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March Challenge Plan

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WhileI’ve now broken down my house by room, by closet and by cabinet space. Scheduled my #declutterchallenge is bite size pieces to assure my success. I put them on my Asana to do list with due dates. So I am all ready to get started.

I also organized a place to put the clutter I will be getting rid of. I have a cardboard box for the things that will be going to the thrift store, a trash can for the UN-donateable and a place to pile those that will be handled in some other way (send to someone else, scan papers or take pictures of things before I get rid of them, etc.)

While I am encouraging the kids to participate in this challenge in their own space; although, I’m not forcing it at this point. But I am really looking forward to a fresh new look and feel to the house as we remove the things we don’t need AND organize those that we do at the same time. This is definitely a labor of love!

How Will This Challenge Help?

But I know the BAD community is asking…what does this have to do with paying down your debt?

First, I there is something about having a clutter free, organized space that alleviates a great deal of stress. I’m pretty sure there is research backing that up. But I know this is a fact for me. And the less stress I have, the more apt I am to make good financial decisions.

Second, being organized really helps me avoid duplicate purchases. If I know where things should be and know if we have them, I will not re-purchase. The latest example of this for us is Chicken Noodle Soup. Somehow we ended up with 2 cases from Sams. And we are all tired of Chicken Noodle Soup – very!

Third, these monthly challenges are really working in keeping me focused. I mentioned in the comments recently that I am loving seeing my back account grow. While I believe know we will continue with eating at home a lot more, I need a new challenge. I did see someone else challenge their audience to start saving for retirement, but I’m not there yet. Paying down debt is my #1 goal, so this decluttering challenge is a step towards that.

Are you ready for the March #declutteringchallenge? What is your plan of action or are you just taking it a day at a time?

 

 


An Unbudgeted but Needed Expense

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As many of you know, Gymnast moved to Illinois with his dad last fall. And I haven’t seen him since our Thanksgiving trip to Texas. But I am dealing with this separation much better than I thought I ever would.

However, despite continued requests for his dad to send him for a visit, per the agreement when this happened, it has not happened. So I bit the bullet this past week and purchased a round trip airline ticket for Gymnast to come for his Spring Break. (I cleared it with him and his dad before making the purchase.)

$355!! Ouch! I don’t know how families who live long distance all the time do this.

I am excited to see him and have a little down time with him. The three oldest will still be in school. (Their Spring Break is the following week, and we will be traveling to Texas.)

We haven’t decided what will happen next school year when he begins high school. I am inclined to let him choose with the caveat that he commit. I think staying in a stable school environment is best, especially for the important high school years. We will see what happens.

Anyone else gone through a change in physical custody with their child during the turbulent teenage years? Any words of wisdom?

I maintain full legal custody at this point, but we agreed to this trial year per his request. He will be 14 years old this summer, and I believe old enough to decide for himself with clear expectations set by his dad and I. But sometimes it really sucks being a parent, not sure if you are making the right decision for the long run. Really wish I had a time machine right now.

I’ve asked his dad to help pay for this plane ticket. He says he will send $100, we will see if that really happens. I continue to pay for Gymnast phone bill. (Mostly because I do not want to lose touch and this way I make sure I have a way to reach him.) But I’ve held out in sending any additional monies despite his repeated requests. He has to learn to live with his dad’s rules and standards if he is going to live there.

Divorce really sucks. As much as it was needed. I really hate it for my kids, especially in this long distance situation.