Melanie has inspired me to take the $1 a day challenge. I am committing to only spend $1 a day for 7 days. I have to eat what is already in my fridge. I can only spend $1 all day- entertainment, food, whatever only $1. Today is day one, and it has me thinking about how some things that change possibly shouldn't.
The summer after my junior year in college I experienced a great loss. My Zoe, a '92 Mercury Capri, with white billows of smoke died. With $3 in the bank I traded her in for D.C., a '02 Ford Focus.
With $3 in the bank I bought a slightly used car. (We wonder why our credit system has crashed???)
Buying a car with no money and a low paying job, while also paying rent, paying for college, and all the other needs of life forced me to live as cheaply as possible during my senior year. I was the type that would skip meals and be a little on the hungry side to pay for concerts. That year was a year of creative spending.
I remember opening my fridge on many occasions, seeing basically nothing. Some cheese, an egg, some left over rice, salsa- WAIT! I can put those all together and make a meal! Yay!! The next day- there was no egg, but there is still rice and salsa- another meal!
Each creative creation made me proud.
I was 21, I was paying for my own life (mostly, thanks mom and dad for the health insurance). I worked 3 jobs, I pulled a 4.0 and I was happy. I went to the gym and payed flag football- because they were free. I studied more, therefore earning the 4.0, because studying is free. My friends and I sat on the hillside watching the sun set. We found so many ways to entertain ourselves without spending money. I cannot deny that there were many moments of freak out, because I had spent all my money on a trip down town- still every time I figured out how to stretch my resources I was excited.
What changed? I graduated. I took out more loans in grad school so that I didn't have to be that poor. I got a job that paid me well. The past few years were great years of full fridges and expensive nights out.
This past fall I experienced another great loss- my financial security was lost when I took a risk at a job that required I raise support- I left that job and as I was unable to find a job within my passions.
The car is paid off and sold. Rent, paying off my student loans, and looking for a job that fits my passion are draining my wallet, and I am relearning the sense of accomplishment when I open my fridge to see Quinoa, black bean soup, a tomato, and an half gone onion- Perfect! Throw that together and it's a fabulous meal!
Somethings should never change- the ability to be grateful in plenty and in want is one of those things. (Paul said something like that once. Phil 4:12)