The Dawn of No-Spend November 2021

It’s Hallow’s Eve. But beyond desiccated crypt denizens and flying broom-straddling females, a truly terrifying prospect lies ahead.

A whole month without spending a dime on discretionary purchases.

This terrifying tradition is known by some as No-Spend November.

The Setup

I last attempted a no-spend challenge late last month. I set a lofty goal for myself, believing that I could avoid unnecessary spending for the rest of the year. In actuality, I lasted two weeks before reopening the spending floodgates.

Humbling, indeed. That said, I am facing greater odds than most with a no-spend challenge: My leg is broken, leaving me housebound. And because leaving one’s home supplies nearly endless novelty, it’s a great way to ward off spending urges. Unfortunately, I don’t have that privilege.

What I do have, though, is a chest full of determination. While I thoroughly enjoyed falling off of the no-spend wagon this month, I’m eager to climb back aboard. I’m not motivated by financial difficulty, but rather, the notion that sacrificing short-term spending will benefit me in the long term. Resisting the urge to spend now will bring me ever closer to my future goal of becoming a homeowner. And since a lot of my discretionary spending feels unnecessary, the “waste not, want not” adage certainly applies.

The Rules

“No-Spend” November is a bit of a misnomer since some spending is still permissible. Like last time, here are the rules I’m working with:

Allowable expenses: Rent payments; groceries; utilities; business services; health, hygiene, and personal care items; pet food.

Unallowable expenses: Take-out or delivery food; food and snacks outside of requisite groceries; alcohol; other recreational drugs; new digital entertainment purchases; online shopping; additional digital subscriptions.

The Strategy

As a practiced introvert, I usually enjoy staying home and lapping up entertainment like a parched labrador. And this is the strategy I’m banking on for No-Spend November.

Currently, I’m sitting on a sizeable pile of books, movies, and video games. So if I’m not working, here’s what I’ll be indulging in to keep me dollar-distracted:

  • Books: Like Lions by Brian Panowich (Bull Mountain #2); Agency by William Gibson;
    Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule (Star Wars: The High Republic, Bk. 1); The Sorrows of Empire by Chalmers Johnson
  • Movies: All nine Star Wars movies that I bought on blu-ray plus bonus features; Any good movies I missed via theatrical release in 2021 that I can stream
  • Video games: I’m still having some fun with Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare’s Star Wars MMORPG, so I’ll probably continue playing that. If not, I still have a sizeable backlog to pick through

At the end of next month, I’ll follow up this post with my results. But in the meantime, will you be partaking in No-Spend November? If so, what’s your motivation and strategy? Let me know in the comments below!

Community Resources: r/NoBuy and r/Anticonsumption on Reddit


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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Yes!!!! I’m gonna participate. I have a sizeable mountain of content as well to enjoy. The take out and restauraunts will pose the biggest challenge as thats become a part of my lifestyle as of late.
    I’ll comment how things go!

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