January challenges are going great! Today was payday for Hubs, and the first budget day of the month. When I created our budget for January, I chose to do a $0 balance budget. That means that everything that was left in our account before Hubs’ pay kicked in, we split between our maternity account and regular savings accounts. (We have many smaller accounts for specific purposes. Each account gets a certain percentage of any money we save).
We had almost $400 left before Hubs’ pay. Our maternity account got $198 and the other $198 was split between all of the other savings accounts. That was nice, but here is the really nice surprise: The last paycheck for Hubs before the new year was $1030. Considering the concern for the fiscal cliff fiasco, I adjusted our projected pay. For Hubs I figured out about $990 per pay (he is paid every other week). Well, imagine my surprise and happiness when his first check of the month was almost $1,600!! That means it was almost $600 more than I expected! He was approved for a raise, and he had over an hour of overtime on that paycheck, but we were not expecting this at all! If this is going to be his regular pay, then we will meet our full financial resolutions a lot quicker than I thought.
With that extra money, I took $500 out and put into the savings accounts. I could have done more, but I thought a small cushion would be a good idea. I put $250 into the maternity leave account and $250 into the other savings accounts. This means both accounts got $448 today! That is more than what I challenged for myself for the regular savings accounts. It also means I am over half way to my challenge goal for my maternity leave. I already have another $450 budgeted to put into the maternity account before the end of the month. I really thought this financial challenge for the month was going to be really tough, but this little surprise made it much easier!
This week, Carla also gave us two mini-challenges to complete. For the financial mini-challenge, it was to make-do with something we already had instead of buying something new. This challenge did not save us a whole lot of money, but we did make-do without buying something new (well… technically until we went to the grocery store). On Tuesday we had quesadillas for lunch. I usually make them with shredded Mexican cheese. We were almost out of it, so I used what we had left and then mixed in some shredded sharp cheddar cheese. I wanted to run to the store immediately to get some, but didn’t. This initially saved us about $2.50. I did end up buying more at the grocery store when I went on my weekly trip (since I knew we were having tacos later this week).
Another make-do moment today was while I was shopping for work clothes. All I asked for for Christmas was money to buy clothes for work since none of my pre-baby clothes work. I went to two different resale stores today to shop. At the second shop, I had two pairs of pants that I was ready to buy. One was a pair of black pants, and the other one was a pair of nice jeans, but they were a little long. I debated back and forth for a while and eventually decided not to get the jeans. I already have two pairs of blue jeans that fit and that I can wear to work. This ended up saving me $18.00. (All clothing was paid for in cash, since it is all part of my Christmas gift). I ended up spending about $60 today and got 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, a dress, and a work-out jacket. I still have quite a bit left and will probably go shopping again next week, since I only really have enough clothes to get me through a week at work.
I will be posting photos of my decluttering mini-challenge tomorrow. I have actually already completed my main decluttering challenge for January and need to get photos of that up tomorrow also.
How are your challenges and resolutions going?