Growing up I didn’t have a lot, and if I’m being completely honest, my nuclear family now actually has more. That being said, I try to have a contentious relationship with money. So when I became a sole provider I knew that it wasn’t just a big, insane life change — I knew that it would be a battle to just get by. I don’t have family nearby and even if I did, there would be no calling my parents should something go wrong and I need a loan to for car repair or other unforeseen circumstances. They wouldn’t be able to help even if they wanted to.
Therefore, I was intrigued when I read about No Spend November (especially with Christmas around the corner). It’s like a financial detox. You only spend money on necessities such as utilities, rent/mortgage, milk and eggs, gas. I put “milk and eggs” instead of food because this is a time to use up whatever is in your pantry so you can start fresh for Christmas or 2017.
Tips for Success
If you’re struggling with specific ways to handle spending differently during your spending freeze, here are a few ideas others have found successful and I plan to utilize:
- Track what you’re saving over the course of the month. Every time you think of making a purchase, write the number down. There’s no greater motivation than seeing that number grow larger and larger.
- Take your credit or debit cards out of your wallet, and freeze them in water until December if you have to!
- Take out a set amount at the beginning of the month for gas.
The goal of a No Spend November is not perfection but progress. Remember, small steps can lead to significant changes! *cough* Small step for man, giant leap for mankind! I couldn’t help myself….
Hopefully, by December 1 you will:
- Find ‘leaks’ in your budget
- Have more money in your pocket
- Have a better handle on debt
- Find clues about your next financial moves
- Declutter your garage (I plan to spend some of this time MAKING money as well)
I plan to entertain myself with other forms of fun and amusement so I don’t get bored. I’ll be using the time otherwise spent eating out, renting a movie, or buying home improvement items to finish some current projects. I will spend a little more time with my family, invite friends over for a cocktail and/or potluck, finish some painting, get some sewing done, and put some items in my garage up for sale on NextDoor and OfferUp.
My hope is that I can find some time to volunteer with my girls as well. November is such a perfect month for volunteering and paying it forward. I really want them to realize how blessed we are and how things could be so different for us. To show them how thankful we should be to have the wonderful life and opportunities we have.
That being said, they say to set up ground rules. Mine will be very basic: no spending on anything that isn’t absolutely essential.
I’ll blog every day in November and let you know how I did, what I didn’t buy, and what I got done as I kept myself busy. I think I’m really looking forward to cleaning out the bottom of my freezer and pantry on this challenge. I have a tendency to stock up on things when they’re close to free…so I have a lot of some of the same things! lol
I hope some of you will join in with me! It’ll be nice to hear others encouragement or issues! Here’s to a successful No Spend November!