One of the best ways to save some cash and jump start your savings is to do a spending freeze.
It’s a great way to save a little cash with minimal effort.
If you want some tips for what to do during a no spend challenge, check out my 6 tips.
Today, I want to share with you some things to do before a spending freeze because it is difficult to jump into it cold-turkey, although, not impossible if you must!
Spending Freeze Preparation
1. Decide what you will spend money on.
You have to spend money on some things.
Decide before hand what you are willing to still purchase and what you won’t be buying. I stayed away from Target, The Dollar Tree, thrift and consignment stores, and the mall. During our spending freeze we paid bills, bought gasoline, diapers, and groceries.
Related Post: How to Instantly Save Money at the Grocery Store.
My friend Vickie completed a spending freeze month, but she and her husband still had $20 each week to spend on what they chose. I think that was a great idea. When you know you can’t have something isn’t that when you want it the most?!
I think this is why so many diets fail. We starve ourselves to the point that, we end up quitting and over indulging. The same could be said when it comes to a spending freeze.
Don’t limit yourself unrealistically to the point that it will be impossible.
2. Define why you want to complete a spending freeze.
- Why are you choosing to complete a spending freeze?
- Are you saving up for something big?
- Are you paying off debt?
When you focus on the reason you are doing this, you will be more motivated and willing to say “no” when you are tempted to buy something that wasn’t budgeted.
When I read the book Money Making Mom*, the author Crystal Paine said that it is important to always know why you are doing something. Remind yourself and anyone else involved of the “why”.
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3. Meal plan for the entire challenge.
Create a list of easy meals that you can put together easily. This could be things like sandwiches, loaded baked potatoes, big salads, frozen pizzas, or spaghetti. Make sure you have the ingredients for these meals in your freezer and pantry.
That way you can put these meals together quickly and avoid going out to eat on those busy nights.
I keep my meal planning super simple by keeping a list of about 30 meals written on a piece of paper.
This list is kept in a folder with the grocery ads and my grocery notebook. Before I write out my grocery list each week, I pick 5 meals from the list. Then I write down the items for each meal that we don’t have on hand.
Knowing exactly what I need to purchase, helps me stay focused and avoid purchasing food that we don’t need at the store.
4. Plan activities.
It is no fun just sitting at the house twiddling your thumbs because you aren’t spending money!
So get creative and come up with some free activities. Get the family involved and make a list of things to do together.
A great way to find free things in your neighborhood is to simply Google, “Free Things to do in _________” or “Family activities in ___________”. Social Media is also an easy way to find free activities.
You can create a bucket list of ideas and refer to it whenever you are looking for some free entertainment.
5. Make a wish list.
In the midst of your spending freeze, you will probably think of things that you would like to buy.
Find a specific place to write these items down. Either on a piece of paper or on the notes app of your phone.
That way the item isn’t constantly on your mind, but you can still keep track of it.
By not purchasing the item right away, you will have time to compare prices and look out for sales.
Who knows? At the end of your spending freeze, you may even decide that you don’t need the item any more!
Preparing for a spending freeze can make all the difference between one that works and one that doesn’t. I hope these tips come in handy if you are planning a spending freeze some time soon.