Thursday, August 31, 2017

what would you do?

Earlier this week I posed a question on my Facebook page: What would you do with $141.94? 

It was a basic enough question: if you had this amount of money, what would you do with it? I didn't give any context for the question,but as my friends and acquaintances started to comment, I realized that I wasn't getting the answers I thought I was looking for. Most comments focused on giving back to the community through charity donations, taking care of essentials (bills, groceries, etc) or doing something nice for a friend.

Now, all of these ideas are great, of course! They are things that I myself have said or thought or done when I've had a little extra cash (or when I didn't have a little extra cash but wanted to help someone out or take care of my own family's basic needs).

Each month my husband and I have a designated amount of what we call "fun money." This amount is set aside for each of us to do with what we want without needing to check in with the other person or justify at the end of the month. This amount allows Braeden to get the comics he wants on his pull list, and lets me buy new clothes or get a massage, as long as it falls within our agreed upon amount.

I track my purchases in an app on my phone so I can make sure I don't go over, and as this is the last week of the month I checked in on my balance and realized I still had $141.94 left to spend, which is surprising as I've been known to spend most of my money much closer to the beginning of the month and rarely have much left this close to the 31st. Our agreement is that this money doesn't roll over so there's no benefit to spending under the amount so you can spend more the next month: the goal is to give us some breathing room so we can make some personal purchases and not feel bad about it.

So as I was, albeit opaquely, requesting ideas from the people I know for what to spend my "fun money" on, I was reminded of how good my friends are. How conscientious and charitable, selfless and practical they are. How not all of us are in a place where we can think about "fun money" and instead are just thinking about money, and bills, and responsibility.

All of this is to say that there is no wrong answer to the question ,"What would you do with $141.94." I'm proud to associate with so many generous, thoughtful, practical people. When the very first commenter said that she would donate that money to my own non-profit, how can you go wrong? But when another friend said she would buy herself a new hat, and another said she would take a class at a local craft shop, and a third said a new tattoo, I had to smile because those were the answers I was hoping for, the signs that even though we're all working to take care of other people and our community, we're not forgetting to take care of ourselves in the process.

So if you're wondering what I spent my $141.94 on, well, I still haven't spent all of it. But what I did spend went towards a new shirt and dress and a self-care visit with a health practitioner friend.

And I've still got $41.35 left to spend before the end of the day today.

... Any ideas?

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