The Year of Buying Nothing

keep-calm-and-buy-nothing-32Last year turned into the Year of Buying Everything here at Casa Aloha: new tires, new washer and dryer, new computer, new phone, new clothes for school, dorm room needs, new kitchen worktable, new living room chair, and so forth. Along with all the traveling we did, it was an expensive year. We saved nothing extra.

Brett and I have decided that 2017 will be The Year of Buying Nothing. We have a goal to save as much as possible this year, so that other than buying food, toiletries, paper goods and cleaning supplies we’re putting ourselves on a spending fast for the year, with a few exceptions:

  • Necessary items for YaYu. She will require uniforms and team shirts for sports, new running shoes and socks for cross country in the fall, and a prom dress this year, although she’s thinking of renting one from Rent the Runway instead of buying.
  • Christmas and birthday gifts. Meiling’s and YaYu’s January birthday gifts were purchased before the end of last year, so WenYu is the only one of the girls to buy for this year (we have a $50 limit per girl). We’ll purchase our grandson’s birthday gift when we are in Japan, and will bring along and leave birthday gifts for our granddaughter’s first birthday next fall because the postage from here to Japan is just too outrageous now. We have a monthly allotment already set up for Christmas shopping next year, so those expenses will be covered. Brett and I don’t exchange birthday or Christmas gifts.
  • Baby gifts to take to Japan. Used items are not appreciated in Japanese culture, so we will be buying some new things for our granddaughter to take with us in March.

    Omamori for sale at a shrine in Japan

    Omamori for sale at a shrine in Japan

  • Souvenirs. Brett and I have decided that purchases in Japan will be limited to food items (KitKats!) and some omamori (amulets) for good luck and fortune from the shrines we visit.

There are thrift stores here on the island, but we’ve decided that rather than even buying used, it’s better to buy nothing at all. Looking around, we definitely don’t need anything so hopefully this will be a fairly easy challenge to stick with this year.

The more we don’t buy, the more we can save. Let the Year of Buying Nothing begin!

Advertisements

21 thoughts on “The Year of Buying Nothing

  1. Vicky says:

    I’m with you on being more mindful with spending this year. We spent way too much last year, part of that is because we live in the Bay Area and we have a big chunk of change for rent on the 1st of each month and that seems to set the tone. I’m trying to be more rigid with expenditure, sticking to my grocery list, not throwing in anything extra as CVS because I have a coupon. I live close enough to the shops that if I run out of soap it only takes me 5 minutes to walk to the store to get the next bar as needed. I’nm figuring if I can come in under budget in January that will set the tone for the rest of the year.

    BTW a viewing recommendation for you to add to your list is A French Village. It’s only available on Amazon MHZ. There are 6 series. It’s a french production with english sub titles. It’s set in WW2 in a French village from the time it is occupied by the Germans after the Vichy agreement through to the end of the war. It is very gripping and we are binge watching that at the moment as it is possible to get a free 7 day trial of the Amazon MHZ service.

    Like

  2. Hawaii Planner says:

    I love your plan of buying nothing. I’m trying hard to limit us to just “needs”, and to also get rid of things we don’t use. Knowing a move is looming is helping, and also motivating even my husband, who is usually pretty disinterested in this stuff.

    Like

    • Vicky says:

      It’s scary how much we pay and how little we get in return. However, there is definitely a turn in the market in the renter’s favor. We live in Redwood City, they have been building so much supply that it is now outstripping demand. I know they are struggling to fill our apartment complex and rents for 2 bedroom apts have come down by $700 in this complex over the last 7 months. Even so, prices are still ridiculous. Everyone has the idea that if you are living an working in SV you must be earning millions, but the crazy thing is, and I feel embarrassed to say this, a salary of less than $200,000 is a struggle because rent is so high and buying is even sillier with the initial cost plus property taxes.

      Like

      • Laura says:

        We looked at retiring in California (my home state) and gave up pretty quickly. Between housing costs and taxes there was no way we’d have made it. Housing is outrageous here too, but no as bad as California, especially up your way.

        Like

    • Laura says:

      Honestly, every time I think of something, for now anyway, I figure out pretty quickly that we don’t need it. YaYu is going to be the one that needs things, but we’ve told her even she needs to think “minimal” this year.

      Brett used to be the biggest pack rat I knew. He never threw anything away. Now he’s maybe more minimalist than I am.

      Like

    • Laura says:

      Honestly, every time I think of something, for now anyway, I figure out pretty quickly that we don’t need it. YaYu is going to be the one that needs things, but we’ve told her even she needs to think “minimal” this year.

      Brett used to be the biggest pack rat I knew. He never threw anything away. Now he’s maybe more minimalist than I am.

      Like

  3. Joy Franks says:

    We’re doing the same in our house. . . . no buying of anything. We set the goal of how much we want to save and will work to reach that amount.

    Like

    • Laura says:

      We’ve got an idea out there of what we’d like to save, but no definite goal other than to save as much as we can. I know what we have “left over” every month, but there still always seems to be something that digs into it (usually something YaYu needs).

      Like

    • Laura says:

      We will be stocking up along the way as well, at least some. We don’t have a lot of storage, but we plan to buy extra of one or two things every month and tuck it away. Interesting times are coming.

      Like

  4. Vivian Gibson says:

    I wish I could follow that but I’ve been putting off expenses like new glasses for two years. Also tractor repairs and some plumbing issues that have waited too long. Maybe 2018

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s