Guest Blog by Gina Overmann

Guest blog post by Gina Overmann, 2016 Spending Freeze winner.

I was honored to be chosen as the Missouri Credit Union 2016 Freeze winner! Our family is very excited! During the 10-day Freeze, we learned more about teamwork and how to make saving money fun. We had some challenges along the way. Our dishwasher broke, and we realized quickly how spoiled we had been. I grew up without a dishwasher and remember helping my parents wash and dry dishes when I was a kid. We used this as a learning opportunity, rolled up our sleeves, and got to hand-washing. In fact, we got so used to hand-washing our dishes after every meal, we still haven’t bought a dishwasher! This not only helps save money by not running out to buy a new kitchen appliance, but also allows us to spend more time together as a family. We all help clean up and do dishes instead of sitting in front of the television after mealtime. Now, it’s a habit to spend this time together after meals, and our television gets a much-needed rest!

When asked how we will spend the money, I am excited to say we are planning a wedding for this summer, so we will be using our winnings toward that. We found someone to make a beautiful rustic wedding cake for $300, so this money just about covers that cost!

We wanted to share some tips for future Freezers. What helped us the most was keeping focused on the goal to not spend money. Planning ahead, making a meal schedule and grocery shopping ahead of time helps avoid panic toward the end of the freeze. Ten days can feel like a long time if you don’t have a plan of attack. On the flip side, 10 days is long enough to form good habits, so take advantage of this time to change the way you look at money. We are big fans of Dave Ramsey, and love to save, but you don’t have to attend Financial Peace University to win big with money, although we do recommend it!

Thanks, Missouri Credit Union, for hosting this Freeze! We participated last year as well, and really enjoyed the challenge each year.

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Spending Freeze: Day 10

The long-awaited day 10 has arrived! Less than 24 hours left until you conquer the Freeze. Congratulations to all of you – truly awesome learnings, communication and effort. We’ll be posting the list of eligible participants for the drawing on Monday, and will inform the winner by Monday night.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the Super Bowl (or not)! You deserve it.

Day 10 prompt: Would you do the Freeze again? What did you like/dislike about the process? What could make the Freeze better in the future?

 

 

Spending Freeze: Day 9

There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you can see it. The weekend is near. You’re probably practicing your victory dance.

However, day 10 falls on a Friday. (Day 9 prompt) How will you spend your last Friday freezing? Will it be the hardest day of all, or the easiest?

Spending Freeze: Day 8

We all have those items that aren’t technically “necessary,” but are items we feel are essential to our daily lives, how we see ourselves, or our own mental sanity. For example, manicures, eye brow waxes, contacts, hair color treatments, etc. They aren’t necessary, but they feel necessary.

Day 8 prompt: What are your unnecessary but “essential” items? Which ones do you think you could cut, or cut back on?

Spending Freeze: Day 7

Today marks the one-week point in our 10-day freeze. We love the support and collaboration happening among you all. Just a few more days! It sounds like there are many worthy projects, items and events the prize money could contribute to.

Day 7 prompt: If you win the $250 prize, what will you do with it?

(Aside from this of course)

Spending Freeze: Day 6

Happy Monday Freezers! We hope you’re plenty refreshed after the wonderful weather we had in the Midwest this weekend. Sounds like there have been a few trials within the last five days – ravenous teens, broken dishwashers, QT temptations and more. Keep up the good work!

Day 6 prompt: What habits are you hoping to continue after the Freeze ends?

 

Spending Freeze: Day 4

The average cable bill is up 39% since 2010, sitting at $99.10. That’s nearly $1,200 a year. What could you do with an extra $1,200? Here are few ideas:

  • Buy a ticket to Europe
  • Invest in a portfolio
  • Purchase more than 200 orders of 10 pc. Chicken McNuggets from McDonald’s
  • Open a 401(k)
  • Start an emergency savings fund
  • Take an educational course
  • Go on a cruise
  • Pay down debt

You’d also have a lot more time on your hands to do things like discover a new species of squirrel.

Day 4 prompt: What have you learned about your spending habits so far?

Spending Freeze: Day 3

Ohhh the weekend. We have arrived. When the temptations are strong and motivations run low.

You leave work like …

Then you tell your friends you can’t go out because you’re ‘freezing’ and they react like …

However, there is plenty of greatness to discover when options are limited on a Friday night. Dust off those board games, dig out the old gaming consoles, bribe your friends to have a chill night in.

We believe in you.

Day 3 prompt: Where will you look for free fun this weekend?

Spending Freeze: Day 2

Day 2 of the Freeze is underway. Usually one of the most painful days, due to realizing what your daily spending habits actually are. Like that morning latte or late-night online shopping frenzy. However, stay strong! Losing old habits can open opportunities for new, healthier ones.

Day 2 prompt: What are some strategies you’ve used to keep yourself from shopping online?