Spending Freeze Printables

Preparing Your Family for a Spending Freeze

During the month of May, our budget got a little out of control. We paid for summer travel plans, celebrated our anniversary, my birthday, and Mother’s Day. These plans and events drained our budget faster than you can click “buy” on Amazon. In search of a solution, our family when on our first ever spending freeze. A spending freeze seemed like a great way to pad our bank account, but also to reset our hearts.

We often spend money without really thinking about it. Maybe it’s a quick meal when I’m too tired to cook. If we’re used to buying something when the fancy strikes us, or buying lunch while we’re out, we don’t give those departing dollars a second thought. A spending freeze gave us an opportunity to really rethink how we were spending our money.

We planned on a two-week spending freeze. I didn’t want to go to the grocery store during this time, and I decided two weeks was as long as I could feed two small children without shopping.  After the success of our first spending freeze, I think we’ll make this part of our normal monthly rhythms. At the very least, cutting our grocery shopping trips down to two a month will help. But preparing for this challenge took a lot more effort than I would have thought. That’s why I’ve made some worksheets to help my family, and yours, prepare for a spending freeze. (Details about how to get them- FREE!- are at the bottom of this post.)

Keep these things in mind as you start prepping.

Spending Freeze Printables

Set Your Spending Freeze Boundaries

Despite the name “spending freeze,” we actually did spend some money during this time. We couldn’t put off necessary bills, or expenses with deadlines (like registrations for Vacation Bible School). Nate also goes out to a business lunch once a week, so he got $20 of spending money. To keep things fair, the kids and I did, too (although I only spent a few dollars of it when I was out with a book group!)

The bottom line is that a spending freeze should serve you; you shouldn’t serve it. Pick boundaries that are challenging but realistic.

Plan Your Meals

This was the most consuming part of planning for a spending freeze. I planned 2 weeks worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. I also thought ahead to food items for special events like new babies, having guests over, church potlucks, etc. For us, avoiding those extra trips to the grocery store was key! We often made several trips a week to get a few things for an event, but walked out of the store $50 poorer.

Take an Inventory of Other Essentials

Before you go shopping for groceries, take a look in the kitchen, bathrooms, and kids’ rooms to see if there’s anything you might need. Baby wipes, paper towels, and shampoo all were necessities that you don’t want to break a spending freeze for!

Think Ahead to Other Events

If you need to send a gift for a birthday or baby shower, buy it now. Or if it’s too early, buy a gift card and get it when the time comes.

Entertainment

A too-big chunk of our budget goes to entertainment, so finding things to do with our family was a must. We found free events, made use of our memberships, etc.

Free Spending Freeze Planning Sheets

These planning sheets are free to you when you sign up for my once-weekly newsletter. There are five pages to help you with meal planning, grocery shopping, taking inventory on what you have, and more.

spending freeze

 

Have you ever been on a spending freeze? How did you prepare?

 

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