It is June, and that means I have officially completed a 6-month spending freeze! I am halfway to my 1-year spending freeze goal!
If you are not familiar with my story, I will link it here for you. In short, my niece did a year-long spending freeze in 2017, and so I decided to give myself a little challenge for 2018. And then blog about it. Well, the blog has expanded into so much more than I initially thought it would but I want to keep updated on the Spending Freeze part of the blog. So, here is the update for 6 MONTHS Spending Freeze!
My rules were no books, no accessories, no household accessories (unless something was ruined, broken, or ripped and needed to be replaced), no makeup just because it’s a pretty lipgloss, and no clothes or shoes (unless with a gifted or earned gift card or cash).
I was doing great. I saved a couple of Birthday Gift Cards for the Spring which helped recently (ok, last week) when I needed a Spring/Summer Wardrobe refresh. But then…I went a little overboard. I was having trouble reigning it in this past month.
Spending Freeze Challenge
Kohl’s for those of you who do not know, does this thing called Kohl’s Cash so when you spend a certain amount of money, they give you a coupon for purchases on your next trip during specific dates. There is no minimum to buy, so you get $20 to spend on the store because you paid $100! And then starts the cycle of spending because the next time you are there, they do it again. But the KC that you are spending doesn’t count toward new KC, so you have to buy more. And they make it harder by giving you 30%off your ENTIRE purchase! Do you feel the struggle?
So, I went in and bought some things for the house that we needed including the Summer couch pillows that fell apart when I washed them last Fall (I replaced them with the exact pillows that I will not clean the same way). We needed bed pillows, and the boys needed a few pieces of summer clothing. In return, I got Kohl’s Cash. I also had a 30% off coupon, a $5coupon from their unique buyer’s card, $10 from my husband’s Birthday that they sent him, and that meant quite a bit of money to spend!!
I overspent so there are a few things already in the car to take back: I chose my favorites and will be returning the others, so I am still within the rules.
No Spend Challenge Rule Manipulation
Because you know that’s what I am doing here, right? It’s my game, my rules, and I get to choose how far I want to bend them.
The ENTIRE point of this experiment is to stop buying so much stuff all the time. My house is small. My closet is small. I wanted to be able to wear all my clothes, feel right about them, like them, and wear them. I wanted a minimalist type wardrobe without fighting to see what was hanging in there and not worry about whether I was going to pull it out, put it on, and hate it only to hang it back up and try another time again. Because, well, maybe next time I will like it. Nope. Done.
The time I am dedicating to other things and the money that I am saving has in itself, saved me so much. I am happy I did this.
The Hardest Part Of A Spending Freeze
Again, watch me manipulate the rules…
My goal was not to buy any books. Before that, I decided I wasn’t going to buy books I would only read once. Fiction, for example. You spent $12 on a book, read it once and then pass it on. So I was utilizing the library more and more and dusting off the e-reader. This year, 2018, I set a goal to read 24 nonfiction books for the year.
See how that went? I have been grabbing some nonfiction books from the library which has helped the Spending Freeze but I have still bought books and I’m not sorry!! ~ok, maybe a little. I could have done without them.
So, in 6 months’ spending freeze, I have done ok. I have spent much less on these things as I usually would have and I feel confident that while not being perfect, I have done MUCH better than usual.
Let me share with you three tips.
Plan. Seriously, if you are going to do a spending freeze for any more than two weeks, make a plan and put some thought into it. How are you going to handle four months into “the freeze” when you get a wedding invite and need a dress? Do you have something that will do? Could you change it up with borrowed jeweler and a friend’s sweet little purse?
Prepare. Do you need anything? Underwear? Sneakers?
Park it. Yes. Stay home. Keep it to the home base. Stay out of the stores. Go to Target once a month. Take a firm friend to the mall if you NEED to go pick up some shorts for your teenage son, or if said son knows the deal, take him (he is tall and freakishly strong for a string bean). He will keep you on track. You know your triggers. Do not go there!
That’s it! I give myself 7 out of 10 stars for this first 6-month spending freeze. Give it a try. Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear all about it!!