November Money Challenge
Welcome to November folks! With the start of a new month we’re going to be kicking off a new monthly money challenge. But first, how did you do on your October Monthly Challenge?
If you remember way back when, the challenge for October was to reduce your eating out budget. My goal was to actually stay within my allotted eating out budget of $500 a month for both my husband and I. So… how’d we do?
We were…. So fucking close!
Going into the last weekend of October we had spent $518 on fast food, restaurants, and takeaway. We had plans to order take out and binge watch Stranger Things. A delivered pizza set us back about $30. So, that put us at $550-ish after the weekend – in which we did pick up fast food for lunch. Twice.
My husband picked up one more lunch on Monday the 30th so our final eating out budget came in at $588 for the month!
Could it have been better? Absolutely. Am I still pleased with it, regardless? Fuck yeah! We still spent $310 less than we did in September – which was much needed because, as Murphy would attest, something else always pops up. In our case, having to purchase a new toilet for our guest bathroom.
This shows me that initial budget I had set – $500 a month is not out of reach and that with just a little bit of planning we could come in really close to meeting that budget most months. We still went out with friends during the month of October and did not turn down any invites. So, we weren’t hermitting ourselves, either. Plus, my husband got into a better groove with bringing his lunch a couple times a week, which is always good.
And, we hit our grocery budget exactly on the head, as well! And I still ordered delivered groceries one really crazy week. The rest was trips to Aldi. So, all in all, I’m pretty proud of our accomplishments in not spending this month! Go us!
Now, October has passed us by and we’re into November. A ridiculously expensive month when you take into account the Thanksgiving holiday and everyone getting a jump on their Christmas shopping.
So, what type of challenge do I propose for November? Why, a No Spend November, of course!
Now, before you panic and close your browser window, I’m not proposing a “don’t spend any money at all” type of November. What I am proposing is that you set rules for your November spending in order to keep things from spiraling out of control.
November and December are inherently spendy months thanks to the holidays. But you can do things to make it easier.
Here are my rules – feel free to make your own.
No Personal Spending!
I’m not going to spend any money on myself this month! No new shoes or makeup or books (yes, books!). No impulse purchases of pretty colored highlighters or adult coloring books or knitting needles. NONE OF IT!
Stick to the Eating Out Budget!
We made such good progress in October that I want to keep it going for November! So, let’s keep it up!
Put All Non-essential Spending on Hold
There are things I’ve been meaning to buy – mostly things for around the house like a new shower curtain or a new laundry basket or a cuter end table for our front room – things like that that I would normally roll into our general “shopping” category that I’m not going to spend on in November!
I’ll do my damndest to wait until after December, even, to pick up any of these odds and ends. This will take iron will power, for sure!
So what do you think? Is this too extreme for you? If it is, feel free to pick just one rule to focus on this month. Or make your own! Let us know what rule you pick in the comments!