So yesterday marked the end of April and the end of Crunchy Chicken‘s Buy Nothing Challenge. How did I do? Well, here is a list of all non-food, non-educational, non-necessity purchases made in the past month:
$24.81 at Lush in New York (hubby’s gift for me after a business trip to NYC, though technically he didn’t sign up for the challenge so it may be exempt)
$31 kids haircuts (I could have just waited until May, but that didn’t really seem in keeping with the challenge)
$45 birthday present for a friend (it’s not like you can put that off when there’s a party!)
And here is the big baddy: I had to fork out $70 for a parking ticket I got months ago and forgot to pay!
The challenge was pretty easy for me because I don’t do “shopping as a hobby” and I rarely buy things for myself that aren’t necessary. I’ve been living frugally for four months now (and in past years I’ve had to do so not by choice but by circumstance) so it’s getting to be habit to look for alternatives to buying (libraries, thrift stores, etc). On the other hand, since my kids are homeschooled alot of our purchases get written off as educational. We visited Science World and had to pay for parking there, saw a movie there that was extra admission, bought a cool history book, etc. But even though it wasn’t so “challenging” for me, I wholeheartedly support the Challenge as a way of bringing attention to how much unnecessary spending we do as a society, and how consumer-based our collective values are. Hopefully there are some people who signed up for the challenge who have discovered the simple joys of not spending. And it was a nice reaffirmation for others like myself. Thanks, Crunchy!