I've been a freelancer since 2004 and while it comes with it's fair share of insane working hours it also comes with bouts of ridiculous unemployment. This year hasn't been great for us financially because while I've been making more money per day, I haven't worked enough days to even out yet. It's a part of the whole moving up process. It'll take some time and we'll get there so I'm trying not to panic and be patient and in the meantime employ a few new habits in regards to the lack of income.
1) We eat in. A LOT. If I'm home, I'm cooking for our family but we would still eat out at least four or five times a week and now it's significantly less. Three meals a day I'm making food at home and being creative with food options and using up the pantry. It's a fun challenge that is helping break us free of our food rut. Sometimes it's simple microwave burgers and sometimes it's fancy veggies.
6) I avoid Target. Why tempt myself? I went recently to buy our annual ornament and stuck to the list except to buy some $5 gift wrap for a mini DIY project.
7) I putter around the office. Trying not to spend money on new things means trying to make old things look newer at home so I've just been changing things around the office using what I have. I've been doing this during her naptimes and try to accomplish some task or project per nap which makes me feel productive and creative all at the same time and it costs zero dollars.
9) We go to Disneyland and spend nothing. Right before the crazy price hike (and a slow work season) we bought annual passes and since mine is the premium pass parking is free. I pack a lunch and snacks for us from home and we enjoy Walt's magic kingdom without spending a dime!