Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January Challenge #4...Where we stand after this month.

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Well, it's time to update one last time on this month's challenge. Thank you Carla for challenging us yet again this month :) If you are not one of her followers, go check out her blog HERE and be sure to enter her latest giveaway (following this link). She's so talented, I just love her sewing creations :)

And now back to the challenge. Because we only have two days left in January, I thought I would just wrap up the whole month to get a picture of where we stand.

DECLUTTERING. 

My goal this month was to organize all of my coupons and also all kinds of paperwork that was piling up here. We are all done with it, and I'm so relieved to have everything in order and to be ready for the upcoming tax season. We finally started getting some papers in the mail, so hopefully, we can be done with taxes in the next couple of weeks.

FINACIAL. 

You know that this month we lowered our budget significantly and decided to challenge ourselves to live on only $15 a day until we knew how much our paychecks decreased. Well, we failed :( We ended up spending about $18 extra (I'm not going to shop in the next two days). But it's OK! To be honest, it's not a budget we can stick to. It was merely to see how low we could go. I mentioned before that our income was cut by $140 a month. To make quick calculations, it's just (heavy sarcasm here) $1680 a year. Talking about a skipped vacation... We are still trying to figure out how to tweak our budget to fit all of these adjustments. This doesn't include my tiny paycheck from a part-time job or Hubby's bonuses (because they can vary greatly) but we would love to use it for our other financial goals like some frugal changes to the house or the vacation fund. We managed to boost all of our savings a little bit but I'll update more on our financial goals in another post.

$140 is a lot of money for us but I know we can do it! Well, we have to :) We just need even more organizing in our finances. But I know, lots of people have even less than us, so we are blessed and I'm thankful. Overall, we had a good month, even financially. We had paychecks cut but we got some unexpected money like a $500 Christmas bonus check. it's all good :)

I kind of slacked on mini-goals this week though. First, because I was sick. But then, I had other reasons too. The financial goal was to see if you can cut your budget and spend less. Considering that our budget was already cut almost in half, there wasn't much to trim. But again, because of the paycheck adjustments, our budget was cut whether we like it or not...ahhh....And the decluterring challenge was to organize a pantry, and after we did a whole pantry makeover, it's still pretty organized and cleaned. I was thinking of tackling our freezer but it sits in the garage, and it's just too cold in there, especially when you are sick. So it didn't happen...

I believe, it was an overall good month but I am ready for February, and not at all because I'm getting a little older in a couple of weeks but because love is in the air and spring is getting closer :)

I will share this post at Carla's blog HERE. 



14 comments:

  1. Congrats on a great finish. I too cleaned up our paperwork in and around the desk. We can both hope for a nice refund from Uncle Sam now that our ducks are in a row!! Our pay too was cut a whole heck of a lot between the taxes and health care costs, just have to get a little more creative! Ha Feel better soon

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    1. Well, this year I don't expect much of a refund. To be honest, I'll be happy if we can brake even :( Hubby's bonuses were not taxed, and we are going to pay for it.

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  2. It's always interesting to see how you're doing with your goals. Good job this month. We're all hoping for another bonus for Hubby next month.

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    1. Extra bonuses are always nice :) My husband gets a quarterly bonus but I never know how much (if any) it will be. He was doing pretty good in the last 6 month though, so I hope for a nice bonus again at the end of this quarter but we'll see.

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  3. Aww.. I feel your pain re: budget cuts Lena... we had a big drop last fall and now i'm expecting another $300 drop in a couple of months. :( It'll be hard, but like you, we can do it!! Hope you're able to figure everything out with your finances!

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    1. Thank you Carla, working on it right now...We will both survive, I know that!

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  4. Lena, you have a great attitude toward your budget costs. Like you say, you will survive, although it will be a bit more challenging. With rising costs, I am always amazed at the resilience that families possess when the challenge presents itself. Good wishes to you always! :)

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    1. Thank you Connie! I appreciate it!

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  5. good for you, you do an amazing job with your budget! Yesterday I was Christmas shopping for next year...most of the stuff I got was 80% off...i cannot even imagine there are people who pay full price for everything.

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    1. I agree! I hardly ever pay full price, especially for gifts. I just don't have money for it, lol!

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  6. My income varies so much that it is hard to budget and my husbands paycheck was also cut but only by about $90.00 a month which means I have to make it up. So I told myself $2.50 a day. Have you thought about sewing for people. You seem pretty crafty?

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    1. Oh, I can only sew straight lines :) I used to make diaper cakes but it's just not worth it any more. My Mom used to sew like you do when we were kids but she would not let me touch her antique sewing machine, that's why I didn't learn much from her. When my sister was a teenager, my Mom found a nice job and stopped doing this, so she let her use the machine and taught her everything :( I was gone by then. I'm slowly learning the ropes but I'm far from being good, unfortunately.

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