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....
    • 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.
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.

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

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

  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!

    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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