Day 3 / $0 Paid / $95,152.22 until freedom
Ben and I sent out an email to family and friends letting them personally know of our plans for the next year. I mentioned that we will be refraining from going out to eat and buying gifts. I also stated that we will still be doing stuff but it will be the FREE kind of stuff. And we will hand-make presents for birthdays/holidays. Well, we received a negative remark and it made me feel really awful. There was a question on why we decided to start this right after Whitney’s 2nd birthday. The answer to that question is…we didn’t base this decision on waiting until after Whitney’s birthday. That never even crossed my mind. A few days ago, I was searching the news on the internet and came across a blog that totally inspired me. Ben has been talking about doing this for awhile and while I agreed we never did anything about it. This blog gave me an outlet of how to start our journey. Here is a link to this inspiring blog: The Challenge | No More Harvard Debt
So, this is what kick started this journey for us. It has nothing to do with Whitney’s birthday. I confided my feelings to a good friend of mine and this is how she responded. She is allowing me to post some of her email on this blog.
It is tough. Especially with the gift thing…My husband and I have had this conversation many times. I (we) feel that our society/kids are being brought up in a way that gifts are being deemed as a necessity with makes them not really gifts at all rather a requirement or an expectation. We told our families this past Christmas that we would not be getting gifts for any of the nieces, nephews, brothers, and sisters. Only the grandparents got a small gift that the kids “made” for them. We felt really guilty and still do a little every time a holiday or birthday comes up but we know were we are financially and what we can/can’t spend. My husband and I have tried really hard in the past to bring back the “old fashioned get togethers” where we bring a dish to share and hang out, no gifts. It has not been working the greatest…..we have just decided to be ok with if the families want to do gifts we will just not be involved. I do feel a little bad for our kids at times but I really would like them to learn to really appreciate the gifts they get and not expect them. Plus I really really like home-made gifts more than anything. They mean so much more.
Please try to not feel guilty or bad about your decision. I think what you did with the blog is brave. It does hold you more accountable but you can go at your own pace. It could be a three year plan. Every bit of savings helps. I am proud of you two for starting this journey and I think you guys will be too once you start to see the progress. (I am always better at actually seeing the difference).
Her words meant so much to me and I feel better about our decision to go forward with our plans. And she is right…it may take more than a year but by then it will be a way of life. After a year, we will see where we are at and make adjustments to our goal.