- family fun at home with the sisters and brother
- fresh brewed coffee from home (see our post on financial benefits of forgoing coffee shops)
- complementary tickets to events through work
- homemade food
We have a tight budget and it’s easy to go over. Every penny counts and we keep track. We have a very strict way of keeping track of everything (we will share our system in November). With start of school and sports in September we’ve gone over quite a bit with the family and with my personal trips to North Carolina and New York I had to dip into my savings. I’ve been inspired my Ruth Soukup’s blog Living Well Spending Less to take part in the Living Well Spending Zero October Challenge. If you follow sibs raising sibs on Instagram you already know this. I tried to get the family on board but was hit with a lot of resistance. I pick and choose my battles. I decided this month I’m doing it for my personal spending. That means no new clothes, meals out, entertainment, coffee etc. If I was doing this with the whole family we would have a goal of going through everything in the pantry and freezer as well- which is something that we do in a weekly baises anyways.
Poppy looked at me like I was crazy when I started on Thursday. She was convinced I was going to cave by end of the month but I explained that I’ve carved out some exception for myself this month:
- I already committed to golf lessons with my friends and I’m not going to mess with my coach’s estimated income.
- My friends are planning a girls night out. We’re all so busy I’m so happy we found a time that works for everyone.
- Gas for the car- I have to go to work and make the money.
- Chiropractor- this saves me.
Today I was out with Poppy and she asked to stop at Starbucks. I said no and reminded her of the commitment I’ve made to my finances. She was fine with it and impressed that I’m actually commuted to it. When we got home, we read the email that Ruth sends out daily with a task- today was empty out the pantry and itemize and organize everything in there. We had a can of tuna that went bad in 2011 in the way far back. Yuck.
By the end of the after noon I asked the family again if we should try the challenge together in November. I brought up that it would be a great way to save up for the holidays. They were down.
I’m learning to pick my battles and lead by example. If I continue to take on challenges and succeed on my own I can inspire the sibs to follow suit. My dad was a great father but awful with money. I’ve managed to teach myself a lot by asking questions and researching. I hope the twins will have a better understanding of finances from growing up with fiscally savvy big sisters.