So apparently we're already a whole week into the new year! Cue cliche phrase about how fast time goes. But really, it does fly. Honestly, I haven't even noticed I was on a spending freeze for most of this time. Remember those nerves I had about the sacrifice this would be? So far I haven't even thought about it. Maybe it just was the date after all (which I survived, thankfully! Maybe this here blog will get details one day, but maybe not.)
So what has been the secret to not worrying about a spending freeze? Distraction! And circumstance! I've kept myself occupied with so many things that are free, I didn't have the itch to spend money. Whether it be phone calls with the bffs, working on a puzzle, reading an awesome book, volunteering, watching really good football games (good in the fact they were all nail biters - I wasn't rooting for any teams in particular), or attending a class at my gym, I have found things to do. Yes, there have been some moments I've wanted to scream from boredom, but thankfully I've had this perfect bottle of wine to keep me company.
It has been colder in parts of Minnesota than it is on Mars. I never really thought about Mars being a cold planet but apparently it really is. We've had record cold temperatures this week, you may have heard about them. It even made the international news. So I've been stuck inside with no desire to go out and spend money. And I didn't want to order any food because I would have felt awful to make anyone come out in the cold, and hey, I'm a pretty good cook!
Surprisingly, I haven't really cared to shop online either. I'm realizing I have plenty of clothes and books, which are really all I buy online. However, I will confess I almost caved and bought a plane ticket the other night! I know, not exactly a small cheat purchase either! My mom asked me when my next trip was and I sadly said May - yes, I travel as often as I can and for me, May is a long time to go without an airplane involved. And yes, I know that is a huge reason why I still have debt. After that conversation and mid-hibernation, I hopped on Expedia to see what the possibilities of flying to Dallas on the cheap would be. Turns out my friend's birthday weekend had tickets close to $150, which is nearly unheard of. After an excited call to my friend, it turns out her sister would already be in town that weekend. Blessing in disguise because I did not really need to buy a ticket, even if it would have meant leaving this frozen tundra.
With all this progress, you would think paying off debt has been fairly easy. However, I've had no babysitting jobs due to the cold and no extra income has come in. Additionally, I learned that my pay stub does not accurately reflect my PTO and I took too much in 2013. I was docked pay in my last paycheck as a result so the spending freeze was actually mandatory, rather than giving me a leg up on debt. Not seeing the payoff has been the hardest part so far.
I hope the spending freeze is treating you well if you're playing along! We're 1/4 of the way finished!