I didn't go into very much detail about why we decided to freeze our spending this month. I realize that most people choose this route when money is extra tight, and while I can't say that we are splashing in cash fountains around here, we really are well taken-care of financially. We really decided to do it on a whim--to see if we could, and to slow the rate of mindless purchases, which would in turn slow the rate of "stuff" piling up on me while I'm trying to unbury us.
We made a few ground rules regarding the spending freeze. 1. No unnecessary spending. Obviously, this can differ from person to person, so we defined the boundary further...no clothes, no toiletries, no restaurants, no home depot (ouch), no drive thrus, etc. We can fix the car if it breaks. We can buy groceries, if they relate to other items in the pantry to complete a meal. We can put gas in our cars. 2. Donnie insisted that we be allowed to spend any saved cash that we had on hand when we started. That means, if I freak out and head out for a diet coke, it has to come out of my pocket. Literally.
I have noticed a couple things about myself these last two weeks. One, I rarely leave the house for any reason unrelated to spending money. Friday and Saturday last week, I never left the house. Considering my desire to be more human this year, I'm going to have to change something in my routine. If for nothing else, for the sake of putting on pants. Note to self: A drive to Sonic happy hour does not count as an outing.
Two, when I'm not coming up with excuses to leave my house, I can actually get some stuff done!
Three, I have done the impossible. I have fed my family, out of my own kitchen, every day for two weeks. I did not poison anyone, and the task did not kill me.
Four, not spending money inspired some creativity. We take the kids for ice cream after school every Friday (known around here as Fun Friday) if they get good behavior reports from their teachers. The past two weeks, I actually dug out the ice cream machine that we got as a wedding gift 10+ years ago, and made the kids ice cream from scratch.
And it was awesome. Chocolate chocolate chip, and toffee caramel swirl. (Oh. My.) We may just have a new Fun Friday tradition!
Five, when you go on a spending freeze, things start breaking. Yep, on day two the check engine light came on in my car. We dropped some (a lot of) cash into it for some new spark plugs, and the light went off. And then last night it came on again. AGGGGGGHHH! Oh well, at least we have some extra money in the account to deal with it. Although we may have to go on a second spending freeze to pay for this month's spending freeze. Honey...?