Graduated Learning: Life after College

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

No-Spend November: Week 4 Recap November 30, 2011

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 11:15 pm
Tags: , ,

I figured I’d wait until the end of the month, since there’s a little more than 4 weeks in the month.  So, here we go:

Tuesday Nov 22:  I gave in and got soup at the work cafeteria.  $2.55

Wednesday Nov 23:  Driving home to NJ for Thanksgiving.  Some traffic made me decide to take a detour and look for a pit stop.  Found a random tiny diner to use the facilities, then felt bad for just using their place for the bathroom, so I bought a $2.25 burger.  Not worth the cost, but oh well.  Was on the road for quite a few more hours (boo traffic) so I guess it was good that I ate something.  Also, tolls (tallied up on my Fast Lane) for that trip:  $9.90

Thursday Nov 24:  Thanksgiving!  The only thing I spent was time with my family 🙂

Friday Nov 25:  My mom gave me an early Christmas gift:  a visit to her local hair salon so I could get highlights to blend away the gray hairs!  The hairdresser was pretty surprised at how much gray hair I had.  But I think she did a good job camouflaging it!  So, that was “free” as a kind gift from my mom.  I think she knew I wouldn’t do it otherwise!

The family tradition is going to a local shop run by a high school friend’s aunt.  That’s the only place we went, so we avoided the insane Black Friday shoppers.

Later that night, I drove with my younger sister to my older sister’s house to hang out with her and her husband.  On the way back to my parents’ house, noticed my gas tank was getting low.  Fuel up costs:  $33.86

Saturday Nov 26:  The thing about coming home is that we get a little spoiled.  Fun things included:  Going to the movies! We saw Arthur Christmas.  It was super cute, and really funny!  The kind of movie that I probably could only have seen with my family 🙂

Afterwards, we went to a local Mexican restaurant that we love.

My parents were awesome enough to pay for the movie and dinner.  Hooray them!  Thanks 🙂

Sunday Nov 27:  Didn’t want to leave!  Love being with my family.  Stopped partway home to grab a coffee and a small fries from McDonald’s to keep me awake and keep my stomach from growling.  $2.12.  Total cost of tolls for drive back to Boston:  $14.30 (I took the Tappan Zee Bridge both directions, they only charge going South/East)

Monday Nov 28:  Brought my lunch.  But I got tempted by all the Cyber Monday sales.

I had won a gift certificate from Cuddl Duds by entering their “Quote of the Day” contest.  (You can still submit your quotes for a chance to win!), and I also knew they were having a Cyber Monday sale of 30% off…I figured it was my best chance to get a good deal!  I went for the top and the leggings from the Activewear Lightweight clothing.  After discount and gift certificate, $9.80

Then, I was on the Kohl’s website, and realized that there was a slightly different selection of Cuddl Duds for sale.  There was some overlap between sites.  So, that made me decide I’d get the Activewear stuff directly from Cuddl Duds, but then I caved seeing the insane sales plus extra 20% off (making most other options cheaper than buying direct) plus free shipping, so I went for the ActiveLayer Top, then the Climatesmart Top and Pants.  I went a little nuts.  My logic was, hey, it’s cheaper on the Kohl’s website, but I have the gift certificate on the Cuddl Duds website, and only some things are available on each site….

My brain went crazy.  At least I got some good deals.  And if I regret these decisions, I can always return it (though, who am I kidding, I probably wont).  Total expense on Kohls.com:  $47.98

Oops.  Why did I buy all this?  My reasoning is that they’re good for outdoor activities, so between skiing, winter walks, and shoveling, I’ll get good use out of them.

Tuesday Nov 29:  Brought my lunch.  But then realized I needed shampoo/conditioner for my now color-treated hair.  Not sure how much it matters, but I wanted to make sure my highlights lasted!  And while I was at CVS I saw a coupon for $1.50 off any deodorant, so I picked up a new one while there.  I guess I cheaped out on the hair care, because I only spent $5.81 at the store.

Wednesday, Nov 30:  Last day.  I brought lunch.  But because of all the driving I did this month (i.e. a round trip between Boston and central New Jersey) I had to fill up the gas tank again.  $33.99.

This final “week”:  $162.56.

What a month!  I didn’t do as well as I hoped.  I caved a few times when it came to dining out or buying lunches.  And I spent more on gas than usual due to the extra driving.  Expenses I didn’t include throughout was rent, utilities, transfers to savings/retirement accounts, student loan payments, and my gym.  Why?  Well, most of those transactions are automatic, so they just happen on the days they’re scheduled for.  Yeah, my gym membership is charged every month.  $27/month.

So, total amount of money I consciously spent this month?  $438.05.  Not exactly no-spend, eh?  Some of these expenses were unavoidable (I need gas to drive to work!), some were splurges (going out to dinner, buying myself a new wardrobe of Cuddl Duds).  I’m planning on continuing to bring lunch to work as much as possible (though tomorrow we’re going out for a colleague’s retirement party…but Friday, I promise I’ll bring lunch!).  I know next month will be expensive, with more retirement parties, holiday parties, and Christmas gifts.  I haven’t started shopping for gifts yet, and I’ll try to not be too extravagant, but I do tend to spend a lot on other people for Christmas.  We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

So what do you think of my no-spend November?  Impressed at how little I spent?  Disappointed at how much I spent?  Or was that the exact amount you predicted I’d spend?

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3 Responses to “No-Spend November: Week 4 Recap”

  1. Kristin Says:

    I’d say you did pretty good! If your main goal was to not eat out for lunch, I added up my variable expenses for October and November, and I don’t think I ate out for lunch during the week once during these two months. October my variable spending categories were 591.95, and in November they were 597.35 with an additional 250 for my Christmas plane tickets. So I’d say you did pretty well!

  2. Dan Says:

    Perhaps meals should count as cost above replacement? A decent home-prepared meal is generally $2+ depending on ingredients.


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