I wanted to give you an update on our spending fast (serious diet).¬† It has been one of the hardest and most hysterical things ever.¬† To catch you up, our family decided to go on a spending fast (serious spending diet) for the month of January.¬† You can read about it here¬†http://www.shebelievedshecould.org/spending-fast-more-like-diet/.
Here is what has come out of it so far:
1. ¬† A little planning makes all of the difference.¬† I had to think about the times that we ENJOY eating out the most.¬† This is a weekend night for us.¬† I fix a meal that everyone loves.¬† I make them excited about eating at home by making their favorite things.
I also had to think about the times that it is most CONVENIENT to eat out or grab something.¬† This is after school and between activities.¬† Shannon¬†had a cooler packed in her car the other day.¬† This is genius and just takes a little planning.¬† I copied her. ¬†The kids looked at me like I had come from another planet, but that is beside the point.
2.¬† Kids become grateful.¬† At the beginning of the fast I knew we had a couple of soccer tournaments out of town.¬† We had decided that we would eat out during those times.¬† Our first one was the second weekend in January.¬† We had been on the fast for a little over a week and the kids were not loving it.¬† We went to eat dinner out that first night of the tournament and they were ecstatic.¬† They thanked us profusely and savored every bite.¬† They APPRECIATED it.¬†
3.¬† Kids become scrappy.¬† Gift cards are ok to use.¬† They have been coming out of the woodwork.¬† When a couple of months ago, they were piled up who knows where.¬† I have seen one from Sonic, Shakes and Starbucks appear.¬† They deliberate about when they will use them.
4.¬† The kids are becoming disciplined.¬† We were talking about going to a movie and our son said, ‚ÄúWe can‚Äôt.¬† We are on our spending fast.‚ÄĚ ¬† They are taking ownership. ¬†They are also quick to remind me that we are on the spending diet when I see a little something special that ¬†I would like to take home with me.
5.¬† I have saved a ridiculous amount of money and therefore I am embarrassed.¬† I did not realize how much we spent on silly things.¬† Small things add up so quickly.¬† Trust me.¬†
6. ¬†Your name will be smeared to anyone that will listen to your youngest child. ¬†My family thinks we are weird anyway ¬†– so that doesn’t really matter. ¬†My friends¬†– that is a little more awkward. ¬†Teachers – I’m scared to death to know what teachers know about our family. ¬†Apparently Lucy has shared it with much disdain with her entire class.
7. ¬†People perk up when I tell them about it. ¬†They are interested and sound a little like they want to join in. ¬†You are on your own in February. ¬†I’m getting me some Starbucks (just not as much as usual).
I have to confess. ¬†I had a couple of incidents where I messed up. ¬†The first few days¬†were the hardest for me because I was starting a new habit. ¬†I had one disastrous move at Sophie. RIDICULOUS. ¬†Louise¬†and I tried to justify it.¬†I told Chris it was a business expense. ¬†He said I actually should be making money before it is considered a business expense. ¬†He is full of realistic words of wisdom and truth – always truth. ¬†We also had to eat at Cooky’s in Golden City after Lucy’s game. ¬†They have the best pies. ¬†We are never that way, so we just did it. ¬†Ok, so that’s a lot of confessions, but there are a whole lot more times that I gave up easy fast food, lunch with friends, movies, books I wouldn’t finish,¬†date nights, and 7,000 fun things at Target. ¬†I’m going to chose to focus on that.
It has not been easy, fun or convenient, but it has been worth it and has really made all of us think.¬† This adventure has made a happy difference in our family.¬†