Author Topic: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year  (Read 5338 times)

Moneyisntlove

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Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« on: February 15, 2012, 12:14:05 PM »
Just wondering if anyone has ever seriously tried to do this.  I'm thinking it might be fun to set up a challenge to see who
can go the longest without buying ANYTHING.  Is anyone else in?

Somnambulist

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 12:19:28 PM »
This is something I've tried to interest my wife in several times. I think realistically I could expect to go two weeks until I had to break down and buy gas. I think we've gone at least a week and a half before without buying anything but I'd like to see how much longer we could hold out. It might encourage us to get creative with those cans hiding out in the back of our pantry.

Scrooge

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 12:20:27 PM »
Ohhoho, I'm in for this one, but just out of curiosity, is food included in this challenge? ;)

Guitarist

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 12:24:29 PM »
I've been wanting to avoid the grocery store until I get everything from the pantry eaten (or at least to a point where nothing left could be eaten alone) but the S/O won't work with me on that one. However, it may end up being the winner of this challenge is the person with the biggest freezer.

Sparafusile

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 12:40:25 PM »
While an interesting idea, I agree with Guitarist that the person with the biggest storage area will win. If the contest started tomorrow, I'd go to Sam's Club tonight and back the truck up. The contest would need to be of a long enough duration that storage wont factor in, if that's possible.

I think it would be far more interesting if the competition was "Spend only 50% of normal for 3 months" or something of that sort. Ignore the bills that can't be lessened (mortgage), but include everything else: groceries, phone, fuel, gas/water/electric, entertainment, etc. I think it would give you a healthy view on what you can live without and let you appreciate the things you spend your money on more.

Then, when the challenge is over, only go back to spending 75% of normal and see how you feel about that. The 75% mark may feel very comfortable to you after the 50% mark and you'd still be saving 25% more than normal. Then rinse and repeat.

Mike Key

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 12:55:31 PM »
I think it would be far more interesting if the competition was "Spend only 50% of normal for 3 months" or something of that sort. Ignore the bills that can't be lessened (mortgage), but include everything else: groceries, phone, fuel, gas/water/electric, entertainment, etc. I think it would give you a healthy view on what you can live without and let you appreciate the things you spend your money on more.

Then, when the challenge is over, only go back to spending 75% of normal and see how you feel about that. The 75% mark may feel very comfortable to you after the 50% mark and you'd still be saving 25% more than normal. Then rinse and repeat.

That's actually a great idea for a challenge and one I've seen done before. Folks can post up their monthly expenses and then attempt to save X amount for X amount of months.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 01:39:05 PM by Sparafusile »

Mrs MM

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 02:09:54 PM »
Yes!!  I've been wanting to do a 1-year buy nothing challenge for a long time.  I think 1 month would be too easy for us, but 3-6 months would be a good place to start. 

Everyone will probably have a slightly different type of challenge.  For me, I would want to bike as much as I can in order to save on gas/driving expenses...

I think you can probably define your own rules (but be tough on yourself!) and we can update on our progress here.

If you're not used to buying Used, then a buying nothing New challenge is also a good one (or buying nothing for yourself challenge).

So, when do we start?  Today?

Mrs MM

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 02:16:12 PM »
While an interesting idea, I agree with Guitarist that the person with the biggest storage area will win. If the contest started tomorrow, I'd go to Sam's Club tonight and back the truck up. The contest would need to be of a long enough duration that storage wont factor in, if that's possible.

I think it would be far more interesting if the competition was "Spend only 50% of normal for 3 months" or something of that sort. Ignore the bills that can't be lessened (mortgage), but include everything else: groceries, phone, fuel, gas/water/electric, entertainment, etc. I think it would give you a healthy view on what you can live without and let you appreciate the things you spend your money on more.

Then, when the challenge is over, only go back to spending 75% of normal and see how you feel about that. The 75% mark may feel very comfortable to you after the 50% mark and you'd still be saving 25% more than normal. Then rinse and repeat.

I think of a buy nothing challenge as a "buy nothing that you don't need".  So, you can still buy food, gas, toilet paper, etc... all the regular stuff.  But, you can't pick up that magazine on your way through the register or some knick knack that you didn't intend to purchase.  If you need a new pair of pants, you wait or look through your old clothes. 

My point is, you define it your own way and then follow your rules.  You know what your weaknesses are and where you're going to save money.  Do you buy a lot of prepackaged foods, do you go out to lunch too often?  The challenge will help you learn alternatives that are fun and sustainable.

I think the idea is to start doing things differently because you're not "allowed" to buy stuff.  Valentine's day or a birthday?  Find another way to tell someone you love them instead of going to the store... I think we all buy more than we need to, but maybe just don't really realize it...

arebelspy

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 03:37:27 PM »
Yeah, I feel like someone who grows their own food would win this hands down.

Have it exclude food would work, though people might still splurge past what they would have.  And the "nothing you don't need" idea is tough, because everyone defines "needs" differently.

But I like the "reduce spending by X% for as long as you can" challenge idea.  It requires participants to have a good grasp of what they spend, but it's a fun challenge.

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Mrs MM

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 04:26:49 PM »
But I like the "reduce spending by X% for as long as you can" challenge idea.  It requires participants to have a good grasp of what they spend, but it's a fun challenge.

That sounds good too and it requires you to know what you currently spend, which is a good exercise anyway.

Personally, I was thinking of taking on a 6-month challenge similar to this one:
http://www.treehugger.com/culture/the-compact-buy-nothing-new-for-a-year-or-two.html

The only difference is, I think this particular challenge focuses on buying used, but I would want to reduce all spending (new and used) as much as possible.

Ben

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2012, 09:23:12 AM »
Good idea. I'm interested in kicking something like this off on March 1st. My motivation is only partly financial- I think it would be a good way to practice discipline, good communication with my wife, and require us to get better at planning and expanding our time horizon.

Before I got married this summer, my 'time horizon' for menu planning was somewhere between 2-3 days and 2-3 hours, depending on the week. We now plan menus 5-7 days at a time. I think 2-3 weeks would be a reasonable goal for our challenge, requiring us to stretch without totally revolutionizing- something that could be sustainable over time if needed.

I'll check with her and get back to the group later this week.

Ben

HeidiO

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 07:59:12 PM »
Have you heard of The Compact?  The concept is buy nothing new (used is okay.)  The exceptions are food and anything for health or safety.  I did this (with varying amounts of success) for a year.  It is a fun exercise.  I discovered the hardest for me was gifts, things for my son, and things my wife wanted me to buy.  I made exceptions for things that I saw as "investments for increased future frugality."  Also building materials.  But I am up for the challenge again.
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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2012, 05:59:58 PM »
I think of a buy nothing challenge as a "buy nothing that you don't need".  So, you can still buy food, gas, toilet paper, etc... all the regular stuff.  But, you can't pick up that magazine on your way through the register or some knick knack that you didn't intend to purchase.  If you need a new pair of pants, you wait or look through your old clothes.
^
This.

If you spend your money only on bare necessities (rent/mortgage, student loans, gas, food staples), you can save a small fortune over time. The problem is doing this challenge in a hyper-consumerist culture where spending $7 on a cookie and a coffee at Starbucks doesn't seem like a big deal...

BenDarDunDat

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 09:15:38 AM »
We did it last year, and probably will do it again this year.  We paid necessities like mortgage, power, gas for vehicles.  We also allowed the purchase of fruits, veggies, bread, and milk. 

It was an interesting challenge.  It really drives home how many of your purchases are driven by emotional and habitual needs as opposed to physical needs.  By the end of the month, I was really craving just going out somewhere and buying something.  As a result, I've been considering having a family/friends swap list and post it on the internet. I've done something like this for over a year now, by having a Goodwill box by our door and regularly invite folks to keep anything they want.  My only problem is that it has failed to take off as far as other people having swap boxes for us to look through. 

velocistar237

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Re: Cash Fast/Buy Nothing day, Week, Year
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 09:30:03 AM »
My only problem is that it has failed to take off as far as other people having swap boxes for us to look through.

You could organize a swap meet. This works better within an established community, like a club or a church. My church holds a clothing swap every year or so, and I've both gotten and given worthwhile items. At the end, what's left goes to Goodwill.