28 February 2012

No Spend Challenge - Week 4

Wednesday, February 22nd:
Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Brad and I had egg salad sandwiches and the kids had PB&J
Dinner: Chicken Katsu, rice and broccoli
We took in the recycling we have collected this month, for a cool $40. I also started sewing patches on uniforms for one of Brad's coworkers, so that will bring in some extra cash this week. Carolyn's 4 month appointment was today, so we went to the clinic and back home. The van is just at a half tank of gas, so we should be good there for the rest of the month. Cash: $177 + $40 for recycling = $217

Thursday, February 23rd:

Breakfast: pop tarts
Lunch: sandwiches for us, leftover chicken katsu for Brad
Dinner: Lasagna
Jocelyn had school today, and I took the other kids on a nice little run, and then to the park. We all took naps (yes, including me). It was a very uneventful day, but we had some good quality time playing Super Mario after dinner. This kids love to watch us play and pick one of us to cheer for. Cash: $217

Friday, February 24th:

Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Macaroni and Cheese
Dinner: Home Port...Soup, chicken salad sandwiches, corn bread, fresh fruit. YUM!
Today was great! We ran out of juice and fruit snacks, but the end is near! I finished the t-shirt quilt for my friend Amanda. She offered me $60 and a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper! I was a little bit more excited about the Dr. Pepper, since I can't spend the money yet...and I have gone 60+ hours without DP. :) I still haven't gotten around to replacing the elastic in my diapers, but I did sew patches on some uniforms for a coworker of Brad's. The uniform shop charges something insane like $3.25 per patch. Six uniforms times six patches per uniform would have cost him more than $125. So, I offered to do it for $40 (approximately $1 per patch). So, I made $100 this week with my sewing machine! We had soup for dinner at bible study tonight, but our friend Kelly was smart and made a big pot of mac and cheese for the kids. There was a ton left over, so we took that home to reheat for lunch for the next couple days (the kids will never get sick of it, and I happen to be a fan of left over mac and cheese). We also came home with a few tangerines and a ton of bread, in addition to the 12-pack of Dr. Pepper and mac and cheese. I always leave Home Port feeling truly blessed by the people there, but tonight I felt extra honored to know that our friends are so supportive of what we are doing this month. As of today, we have brought in $100 for the mattress, $75 for the futon, $40 for the recycling, $60 for the quilt, and $40 for the uniform patches. That totals $315. The bills we paid at the beginning of the month were $175 for Jocelyn's preschool, $100 for our cell phone bill, $35 for internet, $10 for Menehune water delivery, and $8 for Netflix. That totals $328. So, If I can sell $13 worth of stuff on craigslist in the next 5 days, we will have actually spent ZERO dollars of this month's pay check, not even for bills. :) Cash: $277 (we haven't actually gotten the $40 from Brad's coworker yet)

Saturday, February 25th:
Breakfast: toast
Lunch: Teriyaki burgers
Dinner: Chicken soft tacos at the Weaver's new house
We started meal planning for March, and making a grocery list. We are excited to start spending again with the revamped relationship we have formed with our money. All of our future spending decisions will be affected by our experiences this month. I think it is going to be hard to spend money again! Cash: $277

Sunday, February, 26th:
Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: The last two teriyaki burgers for me and Brad, grilled cheese and applesauce for the kids
Dinner: Hamburger Helper
I cut Brad's hair again, for the third time this month. That's $30 saved this month just on cutting Brad's hair, something I should have been doing for years! Sam needs a haircut too, and I am going to try that this week because I have been paying way too much for his haircuts. We ran out of juice a couple days ago, and the kids have been begging for something other than water. I found some Kool Aid in the pantry that was either left here by my sister, or given to me by someone who was moving away. I am going to make some tomorrow. Cash: $277

Monday, February 27th:
Breakfast: Toast
Lunch: grilled cheese and cream of broccoli soup
Dinner: Baked chicken, corn and canned sweet potatoes.
I forgot how much I love sweet potatoes...even from a can. Yum. Well, we are closing in on the end of the month, but I just couldn't wait any longer to buy my plane ticket to San Diego for house hunting. I spent $400 dollars today, and it broke my heart. It felt like SO much money. Anyway, it's not like I was planning a leisure weekend just for kicks...this was pretty much necessary. Many of the houses in our price range that are in decent neighborhoods, near decent schools, and are big enough to fit all of our stuff (and grow our family), are short sales. Short sales supposedly take a long time to close because instead of just buying it from a seller by a traditional sale, or from a bank with a foreclosure, you are buying it from both of them, and they have to go back and forth and come to an agreement before you can really get all the way approved....or something like that. Anyway, if we want to be able to move into a house before September, we need to put an offer in like right now. We found an extended stay hotel that we could live in for a few months that wouldn't cost us our entire BAH, but I really don't want to live in a hotel that long, and not have free laundry facilities in my immediate vicinity. Anyway, the money for the ticket technically came out of the tax return money we had put into savings, so I am not letting it count against us, and we still haven't spent any of our February pay check. Maybe I will subtract it when I do the final math. Cash $277

Tuesday, February 28th:
Breakfast: Lucky Charms
Lunch: macaroni and cheese and toast
Dinner: Pork Steaks, rice and asparagus
THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! One day left. I think I will celebrate tomorrow by taking the kids on an absolutely free trip to the zoo. We will take a lunch, use our annual pass, and be home in time for naps. I still have more than a quarter tank of gas in the van, and that should be plenty to get us there and back. I have a doctor's appointment in the morning, so it will be a long day. Today, I finalized our grocery shopping list for next month, and am ready to go stock up for March. Cash: $277

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