View Full Version : I'll go a year without spending.....

12-8-11, 10:42am
Hey all, I'm new here & so glad I found you guys.

Loooong story short; I'm tired of being afraid of what my future will be if I continue spending the way I have been (and I've actually been more frugal than a lot of folks I know)!

I decided yesterday that I will go a full year without spending on anything except: utilities, food, dog's food. Done. That's it.

Granted, i have sort of prepped for this...I started thinking about doing this a month or so ago & have stocked up a bit on underwear, Tshirts (that's all I wear) & socks. I feel ready. I want to get to the point that I do laundry only once a month, and having the lil stockpile of clothing will help me with that.

Wish me luck!! DAY ONE: DECEMBER 8 2011!!!:cool:

12-8-11, 10:49am
Welcome and good luck. Don't be too hard on yourself IF you need to purchase something.

12-8-11, 10:56am
Thanks and thanks!!

12-8-11, 11:32am
Good luck! Hope you'll be posted about the experience as I would love to read about it!

12-8-11, 11:35am
Good luck, I think you'll find the challenge good fun. I've done a "buy nothing new" challenge for a year and it really led me to rethink my previous consumer ways. It is amazing how much acquisition is done mindlessly and how little based it is on need.

12-8-11, 11:43am
I will certainly be updating; I may also be leaning on this community for inspiration and support!

Float On
12-8-11, 12:17pm
Welcome and good luck with your challenge.

12-8-11, 12:38pm
This is a worthy challenge. I have been doing this "challenge" for the past 2 years, simply because of our financial circumstances. The ironic thing, is that it's "easy" when there simply isn't enough money available. It's much harder to stick to goals like this when there is discretionary income.

I'm not minimizing your efforts at all. Actually, I think it's a great idea. Maybe even the best way to truly learn about your own personal wants vs. needs. Because that's what it comes down to: being able to tell the difference. I think you will learn a lot that will stick with you, even once you decide to budget for wants again when the year of no spending is over.

What I have learned is simply how little we can do without. This has gone beyond wants vs. needs for us, since wants are automatically out of reach and off the table. So, then we have gotten deep down into the needs and seen which of them, or which parts, we can actually do without.

I agree with ctg492, to not beat yourself up if you need to buy something that you hadn't planned for. A need is a need and that shouldn't derail your goals. Like dieting. :) Just get right back up on that horse. And check back in here.

Good luck!


12-8-11, 12:45pm
Success won't be whether you meet your stated goal but what you learn about yourself from the process and how you use that to inform the rest of your life. Best wishes to you!

12-8-11, 3:47pm
Welcome, frugalbikeboy! We look forward to getting to know you better and following your no-spend adventure. As others have posted above, don't get down on yourself if you have a few slipups along the way -- what is important when setting and reaching goals like this is probably as much incorporating new processes into your life as the eventual outcome, and you will learn a lot about what your temptations and weak points are from the occassional mistake. But if you feel the urge to buy something that isn't on your list, hop on here and we'll slap you upside the head a bit -- we're pretty good at that (in a friendly, supportive way!):)


12-8-11, 3:54pm
I decided yesterday that I will go a full year without spending on anything except: utilities, food, dog's food. Done. That's it.

I assume there are a few categories missing. Housing? Even with a paid off mortgage expect property taxes and sometimes unexpected repairs. Health care? (if you are lucky I guess this is mostly employer or government paid) Dental? Do you go everywhere on your bike for transportation (no bus/train passes ever? no car?)

I get the general idea though, I like it. I might be more inclined to try it for a couple of months rather than a year though :laff:

12-8-11, 5:21pm
Congratulations and best of luck with your challenge! You should start a blog to record your progress.

12-8-11, 7:37pm
Welcome aboard, frugalbikeboy. I will be excited to read about your progress!!!!

12-8-11, 7:37pm
Ditto what all the other posters have said. Good luck! If you find yourself really craving something, write it down on your calendar three months from the time you start craving it. Then see if you even remember wanting it, much less wanting it still, when the time comes! :) Yes, Gardenarian has a good idea...Google Blogger is free and very easy to use for doing a blog. You can make it interesting by posting pictures of what you will inevitably end up "re-purposing" to meet a need for a new thing with something you already have.

If it gets to be a drag not having anything new for a year, my best friend used leftover milk crates for book storage and her nightstands from when she was an adult student at 42, until two years ago, when she reached retirement age at 67! You are NOT alone! :)

12-8-11, 11:35pm
I am looking forward to seeing how your challenge goes and please do check in here regularly and let us all know! I still have some unsold junk from my high spending days and when I see it I often wonder, what was I thinking? Why did I buy this? Was I completely without common sense? I find that when I allow myself a small treat from time to time, such as when I recently purchased Mad Men Season 4 for $7.99, I have a much easier time with living frugally and it seems like an adventure and not something to be endured. Over time the need?want? for these treats has lessened.....But I also think it's whatever works for you and it's very interesting to hear from those who have 86'ed consumerism period, and most especially, on a voluntary basis and not due to the economy. Good luck with it and have an adventure! Rob

pony mom
12-11-11, 9:51pm
Good luck and have fun!

12-13-11, 10:11am
Can't wait to hear your progress! Its been a struggle for me to go a week without buying anything, so a year seems incomprehensible! Good luck!!!

iris lily
12-13-11, 10:50am
These challenges are always interesting, good luck! I did a no new clothes (meaning: thrift store is ok!) challenge one year, and since that time I've pretty much adopted mostly thrifting as the source of our clothing. The year re-trained my to look for basics at the thrift stores and now, most all of my wardrobe is basic stuff.

12-13-11, 12:01pm
I did this about six years ago and found that, while I didn't get through the whole year without ever spending outside the parameters I had set, I did learn a great deal about how to find alternative ways to enjoy life, give gifts, cloth myself, etc., etc., that I wouldn't have ever discovered had I not undertaken the project. Good for you for giving it a go and hang in there when the going get's tough. That's when you'll surprised yourself at how much you can actually accomplish towards your goal.