31 Days of Living Well Spending Zero – Day 23

 
Well today was a bit harder. I am still not in a position to fully accept Ruth’s challenge of selling things as right now in our temporary home we are only living with 1/3 of our belongings so there isn’t much we are not actively using that I could sell. I do think as we move and unpack I will be creating a give away and “try to sell” pile though!

It’s crazy to me how a day can start off one way and mid day feel very differently. Our morning was wonderful. Ben dropped Camper off with Nona (my mom) and they had a cookie making date. Cashel and I went to messy painting class, which has been such a special time for my boy and I. He made a gift for each of his 4 grandparents for Christmas and was so intent and so proud of his labor.

Granparents IF you are reading pretend to be TOTALLY
surprised and like you didn’t get this wee sneak peek. 😉
I took pictures of him creating and they will go inside the gifts just so the grandparents can see how much effort he put in. Then Cashel and I hit up the library. We really are enjoying going every couple of weeks and just picking up 6-7 books. By keeping this number consistent (usually I limit to 6) I know how many to return and keeps fines down if I am a day or two late. That means we each pick 2 books. This time I selected 3 that came with audio cds and Cashel was really thrilled with the Amelia Bedelia  collection that plays 4 of the stories and has a treasury book. We chose 2 for Camper too and then Cashel wanted to pick a “man book” so we headed toward non-fiction and he selected a large book filled with photos of waterfalls – natural and some manmade – that he was very excited about. This is the one that tipped us over the limit and was very worth it! My crazy-creative boy. He is really into being a “man” and “building” and being a “worker guy” these days.

When we picked up Camper it was clear he too had SO much fun. It reminds me that we need to do these things with him too. We stayed for a short romp around the back yard and clubhouse. Got some energy out and then headed home for lunch. I’d dub this a successful and fun morning for us.

 
 
 
 
Got the boys lunch, they ate. Sat down for mine, I ate. I felt good about my choices.
Then Camper went down for nap and Cashel did some fun creating activities. 
 
I dozed and eventually put him down for a nap.

Enough of the nuances. What it boils down to is that I am seeing that this time when both boys are down for naps could be my most productive time but instead it becomes a chance to cheat (on my low carb “diet”) and a chance to rest (which is also valuable, but also leads me to crave and eat carbs when I don’t need to). I do work hard right up until the moment they go down for naps but then there is this 1-2 hour window when both boys are asleep. I think it’s especially hard right now as I feel a bit stuck with what I can and can’t do. Both due to my physical limitations but also because we are anticipating a move but are not quite to the spot where we can start packing and prepping. Soon though and I think then the nap time might be less challenging.

Dinner is also tough now that I am shooting for such low carbs at meals. My meal plan is already waining since we are in the last week of the challenge of spending zero and then much of what I have left is great for Ben and the boys but not great for my new required diet. They had biscuits and gravy and I had eggs, turkey breast and a biscuit. Still not perfect but okay.

I am proud to say I made it out of the house for TWO 30 minute walks yesterday. After my breakfast, did I mention I don’t usually eat breakfast at all but that eating 3 small meals and consistent snacks is key to keeping my blood sugar levels stable…? Well I don’t. And it’s hard. Plus I have to try to get up and eat, then out the door with the dog without waking my boys. It’s a challenge for sure. But I did it! Props to me. Then after dinner Ben played with the boys for a bit so I could walk a few minutes after I was done eating. This is going to have to be a part of our new routine for the next 6-8 weeks and that is going to take some getting used to.

Well enough of that. Working hard at both challenges. Moments of victory for both and moments of discouragement in both too.

 
Things I spent on…
1. Ben and I both had to get gas in the last couple of days. I think mine was $42 to fill up but that will last me well into the first 10 days or so of November!
 
Things I did not spend on…
1. I so wanted to do a living social deal/groupon for Christmas cards. I do them every year and I know if you buy the vouchers now or even the cards then you will save yourself a lot of money and even more stress. But I’m in a no spend month. The pressure was on as there is one of those counters. I even went so far as to update my account and enter my new debit card number. Then I realized the counter was only for an extra $1 off and I decided to wait. I’m going to shop my options. I found the same deal on groupon for $2 less and think if I look around I may find some equally as good. So… I can wait until Nov. 1 or just after to get the voucher and then maybe I’ll get them formatted and ready before baby arrives. Feel great about resisting that one.
 
2. We stuck to our guns on using groceries. I made 4 lbs. of ground beef taco meat for our small group last night (using what I had on hand and improvising with enough seasoning).
 
3. I’m using the low carb options I have until the end of the month and even then I’m just writing a short list of “must haves” for the first couple weeks of November that may help me feel less trapped in this new way of eating.
 
4. Entertainment today was totally free. Our class (paid for in September, has been really fun and meaningful – especially when its a small thing we are doing this month that feels different and special), Camper’s cooking baking play date with Nona, then our play time at Nona’s and my two walks yesterday. All free and fun!
 
5. We paid all our bills at the start of the month except one that is direct withdrawl so we should have some good savings here at the end of the month. That feels good, instead of feeling extra strapped at the end when you usually running out we have EXTRA. That is a good feeling and one that is motivating.
6. We’ll also get a refund from our old car insurance company and the new bill got pulled out. But this is a NOT spend since the difference is actually a postitive one with like and extra $30 in our account and WAY better coverage. 🙂

Tips…

1. I will tell you that the daily reflection on each day is where I learn the most. Amidst the challenge learning self control and discipline is great. But it’s in these daily write-ups that I really see patterns changing and identify things I am learning and want to change.

2. Staying off social media sites or selling sites helps keep spending down. I’ve had a few times where I have needed to search Amazon to get some information and those are times its harder to resist. Or not clicking into the living social ad at all would have helped me not have to so fully resist the temptation, it wouldn’t have been there at all.

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