No Spend November: can you do it?
Published: November 1, 2022
Categories: financial literacy, Self Help
Tags: Financial education, Financial Literacy
No Spend November is an actual thing. It doesn’t mean you spend no money; you simply spend money only on necessities. Why would you do it? How would you do it? Let’s find out.
The principle behind No Spend November, is that you break your bad spending habits. Too many of us mindlessly spend money on little things like a cold drink here or a chocolate there or an unplanned evening out with friends. Often you don’t even notice the amounts involved, especially if you pay with change in your wallet or with a credit card. The thing is, however, that all the small amounts add up.
Doing something drastic, like No Spend November, can get you to take note of your spending and help you to rethink your financial priorities. It can also help you learn how to save more, make better financial decisions, and live more simply by not overspending.
The No Spend November challenge is also an excellent way to save up for December’s expenses.
What is it exactly?
During a No Spend November, you only spend money on necessities. You don’t buy anything new or anything that is not in your necessities budget. The money you don’t spend goes into your savings or is used to pay off any outstanding debt.
How to do it?
Spending money on necessities only may sound simple enough, especially when your budget is tight. However, a month is a long time to do something drastic. Here are tips to follow if you want to make a success of No Spend November.
1. Prepare yourself mentally
Ask yourself what you want to achieve by changing your spending habits. A good way to do this, is to set yourself a goal that inspires and motivates you. Having a powerful reason to do something – a big WHY – will help you to keep going when no-spending becomes difficult. Write your goal down where you can see it, or put up a picture that reminds you of your goal.
2. Draw up a plan
Your plan helps you understand how you are going to do No Spend November. And it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It simply answers a few questions, such as, what spending will be allowed? What categories of spending are you going to trim? Are you going to do a weekly budget, or stick with your monthly budget?
3. Draw up a budget
You know what your monthly necessities are – accommodation, transport, food, airtime, debt payments – and you should know about things like birthdays or events at your child’s school in advance. These are the expenses that go into your No Spend November budget, nothing else.
4. Talk to your family and/or friends
One of the hardest things to do, is saying no to friends or family (or your children) when they want to go out or do something that costs money. Instead of making up excuses, be upfront and tell your people that you are doing the No Spend November challenge. Ask them to respect and support you, or even to join you.
5. Get a No Spend November buddy
You and your buddy can encourage, motivate and hold each other accountable. You can also share your experiences, swap tips and lessons, and help each other to save even more by doing things like cooking together or sharing a car to run errands. Your children could be excellent No Spend November buddies and learn about planning and saving in the process.
6. Use what you already have
For example, if you need to make dinner don’t go to the grocery store without taking stock of what is in your cupboard and fridge already. If you can’t think of something to make with what you have, Google the ingredients to find a new recipe online.
If you need to give someone a gift, make them something or give them vegetables or flowers from your garden. Also find ways to reuse or recycle items rather than buying new products.
7. Track your progress
Write down all the things you did not buy, even it was just a packet of chips, and add up the savings. But also keep a journal where you note things that happen to you during the month, what you are learning about money, and what you like and don’t like about No Spend November.
8. Celebrate your successes
You are doing a tough thing with this challenge, so give yourself credit for it. Acknowledge yourself every time you resist the temptation to buy something just because you feel like it, and really celebrate when you get to the end of the month.