Financial Detox: January spending freeze

Last spring I had a little “come to” meeting with my bank account; my unnecessary spending had become out of control. I wasn’t spending more than I brought in or racking up massive credit card debt, but I wasn’t saving very much and I felt the last few days before pay day were always giving me some anxiety. I did a lot better the rest of the year when it came to my finances, but I feel like I need a little post-holiday detox. So, for the month of January I am on a spending freeze, I can buy groceries and gasoline and other absolute necessities, but no unnecessary spending. No books, no cute tops on clearance, no extra throw pillows or picture frames, no fancy drinks or check-out-line glossy magazines. I tried this once before and had really great results, it was a lot easier for me to see how much money I could save if I just thought about it a little.

I no longer work at a mall with restaurants and clearance racks to browse on my lunch break (my office building was above one of the downtown malls in Salt Lake City). That major switch will eliminate a lot of opportunity for impulse spending right off the top. I also have spent the last two months packing and then unpacking every single one of my belongings, and if that doesn’t cure you of buying MORE things, I don’t know what will.

I think my biggest hurdle will be not running out to buy house things, we have all of the necessities and many of the fun extras, but I can’t help but plan and sketch out improvements and adjustments  to our home. And then, of course, sketching leads to online shopping which inevitably leads to buying. I have PLENTY of projects to finish up that do not require that cute throw pillow or side table or picture frame or whatever. There are still about 20 boxes that need to be unpacked, the garage still needs some work, and the backyard needs a major weeding session. (Fun fact: in Arizona, winter is the only season you can do yardwork without melting your face off.) That will keep me busy for several evenings and Saturdays, I don’t need to start any new projects quite yet.

So, here we go, a whole month without spending! Do you have some kind of January Detox planned? No sugar? Whole30? No spending? No social media?

Harriet sig

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11 thoughts on “Financial Detox: January spending freeze

  1. My (overly-ambitious) plan is no going out to eat on weekdays… first for a month, then for three if I don’t fail one, then for the rest of the year if I can do that. Food budget money instead goes to savings as a future down payment on a car.

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  2. I’m hoping to get back in the kitchen. We’ve been in a terrible rut, meal-wise, as I finished the diss draft and things were all up in the air with the impending move. Now that we’re here, and I unpacked the kitchen and found my cookbooks, I’m excited to make new recipes. (It has the added bonus that our bank account will thank us. Living here is expensive!)

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  3. We are not setting a specific goal, but we have been eating out way too much recently. We have plenty of stuff frozen in the basement freezer so we need to work our way through that.

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  4. Not just for January: I’ve forbidden myself from buying any more movies and TV shows until I finish watching the ones I’ve already purchased. I might not buy any until 2017… or later.

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    1. Good on you! A friend of mine challenged me to do the same with books, and I audibly winced (yes, a thing). I just….what if I *neeeed* a book!??! ALL the respect, Sir.

      xox

      On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 6:06 PM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

      >

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  5. good luck on your detox! I like that idea…but moving has given me the opposite effect. I think that having to fit everything you have into 4 suitcases makes me realize how little I have now…which makes me want to BUY BUY BUY!

    My January (and all year long) goal is to try to stop this downward flaming tailspin our lives (Hubby+me combo) have turned into.

    But anyway…dont mind my morbidness. lol…

    I feel like morbidness is a word, since morbidity has to do with rates of contracting an illness…

    Completely lost track of my thoughts- keep up the good work!

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    1. I would be a bad minimalist, I think. I appreciate the idea of having ONE perfect thing (one coat, one pair of shoes, one saucepan, one ____), but with a few notable exceptions, I would do much better with two or three. I like options, and there are times when one saucepan just won’t do. (Exchange the word “saucepan” for any other verb.)

      Good luck to you, my dear.

      xox

      On Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 3:14 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

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