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21 Day Blog: Financial Fast Freeloader Edition

Sarah Parrot

  Today started and ended with some of my weak spots. I planned ahead but I'm not sure if I can say I succeeded because instead of fasting, I freeloaded! Let me explain. I started my morning off with a meeting at a local coffee shop I frequent. I made my coffee at home and I also brought some home-juiced carrot and ginger juice to drink with my meeting. When I arrived at the shop my source was already there so I sat down with her and my regular barista asked if I wanted some water and I accepted. A few minutes later she brought me a delicious coffee beverage "on the house." 

She knew about the fast.

First off, thanks barista-friend! I delighted in that hand-crafted-with-love coffee. It was delicious. But I felt a little guilty because I knew it was against the spirit of the fast. Later, in a caffeine-induced craze (I also packed a thermos of coffee for work) I thought about Michelle Singletary's emphasis of the day- that fasting allowed us to bless others long term. In the short term other people blessed me.

After work I encountered my other weakness: happy hour meetings. I popped into a local pub to meet some friends to hash out a project we have been working on. Immediately my friend Chris tells me to put my order on his tab. 

"Did you know I'm on a spending freeze?" I questioned suspiciously. 

No, he was just being nice. I did explain to him what I was doing- then promptly ordered a beer.

On the other hand, I did eat cheese and crackers for lunch.

Dinner tonight was a potluck with my neighbors. I should stress again that I have fantastic neighbors. The couple hosting have a 5 week old infant and still wanted to gather our group together for dinner. They made the entree and others brought sides and dessert. I feel incredibly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life and that was another blessing. The message of the day about blessing came back to me, and the challenge-- to find a way to bless someone else. So I decided that when I go grocery shopping tomorrow I will get extra and make a dinner to take back over to my neighbors so if they have a long day with the baby they can just warm something up.

This highlights my next goal: to turn from freeloader to free-giver. You see, the problem is not that I am stingy it is that I have a tendency to be too generous- with my money. I know there are many ways to encourage people and show them that I care but I like to show that through gifts. So my new goal is going to be to show people that I am thinking of them through my actions, not my credit card.

Lindsay Rae Myers is Digital Content Producer and Editor for WUWF Public Media, you can reach her at lindsay@wuwf.org, on Twitter @lindsayraemyers