>> Tuesday, January 7, 2014
On January 1st I started the January No Spend/Low Spend Challenge that my friend Carla was doing over on her blog. I wanted to do an update on how my first week went......
Weekly Check In - 1/1 through 1/7:
No impulse spending unless I can use my gift cards -- no books, no clothes, no toys, no craft supplies: I did pretty good until I saw that my church was having a concert in March featuring Sanctus Real and Francesca Battistelli. Definitely not a planned expense of $84, but something I really wanted to do. I also downloaded 4 new songs for my workout playlist at $1.30/each. I'll just have to be super cautious the rest of this month.
Track spending and bills to help me start planning a budget.
While doing this, I truly realized how "in the dark" I was about our bills and budget. Most of our bills are on "auto pay" so I really had no idea of what was going out. As I'd get an email notification for an upcoming bill, I'd actually open the email, check the balance, write the due date in my main calendar/planner so that I can also coordinate with pay periods. It's slow going and I have a feeling it's going to take me a few months to get everything figured out and a skeleton budget in place.....but I'm working on it.
No fast food or eating out.
Did really well here. We've been eating here at home....using up what's here in stock. Plus the fact that My Marine and I are back on our "healthy kick" should help out too.
Meal plan - using what's here and buying only necessary food items.
Been doing really well with this. Had to spend $40 on groceries yesterday -- necessary staples like bread, cereal, produce. I did toss a bag of wings into the cart -- not on this list -- so I guess that falls under the impulse spending category too.
Research making my own cleaning products (cost effectiveness, etc.)
I've already made up a batch of homemade dishwasher detergent and dishwasher rinse. I'm looking into making homemade Clorox wipes here soon as well.
Declutter and sort through items which can be sold on FB garage sale sites. Set a goal of trying to earn $50 cash.
I've got a pile of stuff to list for sale and am already at $33 out of my $50 goal for the month.
Take items to consignment for credit for future use.
I have a pile ready to go. I just need to find the time to squeeze in a run to the stores.
Start rebuilding savings accounts for the girls and our emergency fund.
I'll be able to do this on our next payday.