Friday, January 2, 2009

No-Buy Month

This month, I'll be celebrating No-Buy Month. I read about it last year somewhere on the interwebs, and thought I'd try it out to save some cash. The idea, as you can imagine, is: you don't buy anything for a month.

Some people get really crazy with it and don't buy ANYTHING. They stock up in the days before on everything they might possibly need, filling their freezers and cupboards with non-perishables. I, however, really like fresh food, and so I don't go that far. I simply don't buy anything that's not consumable. Food, coffee, wine, movie tickets -- I'll buy all of these things. But I won't purchase anything that will still exist in a closet or on a shelf ten years from now.

Last year, I tried three no-buy months, and I hearted it hard-core. I certainly wasn't perfect; I fell off the wagon a few times. In general, however, it wasn't so much the cash savings that added up as much as the time savings. I have a chronic habit of stopping off somewhere on my way home from work and running errands. I'll get it into my head, say, that I must have a dark gray sweater with a V-neck, and I'll look ten different places to find the right one. During No-Buy Month, there was none of that. I got home from work by 4:15 and could read, walk, knit, whatever.



during No-Buy Months, I felt like consumer society didn't have so much of a hold over me. I figured out how little we actually need to purchase, and how shopping is such a social/ emotional event in our culture. Don't get me wrong, I like to shop. It seems, however, that we identify ourselves these days almost completely by what we own. Finding those identifying objects (talismans, one might say) has become a major time-sucker. And now, with the economy going bust, we're being told it's our patriotic duty to shop.


So this year, I'm going to try to make every third month a no-boy month, starting with January. Trust me, I'll still be contributing to the economy the rest of the time. Nobody can claim I don't love America enough to buy shoes.


Darci said...

I love it. Just think, you're still supporting the economy by buying wine!

Unknown said...

I hope you really didn't mean "no boy month" because that would be no fun at all.