can see where we stand & determine what I need to look out for on sale. I've already raided my gym makeup bag when I ran out of eyeliner, because it's the rare day that I work out in the morning before I've showered at home. Using up what I have in various bags (travel, gym) may be my first way to reduce spending. 
  • Tracking all of our clothing purchases. I did this with our groceries in 2016 & it was both fun (sometimes tedious), but also really helpful when it came to understanding patterns, areas to stock up on, and where to cut back. We have a reduced clothing budget this year, so I'm hoping this helps. 
  • Every month, look for one permanent way to cut costs. It's totally fine (and, likely) that these will be small cuts that will add up over time. This may be finding a ziplock alternative for one of our common usages (school lunches), reducing our water needs by building rain storage, etc. 
  • Come up with two date night suggestions that don't involve an expensive meal out. 
  • Maximize my travel hacking. I'm not sure what 2017 will involve for work travel, but there are lots of opportunities to use points & credits for their best value & by keeping track of all of our rewards, it helps to ensure I'm using them well. 
  • Make $100 selling things on Facebook. 
I'm sure more will crop up as the year progresses, but those are a few of the smaller things I'm looking forward to in 2017. What about you? Any smaller goals you are working on & want to share? 


  1. Focusing on small things while taking advantage of big, but rare opportunities makes a lot of sense. I just bought several birthday gifts and a couple Christmas 17 gifts-reducing the gift budget is an opportunity to shave hundreds in my spending.

  2. My first goal is $500 for back to school. This lets me pay my professional fees, buy a couple things for my room and perhaps a few clothes. It is a small goal, but it feels good to get 'one off the list'