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how to not buy anything

the quest to avoid credit card debt continues. we paid it off in march with the help of tax refunds and extras, plus lack of spending. If we spend less than what we make, the balance goes down. now we have to see if we can keep it that way.

I've been reading some good posts about "buy nothing" initiatives, I've bought some things these past months but it's been a lot less, mostly by making little rules for myself:

1) Look for a used version first. I was so dead sick of airing up my tires at gas stations and had a $50 air compressor in my amazon cart, totally justified... then remembered to check facebook marketplace. $15 on the south side of town later and I had a used compressor that worked great!

2) No impulse online purchases. Something has to be in my cart for at least 24 hours before ordering.

3) I told Marc about everything I wanted to buy. I realize I am an empowered woman who earns my own way in the world, but when you realize you have to justify your purchase to another person, who's ALSO trying not to spend, who knows your financial goals, you spend differently! I really think an unmarried person could duplicate this with a good friend as an accountability partner.

4) Space out purchases. I only order from amazon once a month, and spend the rest of the month adding and removing stuff from my cart. If I go to Target or another retail store it's also a very slow, methodical process... think about it for a week, have my list, buy my thing, then don't go to a store again for two weeks.

5) Track every credit card purchase and stare at the balance every day. Have a goal.

6) update lj once a month with how you're doing :) this place has always been good for turning things over in my mind, keeping them in my head, holding myself accountable to you internet friends who have no real power over me but somehow, I care what you think! and you have good ideas. thanks, lj!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 20th, 2019 03:33 pm (UTC)
Such great rules!! And, I totally agree about the LJ accountability :)
Apr. 20th, 2019 04:31 pm (UTC)
That's a good way of going about it. I think you're a little younger than me, but most people hit a point in their life where they have all they need. This was a very magical moment!
Apr. 20th, 2019 09:21 pm (UTC)
I'm 39, and yup, I have everything I need.

Sometimes I think back to my first apartment when I was 22 years old and all the dishes, furniture, shelves, storage bins, etc I got because I figured it was time to stock up that apartment, and I'm like NOOOO! I didn't feel like I had too much stuff but if I could go back I'd be like girl live in a 400 sq foot studio with NOTHING for as long as possible! You need a bed and a library card. One plate, one fork, and a water bottle. do not have STUFF!
Apr. 21st, 2019 12:08 pm (UTC)
Some very good points. I've cut back on spending, but mostly because of age. You have a certain amount of stuff, and it doesn't feel as if you need more. And saving for traveling has become more important.

Very much into the buying used, too, especially books.
Apr. 21st, 2019 01:00 pm (UTC)
Go you! Glad you have a set of rules that you can stick with and that accomplish the objective!
Apr. 22nd, 2019 12:48 am (UTC)
I've been doing a "year of less" this year and really examining every purchase. If it's a WANT and not a NEED, it doesn't get purchased. I've made a few exceptions but I think through the purchase thoroughly about the purchase.

Good luck with this!
Apr. 23rd, 2019 01:36 pm (UTC)
You are doing an awesome job! I think I'm going to incorporate some of this into our own lives. Thank you!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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