Monday, July 06, 2015

Having the Best Time without Electronics

There are times when having your phone attached to you every minute is necessary.  A lot of the time, it simply isn't.  To world will not stop if you do not immediately return a text, email, BBM or message.  It will not immediately stop if you do not answer the ringing phone.

This weekend we hauled off to spend the time with my family working on various projects around the house.  We were outside, and inside, and up and down stairs.  We were enjoying the summer breeze, feet in the grass, eating fresh cherries and talking.  We were running out to the hardware store, the grocer, the market, and spent a total of 30 minutes on the computer this entire weekend while we signed up for the Oasis Toronto Zoo 10km run in September.

It was a lovely recharging weekend.  There are new stairs, a fixed laundry tub, shuffled tables, pieces set for photos and selling, weeds removed, samplings uprooted, garden tended, corn and summer salad meal eaten, a pie baked and eaten, and lots of laughter and visiting conversation.

It was a wonderful weekend.  I didn't worry about where my phone was.  I didn't worry about whether or not I was missing something on social media.  I didn't worry about if someone was trying to get hold of me.  I put the phone in my purse.  I put my purse safely in a bedroom, and I spent the weekend totally engaged in the moment.

I feel refreshed, and relaxed, if not a little tired from the weekend.  I feel like I'd like to take a couple of days off and just enjoy the refreshed feeling I have!

That sounds a little backward.  Sometimes you just need to understand that we can be a slave to social media, to the "virtual life", and forget that the most rejuvenating thing we can do is engage in the physical, tangible, right-at-this-moment real life we are leading.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Sometimes You Slip Up a Little

Sometimes you slip up a little.  Like I did this past weekend.

I wanted to take my nieces to a movie, and out to eat, to spend a little time with them and congratulate each on their individual accomplishments over this last school year.

That was Tuesday night.  On Saturday I spent some time getting my steps in, at the mall, and while doing so, stopped into a couple of stores and purchased items.  It felt automatic.  One piece was a need, the other 7 pieces were all wants that I didn't need.

I had a thought and a care and looked at the money...and figured I could do it.  I paid through my regular account, as I don't carry credit cards with me anymore.  Then I got home.  And for the remainder of the day, had that feeling that one gets, that can be called buyers remorse.  Only mine was a little different.  I knew about how much it would be to do dinner and a movie with 3 kids and myself.  And when I went through my spending recap for the week, and the projections for the week to come, I realized that I couldn't take the kids to a movie or dinner having just spent $250 on clothing for me. 

And so, I went to my closet and went through my inventory and discovered something.  There were 2 pieces I had purchased that I really did need.  A combined total of $57.13 for those two pieces.  The other items went back in the bag, with the receipts for me to return the next day.  After having about $193.00 returned to my account, I went home feeling better about my decision.  I'd rather have the experience of taking the kids out for the night, and giving them an experience they'll remember in time, than a piece of clothing I may not actually wear much at all taking up space in my closet when I don't even need it. 

On a Tuesday night, movie tickets are discounted in my area, so 4 of us were $26.00 for a movie.  There was a mistake made by the restaurant we went to that offers that "kids eat free on tuesdays*".  I double checked the deal with the cashier, though I was pretty sure how it should work, it was different than what I was told, so happy for me that I spent $11.06 on dinner for 4 people!  I asked twice if she was sure of that, and the insistence had me saying great!  We all ordered, had it in being made when the manager came by to inform me that that was definitely not the way the deal was supposed to work.  I explained that I had double checked, she was insistent she was correct and so we completed the transaction.  I then offered that we make it right, to which he said "no, it was out mistake, it just won't happen again" and then implied I was only looking for a deal because I was a single parent of three children.  I got my back up to ensure I set him straight - that I am not a parent, these are my nieces, we are on a girls night and I do not look for deals like this or prey on naive, young workers at all.  His implication was off base, and perhaps he should be ensuring he trains his staff members correctly. 

I was stoked to have spent $37.06 on an evening out with the nieces!  It gets a little more expensive when, instead of heading to bulk barn like I should have, we purchased movie snacks for dessert and got hosed for $32.08.  Oy!  All in all, for 4 people, to have dinner and a movie, I spent $69.14.  The last $32 hit me in the personal finance gut like a stone.  When I look at it though, I still managed to do it for 4 people for less than $20 a person for the entire evening.  That by itself is a personal win!
And a much better way to spend the money I would have "thrown away" on needless clothing. 

So the slip up was corrected.  The fund were returned and diverted to a much better use of my dollars, and 4 people were happy out of it!  That's a great win to put in that column. 

Next time, I'll leave enough time to go to the Bulk Barn for snacks and put those dollars to a much better use!  Sometimes though, having a full movie experience with snacks bought at the movies is all part of the experience.  I'm not fretting over the snacks at all really.  Each got what they wanted, enjoyed them throughout the movie and we all had a GREAT time!