Not long ago, we noticed ourselves getting caught up in the great American Hamster Wheel of “more is better,” and straying from the family mission statement we created during our year of service. So, in an effort to refocus on the important things in life, we vowed to go an entire year without buying any “stuff.” Here’s a video to explain a bit more. And, to see how we did, check our book The Year without a Purchase (ironically available via Amazon and Barnes & Noble) that’ll be released in August 2015 via WJK Press.
Finally, if you’re up for trying your own challenge, here are the rules we followed:
The Rules – Simplified
- Don’t buy “stuff”
The Rules – Detailed
- We can buy stuff that can be “used up” within a year. Groceries and gas.
- We can’t buy clothes. We have plenty. If there truly is a “need” (ex: not a single pair of our kids’ shoes fit without causing irreversible toe damage), we will find hand-me-downs.
- We can fix stuff that breaks, unless it costs more than a replacement.
- We can use cell phones and internet, since they are both (conveniently) required for our work-from-home jobs.
- Gifts must be in the form of charitable donation or “experience gifts” to build connections and memories (i.e. go to dinner together, visit the zoo, travel to visit friends/family etc.)
Remember: this challenge isn’t so much about saving money, but focusing on the important things in life. Family. Relationships. And giving back. Let us know how it goes for you!