You are reading Week 44 of 52 Weeks to Eliminate Debt & Curb Spending. Please read the overview here to learn more about the series & get your FREE financial planner. If you just joined us, please start with week 1.
One excellent way to save money and help eliminate debt is to stop spending money. No, that isn’t a joke at all. This week we are going to give you some Tips For Going On A Spending Freeze. This is one method that forces you to think about how you are spending your money. Not only can it help create extra room in your budget this month, it can become a great way to save money in the future toward paying off debt.
TIPS FOR GOING ON A SPENDING FREEZE
Be realistic about your needs and ability to provide for them. A spending freeze is a time where your bills are paid as normal, but you eliminate any other spending for a period of time. This means you must be focused and know what your needs actually are.
If you are eliminating your grocery budget and going to eat only from what is in your pantry and freezer, make sure that it is actually feasible. If you don’t have any foods stockpiled, you will be hungry. Make sure that your spending freeze is focused more on using what you have on hand, and less on making things difficult for you and your family.
Start with one week, then move up to one month or longer. Make gradual changes, and force yourself to go outside your comfort zone. For your first spending freeze start with a simple one week challenge of not spending money on any groceries, clothing or impulse buys. Your only expenses should be regular household bills, gas for transportation and things like medical expenses as needed. After you manage your first spending freeze, you can work on building up to longer periods of time.
Get a buddy. It helps to have someone to hold you accountable and to share your successes and struggles. Ask friends or family if they want to go on a spending freeze together. Set check-in times to help motivate each other to stick with the freeze.
Determine what to do with the savings. Before starting the spending freeze, determine where you will invest the money saved. Is there a bill that you want to put the money towards? Does your savings account need fattening up? This will help you have a goal to work toward during the freeze.
Track progress. Put a chart on the fridge or in your office to keep track of your savings. Seeing progress can help you get through the tough times.
A spending freeze is designed to help you focus on needs versus wants. Sometimes you want chicken for dinner, but reality is you already have a freezer full of beef, pork and fish. What is your need? You need to feed your body, but your want says you should spend more money on chicken. This is just one example of many that a spending freeze will give you and help you to understand and manage your debt better.
Week 44 Challenge:
Are you will to go on a spending freeze? Determine if you will stop buying groceries, clothing or all unnecessary expensive for a set amount of time. Pick a day to start and stick with it! Come back and share with us your spending freeze success (or struggles.)
Disclosure: I am not a financial adviser nor do I have formal financial training. All articles are for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice or consultation. Please consult your account and/or financial adviser before making changes to your finances. All situations are different, so please consult a professional to determine your individual needs.