When I was running a single parent household, I ran a tight financial ship with few exceptions allowed or even possible. One of my rules was I permitted myself a certain amount of cash each week for spending money, and when the cash ran out, so did my spending. End of story!
One night I was driving around with my boys, who were about 12 and 14 at the time, and one of them mentioned that ice cream sounded good. I knew I didn’t have any cash, and I was dead set against using my debit card, even if the tab was only going to be a few bucks. A few bucks here and a few bucks there…it all adds up, and I learned it was easier and safer simply not to stray.
I must admit, though, ice cream did sound pretty good on a hot Phoenix summer night.
So what to do?
I told the boys if they could find enough change in my truck for ice cream, we’d get some. You have no idea the madness that ensued!
I pulled into a local drive-in and my boys began to take apart my entire truck. They looked under every mat and cushion, tore apart my glove box, and rummaged through my console. I went on an excavation mission too, digging into the depths of my purse. When we were done, we’d amassed almost $3.00 and hoped it would be enough for three ice cream cones.
After we ordered, we held our breath and waited for the total with tax: $2.83! We made it! We started cheering and hootin’ and hollerin’ and high-fiving each other. I’m sure the fast food worker on the other end of the intercom thought we were absolutely nuts, and we felt a little nuts, but we also felt pretty darn good!
Those were the best ice cream cones we ever had. We enjoyed them enormously and didn’t compromise any financial boundaries I had in place. It was nothing short of glorious!
Sometimes the reward is sweeter (pun intended!) when you have to work a little harder for it. Enjoying guilty pleasures while remaining disciplined and responsible removes the guilt and brings extra ‘feel-good’ feelings to whatever you are enjoying.
Don’t be afraid to put rules in place. Instead of seeing them as something which restricts, view rules as a tool to ultimately find greater peace and freedom. Declutter whatever has you in bondage! With a solid effort and some creativity, you can absolutely have your cake and eat it too…literally!
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