When you’re doing a spending freeze, it will feel like there is always something that comes up to sabotage you. These spending freeze tips will help you succeed, whether it’s your first spending freeze or you’re an old pro.
Don’t let these things ruin your progress. You CAN work around them … and CAN stick with your spending freeze plans.
Let me help you figure out what to do to keep from spending money when those things arise.
To start with, every single month we have things on our calendars that will obligate us to spend some money. Hopefully, you have not put off doing your spending freeze just because there are obligations on your calendar.
Because … there will always, always, always be things on your calendar.
Make sure you have read through the Spending Freeze Rules post to help you set up your successful freeze. You’ll also want to download the Spending Freeze Success Packet below and fill it out.
Here are some things that will arise and some creative solutions.
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Spending Freeze Tips For Success
1. Birthday Parties
It seems like our kids are always getting invited to one birthday party or another. These things are tricky, because you don’t want your kiddo to have to say no to everything this month, but you’re also trying to honor your spending freeze challenge. There will be adult birthdays, too. Here are some solutions:
- Make arrangements for a park picnic
- Use one of those leftover gift certificates in your wallet
- Invite the birthday boy/girl over for a playdate.
- Have an at-home spa day
- Have a sleepover
- Make homemade play-doh
- Give a certificate for a movie date scheduled when the freeze is over
- Have your friend come to coffee and cookies
- Give a house cleaning certificate
- Wash their car
- Make a favorite meal
- Re-gift something (be sure it’s something they’ll actually like)
- Use a gift card you own
2. Friends Invite You Out
First of all, what your friends really want is to spend time with you. Let them know that you’re doing a spending freeze and offer instead to have them over. Do potluck appetizers and have a game or movie night together.
You can also use a restaurant gift card if you have one. I can earn gift cards every month by using Ibotta to get rebates on my groceries. I also use Ebates whenever I have online shopping to do. This gives me money to use for extra little expenses without using cash.
3. Emergency Expenses
What constitutes an emergency? You may become tempted to see some things as emergencies that actually aren’t. Ask yourself these questions when an expense comes up that you think is an emergency.
- Can I do without?
- Can this wait until next month?
- Is this a want or a need?
In the Spending Freeze Success Packet, you can outline your anticipated expenses and allow room for paying for those things. Obviously, your monthly bills will still need to be paid when you’re on a spending freeze.
4. Great Sales
I’m not gonna lie, I’m a sucker for a great sale. When something goes on sale that I know I will be spending money on in the future, I get tempted to buy it now if the price is reduced. The idea of a spending freeze, though is to actually set money aside for something.
If you keep purchasing things — even if they’re a good deal — then you’re missing the point. You won’t end up with the savings that you’re hoping for.
Put off all your sale shopping for the spending freeze period. Other sales will come up and you can make your purchase then … just hold onto that wallet.
5. Impulse Temptations
There will be many, many opportunities for impulse spending during your spending freeze. You may be wondering how in the world you can hold out when the temptation strikes. It is possible, trust me. Here are a few ideas to keep you on track.
- First of all, remove the temptation by not going into stores. The fewer opportunities for temptation, the fewer chances of failure. Just make things easier on yourself by staying away from the stores.
- Secondly, just tell yourself, “NO!”
- Thirdly, leave your debit and credit cards at home. This may be scary because we are so used to having them with us, but you won’t be able to spend on impulse if you don’t have access to money.
- Lastly, every time you get that strong temptation, write the item down on the Impulse List included in the spending freeze packet. Then, after the spending freeze is over, give yourself permission to buy any item or items you want from the list. Odds are, the impulse will have passed and you won’t want it anymore.
During every single spending freeze you do, there will be temptations and opportunities to blow it. With a little preparation, you will be able to succeed and will reap great benefits. Follow these spending freeze tips and you’ll be well on your way.
It will get easier with each additional attempt you make and may even become something worth doing multiple times per year. It’s a great way to get your budget back on track or save for an unexpected expense.
What tricks have you used to make it through a spending freeze successfully?