You can find my initial post about the January Challenge here. And, thanks to Carla for hosting the January Challenge.
I found the first week of the challenge to be very enlightening! I honestly didn't think it would be terribly difficult - after all, it was just sticking to my budget. ;-) I thought that would be cake in the first week of January.
For the financial challenge, my goal is to keep our weekly variable spending to $360/week. This does not include standard bills like the mortgage, child care, etc.
And, here's how we did:
- Groceries - $94.39
- Dining out - $33.10
- Gifts (returned a Christmas gift, & exchanged it for the correct item) - +$3.88 (slight price difference between the two, so I received a credit).
- Postage - $9.68
- Gas - $136.51
- Dry cleaning - $35.73
- House - $54.76
For a grand total of $360.29!!! We were over by $.29, so . . . close enough. I actually expected to be well under our weekly budget, but a few things caught me off guard. M's cousin paid us a visit (which was a fabulous treat), but I wasn't planning on having guests when I devised these numbers. M took him to lunch as a thank you for some electrical work he did around the house (he's an electrician), so that was unexpected money spent in dining out. We also bought the supplies for the electrical project (again, unexpected), & I sold a book on Amazon & had to pay for postage. $9.68!! What was I thinking when I listed it? I'm barely going to make the money back on the sale when it comes in. C'est la vie.
Also, the gas tanks in all three cars must have been practically dry at the beginning of the month, because we filled up all three this week, which is very unusual.
Next week will bring new challenges, because I just received our car licensing bill for $234. .. . Almost our entire weekly budget! I'll have to be very creative to hit our numbers, but I don't think we need too many groceries, we certainly shouldn't need any gas, & I'm not expecting any guests or other unusual spending to come into play.
For the decluttering challenge, my goal is to get rid of (either sell, toss, or donate) 20 items per week in January. Bonus goal would be to clean my closet & dresser!
And, here's how I did with the decluttering challenge during week 1 . . . I got rid of 14 items of clothing that the kids outgrew, & cleaned my jewelry armoire. I donated at least 35 items of jewelry that have been sitting there for years. I also got rid of all of the old receipts, paper work, & just junk that accumulated. I also decluttered my nightstand and one of my dressers!
As a bonus, I went through my closet & found about 30 potential items to list on Ebay. I've used Ebay very sparingly in the past (to get sell higher end items), but I'm willing to try a few things out & see how they do.
I'm very, very pleased with my decluttering challenge progress, & aim to continue decluttering my closet this week.
I would insert a picture of some of this, but Blogger still won't let some of us add new pictures to posts (you can, however, add pictures that are already posted on your blog in older entries.) I promise to add pictures once I can.
How are you doing on your January challenges?