Debriefing Another Chance to Take the No Spend Weekend Challenge

What did you learn during the No Spend Weekend Challenge?

What did you learn during the No Spend Weekend Challenge?

Soooo…..How’d it go?

Did you survive the No Spend Weekend Challenge? I am pretty pleased with our weekend despite a fly in the ointment.

The fly turned up early on Saturday as we were arriving at our daughter’s cross country meet. Because the Division I course is a 5k and the meets often include several hundred runners per race and several races per meet, the venues are necessarily large, usually a park or the grounds of a school. And because of the size of the venue, most meets don’t charge admission. They make money to cover expenses and support their program by selling concessions or souvenir t-shirts.

But as we turned into the parking lot of Saturday’s meet we were met by a young lady who was collecting $4 per car to park. Uh-oh! As she was standing expectantly at the car window we had two choices.

  1. Don’t pay, explain that we are in the middle of a No Spend Weekend Challenge, and be “that car” that messes up traffic flow by turning around and heading out to park in the bean field across the road from the venue. (Did I mention meets often take place outside of town because of the space required? Last year my daughter ran a course that was basically two laps around a corn field.)
  2. Give ourselves some grace, realize that the No Spend Weekend Challenge is to serve us and not the other way around, don’t create problems for the parking crew, and pay the $4.

I’ll bet you can guess what we did. Yep, we paid, parked, and went on with our day. (My daughter ran well, by the way. We were so proud!)

The “lesson learned” from this is actually one I learned years ago. Keep a little cash on hand. I used to use my debit card for everything because I thought if I didn’t have cash I wouldn’t spend. I mean, who puts a pack of gum on a debit card? But getting blindsided by situations like this taught me to anticipate the un-anticipatable. (Is that a word?) Things happen. It would have been kind of rude to refuse to pay.

The larger lesson of which I’m reminded is to have some money available all of the time. Don’t depend on being able to find a bank machine or use a plastic card. Keep a little cash at home as well as on your person to handle not only unexpected parking fees but also supplies for emergency plumbing repairs and the other flies that show up in life’s ointment. While it would have been embarrassing to not have $4 on me, it would be far worse not to have funds to fix a leaky toilet promptly or to purchase a tarp to cover a leaky roof.

Tip: If you’re prone to spend cash then be sure you put it someplace a little harder to access. Stick it in a separate spot in your wallet, maybe in a sealed envelope with “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) written on the front. If you keep a little more at the house then put it in a sealed “ICE” envelope and tuck it away where it’s hard to access so on those nights you don’t want to cook you have time to remind yourself that pizza delivery is not an emergency.

Besides my daughter’s solid run, the other good news from the weekend is that the car picnic was a hit! The team provides sports drinks for the runners after their races, but my daughter was happy to also have some Mater-ade (homemade sports drink) and a hearty lunch waiting for her after she ran. By the time she ate it had been quite a while since she had her homemade granola bar and banana for breakfast and she was hungry! I’m glad we avoided the hassle, wait time, and expense of a restaurant meal with our sweaty runner-girl.

Jay & I ended up not going to our Saturday evening event. Babysitters are hard to come by and our family members found themselves unable to attend. Since we were going as much to see them as to see the event we decided to just spend a quiet evening at home rather than go without them. I had put supper in the slow cooker before the meet in preparation for a quick transition to our event, so it turned out to be an unexpectedly relaxing Saturday evening for me with no cooking to do and minimal dishes to wash.

Worship yesterday was wonderful! We usually have a separate worship service for the children on Sunday mornings so they can be taught at a more age-appropriate level rather than sit in the adult service, but about four times per year we have a Family Worship Service when the children come and worship with the teens and adults. We opened the service with a song the kids knew from their Vacation Bible School, then sang some old and new favorites, prayed and gave offerings and observed communion and heard an amazing sermon, then finally closed the service with a hymn. The children were allowed to help collect and present the offerings and distribute lesson materials for the special sermon that Jay prepared. Jay also took care during his sermon to simplify his message and explain the meanings of some big words so the younger participants might have an easier time keeping up. It was a joyful morning and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

I got up and took my walk this morning before I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat down to record this No Spend Weekend Challenge debriefing post. Some interesting thoughts popped up in the blog comments and in my head during the No Spend Weekend Challenge so I hope to share more of them soon.

Now I’d love to hear from you! Did you get blindsided like we did or did you manage to go all weekend without spending?

I moderate comments manually but will get them posted as quickly as possible. Please keep your comments kind and if you must disagree please do so without being disagreeable. Rude or inappropriate comments will obviously not be published.

Links to the previous two posts in the “Another Chance to Take the No Spend Weekend Challenge” Series:

Another Chance to Take the No Spend Weekend Challenge

An Update on Another Chance to Take the No Spend Weekend Challenge

4 responses to “Debriefing Another Chance to Take the No Spend Weekend Challenge

  1. Pingback: Another Chance to Take the No Spend Weekend Challenge | A Chat Over Coffee·

  2. Pingback: An Update on Another Chance to Take the No Spend Weekend Challenge | A Chat Over Coffee·

  3. I am glad you paid the $4 for parking. That seemed the best choice. All my children did cross country…I have mentioned this before, but not sure you’d remember. T-shirts were always sold by the sponsoring school holding the meets (the invitational) We bought a number of those over the years. The shirts were always well used.

    We did just fine on the no spend weekend and spent $0. We just did our usual activities …didn’t need any grocery items. We had a large family gathering after church at one of my brother’s…his oldest boy (an R.N.)and girl (her husband actually, to take a job as youth minister) and my middle girl (also an R.N.) were all moving to start new jobs, and another brother’s daughter was leaving for graduate school. So we gave them a little goodbye party. I was signed up for desserts so made 3 pies and 4 dozen cupcakes. We had made a card for each and I had already picked up a gift card for the student at the grocery a couple weeks ago.

    It’s good, as you say, to keep a bit of cash handy. We don’t have debit cards and neither of us has ever used an ATM machine.


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