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Dealing with a budget and food cravings.

July 29, 2010

This week I took a look at my spending habits, and realized that maternity leave had many hidden costs. Many of the ways to get out of the house, and I try and get out at every chance, involve spending money. From running errands to having lunch with friends, it just seems to be a huge financial drain. Instead of being busy making money, I was spending money to be busy. I became a thoughtless consumer, not good. As I said to a friend, how do I explain to Serafina that she had no college fund because mommy needed to go out to lunch with her friends?

So, I challenged myself to not spend any money this week. We have a full pantry and I have been getting free veggies in exchange for tending a friends garden plot while she is out of town. Instead of meeting people for coffee, I invited them over. I have also sought out free activities; my best friend and her daughter are meeting us at the zoo tomorrow.

A funny thing happens when you stop spending money,  you first realize how ridiculous some purchases are, and then you start having cravings for new ridiculous things. So although, I realize that my home-brewed coffee is actually better than Starbucks, today I really, really wished I had chips to go with my tuna sandwich. I didn’t. So, instead of going grocery shopping, I chopped up a red potato and quickly roasted it in oil with salt and pepper (425 for 30 minutes). It hit the spot, and I didn’t break my vow to not spend money. Satisfied, I looked back in our kitchen and realized we could go three weeks without grocery shopping, and that I could make it just as long without buying anything. Maybe we will be able to afford college after all?

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