embracing grace: q1 2020 goals update

We’re about a third of the way through the year and I’m finally getting around to holding us accountable for our 2020 goals. When I chose the word “grace” as our word of the year, I didn’t know how much we would need it.  

The world is completely different from where we started in January. Coronavirus has upended work, school, and regular family life for most people. In some ways, we’re extremely fortunate that Justin already works from home and has a home office set up.  

At any rate, here’s where we’re at with all our goals.  

financial goals  

Things are well on their way financially.  

As a quick refresher, our 2020 financial goals include:  

  1. maxing out Justin’s 401k,  
  2. maxing out our HSA,  
  3. saving $6k to our emergency fund,  
  4. saving $15k to our brokerage account,  
  5. paying off our car, and  
  6. paying the mortgage down to 88% loan-to-value.  

Despite fluctuations in the stock market, we have continued to invest in Justin’s 401k, our HSA, and our brokerage account. We’ve automated his 401k and our HSA savings, so we don’t think about them much. We’ll end up maxing both out by the end of the year.  

Justin’s annual bonus came in early April, so we decided to make some substantial progress on our financial goals. We’ve completed our emergency fund goal and we paid off the car!  

We decided to roll half of the car payment into the mortgage and the other half into the brokerage account. We’re also diverting the earlier emergency fund savings into the brokerage account. All that being said, we’re on track to meet our brokerage savings goals.  

As I wrote about in our home purchase post at the beginning of the month, we sent $7,200 from Justin’s bonus to the mortgage. This extra payment put us at 90% loan-to-value. With all our planned extra payments for the year, we’re on track to meet our mortgage goals.  

employment and time goals  

Justin still works for his insurance company and still enjoys the work. Insurance is considered an essential field and he already works from home. We feel okay continuing with our goals given this information. We did decide to hold off on him taking classes until higher education goes back to doing face-to-face classes. Things are a real mess right now.  

As for me, my time is mostly dedicated to our tiny human. On a typical day, he naps (or has quiet time) from 9-11 AM and from 1-3PM. I’m slowly getting better at making the best of the time that he’s asleep. It’s normally when I write for the blog, post to Instagram, or work on my Esty shop. Thankfully, the number of appointments he needs has drastically decreased because he’s making substantial progress health-wise. We still have weekly physical therapy appointments that are done via Zoom until the quarantine is over. We see his special care pediatrician every six weeks and his community pediatrician every three months (or whenever we have a problem). Yes, he has two different pediatricians. One doctor handles coordinating all his specialists and the other does the typical well-baby and sick child visits. Once we get his feeding tube removed and stop oxygen therapy, we may have only the regular pediatrician.  

health and fitness goals  

This area of our goals has been a real struggle for both of us. Every day that it is over 50 degrees, we go out for a walk. In the age of social distancing that has become a bit frustrating because suddenly lots of people think that they should be outside too. It’s as if they were told to stay inside – like they normally do – and since it was mandated, they’re doing the exact opposite.  

We decided that we would both enjoy having a treadmill at home and decided to buy one for the basement. We haven’t had a treadmill since we downsized from the house in the middle of nowhere to the 1-bedroom apartment in Lansing. There’s something nice about being able to take 10 or 20 free minutes and get in a power walk. I’ve doubled down on my accountability and re-signed up with StepBet. Now there’s $40 riding on me meeting my daily walking goals.  

So far, food and dining expenses have made up 12% of our spending. This is two percent higher than our goal of 10%, but we’re still in a good space to meet our goal by the end of the year. Comparing this year’s spending to this time last year, we’ve spent 22 percent less! This is a huge overall change that I credit to us becoming mostly vegetarian. (We still occasionally eat fish.) I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the year turns out.  

travel and fun  

Well, given the current situation, all travel has been canceled. The only travel that was possibly on the books for this year was three or so trips to Michigan for Justin’s job. His company canceled all non-essential travel early in the crisis. I would be surprised if he still went for his annual fall trip.  

Mom’s trip to see us in May is canceled too. She was supposed to come Mother’s Day weekend to celebrate with us and hang out with LP while we went to a concert. The concert has been postponed and will hopefully be rescheduled after all of this has calmed down a bit.  

We’re focusing on making the most of things right now and enjoying our little family. LP is growing and meeting milestones every day. I have a feeling that he’s going to finally figure out how to roll from his back to belly any day now. He rolls half-way and then stops. He’s an expert though of rolling from his belly to his back. He’s also started to show interest in eating solids and we’re offering him purees every day. So far, his favorites are pears, prunes, butternut squash, and pumpkin. It’s fun to watch him make a mess of everything, but that’s how he learns. These small miracles remind us of just how far he’s come since being born so early.  

Where are you at with your goals? 

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