Buy Nothing New- update Month 5

Am I crushing this challenge like Big Foot? Read below to find out! If you want to know the ground rules, check out this post. The plan is basically to try and buy nothing. No new material possessions. This is a bit tougher as I lost all of my possessions on October 7th in the Tubb’s Fire and my wife has planned some camping trips for the summer. Health items and food do not count. Things my wife buys do not count (unless it is for me). This is also not an effort to be frugal but change my consumeristic mental mode.

Buy Nothing New – May

First off I have to come clean. I forgot one item in April. My wife bought me a pair of khaki shorts at the end of the month. It is the first pair I own and something that I was going to get anyway, so I will add it to my running list of items.

This month has not been the best. After the shorts, I also bought a pair of jeans (now I own two) and a pair of workout shorts (now I own three). I did not need the shorts, but the pair I bought post-fire had no pockets and it was just becoming annoying. This all happened on May 3rd.


On May 4th, I bought my son a Pickle…well not a pickle to eat, but a monster truck from the show Blaze. It only cost me $3.50 but it completed his set of Five- Blaze, Crusher, Tiger truck, Zeg, and now Pickle! The best part is we saw all of them (well not really them, but similarly colored trucks!) at the Monster Truck Rally we went to May 5th.

May 6th was not any better. My son and I went Mother’s Day shopping. We hit up a local farmer’s market and bought jewelry from 4 local vendors. Why 4 items, well because my wife had lost all of her jewelry in the fire and we wanted to do something nice. We ended up buying her a hairpin, bracelet, necklace, and earrings. They did not all match but they were all fun!

May 17th. I bought a screwdriver. Yup…I had one but it was too big for the thing I needed to screw. So I bought a smaller screwdriver.

May 27th. I bought another screwdriver. So now I have 3. This one is a long and singular Phillips. I also bought a socket wrench and a 3-foot step stool. These were used to build a shed with my brother-in-law. Making Memories.


Making a shed!

May 30th. I actually did not buy anything but my wife bought quite a few things for the camping trip. We went to Gualala River Redwood Park which was quite lovely. There were quite a few items included here including a stove top, roasting sticks, a nice pocket knife, a sleeping bag for me, a cup, some fire starters, and a flask. While these were not all my purchases I would agree with the stove and propane tank, roasting sticks, pocket knife, and sleeping bag. So I will claim those below.


May 31st. The camping extravaganza continues. I suspect since we went on our first camping trip post-fire this weekend it makes sense. Anyway, on the 31st I bought an axe (to splint wood), a kids fishing pole (for my son…he used it for 5 seconds and lost interest…figures), some tent stakes (yup was missing these), and 2 camping chairs (we left our 3 previously purchased ones at home).

You think leaving the chairs was bad, but we actually left our back patio sliding door and screen open all weekend. over 48 hours gone and no robbers but tons of bugs infested our home. As if the mosquitos in Gualala camping this weekend were not bad enough.

Camping Gualala

Would I recommend camping there? YES! Absolutely. It was awesome. We slept among the redwoods, kayaked on a river, played on the river shore for hours throwing rocks and building rock forts, and went to the beach listening to the crashing of the waves.

Not to forget the stars. It has been years, likely 20 + years since I have seen so many stars in the sky. It made me both a little awed (Starstruck!) and sad. Awed at the sheer enormity of space and sad that modern life has taken such views away from our nightly lives.

The Mighty Pacific


Fishing anyone?


Well, am likely failing in my efforts? I guess it depends on how you look at it. Most of my purchases below have been for camping. Now that we have the items hopefully the purchases will decrease significantly. Next time we go we will be sure to close the back door and bring the chairs.

As for items, I do find myself wanting to fall into old habits and buy stuff. I still try to be concious of my purchases and in general avoid stores, malls, etc. Luckily my wife does the groceries and so I have less temptation in my life.

I definitly think I can live more simply and camping this weekend reaffirmed my desire for an RV (talk about a purchase), though now I am thinking of scaling it back to a teardrop. Time will tell and I will be sure to keep you all informed.

Monthly recap

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 a 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 the 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 backpack (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.)
  • Plastic water pipe cover (home maintenance)
  • Camping great including air mattress, tarp, cooking and eating supplies (wife purchase but both of us use this stuff). Also 3 chairs, a sleeping bag, an inflatable mattress for me, and 2 headlamps.
  • Khaki shorts (personal)
  • Pair of jeans and workout shorts (personal)
  • Pickle Monster Truck (frivolous but worth the smile on my son’s face).
  • Hairpin, bracelet, necklace, and earrings (gifts for my wife! Happy Mother’s Day)
  • A screwdriver.
  • Another screwdriver, a socket wrench, and a step stool (tools, but used to build memories with my brother-in-law)
  • A stove and propane tank, roasting sticks, pocket knife, and sleeping bag (more camping gear but we should be complete now! Why all the camping gear? Well we have at least 3 summer trips planned and maybe adding more to the schedule. Ah Northern California!).
  • An ax, 2 chairs, 10 tent stakes, and a fishing rod (I hope the camping spree is done).

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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.

4 thoughts on “Buy Nothing New- update Month 5

  • June 6, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Ditto on the round of applause!

    Good on you for getting your wife jewelry and having your son help pick it out. I’m sure she loved it. And I’m a big proponent of walking shoes. Sneakers without a good arch can wreck your feet.

    Speaking of feet, you had me at Big Foot.

  • June 5, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    I still applaud you DDD. I think that you are doing a fantastic job with the whole buy nothing experiment especially given your starting point. Even though you are still making purchases, I’m sure there is a new mental discussion going through your head before you make any purchase and you are probably starting to look at buying things a little different. Don’t beat yourself up, if it was easy it wouldn’t have been a good experiment in the first place… Oh and the RV talks are happening in our household as well, must be some RV fever bug going around. I agree that it is a significant purchase, but it is also extremely limiting in how many items you can have while living in it.

    • June 5, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      Ha. Thanks for the support! We try and try again. The mental conversation is way different now. I mean light years from where I was a year ago.

      As for RV’s, I wish my wife would let me live in it full time, but she says the toddler needs a home. It’s probably a good thing she keeps me grounded. We still might purchase one for weekend camping trips! Will keep you updated and please do the same regarding your plans!


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