My Experience Doing No-Spend November

Being a student, money is one of the biggest stresses in my life. At the end of October, my finances were in a pretty terrible position, despite having a part-time job and a student loan. So, I decided to set my self a challenge not to spend any money in November…
Obviously, I couldn’t spend no money at all, otherwise I would have died and become homeless. The only money allowed to leave my account was £35 a week for a food shop, the money for our rent and my £52 a month phone bill (which thankfully went out really early in the month). I was only allowed to spend money outside of our weekly food shop on essentials – ie. if we ran out of milk or loo roll. I also said at the beginning of the month that spending money was also acceptable in case something essential broke. This meant no little trips out to Homesense just to ‘have a look’, no meal deals from Sainsburys and no little outings to Boots to get shampoo and walking out with £30 worth of make up and no shampoo. No, this meant living within my means. These were my rules. And I managed to stick to them…ish.

Days 1-7

After a little blip on the first of November (Cult Beauty released the new Huda Beauty palettes and I just couldn’t resist…) the first seven days were pretty easy. I packed myself lunches to take to uni with the food from our weekly food shop, avoided my cheeky pre-9am lecture Starbucks visits and didn’t even venture into Zone 1 so I didn’t need to top up my Oyster card. On day 6, our kettle broke but that was fine; tea is an essential to me and thus a new kettle was purchased. I didn’t even really notice that I wasn’t spending money, apart from my bank balance was a little healthier. I got paid from a pretty massive sponsored post that week as well, which also helped boost my bank account. Everything was going smoothly but I was itching to spend money. My John Lewis wishlist was starting to fill up and I was desperate to buy everything on it. But I refrained. Go me! 

Days 7-14

A week had passed and I’d managed to save £200 which I think is seriously impressive. I spent this second week of November also not spending anything. I really impressed myself. I believe the only money in this week that I spent was a top-up food shop at ALDI. Johnny and I were running out of essentials like milk, cheese and bread and so we went out and I paid for the food but it only amounted to around £20 which I didn’t think was too bad – especially as we did nab ourselves a few naughty treats alongside the bits that we actually needed. I was really happy with how my bank balance looked; I was being really good at not spending money. But was it too good to be true?

Days 14-21

Okay… so… I may have been a little naughty. I ended up spending £18 on myself that week. I bought a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick. It was Kim KW, a shade I’d wanted for so long, and I went into Peter Jones Sloane Square pretty drunk (I’d been at a blogging event with an open bar…) and the counter just called my name. I couldn’t help myself. However the lipstick was super pretty and by the I’d saved over £300 so the £18 on myself didn’t seem too bad. I also had to buy some Christmas presents that week. I had Johnny’s all ready to go in an Amazon basket and I got a notification saying that there was only one left in stock of the main present he wanted so I just took the plunge and bought all of his presents in one go. I don’t really count this because it was necessary and if I’d missed out on getting him what he’d asked for because of a rule I’d made up myself then I’d have been gutted.

Days 21-30

The final week of No-Spend November was the hardest because Black Friday fell in this week and my friend Lucy and I decided we wanted to go see if we could pick up any bargains on Oxford Street which, as you can imagine, was heaving. I also managed to pick up a coat from Missguided that I’d been lusting after for ages in the sale – it was £45 reduced to £22 so how could I refuse? – meaning that I broke it again. I feel pretty bad, but for the whole month I only spent £40 on myself which is really good considering how bad I used to be with spending money. 
Doing a no-spend really helped me realise what unnecessary expenses could be cut from my life. I no longer buy a Starbucks every time I walk past one. I no longer buy myself lunch – I always make it at home. Small things like this are really what mounts up and I’m glad that for a whole month I cut them out as I managed to see that I didn’t need them. Have you guys ever done a no-spend? How did it go?

26 Comments

  1. December 5, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    I've been mostly no-spending for a while so loved reading this, I can't believe I managed to completely resist Black Friday even though I was incredibly tempted! It sounds like you saved a lot of money, and it's incredible how much of a difference it makes to not buy a coffee – I never do unless I've literally gone out for a coffee date. xx

    Kristy | thevioletblonde.com

  2. December 5, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    Wow you did amazing. You certainly deserved the CT lipstick babe.
    I was thinking of doing no spend in January but it’s my birthday so I think I’ll fail 1st January haha xxxxxxx

    lucylovesbeautyxo.com

  3. December 5, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    It's definitely a good idea Chlo but maybe not in the month of Black Friday when you can get so many bargains that you'd save money on?!?! I think you should do it in October next year hahaha xx

    Gemma Louise

  4. December 5, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    I think I need to do this in January! November and December have been crazy penny draining months!

    Abi xx

  5. December 5, 2017 / 10:59 pm

    I guess but I’d done all my Christmas shopping really, and I did pick myself up a coat so it wasn’t super strict! It stopped me from buying things I didn’t really need either 🙂

  6. December 5, 2017 / 11:00 pm

    Haha – I thought so too!!
    Make it a new year’s resolution 🙂 xx

  7. December 6, 2017 / 9:32 am

    I am really impressed with how well you got on in November! I have definitely been trying to budget more in the latter months of the year, just because I really want to spoil my family and friends at Christmas! I will definitely try out a no spend month in 2018, just to see if I can take on the challenge!

    Abbey 😇 http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

  8. December 6, 2017 / 3:42 pm

    I remember doing this when I found out I was pregnant! I managed to save £600 the first month it seriously got to me just how much I was spending unnecessarily. I do treat myself but not as much now
    You done really well should be proud

    Love Tania
    http://www.taniaalexandraribeiro.com
    xxxxx

  9. December 6, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    This is such a good idea. It’s crazy how much little shops can all add up. I’m really strict when it comes to money and manage to keep to a budget generally but it’s always nice to be able to save more money at this time of year x

  10. December 7, 2017 / 10:22 am

    It is nice to be able to treat your friends & family!

  11. December 7, 2017 / 10:36 am

    This is such a good idea, I think I should do this once Christmas is over. Spending £40 isn't that bad, that lipstick was definitely necessary, it's such a pretty shade! x

  12. December 7, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    Good job for doing so well on your no-spend! £40 isn't much in the grand scheme of things and you obviously saved much more money than you spent! If I'm totally honest, I try not to spend *too* much money on myself but starting next year I'm gonna be very strict because we're saving up to go travelling! xx
    http://www.imjustagirl16.co.uk

  13. December 8, 2017 / 9:50 am

    This has motivated me for no-spend January aha! I have a few trips I need to save for next year so need to cut on the unnecessary stuff, but I already see me failing when it comes to January sales! xx

    G

    http://www.teawithgi.com

  14. December 8, 2017 / 12:35 pm

    By the sounds of it I think you did really well – especially refraining and only buying one thing on Black Friday, go you!! I need to put myself on a spending ban, maybe January or February next year 🙂 xo

    Char | http://www.charslittleblog.co.uk

  15. December 10, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    This is a brilliant idea and you did so well to be fair! I think I might do something like this around February as its my quietest month with my business so I can be really good then!

  16. December 12, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    Chlo that is bloody incredible! I'd love to try and do this because I know for a fact I waste so much money on wee things and treats for myself! The act you were still able to treat yourself to the odd thing and save a fortune is amazing! You've totally motivated me!
    PaleGirlRambling xo
    http://palegirlrambling.co.uk

  17. December 18, 2017 / 10:23 am

    This is incredible! & amazing you managed to save £200! This is such a brilliant idea! I think I'll have to try this after Christmas because it sounds amazing! 🙂

    VioletDaffodils
    xx

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