Want To Stop Bad Spending Habits? This Financial Advisor’s Challenge Might Be Of Help


Can you create a detailed budget to cover only necessary expenses such as bills and groceries? The “No-Spend-November Challenge” has guidelines to promote financial health for the holiday season at least.

“Are you ready to kick-start your savings and make the most out of the upcoming holiday season?”

With this question, Philam Life licensed financial advisor Stephen Apostol launched a “No-Spend-November Challenge” on Oct. 31 to help people, especially the young ones, overcome unhealthy spending habits – for the holiday season at least. 

In a written interview with The Philippine STAR / OneNews.PH, on
Wednesday, Nov. 8 Apostol explained that his challenge came about after
he failed to follow his personal cash flow management last October,
resulting in losses.

He then decided to re-assess his spending and
compensate for losses in November. “So I must strictly follow my budget
and save more in order for me to have enough funds for the upcoming
holidays in December,” Apostol, also a former Sun Life financial
advisor, said. 

He also wanted to turn his plight into a social media content, which led to the “No-Spend-November Challenge. 

November, I invite you to take part in our No-Spend-November Challenge!
By following these simple guidelines, you can significantly boost your
bank account and approach December with financial confidence,” Apostol
wrote on his “The Empowered Gen Z” Facebook page.

Here are his “No-Spend-November Challenge” guidelines, derived from personal experience and learnings as a financial advocate: 

Set clear goals:
Define your financial goals for the month. Whether you’re saving for
holiday gifts, paying off debt, or building an emergency fund, having
clear objectives will keep you motivated.

Create a budget: Craft
a detailed budget covering necessary expenses like bills and groceries.
Stick to it religiously throughout the month to avoid overspending.

Identify non-essential spending: Cut out non-essential expenses like dining out, entertainment, and impulsive shopping. Your wallet will thank you.

Meal planning: Cook at home, plan your meals, and get creative in the kitchen. It’s not only cost-effective but also a healthier option.

DIY (Do it yourself) and repurposing: Embrace
your creative side! Make homemade gifts and repurpose items you already
own. It’s amazing what you can create with a little imagination.

Free activities: Explore
free or low-cost activities in your area. From nature hikes to
community events, there’s plenty to do without breaking the bank.

Swap and share: Organize swap events with friends or neighbors. Sharing items and experiences can be fulfilling and economical.

Cancel subscriptions: Review your subscriptions and cancel any you don’t use frequently. You’ll be surprised at how much you can save.

Cash-only challenge: Use cash for all your purchases. When the cash is gone, no more spending is allowed. This simple trick helps curb impulse buys.

Track progress: Monitor your spending and savings throughout the month. Small changes can lead to significant results.

Support system: Join a community and share your own challenges, tips, and successes.

Practice mindfulness:
Be mindful of your spending habits. Consider meditation or journaling
to increase self-awareness and make conscious financial decisions.

Celebrate achievements:
At the end of November, celebrate your achievements, no matter how big
or small. Your hard work and determination deserve recognition.

said he can save up to 50 percent of his earnings with his challenge.
Currently, he works full-time as a project engineer in Almana
Construction and Development Corporation aside from financial advisory

As of writing, his post has garnered 1,400 reactions and
7,900 shares. According to Apostol, this shows increased financial
awareness among millennials and and members of the Generation Z, who
want to overcome unhealthy spending habits. 

But he emphasized
that participants should acknowledge their limits. “Our advice for the
people who would join the challenge is to stick to your budget. It is
important to build a budget that works…and track your progress,” Apostol

Never too late 

Apostol explained
the challenge can be done in any month. Personally, he said February has
been his “no-spend” month since 2021, as it is the shortest month in a

Apostol also underscored the long-term benefits of his
challenge. Aside from healthy finances in December, those who commit can
also become disciplined to stick to a particular budget. 

those who have “failed” can still catch up this month, he added. On
Facebook, netizens have joked under his post that they have already
splurged this month, and would just try again next year. 

never too late. We still have time to catch up and do the challenge.
But, if you really want to start the challenge on the first day of the
month, you can do the No-Spend-Month Challenge in other months next year
instead,” Apostol said.


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