We kicked off our Summer Spending Challenge at the beginning of July to bring our summer Entertainment expenses down to $1000. This represents a reduction of 70% of our normal summer spending. Our first week results can be found here:

Results from Week 1

In summary, last week we made a list and analyzed the shit out of it. We separated the list into No, Low, and High cost categories. Then we looked at whether the activities were Creation or Consumption activities and contemplated the meaning of life while we were at it.

Results from Week 2

It turns out that all of that contemplation had some value. We were extremely occupied last week, and didn’t spend a penny on Entertainment.

Goal: $111/week ($1000/9 weeks)

Week 2: $0

Difference: $111

We overspent to the tune of $30 last week, so we made up for it this week. I half expected that this week would be a writeoff since the carnival came to town for 3 days. As expected, my kids saw them setup and lost their minds but we were able to sit down and negotiate. A wristband costs $40 for each of them, so we talked about other ways to spend $80. It turns out that they would happily give up a day at the carnival for a day with two of their friends at the pool. This was an age appropriate values conversation. Play date is lined up for this week.

Mr. Funemployed made a nature treasure hunt for the kids. They spent an hour running around in the bush, trying to find things such as yellow flowers, pinecones, and record sounds of running water and birds.

We also made our first homemade batch of soap! Our kids have been trying to start a lemonade stand, a craft stand, and a rock painting stand for the last year. Usually at 2pm in the afternoon, and sometime in the winter with their snowsuits on. We have had several conversations when they come in and are quite disappointed that no one wants to stop and make a craft while walking their dog in -15 celcius. A few months ago, we settled on the idea of making soap. The kids want to do it and I think we can possibly break even and learn some basic business skills such as bookkeeping and marketing. 

Something Deeper

After an 11 month wait at the library, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl came in. It’s only been referenced by every single book that has anything to do with psychology or philosophy, so I figured it would be a good read.

I don’t know about you, but I have tried gratitude exercises. If it’s a really good month, I might remember once or twice, but nothing consistent. Since picking up this book, I think I’ve been walking around in a constant state of gratitude. It starts when I wake up and feel the weight of my blanket on me in my ridiculously comfortable bed, and it ends when I kiss my kids before I go down and reflect on how safe we all are. I know it won’t last, but I will definitely know where to turn if I ever feel like a victim of my circumstances.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for joining me :).