Spending Freeze: Day 30 (Last Day!)

FINAL: $2,184.05 / -2.2 lbs

It’s here! It’s here!  I can’t wait to spend tons of money tomorrow!  

Okay, not “tons” of money, but I am definitely ready to go normal grocery shopping.  I’ve wanted fresh produce so bad that it actually manifested in my backyard:

 

A lone tomato ripens on the final day…in my extremely neglected vegetable garden. It’s a miracle!
 
It being the final day and all, the hubs and I reviewed the April budget and set up the May budget tonight.  I’ve re-tallied the total savings up there based on how much actual money we saved (not in theory anymore like I’ve been doing).  That’s more than DOUBLE our goal!  No matter how much we complained to each other this month, we admitted today that it really wasn’t that hard.  And seeing that savings is totally worth the “struggle.” We were both so excited about the savings that we decided to keep the “Freeze” going…with a few upgrades:  

1. Increase the grocery budget to $200/month and not limit what particular items we can buy with it

2. Each of us gets $100/month individually to use however we want…eating out, booze, amazon.com, golf, anything!

3. Put $50/month back into the restaurant budget to use together

I feel like this is reasonable to keep us on track to our bigger savings goals without us going insane.  The last thing we would want is a relapse, right!?

MONTHLY RECAP:

EAT

I was in such a hurry today that I had leftover popcorn for breakfast.  I miss having all of my green smoothies prepped like I used to.  So does the hubs.  Why I didn’t just make normal smoothies with all the fruit in the freezer?…I will never know.  The month went by so fast that I really didn’t get as creative as I wanted to or thought I would.  I probably have 100 recipes and meal ideas left on my “Spending Freeze” list that I didn’t get to, but could do with all the food that we still have left!  That’s another reason we felt we could keep going.  There is still so much food.  I have a huge jar of quinoa and didn’t make it once!

So maybe we didn’t make the most nutritious food choices, but that wasn’t the goal this month.  We focused on saving money and doing Body Revolution and that is exactly what we succeeded in.  Personally, I think if we weren’t doing Body Revolution, we would’ve gained weight for sure.  That’s the only reason that I’m not completely devastated that I only lost 2.2 pounds for the month.  I feel great and know I gained muscle, but with a strong focus on healthier eating next month, I have no doubt that I can succeed in weight loss too!

SAVE

A lot of the savings this month was brought on simply by our self restraint, but I need to give credit to our biggest helpers:

1. My couponing stockpile of freezer and pantry foods

2. Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover (and EveryDollar.com!)

3. Finding a $50 Visa Gift Card in my stash

4. My mom being a great listener (and reader!)…and contributing BDubs funds 😉

6. Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution Program

7. The library

LOVE

Beyond the money, the best part about this month was working together with the hubs to accomplish our goals.  We’ve had so much fun hanging in, watching movies, budget talking, working out, cooking, eating, library-going, etc. and all together.  I feel like we spent more time together this month than usual with our crazy opposite schedules.  It’s been awesome!

Plus, we got a lot done for ourselves this month as well!  The hubs has been working on music and his website more than ever and I’ve gotten used to blogging and getting up early just to name a few.  

I can’t wait to keep the momentum going and see what it brings.  It will be odd not to “check-in” and journal-blogging everyday, but I’ll figure out my place and system here eventually.  I hope you stick around for the adventure!

Thanks for all of your “listening” and support!  It’s been great!

– Kelly

Spending Freeze: Day 2

DAY 2: $50.00 / +0.6 lbs

  

EAT

Breakfast:  A fresh banana for breakfast to-go since they won’t be around for long and made a deliciously free coffee (or 2!) once I got to work. The coffee machine at work is luxurious and there truly is no reason to run through a Starbucks on my way in.

Lunch:  Heated up a baked potato and spiralized carrot noodle dish (in above pic) I had made earlier in the week.  I really wanted Subway and normally would go, but realized I was just hungry in general and ate what I had of course.  I’m throwing in a $5 savings for that change!

Dinner:

I’m posting early and am not really hungry.  Can wine be my dinner??  

I know that there is a gain of 0.6 lbs up there, but I’m not stressing.  Weight fluxuates and I had a lot of salt yesterday.  Well, that’s what I’m telling myself, but hopefully a loss gets going soon!

SAVE

The big savings news of the day is that I lowered the Phone/Cable/Internet bill!  I intended on calling just to see what my options were and to see how much I could save if I canceled cable and phone.  Turns out that we’d be taking a hefty penalty for canceling our contract a year early so that was out.  My customer service person was awesome.  I told her I couldn’t really afford what we were paying and I got a $25/month discount for being a loyal customer.  Then she refreshed our HBO so that we would get the current special of FREE HBO for 12 months saving us another $20/month!  I’m locked in on this deal for the rest of my contract and feel like this was a total win.

LOVE

I’m trying to figure out how to use this category during the freeze and I’m thinking that I just commit to doing something for myself daily that makes me happy…and distracts me from spending money.  Today I came home and poured myself a glass of wine (from an already opened bottle in the fridge), sat on the patio, enjoyed the weather and just…relaxed.  It felt great.  Cheers!

– Kelly

30 Day Spending Freeze

  

Today is the start of a 30 Day Spending Freeze!  The hubs and I decided we needed to reevaluate our spending habits and bank accounts and then SAVE MONEY!  We’ve done the freeze before and the results are totally worth it. 

THE RULES:

1.  No spending any money for 30 days with the exception of: bills, real emergencies, and absolute necessities (we have also agreed to buy eggs and milk if we run out)

2.  …that’s pretty much it!

THE GOALS:

1.  Set up a monthly budget

2.  Save $1000+

3.  Clean out the food storage by planning meals and eating only what is on hand

4.  Clean out household items by using what is on hand or by selling stuff

5.  Lose weight in the process by distracting ourselves with Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Program and by tracking our calories on the LoseIt app

6.  Have Fun!

DAY 1: $0.00 / 0.0 lbs START

I actually woke up excited about the whole thing!  The hubs texted me after I got to work letting me know that he already failed and had McDonald’s for breakfast.  I was devastated.  I felt shocked and alone…until he texted “April Fools!”  Grrrr!!!  But, shwew!  So it’s the end of Day 1 and we’ve set the budget using EveryDollar.com, ate all meals/snacks from what we had on hand (we whipped up Egg Drop Soup & Mongolian Beef for dinner!), read up on our workout plan, and successfully went the whole day without spending a penny.  Now time for bed before I can think of something I want to buy online.  Goodnight!

– Kelly