4 Lessons Learned from the Spending Freeze Challenge

*This is the last day of the One Month Spending Freeze Challenge! Please click here to see all of the posts in this series.*

Can you believe you made it all the way to the end of this spending freeze challenge?! I just want to give you a huge high-five and chat with you about everything you learned. In fact, if you want to share your experience, please email me (humbleinaheartbeat {at} gmail {dot} com). In the future I may just turn this challenge into an eCourse, and I’d love to use real-life examples to get people more excited about it.

Your life can be better and you can be changed by participating in a spending freeze. These are the 4 lessons I took away from a month long spending freeze.© pixs4u / Dollar Photo Club

4 Lessons Learned from the Spending Freeze Challenge

For this final post, I would like to tell you about my experience this month. Even though I have been doing this spending freeze for a really long time (1 year and 4 months, to be exact), I think I learned the most this month.

Without further ado, here are the 4 things I learned from doing this month’s spending freeze challenge:

1. We are surrounded by generous people.

We could not have made it through this month, or any of the past months, without generous people in our lives.

Here is just a small sampling of what people around us have done for us to make our lives less stressful:

  • My mom got our girls Halloween costumes, took them to the library several times, and picked us up to go to a trick-or-treating event.
  • My sister-in-law and mother-in-law brought dinner, not once, but 3 times.
  • My husband’s friend let us have a laptop he fixed and said we could pay him next month (my computer is really slow lately and it makes it really hard to work).
  • My friend brought us a huge bag of apples, which I was able to use to make plenty of applesauce for the girls’ breakfasts and snacks.
  • We received groceries from numerous sources.
  • My friend and neighbor brought over two pumpkins so my daughters could decorate them for Halloween.

And those random acts of kindness are just the beginning. We are incredibly blessed to have wonderful family, friends, neighbors, and even acquaintances. It pays to have good people in your life!

2. We can spend way less on groceries than I thought.

Earlier in the month, I shared how much we spent on groceries for the first six days, which was $77.86. Let’s take a little look at how much we spent the rest of the month:

  • Smith’s 10/12/2015 – 2 gallons milk, pears, apples, bananas, and tomatoes: $10.35
  • Smith’s 10/15/2015 – 18 eggs, yogurt, milk, bread, whole chickens, lettuce, parsley, and tomatoes: $37.47
  • Smith’s 10/16/2915 – vegetable oil, tomatoes, and garlic: $4.74
  • Winco 10/21/2015 – 2 gallons milk, bananas, sugar, tomatoes, grapes, salt: $20.96
  • Smith’s 10/24/2015 – Bananas, chicken breasts, and whole chicken: $15.96
  • Winco 10/24/2015 – Crackers, milk, eggs, sour cream, carrots, tomatoes, onions, celery, rice, tomato paste, jam: $33.40
  • Miscellaneous groceries from generous people: over $50

In total, if you count the groceries we got for free from others, we spent almost exactly $250. My goal for the month was to spend under $250, and I am so happy we pretty much met that goal.

Honestly, I would love to spend more in groceries, because I know there are foods that we are not getting in our diets just because they cost too much. But it is so nice to be able to spend less on groceries when you are truly trying not to spend money. Read more about the 16 ways I have drastically cut back on our grocery bill!

3. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Instead of moping around and complaining that my daughters didn’t have Halloween costumes, I decided to take matters into my own hands and barter. We didn’t have to spend money on Halloween costumes because my mom got them for us in return for a homemade dinner (which we will get to early in November).

4. It is incredibly therapeutic to talk about a situation like this with others who have been there too.

It’s no secret that we don’t make a lot of money. I haven’t told exact amounts, but you can imagine we’re pretty poor. It doesn’t bother me to tell people about our situation.

My problem is discussing my feelings about our situation. It was incredibly therapeutic for me to write down my experience in each of the blog posts throughout the month.

I was able to express myself even more with a friend who is going through a similar situation as we are. We are both stay-at-home moms and it can be hard to justify staying home with our kids when we’re having a hard time making ends meet. I know that talking through my situation with someone else who knows what I am going through was just what I needed.

Whether you were doing this spending freeze for fun or you really have to do a spending freeze, I hope you can jot down a few lessons you learned this month as well. Won’t it be fun to read about your experience several years from now when you are in a completely different stage of life?

And I’m really serious about getting feedback from you. Please, please, please let me know how this month went. Even if you only half-heartedly participated in the challenge, I just want to know if it was helpful for you.

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Charlee

I'm a mom of 3 on a journey to feed my family healthy-er food. Personally, I believe that you can feed your family healthy, delicious meals without spending a fortune or slaving away in the kitchen.

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