And just like that…

Summer ended in Los Angeles.

I’m not going to lie, Autumn is my favorite season, and being without it for the past few years has been tough. But Los Angeles does this great thing where out of nowhere it gets cold and a bit crisp. Today, I’m wearing leggings, a sweater dress (!), and tall brown boots. And it’s the best feeling in the world. It has also rained the past two days which I always view as a bit of a treat (compared to living in London when I was desperate for sun warm enough to sit outside in), and Monday there was an awesome rainbow.

Quick update on No Spend Novem (I’ve shortened it because that way it almost rhymes): All my friends planned  a road trip to Vegas. None of us have been, as it’s not the highest on any of our lists. But it’s right there and our friend Maggie is going to support her father in a race. The plan was to road trip, get a cheap hotel for Friday and Saturday, and drive back Sunday. Originally I agreed, because I want to go everywhere and if I’m ever going to do Vegas, I want it to be with my best friends. But then I thought about the cost total, and No Spend Novem, and realized it was just not a real option. Vegas will be right there for the foreseeable future, but I only have one No Spend Novem and I want to kick its butt.

The (selfishly) happy news is that a day after I bowed out, the trip fell apart for unrelated reasons, and now we’re going to try to go in February. So I get the double happiness of making the financially correct decision while not actually missing out on Vegas with my friends.

No Spend November

For whatever reason, November seems to be the month for challenges, like Movember, National Novel Writing Month, etc. I’m not sure why November–maybe as the year winds down, people feel a last urge to accomplish something big before ringing in the new year. I get that, and I’m going to try my own version.

While this year has been full of adventure and amazing personal, professional, and romantic experiences, I’m not leaving it in the best financial shape. And while I had been content to put off digging out of the proverbial hole until I got a job, it’s taking too long and there’s something big I want to start saving for (more on this later). I realize I just did a post about how I had 10+ credit cards and such a great credit score because I paid them off every month, but I willingly went into debt on a few things this year (LASIK, plane tickets I didn’t want to use miles on, living abroad), and now have a small amount of debt to pay off before I start building my savings back up.

This month, instead of using money I would generally spend on unnecessary food, drinks, or activities, I’m going to pay my rent, utilities, any other essential items, and the rest of my budget will go towards the debt. I need to feel proactive and it’ll be nice to completely buckle down.

I’m going to track my spending and post updates–today wasn’t the best start as I had to take my cat to the vet for the first time ever (he has worms and it’s all so gross I want to vomit and die at the same time). I did find a well respected vet that offered free first visits, but the medications were about $90. Not ideal, but taking care of my cat is definitely something I’d list as essential.

Wish me luck!