Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What if...

...I did a spending freeze?

I've heard of a few people (Smart and Sassy with Sprinkles & And Then She Saved) doing it and I think it's a great idea. This is a daunting task, especially living in New York. S&SwS did it for a month, ATSS did it for a whole year. I think starting with one month and seeing how I do is more manageable, at least mentally. Even week by week seems less scary, but I have to be strong!

I don't have a huge spending budget as it is. It's just not possible on the income and the expenses I have (yes, I pay $1,000/month on my half of the rent for our tiny apartment and I have $500/month in debt payments). But what if I cut down to the necessities only? I could realistically save $200/month. If I kept that up, I would save $2,400 in a year. Even if I did it every other month, it's still $1,200 that can go towards loans and savings. That's a lot of money. Not to mention I could save all of my babysitting money rather than sneak a $10 or $20 here and there for extra spending. And what if I figured out how to make more money and saved that too? 

Now the ladies who I have read about are both married. They have a partner to stay in on a Saturday night with and to eat a meal at home with. My NYC friends are rarely strapped for cash and enjoy going out plenty, whether it be to bars, dinner, lunch, brunch quick shopping trips etc. so my situation is a bit more difficult. I wonder if I can convince them to join me, since I know they all have a little bit of debt they'd like to reduce too? Either way, this isn't about peer pressure, it's a decision I have to make for myself.

Deciding to do this during the holiday season is just plain unrealistic. MG is visiting the first week in December (10 days if you're counting!!) and I'm going home for nearly two weeks over Christmas and New Years. Money will be spent, it's inevitable. But what if I started fresh on January 1st?

A lot of people make vague but extreme financial resolutions and by February (at the latest) their plan is out the window, much like a diet or workout plan. But what if I make a plan and have specific goals and really commit to this spending reduction? I wouldn't be able to knock out ALL of my credit card debt but I could cut it nearly in half, not including my typical monthly payments. That alone seems worth it. OR I could actually have an emergency fund and still reduce a decent chunk of debt.

When I think of putting $1,200 or even $2,400 towards debt it's bittersweet. It's a huge victory but it's also merely a teeny tiny dent in the grand total. It's hard not to get overwhelmed but you have to start somewhere right?

I have a little over a month to create a realistic spending freeze plan and to psych myself out of up for it. I'm excited just thinking of the possibilities!

No comments:

Post a Comment