Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week in Review 1/21-1/28 and the End of Carla's Low-Spend Challenge

Carla's Low Spend Challenge, in Review
1) Track Spending - 100% - Everything written down.
2) Eat from Freezer - 50% - We ate some things from the freezer, but there's still plenty there left to eat.
3) Have Fun Cheaply - 25% - We didn't spend anything on entertainment, but we didn't do much either.
4) Organizing - 100% - I got my fridge, pantry, and living room cleaned out!
5) No Unnecessary Purchases - 25% - I bought a few things, but not as much as I usually do.

I have spent 122% of the monthly budget and we are 100% through the month.

Yep, I went over.  Way over.  However, the amount I went over is almost exactly the same amount as two medical bills from last month that I had forgotten about, but that came due this month.  So now I know it is possible to cut 13% from our budget and, honestly, I didn't really notice a difference.

I decided to break down our spending to see where the money goes.
Medical Expenses - 22%
Food and Household Needs - 21%
Utilities (not including phones) - 12%
Loan Repayment - 9%
Baby Supplies - 9%
Life Insurance - 8%
Phones (land and cell) - 7%
Car (including gas, not including insurance) - 6%
College Savings - 6%
Home Repair - 1%

I can spot some places where there is room for improvement - I'll tell you my plans tomorrow when I talk about Carla's Challenge for February (it's not too late to jump in yourself).

On the whole, I am happy with my performance on this challenge.  Although I went over in the money department, I made a bunch of progress cleaning.  My mom took pity on me and helped with the living room, so it went from looking like this:

To this:

And, in addition, I got my fridge and pantry clean.  Tomorrow, I'll talk about how I'm going to step up in February!

10 Pound Challenge
I weighed 202.4 pounds this morning.  So my plan is working, even though I broke my diet about a million times this weekend, what with my friends coming in.

2012 Goals
I am still in Exodus, reading about that stupid ark.  I hate the ark, and every piece of beaten gold that went into it and had to be recorded so that people thousands of years later can read about how much bling the Israelis put on it.  After I finish The Commentary of the Synoptic Gospels , I need to find a book that explains what relevance this has to my journey as a Christian, because I am just not seeing it.  But I am up to Chapter 40, so it has to end eventually.

I exercised 7 times last week, but only made it to the gym twice.  Hopefully I can still up my swim time to 17 mins this week (I'm going to the gym today after I finish this).

I've decided to put my tithe for this year into a separate account and pay it next year, thus giving me enough charitable deductions to be greater than the standard deduction in 2013.  I am thinking about putting it into the stock market in the interim, since if I have gains I can donate the stock and get further deductions for the appreciation without having to pay taxes on it.  Of course, if I have losses, I will have to make up the cash.  Would you take the risk?

As I thought, I didn't shoot last week.  Blargh.

Hope your week is going well!


  1. Wow!! Look at that room! God bless mothers! :) I'm really enjoying "The Voice, New Testament", it explains things in the Bible as you go along, but as you know, no Ark in the NT. ;) lol! The full version comes out in April though... I'm excited for it!

    You did great & I wouldn't count medical as "going over", it's not like they're "optional" expenses, kwim?

    If you're weighing in at 102lbs, I hope you're like 5" tall... lol! I found it impossible to lose weight when I was breast feeding because I was always starving!! Seriously, wasn't gonna happen. lol!

    Good luck next month!! :)

    1. Thanks for catching that little typo:)

      I might try The Voice for my next Bible, as I checked and at least the New Testament is out for Kindle.