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.
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.
- Buy nothing for 1 year: That’s the plan
- January 2018
- February 2018
- March 2018
- April 2018
- May 2018
- June 2018
- July 2018
- August 2018
- September 2018
- October 2018
- November 2018
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.)
Also published on Medium.