I know you know this but I wanted to share a few ways money is making my life easier. Not loads of money, just a little bit of money, makes a big difference. I will say that my community makes a lot of these things possible as well. If we didn’t have inexpensive camps or an awesome school supply place money wouldn’t matter.
- School Supplies. Our local school supply place? You pay them and they do the shopping for you. Not, “Pick the seventeen things you need out of a catalog” or “Grab a buggy and go aisle by aisle in our store” but where you call or email and say, “Hello, I have a 4th grader starting in August and I’d love supplies.” They grab the list, fill the order, and you go pick it up. It’s already all packed together for you. It’s not one-cent crayon boxes but all the lists say Crayola and you know you’re not supposed to bring Rose Art crayons anyway.
- Summer Camps. The volleyball camp is $40. For five days, an hour and a half of solid practice. Also, a t-shirt. Also, lunch afterward. That’s $5.33 an hour … PLUS LUNCH. The basketball camp? $20 for the first kid and $15 for additional kids. I can’t even with the overabundance of feelings. That’s $8/hr. FOR ALL THREE KIDS.
- Writing checks. Sure, it’s annoying when you wait six weeks for someone to actually cash a check. Absolutely. But being able to keep the money in the checking account for six weeks? That felt good.
- Guilt free lunch. There’s a food truck that feeds all the kids in my town lunch. I could probably feed my kids lunch without too much problem this summer but why would I do that when they can have free lunch? It’s a smart choice, now, instead of a necessity. The same damn lunch makes me feel good about myself instead of making me feel inadequate. Messed up, right?
- Only worrying about the schedule. I don’t have to worry about the MOST important or MOST helpful camp. I can do both camps. If I can find an art camp that fits the bill? I can add that on, too. As much as I want to be nose to the grindstone about money if I don’t spend some of it on my kids, what is the point of even having it? I’m not buying new stuff for me but I’ll flip you off if you try and tell me I could have spent that $50 more wisely than basketball camp.
- Bonus: Doctor Appointments. I generally don’t worry about a copay. If there is one, someone will tell me and I’ll pay it. No big deal.
- Extra Bonus: Not pining over stuff I didn’t really want that bad. There is a pair of glasses at Costco I really like. They’re going to be stylish in a minute and I could hop on that trend early and they’re really nice. They’re also a hundred bucks because Costco is out of my network. My glasses? I may not like them but they work and they’re the right prescription. So I’ll get the new glasses when I’m a little flush and not because I feel I need them. If they’re gone by then? There will be other glasses. Before? I would have been freaking out thinking about how I would get them if only I could afford them. It’s a big perspective change. I’m allowed to just not want something because I don’t want it that bad instead of constantly being convinced I was just talking myself out of stuff because I couldn’t afford it anyway.
The weird part? It doesn’t take thousands of dollars to make all that possible. Three hundred extra in the bank. Now, that’s a LOT LOT LOT of money for me, I’m not trying to throw around “a few hundred” like I’ve suddenly become landed gentry or anything, but I know in the grand scheme of things it’s a less than half a month’s rent, too.
Fortunes are fickle like the weather, so I know I could go back to food pantryland any minute, but we’re doing our best to keep that from happening. In the meantime I’m talking about the financial positives I’m finally experiencing.
It feels strange but kind of nice. It’s less stressful, for sure.