No-Spend November Is Over! And We Raised $1,450

For me, a typical month of spending looks something like this.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 1.49.29 PMScreen Shot 2014-12-01 at 2.06.36 PM
I consider myself a fairly thrifty person. I love using Groupons. I can’t resist a good sale. And I always know how to find freebies. Even though thrifty, I find myself spending money on three categories:

1.) Food

2.) Sephora

3.) Taxis

This month has taught me that I can live without #2 and #3 being happier than ever.

As promised, I’ll be donating all the money saved to Food Bank of New York. In October, I spent around $700 on things other than my rent. I am going to round this number up to $1,000 and write it on a check to Food Bank of New York.

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 2.02.28 PM

Not only, will I be able to donate $1,000, but together we have raised an additional $450 amounting to a grand total of $1,450! This is amazing!

Thank you so very much for your help during No-Spend November. From my roommates putting up with me, to brands donating, I have been overwhelmed with love.

Want to help? It’s not too late. Make a donation through the page here! Not in a position to donate? A share would mean the world to me! ♥

Just finding out about No-Spend November now? Read more about the initiative on BuzzFeed and Frugal For Less.

[No-Spend November - Day 30] The Last Day!

Guess what guys? Tomorrow I can finally wash my clothes because No-Spend November is coming to an end! You can breathe a sigh of relief – I’ll no longer be bathing in perfume.

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 10.30.51 AM

I have not spent a dime throughout the entire month of November. All of the money saved will be donated to Food Bank of New York.

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 10.25.18 AM

This month has taught me many valuable lessons and has given me an array of opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise. The biggest lesson learned was that I have an incredibly supportive group of friends. From helping me find freebies to saving me with salads, I know some of the best people on this planet.

One unexpected result of this month was checking off this bucket list item from my life goals lists.

✓ Write for BuzzFeed

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 10.18.30 AM

Many have inquired: “What is the first thing you are going to buy on December 1st?”

This month helped me realize I don’t need any more clothes, makeup, and material items. Looking back, I feel a bit nauseated on how much money I spend on things I do not truly need. The only thing I needed this month was healthy food. Tomorrow I’m not going to run out and shop ’till I drop – I’ll just go get some salad.

Thank you everyone for your help this month from finding me freebies to saving me with salad! You are the best. In a position to donate to Food Bank of New York? Every dime donated will help someone in need eat a healthy meal.

[No-Spend November - Day 24] I Hate Carbs

Today is day 24 of No-Spend November signifying that I have made it 24 days without spending a dime. All of the money saved, I’ll be donating to Food Bank of New York.

This month has taught me that my so-called “problems” are trivial compared to what many suffer on a daily basis. My heart goes out to anyone who can’t afford to put healthy food on the table.

Today, I feel pretty crappy. I’ve been eating carb heavy for weeks and a lot more processed food than I do in a typical month.

In order to survive the last week of No-Spend November, I need to strategize.

As of right now, I have no food in my fridge. Though I have no food, I have excesses of other items like clothing, books, and lotion. Is it possible to barter my way into a healthy meal?

Here are some of the items I have to trade for healthy food:

  • Bottle of lotion
  • Books
  • Hugs
  • Conditioner
  • Cough drops
  • Tea
  • High Fives
  • Samples from Sephora
  • Bar of soap
  • Marketing expertise

Anyone wanna make a trade? Maybe you know of a brand who would be willing to give me lunch this week?

ariannaodell (at) gmail.com

Any help is appreciated!

Want to help others in need? Every dollar donated will go towards providing hot food to someone in need this Winter.

In a position to donate? Today I invented some new tiers for the last week of donations .

Donate $5: I’ll draw you an amazingly horrible photo and mail it to your home. As someone with mediocre artistic ability this is very valuable. Reward value – $95,992

Donate $25: I’ll create a YouTube video for you serenading you in lip sync to the song of your choosing. From T-Swift to Enrique, I have quite extensive musical knowledge. Reward value – $1,933,000

[No-Spend November - Day 21] 5 Things Money Can’t Buy

No-Spend November has been one of the most difficult challenges I have yet to partake in. For 21 days, I have yet to spend a dime, and will donate all of the money saved to Food Bank of New York.

Rollin’ on a budget of $0, I’ve learned that there are 5 important things that money can’t buy. What are they?

1.) Delightful & Deep Conversations

Setting my own schedule this month has given me the opportunity to connect with friends on a deeper level. Instead of constantly saying “I have to run, I’m so busy!” I’ve been able learn more about those I care about. Feelings surfaced, tears ensured, and laughter filled rooms for hours.

2.) Freedom

At the beginning of this month, I took the plunge to pursue entrepreneurship and contract projects full-time. The self-employed life has given me a new found freedom. I can wake up whenever I want. I can work whenever I want. And each decision I make is mine and mine alone. Let freedom ring.

3.) Great Friends

Screen Shot 2014-11-21 at 1.31.04 PM

No amount of money could ever replace my friends and family. Sorry guys, you’re stuck with me – I wouldn’t trade you for all the Dior and Pumpkin Spiced lattes in the world.

4.) Support


I have an amazing network of support. Since beginning this experiment, the support has come pouring in from family and friends. I am truly blessed to have so many amazing people in my life. In only a few weeks, together we have been able to raise an additional $370. This is amazing! Do you think we can make it to $5,000 by the end of the month?

5.) Creativity & Inspiration

Living on a budget of $0 has made me creative like never before. Looking back, the times in my life I have been most creative were the times I had the least amount of resources available. Comfort kills creativity.

There are officially 10 days left of No-Spend November. The next week will be spent figuring out how to host an amazing Thanksgiving on a budget of $0. In NYC and no plans? You’re welcome at my place. 

Any ideas on how to get a free turkey? ;)

[No-Spend November - Day #13-16] A Visit From The Pho Fairy

I have officially made it 16 days into No-Spend November. I’ve resisted buying gum. I’ve resisted taking taxis. I’ve resisted going to the movies. I’ve resisted grocery shopping. I’ve resisted every single impulse I’ve had to shop spending a grand total of $0.00. The money saved this month, will be donated to Food Bank of New York on December 1st.

My most commonly asked question is “C’mon. Why don’t you cheat? No one will know.”

Though tempting to swipe my card, I have committed to this project and have vowed to make it through the entire month spending $0. Though challenging, it’s been fun to exercise my creative muscle seeing what I can get for free through affiliate programs, signup bonuses, and samples.

Here is what I’ve been up to the last few days.

On Wednesday, I was gifted a bag full of delicious snacks from KIND.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 3.01.50 PM

On Thursday, I traded my marketing expertise to Spice & Spoon in exchange for a delicious home cooked meal.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 5.40.16 PM

Spice & Spoon offers New Yorkers the opportunity to have a chef host a cooking class right in your own home. From learning to make a fabulous lasagna to a night of mixology lessons, their classes make for fantastic parties and date nights.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 3.20.15 PM

Here is my latest video update with founders Kendra & Alex.

On Friday, I had an tasty meal thanks to DigInn, one of my favorite healthy food spots in New York City. DigInn offers a season menu of some of the tastiest food around. And what is better than brussels sprouts? Pairing them with good conversation.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 5.38.49 PM

This entire week, I have been walking A TON which resulted in a bit of a cold.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 5.38.57 PM

On Saturday night, I curled up with a wine glass of Emergen-C.


Today I awoke not feeling so hot. Not spending money while sick has been a bit rough. Unable to Seamless up a storm, I resorted to DIY Pho: boiled chicken stock and water.

As I write this post about lack of Pho, I just got a knock at my door. Apparently there is a Pho fairy named Jason.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 3.30.37 PM

I have the best friends ever.

The past few weeks have taught me a lot about myself and have shown me how truly blessed I am to have a supportive group of friends who have helped me along the way with this project.

I hope to be better by tomorrow so I can continue to work hard on meeting our goal of raising $5,000 for Food Bank Of New York. Whether you are in the position to give $0.25 or $25 every bit will go towards helping someone in need.

Can you help? Sharing this post would mean the world to me! ❤

[No-Spend November - Day #12] We Spend Money Because We’re Afraid

In 13 days, I have not spent a dime as part of “No-Spend November”. This experiment has been challenging, humbling and gratifying in so many ways.

It took an extremist approach to truly learn an important life lesson. Happiness cannot be bought.

Far too often, we throw money around as a distraction. We hide behind material possessions because we are afraid of our emotions. Shopping is a crutch.

When I feel stress, I wander through stores aimlessly distracting myself from the problem at hand.

When I feel pain, I head to a movie numbing my thoughts with 90 minutes of distraction.

When I feel insecurity, I head to the nail salon covering up my vulnerabilities with pretty shades of polish.

Far too often, showing feeling is equated with weakness. It shouldn’t be this way.

Forced to confront my emotions, I have felt happiness and I have felt sadness. I have felt stress. I have felt anger. I have felt insecurity.

And it’s okay.

It’s okay to be human.

[No-Spend November - Day #11] Early Thanksgiving

This month, I have committed to spend $0 throughout the month of November donating all of the money I would have spent to Food Bank of New York.

When I explain the challenge, I’m often met with “how?!” To survive, I have been relying on freebies, signup bonuses, and affiliate programs. While this has been tough, I’ve also been surviving from some huge acts of kindness by friends and brands.

Yesterday my food supply was running low. And by low, I mean I was completely out. Luckily for me, my friend Tiffany invited me to a free night out on the town with Yelp Elite. Yelp’s top users were invited to a fabulous dinner at Fogo De Chao, a Brazilian Steakhouse and could bring a +1.

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 12.20.48 PM

Plates kept coming out for hours.

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 12.20.16 PM

Great conversation with great people.

On a typical Tuesday night, I may have turned down the experience thinking “I have no time, I have to be up early for work.” I’m so glad this wasn’t the case.

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 12.20.28 PM

Why didn’t anyone tell me sooner that New York Cheesecake is so good? It doesn’t taste like this on the West Coast.

The night was spent disconnected from technology catching up with Tiffany and making a few new friends.

Stuffed with cheesecake and good conversation, I felt an insane amount of gratitude.

Walking home, I met up with good friends who used to live a block away from me. Last year, we lived a block away from each other, but had been out of contact because of my “busy” disease. Though I spent $0, this night was one of the best.

It pains me to think that I’ve spent months being so out of touch with what truly matters to me: family and good friends. No amount of money could ever replace them.

Today I received another amazing surprise. Checking my mail, I had a package waiting for me. Thank you Jennifer for your kindness. I am so truly humbled by all of the support.

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 12.25.17 PM

There are 19 days left of the challenge. Do you think we can together raise $5,000 for Food Bank of New York? Even a donation of $.25 would mean the world to me. Can’t donate? Would love it if you could help me spread the world.