Sunday, 18 November 2012

Challenge Updates: Bills, No Spend and Christmas!

Christmas Completed by December

SFT asked whether everyone was winning at the Christmas Done by December challenge. Just to recap, my targets were to get Christmas gifts completely finished, to buy one Christmas decoration each, to finish my Advent calendar and to make some decorations to send to family members.

Well, here's how it stands now:
  • Finish Christmas gifts - Over halfway! I started the month with just one person (my sister) crossed off my list. Halfway through, I now have nine more people crossed off (actually eleven if you split "the kids" category up!). I have ideas and half-presents for another five people, which just leaves a couple of very awkward people causing me trouble! (Looking at you, Dad!)
  •  Buy a Christmas decoration - Complete! It is a bit of a family tradition of ours to visit Trelawney garden centre in Cornwall each year to marvel at the Christmas displays and get a bauble/Christmas decoration. Well, this year we went a bit earlier than usual and even let The Boyfriend tag along. I bought a beautiful glass bauble with hand-painted swirls, whilst The Boyfriend got a glass robin with mistletoe painted on its flanks!
  • Finish Advent calendar - Nearly there! On Friday I posted part three of how to make an Advent calendar, but over the weekend I finished the stockings for part four too (will be posted on Friday!). Now I just have to sort out the numbers and bits and bobs to put inside them! :)
  • Make Christmas decorations for family - Gathering materials! I am still in the early stages of this one! I want to post them at the start of December so I need to get cracking! I want to make star or heart fabric decorations from some leftover gingham. 

No Spend Week

Last  week I challenged myself to a No Spend Week, with the caveat that if I saw some good Christmas present deals I would be allowed to snap them up. I have to be honest guys, I failed the challenge. I managed five of seven days as No Spend.

I do have some excuses if you want to hear them? :) On Thursday I had to give a presentation about Physics in Biology. Now if you know anything about biologists, you'll know that they gave up physics as soon as they possibly could at school then ran away, avoiding all talk of the subject ever after! After a week of stressing about my presentation, on Thursday evening I did knowingly go to the pub with everyone else and have half a pint of lager!

My second excuse is slightly better; I bought some red card and red buttons to complete the Advent calendar and Christmas decorations respectively.

Still, overall most days were a success, right? :)

Lowering the Bills

Last month I wrote about how The Boyfriend and I planned on lowering our bills. Between 5th September and 5th October we spent £36.07 on energy (including £34.01 on electricity) and £26.55 on water. Following the plan of shorter showers and turning things off at the wall, I'm pleased to announce that between October and November (31 day period) we spent £34.15 on energy and £24.70 on water, a decrease of 5% and 7% respectively. 

I want to keep this up and hopefully report even lower costs next month! :)

SFT asked if we are winning. I think I have had some success in these challenges. How are you getting on? :)


Sheila said...

Excellent lowering the bills and getting the crafts sorted out.
I personally think that having a teeny tiny drinky after a very tiring day should be excused and trimmings for a craft shouldn't count either-just think of all of the following years where you will show off the advent stockings!

TB at BlueCollarWorkman said...

My wife and I are also trying to finish all our chirstmas shopping before December hits. We usually get started in teh summertime so that we can afford everything and not get wrapped up in teh madness!!I didn't know that others tried to do this too, lol :-)

saving for travel said...

You are doing brilliantly with your challenging, esp all you've done for Christmas and Lowering the bills.

Sft x