January Low Spend and Decluttering Challenge: Update #3

 
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 #3:
 
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. Over the last week I spent $154.00. If you remember I had $154.97 left for the month. So now I only have $0.97 left!  OOOPS!!!! I will say this, I have a menu plan in place for the rest of the month. I only have to get milk this weekend and that should do it for food for the month. I went over as I stocked up on snacks for the kids and I had to buy a bunch of new spices for some recipes that I am making. I haven't bought spices in a long while so that added probably $15-20 to my total.
  • Spend no more than $150 on household items (diapers, wipes, toilet paper, Tide, dish detergent and trash bags) This past week I spent $29 on household stuff. I am still right on track though with $55 left for the month.
  • No Eating out FAIL--- Had McDonalds for dinner one night. I just did not feel like cooking and we took a van load of stuff to Goodwill. We were celebrating Rebecca's Awesome report card from school. Honestly I don't know why we keep eating out, because after the fact I feel bad and my stomach doesn't really care for it, etc. Maybe this will be a new goal for February....
  • The EXCEPTIONS:
    • 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.--Hubby ended up in the ER on Friday night with possible heart issue. He has to go for a stress test tomorrow. We do not have health insurance so this is going to be a HUGE expense coming up.
-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 take a whole van load of crap stuff to Goodwill this weekend. The back of the van was stuffed full. There were at least 9 trash bags and 3 boxes full of stuff. I also have a large gift bag full of toiletries and stuff to give to my sister and my mom.
So overall, I think it was a okay third 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. I have also learned some things about how I shop, etc. It has been a real eye opener for me, especially with the grocery and household shopping.
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CARLA'S MINI CHALLENGES: Week 3:
 
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: GIVE. Simple as that.
I was able to gift some items to someone in need and I doubled our weekly contribution at church.

Decluttering: Declutter a closet and snap before & after photos.
I chose to declutter my coat closet. (Truthfully we only have 4 closets in our house and this was the most messy). Here is my before and after.


I did take a coat and a bunch of shoes out of this closet. The coat went into a giveaway pile and the shoes were put back into our master closet.

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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?


Comments

  1. Nice job! I hope your Hubby is feeling better soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We heard back from hubby's doc a couple days ago, his heart is fine! Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  2. You're doing great so far! I definitely think that staying away from fast food is the way to go... I haven't eaten fast food in years and years... your body will thank-you for it, trust me! Hope hubby is ok!

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    Replies
    1. I am pretty sure as a family we are going to give fast food up for Lent so that should help.

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