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, 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.


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 @ 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.

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.'