I write this as I begin my own self-instituted spending freeze for the month of August. It’s a hard task, but it will save me a ton of stress and aggravation further down the line. I went on too many Lush, Sephora, Amazon.com & Target small time shopping trips. It was always ‘oh I should totally grab this’ and ‘oh i’ve always wanted that’, always here meaning the past 5 minutes or so. I never thought much of it though since the amounts spent were always in small quantities, but those small quantities definitely added up.
It can happen to the best of us. You’ve made a budget and you’re working hard to stick to it when you make a few big or, in my case, several small purchases and you find yourself in a tough financial pickle, spending more than you thought you did and de-railing any budget plans you had. Don’t just throw in the towel and start spending willy nilly. You can easily get back on track by taking a step back, surveying the damage and making a few tough choices.
Step 1: Write down the numbers. Seeing how much you owe and knowing exactly when you’ll pay able to pay that off makes the spending freeze seem shorter and a lot easier to manage. It always help me mentally figure it out when I write everything down.
Step 2: Unsubscribe from any and all sales emails. I don’t know how it happened, but I have found myself on a million and one different email lists from all the stores I love and a bunch I’ve never heard of. It can be so easy to mess up a non-spending streak by seeing a special sale for your favorite store. Resist the urge, scroll quickly to the bottom and click the unsubscribe button. This way, you’re freeing up your inbox and avoiding any and all sale temptations!
Step 3: Make a list of the all the things you want to buy. Yup, you heard me! This is a great way to remind yourself of why you need to save and help you stay on track so that you can buy those items in the future. It also helps ease the pain of not spending now, but taking the time to really focus and be absolutely certain of what you’d want to buy in the future. (like those super cute Tory Burch boots that would be perfect for Fall!!)
Step 4: Don’t kick yourself if you slip up. I had it happen less than 24 hours after I instituted my spending freeze. I saw a dress that I had been coveting online, back in stock and on sale! I couldn’t resist. Of course, I felt incredibly guilty about spending when I had only just decided to put myself on a spending freeze. I had to take a deep breath, remind myself it wasn’t the end of the world and make a re-adjustment to my numbers that incorporated my seemingly necessary purchase of the dress.
I hope these tips helped! If you have your own spending freeze tips, share them with me below!