I spend a lot of time in my minivan driving four kids here and there, there and here. It’s one of the few places where I can actually think, sometimes. These are my thoughts, scribbled on napkins and receipts. A monthly look into raising kids and living in Lake County.
Note all opinions belong to me and only me and are not a reflection of those of our advertisers, partners or other writers.
Life seems busier by the day. Work, homes, four kids, two schools. It’s understood, no expected, that we we would take the easiest, shortest, fastest way. I’m here today to remind you that no matter how busy you are, sometimes it’s worth the extra time, money, distance, to make the effort to be intentional and thoughtful with how and where you spend your money.
We had a full day. School drop-offs, groceries, chores, children that needed naps, deadlines, etc., etc., etc. As we did our grocery shopping I could have easily swung through the toy aisle, dropped two toys and wrappings in my cart and saved time, a trip, and possibly a little money. Oh I seriously considered it as I spilled my coffee in the cart and the toddler rubbed his eyes. As I approach just the outskirts of the toy aisle however the pleas start,
Oh! Can we get this?
Let’s get that!
Oh Mommy, I love this!
We needed two gifts, a 5 year old girl and a 2 year old boy. I knew I wanted a particular Melissa and Doug Truck that despite saying ages 3+ my almost 2 year old has, uses, and loves. The five year old wanted princess anything. I could have settled. I could have gotten a different truck. I looked at the princess stuff, while lots of it the variety was limited…how would I know what she had?
I left the store with my groceries and no gift. I knew it was adding to my day to drive the 20 minutes to Learning Express Toys in Lake Zurich, but as a bonus the kids could play while I shopped. They love trying out the toys they have on display and playing on their train table. I was able to get the exact truck I wanted as well as a doll and activity set that while in a princess theme I was sure she wouldn’t have. The best part is they wrapped them for me, while my kids played, FOR FREE.
I didn’t have to buy paper and wrappings (which honestly can sometimes run as much as a gift!). I didn’t have to lock up my cat so he wold leave me alone and stop trying to pounce on my paper. And best of all I didn’t have to say “ no you can’t play with that” a million times before i wrapped it. AS far as my three year old is concerned we went to the toy store and bought a present, it’s not for her to open. It was worth the extra time, driving and making a second trip because it saved me time and frustration later (no wrapping!) I can feel better about my purchase because my money is being used locally.
It may not seem like much, $20 here, $50 there, but spending your money locally does make a difference!
This week you will be inundated with reasons to get out and shop! Save! Spend! Buy! remember that you can talk with your dollars, you can impact your community in whatever small way.
We’ll help! Starting on Friday we will be introducing you to 12 local shops, the 12 Shops of Christmas. Shops where you can spread your holiday dollars at. We’ll also share with you alternatives to Black Friday and what and where you can go to support Small Business Saturday. If everyone tries just a little, vows to make one purchase monthly, locally, we can start to see our communities grow and thrive.