January No-Low Spend Challenge 2014: END RESULTS

As you may recall, I am following along with Precious over at Frugal Makes Cents Two in her Money Saving Challenge for this year.  For the month of January I will be following along with Carla on her “Low-No Spend January Challenge.” I think this goes along perfectly with our family decision to go to all cash for expenses.
It is now January 31, 2014....time to do a final check in and see how I have been doing on my challenges....

For January, then my goals for the No/LOW spend challenge are as follows and this is how I did for the month:
  1. $100 a week for both groceries, household and health and beauty products. Our freezer is pretty full, thanks to the ¼ hog we got for Christmas. I think this is totally doable. Our spending on groceries and household stuff skyrocketed in November and December with extra spending and impulse buying…time to reign it in. Whatever is left each week will be divided into ½ in savings and ½ to debt repayment. Well, this week we went over again. I have come to figure out that we are going to have to up our grocery budget in February. Probably closer to $120 a week for just food. I think we can keep our household expenses to under $80 a month. 
  2. No eating out. We are putting this as a family goal. We have already warned the kids that we will not be getting fast food in January. We will not turn down eating out if someone is treating our family, such as my in-laws taking the whole family out, but we will NOT be spending money on eating out.)  We ate out 1 time in January--dinner at Bob Evans. We DID NOT HAVE ANY FAST FOOD! That is huge for our family. We will re-introduce eating out into our budget, but we will eat out 1 time a week. So I will call this one a win! 
  3. I would like to have 15 no spend days. I found a resource that I will use to track our spending and hopefully help me get a better grip on where our money is going. I knocked this one out of the park. We had 21 no-spend days! :) :) HAPPY DANCE TIME!!!
  4. I am going to try to do the 52 week money challenge. I am still trying to decide which version I would like to do. I will update when I decide. I have decided NOT to do this.
So the challenge may have looked like it was a failure, in reality I learned a lot about where our money was going and what in reality our costs are. It was an eye opener to me. And to me that was a good thing. I am glad that I took part and now have a better picture of where our money goes. I will still be working on getting our grocery budget down and not going hog wild eating out. 

I have decided to keep tracking our expenses through February and will be back tomorrow with FEBRUARY CHALLENGE! 
How was your January? 


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