Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January Challenge update #3

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Wow, 3 weeks into the month! January really flies by! It's time to update you again on No/low Spend-Decluttering challenge:

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FINACIAL. 

My goal this month was to spend no more than $465 ($15 a day) on food, necessities, eating out, clothes, entertainment, gifts and miscellaneous. As of today we spent $331.21 which is $1.21 over our goal. But hey, we bought this amazing table, so I think we are still doing awesome with our goal!! It looks like I'm getting my kids' cold too, so I asked Hubby to do a grocery shopping trip, so we should be fine on food at least until Saturday (by then we'll, probably, need milk and cereal). So I'm planning to stay at home for the next two days until we are all a little bit better.

On the other hand, we finally received Hubby's first adjusted salary, and between his raised SS taxes and raise in medical insurance, his check is $70 less than it used to be. Which means, it will be $140 less a month :( So there are lots of adjustments coming up for us in the next few weeks...

A mini-challenge this week: Give. Find a way in your budget to "give" financially somehow...

Because I wasn't out much this week, I didn't give any physical money but I still found a few ways to help others financially:

1. I offered some valuable coupons (one of them was $10 off $50 for Winco) for free on a local 24/7 online yard sale. I received them in the mail and I knew I wasn't going to use them before they expire, so I was happy to give them away. I also had a few rebates that I passed along to my friend. That's considered giving "money", right? :)

2. A few days ago somebody rang our door bell. When I opened, there was a man standing. He explained to me that they were working on the gutters of our neighbor's house but she wasn't there. And they needed to plug in some machines into an outlet. Her outdoor outlet wasn't working, so he asked if he could use ours. I was a little hesitant at first (I really don't like strangers at my door!). But then, with the tears in his eyes, he told me that if he couldn't work that day, he wouldn't be able to make money his family needed. After that I knew what to do! I plugged his machine in our garage, and they worked there most of the day. I didn't give him physical money but electricity costs too! I'm glad I could help. And he was very grateful.

DECLUTTERING.  

We are officially done with all the papers in the house. I still want to make copies of all of the most important documents and keep them in a separate place in case of an emergency. We are yet to receive any tax documents this year but I'm ready for it. Otherwise, we officially achieved our declutering goal this month.

A mini-challenge this week: Choose a closet, any closet, and clean it out!!

I've been cleaning and cleaning and cleaning our closets for the last few months, so this challenge was...well, a challenge :) But I found a spot that needed organizing. It's not exactly a closet. Instead, it is a bathroom cleaning supply cabinet. That's what it looked like before:

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We have a ton of stuff. I got most of it for free or really cheap with coupons. But my new goal is to switch to mostly homemade solutions by the end of the year. Until then I need to finish what I already have.

First, I cleaned out this cabinet. I noticed that some cleaners left damaging stains on the surface, so I decided to put some peel-and-stick tile on the bottom (we already had these tiles, so no money spent there):


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Then I wanted to add some extra storage (without spending any money). So I found this cardboard box:

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and I covered it with some leftover fabric and put very simple divider in between:

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And another picture:

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The only money I spent on this cabinet "makeover" was to add a small (less than $5) tension rod for all the cleaning spray bottles. Here's what this cabinet looks like now:

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It's so much more practical now! It's still a little bit cluttered (maybe, because, I have 8 bottles of air freshener in the back there... Don't ask! :) but I hope to downsize significantly in the next few months.

And that's how we did this week. How was your week?

I will link this post at Carla's blog HERE

 

28 comments:

  1. Brilliant idea with the tension rod for the bottles.
    Carolx

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  2. That's definitely a successful Pinterest inspired idea :)

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  3. i love the box it looks too good for cleaning products,
    xx

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    1. :) I just wanted to use some fun fabric, and that's all I could find in my stash :) But thank you!

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  4. You are sweet in nature and smart in ideas, dear Lena.

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  5. What cute ideas for your cabinet!! The paychecks this year are depressing with all the increases, we too need to make a change of plans with our money :(

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    1. I know, they are depressing...I'm not sure yet what we are doing about it! We'll have to be even more frugal.

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  6. Good idea with the tension rod. 8 bottles of air freshner? You have to do a post about that.

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  7. I am still waiting for your DYI tv show to start airing....it is really just a matter of time. :) Awesome work!

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    1. Yeah, like 30 years from now :)...

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  8. Such a sweet gesture to help that man!

    And I love the new organization system; well done :)

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  9. Other than buying carpet cleaner spray, and toilet bowl cleaner, I don't use anything other than vinegar and baking soda! I use vinegar & water for cleaning up floors, mirrors, and countertops. Baking soda is just gritty enough to use for scrubbing if necessary on any messes, and for our smooth stovetop. I only maybe use toilet bowl cleaner once a month...the rest of the time, I sprinkle baking soda in and use that to scrub and freshen and it honestly works wonders! Microfiber cloths eliminate the need for paper towels, and if you cut up holey socks, they make awesome rags too, since there are always some laying around! Just cut them down the back to the toe, and you can stick them on a swiffer mop head, or just use them as a rag and if they get too yucky, just throw them away!

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    1. That's what I'm striving for. I already use mostly baking soda and vinegar in the kitchen but I still have tons of other cleaners in the house. The sock trick is awesome, thanks for sharing it!

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    2. Yes, at roughly 60 cents for a box of baking soda, it definitely is cheaper than the tb cleaner, and ends up being less chemicals used, although a good bleachy tb cleaner works wonders for those few times when stains happen! The sock thing is great, and really adds nothing to a load of wash when you compare how many paper towels you could be using! It stinks that your family paychecks will be less, all of us are facing that, though, and it is the little things that keep us on track financially.

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    3. That's so true. It's all about the little things. I rarely use paper towels right now but I've never thought of using socks for my mop. Thanks again for an awesome advice! I always have some stray socks with three boys here, now I'll put them to good use :)

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  10. Thanks for stopping in yesterday...wow what a job you did under the sink.
    Carla next week challenge of cleaning out a food area will be doing me some good.

    Doing the coupon is good way to give...I've given coupon that away for different reasons.

    Anyhow I never been to Winco...both of my son talks about it.

    Coffee is on.

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    1. And thank you for stopping by :) I love Winco, especially their bulk area. And their prices on spices are unbeatable! You need to check them out!

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  11. Your new cupboard looks excellent! Nice work.

    And, I would have felt the same about the guy next door working, but would have done the same. I get very nervous when someone comes to our door. Well done!

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  12. Love the cupboard make over, I think I will try this with all my bathroom sinks and kitchen sink. What a good Idea with the tension rod. Love it! Especially in the kitchen.

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    1. When I saw it on Facebook, I just loved this idea too. So practical!

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  13. The best part last week for me was reading the "giving" part of it!! :) Thank you for taking part!! Your sink looks great! Well done!!!

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  14. Sounds like you are doing pretty well on your goals! I'm liking this idea! I may have to join in on the fun!


    Jenna @ http://www.rainonatinroof.com

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  15. What a brilliant idea to put up a rod to hang the spray bottles! I would not have thought of that.

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