Monday, January 21, 2013

January Challenges - week 3!

Week 3 is now complete, & thanks to Carla for hosting the fabulous January challenge!

Here were the goals for the challenge:
Decluttering Challenge: Choose a closet, any closet, and clean it out!! Pick 2 closets if you're feeling really energetic & determined!! Take before & after photos so you can awe & inspire everyone else participating in my challenges as well! ;) lol!
Financial Challenge: Give. Find a way in your budget to "give" financially somehow... It doesn't have to be grand, you don't have to go hungry. I just want you to go that 'extra mile' for someone else. Buy a coffee for the person in line behind you at the coffee shop, hand a $5.00 bill to a homeless person on the way to work, throw a little extra into the collection plate at church, toss your change into the charity box in front of the register at the grocery store, etc... simply give
My additional goals from the beginning of the challenge were to declutter/get rid of 20 items/week, & stick to $360 of weekly spending money (all variable expenses, no mortgage, fixed bills included).
Let's start with the financial end of the challenge. Here's how we did:
  • Groceries - $103.19 - we continue to spend more than I'd like on groceries. That's pretty much all I'll say here. I'm still looking for ways to make more bread products at home to save on things like: bagels, tortillas, sandwich bread, etc, but it's the produce that kills us. And, for M, that's a non-negotiable.
  • Dining out - $15.63 - this was $8 for our lunch date (I had a gift card for the rest + a snack while skiing yesterday).
  • Health - $74.77 - signed up for my next race (a half marathon in March).
  • Misc - $134.98 - $80 for the boys karate uniforms (by far the biggest unplanned expense this week), + dry cleaning (a 2013 category I completely forgot to include. Oh boy!) + items for S's seventh birthday that's coming right up.
  • Gas - $27.79
  • Personal - $77 - N desperately needed a hair cut (I suppose I should learn to do this myself?), and after repeated requests from the husband, I got a pedicure. My feet get very gnarly when I run & I caved. I shouldn't have, because it was an unplanned expense. It did make me feel pretty fabulous, & now all of my toes are covered (you can't see the blue bruises & swelling under the polish), but it was totally unnecessary.
  • Car - $9.71 - car wash after skiing.
  • House - $17.50 - some new light bulbs & various other items that I can't remember
Total spend = $460.57. . . $100.57 over my goal. $80 for the unplanned karate uniforms, & $30 for the pedicure. Otherwise, I would have been right on target. I haven't had my hair cut in a year, but pedicures are my weakness. Maybe it's time to learn how to do them myself?
The good news about the karate expense, is that I thought the fee for classes was monthly, but it's actually 8 weeks, so we won't have any lesson fee in February, & the $80 can offset that savings.
On the other side, I've increased my charitable giving this month by 10%, and I also have a secret (financial) surprise in store for someone in my family this month, post-holidays that will be around $150. So, I'm counting this as a win! :-)
On the decluttering side, I failed to clean my closet, but I did comb through both boys dressers & closets (clothes only - the toys remain) & pulled out anything that didn't fit. That was a project unto itself. Next up is going through the toys. Both boys are moving up sizes, so I need to transition S's clothes to N's closet, move new shirts into S's closet, & donate anything left that doesn't fit N. The advantage of having two boys a year apart. Hand me downs! :-)
How are you doing with your January challenges? My goals for this week? To stick to my financial spending plan, get my closet back in shape (still stashed with tons of Ebay stuff, but the clutter is making me nuts), & finish the kids closets.


  1. Regarding the pedicure, maybe their is a school around that does them for reduced fees? Often you still can get great services (haircuts too)

  2. Nice to know there is someone else, who forgets whole categories in the budget :)

    $30- for a pedi isn't bad. As for DIY, it just isn't the same. I can scrub and paint, but it lacks the whole massage chair, feet in the soak and leg rub that I particularly enjoy. You are a runner, you should treat yourself. My experience with beauty schools has been a completely slow and disappointing experience.

  3. Sometimes its best just to let it go when we go over the monthly/weekly budget. Now please remind me of this when I go over!:)

  4. Bummer about going over.. I've been there! ;) lol! As for the pedicure, with you being a runner, that's hard on your feet! Why not try to work $30 into your budget once a month? Or even every other month... It's not that much when you split it up by 4-6 weeks... It'll be a nice treat for tired & achy feet!!