Spending Freeze – 10 Tips to Make it Successful

Whether you’re tightening your budget, going on a finance diet, or recovering from spending emergency funds, a spending freeze is a useful tactic to get your budget back on track.

For our family, a spending freeze is a conscious decision to only spend money on essential expenses. It goes beyond just adjusting our budget line items. It’s a mentality shift. And it works. Here are ten tips for making a spending freeze successful.

10 Spending Freeze Tips

1. Agree not to spend any money unless necessary and immediate. For our family, this is  as simple as saying, “Okay, for this month we are on a spending freeze.” We adjust our budget and we support each other through out the month.

2. Talk about necessary purchases before buying them. Life happens! If necessary and urgent expenses come up, don’t sweat it. But do talk about the purchase before you buy it to agree it is a necessary spend.

3. Have fun, make it a challenge. And, give yourself a (free) reward for accomplishing your goal!

4. If you really need it find a way to make it or get it for free (this chart is super helpful).

5. Talk in the positive about the spending freeze. This is especially helpful with kids.

6. Purge. I find I am much less likely to want random stuff when I see how much I really have. Take trips to Goodwill. Post items on Buy Nothing and Craigslist. Sell high quality items to consignment. You get the idea. It will feel awesome!

7. Practice gratitude. Say thanks every day for what you have. Practice gratitude as a family and for yourself.

8. Go do stuff. Experiential activities make awesome memories! Just remember, it doesn’t have to cost a lot to mean a lot.

Related – 15 Free (or Cheap) Summer Activities for Kids

9. Get outside! I find peace with myself and with my kids when I am outdoors.

10. Allow yourself to say no to friends and family. This can be hard. Here are a few tips when saying no is hard.

What are your tips for a spending freeze? What questions do you have? Leave a comment below!

Spending Freeze - 10 Tips to Make it Succesful

6 thoughts on “Spending Freeze – 10 Tips to Make it Successful

  1. Emily Jividen says:

    I did Ruth Soukup’s 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero last year. Having the emails and a focus for each day (even when I didn’t feel like I was knocking them all out of the park) really helped. So did reading how other people were coping.
    What I took was: 1) Have a buddy go through the challenge with you, or at least cheer you on. 2) Get your family to help you create the rules, so everyone sticks on them better. 3) Write your rules down! It helps you stick to them better. 4) If you spend, don’t let it derail the whole project. Accept and move on.


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