April Wallet Watch - A Spending Freeze

March 26, 2014

i decided to jump on board with steph and marla's april spending challenge.  they've done many month-long spending freezes in the past but this time they're hosting a spending challenge.  you can take that to mean any challenge you want to complete for yourself, whether it be spending less at starbucks, tracking your grocery bill better or, like me, a total spending freeze.

yes, that's what i'm taking on this coming month - a spending freeze.  which is just a month of spending absolutely no money except for the things you deem essential.  i don't stockpile or really have a pantry at all, so essential for me is food.  some people could certainly live out of their pantries/freezers for a month, but i just don't cook that way.  and although i'm deeming once a week groceries as essential, i'm limiting my spending in that area as much as possible.  it also means no ordering in and no eating out unless it's a budgeted event i listed below.

why?  i think it's important to have an end goal, so you don't lose sight of why the 'extra' money is in your account.  my why is paying off the credit card - $1000 in doggie vet bills alone in one month.  woof.  woof, indeed.  then i can finally be totally debt free and check it off my 101 in 1001 list.

my rules:
1. spending freeze lasts from march 31 to april 30. (i'm better at things that start on a monday.)  the freeze obviously does not include monthly bills like rent and health insurance.
2. no outings that are not already budgeted for.  these are april 6, 17 (or 18), 19, and 26.  i have to stay within that amount budgeted.  i also have a little money set aside if a friend is able to get dinner this month.  that's it, no other impromptu lunches/dinners/coffees.
3. no shopping other than groceries.  there's nothing i need, i'm certain of that.  if essential shopping comes up, like a miscount and i run out of shampoo, that's acceptable. but certainly no clothes, magazines, candy, groupons, candles.
4. no ordering in food and calling it 'groceries;'
5. no taxis to or from the office; and
6. no coffee i haven't made at home.  i already know my weaknesses.
7. i'm totally not above presents.  so ya know, if someone wants to treat me to dinner, i'm all for it.  the use of giftcards is also acceptable.  free money, yo.
8. post my (honest!) results may 2.  the link up says may 6 but i'm a rule breaker.


steph and marla have both done these challenges before so if you're looking for more rules, ideas, tips, check them out.  i know i did.  so are you in?

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29 comments

  1. Great idea! Excited for you to rock this!

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  2. The coffee at home is saving me money but I MISS STARBUCKS.

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  3. What a great idea. A friend and I were talking about a spending freeze in April. Maybe linking up will keep me accountable.

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  4. I saw that and thought about joining. At first I thought I don't really shop a lot, then I remembered how I just bought random crap at Target over the weekend...or every time I go to the grocery store and pick up something random. At least it'd make me make a list and stick to it. For it to truly work for me, I also need to get the husband on board.

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  5. This sounds like a great challenging I may have to join in!

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  6. I am so doing this too. Need to pay off some bills. Going to look at all my current bills and see what I can slash or get for cheaper.

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  7. I think it's a very good idea to have a goal or motivation when doing a spending freeze--otherwise you'll just start thinking "Why am I doing this just to torture myself?"

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  8. i've been thinking about this but i have a pending big spend of my airfare for miami. i can budget that in right? i think i will be doing this and force my husband on it too. got the credit card bill from last month when he went to vegas and i nearly donkey kicked him in the face.

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

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  9. Hooooray!!! Glad youre joining us. I too was planning on a freeze, but after going through my planner yesterday, I don't think it's gonna happen. So I'm doing a major cutback. I love all your rules, good luck!!!

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  10. Good luck! I like this better than a freeze but April is already pretty scheduled already - I would have lots of already budgeted expenses - so I don't know if this is the time for me. Though I could stand to work on my coffee consumption outside of what/s already there at home and work...

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  11. Sounds delightful! :) I'll join you all from afar I need to not spend this month yikes. I'm definitely quick to get out of my budget for the month, especially with clothing - which I do not need more of. I have a closet full of ish yet it feels like I have NOTHING to wear. It's insanity. Lol. Good luck with the freeze Stephanie! Have a great one -Iva

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  12. You got this! I know my weaknesses too, those are very very important to know.

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  13. Awww I hope Hawkeye is OK!! I totally feel you on the vet bills. They are what put me over the edge every month, but I can't not take care of my best friend! I'm highly considering joining. . . I'm so nervous about failing though!

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  14. I'm gonna do it, too... my first time! I'm nervous, but, I figure that being able to set our own boundaries is a good time to give a shot... plus, lots of support!

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  15. I always have to restrict my taxi rides during these freezes too- so tempting during this awful cold weather!

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  16. I am really hoping to cut back in April as well! I have already talked with Mic and we are on board for no going out to eat or fast food for the month (unless already planned). I am also making myself give up Starbucks for the month! YIKES! Good luck!

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  17. I really really REALLY should be doing this. ok. I need to. FINE.

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  18. I need to do this! We are going on vacation in April so not a very practical month for me but maybe May. Can't wait to hear how it goes!

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  19. Doing this to help pay off my summer school sessions and put some more into my savings. I am definitely budgeting out some "play" money because I know damn well I won't say no to dinner/happy hour with a friend, but I can't go over the predetermined budget. Good luck and may we all save some green!

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  20. Candles are so addicting! This sounds like a great plan for the month. I hope you achieve great success! I'm sure the double purpose of being able to check another thing off your 101 list will help a lot!

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  21. I am going to try to follow along this time too since it isn't a complete freeze. I know I would fail at a complete freeze. Every time I say I am going to do it...something happens that takes lots of my money and then I just give up completely. I am not sure what my rules are quite yet...but I am DOING IT!

    You got this!!!!

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  22. I feel like I need to do this! Really, I could use some money saving!

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  23. I'm in on this too. Food and impromptu snacks are my biggest pits. I just amended my goal post for Ruesday to include this. Good luck!

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  24. This is a great idea! I could totally factor in my trip this month and make it work!

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  25. NICE! Good luck!! I gave up shopping (for clothes/accessories/shoes) for Lent and so far I've held to it. I guess I kinda cheated on my vacation because I bought myself 3 bracelets, but it was a total of $16 and I'm not going to Costa Rica again for quite a while ;-)

    -AJ
    OccasionallyAJ.com

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  26. sadly I have to do this for april and may, not by choice but because i literally have no money!!!!

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