Sunday, January 8, 2017
How to do a 30 Day Spending Freeze
Every year, usually in January, My husband and I do what we call a "Spending Freeze". For 30 days (or more) we do not spend any unnecessary money on ourselves. We still buy groceries, and anything that comes up that is an absolute necessity, but other than that, we don't spend. We also don't eat out. This year we aren't as committed to it as usual because we are preparing to put our house on the market, so we have needed to spend money on things like paint and other supplies for minor renovations. But we still aren't spending on ourselves right now. And for the past couple of years we have had amazing success with it. Last year we did a 3 month spending freeze and it allowed us to save hundreds of extra dollars. Here are some tips to have a successful spending freeze.
1. Go put your credit cards in a block of ice. Yes, seriously. If you freeze your credit cards they will not get damaged, yet they will be out of your wallet and away from easy access. If you truly feel you need them, you will have to wait for the block if ice to melt. It will be a lot of trouble to get those cards out and while the ice is melting you will hopefully have second thoughts about using the cards.
2. Make a meal plan. No eating out, remember? Avoid the dreaded "I don't know what to make for dnner, let's just go out to eat" by being prepared with a meal plan.
3. Plan some fun, free activities. It's easy to become "frugal-fatigued". You don't want to feel like you are having 30 days of no fun and giving in to spending money by feeling tired of saving. Some ideas on free fun are playing board games, watching a movie on Netflix if you have it, going for a trail walk, baking, building forts with your kids, or crafting with supplies you already have on hand.
4. Remind yourself that 30 days is not really that long. While spending less is a good habit to get into on an ongoing basis, remind yourself that in 30 days you can go get that Starbucks coffee (Or Tim Horton's if you've decided to start choosing a cheaper option.) It will be over before you know it!
5. Keep track of your bank account. As you see the money you are saving and are able to put it to other things such as debt, home renovations, or that trip you've been dying to go on, you will feel more motivated and determined to stick with it.
Freezing your spending for a short time can really make a difference. Just 30 days - you got this!