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Spending freeze sounds lovely. A chance to save extra money. Yes, it will be a challenge to not spend any money. But, think about the progress to pay off debt or save money!
We have participated in spending freezes at different times over the years. The number one reason I enjoy them is I get to see what is really needed and what is just excess spending.
Each day comes with temptations to spend money. In today’s society, the opportunity to spend money is everywhere – online, schools, vending machines, brick and mortar stores on every corner. It is like people want instant access to our bank accounts.
What is the Definition of a Spending Freeze?
A spending freeze is a set amount of time where money is not spent. FREEZE SPENDING. It is a commitment to be deliberate to not spend money. Specifically, unnecessary spending. The bills like housing, insurance, and medical would still be paid and taken care of. The purpose of a spending freeze is to eliminate the excess spending. Also known as the I-had-no-clue-what-happened-to-my-money-this-month mantras.
Should Groceries Be Included in the Spending Freeze?
That depends. If your pantry and freezer are full, then the answer is probably yes with a limited predetermined amount for milk, fresh fruit and veggies. If your pantry and freezer are empty, then no. Eating a healthy meal at home is more important. However, eating out needs to be eliminated during the spending freeze.
Another alternative it to hold a Freezer/Pantry Challenge at a different time.
Why is a Spending Freeze Important?
It is a simple way to be intentional with money for a set amount of time. Handling money can bring about a lot of stress. By participating in a spending freeze, you are consciously not spending money for a set amount of time. A spending freeze seems more like a fun game than living under a strict budget.
Related Post: How to Budget Once a Year
What are Benefits of a Spending Freeze?
We live in a society of excess material items. Honestly, the reason is because things are so cheap anymore. A dollar here. A dollar there. While it doesn’t seem like much at the time, those dollars add up to $5, $20, $100 or even $500 during a spending freeze. Possibly even more depending on the length of a spending freeze.
Understanding your spending habits is one critical piece to success with money. Throughout a spending freeze, keep a journal of the items you passed on and didn’t spend money. With evaluation, it will show where your weaknesses are and what changes you can make going forward.
Grab a copy of the Spending Wish list in our FREE resource library.
If you believe there is no possible way to eliminate any of your spending and feel you are already spending a small amount of money, I challenge you to try a spending freeze. Every dollar adds up. Especially when make the spending freeze a longer timeframe.
How Long Should a Spending Freeze Be?
A week. Two weeks. A month. A year. It is your choice on how long a spending freeze should be. Personally, I recommend two weeks for your first spending freeze. It is long enough to truly access your spending, but short enough to have success. It is too easy to splurge before and after with a one-week spending freeze. When we have held a spending freeze for a month or longer, it seems much harder to complete and the completion rate is much, much lower.
Spending Freeze Rules / Guidelines
- Commit to a time frame.
- Decide which categories are allowed and which aren’t. (Pick a copy of the Cents Plan to help you.)
- Make it harder to spend money. (Freeze your cards. Leave them at home. Use cash only. Remove automatic payment info at your favorite online stores.)
- Don’t spend money.
- Don’t feel ashamed for saying no.
- Be open and honest about the spending freeze with friends and family. Also, share your reason to participate.
- Most important – decide where the spending freeze money will go. Savings? Pay off debt? Vacation? Your choice.
Are you up for a Spending Freeze? A chance to spend no money?
A spending freeze is beneficial to understand the role of money in your life. Truly understand what is more important in life.
Not ready to commit to a spending freeze yet? Pin it for later.