This week marks the third week of the “No Spending Challenge.” This is the time when it gets harder. The cupboards are getting a bit bare and less appealing… the urges to spend are getting stronger. (scroll below to see an update on our spending this month)
As a family, we did make a spending purchase not in our plan, but one I feel really good about.
Last weekend, we took the kids to the Compassion Experience.
I would highly recommend it as a family event. It is a walk-through audio tour of what life is like for kids in other parts of the world. Due to time and Tyler, we were able to walk through two of the three stories. The kids learned about a boy from Guatemala and a girl from Kenya.
In between these two, I pulled my husband aside and said, “maybe now is the time to finally sponsor a child?” We quickly decided we would shuffle our charity money towards this instead in an effort to make an impact.
After the experience, we decided to sponsor a little girl from Africa. We let the older berries choose who they wanted. They chose a little 4-year old girl who we are calling “Assi” (her name is very long). The man who led the process took the kids aside and told them that they would have to pray for her each night and also take parts of their allowance or gift money and use that to save to buy her gifts for her birthday. Avery right away said, “but her birthday is tomorrow.” My husband, always knowing what to say replied, “she got her gift of a sponsor for her birthday.”
At home that night, it led to a lot of great discussions about the amount of food other kids in the world have to eat and their safety. I can’t say if it has impacted Chase yet, but I know that Avery was very excited about this purchase and said she told her mom and many friends at school.
As a couple, Jamie and I also decided that a better lesson for the kids would be to give up some things in our own budget in order to add this $38 expense. So long to my Ipsy (monthly makeup subscription) and monthly credit report. A better lesson to show the berries is that it feels good to make sacrifices to help others. I hope this modeling will make it easier for them to sacrifice their own earnings, but also to help them transfer this skill into their own lives as adults.
So, all in all, while we did spend some money this month that wasn’t planned.. I hope the lesson that we have imparted will be one that is priceless. They say someone always has it worse. Today we got the opportunity to recognize and help someone for years to come. That’s a lesson worth splurging on!
Update on our current No Challenge Spending:
* We haven’t been out to eat
* We haven’t gone to Target, Meijer, or any other store we normally like to frequent.
* We only spend $30 on groceries to get some necessities (lettuce, milk, bananas, etc)
BUT- We did cheat and get Starbucks on Mother’s Day as a treat for me. Also, remember I told you I couldn’t trust hubby in the grocery store… I did send him to get me a cupcake for a student (pre-approved spending). He came back with a case of beer and two bags of cheese curds. Grr… but I guess our spending is still going better than usual.
I’m looking forward to having our semi-monthly budget meeting together and seeing where this lands us for the month. We had an unforeseen car repair and I’m hoping all this “no spending” will make that new bill painless!
Stay tuned and keep going on your willpower… we are halfway through the month and the No Spending Challenge!