The goal: to not buy a single thing you don’t truly need for a month. The purpose: to invest in experiences that make life richer … and save money. The reality check: You set guidelines and a timeline that make sense for you.
Sound intriguing? Ready to give it a try? Just decide what sort of spending you want to give up and for how long (although a month is the default here, you could do it for even just a week) and set a start date. Here are 10 tips to make your no-buy experience a success.
- Borrow books, music, and movies from the library. As someone who has worked in libraries, I may be a bit biased, but I think libraries are one of our greatest resources — take advantage of them! In many communities you can order books, music and movies online and have them sent to your local branch for free.
- Seek out free events in your community. Keep an eye out for signs and flyers announcing free concerts, plays, movie screenings in the park, lectures and other community events.
- Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without. This Depression-era saying can be a great mantra during a no-buy month. Each time you find yourself thinking about shopping, look around for something to use up instead.
Instead of feeling deprived, look in your cupboards and closets and focus on feeling grateful for the abundance in your life. And then … get creative. Turn that old mug into a plant pot for the herb seeds you found in the cupboard; wash out jam jars to hold makeup brushes or cut flowers; cut up an old T-shirt and use it for rags.
4. Barter or swap with friends and neighbors. Have a productive lemon tree or veggie garden? Offer to swap a bagful of produce for some of your neighbor’s gorgeous flowers. Or organize a swap among friends and trade clothes or decor you are getting bored with.
5. Make something you usually buy. Pick some fresh herbs from the garden to make a fresh tisane instead of buying tea bags, make graham crackers or granola instead of buying it in boxes, or try your hand at making fresh bread or small-batch jam.
You’ll save a few bucks, and you never know — you may even pick up a new hobby.
6. Simplify and streamline. No-buy month is an ideal time for decluttering and paring back your belongings. Gain some breathing space by letting go of excessive stuff. And if you sell rather than donate, you’ll have a little extra cash on hand to spend next month!
7. Savor simple pleasures. A mug of coffee or cocoa. Getting lost in a good book. Listening to your favorite music. Calling a friend on the phone. I think a lot of the time, we fill up our days with busyness and buying stuff because it seems like what we’re supposed to do. This month give yourself a free pass to slow down and savor the things you love most.
8. Get inspired. Motivate yourself to stick with your no-buy commitment by remembering grandparents or great-grandparents who lived through really hard times. Write meaningful quotes on message boards in your home, read books on living frugally and visit inspirational blogs. And if you can convince any friends to try a no-buy challenge with you, all the better.
9. Host a potluck. You can certainly still entertain during no-buy month! Prepare enough of one simple dish to feed a crowd, and ask friends to show up with the rest. You’ll save money and have less work to do — it’ll be a win-win.
10. Spend more time outside. Go for walks. Hang out on the porch. Read a book in the backyard. Carry a picnic basket down to your local park. Being out in the fresh air does wonders for the spirit, especially when the weather is fine and you’re otherwise cooped up in an office all day.
This article was written by Houzz from Forbes and was legally licensed by AdvisorStream through the NewsCred publisher network.
Featured articles are not written by Cornerstone Wealth as information was obtained from third-party sources, which we believe to be reliable, but not guaranteed. These articles are a matter of opinion and are for informational purposes only. Is it not intended to serve as investment advice and does not address or account for individual circumstances. Decisions should always be made based on the client’s specific financial needs, goals, objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance.