Before I talk about Financial Fasting I have to share some thoughts on this year.
Last year I was pregnant with our Steven, you can read more here.
Thank you everyone for your prayers.
We are still trying to heal.
Now on to our Financial Fast
If you have been following me here or here...I thought I would put you up to date. We have gone back to some simple saving things, some new and some we used to do. Silly things like turning off lights and fans, we got rid of our dimmer switches, and making our own laundry detergent!
What I have enjoyed this week is that I am going back to being my creative poor self. When we had no money I always found ways to give gifts and make treats.
July 13-I went to a baby shower and pulled together some cute gifts from my gift box. (This is a box that I put gifts in that I find on sale during the year. With so many kids and friends, we are always going to a party around here!) The favorite gift that all the guests liked was a framed picture of the baby's sonogram that I found on the mom's facebook page. I just clicked on the photo and saved it to my computer than pushed print and framed it! What a hit!!!
July 14-Another party...this time a wedding shower! Again another great gift! I went on a theme, since the bride lives in North Dakota, I did a snowman theme! It was a hit and I had a bunch of great stuff in my box from after Christmas sales!
July 15-I can' t believe that I am only half way there!!! This is such a lonnnggg month! Some of my boys went to a quo vardis retreat and I gave my friend some gas money for driving them. Since we are only using money this month on gas and groceries, I figured that didn't count as unnecessary spending.
July 16-17- Lots of running around and we have been cooking alot to make homemade snacks for fun! We made granola bars, fried oreos (I made mine with funnel cake mix), snack mix, and sauteed kale with garlic and roasted almonds-yum.
July 18-My little kids had a mini meet for swimming then we made thank you cupcakes for my girls camp counselors. They were amazing cupcakes!!! Wow, we used a white cake mix and put the cupcake liner in the pan and put a double stuff oreo on the bottom, then we put creamy peanut butter on top of the cookie, then another oreo, more peanut butter...pour on the cake mix and cook! Then we made the yummiest frosting! It is so amazing:
Peanut butter frosting:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick) at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar sifted
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Place the peanut butter and butter in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds. Stop the machine. Add the confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons of milk, and the vanilla. Blend with the mixer on low speed until the sugar is well combined, 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting lightens and is fluffy. Blend in up to 1 tablespoon milk if the frosting seems to stiff. Everyone loved them and we were grateful to those who helped, without spending money!
July 19-Today I went to visit my dear friend, who is like beloved aunt to me, She is in a nursing home and for her birthday I was going to take her out to lunch. My husband and I decided this was "necessary" since I didn't see her enough and she is dying soon. Well, I went to pay the bill and of course she didn't let me pay...so again, I dodged spending money!
For Christmas my husband gave me a once a month cleaning lady who comes to clean our 3 bathrooms. It is the best gift ever and we all love when she comes!!! My kids chant her name when she leaves because it smells so great...and with 8 boys and a husband...our bathrooms get a workout!!! (OK, me and the four girls do our share too!) So, I cancelled her this month to stick with our Fast.
This is also the night when many of our friends go to the local pool for Adult Night...and they were serving California Tortilla-which is one of my favorites!!! It was another small sacrifice I decided to make.
When I talked with my son about the fact that this FAST has been really hard on all of us, he said, "What were you thinking doing this in July during summer when we do lots of fun stuff?!" Well, he had a point. We will not do this in July again...but, our family actually does fun stuff every month!
My suggestion to anyone who does the Financial Fasting would be to try a week first. My husband and I keep saying, "wow, we are really good about not spending frivolously, I don't know how people who actually spend alot could do this!" It is like going on a diet...you need to watch what you eat and exercise...with spending you need to watch what you spend and exercise SELF CONTROL!!! The great thing about being Catholic is we know we can offer up our suffering and sacrifice for something like a women in labor or vocations.
So off to enjoy my weekend...not spending!!!
THY WILL BE DONE!!!