I wrote a post last week about "My Calendar is FULL", and some of you were understandably concerned about the financial side of things. It may have appeared that if we were going to be having so much FUN over the course of the next month, that we were therefore intending to spend a lot of MONEY in order to do all that is on our calendar.
After reading the blog post, and the response of the concerned reader, my mom wrote me an email. I'll just share a little bit of her insider understanding of how things actually work when our family decides to have fun, while sticking to a pretty tight budget.
"I laughed all the way through your explanations (in the comment section). Free tickets to the Puyallup Fair, take your own food, and you sleep at Gregg and Kayla's home. I bet the kids spend their own hard-earned money for rides and souvenirs, their choice. Once you are inside, there are zillions of tents, buildings, and animals to see for free. Can't get much cheaper than that! Of course I can visualize the fair . . . The driver drops off everybody at the entrance to the fair, parks for free miles away, and walks back. The critics could spend $100s at the fair, but we don't. :)
So, let me tell you about all of the inexpensive FUN we have planned for the coming month.
2 days away * with Hosanna at a Hotel to celebrate her 16th Birthday
Hotel * splurge (but with cheap tickets bought on the internet)
Restaurant Dinner * splurge (with 1/2 our meals brought home for leftovers)
Hotel Breakfast * free
"Back to School" Shopping * Outlet Mall, Consignment Store, Clearance Racks
2 days away * with Jim & the Kids to go to The Fair with Gregg & Kayla
Camping Trailer in their driveway * free
BBQ Dinner * regular groceries
Fair Tickets * free student tickets and 1 free adult ticket for homeschoolers
Snacks * brought in a backpack from home
Rides * no. we don't even go to the ride section of the fair.
Souvenirs * no. no desire to spend money on that stuff.
Lunch * splurge (but sharing 4 meals for 6 people and supporting Young Life with our $$)
Dinner * leftovers from BBQ at Gregg & Kayla's house
3 days away * with a Friend to Scrapbook
Retreat * splurge (a once or twice per year "treat" for Mama, and documenting Family Heritage)
3 days away * with Sarah, Josiah, & Elijah and a Blog Friend & her kids at the Beach
Beach House * friend's brother's house for free
Food * regular groceries
2 days away * with the Church Ladies to Scrapbook
Retreat * free at the church
Food * $10 or $20
8 days away * with my Sweet Husband to Sunshine & Beaches
Airfare * "use it or lose it" airplane tickets that we had from a trip that was cancelled a year ago. They were non-refundable, so we couldn't get our money back. But, we could plan another trip. Definitely God's Blessing to give us a trip to celebrate our 30th Anniversary.
Hotel * while our plane tickets could have gotten us to multiple destinations with Sunshine & Beaches, we chose a place that also had very inexpensive hotels. We are traveling to a place we have never even thought of vacationing, but was chosen solely on the fact that it would be the least expensive place to stay once our "use it or lose it" plane tickets got us there.
Food * there will be grocery stores at our destination. (smile) but I'm sure we will also splurge for a celebratory Anniversary Dinner.