Buy Nothing

We’re trying something new! We’ve started a year of buying nothing new. To clarify, sometimes that will mean buying nothing and sometimes it will mean buying nothing new. Make sense? 🙂 Our goal in all of this is to save money, reduce our consumption & footprint and focus on memory-making rather than stuff.

While we’ve certainly been pursuing this in other ways, last year was a huge year of buying stuff. We furnished an apartment and had to switch our wardrobes away from clothes meant for the heat of a Tucson summer (or basically year round Tucson weather). Now that we’ve moved and settled twice in 10 months, it seems pretty obvious that we have everything we need. So, with that in mind, we’re going to try to further stop the mania of stuff!

These are our basic ground rules:

  1. We won’t buy things that don’t replace something we already own that broke or wore out and we genuinely need/use… for example, if our crockpot spontaneously explodes, we’re getting another.
  2. If something breaks and we need to replace it, we will do what we can to find it used. However, I can already think of a few exceptions to this… Matt’s tennis shoes are about 4 years old and his big toe made an appearance back in November. He can have a brand new pair of good tennis shoes.
  3. True consumables, like food, t.p., soap, deodorant, etc. are still okay. We promise basic hygiene isn’t going anywhere. However, consumables like ziploc bags and nail polish won’t be replaced. We can do without those. Matt can especially do without the nail polish.
  4. Spending on memory-making experiences & events is okay and even encouraged. This also extends to purchases directly related to memory-making. We don’t own a tent. We will be buying a tent in order to go camping this summer. Hence, memory-making. I’m also willing to consider a memento from a trip. But it better be a darn good one.
  5. The rules are meant to guide us  in our goals, but not to restrain us from reality. We’re already certain more exceptions will be made.

While we have no idea what surprises this year will hold, it seems like this should cover the more normal purchases we might be tempted by. Of course, there’s no way to know for sure, which is why we won’t beat ourselves up if something has to be changed.

We’ll update the struggles and victories every once in a while. Let us know if you want in! It’s always more fun to deny yourself all the pleasures of purchasing if there are other people doing the same 🙂 Also if you have questions or challenges to the rules that would help us think through this better, let us know!

We officially started on Monday, January 23, 2017. (The plan was to start on Sunday, but then an author/speaker we really like had books available and he was signing them so we caved and got one… hopefully not a sign of the next 364 days.)

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3 thoughts on “Buy Nothing

  1. I completely understand and agree with this mindset. Morgan and I tend to travel and go on adventures and make memories over buying things. The only thing we do buy when we are doing those memory trips is a Christmas Ornament. That way at Christmas we get to put up those ornaments and remember those wonderful memories. Saves a lot of money. Good luck!

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    1. We’ve been doing this for a couple years now, but never quite as intentionally for a year. We get an ornament each year, so it’ll have to be trip-based this time 🙂

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