Last year, I ‘took the challenge’ and participated in No Spend November. This time of the year is a great time to reflect and think about what truly matters. No spend November is more than just a way to save money, and it’s more than just a financial reset. Last year I learned so much more than just fiscal responsibility and the importance of saving, but I also learned how to focus on what matters. I encourage everyone to do this for financial reasons, but I know from experience that you learn so much more. November can be especially stressful with the upcoming holidays and the financial stress that tags along with them. This challenge makes you think about what matters most to you. Is it the presents under the tree, is it your family that surrounds you during the holidays, or is it the true meaning of the Christmas season which is found in the Gospels.
Here are the rules that I follow during No Spend November:
- No spending money on anything that is not a necessity.
- A budget of 15 dollars a week for fresh produce. (If you aren’t a college student who only feeds themselves, then you’ll probably need more than this.)
- A budget of 20 dollars (for the whole month) for emergency purchases. This money is for the random binder I need for class or when I run out of glue in the middle of a project.
- I do not include my gas in this challenge, because it’s a necessity that I have to spend money on so that I can get to the places I need to be.
- Emergencies clause, I have a clause that if I need to spend a lot of money for an emergency, then I am allowed. Although I hope and pray that there won’t be any emergencies, I obviously will take care of them if I need to.
Those are all my ‘rules’ for No Spend November. These rules are custom set for me, and I realize that my rules are impossible for others to follow. If you would like to participate, then I encourage you to look at your finances and only pick out the mandatory purchases and not buy anything else all month. Also, be picky! If you can live without it, then live without it. Do you need Starbucks every morning? Is pizza night necessary or could you eat something that you already have? Do you have to take the kids bowling or could you have a family game night at home? Get creative, and get cheap! Last year it seemed almost impossible, but I guarantee that it will be worth it!
I challenge you to participate in no spend November and to learn from the experience as I did! I’ll admit that watching my savings account grow during November was a motivating factor in me deciding to do this challenge again this year, but the unexpected lessons were the deciding factor and the reason I decided to share my journey and challenge all of you! If you choose to do the challenge let me know and I will help you in any way that I can! Comment any questions you have, and I will be happy to answer.