I attempted No Spend April a few years ago and it wasn’t the most successful thing ever? I like the sound of No Spend November and genuinely think I can make this happen. My weddings are officially done for the year but I do have some general spending to do for next year’s weddings and Christmas. This November I am aiming to not spend money on myself at all and limit my spending on other people, food, etc. I just developed a monthly calendar that shows all of my expenses, so I’ll include that here. Here’s my plan of attack.
Budget / Expenses
I didn’t disclose the dollar amounts here but I put them in order from most to least expensive. Yes, my student loan costs more than my half of our monthly rent. I otherwise have various payments for my car, streaming services, and more.
- Student loan
- Rent for the house
- Car loan
- Car insurance
- Credit card monthly payments
- Sling TV and Netflix
- Blog hosting
- Wrestling-related streaming services
- Dropbox Premium
- Weight Watchers
(1) Only spend money I have on hand – nothing goes on a credit card
I actually don’t have many credit cards in general: one store card, one regular one, and a Paypal Credit account that I use mostly for airline tickets and other expensive items like that. I hope to not use any of my credit accounts and focus on using my savings from the month on paying them down.
(2) Dining out is limited to 3 times in the entire month
I’m hoping to avoid making plans with friends (lol) so I don’t eat out much; this is usually my downfall at this point in my life. I would completely eliminate the eating out thing but I don’t think its feasible. This will include eating lunch out at work and spending my money on it. Office lunches that my boss pays for are obviously free for me, so that’s fine. I’m just hoping to eat out less than once per week, whether it’s with a friend, grabbing lunch for myself, or eating out with Chris.
(3) No coffee out, but can use up the $2.68 Dunkin balance I have
It’s pumpkin spice season and I’ll be having homemade ones, unfortunately! I currently have under $3 on my preloaded Dunkin Donuts card, so I’ll be allowing myself to use that up for one PSL during the month of November. I think Cumberland Farms has free coffee on Fridays that I should also take advantage of.
(4) No shopping for myself; limit November grocery shopping and Christmas shopping amounts
I have a tendency of taking a lunch break and hitting stores like Target, Christmas Tree Shops, or even Trader Joe’s. I end up spending money on things I don’t need or buying excessive amounts of groceries that I won’t eat in time because the fridge is STILL stocked. I’m not allowing myself to buy new clothes, even though I’m itching for sweaters and winter clothes. This is partly for the financial reason and partly because I keep buying smaller sizes while still losing weight, which means they get too big, too fast. My lunch breaks will involve me reading in the library or at my desk or only getting groceries as allowed. I’ll only allow grocery store visits once a week and it’s ONLY for fresh veggies/fruit and meat. Everything else should come from the pantry.
I am thinking of allowing myself a Christmas Shopping Fund of $100 so I can still get a headstart on presents before December. I will probably take $100 out of the ATM toward the first of the month and put it in a special section of my wallet to keep track! I also hope to develop an actual Christmas budget for this year…
Book club: We usually hit a local restaurant during our meeting. My hope is that I can count this into the three allotted meals out during the month, but I will cut myself some slack if this ends up being the fourth meal out.
Preordered book(s): I currently have ARCHENEMIES preordered for my book club meeting and it comes out in early November. I believe this is the only November preorder I have? I’m going to obviously allow myself this book because I need it for my meeting that month and need it for my collection 😉
Goals & Tasks
(1) Take inventory of groceries (pantry and freezer) and plan meals around using them up
I have so many hidden items in my pantry section and freezer that I just blatantly never remember. I currently have so much barbecue sauce because I keep thinking I’m all out and buy more of it. I’m going to make a detailed inventory and try to plan meals to use everything I have. I fall into the trap of buying too much, too often. As I said above, I want to avoid grocery shopping to kill time and over-buying. I do this with fresh groceries because I don’t want to go to the store too often… but then they all go bad because I can’t use them. Groceries will be once a week, period.
(2) Put money into my separate account to use later to pay down bills (especially commission)
Part of the reason I’m doing this is to get everything on track, from a budgeting perspective, and pay down my credit cards. I should likely get a larger commission toward the end of the money (hopefully earlier) and I plan to put 100% of it away into my separate “bills” bank account as I acquire it. This will be used as needed to pay down credit cards and build an emergency fund.
(3) Figure out long-term budgeting method
I’ve used YNAB in the past and genuinely love the format. It keeps everything 100% accurate, which I appreciate. I’ve started to like the idea of including budget information in my planner or creating a new planner for budgeting as well, like these ones by May Designs. I also looked back on the budget spreadsheet I shared during No Spend April 2015. Keeping a close eye on my spending will be helpful this month, but having a long-term budget planning tool will be even better.