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NoSpend November: How I reformed my spending.

by J. Money on Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Spend November - 09This is a guest post by Sox, and I think this it’s BRILLIANT!

Some of you might not remember, but giving up ‘shopping’ for Lent myself 2 years ago REALLY put things into perspective. I learned that it is actually possible to not step into stores every other day ;) Plus, you really do save a ton of money. Hope you enjoy this:
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I came across your site today and thought I would share an idea that I’ve been doing for several years now. It started out as a ‘Lent‘ type thing where I didn’t spend money for 40 days. Now I just do NoSpend November. I take a month and ‘fast’ on spending. It’s not easy, but it’s quite helpful in many ways.

Each time I’ve done this I have actually made between 50 and 200 dollars. Combine that with the money I didn’t spend, and the fact that I reformed my spending, it can have a big impact financially. Best of all, next month you’ll have a lower credit card bill. Here are my rules:

Unless otherwise indicated you can’t spend any expected income.

  • Salary
  • Wages
  • Rent owed
  • Established court settlements
  • Alimony

NO spending of already existing money in your possession.

  • Cash on hand
  • Gift cards

NO stockpiling.

  • You can’t buy gas on the day before it starts unless you need it.
  • No loading up on extra food. If you’re low on milk that’s ok, but you can’t buy a dozen frozen dinners

If you have any bills, you can pay them.

  • Credit card purchases from previous months
  • Medical prescriptions
  • Mortgage/rent
  • Utilities
  • Cell phone

If you have any thing owed to you, you can call it in.

  • Owed lunches/dinners
  • Money
  • Take someone to court (hah!)
  • Stuff that was borrowed

You can use money you get from selling things in your home.

You can spend money that is refunded to you in that month.

  • Credit card cash back checks/ gift cards
  • Medical reimbursement

Anything that you sell or get refunded must be spent after you get the money back.
So if you submit a reimbursement for medical expenses, or sell something online, you can’t spend money in anticipation of getting it. If you submit it and you don’t get anything sent to you that month… tough noogies. If you find out someone owes you money, you have to wait until they hand it to you.

Gambling is allowed with any eligible money (but I don’t recommend that) .

You can consume anything that you already have.

  • Food
  • Toiletries
  • Fuel (hard for those that are big commuters)

You can barter.

  • Make dinner for someone with your own food, get someone to take you out for dinner
  • Help someone out with a chore, get food or something else (not money) in return
  • Sell anything you receive by doing chores for others
  • Sell anything that was borrowed and then returned to you
  • Sell anything for profit that you buy that month with eligible money

I think that’s all… In the end you can potentially:

  • Reduce excess crap in your pantry
  • Eliminate items you shouldn’t have bought
  • Get evened out on things that people owe you
  • Get in better shape from walking instead of driving
  • Hang out with friends more
  • Lose weight by eating more frugally (saving and eating leftovers)
  • Eat healthier by cooking your own food
  • Best of all, next month you’ll have a lower credit card bill.

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Big thanks to Sox for sharing his thoughts! You can track his progress over at No Spend November.


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