Friday, February 3, 2012

3 in 30 - February Check-in - Week 1

This year, I'm participating in the 3 in 30 Challenge. During January I had three goals and worked towards them each week.

During February, I'm continuing to work on my January goals:

- Finish taking photos out of the scrapbooks that aren't photo-safe, and put them in boxes that are archival-safe. This should be done by the end of February.

- Finish the master bedroom by washing all the walls and windows; and then painting the accent areas dark green (behind the bed and over the window on the west side of the room) and the walls white.  I also want to go through the books on each side of the bed, and determine if they can be donated or I want to keep them.

- Continue going outside each day for 15 minutes. This will be an on-going goal for the rest of the year.

In addition, my three goals for February are:

1. Do a one-week fiscal fast. I saw this done on "Extreme Cheapskates" and written about on AARP by Jeff Yeager. As Jeff says, "Go for a week without spending ANY money?!  It’s spending detox, what I call a “fiscal fast." Give it a try a couple of times a year.  You’ll save a few bucks, use up stuff you have around the house, and gain a new understanding of how you spend – and probably waste – money in a normal week.  It’s a challenge, but it’s also kind of fun."

I did a Fiscal Fast from January 25th-31st. It was fun...eye-opening...and definitely challenging (the microwave broke the night before the F.F. began).

Some days, honestly, were more challenging than others - especially when I group activities/errands to save gas money and time (e.g., when the girls are at the homeschool co-op on Mondays, I usually go grocery shopping, go to the post ...office, get anything we need at Target, make copies at Office Max...the list can go on). I ended up going home instead and getting a lot done. So, it's been good in the sense that it has helped me re-focus and try different things to pass the time.

It also is a good way to use what we have on hand in terms of food in the cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer. We used up many boxes of food that had only a little remaining in them. This was a good way to free up some cupboard space.

I think during February, I'm going to continue to spend as little as I can on food, using only what I have on hand (with the exception of getting some essential items such as milk, eggs, and bread).

I do miss having a microwave though. The flip side is that it has shown me a very good lesson in patience and waiting to get something rather than rushing out to get it...which is a great reminder for me.

From February 15th-21st, I'll be doing another monthly Fiscal Fast. I'm looking forward to doing this again.

2. Reduce diet-pop consumption and increase water consumption. At one time, I was drinking 4 cans of diet-pop a day. I'm now down to 2-3 cans per day.

My goal in February: 2 cans maximum per day. (During March and April I'll reduce it even further...with the ultimate goal of not drinking any diet pop at all - or having one occasionally.) In its place, I will drink 2 big glasses of water each day (1 in the a.m. and 1 in the afternoon).

The reduction in diet-pop consumption started the week I was doing the Fiscal Fast. I noticed that I was running low on pop so I rationed them out to get through the F.F. This helped limit the pop since I wanted them to stretch until after the F.F. was over. So, the first four days were easy. In fact, on Wednesday, I only had one pop.

The only disadvantage to limiting pop to two per day is that I have had a couple major headaches this week as well as have been very tired. Not sure if this is correlated to a reduction in pop consumption or from being sick. 

Drinking the water has been easy to do. I fill up a cup in the morning and leave it on the window sill if I am unable to finish it. By lunch, I always drink it. After lunch, I do the same thing and by dinner I am able to drink the second glass of water.

3. File everything so I can begin working on taxes. During the past eight months, I haven't done a very good job with filing because caregiving responsiblities demanded more attention.

I would like to have everything filed so I know that all receipts and paperwork needed for taxes are together. In this way, I can begin working on preparing the paperwork for my CPA who completes the tax forms each year. It would be nice to have them filed early...especially if there's a refund!

I have not had a chance to work on filing this week.

13 comments:

Jenni said...

Great goals! I really like the idea of a "fiscal fast". I may have to look into that for a future goal. :)

Joyce said...

Good goals. The idea of a fiscal fast has me intrigued. There are many weeks that the only things I buy are milk, produce and gas. But making completely due with what we have on hand, now that could be interesting.

I love that you were able to be productive at home during that time that you ordinarily went shopping.

Good job on the soda thing. I did that last month. The goal was to cut it out cold turkey. I like the idea of stepping it back more.

Lori said...

Great goals!
I love the idea of the fiscal fast. No spending. Cool idea. I may have to try that...
And the fact it changes the life-pattern (ie errands) is interesting isn't it? I think maybe we moms try to fit too many things into our 24 hour days...maybe?
BLessings! L

Jodie said...

Your choices look wonderful. I am interested to see how your fiscal fast goes.

Excellent on the soda reduction!

Rita said...

Congrats on not going right out to buy the microwave! I would be quite frustrated, I realized, to go back to pre-micro days. Even for just heating up cups of coffee! LOL! ;)

Jeanine Byers Hoag said...

Wow! I feel overwhelmed and kind of tired just from reading your goals for this month. You are ambitious!!

Good luck with the diet soda. I remember when I was getting off caffeine. I drank a fair amount of sweet tea, and rationed it down until I was off it. That was HARD!

I had headaches, I was cranky, I was tired. I wasn't quite right for quite some time even after I stopped completely. Now, I have sweet tea, or tea with caffeine, occasionally, but hopefully, will never have to do that again!

Samantha Kelley said...

Great goals! I had never heard of the fast...something to think about! We sure need it!

Sherri said...

I love that idea of a fiscal fast! I need to try that!
Great goals by the way.

Karen Greenberg said...

I love the idea of the fiscal fast. I have done this a couple of times, sometimes out of necessity, and it is truly eye-opening. I think I'll plan for a week in March!

Tami @ ThisMomsDelight.com said...

A fiscal fast sounds beneficial! (We are working on paying down credit card debt.)

One of my goals this month is to drink water!

Tammy_Skipper said...

Love these goals, especially interested in more on how you did the fiscal fast. I'm seeking to reduce our spending this month so this intrigues me. I completely stopped drinking soda last year for 40 days. I went back to it and have been considering giving it up permanently. I don't drink coffee so I'm not sure how realistic it is.http://skipperclan.com/2011/04/25/kicking-the-can-a-diet-soda-story/

Cheryl said...

Great goals! The fiscal fast is an awesome goal. That would be so hard for me..but you did it. congrats!

Kristy said...

I like the idea of 3 in 30 - makes things seem much more managable! Just might have to do that and the 'fiscal fast.'