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.
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?