30 Day Flippant Finance Freeze
Our household makes well over 10k per month, but lately, we’ve been finding ourselves without a whole lot of that left over when the month comes to a close. My husband, David, will be leaving his day job in the next year, and we’ll be selling our house and moving into a much larger property. So saving money, maxing out our 401Ks, paying our estimated taxes, and finishing off as much debt as possible before we buy our new house are all high priorities. But sometimes we can find ourselves trying to fill a void in our lives, whether it’s boredom, loneliness, imposter syndrome, or something else altogether, and a lot of times, that happens through frivolous spending.
After talking about it, we decided to do a month-long finance freeze to reset our accounts, and of course, I’m a sucker for alliteration, so I then dubbed it the 30 Day Flippant Finance Freeze. It’s about taking a month to be aware of exactly where (and on what) you’re spending your money, and to make sure where you’re spending aligns with your goals. For us, there’s absolutely a time and a place to go out with friends on a weekly basis and take multiple international trips every year (I think we took 4 international and 5 domestic in the last year alone), but for now, it’s time to prioritize saving and debt payoff, plus, there’s a lot more to keep us busy during the Summer months when the weather in Oregon is nicer!
Our Flippant Finance Freeze guidelines look like this:
Continue with yoga/gym membership
Eat organic/pastured/free-range/grass fed
Take daily walks with the pups and David
Buy only whole foods
Meal prep weekly
Spend a lot of time outside
Go to the river with friends
Host and attend BBQs with friends/family
Cancel any subscriptions we’re not using
No meals out
No new clothes unless something wears out
No processed foods
No buying alcohol
No new subscriptions or memberships
You’ll notice the “Don’ts” list is much shorter than the “Do’s” list, and that’s intentional. It’s more positive for us to focus on all of the things we can do in the month rather than what we’re cutting out. I’m gluten and dairy free, so focusing on eating whole foods for a month can reduce our food bill quite a bit. The common advice of sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store comes in handy here. Last month, between clothes and meals out, we spent over $600, and probably added another $150 or more to our grocery bill with processed foods. That’s an easy $750 that could have gone to any of our savings goals. I also like to prioritize movement (yoga, gym, walking) and quality time with the people I care about. Instead of having a dog walker, I’m walking our dogs (we all need the exercise), and it saves us another $200/month. I encourage you to make your own list of where you know you can easily cut spending down, and make sure you’re not going to a model that’s too restrictive. The goal here is to become more aware of your spending and to take a month to reset your savings.
I’m a mindset and self-development lover, and it can be really easy to fall into an Ariana Grande habit of “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it”, and to feel like I’m entitled to what my heart desires at all times. One of the simplest ways to get a surge of dopamine is to head into a Lululemon or Whole Foods, grab what I want without checking the prices, and head to the cashier. I love being able to buy what our family needs, when we need it. But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been spending a bit on the high side the last 6+ months. And as a freelancer/business owner with unbalanced income throughout the month (the majority of my income is paid in the first 10 days of the month), it’s all too common to feel an overwhelming sense of wealth when all that money is in your account, and it’s all too easy to feel the end of the month stress because you overspent.
If you’ve been getting to the end of the month and wondering where the fuck your money actually goes, I challenge you to give the 30 day Finance Freeze a shot, and make sure you tag me on Instagram @thefreelancecfo for a chance to win a 30 minute consulting session with me ($150 value), or an Amazon gift card!