1.20.2014

30 Days of $Zero... FAIL.

I have to say... we have really done well with the 30 Days of Zero project.  Our deep freezer, fridge and pantry are much less crowded (as in... I can see the back/bottom of them now)... and I am fairly certain that my Starbucks habit is... dare I say... kicked.  I can barely remember the layout of my favorite Target (ok that's a lie... I know the inside of that store better than 3/4 of the employees, but I digress) and I can already see a difference in my bank account.  All wins!

Today, however, was complete and utter failure.

The first sign of impending doom was that Kevin and I had a day off together that I did not have to spend sleeping.  And I was able to get everyone motivated, up and out of the house by like 10am (this NEVER happens!).  I should have known this meant trouble from the get go.  Add in the fact that we were both in a fabulous mood and had a small reason to celebrate (more on that later)... and off the deep end we went.  Well... not entirely... at first...

We decided to reward ourselves (and Kennedy) with a little lunch date at Moe's.  For some reason, lunch dates are way more rare (and fun) than breakfast or dinner.... and a lunch date on a week day felt like we were playing hookie, which made it even better!  Since it was Moe's Monday, all 3 of us ate for less than $20.  Not too bad.  We had fun, made silly faces, Kennedy waved and said "Moe's" to everyone who walked in the door (mimicking the employees when they yelled "Welcome to Moe's".  It was really fun.  And, call me crazy, but I am pretty sure the food tasted better.  In truth, I think we just enjoyed it and appreciated it more, because we weren't just eating out to eat... but rather to celebrate and enjoy the experience together as a family.  Although this was breaking our $Zero rule... I learned from it and still consider it a positive experience.  I learned that IF I am going to spend money, especially on something like going out to eat... I am going to savor it and enjoy it, not just do it for the sake of doing it (or because I am too lazy to cook that night or whatever).  It is going to be special.  And, silly as it sounds, our little family Moe's lunch date was pretty special.

So that's that.

The next (and much worse) fail was when we got home.  I had been eyeing up this sweet puppy since around Christmas time, but for a few reasons, I just decided the time wasn't right and it wasn't meant to be.  Well, lo and behold I came home to find out that the deal fell through and he was still available... and he was the last of his litter left.  Oh... and he had PANTS!  Just like Lucy.  I decided this was a sign and I began to plead my case with Kevin.  A few sweet, convincing puppy pictures and a few emails/phone calls to our favorite breeder and the deal was done.  We are picking up our new little bundle of joy on Saturday.  The irony is, without the past 3 weeks of zero spending, it is unlikely that buying this sweet boy would have been a feasible option for us.  Everything happens for a reason, right?

So... yeah... that's my story of the ultimate $Zero fail.  It is what it is.  I'm not ashamed.

I'm hopping back on the wagon for the rest of the month.  Maybe I'll even extend it another week or two to punish myself for today's events.  Maybe I won't.  Or maybe I will... after just... one... Starbucks Chai Tea Latte.  Either way, I am walking away from this experience with a new appreciation for money, which is really what I was looking for when I started anyway.  So I guess, in that respect, it was successful.

Sometimes lessons are learned by succeeding at something, but more often than not, the lessons lie buried within our failures.  It was likely that without today, my first spending trip after a month of saving would have been to Target, buying a cart full of useless crap that I don't need, just because I can.  But instead... I actually savored a rare, but very fun lunch with my loved ones at Moe's and we will all be loving on our sweet new puppy very soon... not a bad way to learn a lesson about spending my money wisely.