I am committing to designating January as "Buy Nothing New Month." I am the person in the family who buys most non-food items, but I'm also hoping to engage my family in this campaign. The Internet is full of ideas on how to do this; it's hardly an original idea. This is how I propose to do it:
- Try to use the food we have on hand, in the pantry or the freezer
- Buy mostly fresh food (not packaged or processed) to supplement what we have
- Refrain from buying new clothes, books, toiletries, gifts, or other items if possible
- Spend time to hand-craft gifts for upcoming birthdays or events (I certainly have enough craft supplies on hand!)
- Minimize lunches or dinners out (including my weekly jaunt to the food carts)...or if I do eat out, spend as little as possible
- Avoid paying full price for entertainment (movies, etc.)--look for cheap entertainment options
- Use the gift cards, Groupons, etc. we seem to have amassed instead of spending money on eating out or purchasing things
- Allow myself to spend only credit I've earned at my favorite consignment store
- Think twice each time I spend money on anything--do I have any alternatives? Can I put it off?
- Track what we are spending (we've never been able to maintain that habit for long) and explore other ways to cut our spending
My Yahoo e-mail account seems to be bombarded daily with various bargains and discounts, so I will have to do my best not to succumb. Instead I will read inspiring stories like this one about people who've found a way to cut back spending, relieve debt, and save money. I'm declaring these intentions on my blog today and at the end of the month, I will give a report.
Wish me luck!