Tuesday, November 5, 2013

No Spend November

It's that crazy month before Christmas that if you aren't careful, your wallet will grab you by the hand and pull you into holiday debt without a chance to even realize it. I have fallen prey twenty-too-many times and it's time to defeat the holiday spending beast! (And well, just be more cautious of my spending!)

Today marks the start of ....drum roll please.......


I tried this last year and it worked really well for me. This year I'm taking it to a whole new level as I am in the home purchasing process and need funds for all the costs that go into owning your own home. I'm really excited to be to this next step in my life and I couldn't be happier with the place I have found. Let's just pray the inspection and financing doesn't go all crazy and in a little over 30 days, I'll be on my own in Waukesha!!!!!

So how does one accomplish a No Spend November? It's not as easy as you would like to believe. I am tempted numerous times daily to spend money on this, that or the other thing. I am weak when it comes to discounts and deals so my only option is avoidance and punishment for purchase!

I do think because the motivation behind the No Spend November is so much greater this time (property!!!), that I will be able to accomplish more than last November. (Last year, I believe it was close to $300 that I saved - I'm aiming to double that!)

Here are my steps to saving money (This is my own personal opinion and this might not work for everyone. I am not a financial planner and can only go with my gut to help me out.)

1) I had to "UnLike" some of my favorite online boutiques on Facebook. I hope that this is just temporary, but I would see too many cute things and jump to buy them because it was a good deal and "It would look good on me!" (Not the fact that I probably already have somethign similar or really don't need it!)

2) I work near Walgreens and it's so easy to just walk over, grab a soda and a snack -- BAM! $5 gone like that! It doesn't seem like much but do that twice a week over the course of a month and there goes $40 easily! I have to bring snacks from home and not fall to mid-afternoon temptation.

3) Grabbing lunch out will have to take a pause for November while I focus on saving. I won't be able to share about what I have eaten in town lately, but I definitely will continue to share Waukesha information and I won't be "UnLiking" any of you folks :)

4) Working out. I have a bins and closets full of clothes that would fit better if I finally dropped these pounds that are stubbornly sticking around. If I go for a run or workout, I won't be eating or watching TV to tempt me to buy something and the payoff of fitting into something in my closet vs. buying something new in a larger size is such a bonus.

5) Cooking at home. My parents have a deep-freeze full of food to eat and a pantry full of extras to go with this food. There is no need to eat out and honestly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with PB & J and Mac N Cheese!

6) I have put sticky notes on both of my credit cards and I don't plan to use them unless it's an absolute emergency.

7) Use cash! I have allotted myself a certain amount of cash each week to survive on. Anything extra at the end of the week doesn't get spent, but rather goes towards the next week and I will only take out the difference of my allotted amount from the bank.

8) Staying home - there is nothing wrong with having a few more nights in than I typically do. The month is going to fly by and I am going to need to pack up things anyways. And I plan to introduce my boyfriend (the movie addict) to the library's movie section. As long as you return them on time, it's free for a week (or longer!) Date night just got about $5 cheaper with just changing our movie store :)

9) Avoiding shopping. Sure I want to get a jump start on holiday shopping, but with my family knowing about my large purchase I am making, they know that the holidays will be smaller than they have been and they will be ok with that. I actually have a couple presents already purchased and hope to buy smaller, thoughtful gifts.

So those are my Nine Necessities to No Spend November :) Maybe I'll learn a few more tricks during the month and feel free to share with me your experiences too.

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