where did all my money go? // Starting a spending freeze and how it's going down!

I’m starting my spending freeze month

It’s been nearly 3 years since I last did a spending freeze week, I’m so annoyed with myself because I think I should do it  much more often! It was only a week too!

This month, Happy New Year by the way, I am going to do a spending freeze but a bit modified. Let me explain.



A spending freeze is of course to help you save money if you feel you need to — such as myself with the closet installation still waiting to be complete by the contractor and the modular closet company. I’m also realizing so much monetary loss from the expense of the holidays, parties and gifts, and most recently buying on sale holiday decor online, and more clothes (WHY DIANA?!) that I need to tell myself NO and stop this insanity. The point really is to train myself to say no to myself because I keep saying yes and that’s not a good thing. We have goals for many other important things and it is not ok to me to be so out of control as of lately. 

So if you can join me for a week, or a month, here are the rules (which I have either made up or borrowed from others so feel free to modify, no one will know but you, or your friends if you decide to find an accountability buddy). I can also be your accountability buddy.


  • 7 days no spend
  • No eating out
  • No groceries
  • No renting movie
  • No baby sitter
  • No rentals
  • No gifts
  • No nothing


  • Emergency or bills are OK
  • You can use a gift card, voucher
  • No out of pocket, just wait


Because this is longer, there has to be some flexibility with life.
  • 30/31 days no spend
  • No renting movie
  • No trips/vacations 
  • No eating out for one, or take out for the household
  • No “_____” whatever you need to cut back on, for me it’s home decor, clothing, beauty, etc.


  • Gifts, or planned calendar events where a gift is necessary are OK
  • Social lunches are OK (like for birthdays)
  • Emergency or bills are OK
  • You can use a gift card, voucher
  • Groceries and necessaries are fine, just be aware of limiting what you buy. Ask yourself before you buy it, it must be a necessity.

Remember the PURPOSE of a spending freeze

The purpose is to train your brain to say no, to not give into impulses (while nothing is wrong with buying things), stop going places that you know you will spend money (for me it’s the thrift or antique stores) but this will be good practice to tell yourself no. In addition, this will save a good chunk of money in a few days the can be toward any debt you may have or saving toward other things – like vacations or the emergency fund.

You can use this time to tackle home projects (if you are doing a no spend month I say necessary home projects materials is fine because you will spend it later anyway), clean the house, garden, write thank you cards, organize, sew, read a book, or volunteer. Or donate items or sell them!

I am excited for this new year as we have no predicted home projects that it will be back to saving mode. When you feel like you are spending a lot it gets really draining on yourself and your bank account that something like this can help you feel like you are getting your priorities back on track (for those of us who like to plan for the future).

I look forward to decluttering, donating, selling, and seeing our savings account grow. It’s time to enjoy the things I already have. xx

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.


  • Victoria

    Such a great idea!! At the end of 2022 I decided to do something similar for a year. Your article has inspired me to actually set up some defined rules. Thank you!

    • Diana Elizabeth

      For a year? I can’t wait to discuss this with you when I see you in person. I really want to make some rules similar to this in 2023!


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