Destroying My Bucket List (One Goal at a Time)

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After a fairly brief absence from the blog, I’m happy to report that I’m baaaaaaaaaaaack. It wasn’t that I don’t love you (I do), or that I don’t have time for this anymore, it’s just that I took a brief hiatus to catch up on stuff. Forgive me?

Anyway, I’m back in full force, party people. And you know what that means – I’m writing regular blog posts on Mondays and Wednesdays from now on. Isn’t that exciting? {Please, try to contain yourself.} Moving on….

Destroying My Bucket List – One Goal at a Time

Now that I’m living back in the real world and home from vacation, I’ve had some time to analyze our short-term and long-term goals. Fortunately, I’m happy to report that we’re absolutely killing it.

I reached this realization the other day when I found out I couldn’t go to an invite-only press tour in the Caribbean because the dates conflicted with our trip to Italy this fall. Now, that’s a first world problem if I have ever heard one.

Regardless, this unfortunate scheduling conflict made me realize something – that I’m basically living the dream life I have always wanted. I have a bangin’ career, I am location independent, I have an awesome marriage, I’m the mother of two amazing and healthy kids, and we are enjoying life and traveling with few cares or worries. I already know that, one day, I’ll look back and realize that these years were some of the best years of our lives. Our kids are still young, after all, and we’re still young. We have our health and our freedom, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Our Summer 2015 Bucket List

But, are we reaching our goals? Greg wrote about our 2015 summer bucket list earlier this year and I have to say that we killed it, although our goals were pretty easy to attain to begin with.

Goal #1: See the sun set on the west coast. Nailed it.

Earlier this month, we took a credit card rewards-fueled trip to Las Vegas and the West Coast. It was awesome.

Goal #2: Take our daughters fishing. Nailed it.

Friends of ours helped the kids fish in Canada this summer, then they fished again at their grandparent’s house in Minnesota.

Goal #3: Spend countless hours at the pool. Nailed it.

Oh yes, this happened. Even though we still have more than a month left before our neighborhood swimming pool closes, I’m happy to report that we’ve wasted countless hours there already.

Goal #4 Play in the World Series of Poker. Not quite.

Even though we didn’t play in the World Series of Poker this summer, we still had fun in Las Vegas. We ate a ton of free buffets thanks to myVEGAS rewards {Related: Use myVEGAS Slots to Earn Free Meals and Rooms}, saw lots of fun drunk people and weirdos, and managed to escape the city just a few hundred dollars poorer.

Our Goals for the Rest of 2015 and Beyond

Even though the year is most than half over, I still have plenty of plans in the works. In case you didn’t notice, my husband has been working on redesigning our website to make it more user-friendly. Further, a few business opportunities we have been considering are starting to make their way from the “idea phase” to reality. Here are some other goals I hope to hit in the next 9-12 months.

Income Goals

One of the most popular posts I have ever written is about how I forged a six-figure career in my pajamas. {You can read it here: How I Earn a Living On the Internet} Even though I was (and still am) thrilled with earning that amount, I have obviously been working to grow our income streams to greater heights. With Greg at home now, the sky is the limit. Through growing our traffic at our three websites, utilizing affiliate income, and boosting our profits in other areas of work, I hope to grow our online income to the point where it is ridonkadonk. We are consistently hitting $15,000 – $20,000 in monthly online income, and I want to see if we can take it further.

Travel Goals

For the remainder of the year, I have trips scheduled to Denver, Charlotte (for FinCon, obviously), Italy, and Marco Island. I am extremely excited about all of these trips, but even more excited about the fact that we may live abroad for a month next summer. We’re still trying to figure out the logistics, but we’re thinking about a month in the U.K. or perhaps in France. The main thing we need is wifi, but we also need to be close to public transportation or have the ability to rent a car. I’m still looking at places on AirBNB and trying to figure out how this could work, but it’s an exciting idea nonetheless.

Website Goals

Thanks to our efforts and enough time behind us, our website traffic has grown tremendously. I hope to grow it more over the next year, however, as I feel we are finally at a point where it could really take off. The fact that Greg left his job earlier this year to work at home with me has really helped since there are now two of us plugging away. If I have learned anything from blogging, it’s that consistency is key. I know that, with a comprehensive plan, we can accomplish anything if we continue to make the required sacrifices and put in the work.

Even though I’m motivated by our goals and always looking ahead, it’s important for me to remember how beautiful and precious today – and all of 2015 – has been. Still, the dreams we share today are vastly different than they were a year ago, and perhaps they will be even more different a year from now. It’s truly weird how the things we want in life can change so quickly. Years ago, I was happy to have 15 days of PTO and the weekend off, but now, I want so much more.

It’s hard to say where we’ll be a year from now, but I do know that I want to keep moving forward. With enough dedication and enough drive to succeed, I truly believe that anything is possible.

Did you achieve your bucket list goals this summer? What goals do you have for the rest of the year and 2016?

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59 Comments

  1. Congrats to you guys 🙂 It’s really very encouraging to see people being successful and happy at the same time. You definitely show people that life doesn’t have to be a rat race.

    My goals? As of Friday I will be self-employed. Or sorta unemployed. I’m taking the leap into freelancing (anyone wanna hire me?) and I am scared to death. So, one goal is to basically just be a freelancer. The other goal is to earn enough to cover the mortgage and bills for the house while it sits on the market (no small fete). A third goal is to make connections and get leads at FinCon. All while ignoring the pit that is forming in my stomach, of course 😉

  2. Congrats on all you’ve done with your accomplishments; especially with building up your income. I’ll be very interested to hear more about your blog growth strategies as time goes on.

  3. Congratulations you guys!!!! I love how much success you are having – it makes me so happy you are living your dream life and also so encouraging to me! Even though I just took a FT job (that I do like!!), I have bigger dreams 🙂

    Also, love what you said about how you never know where you’ll be a year from now. Gosh, I couldn’t imagine our life would be how it is today last year. Last year we were still living in AZ and had just sold our house. We moved here with some specific goals and have blown them out of the water. My husband and I always say how vastly things change from year to year, yet the day to day doesn’t really change that much LOL

    Happy you’re back and happy you had a great vaca!!! 🙂

  4. It’s really inspiring to see you living the dream. I don’t know that we are quite there yet but we’re getting closer all the time. I am 99% sure that I’m declining what would have been my ideal job a few years ago, mainly because I won’t go back to a 40 hr work week with no chance of ever taking a month off. Once you’ve tasted freedom, it’s hard to go back!

  5. Congrats! Sounds like you’ve had / are having an awesome summer.

    I achieved my goal (or at least am well on the way to achieving the goal) of renovating my house to habitable condition this summer so we can move in this month. Long range, my fulfillment-type bucket list goals will likely be able to resume this fall, starting with some writing and other creative work.

  6. Man; I just love hearing your story. I could listen to you all day. 🙂 Truth be told, checking club thrifty has been part of my morning routine for a very long time. I’m glad your back to regular blogging!

  7. You guys are killing it! Sounds like a great summer so far. We had a goal of taking two trip/vacation this year and even with my job loss we managed to pull them off.

  8. This is a good reminder that it’s not always about setting goals – you have to check in and reflect, too. Without doing this, it’s hard to improve and move forward. Congrats on your progress! I have been “nailing” my 2015 goals, too (although with a few hiccups along the way). It feels good!

  9. Glad you’re back from vacation and hope you had a superb time! Way to go on the income :-). Yeah..a great first world problem to have isn’t it??? Looking from this side, it sounds great for you to spend a month away next summer..France though? Unless you’re in or very very close to the big cities, you may be screwed without speaking French. Italy is coming up pretty soon, I am so excited for you guys!

    1. We are thinking of doing a few weeks in a few different places – like a few separate AirBNB stays in the same region. The UK is our top choice, but we might add time on somewhere else! It’s hard to decide, especially when you start looking at AirBNBs and realize there are a zillion of them!

  10. Wow it would be so awesome to live abroad for the summer! I can’t wait to hear about it as your plans for that take shape! We’ve just returned from what will probably be our last trip of the summer, but it’s been a really great one! Like you, I try to be grateful for what we have and savor the moments, because I know the years will fly by.

    1. Yes, definitely. The years are already flying by. I’m so glad I’m home to enjoy them.

  11. I had to laugh at the part about being happy with 15 days of PTO! I remember those days well! Now that I work for myself, it is great to just take a day off when the weather is amazing. Yes there is still work to do, but I am happy to do it later or earlier so that I can enjoy each day as it comes.

    1. Yes, PTO. It hated it because it was not only our vacation days, but our sick days too. Oh, and it was also our kid’s sick days since one of us had to stay home if someone was sick. It sucked.

  12. Laguna Beach is our favorite beach on the west coast. We’ll be there this week actually. It’s amazing to see people like you living your dream, it’s very inspirational!

  13. Great to hear from you, Holly! Also, glad to hear you are making good on your bucket list!

  14. Awesome to hear that you’re living the life! There are times that people don’t appreciate the amazing things going on in their own lives. And living abroad sounds like a wonderful experience. That’s definitely one of the big perks of being location independent.

  15. A lot of my dreams right now revolve around running…..seems kind of strange for a bucket list. I’d love to run the Chicago Marathon, and someday Boston. I’ve got my first half-marathon coming up in less than two months, and a 10 mile in October. I’ve got time goals pegged, hope to hit them all. On the family front, we’re looking forward to taking the family to Florida for an already booked vacation next March. keep on living the dream!

  16. Sounds like you’re doing great at killing your goals/bucket list for this summer 🙂 Love that picture of you in Laguna Beach, I would LOVE to go there someday. We have a road trip planned for over Labor Day weekend and the week after that I’m really looking forward to!

  17. Ooooh living abroad for a month sounds like a great experience! I really hope that you guys get to do that! I’ve done that for short stints a few times now and it’s amazing.

  18. I feel super pumped up after reading this. How awesome it is to be hitting your goals and loving life! None of my goals are fantastic for 2015 — they’re all kind of boring, really. 🙂 But I know that I want 2016 and beyond to be a lot of fun, and full of adventure.

  19. Congrats on achieving most of your goals already. WSP would be really cool to be in. I wish I can make it to FiCon but will be away in Japan that week. Italy trip sounds fun, where about in Italy are you going?

  20. Congrats to you and Greg for building the life you want for you and your family! I know you both worked so hard to make it happen. Right now we’re just trying to complete a remodel on our new home and get situated there. Honestly, if we can get that accomplished – I’ll be very happy! 🙂

  21. Sounds like you guys have had a big summer! I love it! I definitely crossed off a bucket list this summer by launching my new company, The Financial Gym. It has been a labor of love for years now, so I am glad to see if off and running. Now I need to add more goals to my bucket list. 🙂

  22. A month abroad is such a fun goal! I am hopeful that we can take a month or more off in between when my husband graduates and when he starts a full time position. I’d like to do a tour of the Western United States, and later on a month or more in New Zealand would be fun.

  23. That’s amazing with the income, congrats on all the hard work paying off, literally.

    Excited to read about the 1 month living abroad, I could see it working out, just have to plan more than usual with housing, internet, etc.

    Let me know when you need someone added to the Club Thrifty team;)

  24. Awesome bucket list and so so so awesome that you got to check off so many things! I just recently started a fall bucket list and I can’t wait to check off some of those suckers (especially the travel ones).

    I can’t wait to hear more about your travel plans for next summer, so fun!

  25. Congratulations on your online success and achieving most of this summer’s bucket list goals. Sharing your results with you readers helps us enjoy the success with you!

    A month in the UK or France next year sounds great! 🙂 We hope to do a couple month RV road trip beginning in November 2016. That will truly leverage our location independent lifestyle.

    See you at FinCon!

  26. Congrats on destroying your bucket list goals. My goal for the rest of the year is to increase traffic and continue to make side hustle money so that I can eliminate my date.

  27. Your monthly online income is truly ridonkadonk! Definitely something to aspire to. Great work on your goals and best of luck as you continue forward with 2015!

  28. If you’re living away from your main residence temporarily for business purposes, the tax benefits are AWESOME. So if one of your websites or a conference or etc. is connected with the living abroadness, you’ll get a pretty big break on all your expenses given your current marginal tax bracket.

    1. That is a great tip! I will have to think about whether that makes sense for what we’re doing. It might! Seriously, thank you!

      1. It’s why I’m making sure to spend slightly less than a year in Paradise before moving back home.

        1. I really need to figure out which section of tax credits we’re talking about! I googled it briefly and immediately became overwhelmed trying to read through IRS.gov rules and guidelines. =/ If you have any links, please share! =) We have an appointment with an accountant later this month to talk about our tax situation, so I can ask then too.

  29. I lived in France for 2 months this summer. We rented out our home, found a place in Paris on AirBnB and spent the summer working remotely and travelling. It was awesome. I would highly recommend and would be happy to answer any questions you have about our experience!

  30. I’m glad to hear how you’re reaching all your goals. Living abroad for a month sounds super fun and it’s actually something I thought about doing with my family in the future since I haven’t gotten to travel much. I still have a few more items on my summer bucket list and I’m afraid I won’t get to them all but I’ll try. Oh and I’m hoping our paths cross at FinCon, I can’t wait to meet you! 🙂

  31. It was great to meet you guys in Vegas! Also great to hear how well your online income is doing. This is such an important point: “If I have learned anything from blogging, it’s that consistency is key.” Over the past year I think I can definitely say I’ve put my website on “coast” as I’ve had other things I’ve prioritized. With that being said, I’ve continued to consistently post. I had some really great opportunities come up for this Fall and I’ll make more in the last six months than I will the past couple years. It definitely paid to stay consistent even when I had little time to dedicate to the site.

  32. Awesome! Sounds like the summer and website are doing great. I have some more pleasure travel this summer in Aug/Sep. But once the middle of September roles around, my free time should open up for me to really buckle down and set some goals for myself for what is next.

  33. “Ridakadonk” being the technical term, of course.

    I actually didn’t think to set any summer goals, other than saving like the dickens. That’s met with mixed results thanks to some big bills, but we’re doing the best we can.

    I have a new goal of exercising. I always try to get in slightly better shape for FinCon. We have about 5 weeks left, so we’ll see how that goes. And I should probably prepare for the panel I’m doing, though I’m not entirely sure how much prep I can do.

    I *do* have the goal of eating a big-ass piece of cake for my birthday in a couple of weeks. Does that count? It should.

  34. Thanks for sharing your goals and the update on reaching them this summer! I just stumbled across your blog and love the positiveness and inspiration! I’ve been freelancing as a graphic designer for a year and just started my own blog about a week or so ago. My husband started a new job yesterday that allows him to work from home (or where-ever!) and our long term goals look so similar to where you are now! I’m sure you get this all the time, but if you have a few spare minutes I would love any feedback on my site. And if not, I totally understand 🙂 Glad to have found another blog to be inspired by!

    1. No, I can definitely take a look. Will you email me? It’s holly at club thrifty dot com.

  35. Congrats to your whole family! Makes me so happy to see all of your success! Excited for fincon, too… We’ll have to meet up!

  36. Yes – consistency is super important, but it can be difficult to prioritize your own blog over paying client work when your own blog isn’t earning much yet… Sigh! I’ll get there eventually.

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