Tuesday, January 31, 2012

february gameplan

today i cheated a little.  i made a run to great harvest bread company to buy one of my favorite things...a pricey loaf of bread that i didn't want to show up on our budget next month...
mmmm...dakota bread.  yes - i know you can get a loaf of bread at the grocery store for under 2 bucks but this thing is worth every bit of the 5 dollars i spent on it.  it's so healthy and yummy and fresh...

if you read my last post you know that my family is trying out a little experiment during the month of february.  we are curious {actually i am curious and the rest of my family is pretty much along for the ride} if changing some of our habits will change our hearts.

before i tell you our gameplan i must tell you one important thing.  

we have a budget.  

we love a budget.  a budget has changed our marriage, our attitude toward spending, our ability to be generous...i could go on and on.  if you don't have some type of family budget i HIGHLY recommend it.  we once lived life without a budget...things are much better now.  {this site may give you some helpful tools}

so...having said that...our little experiment isn't so much about changing our spending as it is about changing our attitudes and perspective, and modifying the way we spend our time and energy.  i'll try to expand on that later in the month.

for now - here's what we've decided to do for the next 29 days.  it's sorta being done in the spirit of fasting and we've stuck with the '7' idea for most of the rules...

:: each family member will give away 7 items per week {that's 1 per day for a total of 116 items over the course of the month...i'm not a math person so you might want to double check that number}  this is the one that got joey on board...getting rid of STUFF!  we've already started talking it up with the kids and this morning when they were in the playroom lucy looked around at the embarrassing number of toys surrounding her and said - 
'we really need to start giving some of this stuff away!'  amen, sister.  let's start tomorrow!

:: each family member will wear 1 of 7 preselected outfits for the duration of the month. {we are cheating a bit on this and picking out 7 warmer weather outfits and 7 colder weather outfits...we've been experiencing 65 degree days around here lately so it's hard to know what to expect}  joey is somewhat exempt from this because he has certain things that he must wear at golf tournaments but he's trying to stick to it outside of work.  i am thrilled that i won't waste several minutes a day staring at a bazillion articles of clothing in my closet.  oliver will never know the difference since i pick out his clothes every day anyway.  lucy is cool with it but this was her response when i first told her...
'ok mommy...this is one of my 7.'  
she's a princess...but a low-maintenance one.

:: we will eat only 7 different dinners over the course of the month {that's 7 dinners repeated throughout the month}  i don't think anyone else in my family cares about this one but me.  i am thrilled with the simplicity that goes along with it.  i am curious if it will save us money...i know it will save me time.  i also hope it will remind us how spoiled we are to eat something new and different and delicious all of the time.  one of our 7 meals will be rice and beans.  millions of people around the world live on an almost exclusive diet of rice and beans so i think we can do it once a week.  oliver will think he has died and gone to heaven because he could eat a mexican restaurant out of their rice and beans!  lucy, on the other hand, well...we'll see...

:: we will spend no more than 7 minutes per day on facebook, pinterest, and any other on-line browsing that is not work related.  {that's 7 minutes TOTAL...i'm mainly just giving myself enough time to respond to messages and post my blog}  don't get me wrong...i really like those sites.  i think they are great tools.  i also think i need to cut back my usage for a while and refocus on what i should be using them for.  i'm also curious how much more i will accomplish in other areas when i free up some of that wasted time.

:: we will not spend money on anything that is not a necessity this month.  this is where we may shave a little bit off of our spending.  there are a few items in our budget that this would apply to - entertainment, eating out, clothes, personal 'no questions asked' money...the amounts we assign to these categories isn't much but i can see how it would add up.  the only exception to this is when we are out of town.  we have a couple of trips planned this month that may require us to eat out once or twice...in these cases we agree to spend no more than $7 on a meal. again - i am hoping that this will not just impact our spending but also reduce some of the time we waste.

so that's it!  i promise to be completely honest with you about how things are going this month.  i will let you know if we are sticking with the plan, how it is impacting us, if it's hard or easy...or just a complete waste of time.  i'm praying God will use it to reveal some new things to all of us about the way we live.

come on february...we're ready!