No Spend Challenge Update

For some readers, the No Spend Challenge could be done with ease and that is awesome! For me, a No Spend Challenge is difficult. It is especially hard when participating during the month of November.  

Let’s cue the smallest violin here, again. For starters, every store is now fully stocked with their transitional fall into winter pieces, which is arguably the best season for creating outfits. The latest trends that I’ve been obsessed with are faux leather leggings and shackets and both trends consume clothing racks nowadays. 

I also have been plagued with tempting Black Friday deals. For instance, Gymshark, my favorite athletic brand, is having their biggest sale with items up to 70% off. It is also my birthday month and Gymshark sent me a birthday coupon for 15% off. Despite the temptation, I’ve tried to remain focused on the goal I had set for myself in order to have a better relationship with money and shopping. 

Here’s my halfway point update on the No Spend Challenge.  Missed Part 1? You can read it here!

Let’s start with the “essentials” or the items that were nonnegotiable – I knew I’d be spending money on this in the month of November. 

Essentials:  

  • Bills and reoccurring payments (student loans, car payments, etc.).  

    Update: My bills have stayed the same. However, during the brutal wind storm, a tree branch fell on my car and caused some damage. While my insurance will help, it is smart to have extra money set aside for unpredictable instances like this!   
  • Groceries – I will continue to buy the same quality of food I normally buy but will meal prep more efficiently. I will also avoid the temptation of going out to eat (which shouldn’t be too hard as I prefer home cooked meals.) 

    Update: Meal prep has been great! I did however go out to breakfast with a friend that I hadn’t seen for some time. $14.00 for a breakfast isn’t going to blow my budget but I do need to be aware and not get into the habit of making excuses when I do “cheat” on my budget.   
  • Christmas gifts – our siblings do a secret Santa, capped at $50, and I will be buying for my parents, as well.  

    Update: I am that annoying person that goes over budget with a capped gift. My brother is extremely hard to buy for and would prefer an experience over a tangible gift. So when the opportunity presented itself, I snagged tickets to a comedy show I knew he’d enjoy. I went $20 over the $50 cap.  
  • Beauty – I rarely get my hair done and I don’t ever get a manicure, however, my eye brows are my pride and joy. I typically go every 2 weeks but I can push it to only going 1 time in November.  

    Update: I have aced this test so far! I’ve found that my brows have a better shape when I push the length of time in between appointments from 2 weeks to 3. I got my eyebrows done on the 13th of November so my next appointment will be in December.  

Now the hard part– the non-essentials! These are the factors that I knew would be the biggest challenge for me in November.  

Non-Essentials: 

  • No clothes! My heart hurts thinking about it but I know my wallet will thank me! 

    Update: I did have to go to TJ Maxx for a last minute Secret Santa gift, and although I tried on some outfits, I ended up putting everything back! Baby steps, right? 

    I’ve found that Instagram plays a large role in my spending habits. Many accounts that I follow are fashion blogs so I am constantly seeing outfits that are up my alley. Currently, I have 14 tabs open on my phone with clothes that I’ve been eyeing. All in all, the tabs total $598.71. Yikes! Something that I’ve found out about myself, however, is that if I let the clothes sit in those tabs for a couple of days or weeks, when I return to look at them, I don’t even want them anymore!  
  • No going out to get drinks (remember when I said I underestimate how many times I do this? I think I’ll ace this category!). 

    Update: I have correctly guessed that I would ace this category. My life has been so super busy in November that I haven’t had time to go out for drinks or food.  
  • No ordering out or getting take-out. 

    Update: Again, a super easy category for me! I prefer to cook my meals because I like to know what ingredients are being used. It also can be really hard to find healthy take-out meals. 

November is already halfway done so as the month starts to come to an end, let’s stay focused on the goals we have set and finish this challenge off strong!  

Did you miss Part 1?  Read about the No Spend Challenge here!