In the beginning of every year, my husband and I write down our goals. We try to make sure what we write in our “goals book” is attainable for the year. For example, the year I was pregnant with my third child, we decided to hold off on major home repairs so we can focus on a debt free pregnancy and paying all our doctor bills cash. While other years we focused on building businesses.

This year we had some pretty significant milestones to accomplish since we were in a better state than the previous years. My eldest and middle child would be going to the same elementary school so this reduced our childcare expenses. We were both pretty established at our jobs, and we found a church to call home. With our current state we wanted to accomplish 3 milestones that would not only increase our quality of life, but allow us to have more family time. Here are the highlights for Simply St Louis this year.

1. Paid off entire mortgage

At the beginning of 2019, we had a HELOC balance of $38,350 to be exact. We were so excited that the balance of this loan was comparable to buying a car, it seemed doable. So what was the plan for paying off this balance as quickly as possible? Well, after we decided to live on one income and use the other income to pay off the balance (which can be found on this post), we decided to decrease the amount we were contributing to our 401k’s for a season. We did this because our company was still giving us a great match even though we decreased our bi-weekly amount. By incorporating these two strategies, we were able to pay off the balance in May 2019. We then increased our 401k contribution back to what it was before.

2. Quit my day job

I would have never thought or imagined in my mind that I would be able to stay home with my kids for more than 3 months. The reason I say 3 months is because that’s what I was given for maternity leave. Though I could have stayed home back in 2016 when we finished paying off our consumer debt, I decided to stay in the job force for some time until we were completely debt free. I was not at all miserable with the company, though every place of employment has its pros and cons, I just wanted the opportunity to be more present for my family and work on my blog and youtube. I left my job in September 2019, 4 months after paying off the house.

3. Finished a 3 month renovation project

In June 2019, my husband and I had the opportunity to work on a special renovation project on a house that needed a lot of updating. I will tell you more about this project next year. It was a lot of work. The whole space needed to be updated including all bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchen. We hired handymen for tile work and electrical. But paint, woodwork, bathroom vanity installation, (and the list goes on… ) was for my husband and I. What was more difficult was getting a baby sitter for the kids. At times we would have to bring them along and they would sit in a clutter free room playing. In the end it was worth it because we came in under budget for the whole project. We finished the last detailed project in Sept 2019.

Overall, I am excited about what was accomplished for the amount of time we were given. Every single highlight was and is a learning opportunity that will help us for this upcoming year. I’m excited to see what opportunities awaits us in 2020.

What were your highlights for 2019?