“Just Say NOvember; Batten Down the Hatches 2016”.

edited 1 November 2016 at 8:13AM in Debt-free Wannabe Challenges
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edited 1 November 2016 at 8:13AM in Debt-free Wannabe Challenges
Welcome to the 2016 edition of NOvember: Batten down the hatches.

(The original thread under the command of drill sergeant NinjaSavingKat can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4255939)

This challenge will take us back to the beginning of the NinjaSavingTurtle movement that was started by NinjaSavingKat in 2012.

I had a financial clash, so to say, with OH recently and we drifted apart on the money front over the last wee while. I wanted to pay off debt and save for us; he wanted to have a good time with his spare cash rather than pay of his OD. So we need to reunite, get back onto the same boat and stop frittering away money (he actively, me mostly by enabling him). So my personal motivation is to pay off the debt, start saving for a new kitchen and proper windows for our house, to eventually sell and buy one with a fire (that’s the one thing we agree on ;) ).

On our previous thread (http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5532832) it became apparent that quite a few OHs strayed or aren’t on board and it makes it rather difficult for the other half to follow the MSE ways. So one objective for this month is to get the OHs back on track or more involved. I know this can be tricky and relationships are easily judged by their openness about money. The most important point is to do what works for you; there is no right or wrong as long as everybody agrees and you actually manage to talk about it (my biggest challenge with him). But this challenge is not just about OHs etc. Anyone is welcome and please feel free to share your story if you’re new to this.

As before we’ll include an NSD challenge (no spend days, not counting mortgage, debt payments, rent, medicine, afterschool clubs and other recurrent direct debits/payments like electricity etc)

As my OH and I need a serious wakeup call we’ll be having two levels of this challenge. Military and Civilian. To make it more flexible they’ll run weekly. So depending on your circumstances you can do either in any given week. Most other rules/guidelines are a bit stricter than usual too but mostly apply to both camps with noted variations.



  • Week 1 (1st -6th) 4
  • Week 2 (7th -13th) 5
  • Week 3 (14th -20th) 5
  • Week 4 (21st -27th) 5
  • Week 5 (28th -30st) 3

TOTAL 22 (allowing 2 spend days a week, non transferable)


  • Week 1 (1st -6th) 3
  • Week 2 (7th -13th) 3
  • Week 3 (14th -20th) 3
  • Week 4 (21st -27th) 3
  • Week 5 (28th -30st) 1

TOTAL 13 (allowing 4 spend days a week, non transferable)

• This will commence at 00:01 on the 01/11/2016 and complete at 23:59 on the 30/11/2016
• All monetary outgoings are to be accounted for prior to the start of the month. This includes anything from direct debits and standing orders to a basic amount for dinner dates that have already been planned.

• If no-one comes to you with a suggestion of something to do / meet up etc before the commencement of NOvember giving you adequate planning time you are to politely decline. Make your pitch for a date with them now if needs be! Civilian option: If in doubt budget a small emergency entertainment spend for unforeseen eventualities that cannot be avoided without offending like tea with MIL or auntie.

• Any food left in cupboards / freezers etc has to be eaten before ANY more food is purchased (get down to marmite and porridge and then go shopping). Allowances to the above are for “base” materials - milk or vegetables. Otherwise “bulk” shopping is NOT allowed until cupboards are empty, get creative and use up weird combinations and finally get to use that mysterious item in the back of the freezer (the military camp has to adhere to this, civilians especially with special requirements or kids are exempt from this, but free to try)
• Food bill decided upon for NOvember has to be cut by 5% (Civilian) or 10% (Military). Mine stands at £300 for the month for a family of 4 – 10% is £270.
• Batch cooking is encouraged- meals that require individual or specialised ingredients are not.
• No foods are to be purchased at work canteens / cafes etc. If you are having a family day out packed lunches are the only lunches allowed.
• Try and go for supermarket own brands only. Get it delivered to prevent impulse buys… the delivery charge will outweigh impulse buys and any green eyed monster issues you make incur. If you haven’t done so yet, try Aldi and Lidl.

• Set a petrol/travel allowance and stick to it. Drive carefully - acceleration and braking harshly wastes petrol.
• Public transport only where necessary are permitted. But where you can WALK instead, do that. Get your winter coat on and leave earlier.

• Ladies - No non-essential beauty items are to be purchased. Use up everything you have in the house before ANY purchases.
• Gentlemen (ladies?) - Cut out your alcohol consumption completely. Tell your friends you are doing it for your health or something - let no-one buy you a soft drink as you will have to re-pay their kind offer with a more expensive beer purchase. Better still - stay at home!

• Exercise aim for 3-5 sessions a week. Anything from going out for a walk to a spin class depending on your abilities.

• THE C WORD: Well Xmas will be upon us sooner than you think, we started last month, so where have you gotten to? Is the list written, the stash checked, vouchers counted, extra earning possibilities considered. Both camps: Try not buy Christmas presents yet, this month is about saving money, tweaking that list and getting crafting. Keep an eye out for deals coming up. Finish of those HM cards etc. Check pinterest for some amazing cheap ideas, love those https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/743656957189138003/

• And finally be honest about everything. If something has to be bought, make up for it over the next few days. I know the food will trip me up as I love eating.. but I shall prevail..

Ok, so you have 5 days left to get your act together, your numbers in line and your stocks checked. Write that meal plan and shopping list. Post any suggestion as to what could be added to this challenge in the next two days. Closer to the time post your grocery budget and spend budget. Who is with me?
NST September
NSD 6/20 NDD 7/22 spends £180/500
Exercise 5/22
CC Debt £1013 £700
DFD 12/21 Mortgage 109343 (04/17) 92300 (11/19) 80779 (08/21)


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