Let me tell you a little secret. I’m a spender at heart. And oh boy, my natural inclination toward spending gets me in a whole heap of trouble sometimes. Can you relate? If you’re a chronic spender like me, I’ve got a challenge for you, my friend. Are you ready to take on my 5-day spending freeze challenge?
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What’s My Motivation?
Here’s my story: A few years ago, my husband and I made a series of major life changes. Before these changes, we were really in debt. $14,000 of consumer debt hanging over our heads, to be exact. Since then, we’ve paid it all off. All of it! On top of that, I was able to quit my job as a teacher and transition to my career as a stay at home mom. We’ve seen the fruit of hard work in our finances.
Now, we have a whole new financial challenge ahead of us. We have a goal to save around $20,000 – $30,000 for a property down payment. Our dream is to have our own little mini-homestead. A cute little house on a few acres. I want just enough room for a garden, a few chickens. A tire swing in the front yard. Ahh, that’s the life for us!
So, what’s our plan? How can we get there? Our budget is already pretty tight due to our one income family status. I’ve got to tell you though; as a SAHM, it’s deceptively easy to slip into a habit of making a store run every few days. This leads to me purchasing items we don’t need and can’t afford. (I’m a spender at heart, remember?)
Once again, I’ve got to get serious about breaking my spending habit. So, I decided to do a spending freeze. There are tons of different ways you could take on a spending freeze. Some people do a whole month freeze, others (God bless their souls) freeze spending for an entire year.
Me? Let’s start with a week!
The Spending Freeze Challenge
My plan is to spend ZERO dollars from Monday – Friday each week.
I will repeat this weekday freeze every week until I reach my financial goals.
Are you with me? Let’s do it!
- If you think you need something, add it to your weekend shopping list.
- If you still need it by Saturday/Sunday, buy it!
- Exceptions: milk, diapers, wipes. Make a list of exceptions you’ll need to make: medications, fuel, etc. Don’t go crazy with the exceptions! Keep that list as short as possible.
- Tip: Ask yourself: Do I genuinely need it? Why? Can I wait one more week to buy it? Can I find a cheaper alternative?
- Tip: Find your motivation, and write it down! I’ll say it again: Put it in writing! On your calendar, on your fridge, in your phone. Just make sure you have a visible reminder the why behind your spending freeze.
Make this a habit every single week until you meet your savings goal. If you slip up and break your spending freeze one week, no worries! Start again on Monday. Every week. Monday-Friday. I’m with you! This will be our new normal!
That’s the beauty of the five-day structure. You’re not committing to a whole month. You’re not overwhelmed. You can do anything for five days, right?
To get you started, I created a printable spending freeze planner. Print this out and hang it on your fridge! It will help you stay focused as you work toward your financial goals. (Hint: print out four copies at a time so you’re ready for a whole month of zero weekday spending!) Good luck!
Let me know in the comments below how your spending freeze is going! What’s working for you? What isn’t? We can do this together!