I probably should offer a recap of January before I jump headfirst into February’s resolution, so here goes:
I was immensely proud of all of us for sticking to this resolution! We ended with a bit of a stall, since we attended the Children’s Film Festival’s PJ party (where there was actually only about 10 minutes of film) and a screening day the following Monday, where the short films totaled an hour, but since two of them were subtitled, I am going to chalk that one up to “culture” rather than falling back onto TV as a babysitter / time killer / crutch.
I teased February’s goal as about NOT spending money, and February is a hard month for us to try this, but I feel like it is really relevant in today’s world of stalling job growth, lay-offs, and all-around crappy economy woe. We’ve got Aaron’s birthday, Connor’s birthday, and Valentine’s Day this month, so telling myself I am not going to be spending like I normally do is a lot easier than actually sticking to it. I already knew by the end of January that I wanted to try being more frugal, but when I went out to the pajama party / opening night of the Children’s Film Festival I immediately bought a $6 snack pack before realizing they were giving away free Trophy cupcakes. Whoops. I’d already spent close to $40 for tickets for Connor and myself to the two days of Film Festival we attended.
Other than those slip ups, and Aaron and I already discussing how much we are putting away each month toward buying a house and a second car, I am staying optimistic. I’ve set Connor’s party up at the zoo without reserving a room and thus avoided a booking fee, made the invites myself and had them printed with Lake’s company discount at UPS, made the favors myself and kept them to a bare minimum / bulk type items and Dollar Tree finds, and am making the cake myself this year!
I am toying with the idea of forgoing Valentine’s Day entirely this year, other than the $7 box of Valentines I bought for Connor to hand out at preschool. I’d been brewing a beautiful, private dinner for Aaron and I complete with décor and dessert, but I know Aaron probably won’t do anything for me for V-day, so rather than face a letdown and potential blow-up, I may table the entire dinner. I’d also thought I might make a bunch of cute homemade candies and homemade Valentine’s for the girls I work with, but also gave that idea up with the hope of cutting costs.
I am worried this post is coming off as a downer, and that the only way you (and I) have fun is by spending money, but that is not true at all! I think I am much more excited about Connor’s birthday this year than last year, when I reserved a room, decorated it with all “Cars” themed merchandise, bought a cake from a local independent cake artisan, and bought lunch for every kid (and one moocher adult) who attended.
I’m also optimistic that I can save money by doing more and more outdoors in terms of Connor and my time. At least $20 a week goes toward playdates, coffees, snacks, etc. while we are out and about town. As the weather gets more mild, we will be able to meet friends at the park and other fun local places. Wish me luck!