Part of the fun of having Fun Dollars is being able to share and give to others. I am empowered to spread the love without dipping into our bank account.
For Christmas I gave all my parent's siblings (4 Uncles and one Aunt) a magnet from Shutterfly with pictures of our kids on them. I gave all the great-grandparents calendars from Shutterfly. I sent the magnets for my dad's side of the family along with the calendar for his parents to my grandparents' apartment in their assisted living home. I wanted Grandma to hand out the cards with the magnets in them to all the relatives (which also included my sister and her new husband) during the family Christmas gathering since we could not be there. When everyone opened their card, my grandma exclaimed, "I want one!" Even though she has a calendar with several pictures of the kids and our family for each month, she still wanted a small thing to put on her mini-fridge.
My grandma is too precious. She wrote me a letter after Christmas explaining what she wanted and that she would gladly pay for it. Now, just so you know, her income at the assisted living center (for her and grandpa to split) is $90 each month. I get more than twice that in Fun Dollars. I wrote her back saying that I would happily order her a magnet and not to worry about paying me for it. So I did just that. It was on sale at Shutterfly, and with shipping and tax, it came out to $8.00.
This week, I also had the rare opportunity to pay it forward. Last week, I had the hankerin' for an afternoon Coca-Cola from Circle K. As I was paying, I saw that the girl behind me had exactly the same thing, so I quietly told the cashier to put hers on with mine. It's not often that I can do that (in secret) and it felt nice to buy something for a total stranger. Even though it was carbonated high fructose corn syrup, the act still felt joyful.
And finally, I sent a birthday gift card from Bath and Body works to a friend of mine back in Illinois. I used $10 Fun Dollars and $5 from our bank account. I cleared this one ahead of time with my hubby. There are several friends that I like to send gift cards too, and he agreed that he would match (using our checking account) up to half the amount of the gifts cards if it were under $20. Since we just finished with Christmas, and two birthdays for our kids, I kept the amount to $15 and footed 10 of that. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to buy a birthday present for someone I care about with my own money.
Empowerment is what Fun Dollars is all about. Empowerment to make the decision to buy, empowerment to brighten people's day, empowerment to do things you might not otherwise do. Buying is not a bad thing, as long as it is within your rmeans. In our family we just carve out our means and stay within that.
Magnet on Shutterfly- $8.00
2 Sodas at Circle K- $2.00
Bath and Body Works Gift card- $10.00
Balance this pay cycle- $5.00