Friday, September 30, 2011

30 Day Challenge Ends - Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

Goals: From the 1st post this was a Dave Ramsey style challenge in our quest to be totally debt free. We also added a goal to test our emergency preparedness.


In staying within our budget this month we increased our regular payments this month and were able to
  • put an extra $800 towards debt reduction.
  • extra $500 towards Christmas budget.
  • $300 extra into savings.

In addition to our regular monthly giving to church, CBN, our 5 sponsored children through World Vision, Eastern European Organization, and International Childcare Ministries, we were able to make additional donations to Morningstar, Sixty Feet, and Eden Reforestation. (links at the bottom)

Emergency Preparedness Test:

As part of this challenge we made a decision to also see if we had effective emergency storage and plans in the event of a natural disaster or long term power outage. We had power so we didn't have to use our backup generators or other means for refrigeration/freezing or cooking purposes. From our on-hand emergency supplies we used black beans, wheat, and dehydrated butter (for bread making). We got more creative with cooking and making due with the foods we had in our pantry and freezer. Our only trip to the store was for pet food (we will add more to our storage supplies as a result of this test) and for milk, since that was part of our budget and challenge allowances. We do have dried milk and milk alternatives in our storage supplies, but preferred the fresh milk.

The chickens kept us supplied with fresh eggs. The garden, greenhouse, and orchard kept us in fresh fruits and vegetables. To supplement our meals and fresh supplies we only used canned pineapple, mandarin oranges, and frozen berries.

For entertainment we learned to use what we had here in the house and took time to be creative and artistic.

Biggest challenge was blogging. Though each day holds 100's of small activities and a few bigger ones and are the things necessary in daily living, they are not really worthy of blogging about – so gaps in the blog happen.

We are glad we participated in the challenge as we learned a lot and it was nice to have encouragement and accountability from others. We are not anxious to run into another challenge right now and the children will be happy that dad can now get what he needs to fix the Wii game system!

Before and after the challenge photos of our freezer.

Links for organizations that we added to our giving this month:


  1. You did AWESOME!! I wish our garden produced a little bit more, but something attacked our cucumbers. That is a LOT towards your debt reduction. Amazing! So glad to follow you along on this journey. I'm going to catch up on all your other posts. Great job!

  2. Thanks Anna,

    Appreciate that we found out about the challenge from the posting on your site. Also appreciate all the encouragement we received on the way!