This blissful photograph of the city I can't get out of my head is courtesy of Daniel Schwen.
It is becoming increasingly clear to me that fasting and I do not get along. I would be the one to tell Gandhi to go ahead and have a cookie. I am the one telling the rabbi I feel faint at 8 am on Yom Kippur. And I am the individual who put $545 on her credit card on day 23 of her "financial fast."
It's Seattle's fault. Ever since J and I booked our tickets to visit that fair city in June, I've been having a wonderful time planning and reading and imagining our time there. So when I read about the website airbnb.com in this Daily Beast article, I decided to look into it for our trip. Airbnb connects travelers with hosts who are willing to rent out rooms, apartments, guest houses, futons and tree houses (that's really a category!).
Within moments of signing on, I found a lovingly restored Craftsman bungalow for just over $50 per night for the three of us. We'd have a private room, get a chance to share the kitchen, and will make some new friends. And there's a dog!
I contacted the home's owner to make sure she's okay with a rug rat, and her response was so warm and welcoming, I went ahead and booked the house.
Of course, the cost of staying with our new friends will be a great deal cheaper than staying in a hotel for our 9 day stay, even if you don't factor in our ability to cook in our Seattle home away from home. So overall it was a frugal decision to book our stay there. (Can you hear the rationalization? Because I certainly can). I had to "borrow" money from another fund to pay for the booking, since the tickets to Seattle wiped out the vacation fund, but we'll certainly be able to pay ourselves back long before the trip.
It's become clear, however, that my "Jump on that price, woman!" reaction is much stronger than my ability to fast.
We have one more week of fasting. My $40 food budget is in tatters. I've officially spent money frivolously by booking a vacation rental much farther in advance than necessary. We ate a shame pizza. In terms of straight fasting, I'm not sure this month can be called a success. But, there is good news. We have been much more mindful about our spending, checking with each other before each purchase and making certain that we would immediately use anything we did buy. And that mindfulness means we will be able to pay off our credit card at the end of the month. Since that was our entire reason behind this exercise, I'd call it a pretty productive month.
Look out Seattle!