Sunday, January 29, 2012

February Challenges

So here we go again! I tell you, that Carla, as if another No/Low Spending month wasn't enough she wants us to declutter too! Sheesh! You can read all about it (and JOIN UP) right here! 

But you know when you think about it- it all makes sense. I mean, keeping our hands busy with sorting, tossing and re-organizing will give us something to distract ourselves with when we might otherwise be shopping, squandering and spending! Ahhhh, there's a method to her madness isn't there?  I'm onto you and your tricks Carla....and by the way... ....THANKS!! For what you ask??

Having the No/Low Spend challenge in January really helped me handle the extra costs of  The Flood and it helped an otherwise dreary month fly by! This is the perfect time for such challenges - we're inside, the weather stinks, the clutter abounds after the hectic holiday season and we're all longing for spring. Well, by the time spring gets here we'll be ready for it. Our cleaning and sorting will be done (hopefully), we'll have kept spending to a minimum (again hopefully) and we'll emerge into the sunshine (super hopeful on this one) equipped to handle whatever spring brings our way - like MARCH BREAK!! 

Now...on to the details!

Low (no) Spend February:
1. Set a financial goal: My share of our new TV is $440.00.  We have until the end of June to pay in full. I would like to start setting aside the money for that which monthly would be $440/5 = $88. That doesn't look like a huge goal BUT I'm operating on a budget that has been reduced by $500 monthly due to my payroll deductions restarting Jan. 1st. I will feel extremely fortunate if I can squeeze an extra $88 out of my already tight budget!
2. Plan of Action:  I have been putting off listing items that I want to get rid of on Kijiji. If I sell anything the money will go towards the $88 needed for the TV, then anything else will go into my Sealed Pot. In addition I will keep my entertainment expenses as low as possible. So far for February I know of one night out with a friend and a dinner at another friend's home. I will make a plan for what I will allow myself to spend for those outings. Of course there is Valentine's Day so I will talk to Michael about a dinner at home. I am also pondering getting rid of the home phone (we all have cells) AND cable - no one watches much TV around here.
3. & 4.  I like to use my credit card for most purchases and I check my card online daily for my purchases - when one shows up I pay it online. I pay no interest, I get lots of PC points to use for free groceries AND I have a paper trail for recording purposes. For personal spending I keep a small amount of cash in my wallet and whenever I make a purchase I write it down in my cute little Chapters "Money Spent" notepad. I've done really good at hanging onto my cash as long as possible.
5. Exemptions: Just the two outings mentioned above. I have a baby shower but it's early March so I'll defer the cost until then.

Decluttering Challenge:
1.  Four Main Challenges
Week One: Personal Space Challenge - This one is easy. I have just set up a "Room of my Own" but there are still some organizational challenges to work out. I will finally invite you into my ROOM and share how I've solved my challenges.
Week Two: Family Space Challenge - We have a multi-purpose room set up on the second floor - it's a challenging space as it operates as a TV room, a guest bedroom, the cat's room and my dressing room! I've been slowly working on it but a lot remains to be done. I WILL get this space uncluttered and organized for optimum usage by all!
Week Three: Productivity Challenge - This one will be interesting. Around here everyone does their own laundry. While it's great that I don't have to do Michael and Kazi's laundry it can't be very efficient - I'm sure we could combine some loads, especially since our Smart meters come into effect Feb. 1st! Also, I'm sick of being tied down with laundry on Saturdays - so I'm going to challenge all of us to "mingle" our laundry and do one load AFTER 7pm on weekdays.
Week Four: The Dreaded Challenge - LOL - love this title Carla!! This would be my linen closet. There is a monster in there. I try to avoid opening the door because things fall on me....soft things but still....and they're slippery things too...bed spreads and sleeping bags and TWO electric blankets that don't work and about 18,000 colours of nail polish and several bottles of cold medication with a half teaspoon of congealed "liquid" in the bottom of them and extra towels AND MY SEWING MACHINE - no wonder I don't sew and about 500,000 other partially used then discarded products!! I WILL finally tackle the monster!

2.  Four Bonus Mini-Challenges!! This should be interesting!

3. Purging
Get rid of 29 items during February. Easy peasy! I already have a large bag in the car to go to Talize but I didn't count the items - I'll do that before I drop it off.

4. Before and Afters
Take pictures! do I do that lol??  Hee hee, I'm the photo queen!

So there you have it! My Saturdays are all booked up with decluttering projects and you won't see me out on the streets getting into financial trouble! That in itself will be reward enough but our evil darling Carla is also offering up a prize as well!! Check it out!!

I look forward to seeing everyone's before and after photos and can't wait to get started!!

Let February begin!!


saving for travel said...

Oh, good luck Jane.

I like to declutter in school holidays so opting out of challenge 2.

But I'm up for Challenge 1-Low Spend-as we are aiming to pay half of what we need to buy our camera.

Your goals are great and it's nice to see a few treats in there too. Esp Valentines Day, I bet romantic Michael has lots of plans for you.

Sft x

saving for travel said...

Oh goodness I forgot to say I LOVE YOUR NEW PHOTO HEADER...the farmhouse looks beautiful!

Sft x

Debby said...

You have a great plan of action in place! I tend to spend less when decluttering, I start thinking about the price we paid for what I am sending out. Reminds me to stop spending on something I won't want in a years time!

Gill - That British Woman said...

if that's your house, it is gorgeous...........

Good luck with all your goals for February.


Little Lamb said...

Awesome! You are ambitious! Love the photo of the PEI house. SO pretty!

peppylady (Dora) said...

I'm doing my blog reading and I read Carla and Gill.
I'm to going to be part of Carla no-low spend for the month of February but will have post on the 3rd of the month.
I guess I can give you head up...mine is a major purging project in our shed/barn.
Good luck on your challenge.

meri said...

Good luck, Jane. Looks like you've got a plan. I look forward to reading about your progress and seeing more of your beautiful farm.

~Carla~ said...

Love your goals & your plan of action! I do the same thing with laundry, so that was one of my goals as well... And it seems that you're already onto one of my mini goals... ;) Good luck this month, Jane!!

Ella said...

Great goals! I am also joining the challenge and will post my goals today. 

Jharrison56 said...

Wonderful - look forward to hearing about your goals!!