Okay, while the world is fawning over Movember, let me bring forward another peculiar movement for you to participate in: No Spend November. Sounds uncanny and impossible, doesn’t it?
Actually, this a pretty modern western development. The agenda is that before the holiday expenses set in, you got to save as much as you can from your paycheck/regular-income-source. You can spend only and only on your minimum essentials.
Well, we Indians don’t really make that big of a deal of Christmas. We Indians are right now in the post-holiday season rather than pre-holiday season, thus theoretically this really makes no sense for us.
But actually think about it conversely. After all, these days of inevitable elaborate expenditure during Diwali and Navratri (mithai, kapde, toufe, wagera wagera), don’t our wallets really deserve a break and our bank accounts a reboot?
Why don’t we try living a lil frugally for a while, then buy ourselves a nice little treat at the end of the year?
I am totally up for this! Let’s do this Indian-shtyle!
Here’s my Indiansed guide to a Happy No Spend November:
1. Plan. Plan. Plan.
I repeat, Plan. Without planning, you will not only end up spending more than you intend to, but actually more than ever. You have to really have to begin by making an insanely strong resolution to spend minimal amount of money and map out how you are going to go about it. Wouldn’t planning ahead prep you and your budget for the month ahead better?
2. Stock up.
Do it the Pokémon way, Go and Get ‘em all! At once! That way you will not need to shell out extra few bucks for unnecessary cravings and avoid piling on stuff while making repetitive refill runs.
3. Use Public Transport.
Naturally. Even inexpensive daily transportation piles on expenses in the longer run. So, walk short distances, the weather isn’t much bad, c’mon. And hey, wait that 5 minutes extra for the metro!
Yeah, now would be a good time to use those Uber/Ola coupons when you want to feel fancy. Or just avoid them maybe?
4. Avoid eating out.
Give your tummy a rest post all that holiday junk binging. Your body will thank you if you treat it to healthy good food freshly prepped at home. As will your wallet.
Instead of going out to hang out with friends, why don’t you call them over? Or even better, maybe go over to their places for a change. House parties are never boring if you have good company with you, trust me.
5. Persuade your friends to participate too.
That would make the whole No Spend November happier! You will not have to feel awkward and lonely about being miserly. It will become enterprising and even creative if you find innovative things to do together inexpensively!
Evil idea: You can even compete on who saves more.
6. Be creative about your expenses.
Creativity is not just about being an amazing artist. You can be creative about many situations that demand money to be spent. Cut down on expenses with a lil brainstorming. What innovative present can you gift that friend? How can you have a low budget picnic this weekend?
7. Get ready to Sacrifice.
You naturally have to give up on a lot. Make rules, control temptation with grit. You can do it!
No cute shoes or great books this month. And it will be a surprise how little you really need to get by in your life. It is a good thing to not have too many material demands; it makes life much easier and stress-free.
8. Maintain records.
Old tip, but oh-my-gawd how time-proof is it?! Keeping a ledger of where your money goes, where it is hiding will tell you so much about how to manage money better.
Otherwise, money just disappears, like *poof*, into thin air. I have never seen anyone keep successful mental records for very long.
It sounds unreal, I know. But trust me, I have tried to be frugal and it feels good to be saving a lot for a change. It bestows a kind of security and confidence that spending doesn’t always, it can’t.
Can we really be successful to keep up the challenge this whole month? Why don’t you join me for a No Spend November and find out for yourself!