31 Days of Living Well Spending Zero – Day 27

 
Today was overwhelming, in the best kind of way.

First of all I was able to get a walk in, with just the dog. Thanks to a hubby who is really trying to help and enable me to be healthy. Plus we got a few things done around the house and made it to Bible Study. That is always awesome. It was the last week and I’m really glad I went.

 
The ladies in my small group are delightful and are so so sweet. I hadn’t shared with them about the challenge this month, mostly because there is such great content we have been covering in Angie Smith’s Seamless and it just wasn’t as relevant. But today it came up. Talking about the sacrifices of Paul. Let me tell you – that man knew suffering. NOTHING in this month even compares or comes close. BUT it does give you a glimpse into how much we have and how little we truly know suffering or even restraint. (2 Corinthians 11:22-33 there was NO place safe for Paul)

We are so blessed with what we have. But I am learning that practicing restraint, sacrifice and gratitude can teach us so much. And they are things I want to teach our children.

 
Plus when the ladies heard of the challenge, one lady from our group in particular who had brought the “snack for the day,” insisted I take home the leftovers. So sweet and especially wonderful since so much of it was produce – fruit that the boys LOVE. Grapes and apples are their favorites. What a blessing. Plus some sweets for my boys that they will thoroughly enjoy.
Thank you wonderful ladies!
The other blessing in our day was a visit from our dear friend. Not only did she drive a LONG distance, grocery shop for snacks for ME, but she brought along her adorable boy. Cashel is enamored with babies. Very different then when Camper came home as he really just didn’t have an awareness. But now he wants to “care for” and “help with” the baby and it just warms my heart.

So proud here to be eating his lunch and “watching out” for baby. Mind you the grownups were around the island too, but he felt like it was HIS JOB. I love it.

 
 
And it just blessed this pregnant Momma’s heart to get to snuggle and love on this boy. Oh the sweet smells, adventures, and hard work that come with having a new baby. It’s a beautiful, messy adventure for sure!
 
 
What I did spend on…
1. NOTHING (and blessed by so many)
Actually that is not true. We had to buy diapers (on our “absolutely necessary list) but this is a miracle. We made it 27 days on the diapers and wipes we had along with some that were gifted to us when a friend’s little one became fully potty trained. WOW!! That’s a victory.
 
What I did not spend on…
1. Today I received all kinds of gifts of food and with only 4 days left I was overwhelmed by the generosity of these ladies in my life.

2. Kids pouches. Yes we ran out! I had purchased a box at Costco late September and made them stretch as long as possible. Tonight we ran out and Camper just had his heart set. So… my husband, Benjamin, who the kids affectionately call “Papa” got creative! Thanks to my love for being so on board with this whole challenge even though you had NO warning. 😉

 

 
Tips…
1. Sharing about your adventure can “pay off.” Not only in ways like this where people helped meet physical needs/wants but also because as you share you process. As you answer questions you examine your own heart and mind and you learn. 
2. Write about what you are learning. A blog, a journal, a note pad – anything will do the trick. But truly some of my best reflections came during this time of sharing and writing about my experience.

3. Work with your significant other or spouse. They really do need to be on board and even if you are the main budgeter in your family I guarantee there will be some not so fun disagreements if you are not on the same page at the start of the month about what exactly you believe is ZERO spending. I outlined what I thought it meant and asked him if he thought it was doable. Thankfully even with so little, well really NO, warning he jumped on this crazy bandwagon. I’m going to ask him for his reflections in the next couple of days and I hope to share.

PS insert unnecessary but totally necessary cute picture of my amazing partner – Benjamin!

 

 

4. What is “absolutely necessary” becomes a whole lot more apparent near the end of the month. If you are considering doing a spending freeze or a month like this in the near future. I would challenge you…. keep the “absolutely necessary” list (things that are okay to spend on) as truly short as possible. I think I shared mine on Day 1 but by the end of the month only a few things were actually on it…
 
1. Gas (We tried to be conscious about our driving and I ended up cutting mine in almost half)
2. Prescriptions or medical needs
3. Milk (primarily a need for our boys ages 3 and 1.5 and I purchased twice I believe)
4. Apples (which we ended up not needing to buy since we were gifted some)
5. Toilet paper (I ended up having more then enough for the month since we purchased at Costco and had in storage enough.

 

I did not allow myself to put paper towels on the list even though with small children they fell necessary. I found myself being more cautious with what we used them for and so far I’ve had enough!
 
One thing we didn’t put on the list that became a more major expense was our car fixes. But you’ve read about those already in Days & .
 
The tip is this. Really think what do I absolutely need?” And keep that list as SHORT as possible. Even eliminating things from the list as you go through the month and reevaluate.
 
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