Being on a budget, I think a lot about what we really need in order not to make too many unnecessary purchases. Sure, there are many things that would be nice to have, but as our money does not (yet) grow on trees, we take every purchase into consideration of whether we really need it or if we can do without too much pain. The longer I do this, I realize that there are more and more things that are less important to me than I first thought.
I really like writing this blog, but I also really like reading other people’s blogs on the subject of budgeting and personal finances. I learn a lot from reading about other people’s experiences, thoughts and challenges. This week I read this blog about a pair of roommates who decided to buy nothing for a year. Well, almost nothing. For the first three months they cut out all household items and consumer goods. After that they stopped to pay for all services like hairdressers, eating out and even transportation. For the last month, they decided that they will buy nothing at all, not even food! Their experiment ended this August and I still haven’t had the time to read through all the posts, but I surely plan to.
The idea of not buying anything but the most necessary is to me both thrilling and scary. On one hand, we are so used to buying stuff and paying for all sorts of services that having to think of alternatives is a lot of hard work. On the other hand, I am sure that a life changing exercise like this really teaches us about our consumer habits and gives us a chance to change them.
Could I do it also? I don’t know! Some small things we already do. I bake most of our bread myself and since getting a pasta machine for Dear Husbands birthday last February, we have not bought any pasta. We have an electric hair cutter and I cut the hair on all three who haven’t seen a real hairdresser in about five years (I still go twice a year, though). These are small things and I am not sure I could go all the way…
I am thinking about starting with a buy nothing month and see how it goes. What do you think?