yesterday marked the last day of our may spending freeze & today i thought i'd share a little recap of our experience in saying no to most purchases, regulating needs versus wants & finding contentment in what we already have.
before the month started, i shared what the spending freeze looked like for our family & part way through the month, i shared an update.
overall, the spending freeze was a huge success.
we cut way back & saved over $1k toward unexpected expenses & debt accrued from earlier in the year. our regular monthly budget is not extravagant (we don't have cable & we rarely eat out), but we realized that even the slightest spending toward a red box movie & to-go coffee really adds up.
we maximized the use of what we already owned, parted ways with excess & felt the slightly uncomfortable pull to say no to those extra purchases.
surprisingly, i also saved a lot of time not spending money. instead of purchasing things i thought we needed, i spent my time cleaning out our closets & organizing our spaces to accommodate our lighter living.
i did mess up a few times.
i purchased a few pieces of clothing for our upcoming europe trip & my summer capsule wardrobe. we also spent a few bucks over our date night budget celebrating a friend's birthday.
despite a few hang ups along the way, we learned a lot about our spending habits:
- like i said before, i gained a lot more time not spending money. i used that extra time to organize, purge, enjoy hobbies (reading, practicing calligraphy) & simply rest.
- gifts are a necessity to our budget. i am a giver by nature & love gifting even the simplest of gifts to friends & family. the void of that extra $30 each month to spend on others really left me feeling down. that giving category is no longer a non-negotiable in our budget; it's a necessity.
- date nights are key to our marriage sanity. although we kept our date night budget & just trimmed it back slightly, we really wished we had kept the $60 instead of $40 for the month. date nights are a way for us to connect outside of the home & celebrate over good food. every date night is sacred & a necessity to the health of our marriage.
- the garden is an amazing way to cut down on the grocery budget. we spent far less this month than during the winter months eating fresh salads & vegetables from the garden. we love harvesting baskets full garden goodies & it's a great way for us to connect after a long day.
- we will do this again. it was an effective way for us to get back on track financially & a fun experiment for our family.
i'd love for you to share what you learned during your spending freeze!