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Friday, September 01, 2006

Day One

It's Day One of 30 Days of Nothing.

I know it's ridiculous to compare skipping a Dairy Queen stop to starving children in Africa. So I won't. For my family, this is a recalibration on spending, and an exercise in appreciation. Throughout the month, on my sidebar I'll track things we don't buy. I'll also give weekly updates.

Will we succeed? Probably not in the purest sense of the word. My husband needs work shoes and I didn't have a chance to get them in August. And it looks like we're hosting a Labor Day weekend gathering. So much for commitment.

But I'm focusing on choices and conversations. And every time we want something and are reminded we can't buy it this month, I hope we'll have a conversation. I seriously doubt if it will have a longterm significant impact on our spending, but I think this discussion it generates is important. My daughter blames "blogging" for all of this "discomfort", but I think her protests will subside.

I'd like to think we'll eat only rice one day, and my son has suggested a no-electronics day (no electricity seems too far-fetched for us). I'm listening to other ideas as they're offered. And I'm planting seeds about what we could do with whatever money we save throughout the month. This will have to be a family decision, so right now I don't know what it will be.

Here's a conversation I'll share.

On the way home from the post office today, this was our conversation in response to not stopping at Dairy Queen, A&W, or Alco, and why we paid at the pump for gas, rather than inside the store:

Kid: If they're in poor country, why don't they just go somewhere else?

Mom: Because they may not have a horse for transportation, or it may be too dangerous because their country may be at war.

Kid: They should buy a gun.

Mom: Some are too poor.

Kid: Oh.

Kid: I don't think I would want to be alive if I had to live there.

Mom: We're very lucky...

A faint light bulb glimmers.

More 30 Days posts:
Pre-30 Days
Day 1
Week 1
Week 2

For more participants in this project, visit Intent.
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  • It is such a hard concept for them. My kids often ask what poor people look like. I try explaining that you don't have to look poor to be poor. We deliver Christmas gifts to an adopted family every year and they still don't quite get it.

    By Blogger slackermommy, At 5:38 PM  

  • No electronics day? I wish you luck!

    By Anonymous Kailani, At 1:00 AM  

  • Wow! What a neat idea.

    By Blogger Tracie, At 3:59 AM  

  • It's great that you are doing this even if it's not in the purest of sense. If we have enough parents out there in this country who take heed of their extravagant spending and donate that for some worthy causes, I think we'd have more charitable teens.

    I've started doing that with my 6th y/o son. Donating his b-day gifts to the local children's hospital. It's something we hope he will learn throughout his life.

    By Blogger Waya, At 9:15 AM  

  • I remember reading about this on WFMW-- I'm so impressed with your family. I look forward to following along and seeing what your learn from your month long "fast".

    Thanks for visiting our family blog, and wishing Elijah a happy birthday.

    By Blogger GranolaGirl12, At 8:55 PM  

  • Good idea. I like the idea of tracking the things you don't buy.

    By Blogger Susan, At 11:06 PM  

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