It would appear as though I did it!
I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to finish the decluttering portion of this month’s challenge. When the midway point on the month rolled around I looked at the fact that my big goal of cleaning my basement wasn’t actually going to get accomplished, I wasn’t exactly happy with myself. In my defence it was a fairly large challenge, but it should have been doable in the time I set for myself.
I don’t remember if I actually posted pictures when I started this challenge, so here they are. The basement of shame.
and the other side…
I definitely had my work cut out for me. I took the cans in earlier in the month as part of the “make more money” challenge, but aside from that I hadn’t gotten very far. I had picked up two more shelving units for this project back in December, but still hadn’t gotten around to putting them together. It was
basically completely unfinished.
So, come Monday night it was go time. I got off work at 3:30, picked up some groceries and then attacked my basement. A full 5 hours later this is what I was left with:
The organization isn’t optimal, but it’s definitely a respectable start. I’m so glad I bit the bullet and bought a bunch of shelving units for the basement. At $16 a piece over the course of a couple months it wasn’t a budget breaker by any means.
A number of the boxes were mixed odds and ends, some of which (I kid you not) have been packed for over a decade. Odds and ends from my time in Europe as a teenager, odds and ends from university, odds and ends from working on different job sites. So…. much…. stuff…. I’ve done a preliminary pass through the boxes, cutting the volume down by half, but I need to do a couple more passes before I call it good. There are some items I’d like to keep, but I think it may be a good idea to invest in a scanner rather than keeping it in paper form. (Mochimac, what would you recommend?)
All in all though, I’m giving myself a pass on the decluttering portion of this challenge. On to money…
I think Carla may have been mildly concerned that I wasn’t going to be eating enough living off $36.82 for a month, so I figured I’d keep track of everything I bought and made during January. This is also for my parents, who would probably think I wasn’t eating as well
In the interest of transparancy, I can only really count 3 of the 4 weeks towards my coin jar challenge. Last week between dog sitting for The Boy, our anniversary, and his birthday, I really didn’t eat at home. I could have eaten at home if I was there, but I wasn’t. That bumps the money I had available for my weekly budget up from $9 to $12.
What I Ate:
- lentil soup
- bratwurst with pan fried potatoes, shallots and fresh broccoli sprouts
- greek yogurt with frozen saskatoons and quinoa flakes/flaked almonds
- potato and shallot frittata with fresh green pea sprouts
- green salad with blue cheese/caesar dressing
- soba noodles with peanut sauce
- pork tenderloin with caramelized potatoes and braised purple cabbage (leftovers)
- rice pudding with almonds and cherry sauce (leftovers)
- fried rice
- beef stew
- rice pasta with bolognese sauce
- rice crispies with milk
- apples, bananas, etc…
- ice cream
What I Drank:
- tea (black/green/rooibos/chai)
- orange juice
- white wine
What I bought:
750ml greek yogurt – $4.29
4 bananas – $1.52
5lbs white nugget potatoes – $1.99 (on sale – $3.99 reg)
1 head romaine lettuce – $0.59 (points redemption – $1.79 reg)
2L skim milk – $3.57
1 avocado – $1.29 (on sale -$1.99 reg)
4 bananas – $1.24 (on sale -$1.39 reg)
3 carrots – $0.71 (on sale -$0.99 reg)
1 pint grape tomatoes – $2.99 (on sale -$4.69 reg)
1 bunch green onions – $0.69 (on sale -$0.89 reg)
1 medium onion – $0.24 (on sale -$0.35 reg)
January 28 (I don’t have the receipt on me for the breakdown)
1 container mini lettuces
1 orange pepper
1L skim milk
1 large decaf coffee
GRANDE TOTAL: $33.68
Actually, I think I’m going to try to keep this up. I have so much food at home that’s just waiting to be made, I need to actually make it. It’s inexpensive, and planning ahead has resulted not only in my budget decreasing severely, but I’ve been eating better as well.
My other financial goal this month was to get my line of credit balance below $2000. As I mentioned earlier this month, I ended up having to fork over $980 for my trip to Hawaii much earlier than I anticipated, and this severely hampered my goal. I am happy to say however that if I had paid that money when I intended to (February), I would have made my line of credit goal as well. This one was somewhat outside of my control, but I know that if it wasn’t for this I would have made it.
How did your month go? If you participated in Carla’s challenge, did you meet your goals? Have you ever continued a challenge after it was officially over because you saw the benefit in continuing to do so?
Recommended Reading: Switching to Consigned or Thrifted, Used Clothing: Can I do it?