Wow, January is over, TOMORROW! We made it through the month and had a fairly hefty goal: to pay for our car repair. Our transmission went in the van…the repair bill? $3300.00. I am very proud to say that we have $1800.00 so far. By participating in Carla’s No/Low Spend January, we were able to glean $1000.00 from overtime, cutting back on groceries, extra work hours and putting any extra money away. We had received $800.00 from Christmas money that we have also put towards the repair. We now have $1500.00 left to pay.
Being so pleased with how well we did, we are going to participate in:
Carla has a Double Challenge Month and since we did so well, we are going to participate in BOTH her Declutter Challenge and her Low Spend Challenge. Here’s how both are going to shape up:
Here’s how the Low (no) Spend Challenge will work:
1. Choose a financial goal for the month!
Our financial goal this month will be to save that last $1500.00 for the repair to the van!
2. How will you achieve your goal this month?
I know, it’s a lofty goal considering we were only able to save $1000.00 (not including the $800 gift) this last month. We do have a few more bits of cash coming in February. We are getting a $400.00 reimbursement for some of Andrew’s expenses that doesn’t have to be alloted anywhere. We are also getting an OSTC cheque for around $125.00. Shane has lots of overtime coming. I am confident we can do this (or get pretty darn close!). There will be no eating out. I have plenty of yarn to keep me going on various projects, so I am hoping to cut out hobby shopping. No coffee or lunches at work. We’ll be frugal with our meals. All the things we did in January, we’ll continue into February.
3. How will you allot your spending this month?
We have $400.00 of variable spending per week and we work on a cash only basis. We don’t use the debit cards and certainly credit is out!
4. Track your purchases!
I will be tracking all our purchases on a separate page like I did for January
5. Are there any “exemptions” for the month?
We have several birthdays this month. Andrew turns 8 on February 4th. We have his gifts ready save one: taking him to see Star Wars Episode 1 in 3-D. It comes out February 10th, but I am thinking we’re going to postpone seeing it until March…not because of the challenge, but because I would rather go after it’s been out a few weeks. We *might* go in February, so that is an exemption. Meri turns 3 on February 17th, and we’re not prepared yet, another exemption. We also have a girl’s night out with our friends that was supposed to happen last Saturday (the 28th) but Mother Nature put a kink in our plans. We are going for coffee and dessert, and we have 2 more gifts to look after for that (we’re celebrating 4 birthdays that night).
Carla has set out 4 weeks worth of decluttering. Here are ours
Week One: Personal Space Challenge
- We have picked the Master bedroom as the personal space we’re going to declutter. I work there when I work at home and the area is a bit of a disaster, so Amy decided that we’d do the whole room. It’s not big enough for the “dreaded” challenge.
Week Two: Family Space Challenge
- We have an entertainment area in our family room that totally needs work. There are games that need donating, movies that need organizing, etc, etc.
Week Three: Productivity Challenge
- I am still not sure how this one is going to pan out quite yet. I know that I want to be more organized in the morning, so I am going to set up the coffee machine in the evening before I go to bed, and make my lunch if need be. I also want to bake school snacks on the weekends. Enough that we don’t have to buy too many packaged snacks to send. Not sure what Amy wants to do, but I will get back to you
Week Four: The “Dreaded” Challenge
- The walk-in closet in the Master Bedroom!! Oh dear this is a mess! It’s a catch all for everything that we own, clothes, gift bags, hidden birthday presents. I am sure there are clothes that we can get rid of too!
There are going to be bonus challenges that Carla’s going to set up and we’ll try to work those into the mix. We will also donate 29 items and I will keep a running tally on a separate page. We’ll post before and after pics of all decluttering projects.
Can’t wait to get started! February, here we come!!