Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Keeping it Clean

*Sigh* A clean home is like a breath of fresh air. When Corey told me he didn't want to pay for the cleaning lady with our family budget, I was heartbroken. But, a determination arose within me that I had never felt before. It was called "maturity".

If Corey had told me this news six months ago, I probably would have had the grown-up equivalent of a meltdown. I would not have had the experience with Fun Dollars that I now have from documenting my spending. How often can someone find a person who will clean their house for under $50.00 an hour? And what am I supposed to do this fall when I go back to work? Clean the house and work? I know there are some super moms out there who manage to do both. But I have learned that I am not one of those moms.

When I worked two years ago, and was expecting Lily, the house turned into a tornado zone. Laundry piled up, floors went unswept, and clutter accumulated. The only part of the house that was clean were the dishes...because Corey did them. After working for five hours, dropping off and picking up Carrick at day care, and prepping dinner, I just had nothing left to give to the house, never mind myself, or my growing belly.

Now that I have two children, instead of an expectant mid-section, the demands of life are different, but no less than they were two years ago. Even though I have a smaller house to care for, I still have a one-year-old at home who will get into anything and make a mess of it. That's okay, but messes can't just sit there, they turn into bigger messes. If a smashed strawberry is left on the floor, it quickly becomes a smear across the floor, or a hand print on the wall. Carrick is older now, but that doesn't mean that he is perfect about how much mess he creates either. He is still a child.

So, for me to have someone else come in every other week and mop my floors and clean my toilets is a really big deal. So big a deal, in fact, that I am willing to shell out my Fun Dollars to pay for it. I realized today while talking with the cleaning lady, that I would have made different decisions with my Fun Dollars six months ago. Instead of supporting a friend with their income, I would have blown my money on junk.

I used to value things like chocolate, alcohol, ice cream, and fast food. I would have spent the $40.00 that I now set aside for a clean house on things that are essentially poison. There is a time and place for such things, and in moderation, nothing is completely harmful. But in the amounts that I was consuming junk food, and fast food, and alcohol, and soda, they all added up to poison. I consumed them much faster than my body could process them. Burger King, beer and Zainey's frozen yogurt all in one day? Blech!

I have really wizened up about my spending habits. In reality, nothing is stopping me from buying $100.00 worth of Oreos if I want to. Corey can't tell me how to spend my Fun Dollars, and what I do with them is my choice. What I have come to realize is that my choices have become more focused, more deliberate, and more beneficial to me as a human being.

I really owe it all to going public with my spending. Thank you to any and all of you who bear witness each week to where my money goes. Without people reading this, I would still have an awareness about where my money goes, but the accountability would not be there. I am responsible to myself and to the readers of this blog to hold true to what I believe in and reflect those beliefs in my purchases. Right now, I value my health and my time with my children. So $40.00 seems like a small price to pay for some extra play time. The toilets can wait.

$40.00 for my Dear Cleaning Lady- $40.00
Balance this pay cycle- $20.00
Happy Spending!

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