This month is going to be intense. And difficult. In turn, it will teach you (and me) a lot about ourselves, our habits, and our cognitive self awareness. I’m announcing this challenge earlier than usual this month since it does take a little bit of preparation.
I hope you’ll join me in participating in the November Challenge: #NoSpendNovember! K, don’t leave yet. Let’s talk about this.
So the #NoSpendNovember premise is you only purchase what you need for basic function, for the whole month, and pay your regular bills. No retail purchases, no takeout, nothing “extra” or impulse. I’m encouraging readers to make a budget for the month outlining their basic needs and to stick to only that for one month.
The purpose is to challenge yourself to evaluate where you’re wasting money, recognize if you’re being a blind consumer, what prompts these purchases (I.E. advertising or vanity) and how you can be more conscious about your spending and consuming habits.
Everything you purchase has a much greater price than just what’s on the tag.
Majority of the population crosses the line between need and want almost daily so this is a way to kind of define those boundaries in hopes it will help you reach your goals whether they be financially, morally, environmentally, or simply in the pursuit of a simpler life. This is especially true during the holiday season as we are inundated with advertisements and societal obligations to spend, spend, spend.
I am in no way against gift giving. I think it’s a thoughtful way to show love and appreciation given it’s done thoughtfully and willingly. Sometimes the best gift you can give is something not bought from a store, whether this be handmade, a personal promise, or the gift of an experience. But, more on that later. I’ll be publishing an unconventional gift guide sometime in the near future with some neat ideas. Back to this challenge…
My Budget Plan
I’m a big fan of the Dave Ramsey method of budgeting but really, they’re all pretty much the same idea. You have your constants and your variables each month and the sum of both needs to be less than your income! I have a very detailed and elaborate budget that I follow every month but it also allows wiggle room for entertainment, coffee, fun money, etc. Not this month. Here is my bare necessities budget for #NoSpendNovemeber:
1. Pre-authorized payments include things like services I use for work, Netflix, student loan repayment, and other long term comitments that still need to be paid each month. I have them all billed to my credit card and it’s the exact same amount each month.
2. Emergencies are things like a flat tire or Children’s Advil. Real emergencies. Not things like a broken nail, or running out of printer ink. This will be incredibly difficult for many of you doing this challenge. Be diligent.
3. Sinking funds are the best thing to happen to my budget EVER and are necessary for long term financial success. I probably can’t explain them as well as the guru himself so here’s a link to learn more about them: Sinking Funds
4. Cigarettes are controversial and possibly even contradictory. I don’t know what to say about that. At this moment in my life I feel like they’re still part of the essential budget. One day (soon) I’ll be a non smoker again. Today is not that day.
As per usual I’ll be using a hashtag when I share about the challenge – #NoSpendNovember – and I invite you to join my Facebook Group if you have any interest in trying this challenge, the previous one, or any of the ones coming up. You can jump in whenever, no need to start when I do or follow the same schedule. The group hasn’t gotten much traction lately but I’m hoping it will start picking up soon. Hope to see you there!