|image: Ed Yourdan|
It seems like more off us are swearing off superfluous buying these days. I decided to buy no new winter clothes, which turned into not buying anything besides food and essential products (like soap) yet in 2012. It's Not Easy Being Green declared March a no-buying month (food and other essentials only), Meg at MakeItDo (interesting tumblr by the way, definitely worth checking out) challenged herself to go all year without any non-critical purchases and NotBuyingAnything tries to buy as little as possible all the time. All of which makes me wonder, exactly how long could I continue this not-buying challenge?
Not buying unneeded stuff for 2.5 months this year has been surprisingly easy. As long as I stay away from my temptation stores, I've been fine. I've even gone in stores and managed to leave empty-handed. I did pick up a few items during thrift store visit once, but upon further examination I realized I didn't need them and didn't even like them that much so I left empty-handed. But I don't think I could keep this up all year. For one thing my hot weather wardrobe is seriously lacking. I doubt that I have five work-appropriate outfits, so that would be an issue. Other than that there might be a thing or two I want (bike gloves for instance), but I could live without them.
My reduced shopping habit has also paid off in the personal finance department. Upon doing a little research, I saw that even though January and February tend to be low-spend months for me, due to the excess of the holidays no doubt, I ended up having my lowest total spending month on record in February. That translates into at least an extra $100 or so that went straight to savings. Imagining the impact of 12 or more months of that kind of increased savings is a pretty powerful motivator.
It's really quite amazing to think that a couple of years ago the boyfriend and I spent at least one weekend day a month shopping, well window-shopping mostly, for something. Now that seems like a waste of a perfectly good workfree day.
Are you taking any not-buying challenges this year? How long could you go?
Related good reads:
- Why I am SO Not Buying an iPad 3 by Mr. Money Mustache
- Do You Love This Thing by Deliberatism - This post is along a similar vein, one of examining the stuff in our lives, although it doesn't specifically address the shopping portion of that equation. Still this blog is a new and very interesting find that I wanted to share.