Tuesday, November 1, 2016

No-Spend-ver'ish

Several of my friends have done "no spend" challenges, often in the month of February. With my upcoming trip to Spain and holiday shopping just around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to take on a no spending challenge. I guess I should say it's a No-Spend-ver'ish challenge because I leave for Spain on November 25th so the "no spend" period will end then. But I figure 24 days of not spending money will still be a good challenge.

So what are the rules?  Basically I will only spend money on essentials such a groceries, gas and household items we need.  So no lattes, no dinners or lunches out, no yarn or clothing purchases, and so on and so forth. I will be doing this on my own as I know I couldn't get Phil on board since he buys his lunch every day during the week (but usually spend $7 or less so it's not much). But he pretty much spends less money than any person I know so he really doesn't need to do a no spending challenge since he barely spends any money in the first place!

I will make a couple of exceptions for this challenge, though. I already have lunch and dinner plans with a couple of people so I will follow through on those plans, and I also need to purchase a gift for a friend's wedding shower. But those are the only exceptions I plan to make.

I think I do a good job of managing my finances, but there's always room for improvement. Plus I know I'm a better abstainer than moderator as I seem to do better with strict rules versus telling myself to 'spend less.'  Lastly. I think it's good and healthy to flex the 'saying no to yourself' muscle.

I think it's perfect timing to focus on spending less during the month of November as I try to focus on practicing an attitude of gratitude during the month. So by spending less and using what I already have, my hope is that it will push me to focus on how plentiful my life already is instead of thinking about what I need to add to my life.

Have you ever done a no spending challenge?

16 comments:

Charbelle4 said...

I spend money all the time! I should practice something like this, should being the operative word :) Some things I'm really good at, some things I'm not. I will say that shopping over the weekend I was given cash and I only used the cash. I found an impressive amount of deals with the cash that I had too, I was so proud! Super excited for you for your trip and this is such a great idea!

Marlys Dotzenrod said...

Sounds like a good plan, and you do well with things like that!
Have fun saving for your trip to Spain!

J and A said...

Good luck! I have done a few of these before and they are great. It really makes you realize the little things you spend money on here and there that add up. SO excited for you though - SPAIN!!!

missris said...

We haven't done Frugal February in a few years but it's SUCH a good way to hit the "reset" button on all those little purchases, which can really add up! I track pretty much every penny I spend because I have learned that those little everyday purchases are often unnecessary and not even worth tracking, until you realize how much you've spent on stuff you don't even remember. At least that's what would always happen to me ;)

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

It's funny you mention moderators vs. abstainers- I'm a moderator and for some reason I never thought to apply it to spending stuff (I think of it more as an eating thing I guess). I've tried to a no spend November once and I felt like it didn't work well for me- that might be why, ha!
Hope your no spend November goes well- and I can't wait for your trip at the end of the month!

Elizabeth said...

Awesome! And yes, I've done this a few times, especially while I was in grad school and really into the whole simplicity movement. It took some extra thought at times but overall saved me a ton of money as I was living on minimal student income!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Good luck! You don't seem like a really crazy spender to me, so hopefully this will not be too difficult. It's always good to take a step back and look at where your money is going though. I know, for instance, that my major purchases after the necessities generally involve travel, and the food and drink and gas etc associated with travel. My second biggest spend is eating out, but that pales in comparison. I think I maybe spent one or two hundred dollars on clothes/shoes this year. The truth will come out when I do the money pie!!

Jeanie said...

Good for you! I've really tried to cut down too but November isn't a good month for that one on my end -- on the other hand, if I was headed to Spain!

That's fabulous, Lisa. I'm eager to see how you do.

Nora said...

I love no-spend challenges. D and I have done two so far this year (one in February, one for 21 days after the girls left). It's empowering and wonderful and I love to see the holes or drips in our budget.

We had a low-spend October too, not for the best reasons, but it was kind of nice in a weird way.

Gracie said...

I feel like I'm going the exact opposite of this right now. I suddenly decided to act like a 30 something and buy hair conditioner (I know. I've never even used conditioner before, hence my rat's nest hair), under-eye cream, and work tops that aren't pilled or shapeless, and right when I decided to start looking like an adult, David decided to buy a bunch of new electronics (which is not like him at all). Then we went on vacation. I'm sure when we do our monthly bills/financial review this weekend we'll be scandalized.

Marisa A. said...

We are doing this as well as we are going to Washington DC for NYE and the general spending insanity that happens in December. However everywhere you look there is a sale going on so I imagine this will be hard for me. Like say tomorrow the Nordstrom Fall Clearance sale starts. Its going to be a long month.

Stephany said...

I did a no-spend month in April or May. I can't remember! Ha. It went really well and helped me get ahead with my finances. And realize just how much money I normally spend on food, sigh. I don't spend a ton on other stuff, but I love to eat out! I should probably do another one, but probably won't get to it until 2017.

Good luck on your No Spend-Ver-ish!

Sandra Bond said...

I haven't done a no-spend challenge, but I am thinking about it for the new year. I am very curious to see how this works out for you this month.

Amber said...

I haven't ever done an official "no spend" month but I did include "no spend" on my habit tracker last month and I think I succeeded to not spend any money outside of necessities for about 20 of the 31 days. Being sick so much really helped! I did a bit of online shopping towards the end of the month though which kind of put a dent in my challenge! I think doing challenges like this are awesome though and force us to flex our discipline muscles. A good idea to do one as you prepare for your trip too!

Abby said...

I do these a lot! Except in a mini-version, and I'll just do it for 1 week at a time. I actually try to do this about 1 week/month actually! It really does make a different. Eating out is so ridiculously expensive so we really really try to eliminate it as much as possible!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

We usually do a No-Spend November, however we have a couple commitments this month (taking Christopher's parents out last night, and a trip to Saskatoon to see my mom), but other than that, we don't plan on spending $$. We might do a no-Spend January too.