I’m happy to say that The $20 Challenge is still going strong. Since my post on Friday, I managed to spend a little less than usual during our Saturday morning routine and even saved about $10 on food at the pool Saturday/Sunday. Talking with a friend last night, I said, “Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!” But it must just be that the timing was right — my older son, usually the go-go-go buy-buy-buy child, must understand more now what it means to spend here and save there. (And, arguably, so do I?) In the past 11 days, we’ve spent about half of what we normally would. I’m loving the recognition that things don’t have to be so difficult — and if living on $20 a day sounds difficult, let me tell you: It’s so much easier than overspending, worrying, transferring money and using credit cards!
One thing that has helped is my growing awareness around potential pitfalls and how they relate to my money habits, tendencies, patterns and neuroses. In the past, I tended heavily toward the highs and lows of a Feast or Famine existence — even though “spending whatever I wanted” didn’t mean extravagant meals or pointy-toed shoes, after pay day I would always be more lax with my spending, which inevitably led to eventual Famine. When my next pay period comes around, I know I won’t be so tempted to “feast.”
I can also see my tendency — no matter how backwards it sounds (I know I’m not the only one) — to drop something all together if I can’t do it perfectly. For example: For me, Peapod works. But it’s not perfect — with a minimum order of $60, that’s already triple my daily budget. Which could be the start of a slippery slope — I’m not doing this right; I’m not good enough; might as well go back to the way things were — but something has clicked, and that’s not my style any more. I’m working around it, and it feels like progress. (It IS progress!)
I have a habit of making things more difficult than they have to be.
I have a habit of crossing my fingers and sticking my head in the sand.
I have a habit of just rolling over and saying “fine” when IT IS NOT FINE!
Seeing these tendencies now, however, feels like looking at them from the other side of a great expanse.
If you get to know your money habits — without judgment; with awareness and self-compassion only — I promise you there is hope that one day you’ll be able to see them this way, too. It’s a great feeling.
Thinking about joining me on The $20 Challenge? Leave a comment or follow the challenge on Facebook, and we can cheer each other on. Saving in this way has made a true difference thus far, so if it sounds like something you’d be interested in, it’s never too late to start.
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