Buy nothing new update- Month 3

Month 3 is done in my buy nothing challenge. If you want to know the ground rules, check out this post. The plan is basically try and buy no new material possessions. This is a bit tougher as I lost all of my possessions on October 7th in the Tubb’s Fire. Health items and food do not count. Things my wife buys do not count (unless it is for me). This is also not a effort to be frugal, but change my consumeristic mental mode.

Buy nothing

The first 9 days of March went buy quickly and with no major purchases. I spent a weekend in Tahoe and another one in Park City. Other than food, and I did spend a lot on food, I did not buy anything.

On the 10th my son and I went out to buy matching suits. I had been wanting a suit to complete my wardrobe. As a doctor I think it is helpful to have at least one good suit. Initially I was going to go to Nordstrom’s, but settled on Sak’s 5th factory store. I found a navy suit for $230, supposedly saving $670 in the process. Not bad.

The funny thing is that I was at the store and saw the deal I received and debated buying another suit. Now I did not need 2 suits and purposefully went in with the plan to purchase 1. But here I was, standing there and briefly thinking I should buy another one. Honestly, if I was not thinking about and writing about buying nothing this year, I would have probably bought another suit. So I consider this a win. Slowly but surely changing those synapses.

After that I did go and buy my son a suit jacket. This was frivolous and unnecessary. It was not for an event, but purely for his joy and our experience together. Still, research shows that experiences are more meaningful then things, and for me this was an experience and memory I will always remember. He was so psyched to get the coat and wear it out. He felt quite handsome. The kicker was that it cost $80…so not cheap. Still I think it was worth it.

I also bought some calcium hardener for the hot tub. Not sure this is necessary, but the testing strips has it as something that should be maintained. I put this under home maintenance.

March 17th- An expensive day. We have 2 camping trips planned and only 1 piece of luggage. So my wife sent me out to the REI Garage Sale to buy some things. If you do not know what a REI Garage Sale is, it is where they sale all returned or defective items at a deep discount. So I went and at 9:30 am, thirty minutes before the store opened, there were already a 155 people in line. Crazy!  So what did I get. A tent (half off), some cooking gear (half off), a backpack (first one we bought since the fire and 70% off), and luggage (also half off). Great deals and all planned.

I did fall into a trap and purchased a toddler carrier for hiking. We had been looking for about a year, but were not ready to spend $280 on one. I was able to buy one for $99. Not too bad. I figure if we do not use it, we can sell it on Craigslist for at least that much.

The rest of the month went pretty well. The only other purchase was a pair of running (actually in my case walking) shoes prior to our trip with Disneyland (more proof that this experiment is about stuff and not money…Disney sure is expensive). Since my feet have been hurting so bad I figured I should buy a pair of decent sneaks. Sure enough, I found a pair and proceeded to walk 8 miles in Disneyland. So I could argue this was for my health, but that may be a weak argument.

Monthly recap


Well another month and likely the less successful month I have had. I have bought 17 things in the last 3 months. This is while intentionally trying not to buy anything. After all I am human and to err is human; to forgive, divine.

Running list of material things I have bought in 2018

  • Hair clipper (personal hygiene)
  • Retainer for my teeth (health related)
  • Free t-shirt’s x 2
  • Microphone for podcast (business)
  • Picture frame hangers (should have used nails but the frame is quite heavy and we live in earthquake country)
  • Ant baits (home maintenance)
  • Yoga mat (health related)
  • Fancy shoe inserts for my flat feet (health related)
  • Bromine tablets for hot tub (home maintenance) and lavender smelling stuff (frivolous)
  • Fancy cooler (frivolous but useful)
  • Hubcap x 1 (frivolous but makes me feel good)
  • Suits- his and his….(mine was for future business and my son’s was frivolous/experience)
  • Hot tub calcium hardener (home maintenance)
  • A tent (planned)
  • Luggage and a back pack (needed for all the traveling we do)
  • A child carrier (frivolous and fell for the sale)
  • Walking shoes (for my health or unnecessary? You decide.)

Wanna take control of your life?

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Also published on Medium.


I am a Dad and Doctor trying to make sure I am living life in the best way possible. Whether it is having my finances together, being a great parent, or balancing my home life with work, I am here to kick a$$ and help you do the same.

18 thoughts on “Buy nothing new update- Month 3

  • April 15, 2018 at 9:08 am

    These are great updates and make me want to try something similar.

  • April 10, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Hey, DDD. You’re doing great. Given our hyper-consumerist society, buying only 17 items in three months is quite an achievement. My no-buying quest for 2018 pertains to fast food. I vowed not to dine at McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A, etc., etc., for at least a year. And so far, with three months down, I’m holding firm. In fact, I don’t even think of fast food anymore. Those synapses are changing! Thanks for the update, my friend. Cheers.

    • April 10, 2018 at 5:18 pm

      Nice work. I don’t crave fast food but have hit up chick-fil-a once this year. On the other hand I live by McDonalds and have not even been there for a Big Mac.
      Stay strong!

  • April 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    And when it’s all said and done you wind up owning just what you need, no more no less. There is something very balanced about that. You are neither deprived nor choking on excess. I’m enjoying then journey with you.

  • April 8, 2018 at 7:12 am

    I commend you for the effort. Buying nothing in your shoes must be difficult since I’m sure there are things that you are realizing that you don’t have anymore because of the fire and its stuff that you actually need. I don’t think that you have failed at all. Its a challenge and at least you are now thinking about purchases differently and thats all that matters.

    • April 8, 2018 at 7:16 am

      Thanks Mrs WOW. It is a fun endeavour and at the end of the day, as long as I am honest with purchases, then it’s a win.

  • April 8, 2018 at 5:48 am

    Now that I start thinking about it, maybe we do buy a lot. Damn you Jeff Bezos!

    I have fleetingly thought of joining but come up with a quick excuses, like we’re moving cross country. But you had the fire so…..
    Let me think about it.

    • April 8, 2018 at 5:54 am

      Moving is a good excuse, but you will likely give away more than you buy. I find cross country or even local moves a good time to down size…good luck!

  • April 8, 2018 at 5:47 am

    I think you’re winning the battle. The challenge is forcing you to examine your motives behind the purchases.

    I was in a similar position as you with the 2nd suit — with a 2nd dress. I ordered several dresses on line from Belk. I needed one for a wedding and intended to return the rest to a local store. I chose the wedding dress, but another fit beautifully. It was around $50 and a little less fancy. I hardly ever wear dresses and so i didn’t keep it. A few months later I wished I had when another wedding popped up that was more low key, and the second dress would have been a nice alternative.

    • April 8, 2018 at 5:53 am

      Ah….it is strange but fun. Yesterday my wife took me to Marshalls and I was shocked how little I wanted to be there. I had no desire to shop.

  • April 7, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Cool running list! We’re doing something similar. We started ’18 with the goal of not buying any new clothes and so far so good on that front.

    • April 7, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Nice work! We have not bought much clothes…really the camping gear and my feet is what is getting me

  • April 7, 2018 at 8:06 am

    Hello DDD!

    Conscious value based spending- love it. It get easier with time. Good luck with your project.

    Once you start tracking, it becomes eye opening how much one buys eh?

    • April 7, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Yes it does. I now need to cut back on some of the food and beverage purchases now.

  • April 7, 2018 at 3:16 am

    Wow. That list for 2018 is so small! While I think spending is fine, it is quite eye opening to track purchases so closely. I look forward to following these updates.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *