I failed. The last few days of the month were not no spend. I learned something about myself in my failure though–I’m not good at sticking to something I don’t really get behind. Yes, the no spend month was my idea, but since my goal wasn’t to set aside a certain amount and our teeny budget was an artificial one (ie it wouldn’t truly break the bank to go over), when I hit a wall with the kids last week, making another bean dish made me want to cry. So I went to Chick Fil A. And I stand by my decision.
I learned other things about my priorities last month as well.
For instance, produce is expensive, but worth every penny! All of my grocery bills were between half and two-thirds produce. If our family has to cut back, meat will go, but not our veggies!
Family fun doesn’t have to cost anything, but I do enjoy having the freedom to spend a little. We jumped on a trolley last Friday for the Frankfort Ave Trolley Hop. The ride is free, but the trolley goes up and down a street jam-packed with amazing and unique businesses all vying for your dollar. We browsed and eventually stopped for ice cream at the Comfy Cow. Their ice cream is fantastic and licking our cones at the end of our outing was the perfect end to the evening.
We like to be hospitable and to bring meals to families with new little ones or other needs. On a contracted budget, it was tricky to bring meals or have people over and be able to offer them more than free Panera bread or a bowl of beans. Now I’m not saying hosting should be fancy or that every dish I bring to a friend needs to be five stars, but I do like to give something enjoyable when possible.
Delay is okay! There are some things that can easily be put off to buy later and we’ve found that this is good for us. That new fill-in-the-blank? I’m sure we can do without for another couple of weeks. I get a little high when I buy new things, so limiting purchases can help me understand value better–am I finding my joy, delight and satisfaction in a new kitchen gadget or in my fellowship with Christ?
So yes, I bombed (big time) by spending a whole lot on chicken sandwiches and ice cream cones, but I think we were able to examine our spending habits, discover what our weak spots are (salted caramel ice cream anyone?), and reset our family budget so that we can give, save and spend more intentionally in the coming months. No spend month in my estimation, was therefore a success.