Looking for a quick way to save money fast? Why not participate in a No Spend November money saving challenge and save up for the Christmas Season. You could easily save $500 to $1000 just by not spending extra money in November. Here's how I did it!
After a busy summer and spending money frivolously with exciting camping trips, fall festivities and big projects around the homestead we were much over due for a spending freeze.
November is the time to get spending under control before the Christmas season starts! Here's how we saved $500 plus in time for the holiday season and some ideas to help you do the same!
WHY A NO SPEND NOVEMBER MONEY SAVING CHALLENGE?
November is the perfect time for us to have a no spend challenge for a few reasons:
The big spender is off on a hunting trip; which means our daily grind work routine slows down and I can get on top of spending, shopping and meal prep easier.
There are lots of great foods on sale and baking supplies making groceries cheaper
I won't be able to start shopping early for the holidays and can spend that time better preparing and getting creative to find deals or make gifts
Preserving the harvest is over, and it's time to reap the benefits of the hard work.
What are some reasons why November might be the perfect time for you to have a no spend month?
MONEY SAVINGS GOAL:
Start the no spend challenge by setting a goal and taking a hard look at where your money is going. Answer the five w's about your spending habits.
Here's a sneak peak at my spending habits and my No Spend November Goals.
Stop spending money frivolously and break the emotional attachment to spending.
The only person you are truly capable of changing is yourself. Take control of your financial situation by analyzing your own habits and changing what you can.
WHAT can you save money on?
Only spend money on the necessities to meet your basic needs. Try and cut out the extras and really question if you need that take out coffee.
WHEN could you save more money?
It's best to go shopping in the early morning with a full tummy and a list that matches your monthly meal plan. Pay attention to sales and try to shop less often.
WHERE could you spend less money?
I avoided the places where I spend most of my money and frequently visit which is Walmart, the grocery store and the dollar store. Having a list and only having cash made it easier to not grab extras when I did go to the grocery store.
WHY do you need to save more money?
Why would you participate in a no spend 30 day challenge? A no spend challenge is a great way to change your relationship with spending and money.
NO SPEND NOVEMBER- A Christmas Savings Plan
Here's a sneak peak into what I did every day in November to save money, go ahead a steal some ideas for your own spending freeze/no spend November!
1: Counted change in the house and tallied expected extra costs for the month. Put my credit card in the freezer.
2: Bought Halloween costumes and candy at 75% off using cash
3: I completed our monthly meal plan using food I already have in the freezer, fridge and pantry. Using PC points, I paid for my monthly grocery haul.
4: Made 5 batches of cookies using the discounted halloween chocolate and froze for my sons birthday party.
5: Made super cheap party favours for my sons lumberjack first birthday using discounted Hersey bars, marshmallows and graham wafers.
6: Made super moist, tasty Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes and smash cake for the birthday party using the frozen zucchini I preserved in the summer for Summer.
7: Made a Birthday Stats poster using left over scrapbooking bits I had laying around, and a $1.25 poster from the dollar store.
8: Planted our seed garlic we had saved from July for next years harvest.
9: Enjoyed meals from our October meal swap with a few good friends.
10: Made Mini Pumpkin pies to freeze for my husbands lunches. If I don't have the freezer packed with treats and leftovers he will go out for lunch!
11: Filled the kindling box and stacked firewood. A free workout.
12: Made handmade pizza dough and pizzas for dinner.
13: Made Homemade Christmas Cards using scraps and supplies I already had
14: Made my first loaves of bread using oats, honey and maple syrup we had.
15: Kept busy by planting our apple trees we had bought in the spring and having a fire to clean up outside.
HALF WAY THERE!
16: Returned a few party items I didn't need to the store, good thing I saved my receipts this month!
17: I cancelled the hall rental and hosted an outdoor party. I saved $75 on the hall rental! Made salmon finger sandwiches using our canned salmon. Asked a few family members to bring extras to help towards food spread.
18: I ran out of laundry soap so I researched how to make my own. I'm never going back now! It works just as well 🙂
19: Took inventory of baby items and things around the house to sell online that we didn't need or use anymore.
20: Remembered my Starbucks gift card I redeemed my swag bucks for on my birthday! Treated myself to a nice holiday latte and attended a holiday ceramics class I had prepaid for in September!
21: Picked up a few necessary groceries. I really should be milking the cows at the rate we go through milk and cream.
22: Used birthday money to go on a birthday adventure
23: Wrote out my December Bucket list, the holiday budget, meal plan and gift plan with frugality in mind. Chatted with family about a no spend Christmas and was surprised that they were happy to only buy for the kids this year!
24: I didn't buy new outfits for the kids Santa Photos. They still looked super cute when they met Santa and I used baby item money to pay for Santa photos.
Day 25: We ran out of diapers, instead of going to Walmart and picking them up along with extra things like I usually do I saved 20% off by subscribing to a monthly diaper delivery from Amazon. Also started really potty training!
So close to the end of the month!
26: Skimped on the last of the shampoo and conditioner, and found our stash of samples and travel size bottles. Signed up for some free samples online and started only washing my hair every other day.
27: Received bad news that one of our income sources took a huge hit- thank goodness we started living frugally- now to really stick with it!
28: Prepared for Black Friday using this awesome tips! and planned a toy swap with other mom friends for Christmas gift giving.
29: Went out for dinner using cash I had from some of the baby items I had sold this month. Spent my points and the last of my cash on Black Friday deals for the holidays.
Day 30: I DID IT! I am celebrating the month by not spending money, but enjoying what I love the most- being with my family and getting ready for one of my favourite months, DECEMBER! Bring on our 12 days of Christmas traditions 🙂
What I achieved:
I participated in the Instagram Thankful Homesteaders Photo Challenge. By focusing on gratitude for what I do have, helped immensely when it came to feeling like I needed more, or felt the need to spend. See the photos here and don't forget to follow me on Insta!
I didn't have a credit card payment at the end of the month! Hello pay cheque, what can I do with you ?! Feels good to not just put it all on the credit card.
What would you do if you didn't have a credit card balance when your pay cheque arrived?
I was forced to plan ahead for events and prepare budgets for what I needed, starting to prepare for my sons birthday a few weeks ahead with little money to spend saved me a ton of money.
I spent much less by making my own decorations, food and cake along with asking family members to make our bday t-shirts or bring an appetizer as a gift I saved huge compared to other parties I've hosted.
Majorly cut back on our electric bill by drying everything in front of wood stove except for towels. Only using the dishwasher twice. Keeping lights off during the short daytime hours. Only have lights on in the rooms we are in.
Feeling super motivated to be frugal yet thoughtful this holiday season. It's easier because my kids are to young to remember how many gifts they will receive, but will remember that spirit of Christmas.
That's why I'll be focusing on the 12 days of Christmas family fun instead of shopping!
Have you done a 30 Day No Spend Month? I'd love to hear how it went and what money savings tips you have! Comment below 🙂