No-Spend November 2021: The First Half

We’re well past the midpoint of No-Spend November — a personal finance challenge I started earlier this month. On paper, the rules are simple: Limit or restrict your discretionary spending for thirty days. But in practice, things aren’t so easy. Spending urges are ever-present, and temptations reside in every corner of the internet. So how goes the penny-pinching?

In summary, good and bad. November is probably the worst month to attempt such a challenge because of all the sales and promotions. Whether you’re shopping in-person or browsing online, November’s consumer landscape is a minefield of temptation — and a swift financial death awaits at nearly every turn.

Aside from violating my moratorium on ordering takeout several times, I’ve been pretty good about restricting my spending. But for the sake of honesty, there is one flagrant violation of the rules I must address.

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a new 4K OLED TV for a few months. I had managed to talk myself out of it by rationalizing it as a wholly unnecessary purchase. After all, my five-year-old 43″ 1080p LED TV works well enough. And I’ve never seen an OLED in-person, so I don’t know what I’m missing. “Organic” light-emitting diodes? Pfft, who needs ’em anyway? Organic is for them hippy-dippy types!

But 2021 has been a wildly difficult year for my partner and me. A new OLED TV would be a great final send-off gift for enduring it. I’ve treasured our shared TV time lately, and such an upgrade would only further that enjoyment.

Unfortunately for me and my wallet, November is the best time of the year to buy a TV — OLED TVs included (no, I didn’t glom onto the idea because of that CNET article). TV manufacturers start dropping new model prices in early November, and in some cases, prices go even lower on Black Friday. But as November comes to a close, prices supposedly shoot back up just in time for Christmas. So earlier this week, I bit the bullet and sniped an LG OLED TV at an all-time low price on Amazon. Was it a flagrant violation of the No-Spend challenge rules? Yes. But was it the most prudent time to purchase such an item? Also yes.

That blatant violation aside, I’ll be adhering to the No-Spend decree for the remainder of this month. I’ll follow up with another post commemorating the challenge’s end in the coming weeks.

Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash


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