Well, today marks the first full week of our attempt to live on minimum wage during Lent. Ray tallied up our expenses and we overspent our $100 goal by $10. Not too bad, but not perfect. And we need to fill up the van.. that will mean at least $40 out of this week's money.
I am left wondering what folks do when they don't have that $10. I suppose the answer is to either pay for everything in cash and thus have not been able to buy the extra $10 worth of items (we have been using our credit card and keeping record) or begin to run a credit card balance.
It has been interesting how my perspective on things shifts. Dinner at Church sounds like a really good idea for a much different reason: it is cheap or free! Amazing what a different sort of motivator that is in making dinner plans. Dinner at a family member's home sounds almost irresistible!
Also, I am having my suspicion confirmed that it is cheaper to go the grocery store often (which is less than 2 miles away) than to try to buy groceries for an entire week or more. Inevitably, groceries are wasted when the planning is out further than 3-4 days.
Yesterday, when I was at the polls for Stop Slots Maryland, I went to the grocery store and bought sandwich makings and other items. It was cheaper than buying subs, and for the extra 10 minutes or so it required, it was certainly worth it to save $10-$20. (It probably put is over the $100 mark, but felt good to do.)
I am impressed by how much God truly provides for our needs. Also, I appreciate what we have on a deeper level.
My kids still don't have any idea that we are doing this, which I think is good. I don't want to raise our kids always saying "we can't afford this" and thus teach them that money will help meet all of their desires. I'm trying to simply focus upon "we don't need that; we have plenty at home." (And, there is still room enough for special requests for lunch box items...) I think this since I had already made it a habit to regularly refuse requests of many kinds, it is also easy enough to implement.
Thanks for reading about my journey thus far... it is a blessing to reflect upon it in writing.