Can you go for a month without spending any frivolous money?
No-Spend November is a challenge for those that want financial peace of mind before the holidays. It aims to help you control your finances. You can still spend on necessities, but it’s a challenge to only spend on true essentials.
Let’s dive in to see how you can implement and start the no-spend November challenge!
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How No-Spend November Works!
One of the best ways to remain motivated during the Challenge of No-spend November is to set an objective. Your goal can be to save a certain amount of money for the month of November.
Maybe your goal is to save an additional $400? You can do this by reducing your non-essential expenditure in November. Then you can add that $400 to pay down the mortgage, pay off your debt, pay for Christmas or save in case of a crisis.
Sit down and check all of last month’s expenses.
There are two categories of costs: Variable or fixed. Fixed costs do not vary from month to month. While the cost of food may vary from month to month, food is still considered fixed.
So, generally (when you calculate) assign a certain amount each month for food (i.e. $300 per month for food but you may actually only spend $250.50). Remember you can always save the rest!
Identify and calculate the sum for each critical and non-essential cost.
After the preparation, you should have an overall understanding of your monthly basic expenses and the amount of money you will save during the challenge.
You may have to dig deep into your credit card statements, your recent debit transactions, and write it all down so you can clearly see what you can go without for the month of November!
Basically, see what is (unimportant) that you spend your hard-earned money on and save that money. You may notice a $500 unnecessary spend in non-essentials from too many stops at the coffee shop to too many late-night extra frivolous online spending just to ease your boredom.
When did you see a rough estimate of what you would like to save? Try to make this the dollar goal you are saving for the month of no-spend November.
Alright now that we’ve covered the basics, here are 14 small yet clever ways of how to save more money (before the holidays) with No Spend November!
14 Tiny Ways to Prepare for No-Spend November
1. Remove Temptations.
Saving money is tough when you have ads calling your name everywhere you look. It’s important to remove temptations.
Unsubscribe from emails and alerts that tell you about all the latest and greatest sales, and always remember that when you remove temptations the more you’ll be less inclined to spend.
2. Clip Coupons.
Learn from your grandmother and get to clipping coupons.
This could mean actually loading apps on your phone that give you rewards and coupons at your stores.
Check out the weekly coupons that you usually throw away after you get them out of the mailbox. Coupons add up quickly when you’re buying groceries.
Every little bit helps. Remember you don’t have to buy five boxes of sugary cereal even though you have a coupon for it.
3. The Essential List.
We touched on this a little bit in the beginning, but it is essential that you figure out what’s essential for your family.
You don’t need to go into starvation mode trying to save money. You need to trim out the non-essentials you buy each week or month. No one needs a new shirt every week.
You don’t need your bi-weekly professional manicure because all that can be done from the comfort of your home.
In fact, here’s a little DIY home manicure that you can add to your month!
Paying for little things like these should go out the door while you need to keep essentials like groceries and bills on the list.
4. Take an Inventory of what you have.
Planning the essentials means it’s time to take inventory of what you have right now.
You probably have all sorts of food in the pantry that gets pushed to the back.
Check out what’s in the pantry as well as the freezer.
Make a list of these things so you can use them for cooking and baking during the pre-holiday season.
You’ll be amazed at what you can use in order to save more money!
5. Put Blinders On.
Saving money is hard when everything wants to distract you.
It’s time to put your blinders on and that includes with your friends. Your friends are going to be telling you about all of the fun things they’re finding to get ready for the gift-giving season.
Shake your head and look away.
Don’t get excited about Black Friday ads either. Look away, and smile at all the money you’re saving this month!
Plus, you can tell them all about it once the month is over.
6. Learn to say No!
It’s so hard to just say no. We all don’t like it and it usually makes us feel guilty.
So, if everyone wants you to come to their Fall gatherings? Or if you’re tempted to spend money on these gatherings?
Say no! Tell people straightforward what you’re up to. Say no to Happy Hours and dinners if you’ll be tempted to spend that money you’re saving.
7. Don’t Go Crazy.
You know your limits so, this means, don’t go crazy with those limits.
If you’re going to go over the edge, stop the madness!
Don’t cut out everything in life just to save every last penny. Give yourself room to cheat if you need it.
8. Take Stock Of Gift Cards.
Many times gift cards get shoved at the bottom of a purse.
Take stock of these gift cards because they should be in your budget as well.
You might have enough money to buy your entire purchase or just a bit to cover part of it. It might surprise you how much is on your cards.
9. Cut Back On Vices.
One way of how to save money before the holidays is to cut back on your vices.
That trip to the coffee shop, wine with friends, or a weekly shopping trip to stock up on new clothes has to go.
You can still buy coffee at the grocery store and you probably can take a break from drinking.
Your health and your pocket line will thank you for it after those 30 days are over.
10. Make Extra Money!
There’s no rule that you can’t make extra money during the month.
Go through your items at home to sell them.
People will be looking for gifts. You can also pick up little jobs here and there to make a few extra bucks.
11. Prepare A Budget & make it visible.
Sit down and prepare a budget. Figure out what all you need that isn’t essential.
A big thing on this list will be gifts for everyone in December. You may also need things for your home. You can also include holiday events.
Once you know your budget, tack it onto your fridge and make sure your budget is in plain sight.
Sometimes, just having handy reminders is all you need in order to stay on the right track.
12. Prepare Meals In Advance.
You won’t go crazy at the grocery store buying random food items this way either.
You’ll know exactly what you’re cooking, and you won’t get bored with food either because you can switch it up.
Don’t get tempted to eat out! You’ll save on calories this way, too.
13. Socialize Without Spending Money.
There are many ways to socialize without spending money.
There are free or less expensive alternatives to great nights with friends or date nights.
You can check out your local city calendar to find fun, free events. Make sure your circle around you knows what you’re doing.
This way they’ll be able to support you and understand why you aren’t going to all of the things you might have in the past. They may even want to join you!
14. Plan Out Big Events.
If you’re hosting big events in November, plan them out.
You know your bills may be higher if your hosting, but stick to the basics.
Don’t go out and buy all of those cute decorations for Thanksgiving. These aren’t essential.
If you have a November wedding to attend, don’t purchase a new dress and shoes for it.
It’s all about preparing for these big events because you want to stick to your guns about only spending on essentials this month.
There you go! Once this challenge is over, you’ll positively feel like a new person. It’s tough at first, but it’s important to see where you spend your money and know what’s really essential for your life.
Have fun as you embark upon the challenge each day and appreciate that if you can do this for the month of November? There’s really no stopping you from doing it all year round!
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