Okay, here we go again. Packing up to move. Exciting indeed. I do love change and all that it entails. However, with all the moving that I’ve done in the past, you would think that I’d have this down pat.
Guess again ….
How on earth does one accumulate so much stuff?? Ok, ok, I am the ULTIMATE pack rat (many will vouch for me there). And it really sucks when one moves a lot, as I do.
So I’ve found a list on “How to Buy Nothing“, and I’m checking it twice. Maybe this will be useful to me someday??
Peace out ….
- Make a budget and stick to it. Don’t treat your budget like a New Year’s resolution. While sticking to your budget will require sacrifices and self-control, it’s the only way to get your finances under control, and it will help you avoid accumulating a bunch of worthless crap in the process.
- Leave the money at home. The easiest way to not buy anything is simply not to take any cash, checks, or credit cards with you when you go out. At most, take only a small amount of cash with you for emergencies.
- Avoid plastic. The easiest solution is to live without credit cards. If you’re not comfortable with that, or if you want to hold credit cards to improve your credit, cut up your credit cards or leave them at home so you won’t use them unless it’s an emergency.
- Avoid unnecessary upgrades. Yes, that new toaster has a little bell and can toast eight slices at once, but seriously, how often do you need eight slices of toast? Our consumer culture pressures people to replace (and often throw out) perfectly good products with newer products for silly reasons, like fashion. Remember, an avocado-colored oven may work just as well as one that’s mango-colored.
- Try to get things you need or want for free. In a surprising number of cases you can get whatever you need without spending a dime.
- Check local "free sales" or visit websites such as freecycle or craigslist. These sites are so useful precisely because people buy things they don’t need or replace perfectly good things with similar, newer things.
- Try bartering. Your past extravagances have probably left you with a lot of things you no longer need, but which other people may want. Experience directly some of the gains from trade that economists are always talking about.
- Borrow. If you just need a product for a short time, why not use someone else’s? There’s no shame in borrowing as long as you reciprocate when someone else needs to borrow something of yours.
- Ask yourself some questions. Will I use this every day? Will I use it enough for it to be worth buying? How many hours did I have to work to pay for this? Employ the 3-month forecast. Ask yourself if you’ll still be using the product regularly in 3 months. If you have lived this long without it, do you really need it? If you move frequently, contemplate whether this purchase is really worth hauling around each time you move.
- Avoid shopping malls altogether , if possible. If you need to purchase something, go to a store that sells that thing. Don’t just head for the mall, where you’ll likely get lured into buying other things you don’t need. If you just go to the mall to hang out, consider finding new hobbies.
- Use the buddy system. If you go out with friends, you may find that you enjoy yourselves so much that you don’t even feel like buying anything. You should all make a pact to prevent purchases. It’s kind of like a 12-step program to escape the consumer culture.
- Use the "rule of 7." If something you want is over 7 dollars, wait 7 days and ask 7 trusted people whether this is a good purchase. Then buy it if you still think it is a good idea. This rule will curtail impulse buying. As you get more financially secure and have a larger disposable income, you can gradually increase the threshold upward from 7 dollars.
- Examine your beliefs. Corporations invest billions of dollars yearly to persuade people to accept the religion of consumerism. It’s a religion that goes against the teaching of just about every other religion, belief system, or moral code. Think about what you really believe, and see if your decisions are motivated by your own code or by diet soda advertisements.
- Make gifts for people. Use your own talents or skills–or learn a new skill–to make gifts that people will remember long after they’ve forgotten store-bought presents. Remember the lesson of the magi: it really is the thought that counts. Money won’t buy you happiness or friends.
- "Buy Nothing Day" is November 24, 2006 in North America and November 25th elsewhere. You can participate by not participating in the holiday shopping rush on that day.
- Studies show the average person spends less when paying with hard currency, and much more when paying with credit – because when you use a credit card it feels as though you are not parting with anything real.
- If you are roaming around potential danger zones (shopping malls, for instance), keep yourself engrossed in yourself so that you don’t focus on your surroundings. Concentrate on where you are going, but pay no attention to businesses like stores or restaurants.
- Read books such as Why We Buy, so you can be hip to retailer tactics that are used to get people to buy things they do not need. Get the books at the library to avoid painful irony.
- Can’t think of anyplace to hang out but the mall? Try visiting a friend, taking a walk on a nature trail, going to a free concert or event, or playing at the park. Your life can be richer in more ways than one if you eschew shopping centers.
- Instead of renting movies, check your local library—many libraries offer a wide selection of movies for free.