What My Quarter 1 Results Actually Were (Plus Q2 Intentions)

It’s hard to believe that we’ve entered Quarter 2 of 2024. In fact, we’re over halfway through April if you’re listening to this in real time, and I thought today would be a perfect time to give you a little insight into what’s happening in my life – with my family, my personal goals, the progress we’ve made with our budgeting goals so far this year and then share what I plan to accomplish as we move forward through quarter 2. So if you’d like a bit of an insiders look into my life, then that’s what this bonus episode is for. Grab a cup of coffee or lace up those walking shoes and let’s get to those Quarter 2 goals for 2024.

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What My Quarter 1 Results Actually Were (Plus Q2 Intentions)

Well hey there and welcome to the Financial Fix Up Podcast. I’m your host, Sarah Brumley, and today I’m sharing a special bonus episode to give you a little insight into what’s happening in my life, with my family, how we managed with financial goals in quarter one, and then kinda dig a little into what we have planned for our family and for our finances as we move through quarter 2. And if you missed my blog post – it wasn’t a podcast episode at that point – but I did create an entire blog post all about the process I use for creating goals as well as well as the details about our quarter 1 goals. So if you missed that, you can find that linked in the show notes if you want those details, okay?

So, I think this type of episode can be really valuable not for the purpose of you comparing yourself or your situation to me – please do not compare yourself to me. We each come from different circumstances and we are all in different stages of our journeys. But it can be valuable as encouragement or even inspiration as you create and work toward achieving your own goals to see that while I might talk week in and week out about the strategies we use, it doesn’t mean that it all works perfectly. It takes work – for everyone, so I hope you’ll be able to find that as encouragement today.

No comparison, just encouragement. And with that, let’s jump into it.

Family Update

So, as far as a family update goes, our family is doing well at this time, all things considered. Many listeners might not know that we have a daughter in a mental health facility out of state due to some severe mental health needs, and that’s been our life for a little over two years now. A lot of that time has involved struggling to find the appropriate level of care, navigating wait lists, dealing with attorneys, fighting with insurance for coverage, working with facilities for payment plans and proper insurance submissions, all while trying to manage the emotional fallout that comes with having a crisis of that magnitude. So, it’s been a rough couple of years to say the least, and while I can’t give any amazing updates on her condition at this time, I can say that we are – thank you God – in a place where our financial obligations are no longer depleting our savings accounts or maxing out our credit cards. At one point in time we thought we were going to have to sell our home in order to manage the cost and we are so incredibly thankful for God’s provision.

Justin continues to work as a teacher at one of our neighborhood schools. It’s hard to believe this is his 17th year already, but time flies so fast. Our oldest has blossomed into a beautiful young woman who is starting her first job coming up soon and really excited about that. Her first concern when she got the job was that she needed a clear amount for saving and only a little for spending money. So, I think that’s a huge testament to all of the time we’ve spent over the years helping her understand the ins and outs of managing her finances. I’m really looking forward to continuing that over the next year or so, with the hope that she will be able to take those financial strategies out into the world when she graduates. And our youngest is going to turn three which is unbelievable to me, but it’s definitely been so fun to see both of them grow and thrive over these past couple of years.

So, that’s my family update. A little insight into who we are and what we’re up to, just to give you a little context as we talk about goals.

Quarter 1 Goal Recap

Now our quarter 1 goals were…well, successful? Kinda successful I guess I would say.

Goal #1: Debt Payoff

The first goal that Justin and I chose together was to pay off two debts that we have – our truck loan and our camper loan. And this was a goal that we had for 2024 as a whole, with the idea that we would pay off the truck loan by the end of June and the camper loan by the end of December. I’m going to be honest right now, we did NOT make any extra payments on either of those loans in Quarter 1.

For all intents and purposes this goal was a complete failure and we will not be making those deadlines, however – I don’t believe this actually was a failure, for a couple of reasons.

First, we had some additional medical expenses come up in January that required our attention. And rather than dip into our savings account to pay for those, we chose to divert to paying those bills outright rather than making extra payments on our loans. Does that drive out our payoff dates? Yes. But we made all of our payments and all of our accounts remain current.

The second reason I don’t think it was a failure is that Justin went to see our daughter for their family weekend in March. Once again, the costs were higher than we initially thought they might be, so we used what would have been our extra payment in March to accommodate for those costs. Not a failure, just a change of what was important at the time.

So, was it a failure – technically, yes. But the planning ahead for that extra money to be available allowed us to be successful in other areas. So, a win in my book.

Goal #2: Summer Vacation Funded

The second goal we chose was also a financial goal, and that was to fully fund our extended family vacation coming up in summer of 2024.

While I’ll save you the specifics, I want to make sure that the time we get to spend with family isn’t stressful due to financial reasons. That’s why we’ve decided to put money away each month so that we are ready to have fun when the time comes.

And I’m happy to report that we accomplished this goal – or the portion of the goal in quarter 1. So, that’s a huge win for our summer vacation.

Goal #3: 75 Hard Completed

The final goal I shared with you at the beginning of the year was a personal goal, to complete the 75 Hard Challenge. And this was something that a friend mentioned in December, and as someone who is super competitive, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to do it as well.

If you haven’t heard of it, you can definitely search for it and you’ll find tons of information, but the basics are that each of the 75 days you have to:

  • Read 10 minutes of a personal development or self-help book (no audiobooks or podcasts)
  • Complete two, 45-minute workouts (one of which has to be outside)
  • No alcohol
  • Take a progress picture
  • Drink 120 ounces of water
  • Choose and stick to a diet plan with no cheats

…and if you miss even one thing – you’re back to day 1.

I started out really excited and despite temperatures in the negative 30s, blisters on my feet, and my birthday, and so many other things that could have derailed my progress, I completed the entire challenge at the beginning of March and have (mostly!) maintained the momentum since. So, that’s really exciting.

And honestly, it was so rewarding to show up for myself and the challenge each and every day with no excuses. I’m not saying that everyone should try a challenge that’s as extreme as this one, but when you choose to say yes to yourself in a good way each and every day for so many days in a row, that pattern of healthy behavior becomes hard to break. So, I’m super thankful that I was offered the opportunity and that I put in the work to make it happen.

So, those were my goals for quarter 1, among other things, mostly a success but some failure included. Hehe.

My Personal and Financial Goals for Quarter 2

For quarter 2, Justin and I have discussed our financial and personal goals and have decided to prioritize a few things this quarter.

Goal #1: Bulk Purchases on Credit

The first goal we have for quarter 2 is to responsibly (and I do mean responsibly) use our credit card for our large purchases for purpose of getting the cash back. In this case, we have a credit card that gives 1.5% cash back on purchases. Of course, it doesn’t make sense for us to use that for everything, but when it comes to things like our Costco run each month and other items that we are already budgeting for, it’s just as easy to swipe the card and then go to the bank account and pay it off immediately.

We’ve done this a bit over the past couple of months and I’ve been happy with the bonus of getting a little money in return. So, we are going to make an effort to do this. The key will be NOT leaving a balance on the card at all, because if we do that, we’ve immediately negated any bonus we may have received.

So, that’s goal number 1.

Goal #2: Summer Vacation Funded

The second goal we are going to continue to pursue is to fully fund our extended family vacation that’s coming up this summer. So, like we did in Quarter 1, we’ll save a little bit each month with the hope that there will be no concern when the time comes to go on vacation.

Goal #3: Summer Family Plan

Quite honestly, Quarter 2 for our family is a push toward summer, finishing school-related projects, my husband has concerts because he’s the music teacher, there’s field trips, and on and on. But knowing that summer will be here in just eight weeks means it’s time to plan accordingly. That’s why our Quarter 2 goal is to create a summer schedule that allows us to complete the needed tasks and projects around the house, while also maximizing our recreation time. So, everything from the times that we will need a babysitter each week to beach days, camping reservations, time for respite, swim lessons, and more needs to be on that calendar.

And this is important to us, because we’ve had a lot of summers where we didn’t plan ahead and we ended the summer with nothing to show for it.

So, that’s our family goal for Quarter 2.

Additional Goals

Of course, we have additional goals. Personally, I have a health goal that I want to meet and am talking with a friend about completing the 75 Hard Challenge or something similar again over the next couple of months. I’m also focused on compartmentalizing my work time and my personal and family time so I can be present where and when I need to be. Additionally, I have a goal related to friends and those within my networks that I want to create genuine relationships with.

So, there are other goals there, too. And that’s a great reminder that you can have as few OR as many goals depending on your current situation.

Goals for 2024: Potential Roadblocks

As always, I think it’s important to recognize and anticipate any roadblocks that might come up along the way. These goals will be challenging, right? And obviously you saw that Quarter 1 didn’t work out exactly as we’d hoped. So, there will be roadblocks to success and it’s always better to plan for them as best you can. The following are just a few that I came up with for the upcoming quarter:

  • Like I said at the beginning, one of our daughters is currently in a residential treatment facility for mental illness. At the time I’m sharing this, she is still covered as medically necessary by insurance. We understand that it’s very likely that she won’t be covered long enough to complete the entire program, so that’s something we may have to deal with financial when or if the time comes. Unfortunately, we can’t know for sure when or even if that will happen, so we will cross that bridge when we get to it.
  • Unexpected medical or housing expenses could also derail our financial goals, however, we do our best to fully fund our savings accounts for those categories to prevent catastrophe.
  • Overspending on daily living expenses or unplanned eating out could also eat into our budget AND could make it hard for me maintain my health goals. To counteract that, we are putting in the work ahead of time with our meal planning and grocery shopping and this will also help us when it comes to placing those larger amounts on our credit card for purpose of getting cash back because when we’ve made those plans ahead, we will be less likely to forget the step of paying off that balance immediately.

Of course there are likely other potential roadblocks, but for now, those are the ones we can anticipate and work toward acknowledging and (hopefully!!!) avoiding.

What are your Quarter 2 Goals?

So, there you have it – my Quarter 2 goals. And, I want to remind you that if you don’t already have goals in place that you’re working toward this year, it’s never too late to start. You don’t have to wait until January 2025. In fact, wouldn’t it be great if you could get to that date and see all the progress you’ve already made? The only way to do so is to get started.

If one of your goals requires to you set up a budget or revamp the one you have, then I’d like to offer you my FREE Family Budget Worksheet. It’ll walk you through the necessary steps to get that budget up and running so that you can begin achieving your biggest financial goals. You can find it at lemonblessings.com/family-budget or by clicking the link in the show notes.

Whatever you decide, just know that I’m cheering you on! You’ve got this! Have an amazing day and I’ll chat with you again next time!