So my results of “No Spend November” are in and they aren’t pretty. I am happy to report that my spending was decreased the month of November but not to what most would consider “no spend.” The bonus was I did discover were a few key things about myself.
- Don’t pick November to not spend money. For me, November is a month with two of my boys having birthdays and a major holiday. What was I thinking picking November to complete this challenge? While I am not a big shopper I did take advantage of two cyber Monday deals to buy 5 Christmas gifts. I saved a significant amount of money and MR. Simplicity was even impressed.
- Don’t go to Target. I joke that when I go to Target I easily spend $100 on unexpected purchases. All of a sudden I find things in my cart and I have no idea how they got there. I did buy a new dress at Target in November for a wedding that I have in April. That was my only impulse purchase of the month.
- I am social. Much of my spending involves going out with friends for coffee or lunch during the day. I work for myself so if I want interaction with humans I need to create appointments. These appointments were decreased in November but they still occurred. I did find myself going to coffee shops a few times and not ordering anything. I also declined a social gathering that I was looking forward to because of the cost associated with it.
- I don’t like staying at home every night. I like being social not only during the day but also at night. I love having date night with my husband. We were creative by finding movie gift cards and I had some restaurant punch cards for free meals that had not been used. So look in your junk drawer and wallet for free options!
- I am high maintenance in the beauty department. If you know me, this comes as no surprise. I like getting my hair done every five weeks and a blow out if I have a special event. I did spend money for a blow out this month and it was the worst one I had ever received. I was so upset that I had wasted my budgeted money on it. Lesson learned, stick with the people you know and trust. In hindsight I should have contacted the business and told them their stylist did not listen to my request. But I am a person who avoids conflict, so the call was not made and the lesson was learned.
- I focused on projects around the house. I painted the interior entry doors of my home and a half bathroom with paint I had on hand. I started painting my golden oak word work as well. I will need to purchase several gallons of paint to finish this project. My office needed an update and I did purchase a new chair and curtains. It created a new look for minimal cost, and since it was within my budgeted money I felt good about the purchase.
- I missed fresh flowers. I typically have a fresh bouquet on my island in my kitchen. I buy them for myself about 75% of the time and other times they are from my husband. Neither of us bought flowers this month. But I did receive an arrangement for Thanksgiving from a friend so that was a nice surprise. I also created centerpieces from what I had on hand. I was pleasantly surprised at the results for zero cost!
- I cleaned out my closet. I finally cleaned out my closet with the clothes that I had held on to because of their value. I felt guilty for spending the money on them. Even though they no longer brought me joy, they still hung in my closet. I had a friend come over and she is selling the clothes for me. So far I have generated $90. This $90 offset the dress I bought for $30 at Target.
- I can say no. I needed to find a shirt for a special occasion and I went to the mall to find what I needed. I left the mall and instead went to a friends and “shopped” from her closet. I also found a really cute pair of winter boots. I buy a really good pair every other year and this is my year to buy a new pair. I found the boots. I didn’t buy them. They may go on my Christmas list this year, but I am guessing my husband and I are not exchanging gifts this year so they will go unpurchased.
If I compare my spending from last November to this November I know I spent a significant less amount this year. Reflecting back on the month and picking November as the month to do this experiment it actually was a good idea to try it the hardest month of the year.
I think the greatest lesson this month was simply being mindful of where I was spending money. I know my husband knows where every penny I spend goes, so he is not surprised by any of this. Since I am the spender it was a good lesson for me. Perhaps December should be paying for everything in cash. I know my husband would love to give me an allowance!
To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,
Melissa’s e-book on Kitchen Organizing can be found on Amazon.