When I hear of a spending freeze, it makes me think that everything has to be locked up tight! Because we’ve heard of freezes before: Hiring Freeze, Account Freeze, Credit Freeze, and etc. There’s usually this negative association we’ve learned over the years that freezing anything related to money is not a good thing and we should do all that we can to avoid the situations that would require our money to be frozen.
However, a spending freeze in this sense is more of a good thing and in fact, you have more to gain than you do to lose if you’re successful in the process.
How do I successfully do a spending freeze?
- Learn to say “No” to the things you want to do or want to have. This is a challenge for sure, but not impossible. When starting your spending freeze, you set an end-date for when life could resume back to normal. Rather than saying, “No.” Think of it as delayed gratification and instead schedule things around the freeze if needed.
- Remind yourself it’s only temporary. This is a big one. It’s only temporary. It’ll be much easier to say to decline offers or your own impulses when you know that your spending freeze will only last from two-weeks to a month. That’s it.
- During the freeze, make a list of everything you would have bought, and will buy after the freeze. I mean, why not?! I saw this suggestion online and quite liked it, realizing I was already doing it with my Amazon saved cart items and wish list. There are things I want… but things I’m still yet to buy because I’ve forgotten about them and the impulse is out of my system. So, they’ll stick around for a while longer on these lists until I’m feeling particularly rich, I suppose.
- Tell everyone what you’re doing. I’m not suggesting you shout from the roof tops you’re not spending money this month or however long you decide. I am suggesting that rather than keep it a secret, you open up to others and let them know that you’d love to go to lunch or dinner but can’t because your family is doing a spending freeze this month to achieve some other goals.
- Track spending. In my mind, doing a spending freeze is really only worth it unless you’re tracking your spending and well aware of how much you’re saving in the process of doing a spending freeze. Tracking spending is vital with any budgeting system I feel like and if you don’t know where your money is going, well… don’t stress yourself out over a spending freeze just yet.
Why should I do a spending freeze?
This is a great question and I think there are two great benefits that will come out of this.
First, you’ll be able to reset your spending habits and learn the art of delayed gratification. If you resist the temptation to buy buy buy every time something little comes up, you’ll quickly learn how to substitute and get creative. This would go for making dinner meals, last minute school projects, etc. You’ll quickly learn how much you don’t need to buy the little things simply because you discovered an alternative.
Second, because of the spending freeze and knowing how much money you’re saving – you’ll be able to direct or focus that money in more important areas of your life. Like getting out of debt or saving for a dream vacation or whatever you deem to have the most importance and value in your life at the moment. You’ll realize that if you’ve done it more than once, you can do it again.