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 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?

Spending Freeze: Day 1

Welcome all Spending Freeze participants! Today is the first day of our Spending Freeze 2.0 challenge. Any sign-ups after today will not be accepted. A lot can happen when you’re forced to get creative with spending. Things like solving rodent infestation. And finding your greatness.

Hopefully, you have planned out your meals and activities in order to avoid spending these next ten days. So settle in, get comfy and let us know how you plan to get the job done!

Per the rules, please post a comment to this specific blog post about your experience. It can be a sentence or two or a paragraph or two. The length is up to you. Below is a prompt to help you get started, but do not feel you need to post on this specific topic.

Thanks and good luck!

Day 1 prompt: What do you think will be the hardest luxury to give up?

MCU Spending Freeze Challenge is Back

The MCU Spending Freeze Challenge: Savings and a shot at $250.

Imagine your wallet, covered in impenetrable ice. What would you do? Take the MCU Spending Freeze Challenge and find out. We’re guessing that once you stop your spending ways, you just might discover your inner greatness. Plus, you could win $250, which is pretty great, too.

During the Spending Freeze Challenge, you’ll spend money only on the absolute necessities. Every day, visit this blog to tell us how you’re doing in the comments section, where you can also steal ideas from other freezers. If you keep up the saving and the sharing every day for just 10 days, you’ll be included in a drawing to win $250. It’s that simple.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Sign up by commenting on this post with your first and last name. Remember, the contest officially begins Jan. 27. In the meantime, it’s probably not a bad idea to start stocking up on supplies. Good luck!

 

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OFFICIAL RULES

For 10 days, Jan. 27 to Feb. 5, participants can’t spend a dime (unless it’s on our “Okay-to-Spend” list, but more on that in a moment). No morning coffee run, no fast food, no impulse purchases. Then, you’ll chronicle your experience with a daily submission in the comment section of this blog post. We want to know what surprises you during the challenge. Tell us all about the creative recipes you’re whipping up. A few sentences will do.

If you don’t spend and you keep up on your daily comments, you’ll be entered into a drawing, and one winner will take home $250. The winner will be drawn at random from the pool of eligible participants.

Okay-to-Spend List

We all have bills to pay and MCU understand that sometimes life can surprise us. So, we’ve made a list of allowances:

Bills –Rent, utilities, car payments – some things are simply unavoidable.

Gas –For your car, not the snowblower.

Emergencies –Hospital visits, doctor appointments, car trouble and so forth.

Medications/Prescriptions –Staying healthy is priceless, after all.

Sponsor:

The Contest is sponsored by Missouri Credit Union (MCU) with principal place of business at 111 East Broadway, Columbia, MO 65203.

Binding Agreement:

Each person entering this contest agrees by the act of participation to be bound by these rules and procedures of MCU’s Spending Freeze Contest.

How to Enter:

During the Contest Period, visit the MCU blog page at https://missouricu.wordpress.com/ and register. Just click on the comment link, scroll to the bottom until you see the “reply” section, and register. You can add a “reply” by signing in with your WordPress, Facebook, Twitter or G+ account. Just simply click on the Facebook, Twitter, G+ or WordPress icon.

Eligibility Restrictions:

You must be at least 18 years of age to enter this contest, live in Missouri and have a WordPress account. Employees, contractors, and official office-holders of MCU; advertising and promotion agency representatives; agents (“Contest Entities”); and members of the Contest Entities’ immediate families (parents, siblings, children, spouses, and life partners of each) and members of the households (whether related or not) of such employees and officers are ineligible to participate in this Contest.

Entry Deadline:

You must be signed up on WordPress, and begin the 10-day freeze on January 27, posting daily on the MCU blog about your experience through February 5, 2016.

How the Winner is Selected:

Those participants who did not spend during the 10 days, posted once daily on the blog will be entered into a drawing for the $250 prize. The winner will be chosen at random.

Notification of the Winner:

Becoming the winner is subject to validation (valid driver’s license faxed to MCU) and verification of eligibility and compliance with all the terms and conditions set forth in these rules. If a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, there will be a second drawing from the pool of eligible participants. The potential winner will be notified by telephone and/or email, at Sponsor’s discretion. If a potential winner does not respond to the notification attempt within three days of the first notification attempt, then such potential winner may be disqualified and an alternate potential winner will be notified.

Post Requirements:

Posts/comments to the blog must not:

  • Be derogatory, offensive, threatening, defamatory, disparaging, libelous, or contain any content that is inappropriate, indecent, or otherwise does not comply with the theme and spirit of the Contest.
  • Disparage Sponsor, Administrator or any other person or party affiliated with the Contest.
  • Contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • Contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any state where Submission is created.

Elimination:

Any false information provided within the context of the Contest by an entrant concerning identity, age, mailing address, telephone number, email address, ownership of rights or noncompliance with these Rules or the like may result in the immediate elimination of the entrant from the Contest.

Release:

By receipt of any prize, winner agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, Administrator, and Facebook, and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and prize suppliers, and each of their respective parent companies and each such company’s officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including but not limited to personal injury, death, or damage to or loss of property, arising out of participation in the Contest or receipt or use or misuse of any prize.

Prize:

The winner will receive $250.00 by Feb. 20, 2016. Any additional taxes or expenses associated with the awarded prize are the responsibility of the winner.

Advertising Disclaimer:

Acceptance of any prize shall constitute and signify winner’s agreement and consent that Sponsor and its designees may use the winner’s name, city, state, likeness, photo, Submission and/or prize information in connection with the Contest for promotional, advertising or other purposes, worldwide, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, including the Internet, without limitation and without further payment, notification, permission or other consideration, except where prohibited by law.

Change in Rules:

These rules may be modified at any time at the sole discretion of MCU.