So, I’m feeling a lot of emotions about putting this out there, for a number of reasons. Today was a really bad day, and I’m already emotionally spent, which makes writing about this even harder. But I know I won’t have time tomorrow and I made a promise to myself, and all of you, so I’m going to put it out there, for better or worse.
I do want to preface this week’s spending by explaining that this was my one week of the summer to be productive. My daughter was still in full time childcare and I had more time this week to GET THINGS DONE than I will any week coming up. Knowing this, I did most/all of the purchasing for my backyard project this week. You may remember when I announced my spending freeze that I was still green lighting some work in the backyard because I haven’t been down there, let alone spent any money on it, in almost two years. It really needed a little work, and I’m allowing myself to spend $400 back there to get some of the work done. I spent a good portion of that $400 this week.
Also, my father is leaving for a three week trip to Europe on Monday and he is my go-to bike person, so if I had waited on bike stuff I wouldn’t have had him around to help me with it until well into July.
As the above paragraph suggests, I did decide to move forward with the bike. After obsessively researching ways to get around with two kids on two (or more) wheels, I decided a cargo bike would be ideal. (I don’t feel comfortable with a trailer on city streets–they are too wide to tow in traffic.) Then I obsessively researched cargo bikes and realized I could never afford one. I was able to compromise when I found a seat that can accommodate a child over 5 years old on a rack on the back of a bike and a seat that can hold a child up to 33lbs for the front of a bike. My family already has a hybrid bike that would work well enough so I just needed to get the seats. The seat big enough for a child my daughter’s age and size was hard to find and I knew I’d never find it used (I could only find one company in all of California that even carries it) so I bought that new for $280 all told. I found a brand-new-still-in-the-box front seat “used” on Craigslist for $100 (about $75) less than I would have paid retail (the two other used front seaters listed were already sold by the time I emailed).
The bike project so far has cost me $380. I will probably also need to get a double kickstand installed and I can’t seem to find my daughter’s old helmet anywhere for my son to use, so a little more money will be spent, but I’m going to look for the helmet used (or see if a friend has one to give/lend me) and the kickstand won’t be much. I think all told it will be just a little over $400.
My plan is to get comfortable riding the bike and see if my kids are into it. If we all love it I might think about upgrading in a year, when my son outgrows the front seat and we’ll need a whole new set up (which will probably require a new bike). I think $400 is a reasonable amount to spend on trying this (especially after looking at so many cargo bikes going for $2,500-$6,500 dollars) and I can always sell the seats used when we move on from this configuration to make back some of what I spent.
As for the yard, I’m putting down landscaping fabric on one side and then covering it with pebbles that my parents are giving me (I’ll be scooping them out of their side yard, filling bags with them, and bringing them to my house) then planting a few succulents from a failed gardening project at work in that space. (People kept stealing plants from a cool vertical garden I made out of my old art tubs so I finally stopped replanting them–the few that remained got pretty big so I’ll be moving them to my backyard.) I also realized that I just can’t keep up with weeding of the big square in the middle of my yard (plus we can’t water anything right now anyway) so I bought more flagstones to place around the seven big stones I placed two years ago. I’m not going to plant any ground cover between them this year–both to save money and water–so it will be pretty ugly until next year when I can invest more in the project, but at least there won’t be as much soil available for ALL THE WEEDS to grow in.
So, as you look over my spending please keep in mind that this week contains some financial investments I’m making in my life and home over the summer, and is not representative of my spending moving forward. I think next week will be a much better indicator of where my money will be going over the next seven weeks. (And yes, I know I need to work on not eating out so much. Baby steps.)
|6/13/2015||Tax on Consignment Purchase (for birthday present||$1.29|
|6/13/2015||Piroshki’s for lunch (son and I)||$10.50|
|6/13/2015||Dinner with Chelsey||$47.30|
|6/14/2015||Laughing Squid (old website hosting–NEED TO CANCEL!)||$12.00|
|6/14/2015||Groceries (Trader Joes)||$186.93|
|6/14/2015||Office Max (Ink for printer, page protectors)||$81.51|
|6/15/2015||Big Kid Bike Seat (New)||$281.84|
|6/15/2015||Landscaping Fabric, pins, yard waste bags||$40.76|
|6/16/2015||Flagstones for yard||$238.05|
|6/16/2015||Sand for the sandbox (my mom gave me)||$34.87|
|6/16/2015||Honey (promised PB+honey sandwiches)||$4.65|
|6/16/2015||Pretzels at park||$7.00|
|6/17/2015||Baby Bike Seat (Used on Craigslist)||$100.00|
|6/17/2015||20 tickets at Pixieland + 12 tokens + 2 pretzles||$35.72|
|6/17/2015||Bay Bridge toll||$5.00|
|6/17/2015||Inside Out Tickets on Fandango (for 3 people)||$31.00|
|6/18/2015||BART to and from downtown||$3.60|
|6/18/2015||Contribution to pizza dinner with friends||$10.00|
|6/18/2015||Bus to dinner with friends||$2.25|
|6/19/2015||Sandwiches for lunch with mom and sister (+ tip)||$20.00|
|6/19/2015||Mandatory swim cap at daughter’s first swim lesson||$8.16|
|6/19/2015||Rice Crispy Treat reward at first swim lesson||$1.00|