Changing your money habits can be hard. What is good to do and where do you even start? Sometimes it can feel so difficult, that we keep delaying our good intentions to some point in the future.
We have just the challenge for you: No Spend November. If you’re clueless on where to start changing your money habits, start here. No Spend Novemberis fun, challenging and very effective.
So what is No Spend November?
A whole month of no spending - except on the essentials. That’s what No Spend November is all about. Of course, your fixed costs aren’t going anywhere this month, and you also need to eat and use transport. But other than the bare essentials, you don’t spend money during No Spend November.
Are you up for the challenge? Read about why to join No Spend November, how can you set up your own rules and how to start. We’ll explain in this article.
Spend nothing and learn
When money comes in, and it’s sitting at your bank account, smiling at you, it’s tempting to spend it. Maybe you’re the type who loves spending and you know it. You know you could save more money, but you have no idea where to start and at the end of the day, you buy more than you intended. Sometimes you feel guilty about it.
Other people don’t feel like big spenders, but sometimes your budgets are however empty at the end of the month and you’d wish you could change it, but you’re not sure how.
Even people who don’t spend much, who budget wisely and have a good money system, could still benefit from a No Spend November. It’s an invitation to learn even more about your money habits and get even better at handling money like a pro.
We don’t always understand our own money decisions
We make money decisions all the time. Some people know a lot about what they spend and how much a milk carton and a jar of peanut butter costs. Other people just spend and see their bank account empty out each month.
We generally think we are very aware about our spending choices, but a lot of money behaviour is led by emotions and your money mindset, based on past experiences and the role money played when you grew up.
Spend nothing and learn about your money behavior
This is where No Spend November comes in. You decide to not spend any money for a month, and you’ll soon find out it changes your normal life. Do you always get a Starbucks when catching the train? Not this month! And do you order food when you’re too tired to cook? Not today! See this really cool new product you absolutely need right now, as you are being bored lying on the couch anyway? That’s another no.
Your normal money behaviour gets interrupted by No Spend November. It’s that interruption that will provide space to learn new things about yourself, your finances and your habits.
You’ll start wondering. Is it necessary to buy a coffee to go each time I travel? Do I really need to order in food when I feel tired? Do I need to spend that much money on random little things each month?
Is it worth my hard earned money?
Do I really need this as much as I think I do?
Would this end up in the back of my closet anyway? How can I tell?
See how much you spend
No Spend November shows you all the no’s. Things you would normally buy, you now don’t. It’s very visible, more than ever, how much you spend. You break your patterns in such a rigid way. It’s a challenge and it’s fun. Of course you know: November will end and a new month will come. You’ll notice these two things:
- It pauses your impulsive spending, which gives you more time to think about the things you wanted to buy. Do you still really want them after November is done?
- It disrupts your normal luxury, comfortable spending habits. The coffee in the train, the lunch from the restaurant, new clothing, and you’ll notice you buy lot’s of small things as well.
See how much you save
So on the one side you start ‘feeling’ your spending behaviour. All the ‘no’s’ you keep telling yourself, are obvious and present. On the other side, there’s all that money you are not spending, just laying around doing nothing. Did you have any idea you would be able to save this much money in a month?
It’s about better habits overtime
Doing a No Spend challenge is fun. I mean, can you do it? Doing the challenge isn’t about the large amount you’ll save in one month, and then spend it all the next. You can do that, obviously. But it gets really interesting when you learn things you can take with you in the months and years to come.
You can’t live a No Spend life, as this is not realistic and completely unnecessary. It does however make sense to say goodbye to habits that cost you money, that don’t bring you much joy. It’s also nice to have a filter between impulsively buying things from the internet and taking the time to think about whether you will actually use it, or that it will just fill another shelf in the garage.
How to do it
Let’s get practical. You want to do a No Spend November. Where do you start and how do you do it? Follow the easy steps and you’re good to go:
- Decide on your rules and make a plan. What are your fixed costs and what will be your grocery budget? What are the things absolutely necessary to spend money on, and which things will you leave out this month? Set some rules for yourself and follow them.
- Do you have a particular hobby or habit that costs you quite some money? For example, buying lots of clothes, more shoes you don’t need (but are very nice indeed), more accessories for your phone/laptop/home office. Decide to not spend money on that, but be mindful instead. How often do you use the products, and do you really need more? And do you need to spend as much as you do, or is -let’s say- half the budget fine too? Since you’re not buying anything this month, you have extra time for these thoughts.
- Slow down. Be mindful on what you’re not buying this month and research your motives. Is it worth the convenience, or the small high you get when buying? Could you fulfil this desire in other ways?
- Be kind to yourself. Do you buy something that you shouldn’t have? That’s ok. Nothing is wasted, you’re learning and you can continu doing so while sticking to the challenge.
- No Spend November could be any other month too. It will be just as interesting and challenging!
Your changes will be for the good
You will learn something during your challenge and new habits can form. This really boosts your self confidence, and it wears out in other areas in your life too. This fun ripple effect makes it worth your energy even more.
Let’s awaken the money pro inside of you!