Are you struggling to save money? You're not alone. More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. An interesting way to create good financial habits is to complete the No Spend November challenge. If you're ready to embark on this difficult challenge, here are some tips so you can survive the month:
1. Get Creative with Leftovers
The easiest way to stop throwing away food is to eat your leftovers. Look for ways to reuse the same ingredients in multiple dishes. For example, have a rotisserie chicken for dinner one night, then the next night use the leftover chicken to make tacos or chicken soup. Make only meals in which the leftovers can be used in other ways.
2. Look for Free Activities
Boredom can drain your account. In order to survive a No Spend month, you need to keep yourself and your family entertained. Look for free activities in your area. The best resources for activities is your local event website, your town website, and Facebook pages for your town and local businesses. Here are some activities that are usually free:
- A class or game night at the library
- A music night downtown
- A family movie night at the park
3. Find Cheap Ways to do Thanksgiving
Don't let Thanksgiving gobble your cash. There are ways you can save big on one of the biggest meals of the year. Why not do a potluck for Thanksgiving? Cook the turkey and have your guests bring one of their favorite sides or desserts.
Another way to save is to start shopping for staples and ingredients early. Look out for the best deals on turkey, potatoes, and green beans in advance. Grocery stores typically jack up the prices on these goods closer to the holiday since they know some shoppers may be forced to pay higher prices.
4. Keep a List of Pantry Items
Get up right now and take a look in your pantry, cabinets, and freezer. You probably have a lot of staples and food that can get you through at least a few weeks, if not an entire month. Make a list of everything you have on hand. Then, come up with ways that you can use those items so you don't have to run to the grocery store.
5. Don't Succumb to Black Friday Temptation
The most difficult part of this challenge will be to avoid the temptations of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Don't give in to FOMO (fear of missing out). Here are ways to stay strong:
- Do not look at any Black Friday sales flyers.
- Do not go to Amazon or any major retailer's website during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
- If you receive emails from retailers, set up a special folder in your email and have the emails forwarded to this folder. If you do this, you won't even see the deals hit your inbox.
- If friends or family invite you to go Black Friday shopping, tell them you want to relax and avoid the crowds.
A No Spend challenge is a great way to get into good habits so you can save money. If you're ready for the challenge, start now so you can have a fat bank account in December.
Not quite ready to commit to a No Spend month? Check out these other ways to save.