It is officially mid-January, and I can not believe the Spending Freeze is over!
I can’t believe it so much, it took me seven days into January before I could talk myself into buying anything. I even went shopping, but I left the stores (MULTIPLE stores) empty-handed. In the end, the first thing I purchased was a delicious breakfast for myself and a friend starting her own spending freeze. I could not have planned that to be more perfect.
Since then, I’ve let myself eat out a whole whole lot compared to all of last year, mostly because January involved a trip home where all my favorite restaurants are located. Mid City, Amigos, and Pal’s are all required, even if that means eating more than three meals a day. Other than food, though, I really have not spent much in 2014, and I find myself walking away from so many items in stores that I would have bought without question a year ago. It is weird and wonderful.
I spent a lot of time this past year thinking about money, learning how to make use of budgeting software, reading finance books, and searching for ways to cut corners in my expenses. The biggest thing I noticed is that we have a giant taboo over talking about money. The first time I tallied my total savings for the whole year, I was really proud of myself. Shortly afterward, I started to wonder how much other people manage to save in a year. Had I done enough? Should I justify my total savings by showing how much I made last year? (Trust me, it wasn’t much.) They were silly thoughts, I know. I finally came to my senses. But I stand by my point. We should not be so hesitant to talk about money and learn from each other.
In November, I had a few car setbacks, but managed to save $250.
In December, I only put one person on my Christmas list, and combining that with some extra holiday pay, I saved $424.
That means that my total savings for the year (even including that one month I had to dip into savings) is: $4,441.
I am blown away. I did not know it was possible to put back that much money in one year on my income. This year is going to be full of excitement and adventure, but it will still be full of savings too. I may not do a full out spending freeze, but I will never spend money the same way again.
I am leaving for Kenya today – TODAY! – and I am leaving you with this selfie I took while giving blood in order to get two free movie tickets, sticking to my Spending Freeze ways.