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No Spend November Tracking Challenge

by Bethany

It’s Thanksgiving day and I am grateful for the No Spend November Challenge in more ways than one. First, a little background: Amanda from Dumpster Dog Blog reached out to me at the end of October and suggested we do a collaboration No Spend November challenge. It was time to reign in the spending, track our purchases and set some no spend goals.

Amanda and I met up in Portland a few times before she blew this joint and went to NYC to live her best life. I semi-worship Amanda with her brazen outfits and witty conversations where she never misses a punch line. She’s one of those people that always feels good to be around. I love her. I think you get that by now. (#obssessed much?)So when she wanted to collab – I was like- YES.

We honestly thought about 5 people would sign up for No Spend November tracking challenge

We decided to open it up to our followers on Instagram and create a small support group. Small, isn’t what happened. After posting on our stories we gathered some hype and realized it was going to be more than one accountability group. Over 210 people signed up for the No Spend November challenge.

It was beyond cool. We had seven teams of people wanting to track their spending and set goals with us. Shout out to our teams:

  • Avocado Toast
  • Cocktail
  • Brunch
  • Netflix
  • Latte
  • Take-Out
  • Unused Gym Membership

Every team took on their own conversations and really worked to elevate everyone. My heart was so full the first weekend when the No Spend Goals were shared.

Here is how our No Spend November and tracking challenge worked

The first step was to set goals. We all picked 3 things we didn’t want to spend money on in the month of November. That was the No Spend November part. My goals were to not spend on any amazon purchases, clothing, or massages/pedis (i.e. forms of commercialized self-care that I didn’t need to indulge in so often).

The second part of the challenge was to track expenses throughout the entire month. I made a handy little spreadsheet for this, but there were no rules about how to track. For instance, you could only track “spending” and not your regular bills and mortgage or your could track every single cent in and out. You could use the spreadsheet or journal about it. The whole point was that everyone was practicing tracking their expenses and raising awareness about spending.

An example of our spending reports.

Lastly, we shared our spending. This is where it gets really powerful.

The incredible power of tracking your spending

I had been tracking my spending for a while and sharing on Instagram through my stories. A spending diary is powerful, but when you’re in an accountability group it feels 10 times more impactful.

Related: Why I am Doing Weekly Spending Reports for all to See

The groups had inspiring and supportive conversations about:

  • Free ways to have fun
  • Struggles to avoid spending
  • Enjoying shopping for things we need or have budgeted for
  • Feeling guilty about spending and how to overcome that (because we will all spend sometimes)
  • Sticking to a budget category
  • What platforms are best for selling your old stuff
  • Picking up side hustles to increase income

We even celebrated birthdays in the groups! The list goes on. It has been really incredible to have a group of people all working on grabbing their finances by the balls. Badass. (Yes. I said it.)

How did I do with the No Spend November tracking challenge?

Drumroll please…. I stuck to my three no spend goals the entire month. Well, minus the three days left, but I won’t be breaking anytime soon.

Tracking when a whole bunch of eyes were watching (for real), made me want to spend even less. It was the pressure that really made me shine. Like a diamond. 🙂

I was also proud of my penny-pinching skills when some serious life events went down. In November we:

  • Traveled for Charles work interviews
  • Met up with friends including Money Smart Latina, Tread Lightly Retire Early, and A Purple Life
  • Put our house on the market and started getting ready to move
  • Had my wedding dress fitting
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving

Yes, it was a whirlwind of a month. We have some serious changes happening in the next few weeks, and not spending was exactly what needed to happen so I have a little bit of a cash cushion.

I’m seriously thankful and looking forward to our next group challenge

I am thinking about a Spring Cleaning Challenge or a Reduce Your Waste Challenge for 2020. Subscribe to the e-mail list to stay up to date on what I decide and who I collaborate with. Thanks all!


Amy December 3, 2019 - 2:20 pm

Congratulations on your challenge!

Bethany December 8, 2019 - 9:25 am

Thank you!


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