hey friends! i'm really excited to share about my july spend freeze. it's pretty simple: don't spend money in july. obviously there's exceptions (outlined below), but no extraneous spending for the month of july and i'm so ready for it. brad and i have been toying with the idea of heading back to the west coast and given the heightened cost of living out there and the fact that we now have 3 little ones, things will inevitably be tight. so i thought it'd be fun to do a little challenge and see how little we can spend next month. just to see how we'd do ;) 

#julyfundfreeze | life by bri

what's extra fun is i'm inviting my readers to join in with me! each week in july i'll be sending out an email to my newsletter list going through our spending for the week and how we're saving more. it'll be totally upbeat and fun, unlike most things related to budgets and savings. if you're not already on the list, get in using the box below! i'll also be posting about the freeze on instagram so jump in the conversation using the hashtag #julyfundfreeze! you can find me on instagram HERE (@bybritowne)

i have always been a terrible saver. i really never learned how to handle money since i never had any. any job i had in high school the cash just seemed to disappear (probably on frappachinos from the local starbucks). i honestly didn't know how to save or how to spend properly. then i married brad who is mister-money-conscious and it's been a real challenge to try and learn on the fly. we've been married and living together for 5 years now (WHAT?!) and i still haven't totally grasped the 'budget' concept. i blame it on not being the one who has the steady regular income, but it's really because i'm scared of the lifestyle change that comes with it and guilty of my past spending habits. 

so this month, i'm trying out this spending freeze challenge and i hope some of you will join me! obviously there's a few things that we'll have to buy:

GROCERIES - we need to eat. we'll be shopping a little more consciously; buying meat on sale (and less of it), making meals in bulk on sundays, making sure we're not running out in the middle of the week for something we forgot. little things like that save lots of $$.
grocery budget for the month: $520

DIAPERS - i do have cloth diapers but charlotte has outgrown the largest sizes we have. we'll be using them for teddy for the most part (probably using regular overnight) but we have a diaper subscription in place that we don't plan to cancel. having them delivered to my doorstep is $5 more than buying the cheapest brand at target (i did so much math on this one) plus the box includes wipes AND it saves us a trip to target which inevitably results in spending way more than planned. duh. PS if you want $20 off your first parasol diaper subscription leave your email in the comments and i'll get you covered :)
diaper budget for the month: $170

MORTGAGE - so we obviously have to pay our mortgage bill every month. this is non-negotiable. 

UTILITIES - again, another non-negotiable. we'll be conscious of how much water, gas and electricity we use. hopefully the heat won't be horribly unbearable and we'll be able to turn off the A/C a few times.

INSURANCE - health, home, dental, ya know. not something you can skip for a month.

GAS - while i would love to just walk or run or bike everywhere, we don't live in a totally walkable place. i mean, our immediate neighborhood is 100% walkable, but grocery trips, brad's work, his family, all of those things require a car. i'll be using it less during the days, but we can't stop using the cars altogether. also we don't control gas prices so if they shoot up a dollar, we'll have to adjust our budget here.
gas budget for the month: $100

FITNESS - i'm in a really good place right now mentally after having theodore. i talked about it a bit on here but i suffered through postpartum depression after charlotte was born. when i started running, i came out of that fog and really found myself again. so devoting a little time and money to my fitness and wellness isn't something i am willing to give up for a month. i'm a member of a local yoga studio (all you daytonians, come check out speakeasy yoga. it's the coolest place around!) and have a monthly unlimited membership so i can go whenever i want ($85/month). i also go to my local lululemon every sunday for free community workouts (every lululemon does this! check out yours!) and i run a few times a week. i also have a barre3 online subscription ($29/month) so i can pop on a workout during nap time. i exercise a lot and i know i would be a major grump if i didn't.
fitness budget for the month: $114

MISC - so things happen. drains get clogged, tires get popped (thankfully my car got a flat last week so the probability of getting another next month is pretty low), kids get hurt/sick, and we'll have to cover those emergencies.
MISC budget: $100

so i hope you'll join me on this fun challenge by either joining the newsletter or following along on the blog or instagram. if you do join in, make sure to use the hashtag #julyfundfreeze and tag me in any pictures you share! i'd love to cheer you on!