What is a spending freeze?
A spending freeze challenge is usually a week long period where you spend NO money. By no money, I mean zilch, nada, zero! That means cutting out all of the following list of items.
- Eating out
- Grocery shopping
- Cocktails/drinks at a pub/bar
- Outings such as the zoo or swimming pool
- Purchasing cosmetics or beauty products
- Buying presents or party decorations
Why a week-long?
A week is long enough that you see results, and not too long to be unrealistic or setting yourself up to fail. You can repeat this challenge as often as you like throughout the year. A week comes and goes so quickly, that’s what makes this challenge totally do-able. It also forces you to be creative and come up with solutions to problems that don’t involve reaching for your purse.
The only money that should be going out of your account is to pay your bills. The absolute essential bills. Or if an emergency arises. And I mean a real emergency like a medical/health issue. Otherwise you cut it out, just for one week.
How do you prepare for this challenge?
It is important that you don’t stock up anything in advance, like groceries, that would defeat the purpose. Make sure that you have the minimum amount petrol or Leap Card credit that you need for the week. During the spending freeze challenge, eat at home and cook from your cupboards, pantry, fridge and freeze. Look for free events in your area and use vouchers.
Keep a running total of your savings for the week so you can really measure the impact of the spending freeze challenge. You could use this money to put towards savings, to pay down debt or make a special purchase. For more savings challenges read about micro-savings here and 5 easy saving challenges here. Who’s in?