“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”--Audrey Hepburn

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September Spending Freeze

 from here via here

I am trying something new this month.  My twenty-something years on Earth have consisted of me making money/spending money/making money/spending money in a cycle that lacks any kind of planning or forethought.  When Allison posted about embarking upon a September Spending Freeze, I decided this was a great opportunity to get some spending in control and participate in a fun challenge with lots of fellow bloggers.  This challenge is very flexible with everyone making their own rules.

My rules are as follows:
1.  No new items that would go into a closet--ie: clothes, jewelry, etc.  Nada, absolutely zip.  Nothing.  This goal may help me do two things--a.  wear more of the items in my closet with tags and b.  go through my closet with a harsher eye, donating more and making a very frank (and probably quite short) list of what I really need.

2.  No more TJ Maxx runs.  Seriously.  I love TJ Maxx pretty much more than anything.  I have been known to spend a big chunk of a weekend day going to more than one TJ Maxx/Marshalls location to scout out what other stores have.  This is especially true when my Lilly feelers believe there may be hidden Lilly loot at one of my haunts regardless of whether I own enough Lilly to clothe the entire Pulitzer family.  Although the clothes portion of my purchases would fall under rule #1, there are TONS of other goodies that I would gladly scoop up that necessitate a very specific rule for TJs. 

3.  Keep a log of all spending.  I think this will help me realize what the true "necessities" are--parking, gas, groceries, bills, etc. and will help me make a realistic budget for the rest of the year.  This may also help me see if there are any other expensive patterns that I could cut out in the future.

4.  No purchases online.  Sometimes a very special number comes up on ebay or Re-Lilly that I have been regretting not purchasing regardless of whether I knew I regretted it before it came up for sale.  I deleted my long list of ebay watching and will not be browsing all of the other glorious online shopping sites including my fave department stores.


To help me in this challenge, I hope to do take a few simple steps which should help make this easier.
1.  Unsubscribe to more shopping emails.  As I'm sure a lot of you also receive sooooooo many tempting emails about extra discounts, sample sales (Hello Kate Spade! ;)), and other fun and very alluring opportunities to spend money, these often have me clicking over to the site and more often than I'd care to admit, choosing a few lovelies to welcome home.
2.  Shift social events with friends away from shopping.  Wow, this is quite hard.  There isn't a lot I love more wow, love creeps in a lot when talking about shopping than going to the mall with friends.  After work before sushi night, on Saturday mornings to browse Nordstrom shoes, on a Sunday afternoon to "enjoy the weather" at an outdoor plaza--all of these events are fun, but there are so many cheaper and just as fun options.  Last night I met up with two girlfriends and we sat outside on an outdoor patio sharing appetizers.  Amazing, and no shopping was involved.
There you have it.  Some simple, but quite difficult for me, rules for September.  The focus of most of these is really clothes.  I identified with Carrie's famous quote a little too much, as my closet is where the bulk of my unnecessary spending ends up.

Obviously, my rules are not life changes, as I will definitely be back in TJs in October.  I am also keeping in mind that I will be going to a flea market (wohoo!) in September and will probably buy a few items there.  As long as they are not clothes, from TJs or online, I'm good.  I'm hoping that a month of financial cleansing will be therapeutic, help me realize that I have so much already and therefore will think about my purchases in a different light, and as an added bonus, help build more savings.

Have you ever done anything like this?  How to you monitor your spending?  What would your rules be?


  1. Great idea & great post! I really should attempt a similar spending freeze...Thanks for the inspiration!


  2. That is really awesome that you're doing this! Wishing you luck....I know it wouldn't be easy for any of us!

    One thing I've been doing to cut down on spending is meeting girlfriends to walk or run. We still get to spend time together and chat without the calories or spending at a wine bar!

  3. A couple of my friends have done this - and I feel like I need to one of these days. I know this month I REALLY need to take a step back from shopping. I really don't need more stuff!

    Something I've found useful for budgeting is Mint.com. It's AMAZING! You can link all of your accounts to it, and it'll keep track of how you spend your money and create budgets based on how you spend. Then you can go and adjust the budgets as you need it. It'll help you set up goals and you can have settings so it'll email/text you when you go over budget. And it's free! AMAZING!

    Another thing I've started doing is creating a "Shop Emily's Closet" photo album on Facebook. At the end of a season I'll pull out the clothes that I haven't worn, put pictures of them on FB, and sell them to my friends at a discount price. You may not earn a ton from that - but at least you'll get rid of clothes you don't need and get a bit of extra cash in your pocket. :D

  4. You go girl! We have the same major problem...shopping! I am so glad you're joining in this challenge...I know we can rock it out! Have a fabulous day and happy freezing :)

  5. Hello, I will be doing the freeze also! I have never been to TJ Max. We have them where I live but I have just never been. I will have to go there, in October of course :) Sounds like you have some good plans in place, good luck! I am excited to see how you do. Also, I love GG!

  6. You go girl! I'm supporting you 100% of the way, and I'm putting a shopping ban on myself for awhile after the amount of damage I did in Par-ee... We can do it!

    Cannot wait to catch up with you now that I'm back - I've missed you, doll! XOXO

  7. Wow best of luck to you. I definitely think that I need to embark on this journey as most of the summer my charge card has been swiped a billion times. I definitely need to cool it on the spending.


  8. This is genius. Great post, hope to take some cues from you. Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

  9. This is genius. Great post, hope to take some cues from you. Looking forward to hearing how it goes!