No Spend November- Reflection

I wasn’t perfect. Not by a long shot. But I did so much better than I have been doing. And that’s what’s important.
The things I bought:

  • A few meals out, although nothing really elaborate.
  • A $35 mini shop vac as I was really hoping I’d get one for my birthday and didn’t. I couldn’t handle the junky larger vacuum ANY longer. 
  • A beautiful and high quality Cinderella themed ring I’d been lusting after for nearly 2 years now. It went on clearance, and they only had one in my size left. I was torn up about the decision, so I asked for my friends’ thoughts while we were out. 
  • A new mini washing machine. My 2 year old one has been jerry-rigged for about a year and a half and now it simply doesn’t drain water at all any more despite snaking it. I did a bit of research before I decided on a hand-crank one. I like that I can repair it myself, unlike the one I have now. The last one saved me a lot of money compared to the laundromat, so I’m not terribly upset. The reviews for this one are much better in terms of longevity, however, so I’m excited for it to arrive.
  • Detachable bangs. If I cut my own, I’m liable to look terrible until it grows out as I’ve not had bangs since I was 10. I’m not sure how I feel about having bangs.

Despite all that imperfection, I managed to save THREE paychecks this month. Now, my cash worth is ~$3,600. I don’t know if cash worth is a real thing, but I don’t intend to liquidate my assets(car, camper, etc) so my net-worth doesn’t really matter to me, despite the fact that they’d easily up my “value” by at least ten grand. I have enough cash squirreled away in the bank to pay for my final semester! If I manage to save three of my four paychecks next semester I’ll greatly exceed the $1,000 starter emergency fund recommended by Dave Ramsey. 

This is all well and good, but what advice do I have for people also trying to not spend any money?

  1. Disconnect your payment method from shopping sites.
    1. And unsubscribe from promotional emails.
    2. EBay doesn’t have my payment info anymore, and it’s helped me stop spending on there.
    3. Get rid of Amazon prime if you have it. Waiting to qualify for free shipping gives you more time to sleep on a purchase.
    4. Shop the dollar store. I mean the one where everything is actually a dollar. It might not be the cheapest for some products but I saved so much money due to expensive fancy just not being there. Beans, rice, vegetables, snacks, almondmilk- they have the basics. Meat and dairy milk, too, if you’re about that life.
  2. Find an incredibly cheap hobby. One that is so cheap that you can mooch off of friends and they’d be happy about destashing some supplies.
    1. Tatting while watching Netflix became my go-to lazing around hobby. You can make a starter shuttle out of cardboard and all you need is a ball of yarn or crochet thread(you can use any string but those are easiest for beginners). If you decide you really like it, a shuttle is less than $4. 
  3. Go home and tidy.
    1. If you’re at home you’re not out shopping and if you’re problem is like mine in regards to overspending, you likely have a clutter problem. This is a great time to begin tackling that!
    2. I am using Habitica to help get my home in order. No before and after photos yet. It’s still not good enough, but I did send some to my partner. That was nerve wracking!
  4. Invite friends over
    1. One night I had two friends over for taco night. Utilizing the dollar store we all enjoyed the meal, went back for seconds, and did I mention the meal for 3 only cost $6? That’s cheaper than a single organic frozen dinner!

Now, I must note, this isn’t to poor shame anyone. This is about self love. Provided we have the income, if we don’t save for our futures we are not loving the future versions of ourselves. If there really is no actual wiggle room, it’s important to reach out to organizations to help struggling families and individuals. Asking for help is so hard for so many of us to do, myself included, but there is no shame in it. Love yourself and do what you need to do to stay healthy, sane, and survive.