Missing out

Today was the first time we really missed out on something fun because of the budget lockdown.

For Saint Patrick’s Day, friends were kissing winter goodbye at an indoor water park that’s about an hour from us. Just the tickets alone for this outing would have set us back well over $100, not to mention the gasoline for the two-hour round trip, and possibly a meal out.

(Side note: Our friends weren’t trying to sabotage our budget lockdown by inviting us to go along. I’ve really only discussed our debt-free goal in depth with one friend, and only casually referenced it on social media. These friends live kind of far away and only asked us to join them because we’re fairly close to the water park. Side side note: Fortunately, we get to spend a decent amount of time with these friends despite the distance, so missing out on the park doesn’t mean missing out on a rare chance to see them.)

As the day of the trip approached, I felt a little bummed about missing out on the fun. Should I have bent the budget lockdown rules for our son’s sake? Without thinking, I almost apologized to him that we weren’t going. Thankfully, I stopped myself.

Because here’s what I’m quickly learning about our son and his relationship with the budget lockdown … he doesn’t have one. He doesn’t care. He’s four. He only cares if we make the mistake of calling it to his attention.

The day has now come to an end, and I’m happy to report that we didn’t miss out on a thing. We had a sun-filled, stay-at-home weekend that cost us almost nothing.

Since we put the budget lockdown and travel embargo in place in late December, I’ve noticed two changes. Obviously, we’ve generated money. But we’ve also generated time. We used to be on the go all the time, burning gas money and letting cash slip through our fingers here and there. This was a very external way to live, if that makes sense. Now, there’s been a shift to internal living. Our focus has turned inward to our family and home.

By skipping out on the water park trip, we had time to prep the house for the arrival of a friend who will be staying with us for a few days. Julep had time to build an urgently-needed new pen for our baby chickens. I had time to go on a long, sunny walk, one of my absolute favorite things in the whole world. Then, we spent the whole afternoon working on the farm.

With it being Saint Patrick’s Day, we had a lot of fun playing little tricks on our son with the help of green food coloring.

At the end of the day, we packed up our farm work, walked home, made vegetarian Saint Patrick’s sandwiches, and had mint chocolate chip ice cream with Grandma Peppermint. That I had even felt sorry for myself in the days leading up to today was incredibly embarrassing now.

We had a great weekend, and I’m looking forward to my friend telling me about the great weekend her family had, too.


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