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Happy Tuesday!

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. 

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