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CHALLENGE: 21 Day Spending Freeze

This challenge is exactly as it sounds, I’m going to try and freeze all non-essential spending for 21 days. If you’d like to try this challenge too, it can help with debt management.

Our credit counseling advice - try a spending freeze to gain another perspective on your finances.

Our credit counseling advice – try a spending freeze to gain another perspective on your finances.

My previous challenge, where I cut down on grocery costs, was quite a success and I have been itching to do another spending challenge ever since. The opportunity has finally presented itself, and although I think this one will be harder than the last, I am very excited. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am now saving for a wedding. The fiancé and I have a great savings plan in place in which we will transfer a percentage of each check into the wedding fund. If all goes as planned we will have enough money on the day of the wedding and will not start our married life in debt. That is of course THE PLAN.

Unfortunately, with it being the beginning of the summer, we have been spending frivolously (buying new clothes, eating out at restaurants with rooftop decks, planning camping trips, and signing up for pricey road races) and realized this past weekend that we can’t make the transfers we thought we’d be able to make this month. So Sunday night I proposed the 21 Day Spending Freeze to get us back on track. Well, Monday I was too lazy to cook and we went to Panera for dinner. We are not off to a great start so I decided to blog about it. This way I am held accountable for what I spend, and maybe I can encourage others to join me and take part in their own spending freeze.

Why 21 days?
According to research it takes 21 days to make something a habit.  And we NEED to get in the habit of spending less. Since a spending freeze isn’t a long-term lifestyle, 21 days is the perfect amount of time. We started on Monday, June 18th and our spending freeze will end on Monday, July 9th.

What does a spending freeze entail?
NO unnecessary spending. We will not spend money on anything but necessities, such as gas, food, and medication.  We will use up the food that is in the cabinet and find free ways to have fun on the weekends. Our grocery budget is now limited to what we need, not what we want.

What do I plan to achieve?

  • Learn how to use what we have and make do without
  • Reinforce the difference between wants and needs
  • Get better at delaying gratification
  • Stay out of the stores and restaurants and learn how to have free fun
  • Boost our wedding fund with the money we save

I will write an update every week, detailing what I have spent money on and what I have gone without. I will also post any tips along the way to help others with their spending freeze. So stay tuned!

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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