2016 Goals Update: April Update

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We’re already 4 months into 2016 so it’s a good time to go over goals. Here’s how we’re doing so far this year, with some exciting news.

It’s crazy to think that we’re already done with the first quarter of the year. The first few months of 2016 have been an absolute whirlwind in the Frugal Rules home. A lot of it has been related to managing my Dad’s estate issues, which has resulted in a lot of unexpected traveling – though a huge learning process.

We’ve also been in full-blown house hunting mode. We thought we had found the house for us in February. It was the perfect size, had all the features we were looking for and at a great price. There was one small problem – the sellers were less than reasonable in their negotiations.

In fact, they wouldn’t negotiate and they’d change their minds too often to count. After a month of going back and forth we decided to walk away from the house because they were completely unwilling to do anything we had requested from the inspection. It was a painful decision though we learned a lot from the experience. Thankfully the story has a happy ending, which I’ll share more about below.

Despite the craziness in my personal life, the site continues to do well. Our normal Thursday contributor, Erin, left at the end of March for another opportunity and after some thought I’ve decided to move to a three day posting schedule (Monday, Wednesday and Fridays) for the time being. Summer is typically a slower time for traffic and with the amount of content on the site it only makes sense.

In somewhat blogging related news, a good blogging friend of mine has written his first book! David, founder of Young Adult Money, wrote Hustle Away Debt to provide those struggling with debt the means to kill it through earning extra money. I’ve just started reading it, but if you’re looking for ideas to overcome the burden of debt and start a foundation to grow your future you should definitely check it out.

You’ll notice I don’t have a specific quantifiable financial goal listed. It’s obviously not that we don’t have any financial goals – because we do. I just expect that we’ll hit them. We were able to max out both the employee and employer sides of our self-employed retirement plan for 2015 last month and are planning on doing the same this year, along with our Roth IRAs and HSA. With that out of the way, let’s move on to how we’re faring so far this year.

Goals Update


Move into a new house. Remember that headache I mentioned above? Well, about 48 hours after we walked away from what we thought was our dream house we found one that we loved even more. The owner of this house was much easier to work, which resulted in a much more enjoyable process. That said, we close this Friday! You can see a pic of it below. It’s crazy how timing works.


We walked away from the former house on a Friday and our house was listed on Saturday. We did two walkthroughs on Monday and Tuesday and by Wednesday morning we had an agreed upon deal. While it was fast, we have a great feeling about the house and it should serve us well until the little Frugal Rules’ go to college or leave home. We honestly weren’t thinking we’d be buying this early in the year, but a few factors made us move to buy a house a little sooner than we originally anticipated.

The first was inheritance received from my father’s estate. We split it up to cover a number of areas – a house being one of those. The other is the fact that the real estate market in Omaha has a pretty significant supply issue so we wanted to act earlier in the year so as to not face more of a challenge during the typically competitive summer season. This also means we had to sell our current house. Thanks to low inventory in Omaha we had three offers within the first 48 hours of the house being on the market and will be closing on it in about six weeks.

Lose another 20-30 pounds. I’ll list this as a draw.

I lost 100 pounds last year on Nutrisystem, which was my major personal win for the year. As you can imagine with a lot of travel and busyness from looking at houses my workout regiment has been impacted over the past few months. Thankfully I’ve maintained status quo by watching what I eat over the past few months. Now that things have returned to a normal level of insanity I’ve gotten back to my standard six days a week workout plan. I’m keeping my $10 per month gym membership for the time being as we’ll be saving up to buy some sort of exercise equipment for our new house.

We’re already 4 months into 2016 so it’s a good time to go over goals. Here’s how we’re doing so far this year, with some exciting news.

Buy a new car. This is a draw as well.

We’re still putting $300 per month into our Discover Bank savings account each month, but with us buying the house we’ve not done much beyond that. We’re significantly ramping up this savings now that we bought the house and will likely become a one-car family for a time by selling our other car so we can free up some extra cash. We plan on buying the new to us car in cash as the last thing we want is to take on a car payment.

It’s hard to think of what else could be in store for 2016, but we’re thankful to be on the other side of a pretty hectic past few months with our sanity intact. Mrs. Frugal Rules and I will have some much needed R&R as we go to Cancun to celebrate our 15th Anniversary about six weeks from now and we have some other fun travel planned for the summer months.


How are your goals progressing for 2016? How do you balance working on goals when life is really hectic? What’s new in your corner of the world?

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more.


  • Sounds like you are busy!! 🙂 I am going to need to be thinking about buying a car in the next 2-3 years. Mine is 10 years old this year. Hopefully, I can pay off my student loans in that time. We shall see!

  • Richard says:

    I’ve got a whole load of goals going on in 2016 – but my biggest is a giant savings goal. Just a few years ago I couldn’t imagine saving even a *penny* I had so much debt. It’s wonderfully freeing now to be socking money away each month with an “end-of-the-year” goal in mind. So far, so good -)

  • Michael says:

    Sounds like you’re making great progress. I’ve been helping our business expansion with new locations and employees. It can be hard to find a good work/life balance when it is “new” work, as it can be a bit overwhelming, but new can be exciting too. Good luck with the new house!

  • I had no idea Omaha had a supply and demand issue, but congrats on the new house and selling the old one so quickly. I imagine no matter how well it goes, it’s a stressful situation! And the house is really pretty too!

  • Beautiful new home! Congrats!

    Thanks so much for mentioning my book. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the blogging community the past couple weeks. Truly blown away.

    I’ve learned to be flexible with the ebbs and flows of life. Sometimes life will get hectic and in those times I am constantly re-evaluating what needs to get done and what can slide. In fact, I’m always trying to see what can slide and what is necessary haha.

    I think the three-day posting schedule will work well for you. I’m actually really conflicted about posting schedules as well. I used to do 5 or 6 posts a week my first year of blogging but have been at 3 posts a week for quite some time. I still am really conflicted about going back up to 5 versus just focusing on having 3 quality posts a week. I also need to start writing at least once a week because I think there are some posts that “only I can write” which is probably not true but there are some that are on my mind personally.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks DC!

      Not a problem at all, more than happy to mention it.

      I hear ya there, life just does this sometimes though a lot of it came out of working on my Dad’s estate so definitely not planned on.

      Yea, it has been a conflict more me as well. For me it came down to managing my time better and focusing on having 3 good posts per week versus just having someone new throw another one up each week – it begins to become an increasingly diminishing return.

      • Yeah I hear you. I’ve realized the past year or so how much time it takes to truly “onboard” a writer. Much more effort than I thought it would be. But part of that is due to personal preference of how I like to see things. 3 posts a week is definitely more manageable than 5.

        • John Schmoll says:

          That’s a good point. It does take time to do that, even with a really good writer – though they’ll be able to hit stride sooner. Like you, I have my own way of things so I know that can impact it as well. 🙂

  • Congrats on the beautiful new home! With the family expanding I’ve been looking into that as well though real estate in the NYC area is just ridiculous. Same with the car…with a expanding family I’ve been looking to a slightly bigger car, plus mine has about 180,000 miles and some mechanical issues.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks Andrew! I can only imagine. We looked seriously at moving back to San Diego to be close to my in-laws but it’s just so expensive there that we would be hard pressed to hit our goals. So, we’ll likely just go out there 1-2 times per year to balance it out some.

  • Congrats on the new house! It’s wonderful when things work out for the best even though you don’t know it at the time. Hopefully everything with the move goes smoothly!

    My goals have been pretty consistent. My new change is updating my budget now that I’m at my new job and accounting for every penny again.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks Amanda! You make a great point – it’s hard to see that in the middle of stressful times, thus why it’s good to appreciate the process and sit back to reflect once over.

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