Before I jump right into the results of my January Spending Freeze, I think it’s important to give you a glimpse into how D and I handle our affairs. After climbing our way out from under an obscene amount of debt, we devised a plan to keep us on track and spending within our means. The system is quite simple and it’s incredibly effective as long as we stick to it. We have “house” money, the money we save and/or use to pay our bills with. And then we have “allowance”. We each get the same amount of allowance every pay period and we’re free to spend it at our discretion (shoes for me, video games for D, whatever).
Simple enough right. Well I think I clearly exhibited in How To Spend A Month’s Allowance On Your Lunch Break that Idon’t always do a very good job towing the line. I’ve gotten in the bad habit of borrowing money from the “house” and things have gotten a bit sketch since August. Before I knew it I found myself owing $600, yikes! It’s a slippery slope because I make good money and I work hard so at the end of a pay period, I want to reward myself with some pretty new thing. When I owe the house money though, I’m paying that back, which leaves me with less money for me so I borrow more. See why I need help?
When I saw the January Spending Freeze I thought I’d give it a go, and well let’s just say I wasn’t successful in that I spent money. I also didn’t save a dime. I did however pay off my debt to the house, prove I can go an entire month without buying something shiny and new and gain a lot of perspective into my spending habits. You may not, but I’m calling this a success.
So my journey. I started out strong and managed to make it a whole three days before I broke down and bought my first coffee, $1.75. I felt guilty, really guilty actually, but that didn’t stop me from doing it again four days later, another $1.75. I broke the freeze very early on but like anything in life, this freeze had its ups and downs. Not perfect, but in the first two weeks I only spent $3.50. I killed it by eating breakfast at home and by bringing my lunch to work every day. This without a doubt is what allowed me to pay back the debt I owed.
Happy, happy, joy, joy. Life is good……WRONG. Once my debt was down to zero, things went completely aery. I stopped keeping track of my infractions and I spent my entire second allowance on takeout! Such a waste of money, but I mean a girls got to eat right. I’ve discovered that if I’m going to get serious about saving, I’m gonna need to do the work and get my butt to the grocery store every weekend. No joke you guys there are times where I won’t go to the store for three weeks and even then the only reason I’ll go is because we’re out of cat food. I’m going to need to prepare meals regularly, and I’ll need to wake up early so that I don’t leave the house without eating breakfast. I definitely need your help here. I’m so tired of making crummy recipes that take lots of time and turn out like crap. What can I make in bulk that will keep and TASTE GOOD. I know this may sound easy to some of you, but I swear it was an anomaly for me in the first two weeks which is why I am so fricken proud of myself.
This was a great exercise and I will definitely give it a go again. I’m thrilled and relieved to be out of debt. I’m glad to know I can go a month without buying a shiny new object and I’ve pin pointed a huge part of the reason I spend so much money. March, I’m coming for you.