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How To Have A “No Spend November”

Lifestyle

It may be hard to think about saving money just before the holiday season starts. However, a good financial cleanse may be just the thing you need to put your fiscal affairs in perspective. If you’ve been a little bit lackadaisical with your spending budget lately or you suffer from financial procrastination, joining the “No Spend November” campaign may be the cure! While it’s understandable that there are essential expenses that must be paid, such as your rent/mortgage, utilities, gas and groceries, there are other expenses that most certainly aren’t vital to everyday survival.


Put your spending habits and financial savvy to the test! Just by following these five simple rules for 30 days, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and have extra money in the bank as your reward for the sacrifices you have made all month long.

Photo Courtesy of The Balance

Plan Out a “No Spend” Budget

If you already have a budget in place, you’ll need to take some time to go through your expenses and make a few temporary adjustments. The first thing you should do is write down how much you spend every month. There are two categories to list your expenses under: essential and non-essential. Carefully consider what actually is essential. For example, how much do you really watch cable TV? How much would you be able to put into your savings with temporarily downgrading your cable service? If watching TV isn’t that important to you, maybe try taking the option of only internet service for 30 days. After listing all of your non-essential items, put your new “No Spend” Budget into action!

 
Don’t Fall Victim to “FOMO”

While you may have a vibrant social life, don’t let “FOMO” (fear of missing out) get the best of you. If your friends are going to lavish restaurants and swanky lounges, why not get creative and find other ways to stay social in November. There’s a plethora of free things you can do on the weekends. Do your research and look for local venues that are hosting free concerts and other fun free activities. If your friends want to have a night out, maybe ask them to join you and challenge them to participate in your “No Spend November” challenge. Host a pot-luck themed night where your friends can each bring a homemade dish as well as their favorite libations to share. Cutting down on eating out and drinking expensive cocktails doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun!

Resist the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Other Discretionary Expenses!
 

Photo Courtesy of Geo Marketing

If your daily routine consists of stopping at your favorite coffee shop every morning, you must resist the temptation! Instead, try brewing your own coffee at home and tote it to work. If you like flavored coffee, you’ll be surprised that your local supermarket may have a flavored creamer to your liking at a fraction of the cost. Other discretionary expenses such as take-out lunch, fast food dinners as well as happy hour appetizers and drinks, can all add up to hundreds of dollars each month. Eliminating these expenses aren’t only good for your wallet, it’s good for your health too! Also, beware of those enticing coupons offering you “deals” if you holiday shop early. Delete them immediately and stick to your holiday shopping list and budget after you’ve completed your “No Spend November” challenge.

Exercise and Save!

Photo Courtesy of Bike Radar

You may not realize how much you actually spend on gas just by making local trips and running errands around town. Consider walking or biking to your local stores if they are close enough. Not only will you be getting exercise and feel invigorated, you’ll be saving money too! While you may need to fill up your car with gas for your commute to work, why not ask someone in your office who lives close to you to share a commute.

Fight off Temptation

If you want to have a successful “No Spend November,” fighting off your temptations and cravings will be key. Your family and friends may ask you to join them in shopping and lunch dates on the weekend, but this will only put “stuff” in front of you with lurking temptations everywhere. If you are invited for a night out, you may have to temporarily sacrifice a few weekend nights, but going out will only tempt you to spend money and before you know it, you could be buying a round of drinks! Sometimes alone time can be good for the soul. Catch up on reading that juicy book you’ve been trying to get to or watch a movie on Netflix with a hot fresh-popped bag of popcorn!

If you feel a spending temptation come on, take a step back and look at your budget and how much you have saved so far. Think of all the hard work you’ve already put into your “No Spend November!” If you haven’t taken a look at your credit score in a while, this may be a good time to start planning your budget for the upcoming New Year and to continue some of the good habits you have adopted during your “No Spend November” challenge!

Career

Male Managers Afraid To Mentor Women In Wake Of #MeToo Movement

Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.


In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.

What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.

Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.

Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.

While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.

According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.

In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.


Source-Alex Brandon, AP

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.

Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.

The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.