Since I think this is a good goal for a variety of reasons, I've been throwing out what things I can and cannot include in my "no spend" pile:
- Clothing-under normal circumstances, I think ninety percent of Americans can live without buying new clothing (except underwear and socks) for a year, unless they make a major climate change. This would certainly be normal for myself, except for the fact that I lost fifty pounds in the last few months and have another fifty to go. Since I'm a quilting expert, not a true seamstress, I'll shortly look like a middle aged orphan. I can, however, commit to buying used clothing only (with the aforementioned exemptions) which will be easier the more weight I loose.
- Personal Products and OTC meds like aspirin and first aid products. I have a small stash of these, and CVS and Walgreen's regularly have deals where these are free after coupons and the like. Beyond this year, I may never have to buy these things again. Obviously if I need aspirin and have not found a sale I will buy it. But as we speak I have five body wash bottles, two shampoos and two conditioners, besides the one I am using............so I believe this is a doable challenge. It will also push me to use those last dribs and drabs which I sometimes forget to use.
- Books. I'm going to again commit to not buying any fiction, instead relying on the library, gift cards and free kindle books. I believe this to be doable. I will still buy non-fiction. Lest anyone misunderstand my stand on books from my previous discussions, I do in fact read piles of fiction-at least two books a week on average. I just haven't found many fiction books that I need to keep on my shelf. I cannot eliminate non fiction because of requirements for classes and the occasional reference book on gardening that I may decide to buy.
- Household products and decorator items. While I would like to say that I will not spend on these items, instead I will say that these items will be bought used if they can be-this section includes pillows, candles, throws, curtains, bathroom rugs and the like. Many people would find this an easy area on which to spend nothing-I would probably agree, with the exception of my windows and patio items, living in a warm climate. I've had blinds and no curtains for three years because nothing has struck me as "right"-Murphy's law says that the minute I pinky swear on this deal it will come to me in a flash!
- Home entertainment. I believe that I can commit to this with the exception of my ten dollar Netflix commitment. I am fortunate that I regularly get I tunes gifts, and have many Cd's already to listen to as well as radio streaming. I never, ever buy movies, saving my money instead for those times I can go to the real theater for free.
What about you? Are there things you could be getting cheaper or for free?? Things you could buy used or do without? Can you do any "non-spending" in the months to come?