Any financial expert out there will tell you that the secret to a happy financial life as a family is working together as a team, but sometimes this is easier said than done. There are loads of blogs out there that will give you tips to get your partner on board with you, but ultimately for us we both had to come to our own decision that we wanted to change how we were living our lives.
Over the weekend Nick came to his own, "A ha!" moment. Last night he said to me, "I've made the decision that we really need to take this environmentally concious lifestyle as far as we can." I felt like shouting "Halleleujah!" from the rooftop. He sat down and watched the same documentaries as I did and came to the same conclusions - things have got to change. We're not under any delusions that changes happen over night, but it's a day by day effort to work towards the life that you want to live.
One decision that we had already made was that we were going to limit the kids Christmas presents and instead have a family weekend together. The family weekend we were planning to take involved driving 3 1/2 hours away to West Edmonton Mall to stay at The Fantasyland Hotel and spend the weekend at the amusement park and water park. Nothing about this weekend was sustainable or frugal. Would the kids enjoy it? Of course they would! Would it represent the lifestyle we want to cultivate for our family? No.
Instead of having a commercialized weekend away, we are going to set aside a weekend in January to spend together as a family. We're going to purchase some used cross country skis or snowshoes and get out together in the mountains. We'll visit the public wave pool and play board games together at home. And all of this will be much cheaper, more relaxing, and will support the future we want for us as a family.
I can't even convey how amazing it feels to be having these discussions and making these decisions together as a couple. There is no debate, just open, honest discussion and we are both coming to the same realizations. I couldn't be happier!