It’s that time again for a shopping ban update! We hit the six week mark yesterday, and this morning I had a chance to sit with my coffee and envelope of receipts to reflect.
There is something powerful about holding that stack of receipts. It represents all the meals, all the snacks, all the gas, all the activities….it is a journal of the last two weeks.
Each time I go through the stack I am reminded of something I forgot. This time I was reminded of the delicious family trip to In-N-Out Burger, where I ordered my favorite triple double burger wrapped in lettuce.
One of our goals for this two week period was to have a zero dollar day for the whole family. We accomplished this goal on Monday March 18th!!
That evening when K and I reflected on the zero dollar day we both agreed that it helped us relax. We did not think about purchasing anything because we agreed to zero dollars. When the kids wanted to stop by the grocery store for a snack (something we do from time to time), I simply said no. Like our media ban, having a spending ban for the day made it easier to say no.
We do have an approved shopping list and it has been flexible throughout this time. Things come up that we did not expect, but we still have to plan for them and use money we have…not the credit card.
Here are some examples of things we purchased this two weeks:
1. School Yearbook and Lifetouch photos
I got an email from my son’s school that we could purchase his kindergarten yearbook as well as Spring photos. I thought about both purchases for about a week. I debated on doing neither or doing only one. I concluded that the yearbook was a great memory for my son and a way to reflect on his first year of school. I concluded the photos were a great way to share his school year with family, as they all live far away. So we purchased both and are very happy with the decision.
2. Gymnastics Class for daughter
My daughter has done two sessions of gymnastics through our parks and recreation. She has had the same coach and LOVED every minute. Her confidence has soared with the class, which has been a struggle for her in the past. So when the teacher announced a third session her face lit up with excitement. I ran the numbers when we got home and told her yes! She was beside herself with joy and immediately started practicing cartwheels with a really intense face.
3. Birthday gifts
Over spring break my son and daughter attended two birthday parties. Although I believe most children do not need more toys, I bought the customary birthday gift for each party. I let my kids pick them out and kept the gifts under $10.
4. Air Filter for car
The Versa was due for an air filter. One of those super fun adult things you have to do. After 3 trips to Auto Zone we returned with the correct one (love you sweetie!).
5. Books for our son
My son is currently obsessed with the Magic Tree House chapter book series. We heard about a used bookstore called Bookman’s and hit the mother lode of Magic Tree House. My son used his full $10 and we pitched in $6 so he could get 8 books. He was so excited that we couldn’t say no….how many six year old boys are screaming book titles with joy on their spring break??? So cute!
As you can see, we still buy things occasionally that meet our criteria. The difference is the purchases are very intentional and less frequent.
Our goal at each two week review is to hold that pile of receipts and feel joy instead of remorse. I look back on these two weeks with immense joy and look forward to the next two.