The average United Kingdom household spent over £570 per week in the 2018 financial year.1 While this statistic doesn’t take earnings or household size into account, it’s interesting to consider where your family measures up to that number.
Spending money can give you a rush, but the added space an unused purchase takes up can quickly clutter your home. You may feel that your spending habits are not sustainable or are not making you happy.
A spending freeze can give your finances a fresh start while redefining the way you manage your money. Or sometimes, when you need to save money rapidly, sticking to your budget just won’t cut it. Here are six effective strategies to try when you’re ready to institute a spending freeze.
1. Plan Ahead
Make sure you know what you’re planning to eliminate during your spending freeze. You’ll still need to cover living expenses like bills, rent or mortgage and food, but aim to cut more than one spending category.
2. Know Your Objective
Whether you want to fine-tune your budget, save for a vacation or just challenge yourself to stretch your finances further, write down your objective and put it in a place you’ll see it every day. Reminding yourself why you’re observing a spending freeze will help motivate your decisions.
3. Develop a Timeframe
Set a reasonable timeline for your spending freeze. Try to calculate how long you’ll need to reach your goal and work from there. You may need more than one spending freeze to do so, and that’s okay. Set sensible goals and manage your expectations for the spending freeze.
4. Focus on Your Goal
You may find that managing your spending freeze is easier said than done. If you feel tempted to spend, remind yourself that meeting your goal will likely feel better than making a frivolous purchase and breaking your concentration.
Visualise yourself treating your loved one to dinner with the money saved during your freeze. Know that meeting your target is worth the extra effort now, and you’ll be able to keep your motivation throughout the process.
5. Alert Your Inner Circle
Inform your loved ones ahead of time that you’ll be observing a spending freeze. Having a friendly support group or spending freeze buddy can help you avoid temptations. You don’t need to be inside or alone for the entire duration; be proactive and search for free activities and shows in your area to stay busy and entertained.
6. Reshape Your Relationship to Money
Convenience has made spending incredibly easy, from mobile payments and online shopping to contactless cards. Intangible money in a digital economy allows us to separate ourselves from the responsibility of managing finances. After your spending freeze, you’ll ideally be more cognisant of the money you make, how you save and how you spend. Allow yourself to pause and think critically about a tentative purchase before you reach for the card.
After a successful spending freeze, you may find that your relationship to spending money changes for good. You can’t observe a spending freeze forever, but you can definitely shift your perspective in a few days without making a transaction.
1Office for National Statistics. (24 January 2019). Family spending in the UK: April 2017 to March 2018. Retrieved 11 March 2019, from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/expenditure/bulletins/familyspendingintheuk/financialyearending2018#household-spending-in-fye-2018-was-the-highest-since-fye-2005
The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.