Living the Best Life on a Budget

Week 4: Spending Freeze- I blew the budget- A LOT!

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Three weeks my husband and I spent $25. That was it. Then something happened. Panic. Fear. Adrenaline. I still am not sure what it was but I haven’t been able to go back.
If you missed the first three posts on this series you can check them out here. Week 1 Week 2 Week 3. 

Thankfully we still have margin.  See this week we found out our closing date again, and the actual amount we need to close.

Do you believe in coincidences?! My parents always said there is no such thing as luck or coincidences. There is always a plan.

So I suppose it wasn’t a coincidence that the  amount of money we needed at closing was a good amount less than originally planned. The same amount that we had extra in our account due to our spending freeze. We also received a $100 random check in the mail from our taxes. I believe these are reminders from God about who is really in control of our finances. I am writing these blessings down because in the future we will need to be reminder of these again! I encourage you to do the same- big or small reflect back on the times you have been blessed.

I want to note that we are in a spending freeze and using all of the money coming in. We have financial margin  because of our savings accounts and living debt free except for mortgage. Yet we are discipling ourselves to not touch our savings and live with less.

And this is where the trouble comes in.

When my husband would have overtime I would find myself in these situations.

“Oh look girls all these craft items are on sale.”

“Oh and this home decor item is on clearance $4.99- that’s a deal.”

And yes I do always get a deal on everything I buy, but I do not need every deal.

I can get carried away. Anyone else relate?

The important thing with money is that we need to have goals. We need to know where our money is supposed to go.

“I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.” Philippians 4:11

Even if you have an extra $40 for the week it is important to think about the best spot this could go. Ask yourself- What is my financial goal? Are we trying to pay down debt? Are we saving for a vacation? A new home repair?

Since blogging I have started to make money! When I started this blog my husband and I agreed any money from it would go towards our mortgage. We had no idea we would be in a double mortgage situation a year later.

The difference was we knew where that extra money from blogging was going. When it came to my husband’s overtime it has always been put in savings or “fun”.

I encourage you to try a spending freeze for at least a week. You will be amazed at how many things you buy just because. When you set a financial goal you take more caution in the fact that buying a new pair of boots even though they are on sale sets you further back from your goal.

When we looked in our account after the three weeks my husband said with a grin, ‘Our spending freeze is working.” We were amazed that in three weeks we saved the amount of money we did. It is inspiring and opens your eyes to the things you buy without even thinking twice about. A candy bar here. A drink at the grocery store waiting to cash out. A magazine. A toy for your kid. It goes on and on.

So here is our shopping trip. We blew our $25 budget.( Mostly me..ok all me!) And we had the extra money but when I look back I didn’t need to get all of that.

We unpacked some things to our new house that has an amazing pantry. Guess what?! Four big bottles of Frank’s Hot Sauce are in there. I could have swore I only had 1. This pantry will help for sure in knowing exactly what we have.

The point is we all may have set backs. We all make mistakes. What matters is how we rise up from those errors. How we approach similar situations in the future. And that we don’t beat ourselves up. Try your best everyday. Discipline yourself. Walk away from temptations. Give yourself grace.

I had to. I mean geez, I am buying food for my family. I am completely blessed to be in a double mortgage situation and still go and choose from a huge selection of food. So many small things to be thankful for. Don’t get caught up in the materialism of the world. 🙂

I write these the week before. If you want to get the deals I am getting currently sign up for daily emails or join our facebook group! 

shopping trips at tops markets

Both of these images are from Tops Markets one in the beginning of the week and one at the end.

I bought the Kraft Shredded cheese in one transaction because it had a catalina.
Used three $0.75/1 printable coupons doubled (NLA)
Spent $4.50- receive a $1 catalina

2 Silk Milks $2.79
Used two $0.75/1 printable coupons doubled here (NLA)

1 Gallon of Tops Whole Milk $1.99 with in store coupon
Used the $0.25/1 Ibotta offer here

2 Muller Yogurts $1

3 Zest Body Wash- $6
Used three $1/1 printable coupons here
When you buy 3 receive instant $3 off-
Used the $0.25/1 Zest soap Ibotta offer here
These were free!

1 Tops Chunk Cheese $2.50- This cheese was so so- Felt I was better buying cheese at Aldi’s. Cabot is my favorite but not on sale! 

6 lbs. of Onions BOGO $3.99

Peeled Baby Carrots $0.88
Used the $0.25/1 Ibotta offer here

2 Starkist Tuna Cans $1.38

3 Kellogg’s Fruit Snacks $5
Used the $1/2 peelie coupon

1 Bunch of Bananas $1.47

2 bags of Tops rice BOGO $3.19

2 Whole Roaster Chickens $13

Image 2

Garnier Fructis Conditioner was $2.99 at Rite Aid
Used a $2/1 coupon from 1/10
Final Price: $0.99

2 Chi Chi’s Tortillas $3
Used the $0.75/2 printable coupon doubled here NLA

2 Chi Chi’s Salsa $3
Used the $0.75/2 printable coupon doubled here

2 Juicy Fruit Gum Packs $2
Used two $0.50/1 printable coupons doubled here NLA

1 Birds Eye Flavorful $1.99
Used the $1.50/1 coupon from 1/10

2 Annie’s Organic Soups $5
Used two $0.75/1 printable coupons doubled NLA and
Used the $0.75/1 Savingstar offer

Total: 47.03

bjs shopping trips

BJ’s Wholesale ClubThese BJ’s coupons are from the member savings booklet that expires 1/27/16.

1 10 pk. of Kleenex Tissues $12.99
Used the $3/1 BJs coupon and
Used three $0.50/3 printable coupons here

Organic Tortilla Chips $3.99
Clipless coupon for $1 off

Franks Hot Sauce 2 pk. $6.29
Used the $2/1 BJs coupon and
Used the $1.25/2 coupon – I can’t remember what insert

Hellmann’s 64 oz. Mayo $7.69
Used the $2/1 Bjs coupon

Wymann’s Blueberries $10.99
Used the 1.25/1 BJs coupon

Skippy Natural Peanut Butter 2 pk. $11.99
Used two $0.55/1 printable coupons here

Gold Medal 10 lb. Flour $4.19
Honestly I can’t remember which coupons go where. So I will break down how it is on my receipt!

Total: $53.86

Used $15.30 in coupons- saved $25.37!

MY total for the week is $100.14- WAY WAY WAY over budget! Ahh.. I will get back to the basics!! I have to! You’ll help me right?!

Have you ever done a spending freeze?!

Do you have any tips for me?!



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12 thoughts on “Week 4: Spending Freeze- I blew the budget- A LOT!

  1. I’ve never been on a spending freeze on purpose, but when we save money for vacation and take only what we have saved to spend, it amazes me how much money we have saved while we were away, ON VACATION! It really shows me how much money we spend every day “just because.”

    Love this line: “I do not need every deal.” How to get my husband on board with this? 😉

  2. I’ve never done a “spending freeze” on purpose- just didn’t have spending money until the next paycheck! 🙂 But this is a wonderful challenge I think – I need to come up to a higher level of saving versus spending! This has challenged me – great article!

    1. So glad to hear you are taking on the challenge. It is crazy how much you don’t realize the little things add up! Thanks for stopping by!

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