Since deciding to slow down my blog posts, I have made an effort to spend less time online. I wavier between wanting to stay informed and up-to-date with my friends/family and wanting to give my brain a rest from the constant bombardment of Black Friday ads, political news and mannequin challenge videos. I still have a long way to go regain some mental “white space”.
As far as my “No Spend November” goes, I had some great success initially. At the beginning of the month, I pulled out cash to last until the 15th (my husband gets paid on the 1st and 15th of each month). I carefully spent per category when needed and adjusted my cash envelops when an unexpected bill came our way. We were able to add $1,625.34 towards our goal of paying $10K on our mortgage by 12/31/2016. We ended the pay period with $14 leftover.In addition to using cash, I have been working hard to have no spending days. So far this month, I have had 10 days where no money left our accounts or cash envelops. Three days, I spent money on bills and needs only. Unfortunately, there have been six days where I brought things that were not budgeted for.
The best part of using cash only has been my husband’s spending funds. Typically I never really know how much he will spend each paycheck and make adjustments as he uses the credit card. Having a set amount dedicated to him has helped tremendously. I no longer need to check our online banking a million times a day. Plus, giving him a limit has reduced his spending. He didn’t use all of $200 and I was able to reallocate some of it to the unexpected bill. This is definitely something I plan to keep doing.
Despite all the success I had, I did not immediately take out cash on the 15th of the month. Part of me was focusing on seeing how long I could go without spending money. I feared that once I removed the cash, I would find ways to buy something. For the most part, it worked. I had an amazing 5 day streak where I focused on not spending or using gift cards if there were items I needed. Then Friday, November 18th happened. I attempted to beat the holiday crowds by doing grocery shopping before work. I was rushed and did not do a great job of really meal planning. I broke my rule and tried getting groceries for two weeks instead of a week. Not only did I go over budget for food/groceries, I am realizing I didn’t buy some of the main staples I will need like bread and vegan items for my son. I also used my credit card to make all the purchases. As a result, I over spent on three budget categories by $56.84. I am feeling a bit defeated since I know all of this could be avoided had a stuck with the rules I set up for myself.
So where do I go from here? Today I will readjust my budget and pull out the cash I need. I will focus on limiting spending. I’ve hit my November goal for how much I wanted to save this month towards the $10K. Now I just need to make sure that I don’t have to pull those funds out of the payoff account for any reason.
How are your November goals coming?