Our Month Long Spending Freeze




So we are two weeks into our January commitment of “31 days of Living Well and Spending Zero” . On the agreement Ruth provides we have outlined what we may purchase, what is already planned and what we MAY NOT purchase this month. So let’s review how we have done.

What we may purchase during our spending freeze

So we may purchase the following items as part of our approved spending on Groceries to fill gaps, toilet paper, fem products & deodorant, which I should have refreshed myself on more regularly . Because I have made some grocery store mistakes. The good part about this particular month of limiting grocery store purchases is that we sold our home and we need to eat everything in our freezer, anyway. By limiting our purchases to just what I need to make a meal which is usually something like mushroom soup, sour cream etc… we should have a lower grocery bill. My mistake this month is not sitting down and planning out the meals that we can make and the things we should buy and instead just randomly buying groceries several times in the past 2 weeks. Failure to meal plan is a big frugal woman ‘no-no’.

What we have already committed to purchasing during a month of no spending

Prior to beginning the no spending month we already planned a tea party and during the tea party for Dad to take son out for lunch.  So we continued on with those plans and everyone had a blast.

Tea party

Things I/We may absolutely Not Purchase during our Spending Freeze

The things we agreed not to buy are Starbucks, McDonald’s Carmel Frappe, fast food are the main places I waste money. We live in the country and I come in to town twice a week with the kids for activities. I normally purchase a Carmel Frappe which adds up to about $28 bucks a month. Fast food is a wild card some months we spend $40 and others $120+ none of which is in our budget nor is it good for me and my husband.

My husband identified his cafeteria at work, soda from Gas Stations. He spends over $200 a month buying cafeteria food and we plan to get him some frozen entrees to supplement sack lunch or left-overs. For him we went to the Supermarket and purchased a bunch of sodas for him to take tow work and have to drink at home on the weekends. He Spends about $45+ a month on gas station sodas and we probably spent $15.

So far my husband has spent $5 on a trip to Dallas (3 hours drive) for lunch. Normally, he and his boss go to yummy Pappasitos ($15-20), instead they went to a dive.

Change’s we’ll make next time is to account for my husband’s periodic business trips and the lunches. he’ll need to buy He goes with his boss and he can’t tote a lunch and eat it as they go. I will make my normal menu plan ahead of time!

ourspendingfreeze

The Results/Thoughts about of our Spending Freeze so far…

Hubby says it’s removed a lot of convenience from buying food at work and has disrupted his habit of getting sodas at gas stations. But that’s fine because he has plenty of soda to drink at home. Mind you he’s not complaining he’s a man and they just make observations. 

I  feel like I’ve had a spending reset about random thoughtless spending. No matter how frugal I am in all the other areas of my life I cannot out save our thoughtless spending. The biggest problem comes when we have unexpected mandatory expenses such as a trip to the doctors office which resulted in the need buy tamiflu. Well that can be a hardship when you’ve spent all your tamiflu money ($113) on Chick-fil-a!

So I suggested to my husband that we may want to consider doing this every 4 months to continue to keep ourselves living frugally and below our means.

When I checked our budget (which I do every payday) we only had $13.93 in unaccounted for spending. I am still trying to determine if any of this can be budgeted elsewhere.

More tips and quips on frugal living:

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Are you wondering how your children might react? Check out Mary’s  post on Homegrown Learners: THE $19 HAT – 5 LESSONS FOR KIDS DURING NO SPEND MONTH

Blessings as you and yours seek to live at or below you means!

Linked to: Living Well Spending Less, Frugality Gal, Womanhood with Purpose

 

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Aspired Living

Kyle is a full time frugal wife of Wayneand Mama to 5 adorable children: Peyton (15), Parker (10),Pearson (8), Parson (3) & Providence (3). My hope is to present families with an attainable simplified model of classical education with a Charlotte Mason twist.She likes listening to audio books, watching the kids play sports or piano & doing anything with my husband! She likes to do all of that while having a cup of coffee! You can find her blogging on a regular basis here at Aspired Living, The Curriculum Choice & Womanhood with Purpose.

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About Aspired Living

Kyle is a full time frugal wife of Wayne and Mama to 5 adorable children: Peyton (15), Parker (10),Pearson (8), Parson (3) & Providence (3). My hope is to present families with an attainable simplified model of classical education with a Charlotte Mason twist.She likes listening to audio books, watching the kids play sports or piano & doing anything with my husband! She likes to do all of that while having a cup of coffee! You can find her blogging on a regular basis here at Aspired Living, The Curriculum Choice & Womanhood with Purpose.

20 thoughts on “Our Month Long Spending Freeze

  1. I think your spending freeze is a great idea to get back on track and pinpoint the unnecessary spending (which is mostly bad for you too). I live by myself and most of my excess spending is on convenience meals. I like cooking, and I always have enough food in the house to make a meal, but I am in the bad habit of heading home from somewhere at dinner time and deciding I don’t feel like cooking, and then picking up some food to go. I’ve been doing better lately, but still need to work on it.

    1. I can imagine, having a houseful of people is motivating because it’s $40 to grab something. Perhaps to take the edge off of “don’t feel like it” you could prepare some short cuts ahead of time. For instance have chopped onion, green peppers and pre-ground meat on hand so the clean up is a lot easier. Also keep in mind it’s hard to break habits, but we can do all things with Christ. Blessings friend!!

  2. Not going to lie–this is a HARD area for me! I want to do better, and the hubs and I had a long sit-down at the table today to go over budget moving forward. Those talks are hard for me b/c I am the one doing most of the spending for our home. I really need to eliminate/limit impulsive spending on food (our grocery bills are so so high), homeschool “extras,” and crafting supplies. I am encouraged by this post b/c I am pretty good at challenges, and I could see us both doing well with a month-long spend. freeze just to see if we COULD do it! LOL it would be a good start, anyway. Thanks, and blessings, Joanna

    1. I can totally understand! I finally had to make an actual separate bank account for homeschool. That has really made a difference for me. I have a certain amount of money transferred every two weeks. When it’s empty I’m done!! The Spending Freeze has really made a large difference in the way I am currently thinking about spending. We are competitive too and we are always up for a challenge. Now totally off subject… loved your paper Mache Solar system I sent that to my co-op ladies! 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by my Crafty friend!

      1. Aw, you are welcome! We still have our planets hanging (a little worse for the wear) in my boys’ room. They all still love it.
        LOVE the idea of a separate homeschool account. Might have to try that too.
        Blessings in our Jesus! ~Joanna

  3. I have a friend who calls this February Fast and September Save- she does it every year. Although she is hardcore- no electricity is purchased either! I have implemented a few of her ideas. Really is interesting how even a few weeks of a spending freeze can make a difference to the budget

    1. Wow, we believe in electricity! but I totally get her as we’ve considered getting off the grid. This has made a huge difference in our habits. 🙂 7 hours to go!

  4. This might be something I will look into doing during the month of February (I love the February Fast and September Save idea that Mary@MissiontoSave mentioned in her comment above). Since we are determined to stay on budget and get some bills paid off this just might be the motivation we need! Thanks!!!

    1. Really, it is very strange but the way I think, especially about fast food my weakness has changed. We plan on doing it a couple times a year so we can stay focused! I strongly recommend a spending freeze for everyone, now if I could just master an eating freeze I’d be golden. ;D

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