Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March Madness - Couch Cushion Money

Nothing sold on ebay...nothing.  I'm not gong to let that stop me.  March is a long month and I  have plenty more garbage previously loved items to get rid of.   I have been very busy at this challenge and am working hard on a few different things, but they take a little longer than usual. 

I have been cleaning like a Mad Woman and I had to stop because we had so much paper, etc in the recycling bin the top wouldn't shut.  It feels so GOOD!  Did you ever notice that when you have a clean house it doesn't bother you anymore when you have gold flecked laminate counter tops instead of dreamy granite?  Nope, me either.    What I have realized a week into challenging myself is that coupons are a smaller piece of the pie for me now.  I am busy, so are you, and we can't chase deals and clip the coupons constantly.  Sometimes it feels like a chore-matching up all those deals and pulling those coupons, going from store to store. It was feeling like a chore instead of a game-what am I, like 5?   I started to catch up with some of my favorite blogs looking for inspiration.   I found  things that really resonated with me.  I needed to keep my home in order, and I needed to have better control over my finances.

So,  I am creating a Home Management Binder and starting Once A Month Cooking.  I will create separate posts to show you how I did it, and why, with links to the bloggers who brought these ideas back to life for me. (Oh, you thought I was this fabulous on my own?)

Here is one simple idea you can do today : I recently read in a magazine that most households have at least $100.00 in "couch cushion money." as I have been going around the house this week I am keeping my eyes out for extra coin.  I have been putting them all in a jar and am going to count them this week after I clean  the cup holder from my husband's car.  I collected almost $5 so far in my own cup holder and wallet!   I hope I get to $100!  I am currently on credit card 3 of 5 in my debt snowball, and would love to get this one paid off-and be more than halfway through the stack- I could use the motivation from that accomplishment.  The card has under $200.00 dollars left, and whatever I find is going toward the card,so that I can stretch my snowball that much farther into card # 4. 

Good Luck finding  your "couch cushion money" 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Madness Day 1

 Ok, I promise I will not use this "picture" for all of these posts. I made my first attempt at selling on ebay today.  My husband is gladly taking part of this challenge and gave up some collectibles he has.  They are not even on display, so he figured they were not that important to him.  It took me about 2 hours to figure it all out, so I will be putting more on tomorrow, in addition to a few things on Craig's List.  
This weekend I am planning on weeding out my books and selling them as well.  I have an assortment of books, DVD's, and decorative items that I will also be selling.  (I think my husband is worried we may have an empty house soon!) 
The other technique I am employing this month is getting my spring
cleaning done, which means organizing and throwing things away.  This weekend I worked on the bathroom, I threw away an entire large black garbage bag of things that can no longer be used.  I cleaned and am so much happier!  I bought new clear storage containers on clearance at Walmart.  I created one for First Aid, another for OTC Medicines, and one for the dog's medications, etc.  This weekend I will work on the kitchen.  
I don't think I need to explain how much time and money are saved by being organized.    
That is my boring little post for the meantime, you should check out Money Saving Mom's  Freezer cooking day posts.  I think this might be my goal for April.  In addition to starting to get ready for gardening! Sleep tight!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A new spin on March Madness

So lately I  have had that feeling.  You know the one.  It sneaks up on you even though you feel it coming?  The bottom line is I am feeling somewhat unhappy.   Don't get me wrong, I am blessed to have many things, experiences, relationships that some don't.  So getting to the point already, I am feeling like I was meant to do more.  I (we) am (are) making some changes: I am planning on going back to school.  I want to be a pastry chef, and take some restaurant management courses.  I don't want to work while I do that, although many people do (and I admire them).  

Quitting my job is not an option, I  have crunched the numbers.  However, it is February, school starts in August/September. I toyed around with trying to live on one paycheck in March, but like I said, I crunched the numbers.  So, I am announcing March Madness!  For the month of March our household will have two goals: to spend as little as possible and create extra income.  Of course, I just had to pick one of the longest months of the year.  I mean, how lame would it be if I had done it in February?   

First, the budget is limited to bills and necessities such as gas & groceries.  I will be setting a budget for groceries that it as bare bones as possible.  We will also be taking advantage of ebay & craigslist to sell unwanted items.  I'll be taking as many online surveys as I possibly can that earn money or points that can be cashed in using Pay Pal. 

I believe that we can survive on my husband's income plus one of my paychecks.  Of course I get paid twice a month.  The plan is that the other paycheck goes toward debt.   I would like to pay off over half the debt in the next  months.  Then I know we can live on one income. 

So this is the plan for March! Who's with me?