After years of looking at the bottom line and crumpling up my optimistic budget every month, I’m pushing reset.
This month my friend and I are doing “no-spend November.”
Basically, we pay bills and that’s it. No gas. No eating out. No groceries. Nothing.
The goal is to save money and pay off some debt, but I’m also taking the opportunity to fall in love with cooking again and change the way I think about spending.
I’m confident I can last this month. My friend has it way harder. She can’t spend money on cigarettes.
As you can imagine, this endeavour has taken a fair bit of preparation.
I sat down at the end of October and made a meal plan of sorts.
It involved root vegetables that last more than a week as well as frozen veggies, soups and other dishes that you can use wilting vegetables in as well as a huge block of cheese for sandwiches and a case of tomato soup, because you can add anything to that and it will be good.
It was similar to how I usually attempt a meal plan, but with higher stakes.
I don’t want to get sick from not eating well and I also have no back up plan for when I’m feeling too lazy to cook.
I also attempted to purchase other household necessities, such as soap and toilet paper before Nov. 1.
I’m a little worried, however, as there is no way to know what will come up.
What I’m most worried about is my social life. I do have tickets for a few upcoming events that I previously purchased.
But there will be no popcorn at the movies and no cocktails at the events.
I will have to get creative and find free things to do, like board game night and dog walks.
It takes something like this to realize how much socializing I do over food or with alcohol in my hand.
This is also an opportunity to change other things, like how much I dislike doing dishes. No excuses now. I need them to cook the next meal!
Maybe I’ll also break out the ukulele as well. It’s been sitting unplayed for quite some time.
I am also going to work through the unread books on my shelf.
With no money to spend and no places to go, and 5 p.m. darkness, I have lots of time on my hands.
Is four weeks enough to create new habits? Or will I go straight back to my old ways of spending and restaurants when I’m through?
I’ll let you know.