I survived my No Spend November 2 week long spending freeze! It wasn’t always easy but as I looked at my bank account this morning I had this big feeling of relief and I knew that it was worth it.
My Christmas shopping isn’t going to leave me feeling stressed this year because I have 2 weeks worth of spending money saved up to allocate to it. That is sure to lighten what is usually quite a financial burden.
In this post I’m going to tell you all about my No Spend November. I’m going to share how it went, what worked for me, and what I learned.
Before you read my final No Spend November post for this year you may want to read my previous posts about No Spend November:
Or you can just skip ahead and read about how it ended up first…
But November isn’t over
You may be thinking, November isn’t over yet. How can your No Spend November be over?
I choose to only do my No Spend November for the first 2 weeks of November. This works for me because it leaves me with a whole week to normalize my spending before jumping into my holiday shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Just like anything else, if you want it to be successful you need to do it in a way that works for you. Some people do a spending freeze for all of November. Some people halt their spending on going out and recreation but continue to buy groceries. Neither of those methods were the right fit for my circumstances so I adapted the No Spend November philosophy and applied it in a way that worked for my family.
What worked for me
This was my third No Spend November spending freeze.
This year, I did a much better job planning ahead than I have in years previously and it made my life so much easier.
When you first think about not spending any money for 2 weeks, it’s hard not to wonder about food. Yes, we ate!
We ate food that we already had in our home. I had no idea how much food we actually had in our home. In preparation for our No Spend November, I looked through my kitchen and created an inventory of what we had. Then I brainstormed how we could use those groceries together for our meals.
Having these ideas ready before we even started our spending freeze really helped. I never got to the point when I felt like we didn’t have any food in the house because I had my inventory list of all the food we did have. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t make a meal with the ingredients we had because I had the list I brainstormed of all the meals that I could make.
I absolutely plan to set myself up for success in the same way next year.
Related: The First Step to Saving More Money
A little help from my friends
Another thing that really worked for me during this year’s No Spend November was to invite my friends to join me. During my previous No Spend November spending freezes one of my biggest challenges was that my friends were inviting me to do things with them (things that cost money) and I really felt like I was missing out when I had to say no.
This year, I stopped this problem before it had a chance to challenge me and added some moral support to boot by inviting my close family and friends to join me on my No Spend November spending freeze.
Doing this helped me in 2 ways. I did have a few friends decide to join me on my No Spend November spending freeze. This was great for moral support along the way.
A few bumps along the way
Our spending freeze certainly was not without challenges. Going two weeks without spending any money is not an easy thing to do.
One of our dilemmas was a bad batch of chili. This may sound like a silly little thing but it really threw off a few of our meals. Before starting our No Spend November, I already had the ingredients to make chili in stock. I looked into a few recipes and I decided I wanted to try chili with macaroni, which I hadn’t made before. I made it in the crockpot, with the macaroni mixed in. I guess the macaroni kind-of melted into the chili while it was cooking. The result was not very good.
But I had been planning for the leftovers to last us a few lunches and another dinner at least. But we didn’t want to eat it because it didn’t taste good.
How did we solve our chili problem? Well, we sucked it up and ate some of it. We made grilled cheese sandwiches with chili inside, which actually made it taste much better. When we were sick of trying to eat it, we gave up and didn’t eat anymore. We had a few extra omelets instead.
Silly problems, I know.
How much I saved
Last year we were able to save $250 we would have spent thanks to our No Spend November.
This year, we saved $300!
Let me tell you how I measured that…
We usually spend $60 a week on groceries. $60 x 2 = $120
We usually spend $40 a week on other spending (going out, shopping, etc.) $40 x 2 = $80
We skipped our once a month Costco trip for other household supplies. $75
I re-gifted a gift card to a friend instead of buying a gift (shh…don’t tell). $25
Altogether our savings total was a whopping $300!
I’m absolutely thrilled with this amount. My husband and I have been talking about the total that we’ll have to spend on our Christmas shopping this year and our spending goal is $600 for all of our family and friends. By doing our No Spend November we saved up half of that amount!
All-in-all I’m glad that we did our No Spend November spending freeze again this year, but I’m super excited that it’s over.
We are going to be sure to go back to our usual spending slowly so that we don’t overspend now that we can buy things again.
I’m definitely planning to do another No Spend November spending freeze again next year! I also plan to do a few one week long spending freeze during the year. If you’d like to hear about those (or participate!), make sure you join my email list here.
Did you take part in No Spend November? How did it go for you? Let us know in the comments below.
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