We are halfway through the month, which means we are halfway through our spending freeze month. I thought I would give a quick update since I know some people were wondering what this is all about.
A spending freeze is where you don’t spend money on anything besides basic needs such as groceries, gas and the few personal items that you might have (i.e. diapers, deodorant).
Now, Naaman and I do something each month called “blow money.” It is a budget item that provides us with money to “blow.” Each time we get paid we take out some cash and we can spend it on whatever we would like. But when it’s gone then it’s gone. We went ahead and did that again this month but we aren’t going shopping with it. We’re going to see how long we can hang onto it this time.
My biggest problem is going to Target. I try to stay away from that store if I can. However, I do like to get diapers there so I went in the other day. What is it about Target that makes it so hard to leave with just the items on your list? The key to not spending more than you planned is going in with a list and sticking to it. If you venture through the home or kids aisles you are more than likely going to buy something. And it’s probably not something you actually need.
I bought the diapers, picked up a few groceries and then decided to use a gift card so I could buy a planner. It kind of felt like cheating but in a way it’s not because I didn’t spend money that was already budgeted to something else.
Window shopping is dangerous. This includes shopping on the internet. You may start looking at Etsy and suddenly you just HAVE to have that cute whatever-it-is. But the truth is – you don’t have to have it. Your brain is telling you yes when it should be telling you no.
Is this fun? Nope. It’s not fun at all. I would love to be one of those people on my instagram feed who is constantly taking pictures of their new clothes/shoes/toys/make-up/books/whatever. It is very hard for me to see it. I get jealous thinking that they must make boatloads more money than we do and whaaaaa, it’s not fair.
Well, life’s not fair. We made some decisions and now we’re paying for them. But that’s what adults do. I know for a fact that a lot of people are in the same position we are. They are either still making bad decisions shopping all the time. Or they are saving and tightening their purse strings in order to make a better future for their family. You’re the only one that can make the choice with your money.
When you do a spending freeze you stop thinking of now, now, now and you start thinking of the future. How much money will we have leftover at the end of the month? How much will a big lump sum payment to a credit card save us in the long run?
The part where we get to pay off a large sum of debt at the end of this month? That part is definitely fun! Wish us luck – we’re halfway done!
Just a tip – I use a free budget website called Mint. It is awesome. You link all your accounts online and it keeps track of everything. You create your budget for each month and it tracks that as well. I love it because there is an awesome iphone app to go along with it so no matter where I am I can access all of our accounts. Check it out! It really helps me see the big picture.