So last Sunday we decided to visit our local markets in Plainlands; as Dave had the day off from work and we'd always been "meaning" to go there. We only took $30 as a cap on spending, with no intention to buy anything. Most of the time however was spent talking to stall holders. It was a great way of socialising and it distracted us from spending money. In fact, if we had only intended to go with spending money in mind, we may not have taken the cues to chat to the stall holders at all. We met some pretty interesting people too - a guy who bred miniature horses and a couple who grew cactus.
Why is it that making a financial transaction seems to take up so much of our time and social energy, when simply talking is so much cheaper and easier?
By the way, we did end up spending small amounts of money getting our daughter a ride on a miniature pony, and I also bought a succulent known as "hens & chickens", or "house leeks", as they're meant to be edible and water wise. We wanted to support these particular locals because they supported us by coming out for the day, and giving us something to do as a family.
On the way home from the markets however, we decided to visit the annual Celtic festival being held in Helidon. We saw a young lass dancing over some swords, heard some bag-pipes and our daughter even tried her hand at archery, for which she received a little certificate of participation.
Free archery at the annual Celtic festival, Helidon, Qld
What did it cost us at the festival - zilch! It didn't even cost us petrol money, because it was on the journey back home from the markets anyway.
More remarkably, was discovering we hadn't switched on the TV or computer for the whole day either. It was Dave who first mentioned it, as we sat down to a late lunch at home. Our daughter had this big smile on her face because even she hadn't missed the TV. Later that afternoon, Dave and she played a board game, while I baked some muffins, chocolate cookies and a rice pudding for dessert.
I don't think the TV went on until the next morning, for ABC children's programs.
Some where along the way to limiting what we intended to spend that day, came a family with so much to give one another. None of us expected to realise that. The mind boggles at how we managed to miss this for so long.
So the challenge is looking more encouraging than limiting, from where we sit now. But I will say we've had a few dramas with money too. Mostly to do with the actual process of spending it. I'll expand on that in future posts, but needless to say, spending money can sometimes bring great stress with it too.
I'm looking forward to dropping that part of our lives, more and more.