I was just reading a blog I follow - Money and Happiness. She talked about how we need to buy less stuff. We've been living by that motto - that is until I found out I had my own classroom this year. I have felt justified in spending 100's of dollars on "stuff" for my classroom. I don't want students walking into a room with blank walls and no color! I have been somewhat frugal about things. I started my search at thrift stores and found some great deals - like a fabulous chair for my reading area for only $15.00! However, some things can only be found at the Teacher Aid Store which costs an arm and a leg! I'm sure if I had been more patient I would have been able to appeal to all the friends I teach with to share the things they've been collecting over the years but no longer use. But, as most of my friends and family know, patience is not one of MY virtues. So, was I justified in that spending? I'm not sure. I will save the receipts for taxes. My students will have a warm and welcoming room on the first day of school which research shows will improve their attitude toward learning - I'm molding the leaders of tomorrow right? This is important stuff! :-)
I'm slowing down now, balancing the check book brought me back to reality. I'm going to the websites that the Money and Happiness blogger suggested - like freecycle. (Have any of you ever used that?)
For everyday family expenses, I've been a little off track too. It's summer - it's difficult to not hemorrhage money. Trying to find activities that keep the kids happy etc. I know - Laura Ingalls managed to have fun on the prairie with out money - but this aint the prairie! We play cards, take bike rides, go to the library... we find inexpensive things to do but it isn't easy. I suppose it will have to get easier if we run out of money! :-( We make the girls pay for their own "extras" - like the Harry Potter t-shirts they HAD to have to wear to the midnight movie tonight. Oh yea, the midnight movie. Am I completely insane? I don't stay up past 9:00 most nights and tonight I will be waiting in line at 9:00 for a movie that starts at midnight!!
But, once again, I digress. The Money and Happiness blogger said that changing a brain to be frugal is like working out. I have to work that muscle -"Is this a need or a want?" until it becomes fit and a natural part of who I am. I'm trying - but again, my friends and family know that I suck at working out!
Sooooo, I guess it's good I'll be working full time to help pay for that classroom! (Does anyone else see the irony?)