Tag Archives: finances

2016 Goals and Word of the Year

2016 Goals and Word of the Year

Welcome to another year and me sharing my 2016 goals!!

Same me; new goals.

As usual, I am keeping my 2016 goals simple and focusing on things that I am already working on. Last year I had a similar strategy with goals that would be easy to achieve.. tho I did fail on completing all of them. This year’s goals are also easy to achieve, yet things that will benefit my life in some way.

Here we go!

2016 Goals and Word of the Year - by Life As A Convert

Bake pies and deliver to strangers.
This may be a totally selfish goal but it sounds very charitable, right? I want to learn how to make a good pie crust, but also not get fat in the process. This way, I can bake, and make other people fat. Win-Win!

Record 3 videos in public.
I vlog all the time in public, but making videos in public has been something that I have not done yet. For the longest time I have wanted to do some videos in public. I have a few ideas in mind, but nothing actually planned yet.

Read 30 books.
I set a goal last year to read 12 books and went way over my goal. This year I will be happy with 30.

Shoot more in Manual.
This is somewhat of a long-standing desire. I would like to get more familiar with my camera and learn how to shoot in manual. Learning how to edit would be the next thing.

Take a vacation.
Even if it is just a weekend away, we need a vacation! We didn’t leave the state at all last year. This year, we must remedy that. I want to take the kids to the beach.

Family Pictures!
This one was on my list last year, but I failed to make it happen. I am in desperate need of some updated family pictures. We usually take them in the Fall, so I guess that gives me plenty of time to plan.

Dinner Parties with FRIENDS.
I like hosting dinner parties. My dinner parties are normally just family though. I want to do more of that this year and include more friends.

Add Recipes to Document.
I have plans of putting my most used recipes in a recipe book. The first step is to put the recipes – single page format – into a document. I originally planned to do it from my cooking blog, and just turn my blog into a book, but realized I have a lot of blog posts that won’t look good enough or that I no longer use/like.

Learn to Play Piano.
Keyboard… Piano… Same thing, right? My oldest son, Kaia, recently acquired a keyboard and I am trying to learn it along with him. I know that “learn to play piano” is a very big goal, especially since I am finding that my fingers aren’t too coordinated, but with practice I hope to be able to play some Christmas tunes next year.

Complete 2015 Goals.
Seems fitting enough, right? I have some leftover goals/tasks that need to be done. The ones I have in mind are mostly blog related.

That’s about it folks.. Nothing drastic going on over here.

2016 Word of the Year

It took me until today to officially decide on my word.

I chose VALUE.

To value something is to notice it’s worth and to hold it dear to you. I want to value my relationship with God, my family and the time spent with them, my friends, strangers, my time, my finances, ME, my body, my mind, and….. You get the idea.

I don’t want to lose sight of what is important to me. And I want others to know what they meant to me.

I did a little search and found out that I am not the only one who chose value. Alexandra over at MOKUSKA chose Value too. How cool is that?!

What are some of your 2016 goals? 

Do you have a word for the year? 

Activity Day Girls – Budget and Tithing

Activity Day Girls – Budget and Tithing

When I was called to be an Activity Day Girls leader I felt so unprepared, but thanks to SugarDoodle, and other fabulous LDS bloggers, I have been able to come up with some fun ideas for the girls. The most recent lesson focused on Budgeting and Tithing and helped the girls earn another check towards completing their Faith in God requirements.

Activity Day Girls Budget Tithing

I opened the lesson by handing out a full sized chocolate bar to each girl. I told them that they may eat their chocolate bar now and be done with it, or they may save it until the end and get more chocolate. Though some girls were tempted, each held out until the end.

I used the following scriptures to help the activity day girls understand how much tithing they are suppose to pay (1/10) and what happens when they follow that commandment.

D&C 119:4 4 And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord.
Malachi 3:10 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Most of the girls already had a good concept of tithing, but were unfamiliar with budgeting. Using the top portion of this printable, we learned how to write a check to pay tithing. We spent a lot of time on the budgeting activity. We made up the amounts as we went along and all stuck with the same numbers to make it easier.
Click on the image to download a PDF printable version.
Activity Day Girls - Budget and Tithing

Most of the girls had no idea how much things actually cost and were surprised to find that rent wasn’t going to be $50. They quickly learned that budgeting is an important thing and that they must live within their means and budget for extra things.  We discussed needs versus wants and each girl listed some things that were each.

For the activity portion, I brought Tootsie Roll banks, markers, stickers, and paper to wrap the banks. Each girl got to decorate her own bank for a savings fund. We discussed how putting money into a bank earns interest.

At the end of the lesson, I gave each girl another chocolate bar. This second bar was the “interest” they earned for saving their first bar. I used a fun sized bar to illustrate that the amount of interest they earn is less than what they put in the bank.

Overall, the lesson was well received. As a leader, I am constantly worrying if the lesson is going to be fun and fulfilling for the girls. They really enjoyed this one.


Increase my emergency fund..

Believe it or not, many people do not have a savings plan in place. When I say savings here I am being a little general and referring to people in the US and including college, emergency, retirement, etc. Basically, any kind of savings. I was a little curious what that number might be like so I asked Google.. Apparently 1/3 of people do not have a savings! That is a lot of people y’all. I am ashamed to be in that fraction. Another startling statistic that I pulled from Google is that 75% of people are living paycheck to paycheck. I am in that percentage as well. *cue the pity party*

Increase Emergency Savings Fund by LifeAsAConvert

When I listed out my 30 before 30 goals I made sure that one of them was to increase my emergency savings fund. To some people this means having $1,000. To others it means having enough to live for 1-6 months if income were to be stopped. For me, it is a mixture of the two. I am aiming at the $1,000, but ultimately planning on having enough for 6 months starting 1 month at a time in addition to the $1,000. I am here to tell you that I have made no considerable addition to that non-existent savings of mine. Why? I was overwhelmed with where to start. Being a single mother, I do not have a lot of income. I spend a lot of it shuffling kids to and from therapy and doctor appointments, paying bills, fixing broken down vehicles, and sipping lattes. This leaves little left over. But, how much is leftover? Good question! I have spent the last month figuring this out.

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AR529 – A College Savings Plan

My time spent at P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm wasn’t all fun and games – though both fun and games occurred. Our mission was to learn more about AR529 and better prepare our children for college by preparing our college savings fund.

Before I tell you about this awesome plan let me begin by saying you do not have to live in Arkansas to take advantage of it (though it is preferred).

AR529 College Savings Plan

How many of you already have a college savings plan started for your children?

If you were looking at me right now, my hand would not be raised. My reasons fall right in line with others who have not started a college savings plan for their children yet:
– I always thought I had to begin with a large amount of money
– I have trouble finding the “extra” money
– I hope my children will get scholarships
– I always thought my children could take out loans
– My children are still young and we aren’t thinking about college much

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