My buy nothing month (inspired by this post, among others, over at Our Little Apartment) has gone quite well for me. I made two non-food related purchases, excluding the plane tickets I had to buy recently for a summer trip (the costs kept going up, and it didn’t make sense to wait; I’m stupidly excited for July): pens at the very beginning of the month when I hadn’t really accepted I was going to succeed yet and the iTunes version of the MTV Presents Unplugged 2012: Florence + the Machine album. I shouldn’t have done the iTunes purchase, probably, but (1) one slip up won’t kill me and (2) it (I’m rationalizing, I know) made sense because I had a deal through my AmEx card that if I spent $5 on iTunes I would get a $5 statement credit, so I bought the entire album for essentially $5, and I’ve been wanting it for a while. A fifty percent savings seemed too good to pass up, rightly or wrongly. But overall, I’m quite pleased with how well I did, though I think I might have spent more on food than normal? But I’m okay with that right now.
It also made notice some things about my other spending habits. I’m going to keep along a similar vein for May, but instead of Buy Nothing, it’s going to be a “Buy Only Necessary Things and Don’t Buy Non-Social Coffee” (I need a new pair of sneakers, a lightweight jacket I can run in, and maybe but not definitely a new pair of sandals). I’m also going to do my damnedest to limit myself to purchasing coffee only as a social thing (when I’ve made a coffee date, etc.) – that is, no treats because I know it will be a long work day, or because I’m extra tired, or because I don’t feel well. I have perfectly delicious coffee at home (truth: Tonx is the best), and spending $4 a cup for no particular reason is both absurd and a habit I need to break. I’m also going to cut down on how much I eat out. I by no means eat out excessively or expensively, but it is definitely something on which I need to work.
I’m not sure whether there’s a correlation between buying less and doing more enriching things, but this past month I’ve liked myself more. I’ve spent more time outside; I’ve started running again; I’ve finished one book and started two more; I’ve made progress on knitting (did I mention I’m learning to knit?! I’m learning to knit. I’m making a scarf, currently, which I realize is the most seasonally appropriate thing I could make, I know, but it’s helping me get used to the motions of knitting); I’ve been better about writing posts, even if I haven’t been better about posting them. I think the last month has just made me more aware of how I spend my time; when wandering around the target or the mall isn’t something I want to do, I have to tangibly come up with things, versus passively fall back on shopping for lack of anything better to do. I think it’s been healthy for me. I didn’t shop often anyways, but it definitely became a habit; I’d be bored and not want to clean or sort paperwork, so I’d go to Target instead. I feel like I’m much less inclined to do that now, and I’m pleased. So, yes. Continuing the spirit of Buy Nothing Month for May, though I’m definitely tweaking it a little this month. I’m enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would, honestly. It’s nice.
Anyone else want to do a Buy Nothing month with me in the future? Alternatively, if you’ve done one in the past, did you have trouble? What, if anything, was your biggest problem area?