Make It a “No-Spend November"

We’ll dive into a few simple ways that No-Spend November can help you achieve your financial goals this year.

A recent study shows that at least a third of Americans are planning to spend less money on the holidays this year. There are many avenues to getting the money you need to offset financial deficiencies or pay for holiday necessities. We’ll dive into a few simple ways that No-Spend November can help you achieve your financial goals this year.

Figure Out What's Essential

No-Spend November is a time to challenge yourself to not spend money on anything that’s non-essential during the month of November. This can be especially challenging when advertisers are telling us to spend! Start by setting rules for the month. First, decide what the essentials are. Your list might include:

  • Mortgage or rent payments.
  • Water, electric, and other utilities.
  • Fuel and necessary transportation costs.
  • Groceries.
  • Internet and cell phone service.
  • Childcare if you and your spouse both work outside the home.

Set Spending Rules

Though we can’t avoid spending on the essentials, we can cut costs by being proactive about clipping grocery coupons or calling service providers to discover promotions that may be available. Additionally, you may want to refrain from some of the non-essentials. This is your set of rules, so adapt the list to what suits you and your family. Areas to consider would be:

  • Holiday shopping.
  • Dinners out.
  • New clothes.
  • Non-essential personal care (like getting your hair or nails done).
  • Travel, hobbies and recreation.

Set a Goal for Saving

Figure out how much money you’d like to save and how you want to spend it. Reviewing monthly expenses can help you focus on your spending goals. Will you use this extra money for the holidays, paying down debt, or for emergency savings? You can also maximize your savings by placing them in specific accounts that earn interest.

Tell Your Kids

Adhering to a strict family budget is a team effort. Schedule a money meeting with your family and go over ground rules for the month. Talk to your kids about what the benefits of saving and how it helps the family. Make it a competition and outline the fun elements of doing this together. You want saving to be a positive experience, and creativity goes a long way!

Plan Ahead

Planning meals and stocking up the pantry ahead of time can really cut food costs. Take inventory of your cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, and clothing before the month begins. You can also pay bills in advance and remove credit cards from your wallet that may tempt you to spend. Lastly, plan family outings or events that cost nothing.

By resisting temptations, discovering free family activities, planning meals, and setting your sights on the target, you and your family can benefit from spending disciplines and reaching financial goals sooner. Some of these practices may just reveal areas that can be removed from your budget and activities your family didn’t know you’d enjoy!

Check out more No-Spend November tips at the Boss Single Mama blog!