Buy Nothing!

Buy Nothing Challenge - April 2008Crunchy Chicken has done it again: another Challenge! This time, I’m jumping in (I missed most of the earlier ones). As I noted in my last post, Husband and I have not been doing too well at sticking to our monthly budget of late and I thought this challenge was just the thing I needed to get me back on track.

The idea is based on AdBusters’ Buy Nothing Day event, but now frugal folks everywhere have decided to make it more of a daily mindset. On the Frugality forum over at Mothering.Com they’ve had No-Spend Challenges for the last few months. The rules of the Buy Nothing Challenge are as follows: you can buy anything that constitutes a necessity – food, fuel, etc. IF you feel you truly have to have that certain something you must find it second hand, borrow it from a friend, or trade/barter for the item. But within reason, of course: blowing $1000 on a refurbished Mac isn’t in the spirit of the challenge!

I’ve already cancelled a one-hour massage at the Spa, and this itself deserves some explanation. I won two free sessions at this Spa in a fundraising raffle for my La Leche League group. The place is a home-business, the lady has converted their ground-level suite into a nice little Spa and she is a mum, too. I felt kinda guilty for taking up two hours of her time and only giving her a tip for her efforts. I won’t lie – the massages were amazing. I’ve had chronic neck and shoulder pain for years now due to a lifetime of bad posture and she was really making some progress on the knots in my back. But it’s $50 per session and I just really can’t justify that expense. Perhaps I can go to my family doctor and get a referral to a massage therapist. But I’m just not the Spa type, you know? I just really wanted to support this woman and what she is doing, but the best I can do right now is refer other friends to her.

Husband has been hankering for a new laptop. I told him yesterday that given our poor spending habits of late I think we owe it to ourselves to make do with what we’ve got for the next little while.

The only things I was planning on buying this month are some lighter-weight pants for Son, who has grown out of everything save for a couple pairs of heavy fleece pants that are getting too warm for him. But those I can happily get at Value Village, and even get the kids a toy each (as is our custom) without breaking the challenge rules. I also need to buy some more seeds and soil mixture to finish up my second Square Foot Garden bed and plant some more crops now that we are past our Last Spring Frost date. Since I’ll be buying all edible plants, this falls under the category of Food. I’ll try to hold off on buying the materials for my trellis until next month, although I think technically they would be considered food-related (and no, I don’t have the time to drive around to various constructions sites in search of 18 inch rebar and steel electrical conduit).

I don’t think I’m going to find this too difficult; truth is I’m not much of a shopper to begin with. But for whatever reason Husband and I still made excuses to spend more money than we wanted and so I’m hoping that this Challenge will give me that little boost I need to think a third time before I buy. And having to present myself at Crunchy’s Sunday Confessional will be a further motivation!

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Categories: consumerism, money matters | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Buy Nothing!

  1. Pingback: Ditch the Shower Bottles « Rural Aspirations

  2. missypup

    I use shampoo, but it’s the biodegradable type and doesn’t foam up much — also, it’s in a larger bottle with a pump. I find you use less when you know how much you’re using!

    The bottles bug me, but not enough to use a bar on my precious long golden (or is it faux-golden) locks!

  3. I use either my own soap or bicarb, both work well. I’m really pleased you will try making your own soap. It’s quite easy to do and when you’ve got the basic soap done, you can work on other types of soap. There are many benefits, I’m sure you’ll continue once you start.

  4. ruralaspirations

    Rhonda Jean it is SO nice to see you here! Thanks for your comment. I had never imagined making my own soap until I started reading your blog. I used NaOH (lye) when I worked in the lab so I’m not afraid of it, just respectful. I do have young children so I’m going to wait until I have a good set up for it.

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