January Low Spend and Decluttering Challenge: Update #1

January is the month where I feel like I get a start over in redoing our finances and also a redo of our house, when I get rid of excess and feel the urge to declutter. So I was so excited to see that the lovely Carla over at My 1/2 Dozen Daily was hosting a January Decluttering and No/Low Spend Challenge. I have decided to join in!
Here is update #1:
My MAIN goals for this January challenge:

- Financial goals:
  • Spend no more than $320 on food for the month. (This averages out to $80 a week). I need to get our grocery budget down as this past 2 months we have been averaging $130 a week for our family due to illnesses and holidays. As of Saturday night, I have spent $58.08 on groceries for the week...so right on track ($261.92 left)
  • Spend no more than $150 on household items (diapers, wipes, toilet paper, Tide, dish detergent and trash bags) As of Saturday night, I have spent $17.03 on diapers. This number will go up tomorrow as I have to go out and get wipes, toilet paper, Tide and deodorant. But still on track. (132.97 left)
  • No Eating out FAIL--- Today after I went to the grocery store I went to Papa Johns and got a large pizza and breadsticks for the family for lunch. I had won a free Large Pizza so no cost there, but I paid for the breadsticks out of pocket. ($5) I did also get a free 2-Liter of Pepsi because they didn't make my breadsticks before I got there. So FAIL. I will also do a Papa John's mystery shop next week, but that will be reimbursed.
    • Hubby and I are looking into buying new cell phones (ours are over 3 years old) and getting a cheaper plan (if we buy pre-paid we could potentially save $30 a month over our current bill)--Haven't looked into this yet.
    • We have to get a title and tags for our new to us van that we were gifted--Did this this morning. It cost us less than I thought and we paid cash we had on hand to get it done!
    • This does not affect our utilities, rent, gas for our vehicles, etc.--Ongoing
    • As always family emergencies, medical, dental, etc. are not counted against this as well.--Nothing this week, so hopefully this trend continues.
-Decluttering goals:
  • I have one decluttering goal for this month---the huge closet (it is the size of a half room) off the bathroom that has become a dumping ground for stuff and storage. It is horrible! Would like to donate/sell at least half of the stuff in there.---Am hoping to work on this on Sunday afternoon. I did repurpose a shelf in there to a downstairs closet to help organize videos.
So overall, I think it was  good first week on this challenge. I hope this trend continues. I need to get to work on that closet/room this week though or it might not get done in time.
Each week, Carla will give mini challenges to hopefully be completed alongside your main goals. Here are this week's challenges and how I did:
Financial Goal Week One: Instead of buying something you need this week, find a way to "make do". Do you grab a coffee each day on the way to work? can you brew at home & use a travel mug? Run out of an ingredient for a recipe? Can you find a substitution? There are many ways to "make do" each & every day... track how much you would have spent.

I decided this week instead of adding soaps and shampoos to our grocery list to use up what we have in the closet. I know I have several full bottles of shampoo in there and soap that are not my favorites but are perfectly good to use. This saved me about $10 at the store for this week.

I also used a different cheese than the one called for in a recipe since that is what I had on hand. :)

Decluttering Goal Week One: What "thing" clutters up your home the most? Is it clothes? Toys? Books/magazines? Kitchen Stuff? Knick-Knacks? Find a way to get rid of some of these items! Be sure to snap a pic of your declutter!

I finished up decluttering the toys in the kids' rooms. It seems just overall STUFF clutters up our home, so I am looking to get rid of stuff. I donated 4 LARGE trash bags and 1 box full of toys and stuff!

So there you have it....I think I have done pretty well on the challenges so far. If you are participating in Carla's challenge or you are trying to work on your own financial/ decluttering goals, how are you doing?


  1. You're doing sooo well!!! Hey, 2 days into the challenge I blew $40 on delivery! lol! So don't kick yourself over it too long! ;)

  2. You are doing great on your goals!! And $5 for eating out is pretty good :)


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