George and I are taking our first overseas trip in December and we all know what December means… present-buying season. In years past I’ve done a handmade holiday challenge and a $100 holiday challenge. This year, before the holidays begin, I’m going to challenge myself to spend no money in the month of November. I’m calling it “No-Spend November.” Clever, eh? Of course, I can’t literally spend no money at all. I have bills to pay and food to eat, but I will be spending no money on non-essentials in November. We paid for our plane tickets and our hotel on our credit card, so the money that I save in November will go to paying that off. I also plan to buy Christmas presents when I am overseas, so I don’t have to plan holiday gifts far in advance this year. It’s win-win all around. Anyway… here’s the rules.
No Spend November Rules
The rules may vary from person-to-person depending on your life situation, but rule #1 is the same for everyone:
- Only spend money on essentials! This is by far the most important rule. Throughout the month I’ll be asking myself: is this essential?
- Essentials include doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, gas for car, bills. Not much else!
- Shop for groceries before the month begins.
- For items that expire quickly (milk, fresh produce, etc.) I am using CSA share that comes once a week and costs $25 per week.
- Leave credit and debit cards at home. This will help me avoid temptation.
- On November 1st I’ll pull $100 out of an ATM for gas money and gas money only.
- Bring lunch to work every day.
- No online shopping!
- Delete saved passwords and credit card info to make online shopping harder.
That’s it. Those are the rules. It’s easier said than done, but I’m excited to get one step closer to our first overseas excursion.
How are you saving for the holidays? Will you join me for the No Spend November challenge? Talk to me in the comments!