- A toiletry challenge! I consider toiletries any of the following: makeup, anything dental related, any product you'd use in the shower and/or to clean your face. I currently have $75 of Rite Aid plenti points, and I'm hoping to make these last for at least six months. Even better if I can make them last for all of 2017 by "rolling" the points. This may be tricky, as rolling your points means generating new points off of purchases made with points. It would take just the right combination of point offers & needs for this to work well. I'll be doing an inventory of our toiletries in the next few weeks, so I can see where we stand & determine what I need to look out for on sale. I've already raided my gym makeup bag when I ran out of eyeliner, because it's the rare day that I work out in the morning before I've showered at home. Using up what I have in various bags (travel, gym) may be my first way to reduce spending. - I used up my $75 Rite Aid rewards, and have then go on to spend $178 of my $300 budget for the year. That's huge for me! I've definitely cut WAY back on my toiletries spending (spend $335 in 2016, as a comparison.) I'm feeling good about this progress, and rarely stock up anymore. Instead, we've been working through our stockpile of things we already have.
- Tracking all of our clothing purchases. I did this with our groceries in 2016 & it was both fun (sometimes tedious), but also really helpful when it came to understanding patterns, areas to stock up on, and where to cut back. We have a reduced clothing budget this year, so I'm hoping this helps. - Our clothing & shoe budget for all of us for the year is $1600, and we're at $1648 for the year. So, pretty close to our budget. As context, we spent $1965 in 2016. And, for this year, $384 went to the boys soccer uniform + ski clothes, & $130 went to running shoes for me. Overall, I'm pleased with how we did, and think we can cut our budget slightly further in 2018.
- Every month, look for one permanent way to cut costs. It's totally fine (and, likely) that these will be small cuts that will add up over time. This may be finding a ziplock alternative for one of our common usages (school lunches), reducing our water needs by building rain storage, etc. - I've done okay with this. I bought ziplock alternatives, we bought solar outdoor lights, we've cut our paper towel usage quite a bit. But, I wasn't as consistent as I would like. I think this was a fun goal, & one i want to repeat.
- Come up with two date night suggestions that don't involve an expensive meal out. - M & I are planning to do two date nights that don't involve an expensive meal out. 1) we're going to have a spa day with a gift card I received as a gift. 2) We're going to go to a sporting event together. We've also done a good job of ensuring we bring wine for our dinners out (a couple of our local favorite places have no corkage fee), which has helped reduce costs even when we do go out.
- Maximize my travel hacking. I'm not sure what 2017 will involve for work travel, but there are lots of opportunities to use points & credits for their best value & by keeping track of all of our rewards, it helps to ensure I'm using them well. - I'm super excited about this, as I just posted more details in this post. So far this year, I've earned $603 in flight credits for price matching, a $150 customer care voucher, $730 in gift cards (redeemed from points/miles from work trips) & earned 269K in miles on our preferred airline. I'm going to set another goal in 2018, because I really liked this one & feel like the goal helped me best utilize all of my points.
- Make $100 selling things on Facebook. - Crushed this! I've made $2264 selling items on my local Facebook swap + eBay. Woohoo! Super happy about this.
All in all, I'm really happy with my progress on my "mini goals", and will definitely be repeating this exercise in 2018. What about you? did you have any mini goals for the year? How did they go?