Ok, you guys. Truth?
I have spent three times outside of bills and groceries.
Do I think I have failed the challenge?
I believe that each of my purchases were absolute necessities. Let me explain.
At the end of the first week of the challenge, my son’s work shoes bit the dust. He came home from work with a hole in the sole of his shoe. He had been taking the garbage out, walking through snow, and noticed his sock was wet. I believe shoes with no holes in them are a necessity, so off to DSW we went to purchase new work shoes. My son needs anti-slip soled shoes, which are a little more expensive than ordinary soled shoes, so we ended up spending a total of $52.14 on new work shoes. I’m sure I could have spent less if I had researched where to find the cheapest replacement, but we bought him a high-quality pair of shoes that will likely last alot longer than something we might have found at, let’s say, Payless.
Did my son absolutely need new work shoes? Yes. I’m cool with categorizing these shoes in “essentials”.
The second time I spent was this past Wednesday when I went to Chipotle and Starbucks after work. Sounds like a frivolous, non-essential night out with fast-food, right?
I’m a teacher and, sometimes, it is required that I spend very, very long days at school. One of these days was this week when we had an event planned with students and parents. This event was scheduled late into the evening and that meant I would be at work from 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Ouch.
I always eat breakfast at home, pack my lunch for work, and eat dinner when I get home. However, the schedule that day meant I would not get home until around 10:00 p.m., and I could not eat dinner that late. I suppose I could have packed something for my dinner, but I am a firm believer in taking care of my mental health as well as my physical health. Eating dinner at work would have meant that I stay in the building for 15 hours, and by the end of the day, I would have interacted with hundreds of people. I’m an introvert. But even if I wasn’t, I don’t think it’s healthy for anyone to spend 15 hours at work without some sort of physical departure from that space.
So, I went with two co-workers to Chipotle and ordered a healthy meal. I got a veggie burrito bowl, chips, and a Clemetine Izzy. I spent $11.18, which was a lot for dinner, but so worth the hour of great conversation and mostly-healthy food replenishing my mind and body for the night ahead. Plus, I hadn’t eaten since 10:30 that morning (my scheduled lunch time), so I was famished and quite happy to be eating a delicious meal.
After dinner, my co-workers and I went to Starbucks.
This was a total must.
I had been nursing a migraine since about 3:00 p.m. and I needed caffeine. And to be frank, even if I had not had a headache, I would have gone to Starbucks anyway. I am not a machine and there was no way I was getting through another three hours of standing on my feet and presenting information without coffee. No way.
Just. No. Way.
My co-worker was ahead of me in line and ordered a peppermint mocha with a gift card a student had given her for the holidays. She paid for her drink and handed me the card saying, “Here, I don’t really come to Starbucks, you can have the rest.”
My immediate thought was, “Girl, we need to talk about the importance of coffee, again. Are you sure about this?”
Then I felt the migraine pounding through my eye and thankfully accepted the card.
I ordered a tall, black coffee, straight-up. After the remaining balance on the gift card was applied, I spent a total of $1.12.
Was Starbucks that night a necessity?
In total, I have spent $64.44 outside of regular bills and groceries. And, I feel 100% justified with all three purchases.
Although we have ventured outside of the financial margins we set at the beginning of the month, as I mentioned in my first post, everyone has different needs, and we live different lives. And living means that things come up. That’s just life. And I’m OK with that reality.
I don’t feel like I failed this challenge, even though I spent beyond our original guidelines, and we are still on this plan for the rest of the month! We have even be talking about extending this adventure into February.
Have you taken this challenge and run into any unexpected circumstances? I’d love to hear about your own journey!