October Reader Challenge

We pass for what we are – Emerson

Challenge of the month….

Who are you and what do you value, based solely on how you spend your time and money?

I could make a long list of my personal values and priorities. These include spending quality time with my son, adventure, freedom, financial independence, personal development, good health, having time to be creative, building community, giving to others, eating a vegan diet, and so forth.

However, if I examine the last 7 days I spent here on earth, I might find that my activities fail to reflect my values. Or they may exceed my values! In other words, I may find that I spent a lot more time watching television than engaging with my teenager.

My son and I at a friend's spectacular wedding.

October’s challenge is to conduct a personal time-study over a one week period. Estimate the hours you spent doing various activities. Include everything from working, housecleaning, exercise, shopping, watching television, and paying bills, to playing with your kids, surfing the net, and eating out. Are you spending time doing those things you enjoy and value most? No matter what they are? If you LOVE Monday night football on your flat screen television, then knock yourself out..enjoy it! But if you work 40 hours at a job you hate in order to have purchased that $4,000 television, you might want to re-think it…

Think about how you spent your money over the last week, too. Where’d it all go? Did you spend money on eating out or cooking, cable television or a gym membership, on yourself or your family, on art supplies or books? How you spend your money tells you a lot about your living values, not just who you strive to be. Did you spend much more on debt that you’d like to admit? I know I did!

Who are you today? What did you learn about yourself by taking this personal inventory? Please share your experiences in the comments section of this post. And check out our challenge page to see why you should participate!

Look for my next blog, where I begin to share my own personal inventory around…yikes…money!



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3 responses to “October Reader Challenge

  1. What great questions to get people to think about what really matters!

    I’d have to say I’m pretty happy with my personal inventory. There is always more debt than I’d like, but I can’t change it and can only work on spending less to pay it off faster.

    I try to do something I enjoy every day, without spending a lot of money. Last week (after work) I went for a long walk, made hummus from scratch, went to a free neighborhood party with friends, hung out at a cheap bar and played pool with friends, cleaned out my entire CD collection, took 2 huge bags of books to the used store ($25 in my pocket, yay!), and went to my parents’ house where my husband made a frugal vegan dinner of soup and bread for all of us.

    Money spent was on my gym membership ($30/month) well worth it for me in the cold months, and $22 on a rare shopping purchase, a sweater dress that will be warm and comfy and accommodate my 4 months pregnant and growing size for hopefully most of the winter!

    Also a couple cups of (half caf) coffee, my indulgence now that I’m not spending loads on alcohol!

  2. Hi Vegan Mom! Thanks for visiting our site. I love what you had to say and share your delight in a day well spent, and well fed. I’d like to add your link to our links page – let me know if that’s alright with you. I look forward to following you as well.

    Yes, it’s wonderful when we take a personal inventory of our lives and can say that on a day-to-day basis, we’re pretty happy with what we’ve created for ourselves. Congratulations on your creation (and your baby to be).


  3. Gina

    Interesting! I am currently doing this as an assignment for an e-course, and I am using the (downloaded) matrix from 168 hours.

    Yes, there are 168 hours in a week, and it is startling to see how many of those hours are used!

    I claim to be a bit of a yogini, but there’s not even 30 minutes of yoga in my most recent 168 hours. I claim to love city living, and yet, there’s not an hour of the past week in which I did something that is particular to living in a city — going to a museum, etc.

    It’s time to put my hours where my mouth is!

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