There is a popular trend weaving itself around the interwebs and I’m jump’n on the bandwagon. I’m not buying anything but essentials during 2017. I know, we’re already three months in, but I really already started. When I started the food budget, it was supposed to be just a first step toward a simpler life. But the effect has really snowballed. When I made myself aware of how much I was spending each day, each week, and each month, my decision making process changed. I started asking myself, “Do I need that?” instead of “Do I want that?” And so far, the answer has been a resounding “NO.” We buy food; we buy batteries when they run out; we went to dinner and movie for my husband’s birthday; but we haven’t bought ANYTHING in the last three months. No clothes, no trinkets, no gadgets, no electronics. And you know what? It saves time as well as money. If you cut out those little trips to the store to pick up this or that, you have that time to spend doing things that bring you joy, like cooking great meals for your family, or starting a blog; apparently 2017 is just going to be a really cool and trendy year for me. (more about impulse buying here)
Well… there is one thing we bought. We bought our son a $15 train track with some $5 dollar trains. But that was already promised to him if he started using his potty every time he had to go. And I’m not sure what the parenting books say about bribing your children, but it works! When that train track showed up in the mail, my son was potty trained! That little monster had been sandbagging for months. I told him he wasn’t getting the track until he pooped in his potty, so he ran over to his little Paw Patrol potty, pulled his pants down all by himself, and pooped on demand. That’s not even an exaggeration. That’s how our son learned to poop in his potty. So, I guess we cheated with the train set, but it was worth every penny!
In all honesty, we have the most fun as a family when it’s just us, in nature, with no distractions. During the time we spent in Costa Rica, we went to the beach almost every day. Sometimes we would bring surf boards or a pail and shovel for our son, but often times we just stopped at the beach on our way home, with no swimsuits, no toys, nothing but ourselves and maybe a water bottle. Those are my fondest memories because we truly spent time together, jumping over waves, laughing and allowing ourselves to relax and take it all in. Sometimes all the stuff we think we need to have fun, just gets in the way of a good time.