Happy September 1st yall! Now I don't normally get so pumped up for the beginning of September, but today is different. Today is the official kickoff for The September Spending Freeze, my attempt to get a grip on my insane spending problem. I am pumped to get started and even more pumped because so many people have decided to join me. So as we kickoff this exciting event, I thought I'd get it started by laying out my rules for this challenge. I tried to get pretty specific, leaving myself as few loopholes as possible. (Loopholes are my crazy attempts to justify things I shouldn't be doing. Loopholes are bad, bad, bad.) So without further ado, here are my rules for The September Spending Freeze.
1. No clothes. At all. No tops, no jeans, no skirts, no blazers. No boots, no sandals, no tennies, no heels. No workout clothes, no scarves, no headbands, no jewelry. No new clothes; no exceptions. (This is where I stuggle the most, so I've got to be firm with myself!)
2. No eating out. No Friday night out dinner dates, no impromptu lunches, no quick coffee runs. No Starbucks, no Sonic cokes, no cocktails out with my coworkers. If I'm gonna eat, I better be eating at home or bringing it from home. And if I planned poorly and didn't bring food, I'll have to deal with whats shoved in the back of my desk. (Um, hello peanut butter crackers.)
3. No new beauty products. During the month of September, I'm working with what I have. No new nail colors, new perfumes, or new mascaras. No Sephora ordering, no drugstore.com surfing. Nothing new goes into my makeup bag, medicine cabinet or overflow beauty drawer.
4. No extra entertainment. For now, trips to the movies are on hold. Weekends exploring Chicago sights are off (unless they're free!) We're going to make do with what we have and entertain ourselves with the 3,000 DVDs in our cabinet, the stash of board games we've collected, or the free park outside our apartment.
5. No pampering. For the next month, its straight up DIY with my beauty routine. At home mani/pedis, self-maintained brows, and dealing with split ends if they happen.
Exceptions: Now of course, there are a few exceptions to this list, but I'm pretty proud of myself, because there aren't many. (Loopholes be gone!)
a. In two weekends, my friend Christie will be in Chicago for a night, before prancing off to Italy for a year. We will most likely meet for dinner/drinks. She has to see a lot people in one night, and I'm not going to be difficult by imposing my freeze on the group.
b. Matt's brother is getting married in NYC on September 17, meaning we'll have to spring for a few meals on trips. Matt and I will eat light and share meals, but I'm not packing 9 pb&j sandwiches for the weekend. I'd rather not spur a new TLC show idea...Travel PB&J Hoarders.
c. I am this close to setting a date for my dissertation defense. (Praise Jesus!) This means I'll have to book a trip back to Texas sometime this month. Unavoidable and frankly thrilling.
And that my friends, is it! 1 big rule (no spending!), 5 areas of focus, 3 small exceptions. (You guys have to give me props...those exceptions are legit.) I will continue to buy groceries as normal and continue with my workout membership. I don't believe in all of a sudden eating totally cheap and crappy food, then paying that money back later in gym fees and doctors bills.
So now that you've heard my freeze rules, I want to introduce the other 15 brave souls taking on this challenge. Some folks have blogs, some don't, but I've linked to those who provided me with blog addresses. For those without blogs, feel free to leave your rules in the comment section or on my FB page so we can check out your freeze plan.
Kenda at On My Mission 4 Fitness
Kindra at Keeping Up with Kindra
Kayla at Lala in the Land of Enchantment
Shelby at T and S Lovenest
Jamie at The News from LaFuze
Nikki at Me 2 We
Lydia at Boy Howdy Daily
Lindsay at Life as Lindsay
Heather (who has one exception for work clothes)
Makenna (whose FB page I will stalk for updates!)
Allie at More Moores
Kristin (who is allowing a fall boot cheat)
Lesley (one of the most fashionable girls I know!)
So with that...we're off! We're officially frozen and on our way to having a better idea of where the heck our money goes each month. I'll continue to post regular posts throughout this challenge, sprinkling in freeze stuff as the months goes along (and of course on Thursdays.) Have a fabulous day, and to those of you who are braving this freeze, kudos to you!