No-Spend November – Results
I did it!
After 30 days of planning, saving, and reconsidering my purchases, I completed my 30 days of “no-spending.” Of course, I did spend money on gas, parking and food still. As per my rules, from the outset of the challenge all of my food came from the grocery store and was prepared at home.
This experience has taught me a lot. For one, it taught me to be more prepared. I was motivated to plan my meals and make sure I always had something in the fridge ready to go. Most of my meal planning was on the weekends or early in the week. Fortunately, I’m someone who can eat the same food for lunch and dinner three times days in a row without any problem. I actually love leftovers because it’s another meal that I don’t have to cook. Bonus!
Another lesson from early on in the month was just how much I turn to coffee store treats for comfort or relaxation. It was actually a tough habit to break. Over time I eventually stopped craving those quick stops into Starbucks or a local coffee shop for an almond latte just because. Instead, I leaned more into the moment at hand and relaxed into life.
Out of the three lunches that I allowed myself to buy over the month I only used one. It was on November 30th and was as much a celebratory meal as a necessity for lack of time to cook. Earlier in the month I had my coffee date, one planned dinner date, as well as my night out for my birthday. Other than that, it was all eating in.
Unfortunately, it was a bit more expensive for my boyfriend. I didn’t add any alcohol to my budget, and he ended up bootlegging for me twice. After a particularly hard day I did buy him some beer and me a bottle of wine. Because: life.
My timing ended up being very interesting. Doing no-spend November meant no Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping. I’m not a huge online shopper as it is, so I didn’t miss it too much. But in the future it would be good to remember the season I’m heading into.
My birthday also falls in November. I didn’t end up buying myself anything for my birthday this year. I usually get myself a little something-something, but this year, I couldn’t find anything that I felt I really needed. With only purchasing what I needed for food and for getting around it put my wants and needs into perspective. I couldn’t think of something I really wanted that badly this year!
In all, I’m really glad I did this challenge. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to readdress their spending habits.