Yesterday marked one week since I began my minimalism challenge not to buy anything for one year. So how did week 1 go?
Last Monday, the first day of the challenge, I mailed out a purse I sold on eBay. $100 (minus eBay and Paypal fees) in my pocket. On Thursday, I sold another item on eBay and made another $25! The bag was a color that didn’t go with much of my wardrobe. I regretted selling the bag for about 10 minutes, because despite it’s unusual color, I really liked it. I sold it intending to replace it with something that suits my needs better, which was my last purchase before my year of buying nothing. While I haven’t bought anything new, this week I am still receiving a few things I purchased prior to the beginning of the Year of Buying Nothing.
I was happy to receive the items, but it was also a little anxiety-provoking. It’s very very real now. This endeavor seems so much harder facing the prospect of not having any purchases to look forward to. No new shiny things to open.
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID I SPEND MONEY ON THIS WEEK?
We spent money on few small trips to the grocery store, a tank of gas, and a Lyft to a friend’s wedding across town (um, yeah, open bar). The ride there was $5 off because it was my first ride, but still cost a few dollars. Our wedding present for the couple was purchased before beginning the Year of Buying Nothing, so they got a physical gift. Also, we did get takeout once from Jason’s Deli and dinner out at the comedy club—we got free tickets to the show—but other than that we ate at home (hence the grocery store trips).
WHAT ELSE WOULD I HAVE BOUGHT?
There were lots of temptations—I am still in the mindset of see it, want it, buy it. These are the things I saw this week that I definitely would have purchased had I not committed myself to this Year of Buying Nothing.
1. Saddleback Leather Co. Digital Paper sleeve—100-year warranty and apparently the perfect size to carry folders like the type I carry for court all the time. It was on sale 25% off. However, I totally can and should make do with what I currently have.
2. Lucky Brand Beaded Hamsa Pouch. Perfect for using in my tote bags for organization. This was a very nice pouch and was on sale, plus an additional 40% off the sale price as well. While it was tempting, I do have cosmetic bags and pouches currently that serve the purpose of organizing my tote bags. If I’m honest, with myself I don’t really need another.
3. Blessid Union of Souls Kickstarter. A contribution of $25 or more gets you a digital download of the new album, plus an autographed physical CD. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but, like so many other ill-thought out purchases, given time to truly consider the purchase, I realized I only really know that one song they did like 20 years ago and I might be confusing them for another band, so I’m glad I didn’t actually buy it.
4. Butterfly prayer flag: The butterfly is a very special symbol to me and that is why I really wanted this flag. It would be very nice to have, but I will be fine without it. That is the whole point of this experiment, isn’t it?
I really love the message of it, but I do not need to have the physical version of the flag to love and appreciate the flag’s message and carry it with me. I don’t know where I’d even put it if I had bought it, to be honest. So, rather than clutter up my house with the physical version of the flag, I had the idea to take a screenshot of the image and set it as the lock screen on my phone. That’s even better than buying the flag because it’s free and I can carry the message with me always and be reminded whenever I look at my phone.
5. Last year, I was in a good friend’s wedding and bought a very expensive bridesmaid dress. With the wedding we’re going to this weekend, I assumed I would re-wear that dress–it’s the only thing I own that would work for the wedding’s formal dress code and there’s no way I wasn’t going to wear it ever again after spending so much money on it. Trying it on the night before–EMERGENCY!–I had apparently lost enough weight that the dress was far too loose. While I was freaking out, my husband did some quick googling and suggested a belt to make the dress work. A few months ago, I would have bought a new formal dress without questioning it. At the very least, I was considering buying a new sash or belt, as the teal dress was a very difficult color to match. I turned my closet inside out and found a scarf to tie around the waist to make it work. I even got compliments on it from other guests! I’ve been very impressed with myself finding creative solutions to meet my needs and make do with what I have.
Total amount I saved that I would have spent this week: $135 (does not include the cost of dress or sash I briefly considered buying because I did not actually shop for any or consider anything specific)