Hello, December! Yesterday marked the end of my “No” Spend November challenge to myself, and I’m really happy with how it went. I’ll write a longer post next week with the details of how it really went and how I feel about it, but for now, know that I’m continuing to keep this up through December. I had planned on waiting to start really buckling down and tracking until the first of the year (after travel and the holidays were over), but now I’m really glad that I didn’t wait. We’re on a roll now and we’ll be so much farther ahead by focusing on November and December. I’ve set our big goal for 2018 to hit a 50% savings rate, so a few “testing” months should help us out a lot. I’m not confident we will be able to reach quite that level of savings, but I want to shoot for the moon. If we don’t reach it in 2018, I’m certain we will do much, much better than if we had no goal at all.
1. I remembered to order one of our dog’s medications online in time for it to arrive in the mail before we were out of the current bottle. I learned a hard lesson last month when I waited too long to order it from the online pharmacy (and then accidentally had it shipped to their brick and mortar location in Arizona), so we had to pick it up from Costco instead. Costco has great deals a lot of the time, but they sold us the medication for $236 instead of the $105 at the online pharmacy! Pricey mistake that I won’t make again.
2. One of my car’s headlights went out last week and my wonderful husband replaced both for me himself, which obviously saved a considerable bit over taking it to an auto shop. I also don’t have great nighttime vision, so brighter headlights was a great call on his part and will be very appreciated since it gets dark so early this time of year.
3. Thanks to my son’s persistence in wanting to take the bus all the time, I braved the rain and cold on Tuesday to pick him up from preschool (when I really just wanted to hide in my warm dry car). The rain thankfully held off the next morning so I ran to work, saving the $2.75 bus fare and getting in a great workout.
4. I picked up my son from my mother in law after work yesterday and we went on a mini mama son date before heading home. We both got a bread and butter sample from the Great Harvest Bread Company, then headed over to the free kid play area in the center of the commons for a while, and then read a few books at the local shop. I resisted the urge to treat ourselves with a coffee and a hot cocoa, so this mini outing was completely free. This was a huge success for me because picking up a drink and a snack had gotten to be such a habit whenever we went anywhere. And honestly, my son had just as much fun as if we had bought anything. We went home and made our own hot chocolate instead. I made sure we were stocked up on marshmallows, whipped cream, and sprinkles so it feels like a special treat.
5. We ended November with $35.24 remaining of the $1500 I had budgeted for the month (everything excluding mortgage + daycare).
I’m honestly a little shocked that we stayed under our goal amount because I had really thought I had set the amount too low when we started out the month. Since we went to Hawai‘i and had some pretty fancy meals while we were there, including our anniversary dinner, it seemed natural that we would bleed over the budgeted amount. Even beyond travel, though, we did everything we really wanted this month – spending time with friends and family, eating good food and drinking great wine, and generally enjoying the start to the holiday season. Spending more money really wouldn’t have improved our lives any noticeable degree. This was a fantastically successful month in re-learning to spend only on what matters to us. Amazing what writing things down will do for you.