Lifestyle Uncategorized

Spending Freeze

Good morning, happy Monday, I hope you’ve had your coffee! I’m lucky enough to be on another week of vacation, and I plan on taking advantage of every one.

Of course, I mean doing very little over the next week. I have a couple of goals: finish my grading from 3rd quarter, get to 40,000ish words in the new novel, do some freelance writing/editing, and release a big surprise on here on Friday.

However, that’s probably going to be about all that I’ll be doing. I’ll do some work with some friends, watch some movies with them, just hang out. But that’s all I can do. Last week, I got a flat tire and ended up having buy 2 new tires. That put me out of a whole bunch of money, and since I haven’t gotten my income tax yet, I have very, very little money until I get paid on Friday.

I’ve also decided to go on a spending freeze. I pulled out this great financial planning Maybook that I ordered back in May of last year, used once, and promptly forgot about. Well, guess what’s going to be used all the flipping time now?

The plan is that I get to do one fun thing that costs money a week and that’s basically it. I have all of my bills and expenses planned out for the coming month, including saving and debt paying to cover said tire expenses. It will be difficult, but it’s necessary. I might have to do this for the month of May, too, but we shall see.

Anyone have any tips or tricks for cutting back on spending?

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  • I do! i use an envelope system where I only have a certain amount of money each paycheck for each category. I did a whole post on it. it really helps me spend on necessities only. If you go to my blog and click on the finance/money tab youll see 🙂

  • I know the envelope system works amazingly. My husband keeps telling me we need to incorporate a budget into our finances, but … wah … that doesn't sound like fun! 🙁 #firstworldproblems

  • Meal planning and not eating out is a huge money saver for us. Also finding activities that are free and within walking distance help a lot as well.

    • How do you do your meal planning? My husband and I really want to get on some kind of schedule, simply to avoid the "So what do you want for dinner tonight?" discussion that seems to plague us, haha.

  • eHa

    I like using Mint to track my expenses. And I love meal planning. I've been able to keep our grocery expenses to an average of $40-50 a week for two people so far this year because I've been meal planning, looking at sales, buying nonperishables in bulk, and making sure I use all perishables before they go bad. We've kept our heat very low to lower our heating bill and I've called our cable company to see change our cable service to the cheapest plan that still offers NESN, a necessity. I really want to call my husband's cellphone company and see if there is a cheaper plan available for that since he mostly just uses his phone to text. You might want to check out Budget Bytes for recipes and the Simple Dollar for money saving tips.

  • I tracked my expenses for awhile using an Excel spreadsheet, but it got too laborious and after a few months, nothing really changed, so I decided to see if I could go without. (Answer: Yes.) I have tried to use Quicken and Mint, but haven't really gotten into them. We'll see if that changes.

    As for trying to save, I automatically have part of my paycheck go into savings so it's like I don't even see if (can't spend money you don't know exists!) and I also have cut out a lot of incidental things that used to be daily (buying lunch, going to Starbucks, afternoon snacks). We also cut some of our cable channels recently and have considered going to just Netflix (which we already have) and adding Hulu+. So far we haven't had to do that, but it's definitely an option. As for myself, I'm not really an "impulse buyer" but if I do find myself wanting to spend money, I always make myself wait at least a day to decide if I really need that (pair of shoes, top, book, CD, etc) or if I just want something. If the latter is the case, I can usually resist the purchase, but sometimes, you just want to spend a little on yourself. For me, that could be a book, a new lipstick, or just a fancy cup of coffee. Allowing yourself some splurges makes the saving not so hard. Good luck!

    PS: I love that financial planner. Where did you get it!?

  • I write down every purchase I make…it helps me to see exactly where my money is going. Sometimes I don't even realize I'm spending so much on something. For instance, over the summer I realized I was spending way too much on grabbing bottled water/coffee while I was out and about, so I started carrying a water bottle or making coffee before I left the house. But if I hadn't written down all of my purchases, I probably would have continued spending way too much money!

  • Omg good luck! I'm so bad at saving, it's really bad. I need to stop ignoring it and actually do something about it because I have just been so terrible lately. Where did you get your financial planner? It's such an amazing idea to have one.

    Marla @ A Weekend Crossing

  • Good luck with your spending freeze. I'm hoping to do something similar this month. I'd like to get my savings back and I feel like that may be the only way. Cutting out eating out is a big one for my family. Good luck reaching your goals. Enjoy your time off!