Personal Finance

Mid-Month Review: No Spend November

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?


12 thoughts on “Mid-Month Review: No Spend November

  1. It sounds like you had a many wins this month so far! I would focus on that and not be too hard on yourself. You made a tremendous deposit toward your house pay off goal!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I just stumbled upon your instagram and I’m now catching up on your blog. Love it! I really like the color coded calendar for no spend, bills/needs spent, and unbudgeted spending. I need to do this to highlight where the “leaks” are, I think they are linked more to certain day or events rather than a particular category going over. Thanks for writing. I enjoy it!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You are coordinating a lot by accounting for your husband’s spending as well as your own. It’s important to celebrate the wins. I budgetvper paybperiod too. One of the reasons I like that method is that it allows for a fresh start every two weeks if things haven’t gone the way you would have preferred. I’ve been struggling with extra expenses the last month as my son has had lots of activities to fund. Use your energy to refocus on your goals and why they’re important instead of using your energy for guilt. Xo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Seems to me like the experiment worked very well! Don’t let one setback make you feel defeated, you’re doing a great job. My husband is very similar in that a specific spending limit works best. We used to try to use credit cards for shopping for the rewards, but had to give that up because it didn’t work. Now we just use the checking account and have for years. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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