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I have good news! We did way better during our no spend October than we did in September! But, to be fair, we spent loads of money in September, so that isn’t a great comparison. Improving slightly is better than not improving at all though, right? Read on to see if we met our no spend October goals.
No Spend October
Trip to LA
My biggest expense in October was a trip to Los Angeles in the beginning of the month. However, this doesn’t go against the no spend year challenge, because it’s been planned for well over a year. Also, most of the biggest travel expenses were paid for in September, so that doesn’t count for October either (I know, my boyfriend calls me a hair splitter all the time).
The biggest expense of the trip that I hadn’t already covered was the food. However, we only ate out a few times. I had to get some delicious bahn mi and pho because I can’t get those things back home, and I had to visit a few of my favorite eateries. I’m not super bougie though, most of the restaurants I really like are fairly cheap. I also had a few amazing meals at some of my friends’ houses, who are all amazing cooks and hosts.
Weekend Experiences in October
Our biggest overall expense was those pesky weekends. I gave myself 2 evenings out per month at the beginning of the year, but since most months have 4 weekends, I’ve been failing at that. We haven’t wanted to be stuck in the house all weekend, so we have to go do all the things!
Once in a Lifetime Events!
But really, some of the things we did in October were rare occurrences that I didn’t want to put off just because of a no spend year when I had the money. We scored tickets to see the Black Keys – before this tour they hadn’t toured in 5 years – who knows when we’d have the opportunity to see them again? We counted the cost of the tickets themselves against our No Spend September, but we made an evening out of it and went to dinner in Philadelphia, which definitely counts against the No Spend October.
The other semi-rare event that popped up was Illuxcon – the premier convention for fantasy art. Apparently this thing happens every year in Reading, Pennsylvania, but how would I know that? My boyfriend, on the other hand, is super into the art world, and some of his favorite artists were going to be there this year. Since this is only a once-a-year event and nobody knows whether those same artists will be available to come in future years, we decided to go for it. We also decided to have some lunch and drinks in Reading so we could stay at the event for longer.
Random Weekend Fun
It would be nice if I could say that I limited our going out to these two special events, but that’s not the case. We had one more weekend adventure during the month of October that was amazing fun, but a bit expensive.
We decided to go hiking up in the Delaware watershed area to see the gorgeous fall colors. You can’t beat the free fun of hiking and scenic views, right? I’d call that a win, if not for the fact that we decided to visit an Oktoberfest on the way home. Free fun out the window. But, we had an epic time sampling some local brews, throwing some axes, and playing drinking games on the fair grounds (the games were free – the booze not so much).
We also did a lot better at not spending money shopping during the month of October, which I think is a huge win. We bought all the things last month! But this month, we only bought a few unnecessary items – a few used books for less than ten bucks and some scrap booking stuff so we can make a relationship scrapbook (which we already started and is super adorable already!). I also splurged a bit and bought my boyfriend a print of one of his favorite paintings at the artist’s convention. It’s nice to be able to support art and it was adorable watching him fanboy over it. Definitely a worthwhile splurge!
We did buy a few necessary items during the month as well. Its starting to get colder outside, and we are trying to wait to turn the heat on. We thought it would be more cost effective to buy some cozy indoor winter supplies instead. We got a new blanket (which the cats love, by the way), some slippers, and some toasty winter socks. Nothing here broke the bank or was an unreasonable buy – in fact they probably saved us money by ensuring that we wouldn’t have to turn the heat on in October! But, they were still purchases, so they do count against the no spend month.
No Spend October Success
Although I went out twice more than I had scheduled, I still consider the month a success. I didn’t spend loads of money on unnecessary items like I did last month, so that’s huge win. I was also to find more of a balance between having fun and restraining myself this month. With two months left on my No Spend Year Challenge, I think finding that balance is important.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.