The Fun Dollars New Year's Giveaway is only a few weeks away. There is still time to submit your entry. Check out the previous post of "Fun Dollars New Year's Giveaway" for all the details.
That said, I have been doing a lot of pondering about what I would write for this particular submission if I were entering to win the $100.00
Over the past year of recording and writing about what I spend my money on, I have found several areas of growth with relation to money. The first, and most obvious to me is accountability. Just by writing in this blog week after week, I am holding myself accountable to how much I spend and what I spend it on. Never before have I ever attempted this. Money has always been a taboo. People don't talk about money, they don't divulge how much they make, they don't announce where they spend every penny, they don't reveal sources of income sometimes...Money is a very touchy subject. But by opening up about my spending, I have found a great respect for money that I never had before.
The respect that I hold for our family budget has increased because of this accountability and awareness. Now that we have two kids, and not just a preschooler and an infant, every penny counts. Lily is in school, she eats real food, she gets her clothes dirty, all of that adds up. If I just go out spending as if our budget is just a magic fluff ball, then I am screwing up the income framework of three other human beings. It really matters that I adhere to our family budget. I am so grateful for the growth I have experienced as a result of paying attention to what and where I spend.
The other area of change where growth has happened is with my attitude about others. I have spent more of my personal money on others this year than I have in previous years. We're not talking about tithing for church, that is a separate part of the family budget. No, what I am talking about is feeling the generosity of spirit to share my "extra" with others. Before this year, I would hold on to every penny and every dollar, and find a way to spend it on myself. But this year, I have given money to others, spent money on others, and "provided" for others more so than in the past. I use the word "provided" to cover several examples. I hosted a clothing swap and spent $80.00 on refreshments and drinks for others. I used my Fun Dollars on multiple occasions to buy gifts for others. I even took my family out to eat more often using Fun Dollars; which brings me to my last area of growth...
Before this year I had a dark and dangerous love affair with fast food. I would do anything to rub four quarters together and get a a dollar chicken sandwich. Since I have started paying attention to my spending, I have drastically reduced my fast food spending. Instead of it being a weekly thing, it is now a once every-other-month kind of thing (if that). I don't feel like I am sneaking around in the shadows, trying to get my next fix of french fries. Instead, I am spending more on better quality food. Taking my family to India Palace or Golden Dragon once a week feels so much better than the frequent trips I would make to Wendy's or Burger King. (Now, Domino's is still on my love list...some things don't change...at least not yet....maybe in another year.....)
I am so grateful to all of you who have shared this journey in spending with me. I look forward to the next year to see what Fun Dollars will bring my way. I am so excited to give $100.00 to a lucky reader in the New Year.
Given the Holiday schedule of our family, I will be posting what I spend from now until the New Year, but it will be bare bones. I get to take care of two little munchkins for two weeks, and I want to focus on them over the Holiday Break. Thank you for following me through the year on Fun Dollars. Lots of Love to you in 2015, and Happy Spending!
Christmas Giveaway Money- $10.00 (money in the pot- $70.00)
Cookies at Safeway- $2.00
Lunch at Golden Dragon- $11.00
Money paid to Carrick for helping out- $2.00
Earrings and leggings at Cato- $20.00
Sleep mask at Beall's Outlet- $6.00
Chips at Circle K- $1.00
Balance this pay cycle- $6.00