Tuesday, May 1, 2018

April spending freeze completed!

We did it! Our month long April spending freeze is over! Woo hoo! Saving money can be a huge challenge. It's so hard to save! Lets face it, I'm constantly stuck between OK Kristin save your money and treat yo self. Anyone else relate? Well we definitely favor the treat yo self side of life which is why we wanted to challenge ourselves to this spending freeze.

If I'm being completely honest, I wasn't sure if we could really do the entire month. We have never done any type of spending freeze before and most people start with a no spending weekend or no spending week but we decided to jump right into it and do the entire month.

Not spending money is easier than you would think. No really. It is. (well the first two weeks)

Before I tell you guys how the month went I'll start by sharing our rules and expectations. So our rules were simple. Just essentials (check back to my original blog post, link on near the bottom) and we just wanted to cut our spending because May is a HUGE spending month for us. We are packed with Birthday's, a mini vacation, Mother's day and parties. See we totally need all the extra money for May, right? Its like as busy as December for us. So your probably like OK OK lady so how did it really go?....

The first two weeks went really well. We just avoided trigger stores, you know like Target. We made sure we stocked up on groceries that way we wouldn't be temped to grab fast food. However we did make one exception which was to go out to a family dinner to celebrate my aunts birthday. That was the only hiccup the first 20 days of the spending freeze. We made the most of our time with rainy movie days, having friends over for a pool day (blow up pools are the bomb) and going to friends houses. We also went to our local Library to play, rent out books and movies. This is a great way to have some free fun! Because we were no longer grabbing quick food on the go I was forced to cook more (was really needed anyways), which really wasn't all that bad. We made it fun by having the kiddos help with the cooking. Baking is also fun for them and its free!!! I tackled things that I normally wouldn't think of or didn't feel like doing (but needed to be done) like cleaning our strollers, whoa that was so over due! The dog got a much needed bath and my car got somewhat cleaned out. We also whipped out board games and spent more time just hanging together.

Like I said the first 20 days went surprisingly smooth. Now letttttts get to the realness. After about two weeks It started getting harder. I found myself wanting to run out to the store to kill time or look for some new home decor or whatever it was at that moment. We didn't cave in until my husband told me his Xbox controller just somehow disintegrated which in short means he broke it. At first I was like no way dude, we are NOT buying another controller. You broke it. You're going to have to deal with it and wait til May. Well after two days we went and got another controller. We do not have cable or a DVD player we use the Xbox for everything on our TV and well it was something we just couldn't wait till May to have. Being who I am I was like well since your getting a new controller I want curtains for our bedroom, only fair right? Well the curtains I purchased ended up not working out. I went to return them andddd that darn dollar spot was calling my name at Target. I ended up spending about $30 (ahh I know right? total fail. In my defense it was cheaper than the curtains.) It was like that universe was speaking to me. Everything from our home to things we could use on our upcoming vacation was all right there, so I caved.

We went back on the spending freeze and lasted 3 days then our scale broke. My husband is obsessed with our scale and well we HAD to buy a new one. Then had another birthday dinner at the end of the month, which was for my brother. This is ok, Birthday's are just a part of life and is an exception for us during the freeze .The goal was to cut out foolish unnecessary spending.

SO how much did we save? For our family we pay everything on our AMEX and pay back at the end of the month. We have money direct deposited from our paychecks to a savings account regularly. So I wasn't trying save extra just spend less. That being said we don't have an expect dollar amount that we saved but I know its a lest a couple hundred. Probably around $300-$500 paycheck related. I do hair so I make tips and I saved all of those and that total was right over $400 ( so what the heck did I use to do with that money??) Thats like $900 give or take we saved! Holy crap! We usually would  just run to Starbucks, go through Chick Fil A, Target ect and not even bat an eye. Seeing how much we saved is a real eye opener.

Am I upset we had a few hiccups along the month? Nope, not at all! Its was expected. We are human. Things come up and life happens. That is what I love about the spending freeze, it is customized to you and your family. Huge wins for us were the entire month we didn't cave and grab fast food ONCE. We didn't go to Target, TJ Maxx or Hobby Lobby just because we were bored and wanted to get out of the house. We stayed home a lot. We got things done. We made some awesome memories. All in all the spending freeze was not as hard as I thought it would be. It just required some extra planning and thinking. We definitely will do this again!

If your interested in doing your own spending freeze check out my org blog post. There is a list of essentials vs none essentials and do some research. I found a lot of good into on Pinterest. Totally worth the challenge!

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