I signed up for Carla’s No/Low Spending and Decluttering Challenge back in December. I wanted to make sure I started off the year on the right foot, and giving myself a kick start in both of these categories seemed like a good idea. I set myself a reasonably difficult goal: get my line of credit balance below $2000 by the end of January.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Fast forward to my end of December finance recap, and I realized exactly how difficult of a goal I had actually set for myself! Due to some, uhh, lack of control on my part, I was sitting with about $500 on my credit card. Given that my interest rate on my credit card is higher than my line of credit, it takes priority in the pay off process.
So, my $1250 debt repayment goal magically ballooned to a $1750 goal on the same month that my net income was decreasing due to tax increases and my roommate moving out.
So, my casually difficult goal turned into a far more difficult goal, and as such requires some creative measures… like neglecting to budget for groceries out of my pay cheques…
Actually, I’m serious.
I have a fair bit of food at home that I need to use up, and I received a fair number of staple foods, tea and treats this past Christmas. Apparently being a gluten free foodie opens you up to that sort of thing, lol. I also received a rice cooker, which will be an absolute life saver for me. I can put together a full Christmas turkey dinner or a brunch for 12 people, no problem. Boiling rice in a pot? I can’t do it… and I’m tired of cleaning burned rice out of my pots.
I have rice, beans, pasta and an assortment of canned veggies in my pantry, as well as some meat and frozen fruit in my freezer. I’ve also pulled out my sprouting trays, and currently have some broccoli and green pea sprouts on the go. All I need to get my though the month is some milk, yogurt, eggs and some fresh produce.
Rather than tapping my pay cheque, as I normally would, I’m tapping another source: the leftovers from the last time I rolled my coins.
$0.42 in pennies,
$2.10 in nickels,
$0.30 in dimes,
$10.00 in quarters,
$14.00 in loonies,
$10.00 in toonies,
for a total of $36.82 for the month of January.
The Boy thinks I’m crazy. Another friend I told thinks it’s totally doable. I’m leaning towards the latter.
Some places have restrictions on how much coin they’ll accept in one order, so I’m going to work my way around that. A couple of the supermarkets in town have been built with self serve tills so you can check yourself out rather than going to a cashier. They accept coins
I haven’t spent any of it so far, but I’m going to need to pick up some milk and yogurt this afternoon.
Save for the ~$30 worth of fuel I put in my car Friday, I’ve been on a no spending streak since last Monday. If I can keep this up for the rest of the month, I might actually be able to meet this goal!
Like I’ve mentioned previously, I will have some other category expenses this month. Namely, The Boy’s birthday and our anniversary. I’ve already assembled many of the items for his anniversary gift, but not his birthday. My goal is to “find” money for these gifts through selling some unused items and returning the pop cans in my basement.
My decluttering project for the week was cleaning up the assortment of paper odds and ends cluttering my living room, as well as going through the boxes of old “stuff” my parent’s brought down from their house at Christmas. I’ve condensed the two boxes down to one, and cleaned up the loose papers, but unfortunately since I didn’t get through both boxes I can’t really call this challenge complete. I’d give myself 65% here.
How is your decluttering going? Are any of you eating out of your pantry this month rather than buying more things? What is your favourite thing to make when you’re cooking out of your cupboards?
Recommended Reading: The Good Life in 1958 (or not)