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Monday, April 19, 2010

Month One: Update

It has been about a month since we first started on this endeavor and I thought I would take a moment to evaluate and see how far down the path we've come. As you may recall, we had decided to take a break from eating out in March in order to see how much money we could save. I went back and looked at our expenses for March and found that we didn't exactly make it. But we didn't do too bad either. There were a total of 5 visits to local establishments, but before you start angrily admonishing us in the comments section, I have some really good excuses; at least for a couple of them. Altogether, in March we spent $114.65 buying food from a restaurant. About $80 of it was for an event that we had agreed to cater before our March Eat Out Recess. So I'm going to say that doesn't count. OK, you can start your angry comment posting frenzy if you like now.

Another thing we started in March and are continuing, at least for now, is Rice Nights. Monday nights we eat rice and beans to help us identify with the majority of the rest of the world - at least those that have even that much for supper. It is also a way to eat very cheaply and we figure we save between $10 and $20 each week. This comes to an additional $80 to $100 per month in savings (on the high end). As my grandpa used to say, That ain't chicken scratch. I still don't really know what that means, but I'm inclined to agree nonetheless.

Additionally, we sold my car and I got a scooter. Those were some big changes and allowed us to give a lot to some worthy causes. We also made a good number of changes to our spending habits and expenditures that were out of line. But the biggest change so far has been this whole venture with Uganda. As some of you know, we just started SixtyFeet.org last week and I'm headed to Uganda in a less than a week with Michael in order to get some documentary footage and hopefully fix some urgent issues quickly. This whole thing came about after we prayed for a specific area where we could give some of the money we had recovered from other places. It still hasn't really sunk in how exact and deliberate the answer to this prayer has been.

I keep thinking back to an analogy of how we live our life on Earth that David Platt gave near the end of his Radical Series. This is not earth-shattering and certainly something I have heard before in some form or another, but for some reason this time was different. He said something like this, and I'm paraphrasing:
"Imagine you have a great job working in France for three months and you are staying in a nice hotel while you are there. The rules are, you are allowed to send as much money back home as you want or you can spend it however you like while you are there, but anything you buy while you're there you have to leave. You wouldn't ever dream of going out and buying new furniture for your hotel room, or pictures to hang on the wall. It would all be left behind after you are gone. You would be depositing every paycheck and immediately wiring that money back home to the States. Back to your real home where you can have it forever."
I need to view my life on Earth like that; like a temporary situation, but one that can have pay big dividends for the life I live after if I make the right choices now.