So one of Ansen’s co-workers, Keri, on the morning show, was doing “Financial Freeze February” last month and encouraging listeners to join her. Basically, for the entire month, her family would not spend on extras. Obviously the regular bills have to be paid, but things like eating out, clothes, entertainment, etc were off limits. (“Um, hello Arvest, yes, I’m not going to pay my mortgage this month because I’m doing a financial freeze. Is that cool with you?”)
While her reasoning for doing so was probably a little more noble, we have been
saving throwing spare change into a PayPal account to go on vacation with just the two of us for a long time. Like, all 5 and 1/2 years we’ve been married. I enjoyed our honeymoon, really I did, but it was a short few days in Branson. No where grandiose or tropical (mostly tropical)… and we’d like to do something sort of grandiose… and definitely tropical.
Enters the entire point of this post: We’re doing a financial freeze to go on vacation!
February is a short month, so probably an easy month within which (which is grammatically correct) we could freeze our finances. However, February also contains the rather money-intensive holiday called Valentines. While it would be possible to not spend money on each other to declare our undying love, Ansen told me had a good idea he wanted to do, and (his words, not mine) when those come around, you have to make use of them. In an effort not to squelch his romantic inclinations, I agreed with him that March would be a much better month to do said freeze.
And here we are, the 10th of March and I’m just now sharing. I know. I must apologize. Please forgive me.
So, here are the ground rules:
- fixed expenses, like utility bills and mortgage are exempt
- baby account is exempt (because we have left over gift money that technically belongs to Avie in that account too)
- roll-over budgets that are for expenses expected later are exempt (such as auto parts, home repair, contribution toward savings accounts, Christmas gifts)
- things we can do without for a month are completely frozen (entertainment, clothing, eating out, fun money)
- things we have to have but are flexible will be held to a minimum (anything left in gas, groceries, household products will go to vacation)
That means I have the fun challenge of not spending a lot of food or household products, but still feeding everyone and making sure we don’t run out of toilet paper or toothpaste. So far, so good. Last week, I spent $33 on groceries (not much more than my $30/week challenge). I spent $4 at Walgreens for deodorant and make-up. And it looks like we have $81 left in our gas budget with both cars currently pretty good on gas. I’ll keep you posted!