January Low Spend and Decluttering Challenge: Update #2

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 #2:
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. This weekend I shopped for 2 weeks, as I am trying a new system of grocery shopping.  I spent $106.95. As of Monday night, I have spent  a total of $165.03 on groceries for the month...so right on track if I just get milk, bread and fresh stuff this weekend ($154.97 left). I am definitely doing better on this than I thought.
  • Spend no more than $150 on household items (diapers, wipes, toilet paper, Tide, dish detergent and trash bags) As of Monday night, I spent 35.17 and $13.54 this past week in 2 trips for different things (diapers, Tide, deodorant, kids soap)....I am still right on track though with $84.26 left for the month.
  • No Eating out FAIL--- Had Subway for lunch one day (used a gift card that I received for Christmas) and had Papa John's pizza one day for lunch (this was for a mystery shop and I will be reimbursed for it.
    • 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)--We bought new phones and got new plans! It will save us over $60 a  month on our cell phone bills! I am so happy about this !!!!
    • 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.---I was able to give 2 large trash bags, a box and a smaller bag full of clothes to my brother for his children. Was not able to make much progress in here this weekend as Benjamin was sick all day Saturday and Sunday we spent with my family and then just relaxing (napping) at home.
So overall, I think it was a good second 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:
Finance: Can you bring some extra money into your household this week somehow? Here are a few ideas:

  • Pick up extra hours at work
  • Sell items around the house you no longer need or use
  • Offer a service or talent
  • Come in "under" budget and add that to your weekly savings
I did a mystery shop this past week that involved us have a free lunch and getting paid a little extra on top of that. Also I picked up 2 extra hours at work listening to in-service cds at home, while browsing online. Also I have gotten hubby's permission to list unused baby items (bassinet, bathtub, glider chair, swing, bouncer, etc.) on Craigslist. I am hoping to take pics and get them listed before the end of the month.

Decluttering: Junk Drawer. We all have one, don't pretend you don't, cause I won't believe you. ;) lol! Declutter your junk drawer and post before & after photos!!

DONE!!!DONE!!! and DONE!!!! I got this accomplished and posted about it here.....

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 wonderfully, Rachel!! :) I wouldn't call your "no eating out" a Fail however... gift card and reimbursement? Give yourself a break sweetie, and mark that as a PASS! lol!!

  2. The food budget for our family is $367, a family of 2. To me which seem enough to feed a family of two on.
    My month de-cluttering goal is pretty small but at times those small cluttering area, needs to be taken care of.
    Keep up the good work...I didn't hit the mini weekly challenge....Mine is up and the coffee is on.

  3. Okay you only have one junk drawer? I think every drawer I have is full of junk....


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