As we tee up for a new month (November—already?) we also begin to brace for the turn of the season. No—we aren’t talking about winter. We are talking about spending season.
From daily pumpkin-spice latte runs to stock-piling holiday shopping (again, already?) our card swiping tends to heat up as the temperatures cool down.
Now, we love the holidays as much as the next, and we know that in preparing Thanksgiving dinner and coordinating a picture-perfect holiday season comes a costly bill. But, in attempts to off-set the damage, we are challenging you to No-Spend November. To help get you started, we have put together a list of 10 tips to get you started!
First things first—you’ll want to select a reasonable goal to work towards. Having a set number in mind will help you stay on track as you progress towards that mark.
If you enjoy going out to the movies, swap for a cozy movie night at home. Or, if your daily commute includes a coffee run, try making your coffee at home for the month. Every little bit that you save will help you inch one step closer to your savings goal.
Whether you want to have some extra gift-giving money for the holidays or you are trying to pay down bills, visualizing your end goal will help you stay motivated throughout the month.
Calculate where you are spending the bulk of your money to identify areas where you can cut back. The average American spends nearly half of their food budget at restaurants at roughly $3,350 (The Street). Instead, try finding more cost-effective meals that you can create at home.
You may forget the lunch you packed or need to break out the wallet for something throughout the month. Things happen! Give yourself a set cash allowance to use throughout the week.
It’s easier said than done, but try to ask yourself whether your purchase is a want or a need. Again, visualizing your savings can help you to prioritize what you purchase this month.
Whether it’s a family member’s birthday or you know your child will be doing a fundraiser for school, try to anticipate any outlier spending within the month and set a strict budget for these purchases. Moderation is key.
Save a little extra by finding ways to trim down the cost of your necessary expenses such as groceries and gas. Coupons, price match, and sale ads will be your best friend when it comes to putting a little extra cash back in your pocket. But be cautious to only buy the essentials and avoid deals that require you to buy larger quantities if you won’t make the most of them.
Starting on the 1st of November, the Black Friday ads will begin flooding your inbox. And while the deals seem like a no-brainer, remember that these deals (and sometimes better ones) will continue throughout the holiday season.
If taking on an entire spend-free month sounds a little daunting, pick a smaller goal to get you started. For example, try to refrain from going out to eat for the month or only buying coffee once a week. Even minor changes can help get you to boost your savings for the holiday season.