Most resolutions are failures. More and more are rebelling and going to something simpler, something cleaner — a single “focus word” for the year.

CONNECT, BOOKS, BALANCE, and others are all common picks. In our house we’ve been focusing hard in the last few years on simplifying our life and minimizing our expenses.

This year we’re ready to go a step further. This is the first year we’re going with a single word resolution and the choice for us was clear.

This is the year of THRIFTY.

Thrifty for home

The first place we’re applying this is at home. Jaime (my wife) and I worked together to define what being thrifty this year meant to us. We’ve done a lot over the years to cut back, refocus our finances, and simplify our life.

This year we wanted to reach bigger. We’ve followed stories about people who bought nothing new for a whole year.

We’ve been inspired by people who survive (no, thrive) living on only $25,000 a year.

What we settled on is something that pushes us further than we’ve been — we’ll continue our journey toward financial independence and challenge ourselves in ways outside our comfort zone.

Whenever we’re contemplating a purchase in 2015, we’ll run ourselves through the following list of questions:

  1. Is it really necessary? Do we actually need it?
  2. If yes, can it wait?
  3. If no, are there viable pre-owned/used options available?
  4. If no, where can we get it at the best price?

By putting ourselves through these, we hope that this will result in us buying nothing new this year with a limited number of exceptions. When I need new underwear, I’m anticipating that a used pair is going to be seen as a “non-viable” option.

On the flip side, getting jeans from Goodwill is a certainty — I already did this for my last pair in 2015 and it worked great. Spending $8 vs $40 is a big difference. After all, a millionaire is made ten bucks at a time and I saved over 3 times that.

Beyond this, we’ve set our standard goals — such as how much we want to increase our emergency savings by, particular savings goals in other areas, investments in our house we want to make, etc.

The other Thrifty

The other reason that Thrifty is our word for the year is because Thrifty is the name of the application I’ve been working on in the background over the last 8 or so months. I’ve now filed for an LLC in Wisconsin (WhysWorks LLC) and am launching Thrifty today.

I’ve been wanting to start my own business for as long as I can remember but always struggled with finding the “right idea”.

I’ve had a ton of fun working on Thrifty; I’ve had a blast learning a lot more about coding, user experience, and design and have even taken some of the lessons back to my day job.

My 2016 goal for Thrifty is to be net even financially by the end of the year — if I can get enough revenue to cover the costs of the LLC filing, the web hosting, and any other costs I’ve got through the year, then I’ll be a happy camper.

At that point, I’ll feel good that I’ll have helped at least a few other people in their pursuit of financial freedom and that we’re no worse off in our own journey.

Thrifty’s now up and running at While it’s running already, there’s a lot more in store.

I’ve got a huge list of features that I’m planning on adding as well as blog posts I hope to write throughout the year.

What’s your word?

I’m really excited for 2016, especially for our family’s Thrifty journey. I hope you and yours have your own things to be equally excited about. Please share them!