Winter Spending Freeze

Winter is coming… and so are two weddings. Much quicker then I’m ready for. While my diet is on a freeze (I just ate a plate of cookies), I’m going to focus on my finances. For the past two holiday seasons I’ve worked retail to get a little extra cash. I’ve worked retail (almost) every holiday season for ten years! Do I want to do it again? I could use the extra cash for the weddings and a vacation next year, but I just don’t want to do it again. I had a dream last night that I was working somewhere (retail) and I couldn’t remember my password to clock in and just cried. Bad sign? I think yes.

The first year I worked at Five Below (jealous?) and was able to use the extra money to pay off my car. Last year, I worked at Francesca’s and paid of the couches I’m sitting on while I write this. On average, I could make around $500 but I’d have to give up every night and weekend. I don’t know how I managed in the past because I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything. Could I be lucky again? Will I miss our annual friendsgiving? or Christmas parties? can I enjoy New Year’s celebrations after dealing with returns all day? will this be the year I get sick of Christmas music (I’m not yet *knock on wood*).

So what are my other options? If I’m not making money…then…do I have to…save it? Can a shopaholic such as myself manage to do that? I’ve recently went on a bit of a shopping spree and now I’m suffering the (financial) consequences. While my wardrobe got a fantastic upgrade, my salary has not. I can’t keep this up. Have you ever noticed once you start to allow yourself to spend money it gets easier to do? Even though you’re quickly running out of it? I needed to take drastic measures. I gave my mom my debit card, my Target card (eep), and my credit card at the beginning of the month. First I took out $100 for spending money. I like to maintain my social life and that takes money. I thought I was doing great until I realized it’s only the 12th and I just have $20 left. I’m too proud to ask my mom to give me my plastic back before the month is over, but I might have to.

I was thinking about my October spending freeze and how it would be much easier to do in the winter. I’m going to try to stretch my last $20 out as far as possible so I can finish up my spending freeze this month. Some might consider waiting until a time where I know I’m not going to spend a lot of money cheating. But I don’t. I hope that maybe I could make this a new life style change, but I don’t ever want to miss out on anything because I don’t have money. I need to learn how to balance.

So bringing this back full circle to the weddings. Even though I’ve been bridesmaid twice, I have no idea how much money I’d actually need to save. I took my best guess and would assume that $1,000 for each would be plenty. If I start to put $200 away every month from now until August, I would have $2,000 dollars by then. I know I will start to spend money before then, but I just set up my account to set the money aside each month. That way I’ll always have $200 to spend each month on wedding stuff. Obviously, once bridesmaid dresses are purchased, things will be quite for a couple months so I’ll be banking that $200.

I work customer service and I do not make a lot of money, so $200 each month is a huge chunk of my pay. So that’s why I need to implement the spending freeze. The less I’m spending on shoes (sigh), the more I can save.

I also like the old fashion way of spending money, by using actual money. For years I’ve used the “save $5 method”, which I’m certain you’ve seen on Pinterest. Basically, every time you break a bill and get a $5 bill back as change you have to put it in your piggy bank. This works best when you actually use cash and use it often. I just take the $5 bill and put it in a different pocket of my wallet. When I get home I very excitedly feed the change to my piggy bank that has “bridesmaid fund” written on its side. As I explained earlier, I’m taking $100 out each month to use as spending money, so now I’m using cash more frequently. My piggy is happy about that. I got that bank last year for Christmas and I probably have enough to buy one dress. I hope whatever store we end up purchasing dresses from likes the idea of getting 40 $5 bills. Money’s money, right?

I’m definitely going to read more about budgeting, saving, and bridesmaid responsibilities. Hopefully by the end of the month I can decided that I really don’t need to work at the mall for another year. I can actually enjoy my time off around the holidays. Ooo I’m actually looking forward to it!

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