halfway through #buynothingnovember

img_7060So, this is kind of anti-climactic but, here goes.

I’ve not bought a single thing for 3 weeks now. I’m still alive. I’m not particularly suffering.

That’s it.  And that’s kind of the point, right?  That so many of us have everything we really need?  That all this extra stuff is really just for pleasure, or convenience, or…whatever? That’s not to say I haven’t been tempted.  I had to forcibly restrain myself from buying another one of these dresses, because I bought one last month and I really, really like it.  At a MOPS meeting a couple of weeks ago, we had a great speaker and she was selling prayer journals and I almost bought one until I remembered that I couldn’t.  I packed lunches when we went to the zoo last week even though  it would have been easier to just stop and pick up something. I had to pry myself away from the book table at Costco when I went for groceries. And for some reason, I can’t get the idea that I need maroon leggings out of my head.  Consumerism at its strangest, guys.

So I’m not saying it’s been easy; I’ve been challenged.  But you know what? Saying no to yourself feels good sometimes.  It’s freeing. Freeing to realize how little I need to be genuinely happy. How little my family needs. How, even without buying a single extra thing, we still have more than enough to share with others.  We say things like this all the time, how grateful we are for what we have.  But at some point we come to a place where true gratitude means saying, “We have enough.”

All that said, I’ve got the rest of the month to go, and as we get closer to Christmas, the sales are starting to beckon and I’m already compiling a shopping list in my head.  I’ve found that sales and good deals are my enemy- so I need to be on guard with myself for that.

Those of you out there who are joining me… how have you been faring?  I’d love to hear about some of your successes and pitfalls.

4 thoughts on “halfway through #buynothingnovember

  1. I’m definitely realizing how often we spend a few dollars here, a few there, because now I can’t! But I will admit that I decided to finish Christmas shopping because it was making me too anxious thinking about having to do it all in December. (So I think maybe I’ll do this no spend thing in October from here on out! I definitely want to do it at least once a year now) It’s been hard though, only buying exactly what we need for the people on our list without any “extras.” I could probably write a whole post on what I’ve learned…so maybe I should just do that instead of writing the longest comment ever. Ha. Thank you for doing this and inspiring me to do it too!

  2. I haven’t been doing the shopping fast this time around, but when I was abroad in Uganda several years ago for six months I had a taste of the experience. Our home was very rural and there wasn’t much we could buy beside composition notebooks and batik fabric. In some ways not being able to buy anything was refreshing: I painted and made books as gifts and made meals that were special because I had to scrounge for ingredients and make do without kitchen tools. (Frosting without beaters, man.) But on the other hand, for better or worse, I was confronted with my own greed, and spent a lot of time revising a shopping list I took with me to the mall in the capital a few months in. It’s a sobering experience, for sure.

  3. I love the idea of “buy nothing November!” I am super working overtime to get all my Christmas preparations done before Advent, though, so I have been buying things. Is it silly to say I’m with you in spirit?

    Thanks for sharing how you’re doing! 🙂

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