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S#!t Just Got Real

Yeah.  So.

We're facing our first real conundrum when it comes to this whole "no spending" thing.  You see, my work life is about to get CRAZY.  Like, C-R-A-Z-Y.  I have three absolutely huge projects starting this week and extending through the end of April, in addition to my regular clients.  To make things even more interesting, my Mother's Helper is about to have hip replacement surgery and will be out of commission for a while.  In trying to figure out how to make everything work, I called my mom and asked if she would be interested in flying here in March and being our live-in "Granny" (Grandma + Nanny) for a couple of months.  It took her a few days to check her schedule and make a decision, which makes perfect sense.  Unfortunately, the decision came yesterday.  You know, in February.  The month where we're not buying anything.

Like, say, for example, plane tickets.

This leaves us in a bit of a predicament, and we're not sure what to do.  Under normal circumstances, I would buy the tickets now in order to get the best price.  Leaving it until later possibly means the cost will go up considerably.  I would only be able to buy them about a week before she flew if I waited until the spending fast is over.  So, it makes sense to buy them now.  BUT, we're not supposed to be buying anything this month.  One of the reasons for not buying anything is to save money, though, so it's kind of silly to end up paying more for tickets.  On the other hand, part of this is also supposed to be about seeing what it's like to  go without, gt creative, etc.

I've definitely tried to get creative:

1.  Have Mom buy the tickets now and reimburse her next month
2.  Consider it a purchase by my business and not the family
3.  Wait and buy them at the higher price because that's what people do when they don't have the money to spend in advance
4.  Buy the tickets now because, duh.

Option one would technically be ok under the rules, but it sort of goes against the spirit of the challenge.  Option two isn't quite as technically sound but is reasonable because it truly is the business that would be flying her here.  (I suppose I could combine one and two...)  Option three doesn't seem like the smartest, but it does seem the most in-line with the challenge.  But day-am...it could end up being a few hundred dollars difference, which might be worth making an exception, which is why there is an option four.   It would be so much easier to know what to do if plane tickets didn't constantly change prices and I could just compare what it is now to what it would be then.

Rob and I are not quite agreed on which option to take, so I'm hoping to think about it a bit more.

I'd be happy to hear any feedback you folks might have.



I say buy now

Every challenge requires some flexibility. Say you swear off sugar, but find yourself with pneumonia and the only relief from the bone breaking coughing is a cough syrup that contains sugar. It would be ridiculous to deny yourself something that will help you heal. In this case, not spending the money on the tickets at the best price and waiting until next month costs you money. You're knowingly spending the extra money this month, even though you aren't swiping the debit card. If you have your mom buy them and repay her after the challenge, then you're purchasing them on credit. So ultimately, you are keeping in the true spirit of the challenge by buying the tickets now, when they are at the best price.

3. This is a valuable data point on the whole exercise. Besides, sometimes the best deals are close to the time of departure, or you can do SouthWest and still get pretty good pricing. But oddly enough I think this helps to clarify the problems of "don't buy anything" and the fact that sometimes you have to have money to invest in things that can save you money.

Very interesting. How many more of these are you going to find this month?
Exactly. I knew that we would probably face a few hurdles that those with less financial means, like less healthful fresh food, for example. It definitely wasn't lost on us that this is an example of how it can really cost so much more to be poor. If you have to wait for the next paycheck to buy the plane ticket, you have to pay the higher price.