Ken and I have challenged each other to go on a “spending freeze” for the month of February. There are a myriad of reasons for this decision; here are but a few:
- we hope to buy a house in the near future
- we want to put 20% down
- we applied for a 15-year mortgage, which means higher payments
- we want to have a solid emergency fund saved (6 months of income, ideally)
- we know that we will want to invest in new things for a new house
- and duh, we want to see if we can do it
Of course, we’ll have to spend SOME money. Here’s a list of what we must pay:
- utilities (internet–for my job–cell phone bill, and electricity)
- gas–we gotta drive
AND THAT’S IT. We’ll still contribute to retirement and to our Health Savings Account, but since those come out of our paycheck before we get it, they don’t really count. Kenny has a gym membership that’s already been paid for ($25 for the year, holla), so he’ll continue to enjoy that. Things like prescriptions and insurance we pay every 3 or 6 months, and February is an off month.
Things we will not be spending money on:
- thrift stores (OH THE HUMANITY)
- GROCERIES (unless we have a gift card…time to clean out the pantry!)
- work lunches and eating out (unless we have a gift card)
- movies or other entertainment
- haircuts (Ken doesn’t know this yet) (I know how to cut hair; I once watched a YouTube video)
- car washes (KEN) (pointless anyway)
If you want to get a peek at how we budget, check out this post. Essentially, we’re deleting our allowance categories, the entertainment category, and the grocery category and we’re crossing our fingers that we don’t get sick.
We have big plans to play some of our favorite board games, create balanced meals out of pasta, jello, and ranch dressing, and work on projects that are yet unfinished (ahem, like our kayaks). And we’re continuing the Craigslist purge to pad our pockets, which has been surprisingly enjoyable.
Anyone else ever attempted a spending freeze? Ken and I are both thrifty by nature, so this hopefully will not be too hard. And we hope that our social lives will not suffer much–we can still go places and see people and have company over in general, but we won’t be throwing any lavish parties like we normally do (HA). If anyone has free ideas of things to do, let me know! And if anyone wants to join us in this endeavor, shoot, go for it. Saving money can be good for the soul.