Sunday, September 16, 2012

30 Day Spending Freeze 

How to find more money in your monthly budget

A couple years ago the hubs and I did a 30 day spending freeze.  We didn't buy anything that wasn't a necessity. No date nights, no restaurants, no coffee,  no Target (gasp)!  At first I went through withdrawal, especially when it came to driving past Target without stopping.  But after a couple days (OK, maybe a week) I forgot about it and didn't think about shopping. I even started to enjoy going for groceries because if gave me a chance to get that shopping itch out of my system without breaking our freeze.  

What the spending diet taught me...

  1. I don't need half of the things that I buy.  
  2. The kids don't need half of the things we buy them. 
  3. And saving some extra money feels so good!
So here we are again...spending freeze time from September 16th - October 16th. 

How it works...

The budget for the month only includes

  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Mortgage
  • Necessities (food, gas, daycare)
  • No extra "fun"
Since we put all our spending on the VISA and pay the balance off at the end of each month we should be able to track it fairly easily. We usually have the same budget every month for the VISA, but a lot of the time it ends up being higher. Ugh! 

Here is a sample budget that I made on excel to give you an idea.  I balanced the income with bills down to $0. Sometimes I leave $100 for any miscellaneous expenses that pop up.  But as you can see in this budget the person would be able to save $1000.

 $       3,000.00
Income 1

 $       3,101.00
Income 2

Total Income
 $       6,101.00

Total Expenses
 $       6,101.00

 $                   -  

September 2012

$ 1,500.00
VISA  - (Sept 16 - Oct 16) *
$ 1,400.00
HOA Dues
 $   80.00
 $ 108.00
Cable. Internet. Phone
 $ 185.00
 $ 115.00
Car Insurance
 $ 140.00
Life Insurance
 $   73.00
Taxes/ Home Insurance
Student Loan
 $ 300.00
 $ 750.00

Total Expenses

Savings Account
Extra Money Saved
$ 600
*Usually the VISA might be $2000, which means by cutting out all the unnecessaries this person found and extra $600.

What goes on the VISA
After School Care $249
Groceries $ 600
Gas $400
Karate $120 (Sept 11 - Oct 6)
Alarm   $31.00

Why do it for only 30 days?

We could continue this for longer. And trust me after you do this for a month it is a lot easier to continue.  However, we figure we have to have a little fun in this life of ours. So 30 days here and there doesn't make it seem like a chore.

How do I avoid spending?

1. Don't go to the stores, coffee shops or restaurants.  Simply avoid them. 
2. If you have to go shopping (only necessities) make a list and stick to it.  Buy nothing extra. 
3.Do not make extra trips to the grocery store. Those little $3.99 trips really add up! And you can live without those grapes until the next shopping day.
4. Leave your wallet at home or in the car.  If you have to go outside to get it, then you will most likely think twice about buying.
5. Feel the need to bring something home?  Go to the library and load up on books and movies.

How much extra money did we save the last time we did the Spending Freeze?

The first time we did it, we ended up saving an extra $400 that month.  Not to shabby. After making a few Miner adjustments, this time our goal is to save an extra $500.  

Goals this time around...

Every Friday this month I'll give you a weekly update on our spending.  It will keep me accountable. 

To budget for the VISA is $1500 (it is usually $2000).  We cannot go over it to make our  goal of saving an extra $500 above what we normally save.

So how about it? Want to join the spending freeze with us?  It is so good for the soul....and your bank account.

Happy Saving!


  1. Great Post! I am always striving to save money and reduce our household spending. Thanks for the information. ;o)

    1. Thanks, Paula! You are welcome. I will have more tips on Friday's update.


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