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Monday, November 2, 2015

Living Well Spending Zero Challenge: Final Thoughts

Making snake cookies for a yummy treat from ingredients we already had: free!

The Living Well Spending Zero Challenge for October has come to an end.  (You can read my initial thoughts here and the mid-month update here.)

So here's my confession: After we took the trip for my brother's wagon, and since we had that credit on our credit card, we fell off the wagon.  We ordered food a couple times, got coffee and lunch in Waterloo, and basically broke all the rules we set in place at the beginning of the month.  Ugh!

Apparently we are the type of people who can stick to something for as long as everything is normal and nothing "extra" comes up.  Which is not normal life, guys.  So we have to work on that.

The silver lining is that the credit on the credit card paid for the extra things, not money out of our checking account.  So we're not out any extra money.  We just didn't use our money as effectively as we could have.
Beans for homeschool science project in containers from the recycling: free!

Here's where we did reasonably well: grocery shopping.  At the end of the month, my grocery total was $289 and change.  Not quite the $275 I was aiming for, but I also grabbed a few extras to cover meals through November 5, so a few extra dollars for a few extra days is good in my book.

Even though we failed at zero spending, we did eat out far less than the past few months.  As my husband reads to me sarcastically from the markerboard, "Small goals are better than no goals."  A bit of progress is still progress, and we're going to keep working on this.

We also paid off $1445 in debt this month.  Some of it was a reimbursement for travel expenses from a conference Jesse went to, which we had put on a credit card, but had this been a normal month instead of a no-spending-challenge month, we may not have put the entire check towards paying things off.  We also got some extra money this month from other things, which again, would not all have gone towards debt repayment if this had been a normal month.  It should, guys, it should.  But I'm just being honest here.  We're still not very good at this.

If you're familiar with Dave Ramsey, you know we're supposed to be "gazelle intense" about paying off debt.  We're pretty gimpy gazelles, guys.  But we're trying.

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