Reflections on the month

2:16 PM

I constantly feel like our ideas and influences are converging around parallel ideas. Just like the telephone was invented by two people at the same time - there were influences at the time that made the telephone the next possible step. I think financial fluency and simplicity are two ideas that are becoming more and more relevant especially to young people trying to make sense of college debt and future goals and will only continue to grow. Here are some of the most tangible results and parallel ideas that have been interesting food for thought as we emerge from the freeze:

- Some of our friends are now starting their own spending freezes! This helps us keep the lessons we learned present in our minds as they have their own adventures in non-spending.
- On January 31st, with somewhat empty cupboards and fridge, we were treated to a feast by our neighbors and Tory and I both had a strangely big emotional response to seeing our neighbors fridge stocked with fresh veggies for the super bowl.
- AJ wrote this great blog post in January on the gospel
- We continue to meet with our finances book club and everyone is excited to dig deeper and share our budgeting secrets
- After a month break, food seems somewhat outrageously expensive even at Cub, we are hesitant to buy anything deemed unnecessary
- There is freedom both in a freeze and coming out of it. I enjoy being able to meet an old friend for coffee in a common space, and driving during the winter, but it was also freeing to be able to host gatherings instead of going out so often.
-  This month I was very lax with my food choices, enjoying free meals regardless of the usual restrictions my LDL’s insist on. I think for me, February will have to be a month focused on re-establishing my boundaries with sugar and dairy. In many ways though, this month was still one of the most healthy we’ve ever had since we were constantly making meals from scratch at home. We are hoping to keep the strategic home cooking and planning going!

- The biggest result of the spending freeze is that I ran the numbers and we quite incredibly spent less than 10% of our income this month.... this was quite unexpected, and also not repeatable on a consistent basis since our month was front and backloaded and relying on others - we bought a stockpile of groceries and gas on Dec. 31st and February 2nd. And January is one of those months in the year that happens to have a 3rd paycheck for Tory in it since it is such a long month plus Tory's coworker shouldered all of the carpooling weight to Delano which is a huge monthly gas expense for us. But we certainly surprised ourselves with how low we can go, and are thinking that instead of deciding which things to continue to give up, we are trying to ask ourselves which things we want to add back in.

Thanks to everyone for their support and generosity during our spending freeze!

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