6 Months of Buying Nothing New-
Our society seems to glamorize stuff. Material goods are a status symbol to show other people how wealthy they are. It is not just the rich that get caught up in buying things. For me, when I take a look around our home, I am overwhelmed by how much we have accumulated. We have only lived in our home for 5 years and we have multiple sets of living room furniture, dressers, rugs, plates, etc. Most of these items we bought brand new, used for a few months, then saw something that we liked better….something that we just had to have! I don’t even dare to think about how much money has been wasted on all of our purchases. I’m not in the mood to cry tonight!
As I started a journey to live a more simple and content life, I realized that I needed to make some changes. I decided to challenge myself to go 6 months without buying anything new. ZERO shopping malls this holiday season for me!!
I have everything that I need (and more!) at this very moment to live comfortably. In fact, most purchases that I have made in the past year have not been out of necessity, but instead, out of want. I am able to look back on my purchases in the past year from various online stores. It saddens me to see all of the ‘things’ that I have ordered, received, and then maybe used once before it ended up in a closet or cabinet.
This link from becomingminimalist.com does a great job of expressing many of the benefits of reducing consumerism, but I will summarize some of the reasons for you!
- Less debt
- Less time spent caring for possessions (fixing things, dusting tons of plastic items on a shelf)
- Less desire to upscale lifestyle norms
- Less environmental impact
- Less need to keep up with evolving trends
- Less pressure to impress with material possessions
- More generosity
- More contentment
- Greater ability to see through empty claims
- Greater realization that this world is not just material.
‘Excessive consumption promises happiness, but never delivers.’
My husband and I have gone on ‘spend freezes’ before to help reduce expenses, but we have never sustained this as a lifestyle. My hope is that by trying this for 6 months, it will just become a normal way of life!
As I start this journey, I realize that I need to set some ground rules….and some exceptions to those rules.
- There will be no clothes or shoe shopping at retail stores. I have plenty of clothes, so I really don’t need more. If I find that I need something, I will plan to search consignment or thrift shops.
- Grocery store purchases will include groceries, medications, basic toiletries, and some of the very basic makeup that I wear.
- Since the holidays are almost here, gifts will be handmade or purchased from a small local business. I may have to buy some supplies in order to make some of the gift ideas that I have. Preferably, I will find some good experience gifts (like tickets to a show or a day at the zoo)!
- Any medical costs for family or pets will be taken care of normally.
I’m sure that there will be more rules as certain circumstances come up, but that is all I can think of for now!
Let me know your thoughts! Would you consider going 6 months, 3 months, or even a week without buying anything new.