Ways to save money with a spending freeze

Updated

One thing that often works considerably to help get control of your immediate finances is to stop spending.  Yes, that sounds impossible, but it’s pretty simple and fun with a strategy and putting it into practice. Working toward Financial Freedom With A Spending Freeze is in fact quite doable for many people.  We are often surprised at how much we spend unnecessarily over the course of a week, month or even year when we look at it closely. This happens when we do not budget on expenses.

How necessary are your daily Starbucks drive-thru dates? Let’s look at this. Let’s say you plan to go to Starbucks every day and spend $5 that equals out to be $25 per week, $100 per month! That is an electricity bill!

Two years or so ago, our family participated in a spending freeze. I won’t lie–it was VERY hard to do. However, it made us realize that it could be worse. We could be in a situation where our income was SO limited that we wouldn’t have a choice but to not spend money on “extras”.

Here is how we had to plan our spending freeze:

Ways to save money with a spending freeze

1. Set a time frame goal

For some, it may be important to start a spending freeze for a short period of time first, then gradually work up to longer times.  Set a time frame goal of one week, one month or one year. Get serious about your financial freedom goals by being realistic about what you can afford to do this spending freeze.  You will have to make allowances for some expenses, but that is in our next step.

2. Create a list of allowable expenses

It is expected that you will continue to pay for bills like your rent/mortgage, vehicle payments, insurances, debt payments, and other important services, etc.  A spending freeze is more about using what you have on hand, and not using money to pay for anything unnecessary. 

Things to stop paying for in a spending freeze:

  • Groceries. (This is usually for shorter times like one week or one month where you use what you have on hand in your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator.)
  • Eating Out, Movies and other outside entertainment
  • New Clothing, shoes, accessories or online shopping in general
  • Vacations

3. Get creative

To save money with a spending freeze this will often leave you with needs or desires that result in frustrations because you aren’t allowed to simply go and purchase something.  A special dress for an event can be handled by upcycling something you already own or borrowing from a friend. That craving for your favorite takeout can be handled by experimenting in the kitchen with the stockpile of food you have in your pantry.  It can also teach you things you should keep on hand at all times like various foods, entertainment options like games and movies, or a spare fancy dress for the occasional last-minute event.

4. Review the results

At the end of your spend freeze take the time to look at your budget and how you managed.  Evaluate your increase in income, and how you managed the spending freeze. Where their particular items you had a harder time giving up like your morning coffee run, or the Thursday night pizza on the way home from ball practice?  Perhaps you can learn to create these things for yourself at home to avoid those expenses in the future.

Final thoughts:  Ways to save money

Start a spending freeze to help you rid yourself of debt, as well as save for your financial goals. It’s a great experiment in will power and determination.  Individuals who can successfully plan and complete a spending freeze often find themselves able to dedicate even more time and money toward their financial freedom goals.  Those who struggle a lot with a spending freeze may still need to deal with reasons why they are in debt in the first place. We hope that you’ll use these ways to save money with spending freeze!

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