Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spending like there's no tomorrow

The last few weeks have been a spendfest here, and I couldn't be more happy about it.

I know this goes against the grain of most frugal blogs out there, but I hope I'm not like most frugal bloggers I read. I take a lot to use, but I leave behind the idea of frugality as the main goal. Living well is my main goal, and while most of the time that means eschewing the expensive side of life to keep our long-term goals in mind, sometimes that means spending money on the things that make us happy and healthy.

Stewart discovered a great organization called Meetup, where people can start local groups to meet up (get it?) with people with shared interests. There are biking, sewing, knitting, philantrophy, singles, travel group and more. The best one we've found is our local Adventure group. So far we've done an orienteering course and we're doing an Easter Egg scavenger hunt/orienteering course on April 11th. Being Jewish means having fun on Easter, right?

Another one I'm so excited about is in May when my sister and I are going to "sleepaway camp" for a weekend! I didn't do this as a child, and she did, so it'll be nice to experience it together.

Now that Jack is getting older, and I feel comfortable leaving everyone behind for a weekend, I feel like I'm getting my life back. But I'm getting it back better than it was before - I feel so motivated to experience as much of life as I can. I was rather lazy before these kiddos came along, and I have so much time to make up for!

I'm planning a weekend in New Orleans with my friend Dave in July (free hotel and meals, just have to pay for the flight) and a girls weekend with some friends in August.

I've also enrolled Nate in some fairly pricey classes - gymnastics and swimming. Living in DC means a lot of great things, but there's not much in the way of cheap "community center" classes so we're left signing up for classes with private organizations. He had his first gymnastics class last week, and we did his first swim class together today. Pure joy on his face the whole time.

I know none of these things are "necessary." I know we can do without them. But I don't think I'll ever regret spending the money on them, and I know for sure I'd regret skipping them in favor of saving the money. I'm happy to cut coupons, skip some meals out, bring lunches on our outings, buy used items on eBay, and keep a constant eye on Freecycle. I'm happy to buy used cars, shop at Payless, dress my kids in hand-me-down, and get books from the library. But unless things get really bad, I'm not willing to skip the fun things in life when we're so careful in other areas.

And I count my blessings that I'm able to make these choices for my family. We are so lucky.

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