The Freeze Concludes
Things I learned during The Freeze:
1. You have to remember to cancel memberships you are not using. Case in point: My $170 Rent the Runway Unlimited membership. It’s a wonderful service and I will never stop using it altogether, but I don’t need to pay for it when I’m not using it. Face palm. Fail.
2. Non-negotiable purchases are more expensive than you think they are. I was realistic with myself at the beginning of The Freeze and set the expectation that I would not cut out skin care, health items, or nail appointments. I stand by my decision, but these expenses shouldn’t be viewed as insubstantial. It’s expensive to live, y’all.
Three of my favorites! Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy younger skin.. And that's close to the same thing. I'm kidding, kind of.
3. I used to eat entirely too much fast food. I love convenience. And, I wish I didn't, but I love junk food. And I can see that reflected in both my health and my bank statements from before The Freeze. Check out the comparison totals below.
4. Being conscious of your spending naturally allows the kind of self inspection needed for change. I won’t ever be someone who just does not enjoy shopping or buying/trying new things. But, this process has made me more aware of the financial aspect of accumulating.. Not to mention the collector aspect of accumulating! Simply put: I'm happier managing less "stuff."
5. As in all areas of life, goals work if you hold yourself accountable.
To detail some "evidence" in support of my findings, I tracked my expenses during The Freeze and then researched my spending within the same time period a year ago. (I'm a banker, after all, friends. Numbers don't lie!)
2018: ZERO DOLLARS!
Throughout the month, I ended up buying more in the book/music category during The Freeze than I did during the same window of time in 2017. This was a category that I didn’t restrict myself in for The Freeze and it’s interesting to see the increase in comparison to the lower spend categories that I consciously limited. (Goals work, you guys!)
Overall, the Makeup and Clothing/Shoes/Jewelry categories are HUGE wins, by the numbers and by the (lack of) accumulation in my closet. I am most proud of my success here, as those things are my weakness. I did buy a pair of shorts and leggings from Target toward the end of The Freeze, taking my total from zero dollars to just over $30. I should have waited and bought them after The Freeze. Not a major fail, but a lesson supporting my theory that we are not meant to completely abstain from buying things that bring us joy.
It is also interesting to note that, though it didn’t amount to much during the time period in 2017, I made purchases at Bath & Body Works (candles) and Hobby Lobby, amounting to around $100. By completely cutting these two out of my routine during The Freeze, I was able to avoid accumulating more of the things I already have: Candles and craft stuff! Again, I can’t emphasize enough how much I am NOT going to be someone who stops buying candles and other things that make me happy.. But it’s nice not to add to an already huge collection when not needed.
In summary, I’ll never be a minimalist. But The Freeze was a successful practice in stretching me out of my comfort zone. I accumulated less unnecessary belongings, consumed less plastic, and even saved some money!
If you joined me on The Freeze, how did you do, overall? What was your number one takeaway or "ah-ha" moment? What was the hardest to limit? Tell me about your successes and challenges!
PS: After waiting out The Freeze, I did buy the Levis I have been thinking about since Day 1 of The Freeze.