Starting the Spending Freeze

needs wants

About two months ago I the blog And then We Saved, documenting the story of how this one crazily dedicated woman payed off a giant chunk of debt by going on what she called a Spending Fast. (You should read about it. Seriously.)

She only allowed herself to spend money on her needs. Rent. Utilities. Cell phone. Food. Etc. Her wants were not allowed. No new clothes. No cute new purses. No eating out. No cute etsy finds.

I knew when I found it that I needed to do it too. But Christmas was coming. And my boyfriend was about to graduate college. So I put it off and told myself I’d start in January.

Then, wouldn’t you know, suddenly January was NEXT WEEK, and I hadn’t really planned anything out. I panicked a little. I read a year’s worth of her blog to make myself feel better, and when she talked about eating all the food in her pantry and gagging on gross canned chili for lunch, I did NOT feel better. I felt like I should go buy a year’s worth of food I love. A year’s worth of Dr.Pepper. Of Velveeta Macaroni and Cheese. Of Honey Nut Cheerios and of Reese’s Cups.

I managed to put my panic aside and sit down to write out my own list of wants and needs.


  • rent
  • utilities
  • groceries
  • medical expenses (co-pays, etc.)
  • internet
  • netflix (I’m sure I could live without it, but it’s fairly cheap and will keep me from going to the movies.)
  • haircuts (ONLY cheap cuts and as rarely as possible.)

I have a lot of things going for me: I’m on a family plan with my cell phone that my darling mother pays for. (Thanks, Mom!) I don’t have a car payment. All in all, it could be worse.


  • new clothes (I’ll be following the Spending Fast’s idea of Make Do and Mend)
  • eating out
  • gifts
  • books, including blank books (I’m a sucker for a nice journal)
  • craft supplies (this is going to hurt)

I’m sure there are more, but that’s my list for now. I’ll update you when I have giant internal debates over whether something is a want or a need. Like face lotion. I’m torn on that one.

So far it’s been five days, and I’ve managed to pack my lunch everyday and only eat food already in my cabinets/fridge!

Only 360 more days to go…

1 comment
  1. designalign said:

    When we open our crafty/vintage/cool stuff store, you can put craft supplies back on your “needs” list.

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