No-Spend November 2022 is ON!

Early on in this blog, I wrote about a no-spend month week-by-week. This year I'm going to do a No-Spend November to set myself up for a low-spend winter. Read on to see my goals and ground rules.

No-Spend November Goals

I find that no-spend months are most successful if there's a meaningful goal to reach by the end of the month. For this No-Spend November, I want to use the money I save to tackle some credit card debt I accumulated while traveling all summer (Memorial Day to mid-October travel has not been kind on my CCs). Here are my plans to achieve those goals:

  • Limit grocery shopping to the essentials and use up what's already available in the pantry, fridge, and freezer. My usual monthly grocery shopping totals between $400 and $500, and my goal for No-Spend November is to limit the grocery budget to $200 or less. This gives me $50 to work with each week for my Misfits Market orders. Totally doable!
  • Cut back on driving for errands. Every month, I put about 1300 miles on my car for my commute, and another 700 miles or so for errands every weekend that require driving to a bigger city. Cutting out those 700 miles of errands will save me a tank of gas (about $50) over the course of the month. It's not a huge savings in the grand scheme of things, but the big savings come from not paying for those errands.
  • Cut out shopping for anything that isn't absolutely necessary. Discretionary spending is something that I still struggle with and overdo. As a minimalist, I try to avoid bringing excess things into my home, so I tend to buy more expensive, higher-quality items and experiences. Cutting out the visits to fancy wine shops and markets, brand-new clothes from sustainable brands, and dinners out is something I anticipate will keep me from spending anywhere from $1000 to $1500 in November.

Ground Rules for No-Spend November

I'll keep this simple because I think No-Spend months should be pretty easy to figure out:

  1. I'm not using October or December as splurge months. I want to set myself up for a successful low-spend winter.
  2. I'll limit grocery purchases to an as-needed basis.
  3. I won't be paying for any clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc., either new or secondhand. I can still use loyalty points to shop, but only if they bring an item's cost down to $0.
  4. I won't be going out to lunch or dinner at restaurants.
  5. I'll still use however much heat and water is necessary to stay comfortable at home. This isn't stinky-freezy November.

And that's about it for ground rules. 

Assorted Thoughts

Of course, none of this will work without plans to keep myself occupied. With the time saved by cutting out errands and shopping, I'm planning to: 

  • deep-clean my entire house
  • play video games
  • work out more often
  • write more

There are a couple of costly commitments on my calendar that I cannot avoid or reschedule that might make my No-Spend November a slight failure:

  • I have a tattoo appointment scheduled for the middle of the month, and I kind of forgot about it until after I initially wrote this post.
  • My car is about to hit 50,000 miles and will need new tires before the worst of the usual snow storms hit, and good tires aren't cheap.

But to try to stay positive... I have a huge stash of loose leaf tea, so I'll be sipping on jasmine oolong and jasmine silver needles all November long. (Fun fact, I was sipping on jasmine oolong when I named this blog.)

I'm hoping that No-Spend November will have a handful of positive side effects:

  • Maybe I'll gain a deeper appreciation for the people and things in my life.
  • Maybe I'll lose a few pounds by being more creative with cooking and devoting more time to physical fitness activities.
  • Maybe my house will come out of No-Spend November in a permanently easy-to-clean state.
  • Maybe my friends will be encouraged to do a low-spend winter with me, and we'll all come out of February or March happier and a little wealthier.

Just like last time, I will be posting weekly run-downs of what I accomplish, so be on the lookout for those if this is a topic that interests you. If you plan to have a no-spend or low-spend month in November as well, I wish you happy saving!