Next Thursday, I am thrilled to be starting a new adventure here on Smart and Sassy with Sprinkles. An adventure that I'm nervous about, slightly dreading, but also pretty excited for. Next Thursday, I'm starting The September Spending Freeze, a month long freeze on everything but non-neccessity items. The freeze will likely be a bit painful, but its beyond necessary, and now that I've made up my mind to take on the challenge, I'm ready for it!
So why start The September Spending Freeze? It's a combination of reasons really. The first is that Matt and I really have to get serious about saving. We're starting to focus on the future more, wanting to save for a house, and build up a healthy "in case of emergency fund." And lets not forget, we didn't get these Ph.D's for free. So thats one reason. The other reason is that we're failing miserably at sticking to our budget. Last month, after careful planning and serious promises, we blew past our budget. And not by a little bit, by a lotta bit. (Too lotta bit to even share.) And almost every penny that we blew past fell in one of three catagories: clothes, eating out, or entertainment. While I like to pretend that I don't shop often, the people at Amex don't lie. I saw that paper and couldn't find a place to hide fast enough.
So rather than endure another month of "I'll cut back, I'll do better, I promise," I'm finally fed up enough to go all extreme. No spending on non-necessity items. At all. Not ten dollars a week, not a latte here and there, zip, zilch, nada. A total freeze on buying nonesstentials.
I threw this idea out on my Facebook page earlier this week, and several of you had something to say. A few said no way, some sent prayers (Melissa, you know me too well), and surprisingly, several of you said you'd be game to join in, woo hoo!
Now let me be clear, The September Spending Freeze is a personal choice. And with that, comes personal options. While I'm choosing to apply the freeze to all non-essential items, maybe that's not quite for you. Maybe you want to focus on freezing your clothes spending, your eating out, or your beauty buys. Maybe you just want to kick your habit of Starbucks. Whatever and however you choose to do, it is totally up to you. I've already had several questions about whether or not a few "cheats" can be allowed. And to that I remind you, this is about making your own rules. If you're still on the hunt for the perfect fall boots, write that in your rules. If you've got a weekend getaway planned, and you want that weekend to be off-limits, go for it. This is your September Spending Freeze, you can play it however you like.
So I encourage you to give it a thought. Whether you're purposely trying to cut back, saving for a special vacation, or just trying to become more aware of your spending, The September Spending Freeze is a great way to get started. And please, for no other reason, think about joining, so I'm not suffering, err, I mean discovering alone :)
The Freeze starts next Thursday, September 1, and if you want to join me, in any capacity by your rules or mine, shoot me an email. I'm going to create a master list of Freeze participants. (Even if that list is me, myself, and I.) Every Thursday, I'll have a September Spending Freeze themed post, and I'll post the topic ahead of time, so you can join in. But again, this challenge is about your own rules, so if you don't want to join in on the Thursday posts, no sweat.
Next Thursday's post will be titled "The September Spending Freeze: My Rules, My Way." This is your chance to dictate the rules for your challenge. What's off limits, what are your cheats (if you have any), and what are the specifics of your freeze.
So that's the challenge if you choose to accept it. A spending freeze for the entire month of September. Who's with me? :)
PS: a MAJOR thanks and shout out to my friend Kendall Stoy for creating the fabulous September Spending Freeze logo featured above!