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We're on one right now - until June and it started last week. We're very well stocked on everything that we need for each member of our family. We've never done this before and the need arose when we found out that I was no longer getting paid for maternity leave (big misunderstanding) and we didn't budget accordingly.<br><br>
How do you mentally get through it? It's tough for me as I'm one to eat lunch out once or twice a week. A trip to Target once or twice a week is pretty common for us and that's even been haulted unless it's an emergency.
 

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Not leaving the house helps us, except to visit the park or library. And having a lot of ready made foods put together in the fridge and pantry.
 

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Hmm by your definition I guess we are almost always (unknowingly!) in a 'spending freeze'! We do buy groceries (although only once every couple of weeks) but nothing else. Can you buy gas at least (or are there things in walking distance?) Keep yourselves busy so you won't feel the need to spend. If you are used to having lunch out, an alternative might be packing a picnic lunch and going to the park or the beach. Take the kids to the library & the playground... find out when the local museums have 'free' nights (most around here do once a month)... have family game night, make-your-own pizza night, etc... fun things that will take away the need to spend. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
ETA: If you are strong-willed, you could still go to stores. DS & I often go 'shopping' but we never buy anything. He has fun walking around the store & looking at things, and I enjoy getting out & being around other people. You could leave all your cash/credit cards at home if you think you'll be tempted. My other suggestion is freecycle and/or 'shop' the curbs on garbage day, you can find some cool things and then make a project out of painting the old chair or whatever... and feel like you just went shopping!
 

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Since August <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bigeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bigeyes"><br><br>
Not counting medicine. My Mom gives me money occasionally to go out to eat with a friend. But every cent of my money has gone to the medical bills or the divorce fund. I am very impressed with myself, actually! I didn't think I could do it.
 

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Interesting. This is the first time I've ever heard this term.<br><br>
Stocking up on things you will need and use, and then not spending any money for a period of time when you need to use up your goods, isn't really a spending freeze, I don't think. I'd call that being prepared. Putting up in the fat times to get you through the lean times.<br><br>
I'm not a shopper, though. I don't go to stores to look around. If we need something, I go buy it, but I don't just go to stores to look around or occupy time. I guess we're on a permanent spending freeze, too, and I didn't realize it (except for eating out once a week, which is built into the budget).
 

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Oh I had another thought for you last night -- in lieu of eating out, host a potluck or a meal swap, so you can enjoy some different meals that you didn't have to cook!
 

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Probably a month and a half. From the time our bid was accepted for our house until the closing. I just didn't know how much the closing would be, we had an estimate but it isn't final until the day before the closing, so I wanted to have extra money available in case we needed it. Plus the house buying costs, like mortgage processing, escrow, home inspection, lawyer fees etc. I just wanted to have our money available for the house buying process so everything else was on hold until after closing. Turns out we didn't need any of the extra money for closing.
 

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We've gone about a month and a half as well. I found that what helped me most was to plan ahead. I made snacks like granola bars or crackers at home, and then I made sure to take some with me whenever we went out. I have a sign hanging by my front door that says "water" to remind me to take our reusable water bottles with us (we're no longer in "freeze" mode, but I'm trying to keep up some of the habits).<br><br>
We walked a lot. We went to the library about three or four times a week and returned old books and got new ones. Going multiple times a week meant we could walk and carry all the books for the next few days. If we'd only gone once a week, we'd have had to drive to be able to carry enough books!<br><br>
We also walked to the store and so forth. Carrying it home by hand really helps me think about exactly what I'm buying and keeps me from buying any extra!<br><br>
We had potluck dinners with neighbors. That helped keep us feeling sane - it was like going out, only it was free (except for the dish we made).
 

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I get through spending freezes by constantly looking at the budget. My budget file I have projected out by month for over a year from now. Often times to make myself feel better about the present, I look ahead a year and say, ahh, by then a,b,c,d,e will be paid off and we have room to breathe. My spending freezes don't count things like groceries, those are budgeted for, and gas, well both DH and I have a fair commute, so that has to be accounted for. But our spending freeze limits the amount I can spend on groceries, and it sure limits our abilities to do the various things kids might like - like going to swimming pools and whatnot.<br><br>
We're on pretty limited spending for a while (til the end of this year maybe), while we're trying to pay off several bills. Our diet is getting pretty boring (lots of chicken), but what can you do. Limits are limits.<br><br>
But we have found alot of various freebee things that we're trying to take advantage of. There's <a href="http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/" target="_blank">kids bowl free</a> again this summer, and we had a little unexpected room this month, so we bought the parents' pass. All we need to do is rent shoes, but DH and DSS have their own (DSS's are courtesy of freecycle), so that's not too pricey a venture. we've found a local swimming area that's free, and of course hiking, libraries etc are all free. You just have to change your perspective on it all.<br><br>
You can do it!
 

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We spent 3 months buying almost nothing while we prepared for a move. We ate down the stockpile, bought very few groceries and limited gas, but nothing else. It was difficult, but not overly so since we had some food and household goods stored. In the end, we had more money for the move and a lighter household to pack.<br><br><br>
A spending freeze to me is a short term, deep cut in spending. Our base line spending in not high, I buy things as needed. When I need to cut the budget further, we often must go without things that would be deemed necessary by most folks.
 

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ETA: If you are strong-willed, you could still go to stores. DS & I often go 'shopping' but we never buy anything.</td>
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we do this as well.
 
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