Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

No-spend November: Can it be done? November 5, 2011

Filed under: Boston,Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 1:32 am
Tags: ,

I decided to try out having a no-spend month.  And what better time than November?  No-spend No-vember!

Why did I start this quest?  I think there were a few reasons.

If you recall, my last blog post was about having a spendy weekend.  I bought stuff that I (mostly) needed, some stuff that I just wanted.  But it was a lot of money all in one weekend.

I also realized that I’ve been buying lunches at work A LOT.  Those costs add up.  AND, cafeteria lunches are not really the healthiest options.  So I was looking out for my wallet and my waistline!

And maybe I wanted to join in on a movement like the No-Shave November, more often called Movember.   It also inspired the guys at How To Do Everything to have a Beard Sprint.  And since I’m a lady, I couldn’t grow a beard.

Plus!  Brad from Enemy of Debt is also having a no-spend November!  His goal is No Restaurants for all of November.  With my main “no-spend” category being cafeteria food, I think this is a good goal to work with!

What are the rules?  There are always rules with these sorts of anti-spending challenges.  My main one is:  don’t buy lunches at work.  And while I rarely buy coffee, I also will not let myself be tempted by my need for caffeine.

Obviously, I’ll still be paying rent, paying bills, and buying gas when my car is running on empty or buying groceries when it’s my turn to fill the fridge.  And, to be honest, I’m really just focusing on not buying food while at work.  But the no-spend mentality is also going to be weighing on me all month.

I’ve already got a problem with this weekend.  I was planning on getting a long-overdue haircut.  And I’m attending a wine tasting with some friends.  (I’ve gone every year since the first year I wrote about it).

One last November habit I’m trying to build:  Using my Wii Fit every day.  To at least weigh in and take the balance test.  Then maybe a few activities to get in shape.  Between my better eating habits (not buying lunches) and my exercise, maybe I can get back to my college weight!

So can it be done?  And if I just consolidate my spending to one day a week, will you forgive me?  Are you in Enemy of Debt’s No Restaurant November?  Will you join us in our pledges to avoid spending?

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5 Responses to “No-spend November: Can it be done?”

  1. Dan Says:

    Rather than a no-spend November, which would seem to put a crimp in socializing, why not simply a planned-meal November?
    It is a positive added activity rather than something avoided, out of necessity.
    If a lunch is packed / dinner planned then that is what is handy. Absent a ready lunch, the alternative is to buy something (or to go hungry, which I don’t recommend).

  2. Kristin Says:

    I’m not a great cook, so the cafeteria at work was usually a chance to get a decent meal for the day for lunch or a healthy salad. Cooking for one person is difficult – if I tried to buy salad stuff it would go bad before I ate it pretty often. However, now that I’m in grad school there are no decent options for lunch near my classes, so I’ve either brought a lunch or waited until after class to eat at home.

    I’ve never done a no-spend month, but after a very spendy August (vacation, birthdays, moving, insurance), I’ve been watching my budget very carefully. October was probably my lowest spending total since I moved out of my parent’s house, but that’s mostly because I had no major annual or irregular expenses. It’s tough to be social with a larger group without spending money *somewhere*, usually on food, so I try to keep eating out expenses in check at other times.

  3. Sofia Says:

    This sounds like a great idea. Like you said everyone’s No Shop November might be a little different according their needs (gas to get to work, food for dinner, pet food so their four-legged friends can eat), but I think No Spend November overall is cutting out wants. This will def help out for budgeting for other stuff, like holiday shopping. Although if you read some other pf bloggers, they suggest shopping early for the holidays to avoid stress and getting some good deals. Then there’s always Thanksgiving and it’s pretty unlikely that you won’t be spending be money that Thursday. Whether it’s traveling to your Thanksgiving Meal or hosting Turkey Day yourself, the holidays even being one of the more minimal ones as far as obligations, other than showing up, ppl end up spending money. In the city I live in, this week there’s a ‘Dine In’ week, which is similar t ok Res
    So yes I think committing to something like ‘No Spend November’ is a great idea, just be sure to clearly define what you cant spend your hard earned cash on. Not buying lunch at work is a great one, more power to you Steph!

  4. Good Luck! This is a great idea 🙂

  5. […] I would give this ‘No Spend November’ a try. I got the idea from Stephanie over at Graduated Learning. Since this past weekend was Eid and I had a last minute trip back home to MA I didn’t […]


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