Home » #NoSpendNovember

Tag: #NoSpendNovember

#NoSpendNovember: Fun + Free Ideas!

Photo by Drew Geraets on Unsplash

One of the biggest challenges for me during #NoSpendNovember is to find things to do that are free – and fun!

I work mainly from home, and it’s important to find things to do outside the house. I enjoy being able to work in my pajamas, but it does get old after a bit. Most of the time, I leave my weekly shopping trips to during the week, and use that as an excuse to get out. When the weather’s nice, I make a trip to my local park for a hike. It’s tempting to hit Target on the way home, though!

We’re almost halfway through the challenge right now, and I’m sure some of you are struggling to find things to do like me! Today I wanted to share a few things I’m doing that are fun, free ideas to keep busy!

#NoSpendNovember: Fun + Free Ideas

Idea #1: Get outside!

Instead of spending time walking through the mall, get out and enjoy some fresh air! Go on a walk through your neighborhood and enjoy all the fall colors and home decor. If you’re lucky to live somewhere with a great parks system (like me!), take advantage of all they have to offer! Part of my #NoSpendNovember challenge is to unplug more often, and getting outside helps. It’s also a great way to get some free exercise!

Idea #2: Get sweaty for free!

If you typically spend money to work out, whether it’s a gym membership or online streaming program, consider the free options out there! Instead of paying for group yoga classes this month, try out Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. She has 30-day programs, beginner lessons, meditation practices, and more advanced stuff too! I’m also a big fan of Blogilates, Popsugar, and Tone It Up on YouTube as well!

Idea #3: Curl up with a good book!

Now that it’s getting cold outside, there is nothing quite like curling up under a blanket with a book and a cup of tea. Check out my earlier post on how to read for free, grab a book or ebook, and get reading!

Idea #4: Clean & declutter your space!

Part of the reason many of us do #NoSpendNovember is to deal with just how much stuff we really need in our lives. Instead of spending your Saturday morning thrift shopping (like I often do), work on cleaning up your space. Give the bathroom a good scrub down, shred old paperwork you no longer need, and reorganize your sock drawer. A clean, simplified space can be calming and soothing – something we all could use more of these days!

Idea #5: Give back!

In addition to donating old clothes or home goods, consider giving away some of your time as well! Volunteering is a great way to spend some time making new friends, staying busy, and having a positive impact on your community. There are so many ways to volunteer, from tutoring students, cooking for the homeless, cleaning up your local park, or even cuddling puppies at your local shelter!

I hope everyone is having a great time with their #NoSpendNovember challenges! If you have any other great ideas for fun + free ideas, leave a comment below!

#NoSpendNovember: Reading Tips

#NoSpendNovember Reading Tips

Reading is one part of my life that’s easy to adjust to the #NoSpendNovember challenge. I don’t buy books very often, and have given up reading magazines for the most part. Plus, there are so many ways to get your reading fix for free!

I’ll admit that it might be easier for me to do this because I don’t re-read books. It doesn’t make sense for me to buy a book I’m only going to read once. The only time I prefer to buy a book is when I go on vacation – no stress over leaving it in an airport/hotel, or destroying it while reading on the beach.

If you’re a bookworm on a budget like me, here are some ways you can read for little to no cost!

#NoSpendNovember: Reading Tips!

Tip #1: Use your local library!

If you haven’t been to your local library lately (or ever), they’re worth checking out! Most public libraries now have a lot more than books. My library system has print books, electronic books, magazine subscriptions, along with digital movies, television shows, and more! If you have a tablet, your library probably as access to apps like OverDrive for digital books, or Zinio for magazines. I prefer to read magazines this way (they subscribe to pretty much anything I would already buy), and I’m currently in the middle of reading What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding on my iPad.

Tip #2: Use your stash!

Many of us buy books with the intention of reading them, only to put them on the bookshelf and forget they exist. Instead of buying a new book, see if you have any books at home you haven’t read yet! I own fewer than 20 books, but I know there are at least 2 on my shelf I haven’t gotten to yet. So at least for November, I can work on those before buying something new next month!

Tip #3: Host a book swap!

I don’t know why more people don’t do this, to be honest! Many of us have friends or family who also read a lot, and why not give your old books a new home? In exchange, you’ll also go home with a stack of new reads for free! Tell your friends to bring a few books they no longer need, and have a swap meet!

Tip #4: Download a free book app!

If you’re a fan of reading classical literature, definitely check out the Free Books app on iTunes. I’ve had this app for several years, and though it’s not perfect, they do have hundreds of public-domain classics you can read for free! You can also check out other free reading apps for just about any device – your phone, tablet, or reading device like Nook or Kindle will even have free books to download.

 

#NoSpendNovember Challenge

#nospendnovember challenge

#NoSpendNovember Challenge

Why am I doing this?

Because I’m a glutton for punishment.

I’m just kidding – sort of.

Looking forward to the holidays, I always end up feeling a bit overwhelmed. There is so much do to, bake, see, and BUY. Between gifts, baking extra goodies, sending out holiday cards, parties, buying an extra pair of gloves (I lose mine all the time), and all the extra coffees while I’m out shopping, it adds up. There is also so much pressure to “keep up” with everyone else during the holidays.

I doubt I’m alone in this. Many of us feel financial fatigue come January, which is a terrible way to start off the new year. This year, I’m trying to cut out at least some of the holiday spending – especially in November. I find that if I only give myself a short window to holiday shop, I can’t go overboard.

What are the ground rules?

While it would be ideal to go fully no-waste, 100% no-spending this month, that’s not realistic for me. I need to eat, after all! So instead of saying “don’t spend any money at all,” I’ve set some ground rules for myself this month:

Stay off of my Amazon account

Amazon is the devil for impulse spending. It’s so easy to go on there to order more moisturizer, and end up with a $100 order of god-only-knows-what. I have to use Amazon for my job, but I’m determined not to log into my actual account, so it’s less tempting to shop while I should be working.

Unsubscribe From Marketing Emails

Another project I have set for this month is to clear out my inboxes of marketing-heavy emails. I’ve signed up for way too many newsletters and product affiliate email chains over the past year. Now my inbox is flooded with ads, coupons, and other super-tempting marketing messages. Instead of hopping on Nasty Gal to dream of clothes I’m 10 years too old to pull off, I gotta hit the unsubscribe button.

no Beauty-Related Purchases

You have enough of that shit, Heather. Use what you’ve got.

I know I’m not alone in this one, either. I don’t need a dozen different lipsticks – I barely wear it anyway. So for this month, I’m determined to use what I have and hopefully fall back in love with some old favorites. I also got some new samples this month to try out, and I’ll save those for days when I’m dying to go to Ulta!

Do More DIY Projects

I have a few sitting around the house I haven’t started yet. Instead of shopping online for the perfect pair of loafers, I plan to spend the month on getting things done around the house. This should be easy to pull off without spending any extra!

Sell Some of Your Shit

I signed up with ThredUp recently, and hope to donate/sell some of my summer clothes I didn’t wear this year. My hope is to use that money to update my winter wardrobe without spending a dime this month!

There are exceptions

There is no way I can survive November without spending any money. So to make things more manageable and realistic, I’m allowing myself a few exceptions:

  • One day each week, I get to have a coffee at my local cafe during my “work out of the house day.” Working at home every day is not good for my sanity, so I consider this a “work necessity.”
  • Limit “extra” grocery trips to once a week. Instead of going every other day for extra ingredients for dinner or whatever, I need to plan better so I don’t have to do this.
  • Black Friday / Cyber Monday is going to be a “cheat day” for me. I do plan to get a holiday gift list ready to go, so all I have to do is pop online and buy whatever I need to. No extra spending on myself – only for others!

What are my goals for #NoSpendNovember?

Taking on a no-spending challenge sounds daunting for me, but I hope it’ll feel worth it at the end! There are a few things I’m hoping to take away from this experience:

More Money at the end of the month (duh)

Of course, the idea behind this is to have a little extra money at the end of the month that I can put towards bills, holiday stuff, or just to toss in my savings account and leave it be. The idea is to be able to enjoy the holidays without worrying about my bank account so much.

Combatting boredom spending

Yeah…I go shopping when I’m bored. Sue me. This month I’m hoping to break the cycle of going out shopping when I’m bored or need a break. Working from home is great, but sometimes being cooped up at home for too long drives me nuts. So for this month, I will try to find no-cost alternatives to shopping when I’m dying for something to do. Look out for a post on that soon!

Make use of what I already have

I’m super guilty of wanting to buy things instead of looking to see if I already have them. Do I need another throw blanket? Candles? Another pretty notebook? No…I have plenty of that shit. I also have things in my closet that I don’t wear because I need to fix them, home decor projects I just need to get done, and more bottles of shampoo than is reasonable. Instead of going through a de-cluttering rampage in January, I want to use up what I have so there is less to deal with in the first place.

Whew! That’s a lot to take in for the coming month!

Come back here every Monday this month for some #NoSpendNovember challenge ideas! I’ll also be sharing my ideas on Instagram (check out for the hashtag #NoSpendNovember!)

Welcome to November!

welcome to november

Photo by Alex Geerts on Unsplash

Welcome to November!

As we race ahead to the holiday season, I’m excited to bring you some fun posts this month! In addition to some Thanksgiving-themed posts, I’m also challenging myself to a #NoSpendNovember. Look for posts every Monday that will (hopefully) motivate us all to spend a little less, ideas for fun and free things to do, and budget DIYs to spruce up your life without spending anything…or at least not so much! December always ends up being such a budget blowout for many of us. Taking a month off of spending on frivolous stuff will help us clear our minds, closets, and maybe even beef up our bank accounts!

This month, I’ll also be working with a few brands to help promote products I’ve been loving lately that also won’t break the bank (when you get back to spending up a storm in December). Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also coming up this month, and I’ll be sharing my favorite online deals that you can take advantage of – don’t worry…I’ll probably break my “no spending” rule that day too. Gotta get those gifts early and super on sale, right?

Today is also #WorldVeganDay! While eating all that discounted Halloween candy, here are a few of my favorite vegan recipes to whip up for dinner tonight!

Acorn Squash and Black Bean Empanandas (from Veganomicon)

Superfood Vegan Mac ‘n’ Cheese (from Goop)

Homemade Falafel + Cucumber Dressing (from A Beautiful Mess
*The dressing isn’t vegan, but you could easily substitute vegan sour cream!

The Best Vegan Apple Crisp (from Minimalist Baker)