Monday, January 12, 2009

Motivational Monday...

Lessons we continue our FIRST 'No Spend Month' I am learning so many things about myself and my family. I am learning what I didn't plan well for and I'm learning how to be a gracious receiver. This has really been a great experience for me and my family.

My husband and I had many conversations with our kids prior to beginning the 'NSM'. We wanted to keep them informed so they could help us be successful. Eating out is one of our greatest weaknesses, next to Walt Disney World. We love to eat out and we do it often...2-3 times a week. I spoke about that in my first post. Just not eating out would save us $300-$400 a month. So, our kids had to be involved with this. We asked them to not ask us to 'grab McDonald's' or 'order Chinese' for dinner. Up until today the question was not asked. The kids have been great and I am so proud of them. Then this morning our oldest son asked if he and his 2 sisters (9yo and 15yo) could buy the 'family' dinner at McDonald's, as a mid-month celebration for doing so good in our first 'NSM'. I hadn't expected to hear that question and didn't know how to respond to it. The kids were not technically doing the 'NSM' because their money is their own. None of it goes to bills. They were just asked to not ask for anything this month. In not knowing how to respond I asked my Sonlight friends what they thought I should do, they always have wise answers.

My friend Angi gave me this response...

I'd say yes to this request for these reasons:

1) They asked well. Politely, with the Family Plan understood and in mind.
2) They are using their own money, not used for bill paying purposes anyway.
3) They had to cooperate and be resourceful to accomplish their end goal.
4) Children have smaller incremental places of celebration. It's we adults who are capable of going longer and longer distances of self-denial.
5) It's a beautiful thing.

What a wise and well thought response from Angi. I also had many other responses that were great from my Sonlight friends. Angi and the others helped me to see all the positives that could come from allowing our older children to 'treat' the family to McDonald's. Thanks all!

What else have I learned...

1. You begin to lose the fast food craving by day 7 or 8.
2. You need way more flour than what you might think when you are baking your own bread daily.
3. Being flexible with changing a meal on your menu is okay. ( I tend to be very ridged about these types of things.)
4. Not leaving the house saves you money!!

Those are just a few new things I've learned since beginning our 'NSM'. I am certain I will learn more throughout the remainder of the month.

I want to encourage anyone considering doing a 'NSM' either in its entirety or a modified version to really sit down and do your best to account for any expense that may arise. And if something does come up that you didn't account for, show yourself some grace. It isn't the end of the world if you end up spending a little. Learn from it and then press on. Don't give up thinking you've failed because you haven't. You have done great and if you decide to do another 'NSM' you will do even better.

Best wishes, now think twice before you spend...


Amanda said...

Michelle, what you are doing is very inspiration to me. Thank you for taking time to write about your experiences.