Design

Personal challenge.

July 16, 2013

I know it’s sort of gauche to talk about money in public, but I thought putting this out here would make me more accountable. So here goes: I am putting myself on a spending freeze. With the exception of food (and by food I mean groceries), gas, my prescription, and two other pre-freeze-planned social activities, I am going to try not to spend any “extra” money over the next two weeks. No clothes shopping, no 2 p.m. coffee runs (tear!), no social activities that require fundage other than the gas it takes to get to them. The extra money is going straight to my savings account.

(Eeek.)

There are several reasons for this freeze, the main one being that (even though I stick to a budget) I’ve been feeling kind of spendy lately, but the other one being that after posting Bri’s awesome living room pictures last week, I got that itch to buy “stuff.” You know what I mean, I think: The burning desire to buy just to buy; to have something delivered that I’ll probably stare at lovingly for a few weeks or months, but that will eventually most likely be relegated to a cupboard or closet. It wasn’t a good feeling; in fact, it made me really uncomfortable. I mean, yes, I want to redo my living room, but not at the expense of my savings account, you know?

So when I got my last paycheck, I decided to institute the spending freeze. And I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit scary. I did a big grocery shop on Sunday, so I’m set with food for the week (meal-planning helps a lot with that), and my week is pretty well planned out, so I have a good idea of what to expect. And you know, even though I have that “OMG-I-have-no-money” feeling for some reason, it’s nice to know that the extra is sitting happily in savings.

Have you guys ever done something like this? Does it freak you out as much as it does me? If I can calm down about it, I think I’m going to try to do it more often, but we’ll see how the next two weeks go, I guess. I’ll keep you posted.

P.S. Just so I don’t come across as a total hypocrite, I’ll still be posting about pretty things/products that I love, simply because I like cataloging them here. But hopefully I’ll be talking more about the story behind the brand/product, as opposed to how much I want to click the “buy” button on the website.

Photo by Ivana Rosario


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  • Reply
    Alicia Johnston
    July 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Megan, a temporary spending freeze is such a great way to feel like you’re back on track with spending! I have done a variety of different types of spending freezes or “clean budget” weeks and, when they’re successful, they make me feel great. Do you read And Then We Saved? She has a whole trademarked Spending Fast and Spending Diet with lots of tips for support, ideas for free activities, etc. Having an end date in mind is a good idea too so that you can feel accomplished…and then perhaps decide to go for a couple more weeks! I might need to tag along soon, as this move has knocked my spending through the roof.

    Alicia / Jaybird

    • Reply
      Megan @ Pink O'Clock
      July 16, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      So glad to hear that you’ve done this before and that you feel better afterwards! Also, that book sounds great. Thank you for the rec–and for the support, of course. xoxo

  • Reply
    Green Door Hospitality
    July 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    This is really great Megan! And I bet it helps to put it out there here. At least for me it makes things more “real” where I can’t take it back. I have had that feeling that you are describing…in fact I spent a good portion of my twenties with that feeling. And it took really cutting off the spending totally for me to work through that feeling so that now I can look at things more objectively. “Is this something we need?” “If it isn’t, how much use can I get out of it?” “Will I still be using it/enjoying it in 6 months, a year, etc.” All of this will also make it so then when you purchase things you will be left with a happy, good feeling that will last much longer and provide so much more joy than the “quickie” feeling that comes and then leaves as soon as you look at your bank account. Good luck on this and know that you have support when you need it! 🙂

    • Reply
      Megan @ Pink O'Clock
      July 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Aw, thank you! What you describe is exactly what I’m hoping for–happiness as opposed to guilt. I’m so glad you’re in a great place with all of this, yourself. xo

  • Reply
    Sarah | For the Love of Chow
    July 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Good for you! Here’s how I approach it: If you keep things like eating out, buying coffee, etc. for “once a week treats” you spend the whole week building up the enchanting moment when you will get to walk out of the coffee bar with a fresh coffee in your hands. It is the whole “Waiting for Christmas” mentality. Secondly, I always “pay myself first” when it comes to saving. Meaning saving goals for the month are tackled first, then spending on frills comes second. Good luck! And keep us posted!

    • Reply
      Megan @ Pink O'Clock
      July 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Thanks, Sarah! That “pay yourself first” mentality is actually my own, as well–one of my best friends, who also happens to be a financial whiz, has gotten me into some really good habits in regard to budget and savings, which is a huge relief since I used to panic over both of those things (I’d literally wake up in the middle of the night with a knot in my stomach). And I like your idea of a once-a-week treat–it’s a strategy I’ve been employing as I try to exercise more and eat better lately (i.e., one cheat day a week), so I totally think it goes hand-in-hand with this, too. Thank you so much for the tips! I was scared to press “publish” on this post but everyone’s encouragement is so awesome. xo

  • Reply
    Adri Enne
    July 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I’m naturally very frugal, but even I have to put myself on a budget of sorts. I have found that once a week grocery shopping has cut down on impulse spending as far as that goes (though with my daughter home for the summer our grocery bill has actually increased a bit!) ; ) I too tend to do the treat myself once a week thing (taking my family out for dinner, in my case, and it is something we look forward to for sure.) I definitely know how you feel. I wanted to move, then when I didn’t move I wanted to redo my house again. But I decided to put that money into my savings (my daughter will need it for college more than my house needs it now) and I felt really good about that decision. So yeah, money management is an ongoing adventure. ; )

    • Reply
      Megan @ Pink O'Clock
      July 16, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      Yes, the once-a-week shop is definitely super helpful. And this treat-yourself-once-a-week thing is something I’m definitely going to try now that both you and Sarah have mentioned it. I’m loving all these tips! And thanks for the empathy, too, Adrienne. xoxo

  • Reply
    eileen ragan | leaner by the lake
    July 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I really ought to put myself on a more rigorous budget. I keep track but we need something a little more detailed than what we’re going by now. This is a good reminder for me to get the ball rolling on that project! Good luck with the freeze! It’s going to get easier each day, I bet.

    eileen
    leaner by the lake

    • Reply
      Megan @ Pink O'Clock
      July 16, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      Yeah, my friend–the aforementioned financial whiz–has me on a strict-but-totally-manageable budget, and it really helps me a lot; I know exactly where everything is going each pay period, month, quarter, year, etc., and I can map out where I’m going to be, savings-wise, three, six, nine months down the road, which is nice. I say work on it! It’ll–har har–totally pay off. And thanks for the well wishes, friend. xoxoxoxo

  • Reply
    Clair
    July 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    As grad students, we are almost constantly on a spending freeze. Well, I mean, not really…we go out to eat occasionally, and I don’t feel bad if I buy a cup of coffee. But really, spending is not part of our day-to-day routine, and I get that uncomfortable feeling you described anytime we spend more than $50 on something. It’s a balancing act, for sure. We try to be frugal, but also not feel bad about those things we really need or really want. In the end, we’ve learned to spend money on the things that will really count and will really make us feel good. (And when I feel like buying ALL THE STUFF, I tend to take a trip to the thrift store…I come away with a lot without spending more than $20 or $30.)

Leave a Reply

Design

Personal challenge.

July 16, 2013

I know it’s sort of gauche to talk about money in public, but I thought putting this out here would make me more accountable. So here goes: I am putting myself on a spending freeze. With the exception of food (and by food I mean groceries), gas, my prescription, and two other pre-freeze-planned social activities, I am going to try not to spend any “extra” money over the next two weeks. No clothes shopping, no 2 p.m. coffee runs (tear!), no social activities that require fundage other than the gas it takes to get to them. The extra money is going straight to my savings account.

(Eeek.)

There are several reasons for this freeze, the main one being that (even though I stick to a budget) I’ve been feeling kind of spendy lately, but the other one being that after posting Bri’s awesome living room pictures last week, I got that itch to buy “stuff.” You know what I mean, I think: The burning desire to buy just to buy; to have something delivered that I’ll probably stare at lovingly for a few weeks or months, but that will eventually most likely be relegated to a cupboard or closet. It wasn’t a good feeling; in fact, it made me really uncomfortable. I mean, yes, I want to redo my living room, but not at the expense of my savings account, you know?

So when I got my last paycheck, I decided to institute the spending freeze. And I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit scary. I did a big grocery shop on Sunday, so I’m set with food for the week (meal-planning helps a lot with that), and my week is pretty well planned out, so I have a good idea of what to expect. And you know, even though I have that “OMG-I-have-no-money” feeling for some reason, it’s nice to know that the extra is sitting happily in savings.

Have you guys ever done something like this? Does it freak you out as much as it does me? If I can calm down about it, I think I’m going to try to do it more often, but we’ll see how the next two weeks go, I guess. I’ll keep you posted.

P.S. Just so I don’t come across as a total hypocrite, I’ll still be posting about pretty things/products that I love, simply because I like cataloging them here. But hopefully I’ll be talking more about the story behind the brand/product, as opposed to how much I want to click the “buy” button on the website.

Photo by Ivana Rosario


{ Follow Pink O’Clock on facebook or twitter.

Pink O’Clock is licensed under a creative commons license. }

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