You’ve probably heard of Dry July, but have you heard of No-Spend November? No-spend November is a challenge where you only spend money on essential items such as rent/mortgage, utility bills and groceries/medicine. It means no take-away, no eating out or buying a drink at a bar, definitely no online shopping for clothes and shoes. Depending on how essential transport is for you, you may even give up driving or catching public transport and take up walking or riding a bike.
No-Spend November is all about getting in the right mindset and changing your relationship with money. So often we spend money without thinking about it, we create habits of buying lunch at work, grabbing a few drinks on a Friday or ordering take-away every Sunday. By setting yourself a challenge to not spend money on non-essential items, you may realise how much you can actually live without.
First thing you should do is tell the people in your life (your friends and family) that you are undertaking a no-spend challenge. Hopefully this will avoid any awkward situations where they may expect you to pay for dinner or shout a coffee. If you have dependents, you may need to make some additional exceptions to the no-spend list e.g. extra-curricular activities for children.
Before you start the challenge, write down a list of the things you will allow yourself to spend money on and use this list to hold yourself accountable.
There are many creative ways people come up with to not spend their cash. If you have ever seen the TV show Extreme Cheapskates, you will know that some people do the most unbelievable things to spend as little money as possible. A lot of hacks that these “extreme cheapskates” use can be pretty gross; like sharing dental floss or re-using mouth wash, even taking home other diner’s leftovers from restaurants. Others are just bizarre, like one man who cling-wrapped his whole home to retain its resale value. Another lady picks all of the grapes off their branches and peels the bananas before the fruit is weighed, so that she is not paying for any weight that she will not eat.
Obviously, you do not need to go to these lengths of frugality, but you will need to think outside the box. Instead of going out to dinner for a date or catch up with friends, try a walk through a park or invite your friends over for a movie night.
Another way to not spend money but also get something you may really need is to look on your local Buy, Swap and Sell Facebook page. You could strike up a deal with a member to swap something you no longer need for something you do need.
If you are feeling the urge to scroll through pages of The Iconic looking for a new outfit, get away from your screen and try a new hobby such as colouring in, riding a bike or concocting a new recipe of all the leftovers in your pantry.
Remember, it’s only 4 weeks, so stay strong and watch those savings add up! Hopefully you will form some better habits that you can continue to use after the challenge is over.
Important: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. Consider the appropriateness of the information in regard to your circumstances.