I did it.
I went a full month without spending any money – no beer, no French fries, no chocolate, no dance classes, no movies at the theatre, no road trips…the list goes on.
For those of you who may have missed out, I did a no-spend November challenge. Basically, I had to pre-buy groceries and hunker down. No spending money on anything other than the bills required to continue living in my apartment and owning my car.
When the last Thursday of the month rolled around and I had only two more days to go, I got nervous. What if I can spend money again and everything I learned is forgotten? What if I just get out of control and spend all of the money I worked so hard to save?
So far, so good. Every time I spend money my stomach turns a little bit.
I find myself weighing the pros and cons, looking ahead to what else I might want to spend the money on and worrying a little bit about potential disasters that would clean me out.
That was the goal of this challenge: to get it together and finally learn to stick to a budget.
There were added benefits of building up an emergency fund, but it was also difficult. I had to turn down outings with friends and at the end of the month live off of rather boring leftovers.
But it was fine.
I learned to cook again. I figured out a regular cleaning schedule that keeps the pots I need free — all of the things I should have been doing already but hadn’t gotten a handle on quite yet.
I learned to prioritize with the money I do have.
I bought a Nordic ski pass on Monday and am excited to get out and try the lighted trails. I also am now unable to pay full price for a pair of jeans. I need a new pair and went to order online and couldn’t stomach it. Time to hit up a nearby second-hand store.
I’m very thankful to have those options.
Overall, it a great learning experience. I am on the lookout for the next challenge.
Jocelyn Doll writes for the Revelstoke Review.