Sunday, August 7, 2016

No Spend Day Triumph

Yesterday I posted some spending goals for the month and almost instantly I wanted to spend obscene amounts of money but I pulled out a no spend day despite intense cravings and for that I'm quite proud.

We went to a parade in the morning. Everyone in the group we were with got carnival food and it looked so yummy. I really wanted to "treat" ourselves too, maybe a corn dog like one little boy had or a slice of pizza that probably would have been slightly gross, or possibly a big bag of caramel corn. There's just something about getting super expensive greasy food in one of those red and white paper trays from a portable food stand that you only find on the street a few days out of the year that makes it seems so special. I convinced myself that the free candy being tossed to the crowd from the parade was special enough and it would be just as special to enjoy the parade without all the extra treats that everyone else was having. I think I would have enjoyed myself if I'd spent the extra money but in truth my son missed out on nothing. He had just as much fun without the extra grease and I'm sure of that.

After the parade we went home for a simple lunch, a long nap, and a make shift dinner. I really wanted pizza but we neither had any nor did I want to buy some. We did have tortillas, cheese and tomatoes though. I ended up placing two tortillas on a cookie sheet. Then I sliced up a tomato from our backyard garden, really thin. I placed a single layer of tomato slices on the tortillas and then covered them with shredded mozzarella cheese and a little cheddar. I baked the "pizzas" until the tortillas were crisp and the cheese was very melty. I cut them in slices with the pizza cutter and little Abe yummed his way through dinner. They were very good.

Almost directly after dinner we were off to watch the fireworks. This was another instance where I REALLY wanted to spend extra money. I did NOT want to go to the fireworks. I cannot actually stress how much I did not want to go but I didn't take little Abe down for fourth of July and I knew how much he would enjoy going to these (this firework show is always better than fourth of July anyhow). Only it's a long walk, and the people... oh the people! Somehow I imagined that buying a special treat (same scenario as above) would make the experience more special. (My husband was at work all day)

I packed a back pack full; water, apple slices, granola bars, a bag of the parade candy, blankets, sweatshirts... As long as our usual off the beaten path spot was available I told myself, "I can handle this." Every street the entire way down was lined with parked cars and stopped cars hoping to find a parking spot (I doubt any of those people found a place), people walking down, and people wandering quite lost. Someone even stopped me to ask me for directions and then commented, "I live here, just all the people and cars have gotten me confused." Wow.

Our spot was completely open with only a few families sitting there when we finally arrived. I was elated! Honestly, I feel like it's the absolute best spot to watch the fireworks but somehow very few people know of it. We set out our blanket, got out our treats, and completely enjoyed each other as we munched on apples, watched the sun set and waited for the show. It was comfortable, quaint and very much away from the madness but completely close to the beautiful show. I'm really REALLY happy that I buckled down, powered through my reserve and brought my little guy down there. The whole day was really special and we didn't spend one penny. Even the walk back was nice. Triumph!

Now, for today I think we shall do NOTHING!


  1. What a wonderful day and what a wonderful little fella!

  2. SO proud of you!!!! Just make sure you do all these little things now - my "little guy" is moving out at the end of the month so we will officially be empty nesters :( Gotta live vicariously through you guys :)

  3. I never bought all that junk food at special occasions. We never bought coke and popcorn at movies. My three begged, but I was hard-hearted. No, it cost too much. The only thing I ever bought for them was cotton candy at the fair in Memphis. That was once a year. Not wanting to deal with three little children with a wad of sugar on a stick, I bought one for all of them. Then, I bought another, then another. Plus, I brought wet wash cloths in bags for the cleanup.

    Kids get accustomed to getting junk at these venues, so it is best to stop the foolishness before they beg. Oh, I carried stuff to eat and drink, too.

  4. You did so well! Like you, I try hard not to make buying "junk" part of the specialness of going to events. It's difficult, as that's definitely how I was raised. We were healthy eaters 90% of the time, but any opportunity where we were at a special event . . . well, let's just say that my parents associated all of the treats with making it special. ;-)