31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero. Freeze your spending. Change Your Life. Awesome way to reset your spending patterns or kick-start your budget!

This is the seventh day of my 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge. To read all the posts in order, start with Day One or visit the Overview Page.

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You’ve made it one whole week without spending on the non-essentials–congratulations!! Today (and every Sunday for the rest of the month) is going to be our day to pat ourselves on our back (or kick ourselves in the you-know-where) while we reflect on what we’ve accomplished this week, as well as what we’ve learned.

In my family we had a few humorous moments this week, mostly relating to the girls. On Monday, after their dance class, one of their friends asked if we could go with them to Chick-Fil-A. Without any hesitation or prompting by me, Princess matter-of-factly replied “we can’t go to Chick-Fil-A tonight. We’re on a spending freeze.” The next day I overheard her explaining to Trouble that the reason we couldn’t get any more Lifesavers to fill our candy bowl was because “Lifesavers are a ‘want,’ not a ‘need.'”  I think they might be catching on.

On Friday they got to spend the morning at a friend’s house where they were treated to a trip to McDonalds. When I went to pick them up my friend Melissa laughed that she had never seen two girls quite so excited for a trip to McDonalds, and that they each gobbled up every last bite of their Happy Meals like they had never seen food before.

Lots of condiments in our pantry during our 31 days of spending zero!

We had a good chuckle as I acknowledged that the food from our seriously depleted pantry & freezer hasn’t been anything to get excited about this week. “We’ve got a lot of condiments and not much of anything else,” I laughed.

Secretly, I was slightly embarrassed & I started questioning my own judgment just a little as my insecurities got the best of me. Am I a freak for sticking to this challenge? Does forcing my kids to eat what we have rather than buy new things I know they like make me a bad mom?

But then when I really started to think about it, I realized that as hard–or embarrassing–as it is sometimes, this is exactly what I want for my kids. Not to be hungry, of course, but to be the type of kids that still get excited over a trip to McDonalds. I want them to be the type of kids that understand–at six years old–the difference between a “want” and a “need.” I want them to be able to delay gratification, to be content with what they have, to truly appreciate and be excited about getting a treat–no matter how small–when it comes along.

When I think abut it even more, I realize that that is the kind of person that I want to be too.

Today your assignment is to take a look back at the past week, to remember your motivating for participating in this challenge, to be honest about your struggles, but also to document your successes.  I’ve even prepared a pretty worksheet for you to use! I would love for you also to leave a comment below sharing your thoughts on this week–the good, the bad, & the ugly. If you are a blogger who is participating in this challenge, please link up your reflection post–and any other challenge posts–below.

Week 1 Reflection Sheet for the Living Well & Spending Zero Challenge.

{Get Week 1 Reflection Sheet Here}

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What was the scariest part of starting this challenge? What is the ONE thing you are most excited to get out of participating? What has been the biggest struggle for you this week? Where were you most tempted to (or where did you) cheat? What has been the most surprising thing about not spending this week? Did you have any “aha!” moments? Any funny moments?

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{Go to Day 8}