60 day challenge // buy nothing new

I’ve read about some seriously impressive frugality challenges people have done. I’m talking, no spending for a year on anything but housing/utilities/food. Or others who build a home using only reclaimed materials. Or that lady who can fit her family’s entire year’s worth of generated garbage into a mason jar. That baffles me. People are awesome. I am so impressed with that kind of commitment to not consume. I do my share of responsible things when I can, when it’s easy for me. But I do plenty of consuming, too. It’s funny how we think we can fix problems buy purchasing the right items (eco-friendly, fair trade, recycled, etc etc) when maybe the solution is to just buy less to begin with.

So I thought I would try 60 days. Anything can be done for a month. How about two months of more self reliance, less consumption. Saving money and preventing more waste.

Some rules..

This is what is on my “approved” list {gotta build in your exceptions/budget in order to succeed, right?}:

  • Mortgage, utilities, gas and food/household/toiletry items are obviously approved. I’ll be working at lowering some of those expenses, too, however.
  • We have already saved up the money for some yard projects. Supplies for building a shed and revamping our deck this month and a few plants are on the agenda for this spring. The money was already allocated and considered spent – just waiting on the weather! So I’m going to allow it. AND we are reusing many materials as we can – more on that later. I will also be looking for some reclaimed alternatives for lots of the materials. It’s going to be FUN!
  • Any small item required to revamp or repair something I already own is approved. So if buying one can of spray paint is in order to revamp an old chair, it’s allowed. But I’ve got lots of supplies to use up already, so that’s the first place I’ll look.
  • Caveat to all those approved items is that I will evaluate them all to make the most responsible choice. I don’t plan on this being easy, but a really valuable experience!

What is not approved:

  • Everything else! No nail polish. No new clothes or shoes. No books. No house gizmos and artwork. No iTunes downloads. My normal little splurges are dunzo.

What is maybe approved:

  • You could interpret this challenge to mean buy nothing retail. If you buy something used, does that count? I think we will just see how it goes if I think of something I truly need.
  • Gifts. Need to think about that. Some people in my life would appreciate something handmade and recycled. I’ll have to give it some thought.

I’m going to blog about it as I go, some creative alternatives I’ve come up with for things I think I need to buy. What I save.

I may also get rid of some things. Yard sale? Sell online? I dunno. I’m going to think of it as simplifying rather than scrimping by. And hopefully I’ll have some extra dough to put on the ol’ student loans or my trip fund as a bonus.

Challenge starts Sunday, April 1 and ends Thursday, May 31.

And I think (cuz I’m crazy) it’s going to be fun.

Who wants in?


8 thoughts on “60 day challenge // buy nothing new”

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