well, a spending freeze is no spending.  so my 10 month shopping ban is more like a little frost, since some spending is allowed.  10 months because i know i can't make it 1 year.  i move next september when my lease is up and there's always costs associated with that.  so november 1, 2014 - august 31, 2015.  totally doable.


why:
(1) moving next september.  my lease will be up and john and i will be buying a house.  saving money for that needs to happen for sure.  this is probably the main reason.
(2) travel.  i, unlike most people, hate saving and budgeting money for travel.  on my list of wants and desires, travel isn't even ranked except for an occasional trip to vegas.  i dislike travel very, very much.  besides enjoying the comforts of my own home and my dog, i'm terrified of flying.  like, mix 2 xanax into my 7th mimosa if you want to get me on a plane kind of terrified.  i much prefer destinations i can drive to.  but, flying travel must be done.  my best friend is in california and i have to go visit.  at some point.  and it's freaking expensive to fly to and stay in l.a., damn.  john also wants to go to vegas soon (april, until i had a freakout about the cdc's lack of, what's that second c stand for, oh right, control, and decided we're on lock down) and do an all-inclusive someplace warm in the future.  he is as bad about flying as i am, so i don't even know who's going to get us on and off the planes.  but i'm going to start saving anyway.
(3) emergency fund.  isn't that always the way?  it should be like 6 months of expenses, and i've been putting it off since i still have the parental safety net.  which is ridiculous, i'm almost 30 (but it's nice to know they'll always help me.)  i think the usual number is $10,000.  who knows where that number came from, but $7k to go.  ouch.
(4) i've been debt free since paying off student loans in february of this year and my credit card (a small bill, about $1,000) in april.  i'd rather save what i was making in payments than experience that whole 'lifestyle inflation' thing.

my acceptable purchases (besides fixed bills like rent):
- groceries.  but i only spend about $50 per month here. (this number seems to shock people, but remember, though i eat cheese when i go out, at home i eat strictly vegan.  if you want to save money on groceries, eat vegan.  meat, dairy and lots of desserts are what make your bill go up.)
- pet supplies.  not that i go crazy and buy 10 toys and $50 worth of treats each month, but hawkeye gets at least $70 in the budget each month for food, grooming, flea meds, etc etc. plus at least $40 per month to save up for the vet expenses come april.  hawkeye's account is never touched or subject to spending freezes.  she's princess.
- pre-approved clothing items.*  i made a list of items i know i need.  i guess mostly to replace things that are getting worn out (like the tank tops i wear under everything) and a couple of things i realized are big gaps in my wardrobe.  it's a short list and shouldn't cost much.
- replacement clothing items.  everything i kept during round 1 of closet purging seems to be in very good condition, so i don't foresee anything needing replacement.  however, since i have a minimalist wardrobe and wear the same pieces all the time, if i break a heel on my black pumps or get a big hole in my white sweater, i need to replace those.  i don't have backups. 

*when i say clothes, i mean everything involved in getting dressed, including accessories, shoes and purses.

what i'm not buying:
- excessive eating out/ordering in.  nixing this category completely for 10 months is totally unrealistic.  but i can definitely limit it.  i'll set a small budget for it each month.  this is easier through the next 2 months since john is on 7-10s (10 hour days, 7 days a week) and he is my eating out partner in crime.  we do once a week, but i think i'll cut it down to twice a month.  and he has to start loving my coupons.  november = birthday month = so. much. free. food.
- gifts and holiday spending.  i include this in the 'not buying' category because it won't come out of my paychecks/monthly budget.  all gift giving/holiday spending this year is going to be paid for by swagbucks.
- clutter-causing entertainment.  i think of this category as things like books and magazines, dvds, candles, home decor, etc.  really, shouldn't be an issue.  i get real simple, glamour, self, and cosmo all delivered to me - free!  i earned enough points on recyclebank in the last few months that i have 1 year subscriptions to all those for free.  i don't buy books ever since i don't like the clutter (same for dvds, i only have 2) and i just get everything at the library.  what will probably entice me more than anything is a new phone.  i'm still on the iphone 4 (never had siri) so i'm pretty behind.  but, it works just fine.  i'm not shelling out to replace it unless it breaks.  even though i'm years beyond being eligible for an upgrade, it makes the monthly price go up and puts me back under a 2 year contract.  i like none of those things.  so i may start putting away dollars each month to get a newer model off ebay.  staying away from candles will also be pretty hard.  damn you b&bw and your glorious scents.
- excessive outings.  again, can't nix this completely (though i'll try.)  going out and doing things with my friends is fun.  but i'm going to try to limit these events, find cheap and free things to do, have people over more, and plan ahead for bigger cost events by earning extra money.  like selling some things i declutter and pet sitting/dog walking.  (mom pays me to watch her dogs and people in my neighborhood are some seriously lazy ass pet owners.  more money for me.)

things you'll be surprised i'm not buying:
- makeup, toiletries and household supplies.  i actually have a stockpile large enough to cover everything in these categories until mid-summer.  i think i can make it all last until the move.  except toilet paper.  because we seem to go through that fast and also stuart likes to play with it and it's too cute to stop him.  whatever, i use coupons and get toilet paper practically free anyway.  worth the price of a little kitty happiness.  i might have to adjust as things start running out, but that's seriously at least 6 months from now.
- things i already don't buy.  coffee (i get it free at work), fast food (besides my fave, taco bell, but i include that in the eating out i do with john), cable, anything car related since i don't have one.  there's a surprising number of things that i really just don't waste money on anymore!